To raise a happy and healthy cat, you need a great plan. The best ones include communicating with everyone in your family about the basic expectations you have of your cat, the goals you hope to achieve, and the strategies you’re willing to use to accomplish them. In short, you need to talk honestly and openly about what to expect from your cat and how you are going to care for them – BEFORE you get your cat.
Having a cat is a lifetime commitment. That’s why it is important to understand what’s really involved with having one before you make the choice to adopt or buy one. Take a few minutes to consider what you want from your new cat and how you are going to introduce the cat in your home.
Thinking about the following points can really make the process of getting a cat and helping them transition into their new home a successful and happy one.
- Do you know what to expect from your desired cat breed in terms of energy levels, behavior, temperament, and health needs? Some cats have long hair that requires more care than short haired cats. Others have distinct needs linked to their breeds; for example, Siamese cats tend to be talkative, and Sphynx cats require regular baths and ear cleaning. Remember that, in addition, every cat has a slightly different personality.
If you expect to place limits on your cat’s behavior (as most people do), you will need to invest time in training your cat. What rules will you enforce in your home?
- Where do you want your cat to sleep (cat bed, child’s room, your bed)?
- Where do you want it to eat (kitchen, laundry room, another room)?
- Will you feed them table scraps?
- Will you tolerate begging? (This answer should be consistent across the family.)
- Do you want to be able to trim your own cat’s nails or brush their teeth?
- How will you respond to inappropriate scratching, biting, or jumping up on counters?