Congratulations you have decided you would like to add a new feline family member! We at A Cat’s Tale are excited to help you so that the experience can be nothing but positive for you and your new family member.
Before adopting any animal there are a few important things to consider. The average lifespan of a domestic cat is 14 years and many live to 20+. So the first thing you need to consider is if you are ready to make a 20 year commitment. In animal rescue we like to say you are adopting a forever pet, not an until pet. Adopting an animal should not be a spur of the moment decision. If you decide to adopt a new cat or kitten you must realize that if you move, or have children, or meet a new partner that is allergic to your cat you have committed to keeping this cat as part of your family for life and will need to make arrangements to keep him or her not matter how your lifestyle changes.
The new animal you are bringing into your life will see you as his family- he will bond to you and expect to live his whole life with you. It is a sad reality but almost 3000 cats and kittens are killed each month in Los Angeles alone because their families changed their minds, sometimes after having the cat for 10 years, or because they moved, or had a baby….If you are not certain that you can keep the cat for the remainder of his or her life we recommend you wait- out of fairness to the cat who deserves to find his forever home.
If you are sure you are ready to add a new permanent family member, the next thing you need to consider are the costs associated with owning a cat. Cats, like humans, need regular medical care and check ups. The average cost of an office visit for a cat or dog is between $45-$65. Cats also need yearly vaccinations, and like people sometimes they get sick. Although there are many low cost vaccination clinics you have to be prepared should you cat need emergency care or have a more serious veterinary issue. Don’t forget that cats also need food and litter every day. The ASPCA estimates that the average cost of owning a cat is about $1050 per year. Petfinder estimates that the average cost of cat ownership per year can be up to $4000 per year if your cat needs emergency care. Most cats who are kept inside live long healthy lives with minimal need for urgent or emergency care but it is important to be aware of costs you could incur.
Ok you are sure you can keep the cat for life and are prepared financially- now for the most important part-should you get a cat or kitten. Many people who have never had a cat like to adopt kittens so that they can watch the kitten grow up and have him or her his whole life. There is no arguing that kittens are wonderful and fun. They are silly and playful and you can spend hours just watching them play. However they also require more attention and can be more destructive than adult cats. It is also more difficult to predict a kitten’s personality.
If you are certain you want a particular type of cat, for example if you are sure you want a lap cat, then it is better to go with an adult cat. Adult cats have well-developed personalities and generally the volunteers who work with a rescue can lead you to exactly what you are looking for. Adult cats are playful for many years – some cats have kitten like behavior up until they are 10 or 11 years old, but adult cats tend to be less destructive than kittens. For example adult cats don’t chew on things as much as kittens do. If you don’t have a lot of time to play with your new cat you may also want to choose a cat rather than a kitten. Adult cats are more likely to welcome you home and keep you company, while kittens want to play, play.
Adopting a new cat or kitten is a fun, rewarding and amazing experience!! Please feel free to contact Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have more questions about adopting your new feline friend!