Think and plan carefully before deciding to own a cat, they can live about 20 years so they are a major commitment. Cats are fascinating creatures and make great pets but with multiple breeds and cross-breeds available it can be difficult to choose a cat and even where to get one from.
- Rescue cats
There are many unwanted cats in need of a good home so it makes sense to take one from a rescue centre. All rescue centres will need to ensure that your home is suitable so be prepared for an interview and a home visit. Many rescue centres will also arrange a further visit several weeks after the adoption to ensure the cat is fitting in well. Rescue centres work on donation basis so you will be expected to make a donation for the cat. All rescue cats will be dewormed and have the appropriate vaccinations.
- Purpose bred
Many cats are available for purchase from breeders, both pedigree and moggies. Be careful when purchasing a cat from someone you don’t know. Make sure you see the kittens with their mother. Any responsible breeder will not separate the kittens and mother before 8 weeks, the most common time to do so is between 8-12 weeks. You will need to ensure that the kittens have been dewormed and have the appropriate vaccinations.
- Pedigree or not
Pedigree cats are expensive and will usually come from reputable breeders. Most pedigree breeders care deeply about cats so they will want to ensure they are going to a good home, expect similar techniques to that of a rescue shelter. Many breeders will expect several visits to see the kittens and a deposit may be requested.
- One kitten or two
Consider your living and working arrangements, if everyone is out at work all day and there is no one around then a kitten on it’s own will get lonely, think about getting two kittens from the same litter, they will be able to keep each other company and will play with each other. A bored cat will scratch and bite at curtains, carpets and soft furnishings, there is nothing worse coming home to a wrecked home!
Keeping a cat will cost a minimum of £12,000, according to a report by the PDSA, so while they are cheeper than keeping a dog they are still a major undertaking. These costs include annual vet visits, food, cat litter, cat toys and vet insurance.
Deciding on a cat for pet will bring many years of happiness.