There are many reasons to want to bring a cat into your life. It could be that you recently lost your fur baby and now you want the comfort of a new one. That’s how Aureleo came to choose Nemo. Or, perhaps your kids want a furry companion, and you think it would be a great fit for the family. Whatever the reasons, deciding to have a cat is serious; it involves responsibility. So, the question is, “How do I choose a cat?”
The Responsibility of Bringing a Cat Home
Although it’s common sense, we still want to say that having a cat is a great addition to the family but does take time, effort, and love. It’s a lot of fun to choose a cat but unlike your iPad, it is a real living breathing thing. And you are likely to have the beautiful creature in your life for at least a decade. So don’t take choosing a cat lightly and please make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibility before getting a feline. Cat care includes keeping your kitty healthy and safe day in and day out.
Also, make sure that you’re allowed a cat in your home. Some apartment and condo buildings don’t allow pets. Cats can be great companions in these small spaces, provided your landlord or property association lets you have one. It is your responsibility to check with the landlord or other pertinent party to find out if you’re allowed to own a cat where you live.
Choose a Cat to Suit Your Home
Sure, a beautiful cat will grab your attention. But more important than good looks is finding a cat that suitable for your house and lifestyle. Different home environments will be more suitable for a mature cat than a kitten.
Do you have a go-go-go type of home with people who can play with the feline on a regular basis? This type of home will suit a playful kitten who demands a lot of positive attention. If your household is quiet and you like it this way then choosing a cat who is serene, mature, and independent would likely make more sense.
Consider Potential Cat Health Issues
Whether you choose a cat from a shelter, take home a stray, or use a breeder, there’s always the chance that it could develop an infection or could get sick from food or another reason. So, as a pet parent, you must be willing to care for the cat or kitten if they become ill and to protect their health to make sure they live a long, healthy, and happy life.
Shelter cats, for example, may enter your life with one or more of these common health problems:
- Colds or Upper Respiratory Infections
- Feline Distemper
- External Parasites (e., Mites, Fleas, Ticks)
Given these potential health issues with adopted cats, it’s advisable to schedule an appointment with the vet on the same day you get your feline. Get an overall check of the cutie before taking it home and potentially exposing everyone in your home, including other pets, to viruses or worse.
Also, ask about the cat’s history of vaccinations and sicknesses. While not every shelter will know this information, it’s worth asking just in case it is available. This information can give you insights into what to expect in the future health-wise and get an idea of medical expenses you may incur. Lastly, ask the person you’re getting the fur baby from whether they have any health concerns or issues.
Check the Feline for Signs of Health Problems
Check for signs that your chosen cat may already be ill. You have to know what to look for first though. Their eyes, for example, should be clear rather than coated with discharge. Look at the ears; are they full of wax buildup and smell bad? Check for fleas too in their fur. Make sure the cat or kitten is not sneezing or wheezing either.
If you would like a sleepover to determine whether the feline is a good fit in your home, especially if you have kids or additional pets, many shelters allow you to do this “trial” period. What is allowable could be anywhere from a night to as long as a week. Keep in mind that the cat may have anxiety about being in new surroundings and try to be patient as they adjust to the home.
Welcoming a cat into your household is exciting, and we wish you many beautiful memories together over the coming years!