1 – IS A CAT RIGHT FOR YOU
Mysterious and entertaining, cats have a reputation for being independent, but they still rely on us for a range of needs. These include food, shelter, and veterinary care, but also affection and physical and mental stimulation. Cats will adapt easily to living indoors, but it is important to keep them entertained or they may get bored and develop bad habits such as scratching furniture or chewing plants.
Cats learn how to interactwith other cats and withpeople during the ﬁrst fewweeks of their lives. Thisearly socialization periodis extremely important.
2 – ARE YOU RIGHT FOR A CAT?
Before welcoming a cat intoyour home, be aware thatcosts—food, veterinary expenses, petinsurance, boarding when you go away—will add up. Consider your lifestyle,too: do you have the time and space tooffer a suitably stimulating environmentthat caters to all of your cat’s needs?
A LIFETIME OF LOVE
That kitten in your hands mightlive 15 years or more. You areresponsible for its well-being .
3 – PUREBRED ORCROSSBREED?
If you want to enter the worldof cat shows, buy a purebredcat from a reputable breeder. Purebredcats are expensive, but by opting for aspeciﬁc breed, you can expect certainphysical and behavioral characteristics.If all you want is a low-maintenancecompanion, then a crossbreed shorthairedcat is probably your best option .
4 – KITTEN OR ADULT CAT?
It can be easier to introduce a kitten thanan adult cat into your home, especially ifyou already have a pet. However, adultcats tend to be less demanding and do not usuallyrequire any training. In addition, an adult cat is likely tohave already been neutered, reducing the initial costs.
5 – ONE CAT OR TWO?
Two cats cost more than one, ofcourse, but if you go out to workduring the day, two cats cankeep each other company, if you have room.Be sure to neuter cats of the opposite sexthat live together, to avoid unwanted kittens.Also, an adult cat that is used to living alonemight not welcome a feline companion.
6 – MALE OR FEMALE?
In general, female cats are more affectionate and playful than malecats, who are more likely to show territorial aggression. However, itshould be personality, rather than gender, that dictates your choiceof a cat. This is especially true after spaying or neutering, when anycharacter differences between males andfemales tend to become less evident.
7- LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES
In some areas, cats areconsidered to have a right toroam; however, many localities have lawsthat protect homeowners from damage byneighbor’s cats. Furthermore, before youallow your cat outside, you should consideryour pet’s effect on local bird populations:cats are predators and decimate populationsof ground-nesting birds even if they are petsand well fed by their human owners.
8 – INDOOR OR OUTDOOR CAT?
Cats do enjoy exploringthe great outdoors, butthey face many dangers there. Theseinclude speeding vehicles, parasitesand infectious diseases, predators,and even other cats. Indoor cats arehealthier and live longer than theiroutdoor friends but require regular playsessions. You can give your cat theoutdoor experience without the dangersby constructing a cat run.
Make sure you give your indoor cat accessto a window. It will enjoy spending timelooking at the outside world from the safetyof its home environment.
KING OF THE YARD
Before you let your cat roam outdoors, makesure it is safe for it to do so. If your yard isalready part of another cat’s territory, youmay need to accompany your cat out at ﬁrst.
9 – WHICH BREED? PLAYFUL CATST
hrough playing, kittenslearn the skills they needto interact socially and to hunt. Somecats carry their love of playtime intoadulthood. Particularly energetic catbreeds include Abyssinians, Devonor Cornish Rexes, and Siamese.Neutering your cat before it reachessexual maturity ensures that it willremain playful into its adult life.
10 – WHICH BREED? DOCILE CATSIf
the idea of having regular playful sessions with your catdoes not appeal to you, you could opt for a breed with a lowlevel of playfulness. Some breeds—including Ragdolls,Persians (or Longhairs), and British Shorthairs—are especially docile andlaid-back. The Ragdoll, in particular, is famous for its tendency to relaxcompletely and go limp in the arms of a trusted person. If you want to keepyour cat indoors, it might be best to choose one of these breeds.
11 – PHYSICAL VARIATIONST
here are many cat breeds,each with a different set ofphysical characteristics. While some ofthese attributes have evolved naturally,others have come about as a result ofselective breeding. Variations includecoat length and color, body shape, andeye shape and color.
12 – COATS: LONG, SHORT & SPECIAL
Cats are loosely divided into two groups: longhaired and shorthaired.However, some breeds do not fall into either camp, such as thehairless Sphynx and the various Rex breeds, with their wavy, rippledhair. All cats produce proteins in their saliva, skin, and urine that are transferred totheir coats and can cause reactions in some people; if you or someone in yourhome is so afﬂicted, consider one of the so-called hypoallergenic breeds.
13 – BUYING FROM BREEDERS
If you have done your research and know which breed youwant, the next thing to do is contact a specialist breeder. Thisis particularly important if you want to show your cat or to breedfrom it. A reliable breeder will be able to identify potential winners withina litter. When you buy a purebred kitten from a breeder, ask if you maysee its mother, too. Good breeders will always be happy to oblige.
These Siberian Forestkittens are still too youngto leave their mother.A good breeder willwait until the kittens areat least 12 weeks oldbefore releasing them.
14 – RESCUESHELTERS
Cat shelters are full tobursting with abandonedcats and kittens in need of lovinghomes. If you are looking for a felinecompanion rather than a show cat,consider adopting from a shelter. Anyadult cats will have been neuteredalready, reducing your initial expense.You may be asked for a donationtoward the running of the shelter.
15 – FRIENDS & ACQUAINTANCES
Another way of obtaining acat is by spreading the wordamong your friends and family. Somebodymight know someone else whose cat hasjust had a litter and who is hoping to havethe kittens adopted into good homes.Your veterinary clinic is another goodsource of information
16 – ADOPTING A STRAYIf
a stray-looking cat keeps visiting your yard and you want togive it a home, start by leaving some food out for it. If it isapproachable, take the cat to the vet to establish whether it isindeed a stray. The vet will be able to check if the cat is microchipped andsimply lost. If the cat is a stray, have it examined for infectious diseasesand vaccinated, and ﬁnd out if it has been neutered, before taking it intoyour home. This is especially important if you already have cats.
STRAY OR FERAL?
While stray cats are oftenabandoned or lost ones thathave lived with a human familyfor some time, feral cats havehad no signiﬁcant interactionwith humans. They are oftennervous and unapproachable.
Slowly approach cats that seem to be strays—they maybe fearful of people and react by scratching or hissing.Better yet, sit and let them come to you in their own time.
Leave some food out for the straycat. At the start, it might not eatuntil after you have left, but it willsoon come to think of you as aprovider of food. Move the bowl alittle closer to your door each day.
thank you for reading.