Cats are very empathetic creatures. They can sense distress, sadness, and even exhaustion, and offer comfort where it is needed. This is one of the many reasons why you should consider a feline addition to your family.
Of course, you must first think about it thoroughly to make sure that you can accommodate and prepare for a pet’s needs.
You also need to make a couple of decisions about the gender, age, breed, and background of the cat you’re planning to adopt. This will help you determine what you’ll need to buy at a pet shop in Dubai and how to adjust to having a cat in your home.
Read on to learn the five most important considerations in adopting a pet cat:
1. Are you ready for the commitment?
Getting a pet is a big commitment.
Cats are sentient creatures who need to be part of the family. They can’t be your adorable furry baby one day, only to be deemed a troublemaker the next. You need to accept them, claws and hairballs and all.
When you decide to bring cats home, they will become your responsibility for the rest of their lives. That means you’ll have to provide them with nourishment, companionship, and love, as well as expert veterinary care when things become too complicated.
You also need to talk about this decision with other members of your family. After all, the creature will see all of you – even the baby – as a member of its family.
If you’re renting, you may also need to verify with your landlord if pets are allowed in the building. Never bring home a cat unless you’re sure that the landlord will not turn them away.
2. Can you cover the cost of their care?
The thought of bringing home a new member of the family is exciting. However, you’ll have to be realistic about the decision, especially when it comes to your finances.
Besides healthy dry and wet cat food, cats also need toys, litter, a carrier, a scratching post, and regular visits to the vet.
Check whether your income can cover everything, including emergency veterinary costs. Although check-ups are usually done annually, some feline health emergencies warrant a trip to the vet.
Like people, cats also experience more serious health issues as they age, so you must be ready.
3. What age of cat is best for your household?
When adopting, you need to consider the behaviour of a cat based on its age.
Kittens are the cutest and most adorable, but they also require the most attention and time.
They may need a bit more guidance as they have yet to learn the ropes of being a house cat. This means that you will have to cat-proof your home (more on this later).
Kittens tend to knead pillows while they nurse the same way they would their mom’s belly. This is where that clawing behaviour comes from.
Like puppies, they also play, cuddle and spend more time with their littermates during this age. If you opt for a kitten, you may have to schedule regular pet playdates or bring home two cats so that they have another kitty to socialise with and consider their sibling.
If you have kids, be prepared to apply first aid on scratches because of feline playtime, especially if your pet is not yet well-socialised. That means you should only bring home a cat if your child is mature enough to understand normal kitten behaviour.
Alternatively, having older people in the house means you should consider getting a more mature cat, especially one who would be content quietly napping on grandma or grandpa’s lap.
4. Can you cat-proof your home?
As mentioned earlier, you’ll need to cat-proof your home before adopting a feline. Doing so will prevent damage to your belongings and keep the pet safe from potentially hazardous items found around the house.
Below is a list of crucial tasks you need to accomplish when cat-proofing your home:
- Keep all medicines, personal care products, household cleaners, and other potentially hazardous substances out of reach of your pet. Tuck them away in cupboards and cabinets.
- Cover all electrical outlets around the house and hide any electrical cords that may be at risk of getting chewed on or bitten.
- Don’t bring any live plants indoors that may be toxic to animals, especially those that can make your cat sick.
- Store any object that is small enough to be swallowed. Make sure the floor, countertops, and tables are clutter-free.
- Don’t leave threads, yarns, ribbons, or any piece of string on the floor or any other surface accessible to your cat.
- Get rid of any leftover food that your pet may find and nibble on to avoid any untoward incidents.
5. Does a cat fit into your daily routine?
Felines are happiest with consistent, predictable routines. So, if you’re working or have other regular tasks on your plate, you may need to adjust your daily schedule to accommodate the needs of your new cat. This includes:
If you’re not the one in charge of keeping your furry baby well-fed, talk to whoever will be taking care of daily feeding. Keep it at twice a day – once in the morning and another at night. Make sure that the feeding schedule is done around the same time every day.
Litter box cleaning
Cleaning litter boxes is an important task since cats can be finicky about cleanliness. They don’t like stepping into a dirty litter box, so you’ll need to be prompt when cleaning it.
If you plan on adopting kittens aged six months or younger, use the non-clumping litter. If not, go with a clumping litter.
Be careful with fragrances, too, as cats don’t like scents. If you’re planning to switch to a new litter box, do so gradually for several days to avoid shocking them (remember: consistency is important).
Place litter boxes in quiet, easily accessible areas for every floor of the house.
Unlike dogs, cats will groom themselves every day. They also don’t like bathing and should never be bathed unless advised by your vet to treat a specific skin disorder.
And remember: Never declaw your cat. This practice is equivalent to amputation and is excruciatingly painful for the feline. If you do so, you may leave them more timid, fearful, and agitated.
Cats also need to be neutered and spayed for their long-term health.
Like people, animals can also get sick. They even have a doctor of their own.
Pay attention to your pet’s behaviour. Recognising changes in how they act can serve as an early warning for any serious medical conditions.
When in doubt, call the vet. And don’t skip your feline pal’s annual check-up and routine exam. This includes dental checkup and cleaning, a urine test, and a basic blood test.
A Final Word
Adopting a cat is a major decision that comes with huge responsibilities. Their health and happiness depend on how well you can take care of them for the rest of their lives, so make sure you think it through before deciding.