Buying Your First Cat
The first thing to remember before you even visit the cattery is ‘do I really want a cat?’ You must be a hundred and ten percent certain that a cat is the right pet for you and your family. Can you afford it? Do you have the right home in which to raise and look after a cat? Do you have the time to properly look after a cat?
A pet cat will depend on you, her owner, for the whole of her life. A healthy, well looked after cat can live up to fifteen years so commitment and dedication are essential qualities in a cat owner. The time and effort you put into raising and looking after your cat will be reflected in her temperament and character, and subsequently the enjoyment you will get out of the ownership of your cat.
Upon deciding whether or not a cat is the right pet for, put off visiting the cattery for a little while longer. Because now you have to plan finances and caring for the new arrival. It would be advisable to plan an annual budget, including in it the following.
Annual veterinary bills. These are unavoidable; you will never own a cat that doesn’t require a visit to the vet at some point in her life. Vaccinations are essential if you want a healthy, happy cat. In some areas vaccinations are required by law. Consider them an investment, paying for a vaccination early on will reduce the chances of your cat becoming ill and subsequently requiring treatment, which will cost more than the vaccination itself.
Food. Cat food will constitute a large part of the overall cost of cat ownership. It is important to monitor the health of your cat, especially if you change your food at any point.
Accessories. Items such as litter trays and scoops are essential. Your cat will need certain things to ensure that she does not become bored and as a result, ensure that your furniture does not become destroyed. She will need a scratching post amongst other things.
Insurance. Insuring your pet is highly recommended by vets and insurance companies. The premium paid out over a year to cover a pet against illness or injury is substantially less than the cost of treatment.
After planning your finances you need to ensure that you have the resources to look after your cat to the highest standard. You need to ask certain questions. Are you prepared to have an animal living in the house? You will need to clean the house more frequently and thoroughly with a cat about. This is for hygiene reasons as well as the fact that your house won’t have the cat smell! Cats are notoriously independent animals. They may venture off for days at a time only to return for food. Are you seeking companionship from your pet or are you happy with seeing your cat less frequently than with other pets.
Once you have decided that a cat is the right pet for you and your family you need to decide exactly which cat will fit into your life best. Do you want a male or female? Do you want a long or short haired cat? All of these along with many more are questions which could alter every day of the next fifteen years of your life. So think carefully. It is imperative that you have a clear idea of what you want in a cat before you visit the cattery. This is to ensure that you do not become attached to a cat which is unsuitable for you and your family.
When deciding whether or not to buy a male or female cat it is important to remember that each cat has an individual personality regardless of sex or breed. Unlike dogs, it is difficult to select a breed or sex in order to get certain characteristics. Some cats may be affectionate, others may be shy, so choose type of cat based on practicality rather than temperament because it is very rare that you would know what you were going to get. If you are a house proud home owner perhaps a short haired breed would be more suitable.
If you insist on a purebred then be prepared to pay more than for a non purebred and the difference is not easy to see to the untrained eye.
As equally as important as selecting an individual cat is selecting a breeder. Only use a reputable breeder who observes the code of ethics set to regulate the behaviour of cat breeders. It would be advisable not to use a breeder who advertises in the local paper. This is not because good breeders do not use this medium but because the majority of bad breeders do use it. Choose a breeder who is local, so you can easily go to visit your prospective cat and see it in it’s own environment. This is so you can get a judgement on its character.
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