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10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Cat

10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Cat 1

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Kittens are undeniably cute, no doubt about it. They are so adorable that many people adopt a kitten without thoroughly considering what life with a cat entails. However, these little felines will quickly grow into adult cats with needs, and they will accompany you for the next 15 to 20 years. Therefore, the adoption of a kitten or an adult cat should be carefully considered! These “10 things to know before adopting a cat” will help you make the right decision.

A Responsibility for Many Years

Spontaneous vacations, sleeping in until noon, or searching for a new apartment… in the future, you will need to consider your four-legged companion in both big and small decisions. So, before adopting a kitten, think about how it will change your life for a long time! Many people find life with a cat very rewarding. But some people are not aware of the responsibilities associated with owning a pet. Unfortunately, this increases the risk of cats ending up abandoned and stray. If you want to assess your ability to take care of a cat before committing, you can always try the experience of being a foster family.

10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Cat

Adopting a Kitten Involves a Lot of Expenses

Adopting a kitten should always be done from a reputable breeder or a responsible shelter. Adoption costs can amount to several hundred euros, and the basic equipment itself often represents a three-digit amount. You will need a comfortable bed, bowls, toys, a brush, a cat tree, and a litter box, for example. Additionally, you will have ongoing costs for food and litter. You should also consider the expenses for check-ups, vaccinations, and sterilization at the veterinarian. If your cat were to get sick, there would be additional veterinary costs that should not be overlooked.

Poor Relationship with the Landlord and Neighbors?

If you are renting your home and want to adopt a cat, you may not be free to do so. You need to obtain your landlord’s permission first. If you don’t get it, the landlord can demand the removal of the animal. If you still keep the cat, the landlord can give you a written warning and then evict you. Do things by the book. Remember that your options for moving are more limited when you have a cat because not all landlords accept them. If you have an outdoor cat, your relationship with your neighbors may change: some may not appreciate foreign cats using their garden or sandbox as a litter box. Try to find a solution together.

Cats Are Stubborn Animals

Who doesn’t know the saying: “Dogs have owners, cats have staff”? Indeed, cats do not follow us around like well-behaved dogs. But that’s precisely why some people love them. Jumping on tables, shredding curtains, or eating plants: cats do as they please. Of course, you can teach them certain rules of living together with your four-legged companions. But don’t expect them to always abide by them. Another well-known proverb can be easily adapted: “When the cat’s away, the mice will play.” Particularly, the education of kittens requires a lot of patience. If you don’t want your cat to sleep on your bed, consistency is key. One exception will force you to start from scratch with teaching that rule.

Adopting a Kitten: Fur and Hygiene

Cats shed fur. A lot of fur. It sticks to your clothes, your sofa, your bed. Get a good lint brush. Over time, you will instinctively know which fabrics attract fur. Regular brushing and high-quality cat food, whether dry or wet, help your pet maintain a beautiful coat and shed less fur in the house. But even with tricks, life becomes hairier with a cat! Many people underestimate this phenomenon before adoption. Cats are clean animals, but they can still pose a challenge for those who like to have a spotless home. Need some examples? No problem: litter often sticks to the cat’s fur and spreads around the litter box within a 20-meter radius. A cat that doesn’t eat very neatly may have food residue on its paws, which ends up on walls or in the neighboring room. If the cat vomits, which is also common even in healthy cats, they prefer to do it on a soft surface, such as your beautiful carpet. Last but not least, cleanliness issues can arise in case of illness or stress.

Cats Are Not Meant to Live Alone

If you want an indoor cat, ideally, you should always adopt a second one because cats are social animals. This has many advantages: you can leave them alone without a guilty conscience, knowing that they always have someone to play with. If you really want only one cat, research cats that do not like to live in groups: some breeds are more timid and calm, while others are more sociable or playful. But in this case, you will need to spend a lot of time with your pet and provide extra attention and affection. Outdoor cats can live perfectly fine as the only cat in the household. They have enough activities outside and sometimes find companionship there as well.

Cats Can Climb (Almost) Everywhere

Whether it’s climbing to the top of the wardrobe or onto a shelf, many cats are skilled climbers. Some even have the talent to open doors and take advantage of your absence to visit the closet where their treats are stored. Be careful: some cats nap in the washing machine or sneak into the garage or even the car in the morning when you turn your back. Unlike most dogs, cats walk on desks, countertops, or window sills. In short, with a cat, you must always ensure they don’t put themselves in danger. If you’re afraid your cat might escape, you can secure your balcony or garden with a fence that is at least two meters high. Remember to ask for permission from your landlord if necessary!

10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Cat

Felines Are Hunters

Suddenly, in the middle of the night, you hear squeaking noises in your room? Your cat has probably brought a visitor with them. If you want to adopt an outdoor cat, keep in mind that they may bring prey home, no matter how nice and cute they are. Sometimes they bring them back dead, and sometimes they bring them back alive to play with. In addition to mice, young birds and goldfish are also among the prey that can end up in a cat’s paws. Some cats deposit their loot on the doormat to offer it to you. If you want to adopt a kitten, you have to accept this character trait of your future roommate.

Diseases and Aging in Cats

With a bit of luck, you will have a healthy companion who will live by your side for the next 15 or 20 years. But many cats eventually develop acute or chronic illnesses. Mild infections or diarrhea may pass in a few days, but they still require veterinary care and can be challenging to manage for you. Chronic diseases such as diabetes require not only special attention to your cat’s diet and insulin but also good organization. Your pet may need to take medication daily. To prepare for this possibility, you can train and accustom your cat to receive treatment while they are still young, by giving them something other than real medication. As cats age, some may become weaker or develop cognitive issues. They may need assistance, such as help climbing stairs or more frequent visits to the veterinarian.

Adopting a cat can be a wonderful experience that brings joy to your life. But it’s important to be aware of the responsibilities and considerations involved in cat ownership. By understanding these 10 things before adopting a cat, you can make an informed decision and provide a loving and fulfilling home for your feline companion.

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”