Is a cat right for me?
Before adopting a cat or kitten it is important to take some time and consider whether you and your future cat are right for each other, now and into the future. The average lifespan of a cat is approximately 15-18 years, though the oldest cat lived until she was 38 years old, so this is a long term commitment. Below we have listed some of the advantages of cat ownership and items to consider before adopting a cat.
Advantages of cats as pets
- Cats are an easy pet to own, they do not require regular walks. However, some cats can be trained to walk on a lead and do enjoy exploring the neighbourhood with you safely.
- As cats are smaller than most dogs, the cost of food and medication is usually less
- Cats do not need a lot of space
- Cats keep themselves clean and tidy
- Cats are friendly and playful members of the family
- Cats are great lap warmers, many people find their cat is in tune with their emotions and give you extra attention when you are feeling sad.
Considerations before selecting a cat as a pet
- Your new cat will need daily care and attention.
- We recommend you make a budget before getting a cat, to ensure you can take the best care of him or her. Consider in your budget the cost of food, kitty litter, flea treatment, worming, vaccinations, pet insurance and saving for unexpected veterinary bills.
- Cats are a long term commitment. You must take into consideration not only if you can take care of it now, but if you can continue to care for your new cat for the rest of it’s life.
- Cats can bite and scratch in play or when they are feeling intimidated.
- Do you want a kitten or an adult cat? While an adorable kitten can be hard to resist, remember they can be very boisterous and require more care. It is also much easier to assess the personality of an adult cat and see whether he/she will fit in with the family.
- Many local councils (including Mornington Peninsula Shire) require cats to be confined to your property 100% of the time. This is an important regulation to keep your cat safe and to reduce the hunting and killing of native wildlife. Will you be able to provide your cat with enough mental stimulation (with toys, climbing towers, a cat run or appropriate fencing)?
- The kitty litter tray can be a source of conflict within the family - who is going to ensure it stays clean and hygienic?
- Would you prefer a cat with long or short hair? Long and medium haired cats require regular brushing to keep their coat looking magnificent and to prevent mats from developing.
- Cats need to scratch to sharpen their claws and can often pick inappropriate items to do this (like the side of the couch). By providing both vertical and horizontal scratching posts we reduce, but do not eliminate the chance that your new cat will scratch your favourite chair.