Each day your Facebook feed is bursting with the cute cat videos and the cute cat photos and you have just developed a craving to have a cat on your own.
You think that a lovely, curling, purring bowl of fur would be a perfect addition to your cozy flat and that it would be warming your lap during the long, cold evenings and filling up your loneliness.
You know you prefer cats from dogs because they are much cleaner (they wash themselves and bury their feces) and you don’t need to walk them 5 times a day, starting from the nocturnal hours of each morning.
The fact that cats are better suited to the modern lifestyle and that they are so extremely popular on social media encourage more and more people to have a cat.
Unfortunately, having a healthy and happy cat entails many responsibilities and commitments that many times people don’t realize until it’s too late.
Bringing a cat into your home will change your life, so it’s better to know what to expect in advance. To check if you are able to take care of a cat see if you can reply ‘yes’ to all of the below questions.
1. Will you care for your cat?
Cats need to be regularly fed at least a couple of times a day (depending on the age), regular grooming (depending on the length of the hair), frequent playing and being taken to the vet for vaccinations and when they are sick.
2. Will you clean up after your cat?
Cats are extremely clean animals which wash themselves and bury their feces. However, if your cat is entirely domestic and stays in the house all the time, you need to provide your cat with a litter tray which you have to clean out regularly.
3. Will you or other cat be able to provide your cat enough company?
Cats are very curious and active animals and they need plenty of attention and stimulation. A bored and not being looked after cat may become miserable and even develop a depression which could also reflect in physical problems like lack of appetite and developing various illnesses. You need to make sure that you or someone else in your house spend enough time with your cat at least in the mornings and evenings. The company of another cat would be perfect for your cat too, as they would provide constant stimulation and activity to each other.
4. Will you be patient?
Although cats are attention-seekers and they need to be playing with frequently, they are also very independent animals and they won’t be always doing what you want. You need to let them do what they want, in their own time and pace. Remember that you won’t force a cat into anything and any attempts of doing so may be for your cat very stressful and detrimental to your cat’s mental health.
5. Can you put up with scratched furniture?
Having a cat in your house means that it’s almost inevitable to have your furniture scratched at some point. It’s natural and necessary for cats to sharpen their claws in order to keep them healthy. They also do that to mark their territory or when they feel threatened and stressed. You will need to train your cat to claw in certain places, like on the scratching post. Although cats can be trained, remember that sometimes it will be irresistible for your cat not to scratch your furnishing, so you need to be honest with yourself from the beginning what is more important to you. You shouldn’t be punishing your cat by smacking or beating it as your cat could become stressed and develop mental problems.
The average lifespan of a cat is 14 years, so even if you answered ‘yes’ to all of the above questions make sure you will be able to sustain it for 14 years or more.