Should You Get A Cat? 4 Things To Consider
Cute, cuddly, and clever, cats are some of the most beloved pets for a reason.
As of 2021, PetKeen’s cat ownership statistics show that over three million households currently own cats. At the same time, since 2020, cat adoption has become more common, with 85% of adopted felines still happily living with their first families.
After all, cats make great companions thanks to their loyalty, charm, and intelligence. With this in mind, it may seem like the perfect time to get your own cat.
But there’s way more to cats than just cuddles and purrs. In order for both you and your cat to live your best lives together, here are some critical cat ownership realities you need to consider:
1. Cats Care Can Get Pricey
The cost of pet care can be extensive. In Sound Dollar’s guide to cat ownership costs, the average cat owner spends about $1,149 every year. In the first year of ownership, these annual costs are even higher at just under $2,000.
Given that the average domestic cat lives between 12 to 17 years, this means that you’ll be spending upwards of $17,000 in its lifetime.
If you’re already a bit tight on your finances, then it may be better to put off getting a cat until you’re more financially stable. Otherwise, your cat’s quality of life may be seriously compromised. That said, there are ways to protect your finances while also caring for your cat.
For instance, you could get pet insurance that reimburses you for most medical bills.
Aside from this, you could also buy pet supplies from local producers who charge less. Having said that, since cats are long-term commitments, it’s important not to underestimate their financial demands.
2. Cats Will Change Your Lifestyle
Although cats are mostly independent creatures, they do require some lifestyle adjustments on your part. For example, Daily Paw’s article on first-time adopters explains that cats prefer calmer environments. As such, you may need to stop playing loud music or having too many people over. At the same time, cats also prefer having routines.
Therefore, your cat will be happier if you both wake up and eat at the same time every day. If you’re unable to accommodate their needs, cats may act out or get ill.
Thankfully, if you find a cat with a personality close to your own, it’ll be much easier for you to both find a lifestyle you thrive in.
If you can’t make these necessary adjustments or you can’t find a cat with a complementary personality, then you may be better off with a less involved pet.
3. Cats May Need To Be “Fixed”
While the idea of having kittens may sound cute, it’s important to remember that there are already millions of homeless felines in the world. This is largely due to an overpopulation issue that can only be addressed by neutering or spaying cats.
In this way, you can prevent the birth of more cats that will only live in poor conditions.
Aside from this, as discussed in our guide to ‘Getting Your Cat Spayed’, getting cats fixed helps better their health. This includes reducing the risk for prostate cancer and urinary tract infections, among others.
Consequently, prospective pet owners must seriously consider getting cats fixed despite the costs and time it requires.
If covering such costs and making these appointments seem too hard for you to do, you could also look into adopting an older cat.
Among many shelters, rescued cats are often fixed before they’re put up for adoption. By going this route, you can fulfill your responsibility as a cat owner while also helping the current cat population.
4. Cats May Carry Some Germs
Generally speaking, cats are hygienic animals who don’t need a lot of grooming from their owners. However, it is still normal for them to occasionally carry germs or parasites that may transfer to humans. As per the CDC’s post on healthy pets, these instances can result in pet parents developing a variety of illnesses.
These can range from minor skin infections to more serious diseases. If you’re unsure how to keep a cat clean, you can ask your local vet for grooming tips or even recommendations on low-maintenance cat breeds.
Contrary to what most may think, cats actually require significant care. If pet parents are unable to provide this, both you and your cat may end up feeling frustrated, tired, and discouraged.
On the flip side, if you’ve read all these points and found that you can fully provide for a cat, then it’s time to get ready for your new feline friend.
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