Bringing a cat into your home is a big decision. That needed to be stated right away, because so many people do not think this decision through carefully, which is why there are so many homeless cats out there. Though cats are cute, fluffy, and overall one of the best companion animals out there, you need to take a number of factors into consideration before adopting or buying one. Here are pointers that would help you out.
Do I have the time?
Despite what many people think, cats do require that their owners have time for them everyday. From feeding to playtime, many cats will feel very lonely if their owner is gone most of the day, especially if there are no other cats in the house.
Do I have the money?
On top of the money you spend on the cat itself, the food, the kitty litter, the litter box, and all the other accessories, you must take into consideration the possibility of veterinarian bills. Your cat should get a yearly check up with your local vet.
Do I adopt?
YES. Please, look to your local animal shelter for a cat or kitten first before buying one from a breeder or an 'accidental litter'. There are thousands of abandoned or homeless cats out there that would make excellent pets for you and your family. The biggest plus to adopting is that most shelter cats are spayed or neutered before they're adopted, so you don't have to worry about the expense of having that done yourself.
Do I get a kitten or an adult cat?
Kittens are cute, but keep in mind that they will only stay kittens for a short while. There are more adult cats than kittens looking for homes in animal shelters. Look at the adult cats first before considering a kitten. If you find a kitten you fall in love with though, don't let that stop you. Just be prepared for the usual 'kitten behavior' though―younger cats are not as well-behaved as older cats usually are.
Do I declaw the cat?
It's really up to you, but I wouldn't recommend it. Many people don't realize that when a cat is declawed the entire first joints of the toes are removed. Imagine if your fingertips were cut off, how uncomfortable you'd be! Some cats develop psychological problems after undergoing this procedure. It's not legal in many countries, like England, because it's considered cruel. If you have a concern about furniture scratching or having small children around the cat, I recommend adopting a cat that's already been declawed by a previous owner. These cats need loving homes just as much as any cat, and they've already undergone the procedure, so there's no going back.
What should I feed it?
Again, this is up to you. Ask your veterinarian which variety of cat food they recommend. Personally, I use Purina Cat Chow, as that's what the animal shelter recommended to me.
Where can I find a cat to adopt?
Check out the petfinder website for cats available for adoption in your area, if you think that a cat is the right pet for you.