written by Aubrey Cacciatore
If you are thinking about adopting a cat, you have come to the right place. With all the craziness going on in the world, I too want to cuddle a cat for comfort and make one my companion. But before you step into a shelter eager to find your fur-ever friend, there is much to consider about becoming a cat Mom or Dad. I urge you to take this recommendation seriously because finding the right cat is like dating, believe it or not. We would not want you walking into a shelter and homing any cat because there is a risk to it not being the right cat for you. Like dating, break ups can be messy and emotional for both parties, so we want to avoid dragging an innocent cat into this by picking the appropriate one for you.
First, let us get to know you!
Consider your lifestyle, financial status, and family situation. Becoming a cat owner is a big commitment, considering that they are living creatures dependent on you. An average cat life expectancy is 14 years. Something else to take into consideration is if you are financially stable to handle the expenses associated with becoming a cat owner. Cats are generally low maintenance and do a proper job of grooming themselves, but unfortunately for them, they haven’t quite mastered the use of the toilet like us, so don’t forget the cost of litter. Most county regulations throughout the United States require that you keep your cat indoors or under your control at all times. Also, keep in my mind owning a kitten will be more expensive because they will be starting their life with you and will need some extra tender love, and care as well as additional vaccinations and medications. I have mapped out some rough estimates, so you have an idea what to expect:
If you have been able to accept the cost associated with cats and have mapped out your lifestyle then you're heading in the right direction and are much closer to finding your purrrrr-fect new best friend. Now that we have sorted out the logistics, here comes the fun part: matchmaking!
Let’s begin with kittens: they are the most adopted because they are cute and have no baggage, but they do need lots of attention and the right owner to help guide them to be the best they can be. And, while we are at it, hide anything you love. I mean it! Shoes, vases, dainty fabrics, and beloved pillows with tassels. Kittens have a lot of learning to do while they mature, so you must give them a platform for success because you do not want them to mistakenly use your personal items as entertainment. Kittens need owners with quick reflexes because they tend to be little acrobats while they figure out their physiology and limitations, so you might be rescuing them from the top of the cabinets or hanging from curtains. Do not worry though, this is all fun and entertaining for the both of you and will prove to be a good bonding experience.
When adopting a kitten, you must consider who and what is in your household because, as little and innocent as they seem to be, they need a lot of supervision. Kittens are clever and need to frequently be protected from chemicals and other dangers, like electrical cords and stovetops. So, you will have to be vigilant and anticipate what dangers may be around and how to avoid your kitten from getting hurt. Another consideration are children in the house. Children can unknowingly be rough with your new family member, even when they are trying to show them affection; so, it is best that you keep a watchful eye when children are present.
Kittens are probably suited best for someone with high energy, flexibility, and patience. It is important to consider this beyond their cuteness when adopting, so they have the best chance of finding the right home.
Now, adult cats are a happy medium of having energy, but also do plenty of napping. They have settled into adult life and are aging like fine wine. In the dating world, this would be someone who is confident, has a stable job, knows who they are, and isn't afraid to show what kind of person they are. Appealing, right? Although they are calmer and need less supervision, they may have a painful past that may deter them from being natural, but this is just another bonding opportunity to work with your new BFF so they can learn to trust you and be more comfortable in their new home.
Also, at this stage cats have very distinctive personalities that you will want to compliment, so let's take a look at some personality variations.
Cats are not limited to just having one type of personality. Just like humans, they can display an array of personality traits. It is best to consult with the adoption agency since they have experience socializing cats for adoptions. Overall, if you are looking for a cat that meets the needs of a semi-active lifestyle with lots of life and love to give, then an adult cat may be the perfect match.
Let us not forget about our beloved senior cats because they need loving homes just as any other cat, and maybe more so, because they have less time to live. If you find yourself avoiding social gatherings and would rather stay home and binge on that new Netflix movie or you might live a slower paced lifestyle because you yourself might be a senior or have a medical condition, then this type of cat is right for you! Senior cats love the companionship of someone that requires the same needs as, a good meal, lots of cuddling, and belly rubs. There could also be fiscal benefits to adopting a senior cat, like smaller adoption fees and less annual costs because they move at a slower pace and do not need the extras that younger cats require. Senior cats make great companions for the elderly because they are low maintenance and provide simple tasks for them to stay active. Having seniors be tasked to provide food, water and sift litter can encourage healthy memory stimulus that older people need.
All in all, we discussed many cat-types to consider in your journey of choosing the right cat for you. We have considered cost, lifestyle, and ownership responsibilities. Now, all you must do, is go to your local shelter and start the process of finding your new friend. Also, do not be discouraged if you do not find what you are looking for right away because it’s important to not make impulsive decisions, we’d rather you take your time choosing. This way you both have the best outcome when it comes to being a cat owner.