13 Things to Know before Bringing a Cat into Your Life

An important decision, to be made with awareness

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By Manu

bring a cat in your life?

Deciding to bring a cat into your life, be it a kitten or an adult cat, isn’t a choice to take lightly. It demands careful consideration rather than impulsive decision-making. This decision carries lasting implications for both you and the cat. To help you assess your readiness and genuine adoption prospects, we’ve compiled a list of key points to be aware of.

Cats, intriguing and enigmatic beings, play a significant role in the daily lives of many. However, before deciding to welcome a cat into your life and share your space with them, it’s essential to be aware of what lies ahead.

Want to Bring a Cat into Your Life?

We certainly don’t want to discourage you, but here are some considerations you need to make.

It’s a Lifelong Commitment

Cats have an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years. Deciding to adopt a cat entails a commitment for the entirety of their life. This seemingly straightforward decision significantly influences your future choices and lifestyle.

It’s also a Financial Commitment

Despite their reputation as independent animals, adopting a cat involves financial responsibilities. Costs for food, litter, kennels, accessories, toys, and veterinary care should not be underestimated. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and sterilization contribute to the expenses.

Time and Attention

This is perhaps the most underestimated aspect.

Cats thrive on interaction and affection. Allocate time daily for play, cuddling, and attentive care. Training a cat requires patience and consistency, making daily engagement crucial.

Adequate Diet

Ensuring your cat’s well-being involves providing a balanced diet tailored to their age, weight, and specific needs. Monitor your cat’s weight, be aware of foods harmful to cats, and always provide fresh water.

Adequate Living Space

Cats need a safe and stimulating environment, so assess your living environment. Cats, inherently needing space, may not thrive in confined areas.

Create a safe home environment, by removing potential hazards and offering comfortable spaces for rest and play.

Understanding Cat Behavior

Before adopting, familiarize yourself with cat behavior, including physiological and emotional needs. Learn about unique feline behaviors like purring. Understand scratching and territory marking, providing acceptable alternatives such as scratching posts.

Cats possess an instinct to explore elevated spaces. Ensure your home is safe by eliminating harmful objects and introducing secure resting and playing areas. Comfortable beds and appropriate play zones contribute to a cat’s well-being. Recognize and respect cats’ evolutionary traits, such as their inclination to hide or occupy elevated spaces. This behavior, developed over centuries, serves as a defense mechanism against predators and a strategic approach to potential prey.

Cats occasionally bite, though it’s a rare occurrence. Understanding why and how to respond is crucial. These behaviors are ingrained in a cat’s nature, but it’s possible to impart some “habits” that bridge the gap between feline and family lifestyles.

Understanding Cat Physiology: Whiskers

Cats’ whiskers, technically known as vibrissae, are mysterious and captivating. These sensory organs play a crucial role in a cat’s perception of the external world, akin to their eyes and ears. Whiskers capture air movements, with each feline vibrissa sensing pressures up to 2 mg. Never remove or cut these sensitive organs, as they are vital for a cat’s navigation and well-being.

want to bring a cat in your life?
When bringing a cat, remember that their whiskers are genuine sense organs, integral to how they perceive their surroundings.

Understanding Cat Physiology: Claws

Cat claws often bring to mind concerns about scratches on furniture, leading to the common practice of trimming. However, claws serve various important functions in a cat’s musculoskeletal system, including physiological, territorial defense, and communication. Trimming may reduce damage to objects, but it doesn’t eliminate the natural instinct to sharpen claws.

Adopting a cat involves understanding that claws are essential for their well-being, serving as both a tool for gripping and a means of territorial expression.

Maintaining Cleanliness

Cats are inherently clean animals, a fact not universally known. Providing a clean litter box in an accessible location is crucial for their well-being.

Ensure a clean litter box is available, acknowledging that cats prioritize cleanliness in their environment.

Beware of Fleas

The notion of “Fleas? Not on my cat!” is a common sentiment among those who keep their cats indoors. However, cat fleas can infiltrate even the tidiest homes, making it essential to recognize signs of their presence and act promptly.

Key indicators include your cat incessantly scratching, the appearance of small dark insects or excrement (resembling black dust) on their fur, inflammation with resulting red patches, and insect bites on your ankles and calves.

Once identified, addressing the issue involves applying specific pesticide products not only on the cat but also in the surrounding environment.

want to bring a cat in your life?
A cat with fleas requires prompt attention; understanding how to recognize signs of their presence is crucial for swift intervention.

Toys and Accessories

Contrary to popular belief, cats enjoy playing, and providing them with safe toys is a great way to stimulate their interest and keep their minds active. Engaging in play with your cat strengthens the bond between you and your feline companion.

Identification

While a microchip may not be obligatory everywhere, considering microchipping your cat is advisable, especially in case of loss. Cats’ curious nature often leads them to wander. Additionally, having a tag with your telephone number provides an extra layer of identification.

Choosing Cat Names

When adopting a cat, selecting an appropriate name is crucial. Avoid overly long or complex names, human names, or those too common among animals. Cats respond well to short names with one or two syllables that are easily distinguishable amid human speech.

Once you settle on a name, it’s advisable not to change it. Doing so may cause confusion and an “identity crisis” for your cat.

In conclusion, adopting a cat is a responsibility that demands commitment and attention but brings immense joy and love. Stay informed and prepared for this fulfilling journey into cat companionship.

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