You would like to keep a cat, but you do not know how to do it? You are a beginner in cat keeping and have never owned a cat or a dog before and you would like to do everything right so that the cat feels comfortable with you? Then here is a guide to keeping cats, which you should read before acquiring a house cat.
Can I keep a cat?
Before purchasing, ask your landlord if keeping pets in the apartment is allowed. Are there any allergies in the family or have all family members tested for cat allergies in advance. Keep in mind that cats can reach an age between twelve years around 15 years or more and need to be cared for that long. How will you plan your vacations with a cat? Should the cat be an indoor cat or an outdoor cat and are the conditions right for this? Is your apartment big enough and does it contain enough space for the cat? Because a cat needs space to romp around, a not too small scratching post, a litter box in a quiet place and a place where food bowl and water bowl are ready. If the cat is to be an outdoor cat, then you should not live in the middle of the city or on a busy street. And do you have time to take care of the cat? Taking care of the cat is not only feeding and petting. You need to spend time with the cat, playing, inventing tasks and romping around. Long haired cats need to be brushed regularly. You need to wash out the food bowl and keep the litter box clean. You should have at least an hour a day for this. Cleaning the litter box usually does not take long. After that, keeping the cat busy is the order of the day, so the cat doesn’t get bored. You must be ready to engage with the cat. From the curious behavior of the cat to the cat hair that will be all over your apartment.
Adult cats vs kittens
At the latest since Corona and Home Office, the prices for pets from the breeder have increased immensely. So it can be that you pay for a pedigree cat 800 € to 1000 € and more. An alternative can be a cat from the animal shelter. There are always large and small lost and found cats and delivery cats waiting for new owners. Already adult cats bring some advantages. They are resocialized, housebroken and know how to live with humans. They do not have to worry about education anymore. On the other hand, depending on what they have experienced before, adult cats can be distraught and distrustful. It can be very difficult to build a mutual trust for living together. If you decide to have a kitten, you still have to teach the kitten everything. A kitten needs more attention and does more work than an adult cat.
A cat from animal shelter
If you have decided on a cat from the shelter, you can either look at the cat during normal opening hours or inform yourself in advance on the homepage of the shelter. If you have chosen a cat, the phase of getting to know the cat begins, in which you visit the cat often in the shelter. If you have decided to take the cat in, the shelter staff will check if your home is suitable for the cat. If the decision is positive, you can adopt the cat after paying the protection fee. After some time the shelter staff will check if the cat is doing well in your home.
Should the cat become an outdoor cat?
If you want to give a cat a home, you need to know where the cat has lived before. A farm cat will never get used to life as an apartment cat. The same is true for an apartment cat that is suddenly given the option to be an outdoor cat. She will be very skeptical of the new freedom and may never put a paw out the door. If you live in the city, then life for the cat as a free roamer is very dangerous. If you still want to give the cat fresh air, a balcony can be secured with a cat protection net. The breed of cat also has an influence on the attitude. Thus, some breeds are quite happy with apartment keeping. With very temperamental cats, however, you will have no joy in the apartment. These velvet paws absolutely want to live out their urge for freedom.
One or more cats?
Unfortunately, cats are often kept alone. But new studies show: Cats are not loners, but very sociable animals. They should be kept in pairs if possible. Especially if the cat owner is working and the cat is alone all day. When keeping two cats, it is essential that both cats get along. If you already have a cat at home, it must deal with the new cat. After the first scuffles, however, calm should return. Decisive for whether cats get along, are several points of view:
What does a cat need?
The initial cat equipment includes food and water bowls, cat food, a litter box, cat litter, a scratching post and sleeping accommodation. Especially cat tree and sleeping facility will not last a whole cat life, so you have to expect follow-up costs. In addition, you will need a cat transport box, cat toys and, especially for long-haired cats, various combs and brushes for grooming. The one-time costs for the basic equipment for a cat range from 150 euros to 600 euros, depending on how high quality, for example, the selected scratching post is.
How much does a cat cost?
Already at the time of purchase can be up to 3000$ for a pedigree cat. A cat from the animal shelter costs between 100 and 150$ due to the protective fee charged. Delivery cats from private households or from the farm are often free. The annual expenses for cat food, litter, vaccinations and other veterinary costs are about 700$. The total expenditure for a complete cat life adds up over the years to about 18,000$.
Advantages of living together with a cat
Unlike dogs, cats retain their independence. They do not subordinate themselves unconditionally to humans. Cats like to have their peace, but also like to be in company. They decide for themselves when they are ready for cuddling or snuggling. Cats have a calming effect on people. The closeness of a cat gives a feeling of security. Cats even feel it when a human is in pain and then lie down on that spot where the pain is localized. Scientifically confirmed is: cats help to reduce cardiovascular diseases and lower blood pressure.