So, you’ve decided to adopt a cat and are looking forward to welcoming a new feline friend into your home. But are you ready for a pet, and do you know what adopting a cat will entail? We’ve got the lowdown on where to adopt, the preparations you’ll need to make, and what to consider before becoming a cat owner.
First things first: are you ready for a pet?
A dog is for life, not just for Christmas – and the same, of course, for all pets. Here are the questions you should ask yourself before adopting a cat:
- Can I afford it? You’ll need to budget for annual check-ups at the vet, plus vaccinations, neutering and emergency visits. Other regular costs will include food, litter, a basket and toys, flea and worm treatments, insurance and, possibly, sitters who will look after your cat when you go on holiday. The annual cost of keeping a cat can easily run to £700 or more.
- Could I take care of my cat for up to 20 years? That could be your cat’s natural lifespan. So, while you may be in a good position to adopt a cat right now, it’s important to think ahead before taking the plunge.
- Do I have time to look after a cat? You’ll need to carry out some basics everyday tasks like feeding and changing the litter, and it’s also important to spend time with your cat to nurture that special relationship and help them feel loved.
Where to adopt
If you’ve thought long and hard and feel that you really can provide a good home, the next step is to look for a suitable cat. But where should you be looking when adopting a cat? These reputable organisations are a great place to start, especially if you don’t mind taking in an older animal:
- The Cats Protection League has branches throughout the UK.
- The RSPCA will guarantee that your new cat has been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.
- Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is a good place to look if you are in London.
- The Blue Cross has branches in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch.
If you are adopting a cat or kitten from a private owner, always check their vaccination status and whether they have been neutered.
Welcoming a pet into your home
Being re-homed can be a stressful experience for a cat. Even if they’re coming to a loving and comfortable environment, they will need time to adjust. You can make it easier for your new housemate by:
- Giving your cat a small space that can be their territory. Let them stay there and acclimatise before exploring the rest of the house.
- Offering the same food that your cat is used to eating. Familiarity will help them feel at home.
- Keeping your new cat separate from other animals in the household before introducing them gradually.
- Not forcing your cat into places they’re not willing to go. Let them take the initiative and come to you.
There are also some preparations you should make as a homeowner before opening your home to a cat:
- Even on high shelves, remove anything breakable (they can jump and climb)!
- Buy a scratching post so that your new pet won’t be tempted to scratch furniture.
Life as a cat owner
If this is your first cat, you may become a little daunted by the new responsibility. Don’t worry – we can help! Check out our useful information on:
- How to look after your cat
- Feeding your cat
- Moving house with a cat
- Recognising the signs of stress in a cat
- Keep your indoor cat happy
And there you have it. Life with a furry feline is never dull, and you’re sure to enjoy many happy years together with your new household pet. Once your new companion is settled, you’ll soon forget what life was like before adopting a cat.