Welcome back to Fuzz’s ‘Guide to making sure you are ready for a life of servitude’.
People choose to get a cat for many different reasons. Some people get a cat for companionship and others are happy with a cat who prefers to take matters into their own hands and have a more independent lifestyle, some people want an indoor cat and others wants a cat who likes to explore.
The most important thing is to make sure you find a cat that fits with what you are looking for so you can be sure you will be able to provide the best possible care for your newest family member. Not all cats are the same, a cat’s behaviour can be dictated by its genetics, temperament of mum and dad and earliest life experiences. A well-handled and socialised cat will be full of confidence and love to play, whereas a cat that has not been around a lot of people may be more fearful and prefer to keep to themselves and not seek much human interaction.
Whilst it is impossible to guarantee you are choosing the right cat for your lifestyle, understanding your own expectations and what makes your cat tick will help when choosing a cat.
Making sure you can give your cat as much attention as they need:
Cats are generally pretty easy-going companions. Unlike a dog, cats do not need constant attention, don’t require too much training (although you can train cats), don’t need to go for walks and can even go to the bathroom on their own and indoors. Cats are also much more independent than dogs and can be left alone for much longer periods of time. Cats are also more suited to smaller apartments and living spaces than dogs are. For these reasons cats can quite easily fit into a modern lifestyle and are often chosen by people who have busy/stressful lives and are looking for some relaxing and not too demanding companionship when they get home from work. However, cats still have needs, and owning a cat is a life-long commitment.
Can I have a cat with young children?
Cats, kittens and children can go well together, depending on the cat’s temperament. However, like all pets, it is important they are treated gently and children are taught the right way to approach and interact with their feline friend. Importantly, all cats need to be able to choose this interaction and not be forced to spend time with, or be touched by, children. Giving them their own space is vital and somewhere quiet they can retreat to where they won’t be disturbed. For more information on introducing children to future Fuzzballers read the excellent blog found here: www.icatcare.org/advice/introducing-cats-and-children/ Making sure you teach your family member how to treat your cat will also be very important in ensuring everyone remains the best of friends. It is important to note that babies/toddlers should not be left unsupervised with your cat.
Visit our friends at icatcare for further advice and information: icatcare.org/advice/introducing-cats-and-children/
Should I rescue an adult cat or get a kitten?
This is up to you, if you choose to get a kitten you will be responsible for making sure it gets the best start in life. Kittens are young, boisterous and love to explore so you will have to keep an extra eye on them (although this won’t last forever as kittens reach adulthood at around 9-12 months). If you get a kitten, you will also be responsible for its primary vaccinations, ensuring it is neutered, registered and microchipped. If, however, you choose to adopt an adult cat these may already have been taken care of. An adult cat will already be set in its ways so it is important to understand what kind of environment you are adopting it from as this will greatly affect its personality (e.g. previous pet or stray). Adult cats will also be easier to leave on their own as opposed to a kitten which will require more regular attention. This decision really depends on whether you want to start your cat journey from the beginning or join the party half way.
Soooo I’m coming up so you better so you better get this puurrrty started .. Sorry I could resist, when I hear the word party I just lose my mind.