Maybe it’s the lively kitten that grabs your attention. Or it’s knowing that the adult cat desperately needs a home. Whatever the circumstances, you’re feeling the tug on your heartstrings. It’s time to take a step back and really consider the question carefully. Are you ready for the responsibility of owning a cat?
• Does your lifestyle support owning a pet? If you travel frequently for pleasure or work, you’ll need to think of someone who can care for your cat in your absence. Is work the focus of your life? People who work extremely long hours may enjoy coming home to a cat, but so much time alone may not be best for the animal.
• Will a cat be welcome in your home? If you live in an apartment, make sure you’re allowed to have a pet. Even if that’s not a problem, you should also be sure everyone in your household is in agreement about getting a cat. People have different pet preferences and forcing yours on someone else will create endless conflict. Does anyone in your household have a history of cat allergies? Bringing a cat into proximity with a seriously allergic person can have dire consequences. If you have young children and other pets, you must consider how well a new cat will fit in with them and how well the new addition will be treated.
• Are You Prepared Financially? Cats can be amazingly independent, but they still require your attention and care and they will be an expense. Their periodic veterinary care could cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 per year. On a daily basis, cats need food and fresh water and their litter boxes need to be kept clean with frequent scooping and cleaning. Aside from the time involved, this could incur an additional $600 per year.
Once you’ve considered all the factors, you can be confident that you’re making an informed decision. And that’s responsible pet ownership!