Adopting a cat.

In a perfect world, everyone would have at least four healthy, happy, and safe cats at home. There’s no question that sharing life with cats is a beautiful, satisfying experience (and may even improve our mental health). But simply wanting cats is very different from being able to properly care for their many needs.

A healthy dose of reality is required long before adoption, and a level headed approach to their care is necessary throughout their (sometimes very) long lives. If you’re not ready for a cat today, that’s okay. It means that you understand what they actually need to thrive, and we’re grateful for your sensibility. 

Maybe. Maybe Not.

If you live on your own property, have secure employment, have no other animals, and expect to stay home more often than not, congratulations! You’re an ideal cat owner. Of course, many pet cats successfully enter homes that are rentals, already have resident pets, and those with owners who work outside the home. It just takes a bit more time, planning, and resources to achieve a positive outcome. 

If you are allowed to have pets in the house/apartment you rent, be sure to find out if there’s a deposit or rent increase before you adopt a cat. If you have to hide your cat from the landlord or management company, you’re not ready for a cat. 

What Kind of Resources?

One of the best indicators of pet preparedness is your bank account. You can expect a cat to cost about $700 annually, and it could be more in the first year. Between spay/neuter surgery, microchip, relevant vaccinations, and all the necessary gear and supplies for the home, the cost can be prohibitive for many hopeful kitty adopters. 

Keepin’ It Real

Some prospective cat owners perceive cats as low-maintenance and easy to care for. While they aren’t as demanding as, say, dogs, they still benefit from daily interaction, vigorous exercise, and a proactive approach to all of their needs (from litter scooping to meal planning). Likewise, even if you plan on keeping your cat strictly indoors, they will need regular vaccinations, parasite prevention medication, disease screening, dental cleaning, and other facets of modern veterinary care. 

Where Are You Going?

Cats love routine. If you plan on moving, changing roommates, switching your work schedule, or traveling for any period of time, it’s possible that you’re not ready for a cat. If you do own a cat, be sure to provide them with a familiar cat sitter who can play and snuggle with them while you’re away from home. We are also glad to welcome cats as boarding guests.

Keep in mind that many cats are now living well into their second decade. If you are unable to provide care and nurturing for them for their entire life, you’re just not ready for a cat. And that’s okay. The important thing to remember is that someday you might be more than ready for a cat. When that day comes, we’ll be happy to help you and your fluff-muffin out. 

Until then, please feel free to let us know if you have questions about cat ownership. At Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, our veterinary team is available 7 days a week!