Committing to a cat is exciting but also a huge responsibility. The life span of a cat can range from 14 to 20 years, although the oldest known cat lived to the ripe old age of 36. Owning a cat can be a very rewarding experience. With their unique and independent personality, a cat really will make a fantastic pet and will soon become an important member of the family and a lifelong friend. However, it is important to remember all the responsibilities that come with owning a cat and the amount of care they will require throughout their life. Once you are certain that you and your family can provide a loving, long lasting home for your cat, you must consider the following.
Can you afford a cat?
The cost of keeping a cat will soon add up. Consider the cost of food each month, toys, accessories and bedding as well as vet and cattery fees.
Do you have time to spend with your cat?
If you are continually out of the house for long periods of time every day then your cat may become lonely and mischievous. Remember that your cat will need attention, so if you don’t have the time, don’t commit to owning a cat.
Is your home suitable for a cat?
You must ensure that your house will be able to provide your cat with plenty of space to move about combined with secure play areas.
Pedigree cats and kittens
Around 90% of cats in the UK are known as mixed breed cats. There are over 60 different recognised breeds and colours of pedigree domestic cats, which fall into seven categories: Persians, British, Semi-longhair, Burmese, Oriental, Siamese and Foreign. The advantage of buying a pedigree is that you will be aware of their temperament, personality traits and size
Crossbreeds or mixed breeds?
Crossbreeds have pedigree parents of different breeds. Mixed breeds account for around 90% of the cats in the UK. They do not come from a pedigree background and they are mostly categorised as domestic shorthairs or domestic longhairs. Mixed breeds are usually healthier than pedigrees as they tend to inherit less genetic problems, but you will not be aware of their characteristics such as size and temperament.
Male or female?
Un-neutered males can be prone to wandering and fighting. Un-neutered females can become pregnant from a very early age and become vocal and difficult to keep indoors when they come into season.
Cats and other animals
In the right conditions, cats and dogs can get along well. It is down to the owner to introduce the two sensibly and ensure that no favouritism is shown.
What's the difference between indoor and outdoor cats?
Consider the type of house you have and whether you have a garden or live near the main road. You should also consider the risk of boredom. If you keep an indoor cat, do ensure that you can provide them with enough space and things to occupy them. Many people allow their cats out at night only or construct a playpen where they can roam in the garden.
Spaying or neutering your cat or kitten?
From as young as 6 months, sterilisation helps reduce problems such as messing inside the house and unwanted pregnancies. It does not change your cat's temperament or result in weight gain if healthy diets and exercise are adhered to.
Pet Insurance is important and can end up saving you hundreds of pounds.
Vaccinate from 8-9 weeks and then again at 12 weeks, depending on the vaccinations used and then throughout regular intervals of their life. The most common diseases that cats are vaccinated against are Feline Infectious Enteritis, Cat Flu, Feline Chlamydia and Feline Leukaemia.