The decision to adopt a pet is not one to b taken lightly. As a child I remember wanting a pet and not being able to understand what the big deal was; why can’t I have a cat? I’ll take care of it, I promise. Being an adult gives a person a whole new understanding of pet responsibility that a child just doesn’t get.
First off, the matter of finances should be a topic for discussion. Besides the obvious cost of food, there are also going to be veterinarian expenses, a litter box and sand, a sifter for the litter box, and toys for the new cat. A cat can easily live 15 to 20 years, so these costs are not going away anytime soon. All of this costs money on an ongoing basis, so budget for your new cat accordingly.
The health of the family must be taken into consideration as well; does anyone in the household have pet allergies? Medications are available for those who suffer from pet allergies but the decision to take medication to have a pet must be considered.
The family unit must be taken into consideration as well; if there are young children in the household a kitten may not be the best idea. Children are not aware of their own strength and can kill or maim a kitten very easily. Toddlers also have a habit of grabbing things like tails as they are walking by, something you do not want to have happen with a cat. Cats are quick to defend themselves and scratches should be expected. On that note, some people will go so far as to have a cats claws removed. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that it’s a harmless procedure; many countries have banned the practice of declawing a cat. It should be renamed toe surgery because that is what occurs; the last bone of the toe is surgically removed. On a human it would be similar to having the top part of the finger removed. It is completely unnecessary as with training and the proper scratching tools a cat can be taught where it is appropriate to scratch.
Cats can also display some unusual behaviors such as kneading, which is something they learn to do even before they learn to walk. There are several theories as to why they exhibit this behavior but most experts agree that it is a method of comforting themselves. Some cats will suckle on fabric while kneading which some believe is because the cat was taken from their mother too early.
Another strange trait is when a cat eats grass; cats are carnivores (unlike dogs that are omnivores) and lack the proper enzymes to digest grass. Some theorize that it is to obtain folic acid which a cat needs in their diet while others speculate that it is to help them regurgitate irritants from their stomach.
Cats can be wonderful companions, particularly for those who live in apartments or condos. They are relatively low maintenance and can be a beautiful addition to any family.