The average lifespan of a cat is 15 to 17 years, but a lot of cats have been known to live over 20. It is a long term commitment when you add a cat to your family. Often people run out and get a cat only to abandon it a year later on the street or at an animal shelter. Cats are not disposable pets. Will you be a responsible cat owner? As pets go, cats are relatively low maintenance compared to dogs which need companionship, walking, training etc.Cats tend to be more independent than dogs, but they still need companionship and love. They need quality time with people to be happy. Think about the time you have to commit to a new cat. However, like any pet, they do need care, and some cats need more care than others. Do you want to spend a lot of time with your cat, do you want it to be demanding? Should I get an adult cat or a kitten?
It can be incredibly rewarding to bring home a new kitten or to rehome a cat, giving it a second chance of happiness.While kittens have a huge ‘cute’ factor,a kitten gives you the opportunity to take on an animal right from the beginning and treat it and care for it so that it gets the best start in life.However, kittens require a lot of attention and some forethought to prevent them from getting into trouble. If you leave them alone you have to make sure they will be safe while you are away. Adult cats are usually less destructive than kittens, and since their personalities have stabilized, you can select one that has the temperament you are looking for. Do you have other cats in the house? Existing cats often accept another cat better if it is similar in age. If you have an older cat in the home, carefully consider how he may react before adding a new cat to the family. Do you have other pets? Think about whether the newcomer will be accepted. Can I keep a cat indoors?
If you think about the lifestyle of a cat which has access outdoors you will realise that being outdoors brings a huge variety to its life and allows it to use all of its hunting behaviours if it wants to. Of course, there are risks outside for cats, but you need to balance these with the very positive aspects of physical and mental stimulation and an outlet for natural behaviour.
To care for a cat you will need to:
- Provide plenty of human companionship
- Provide regular, suitable meals with a constant supply of fresh water
- Provide a clean and comfortable bed
- Provide the cat with outdoor access or be prepared to empty and clean a litter tray on a daily basis
- Provide it with a stimulating and safe environment
- Groom it regularly. Longhaired cats require daily grooming
- Have it neutered between 4 and 6 months old
- Vaccinate against the major feline diseases regularly
- Worm regularly and provide treatment for fleas
- Take the cat to the vet when it shows any sign of illness
- Insure your cat or make sure you can afford the cost of any veterinary treatment it may need
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*We hope to give you better ideas for your pet, but this information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. If your pet feels bad, please take it to the veterinarian in time.