2016 was the year I finally got a cat, although she’s not technically mine, Cats Protection still own her, I’m solely responsible for her day-to-day care. Growing up I’d had cats and I thought I was totally prepared to have one but I was wrong. Here are a few things to bear in mind before getting a kitty of your own.
Don’t get a cat because you think you don’t have time for a dog – I hear this a lot, people thinking a cat is a low maintenance alternative. In some cases this may well be the case, the cat might spend most of its time outdoors and not really need much in the way of human interaction but don’t take this to be a given. My cat is older, stays indoors and likes a lot of attention. Ok, you probably don’t need to walk your cat several times a day but they need fed, brushed, litter boxes need changing etc. It’s a time consuming business.
Pets are expensive – I’m lucky because Cats Protection still pay Misty’s vets bills for me but having a pet is a costly business. Not just their food and other essentials like cat litter, brushes, beds etc, but they add to the running costs of your home. When before you may have switched your heating off when you went to work you now have a little beastie living in your house who likes to be toasty.
Going away anywhere takes so much planning – Having a cat is like having a child except you can’t take them with you when you go away so you constantly have to arrange for people to look after them. If you go away a lot for work or to visit people consider whether you have friends/relatives nearby who can look after your fur baby or whether you can afford catteries/professional pet sitters. Misty is lucky that she has lots of Aunties & Uncles nearby who don’t mind looking after her when I’m away.
A cat is not just for Christmas – This is a long term committment. My baby is old, she’s already 14, so I’m probably not going to have her for that long, but she could have a fair few years left in her yet. If you get a kitten, you could have them for 20+ years. In that time circumstances can change and pets can be rehomed if necessary but it’s not fair on the animal if you take it on without intending to have it permanently.
This post is not designed to put anyone off getting a cat. I absolutely love Misty and wouldn’t be without her now (even if we do fall out in the middle of the night fairly regularly) but it’s important to be aware of the work it involves, especially as a single cat parent.