Should I keep a kitten or not
Cat keeping: 10 questions you have to ask yourself before buying a cat
The cat is the most popular pet of the Germans, but many people underestimate the time it takes a house tiger and its care. This is another reason why so many velvet paws are waiting for a new home in Germany's animal shelters. In order not to have to decide one day whether you should return your cats, it is important to inform yourself fully before buying a cat.
It is also possible to keep cats in the apartment, provided that it is permitted according to the rental agreement. Ideally, the kitty has been used to it since she was a kitten. A cat that has lived on a farm for years and hunted mice will most likely not be comfortable in a two-bedroom apartment.
But every other house tiger also needs play, activity and climbing opportunities in the apartment. Special cat toys and a varied scratching post are suitable here. Do you have the necessary space for these things or are you ready to create it?
Framework conditions and general requirements before buying a cat
You should also keep in mind that a cat may not want to be alone for eight hours or more. Working people should therefore think about a second cat if they only keep an apartment. If your apartment has a balcony, it should definitely be secured with a cat net. After all, the house tiger should not fall while climbing and sustain serious injuries.
If you have the opportunity to give your cat free space, ideally there should not be a busy road in the immediate vicinity. Otherwise, you can think about a secure outdoor enclosure in the garden.
Keeping cats can take several hours a day, especially in the home. The bowls need to be cleaned and cat food and water replenished. You also have to clean the litter box every day so that your kitty is happy.
Depending on which cat breed you choose, time must also be planned for grooming. Of course, hours of play and cuddling should not be missing. Before buying a cat, it must be clear to you that it is a living being that you have to take care of - even if you are exhausted or would prefer to do other things.
10 questions before buying a cat
Take the time to answer the following questions and be honest with yourself. It will not make you or the cat happy if you cannot meet the general conditions for keeping cats at this point in time. Do not rush to buy and, if necessary, first create the most important prerequisites for the kitty to move in.
Checklist: Basic Considerations Before Buying a Cat
1. Is it allowed to keep cats in my apartment / house?
Before buying a cat, you should first make sure that you are allowed to keep a cat. If you cannot find any relevant information in the rental agreement, you should obtain the consent of your landlord.
2. Am I ready to look after a cat for the next 15 to 20 years?
If kept indoors, cats can live up to 20 years. Are you ready to take care of the velvet paw for so long and, if necessary, also to take care of an old and possibly sick animal?
3. Do I have enough time for a cat / am I ready to have two cats?
Cats can be lonely too. With a few exceptions, they should therefore not be kept alone in the apartment. Do you have the time, the financial means and the space you need for two kitties? You have to be able to accommodate two litter boxes and a large scratching post.
4. Who will take care of the cat when I am on vacation / sick?
Even if you are not planning a vacation, ask yourself who can take care of the cat while you are away. Who takes care of the velvet paw if it is not possible for you due to illness? Is there someone in your family or friends who would take on this task?
5. Do I have the financial means to cover the costs?
In addition to the running costs for cat food and cat litter, there are other expenses to come after you buy a cat. You should plan for veterinary costs in any case. Regular vaccinations and wormer cures are indispensable, especially for cats who have been allowed to walk outdoors. But even if the house tiger gets sick, it needs medical care. If necessary, he then needs medication or expensive special feed. If you don't want to breed, you will most likely have the cat neutered. You should also plan this amount.
Here you will find a rough list of the acquisition and maintenance costs.
6. Can I live with the fact that a cat creates dirt and disorder and sometimes things break?
Even the most dear house tiger can illegally sharpen its claws on a piece of furniture or accidentally knock a flower pot off the windowsill. Long-haired cats sometimes spit hairballs on the carpet, especially if they are not brushed often enough. You have to accept minor damage when keeping cats.
Even scattered crumbs of cat litter, cat toys lying around and loose hair shouldn't bother you too much. You also have to clean the litter box every day and live with the smells. If you live with a kitty, you have to expect a certain amount of extra effort when cleaning.
7. Can I live with the fact that a cat can only be trained to a limited extent?
Most velvet paws know exactly what they are allowed to do and what not - but they only stick to it if they want to. Under no circumstances should you expect the same obedience and willingness to learn from a cat as you do from a dog.
There are cat breeds that are more willing to learn, but the kitty will mostly do what she feels like. You can prevent certain things to a certain extent, but the likelihood is high that the cat will ignore all prohibitions at the latest in your absence.
8. Can I rule out a cat hair allergy in myself and my family?
Allergies are a common reason for dropping off pets. Before buying a cat, you should therefore rule out a cat hair allergy in you and your family members. Regular visitors should also be considered. Do you have people who are allergic to cat hair in your circle of friends? And can you possibly live with it if you have to meet them somewhere else in the future?
9. Can I ensure that my cat's needs are respected by all family members and visitors?
Children in particular often want to stroke or lift a cat. But is that always in the cat's interest? If the kitty wants to withdraw, she should also be allowed to. Unfortunately, animals can only communicate with us to a limited extent. Therefore, you have to explain to children and people who are inexperienced with cats how to handle cats. In some cases, you need to put your cat's needs above the wishes of your family members and friends.
10. Am I ready to take care of an old and sick cat?
At some point your little kitten will turn into an old velvet paw. Diseases and other ailments often come with age. Are you ready to take care of the cat when it has reached old age and no longer wants to play, but mainly wants to sleep and rest? Would you always make decisions about the welfare of the animal, even if it is painful for you?
If you can answer all questions with a clear “yes”, nothing stands in the way of buying a cat. Now you only have to decide which cat breed suits you, whether you want to keep a cat or a tomcat and what age your future family member should be. Then all you have to do is find the kitty you want to live with for the next few years.
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