Obviously cats don’t require daily walking, cleaning poop from your yard or masses of food come meal times. There are some definite factors people should take into account prior to committing to getting a cat. Additionally, there are expenses you should be mindful of when committing to a designer breed. However, these are some basic guidelines that should be followed for a typical healthy domestic cat.
EXPENSES: Cats require 2 meals per day, generally half a cup is a suitable measurement however between 1/3-2/3 of a cup (depending on the size of the cat). Cat food is variable in cost, high end food can be around 75cents (US) per meal however making your own food using a few roast chickens or chicken necks can be a great way to space out the higher grade food and to diversify their nutrient intake. It is important that you realize, that cats CANNOT go vegan. Although obviously (on Instagram) many people love and benefit from a vegan lifestyle it’s very important cat owners know that this IS NOT healthy for cats and can lead to severe nutrient deficiencies and ongoing health issues.
HEALTH: Often, cats will require more than one vet visit per year however a minimum of one visit is something a prospective owner should know. Vet visits vary significantly, but you can generally access the cost for a typical consult through a local veterinarian search through the web. Check with other cat owners you know about he vet they visit as well as try to keep the number of your local emergency 24 hour vet on your fridge. They need regular flea treatments (depending on the brand you use). Also kittens less than 12 weeks need to be wormed weekly, then once a month until 6 months and 3 monthly as an adult. Keeping your memory up to date through blogs and websites (like this one) helps to keep your knowledge fresh and help you to get an idea of concerning symptoms you need to notify your vet of. Know what vaccinations they need and when (use iPhone reminders).
TIME: So cats obviously are less time intensive than dogs, but they do need a lot of cleaning to ensure their living conditions are safe and suitable. They need any poop cleaned from their litter daily, with a full change over of kitty litter at least 2-3 times per week. They need your attention! If you don’t play with your cat or give them time and energy they will destroy your home when you’re not home. Aside from using a scratching post, they need play toys! Feathers, wool and string works too but the most important part is engaging and playing with them. A bored cat is a naughty cat and they will do anything to get your attention. This might be having urinary accidents, scratching up your favorite couch or eating off your bench.
PATIENCE: Obviously kittens are a bigger challenge than older cats, but you need to be patient. Cats can become easily scared which can translate into aggression, anxiety or naughtiness if left unmanaged. It’s important to be sensitive to a cat, they are much smaller than us humans and due to their desire to be a more dominant animal in the home, they become easily frightened from loud thuds, noises, music or people. So if you really value these things and don’t have the energy then perhaps a cat isn’t an ideal cat for you.
Obviously as a passionate cat owner, I can guarantee these small sacrifices pay off 10 fold by the love and affection your cat will provide you with. However, due to the number of cats and kittens being forced into shelters from frustrated cat owners really ask yourself whether you truly can make the commitment to cat ownership.