Responsibilities of Owning a Cat
When it comes to owning a cat, the responsibilities are not always straightforward. Every cat has different behaviors that can potentially cause chaos in a household if you are not properly prepared for it. Cats are typically independent creatures, but also require attention to their needs. Some people decide to get a young kitten to start out with. Others choose to adopt an older cat from the shelter. Whichever you choose, the responsibilities of owning a cat are important. Animals can be more costly than expected. When considering taking in a kitten or cat home, here is a guide for the things you should consider.
What is the Cost of Owning a Cat?
The cost of owning a cat might be more than you think. An average cost for a cat in a year can be anywhere from $800 to $2000. A typical bag of cat food usually costs somewhere between $8 and $40. Depending on the quality and brand of food that you choose to feed your cat. Choosing higher quality of food can help your cat stay healthy for a long life.
The other cost of owning a cat involves the litter box. There are several cheap options for a litter-box, but the litter within the box can add up on the regular store bill. The litter-box should be changed out frequently for the health of your cat and the smell of your home. Dispose of the waste properly and make sure that your cat can access the litter-box at all times. Once you position the litter-box in the house, refrain from having to move it around, as it can cause confusion for the cat. Some owners decide to have their cat indoors and outdoors. With an outdoor cat, you may not have to change out the litter in the litter-box as often. Either route you choose, having a litter-box is an added cost, but a necessary one for the responsibility of owning a cat.
How do I Cat-Proof the House?
Cats have a mischievous and curious side about them. Cats can sometimes cause trouble in a household by getting into things. Tearing down tablecloths or curtains, to scratching on furniture can become a problem over time.
Introduce Your Cat to the Household
Part of cat-proofing the house is introducing your cat to aspects in your house. When bringing a pet into your home for the first time, it can be skittish and want to hide. If you own other pets, be sure to introduce your new cat to your other pets. While they may not get along right away, they may learn to tolerate one another.
Get a Scratching Post
To sway the attention of the cat away from wanting to scratch the furniture, invest in a scratching post. Any local pet store should have some available that allow a cat to scratch on something that is specifically made for them. Be sure to introduce the cat to the scratching post and positively influence them to scratch on the post instead of other places around the house. A scratching post should be a minimum of three inches from the ground so a cat can properly stretch up and scratch it. Soft wood with some rope on a post is a common type.
Frequent Vet Visits
Vet visits ensure that your cat has all the proper shots and health validations. Veterinarians know what to look out for if your cat appears sick or has changes in behavior. If your cat is an outdoor pet, be sure to have it spayed or neutered to avoid any kitten surprises.
What Should I expect during a Vet Appointment?
At a vet appointment, you should expect to spend some time with the veterinarian who is trusted with the health of your cat. A vet first checks the temperature of the cat through the rectal, which causes no discomfort to the animal. The vet will also check for any skin issues. Some cats struggle with dry skin, which can often be caused by grain based diets. Your vet will discuss with you how to better care for your cat and how to switch it to a more suitable diet. Lastly, the vet will check ears, nose, and mouth for any bad signs. Cats can get allergies too, which may lead to a runny nose or sneezing. By visiting the vet regularly, you can know how to continually care for in the health of your cat.
Love and Attention
There is nothing greater than coming home to the companionship of your cat. They may be a lot of work at times when they decide to knock things off the counter, but they still deserve love and attention when you get home. Check out the best pet sitter
Have a Routine
Pets can benefit from a regular routine when it comes to food, water, and tender care. Some cats can handle dry food being out all the time, but not all cats can limit their food intake. If you have a cat that can often overeat and is getting overweight, consider feeding your cat at a specific time each day. That way your cat can expect the food, but also not over indulge itself.
Do I Need to Be Home Often?
Cats can be pretty self-sufficient, but they do get lonely. You do not need to be home all the time, however, you should shift your schedule to check up on them. Be home enough to give your cat love and attention. Just like any pet, they need exercise and mental stimulation. Cats enjoy chasing lasers, lights, or even a string. When you can wear out the energy of your cat during the day, you might be able to avoid their nocturnal nature of running around and potentially bothering you at night.
A Commitment For a Lifetime
When it comes to the responsibilities of a cat, it is a lifetime commitment of loving care. Choosing to own a cat means a dedication of time and energy. Owning a cat is not for everyone, which is why it is important to know what you may be getting into when owning a cat. Vet and food costs can add up, but ultimately it is worth coming home to a pet companion at the end of the day. Much like humans, cats have personalities that can define their character. From curious young cats to lazy older cats, you can enjoy the comfort and emotional support that a cat can provide. Be a responsible cat owner that can give a cat the best life possible.