Things to consider before you get a Cat

The decision should not come lightly to get a kitty companion.  There are a lot of things to consider before you even start the process of adopting a cat! Yes, I am a big supporter of “adopt don’t shop”!! There are so many cats in the shelters and there are more coming in each day.  The euthanizing of our feline friends is on the rise because the shelters just cannot keep up with the volumes. 

Did you know – courtesy Google, an average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter and 2-3 litters per year. During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. 

So, on that note, you’ve decided it is time to adopt a kitty, but there are so many things you need to consider before the process can begin.  Here are my top things that you should consider before you adopt a cat. 

Can I afford another mouth to feed?

Have you actually sat down and looked at your income, expenses and what you are actually left with after said expenses?  When you want to adopt a cat, you need to consider how much you will need to spend financially over and above your normal expenses, as these little fur babies need a lot of things in order to be happy in their new space.  You will need to consider the fact that there will be an adoption fee, vet bills for the sterilization as well as for the monthly and eventually annual vaccinations. All of these add up, and this is excluding food and litter, scratching posts, beds and blankets.  You need to ensure you have all the necessary items so that you don’t end up with behavioural issues in your cat in the long run. I would suggest you plan your monthly expenses even before you get your little ball of fur!  Plan ahead, as if you already have him home.  Get quotes from vets, research on the cost of food, what you will want to feed your kitty, keeping in mind he probably has been on a certain type of food at the shelter, so you would have to introduce him slowly to the new food, if you choose to go a different direction that is.  So plan your estimated costs per week, per month, for every day expenses such as food and litter, and also the not so regular events such as visits to the vet, stays at catteries etc.  Once you have your budget and you know that you will have enough to support the new member to your family, then you’re ready to begin to start of the next process. 

Do your research

Adoption is exciting, for me it is such a good feeling knowing that you are saving an animal from possible death, caged life, you name it!  Giving any animal a forever home is greatly rewarding.  But, as much as I would love to re-home every animal, it is obviously not realistic.  So the way I do it is, I gather my research, I think about what I would like to achieve from giving this little fur ball a home, and what I can offer to this little one’s life in return.  I don’t take this decision lightly, for example when I was ready to adopt a companion for Dizi when Sasha passed, I had to consider his personality and how he would feel about it, how it would affect him.  I researched all sorts of things like what personality would best suit his personality, and that’s where I realised that ginger cats are known to be very affectionate. And I just felt drawn to the idea that this would be the purrfect match!  So I went online, I went through all the shelters which I knew of or had heard of at least, and there he was.  This sweet, red, brown eyed boy.  A close up of the face that I would eventually grow to love and adore. I was already connected to him then and there, and that was it.  But I still did my research on the shelter, and I emailed them with questions on Travis in particular, who was actually name Heratio by them. Once I had all the answers I needed, and it did not take that long, I had booked him!  He was mine. 

The next step towards a forever home!

Once you have found a shelter, the next step is to go and choose your fur ball!  Here too, this is a hard feat.  You will be surrounded by abandoned, homeless cats that all want one thing, a forever home! This is the toughest thing for a cat lover to do, to walk away!  But, one thing that I found made it easier was to only choose within my means (one or two cats), and all the while knowing that the one or two kitties that I choose, and choose me – of course, are the ones that I will save, and it is two less cats to end up having kittens which contribute to the homeless cat problem around the world.  Although it is still tough to walk away, this should make it a little bit easier.  Once you have found your future house mate, the next step would be that the shelter will arrange for a home inspection at your property.  From my experience, this is usually within the following two or three days from when you have chosen your little kitty.  They will also give you the total adoption fees, which range from Vaccination fees and sterilisation fees.  Anything that they would have had to spend on your kitty to get him ready for home. These fees can vary, so when doing your budget there is no harm in asking the shelters how much they charge for Adoption Fees.  When they come out to inspect your yard they basically just want to ensure that your home is safe for your new little kitty.  At the end of the day they don’t want to end up having it come back to them. After all, it is called a forever home for a reason.  If you choose to get a kitty, it is your responsibility to ensure that your home is safe and secure before bringing any animal into it.

Multiple cat households 

I always thought, the more the merrier.  This is true for cats!  Cats are not loners, they live in colonies, or my favourite Collective Noun for cats is a “Clutter of Cats”!  They live in groups, they choose their besties, and the same rule applies in the human based Clutter.  So, if you don’t have cats at home, and you are looking to adopt, please do consider adopting more than just one.  Preferably house mates at the shelter, because then you don’t need to introduce them to each other, only to their new surroundings.  The less stress they have when you bring your kitties home, the better! Also consider adopting an older cat. These are the ones that suffer the most. Everyone wants a kitten, but older cats have so many rewarding traits that come with them.  They are mature, they are just relaxed as opposed to the 12-week old kitten who just wants to bite and play.  But, don’t get me wrong, cats of any age, at any shelter, all equally need a home, but please don’t walk passed the older cats without at least trying to see if there is a connection.  Who knows, you might get the best of both worlds, with an oldie, and a kitten?!  In conclusion here it is best to have multiple cats instead of one cat. Especially if you are like me and you work Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm.  If I had one cat, he would be very lonely.  But because I have multiple I get home and the house looks played in, the beds look laid in and the faces look satisfied!

 

I cannot stress enough the importance of adopting rather than approaching a breeder.  Please do go and research the stats on cats in shelters and cat breeds. Whatever you need to know is there should you still be steering towards a breeder.  Every life is precious, yes, but those lives in shelters are at risk, and won’t it be the best feeling in the world knowing you saved a life, and multiple more because yours is not out there having litters of their own.  Take it from me, the feeling is great!  You will look into your adopted kitties face and get a feeling of great thanks, every day!

With love,
Kat

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