According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are
appox. 93.6 million cats owned in the US. Thirty-three percent of owners of own at least one cat and on
average people have two. 22% of cats owned were adopted from the animal shelter, and 87% of owned cats are
spayed and neutered. So, are you ready to join these millions of happy cat owners and undertake the
responsibility of owning a cat?
Owning a cat is not a decision to be taken lightly. They have needs, much like children, that require constant
attention and they are expensive. You must be prepared, upfront, to cover all the costs, attention and
money-wise, that will arise. Just as a responsible parent doesn’t simply jump-in to having a baby, a
responsible pet owner weighs all the costs and makes sure they can handle them.
Cats come with fur that must be brushed, teeth that must be cleaned, claws that must be trimmed, and a voice
that demands to be heard. They need to play, run, scratch and knead, jump, climb and simply be with you, their
owner. They require patience to train and understanding when they have accidents. You need to be willing to
accept them and accommodate your lifestyle to their unique needs. Research is critical from the very beginning
as even the breed of the cat you choose will affect their needs; and how their needs are met affects both your
cats happiness and temperament, and their bond with you.
Monetary concerns are the first and one of the most important to investigate. If you cannot afford the basic
upkeep of a cat, then there isn’t any point in even looking to see which breeds interest you. Basic care for
your cat covers food, litter, annual vaccines, spay/neuter if they haven’t been already, and flea protection.
You will want to find a good quality cat food, not necessarily the most expensive, that is without corn
additives and is high in animal proteins. On average, the first years' vaccines cost between $45 and $85, then
$10-$35 each year after. This cost varies based on which vaccines are administered. If you adopt from a rescue
or shelter be sure to ask if they have already administered the first round of kitten vaccines.There are a
number of low-cost clinics, and you can administer some vaccines (never Rabies) yourself. The average cost of
neutering a cat is between $50 - $100. Spaying is $100-$200. If your female cat is over-weight, in heat or
pregnant this cost increases. Being a responsible pet owner means being aware of these costs and being prepared
for them. There are a number of groups that offer low-cost or free options and your Vet may be willing to work
with you so that you can get these important procedures for your cat. Your Vet will also have the best
recommendations for flea and heartworm protection. Consider looking at pet insurance as well to help cover
unforseen emergencies. The last decision you want to be faced with is having to put your pet down because you
cannot cover the cost of emergency treatment.
If you live in a multi-pet household, you should a litterbox for every cat plus on extra. The litter should be
emptied every day and changed weekly. Litter boxes should be in a safe and quiet location, and large enough
that the cat can turn around easily. If tracking of the litter through your house is going to be an issue,
purchase a mat to set outside the box that will catch the little pieces attached to their feet. It is always
safer for a cat to be indoors than outdoors. Even setting your cat outside just to go potty can be dangerous
When evaluating which breed of cat you want, decide if you have the time necessary to devote to them. Some cats
will not do well if they are left at home all day, and others will thrive just fine. All cats will demand
attention when you return from a day of work, but some will simply begin to wilt if you are gone for prolonged
periods of time. If your job requires a lot of traveling, or causes you to work long and extended hours you
will want to be careful which breeds of cat you pick. Having time for your cat also means the time to groom
them. Some cats, like the Persian cat, require a full brushing every single day. If this is something you don’t
think you will have time to do, then these breeds are not for you. Others require weekly bathing, a habit you
should start from kitten-hood. Again, if you don’t think you’ll have time or think you’ll get bored then these
are not the breeds for you to look at.
Declawing your cat should be a last resort option. If the decision comes down to declawing your animal or
turning them over to a shelter then the lesser of two evils is declawing your pet as long as you realize that
you are making an even greater commitment to their care and upkeep. Declawing is an irreversible surgery that
involves the removal of the last bone of the toe from the paw of the cat. It is painful and alters both the
formation of the foot and how they walk. It is not a decision that should be made because you don’t want to
bother trimming their claws. You will be making the decision to have part of their bone cut out of their foot.
Laziness is not a reason to make this decision. Research it thoroughly before deciding on it, and explore all
other alternatives. It is possible to train your cat not to scratch.
Owning a cat is a wonderful decision. Cats really love us and they enjoy being with their families and their
people. If you feel you, and your family, are ready to make the long-term commitment to a feline companion, be
sure you are well informed and ready for a life-time of excitement and love.
Adopting a Rescue Cat - What To KnowTips For Naming Your New Kitten
Kids and Kittens - The Beginning of Good
Pet Insurance - What To Know
Spay and Neuter FAQ
Top 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds
How To Travel With Your Cat
Your New Kitten - Tips For Their New
5 Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Senior
No-Kill Shelters: Quick Facts
Top Five Cats for Multi-Pet Households
5 Awesome Anatomical Part of Cats
Wildcats in the Living Room
5 Ways to Tell That Your Cat Really Loves You
Showing Your Cats: A Quick Guide
Cat Behaviors Deciphered
5 Famous Fictional Felines
The 10 Most Popular Cat and Kitty Names of
Why Cats are Best in Pairs
Why Do Cats Knead?
The Cats of the Pokemon Games
Can Cats Really Hurt Humans?
Differences Between Strictly Cat and Strictly Dog People
The Deity Cats of Ancient Egypt
Is Pet Insurance a Waste of Money?
Why is My Cat Acting So Strangely?
Can Cats Understand English?
How You Should Go About Finding Your Lost
How Your Cat is Like a Superhero
What You Should Consider When
Adopting a Bengal Cat From a Shelter