Cats make great pets for people who do not want an animal highly reliant on them for lots of love and attention, such as a dog. Felines are affectionate and dependent on their owners but not to the same extent as their canine counterparts. Instead, they are more independent and less reliant on their owners.
If you feel that a kitty would be an ideal pet for you, here are some things to consider before committing to getting one:
Cats need care
People assume that cats are much lower maintenance pets than dogs. While there is a degree of truth to this statement, it is not entirely true. They require an equal amount of care. Therefore, your kitty will need annual shots from a veterinarian, regular grooming, and supplements to keep them healthy. For healthy teeth, consider a cat scrub and shine dental powder. Maintaining your cat’s teeth is essential because the feline cannot eat without them, and its health will deteriorate rapidly. Luckily, many animal-focused brands like Petsmile, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, and Feline offer a wide variety of products to keep your cat’s dental hygiene as taken care of as possible.
Cats are far more fastidious about grooming than dogs, although their owners still need to play a part in maintaining their coats. Regular brushing or combing instead of relying on a cat to do all the work itself has many benefits. It prevents fur balls as the cat is not ingesting as much loose fur. Additionally, regularly groomed pets are less likely to provoke an allergic reaction. What causes hay fever and itchy skin associated with a cat allergy is not the cat’s dander or loose fur. Instead, it is a protein released from the cat’s tongue while it licks itself. Therefore, the less frequently your cat licks its fur, the less likely someone is to experience an allergic reaction.
Buying cat food and litter can become a significant monthly expense if you operate on a tight budget. Dry cat foods tend to cost less, with semi-moist variants costing more and wet food being the most expensive. Since cats get most of their daily water intake requirements from their food, semi-moist and wet food are the best, although you can combine them with dry food. Cats that do not get enough liquid through their food can experience kidney issues.
Cats are also prone to thyroid issues as they age or suffer from UTIs. Any conditions like these require veterinary intervention, which does not come cheap. To give your cat quality food and care, ensure that it can fit into your budget.
Cats do not necessarily come house trained and able to use a litterbox. Therefore, you should be prepared to put in some hard work if you want your cat to fulfill your behavioral expectations. Much like other animals, cats are inclined to pick up good behavioral habits and respond well to training when they are younger. However, it is possible to teach an older cat, although you might need to be more patient.
Use positive reinforcement to encourage your cat when they do what is expected from them. Instead of getting angry when the cat does something wrong, ignore bad actions and reinforce good ones. Raising your voice and becoming aggressive will drive a cat’s anxiety levels upward, and they are unlikely to respond well to it.
Cats are territorial creatures, and some do not like competition or companionship. If you already have another cat or more than one, consider these felines’ needs before deciding to get another cat. Socialized cats used to other animals tend to respond well to a new arrival and even sacrifice some of their territories for it.
Some dogs do not mind cats, while others perceive them as a nemesis. If you have a dog, see how it behaves around cats before getting one. Life is going to be miserable for everyone if there will be constant fighting between the two. Do not assume the worst if things do not go according to plan in the first few days. It will take a week or two for everyone to settle down again. Bringing a new cat will disrupt other animals’ routines, but they will adjust.
Understanding feline behavior
Cats can be quite playful and become destructive when bored. Therefore, ensure that you have toys and a scratching post to keep them entertained. Playing and pouncing on toys stimulates a cat’s hunting instinct without the mess of it presenting you with a dead mouse.
Most cats are affectionate and love being stroked or scratched. Some are demanding about getting your attention and will go to great lengths to do so. Ensure you have time for such activities, or your kitty will feel neglected. Cats spend a lot of time sleeping. While they might do some of their napping on your furniture, most like a dedicated spot where they can sleep. Get a cat bed and put it somewhere in the house where a cat will have access to food, water, and its litterbox.