I used to think I was an animal person. I’ve had fish, chinchillas, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, snakes, birds, cats, dogs…
Lots of animals and I loved every one of them.
And then I got a job in an animal hospital and learned the truth…
I am a cat person.
I understand them and love them more than anything else. I just have a large capacity to love animals and can accept them all. Hands down though, I need a cat in my life.
Not everyone is a cat person. As medicine and nutrition improve, the lifespan of our pets increases to match it. If you are thinking about owning a cat for your first time, really consider the ramifications of this 12 to 20 year commitment.
You may want to try cats on for size first and foster for awhile. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a ‘foster fail’ and keeping a foster cat forever, but there is something wrong with bringing a cat home only to end up mistreating it or abandoning it. Don’t be that guy. Research or foster first before you decide if you are a cat person or not and ultimately, if it doesn’t work out, give the cat a second chance at a shelter.
Yes, I still want a cat. Where can I get one?
A shelter. Please. Large scale breeders can be scary and don’t always care about the health and well being of the animals they pump out and any small breeder worth anything is going to cost you. Big time. So expect to pay well for your cat or just rescue. There are cats of all sizes available for adoption: young to old – adorable to comical. Spend a few moments checking out local rescue sites. You’re sure to find a cat that steals your heart, like Cooper and LeeLoo stole mine.
How do I take care of a cat?
- Always have fresh water available. Always.
- Buy stuff. Lots of stuff:
- Buy food. This is not as easy as it sounds. Just look at all the options at the pet store! When in doubt, ask your vet for advice, especially if you have a special needs kid. There are a million foods out there because there are millions of different needs.
- You will need a brush, even for short hair cats, and a nail-trimmer. Nail and fur care can also be taken care of by your groomer or veterinarian’s office. Either way, they will need care. Visit Kitty Paws for help if you want to do it yourself.
- Teeth: Yes. They are pretty much the same as yours, just better equipped for hunting, so they will need the same care. Brushing, dental visits, etc. DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE. Your cat will not spit it out. Your cat will swallow it and get sick. Get toothpaste made for your cat. They even come in beef and poultry flavors that is much more enjoyable than mint to your kitty.
What special things can I buy for it?
- Cat Grass – With guest tester Mohawk the River Cat!
- Catnip – My cats are snobs in this department and must have some with Silvervine in it as well, so try a few different kinds before deciding if your cat likes Catnip or not. Not all of them do.
Humans are coming to understand that prevention is so much better then curing. It’s why we now have free office visits for yearly checkup and free vaccines for humans. Your cat isn’t so lucky yet (we should work on this) but the need is still there. Yearly checkups and routine care keeps everyone healthy and happy.