Twenty-five per cent of adults in the UK own cats. The pet cat population is estimated at 11.1 million as of 2018. If you are interested in getting a cat, but are not sure how to go about it, don’t rush into buying or adopting one. Owning a cat should not be a spur of the moment decision. It requires a careful assessment of your capability to take care of a pet cat.
Questions you should ask yourself before buying a cat
- Am I capable of caring for a cat?
This is an important self-assessment question people tend to overlook. Most people get pets on a whim, either as presents or for themselves. Pets are a responsibility. When you ask yourself this question, try to imagine how your life would look like if you had a pet beside you when you wake up in the morning and when you sleep at night. Nothing will be the same; you will be having a new family member which means not only additional responsibility but also an additional expense. If you are unsure about this, you may not yet be ready to be a cat parent.
- Is my entire family just as eager as me in this cat responsibility journey?
You and your family should be a team. Before bringing any pet home, you need to find out if your family is ready to welcome one. Consider making a contract with regard to pet duties to make it more fun, exciting, and fair to family members.
Questions to ask the shelter/seller/breeder
- Can I spend one-on-one time with my potential cat?
Shelters usually allow prospective cat parents to enter a room or an enclosed space to interact with the cat or kitten of their choice. If your shelter, seller, or breeder does not offer this, you can always try to ask or request this. Spending time with your chosen cat can help develop a connection. This way, the cat will get used to your scent and voice and will feel safe around you.
- Do you know/Can you tell me about the cat’s history and background?
If you are keen on getting a cat from a shelter, the tendency is that the cat is a “surrendered cat” which means it may have a little history. Learning this “history” will give you a hint of what the cat’s behaviour and temperament are. This will help you decide whether to adopt the cat or find a more suitable one.
- Is he or she already spayed or neutered?
It is recommended that cats be spayed or neutered to prevent diseases and reduce pet homelessness. If your potential cat still has not been spayed or neutered, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as you can.
- Do you have the cat’s medical history?
Shelters, sellers, and breeders should get the cat checked properly. Ask for medical records so that you will be able to know about possible issues concerning the cat’s health.
- Do you have a recommended veterinarian?
If the trusted group or person you are getting your cat from has a recommended vet, this will make things easier. However, if they do not, you need to find one so that your cat can be examined. This is a crucial step before bringing a cat home. Your vet will be able to help should a problem occurs.
Final questions to ask before buying a cat
- Is my home safe enough for a cat?
Your area should be safe and suitable for your cat. If there are things you want to keep protected, make sure that your future cat will not be able to reach it, such as vases, glass, or anything that may break. If your cat is a bigger cat type, do consider if you have enough space for him or her to roam freely.
- Is this the right pet for me and my family?
Is a cat the perfect pet for you and your family? Have you gone to visit the cat a number of times? Did the two of you click? If you are getting one without proper orientation, keep in mind this will affect your relationship with your pet in the future. You have to wait for the connection and you have to trust your intuition.
Here are other possible questions to consider before buying a cat:
- Should I get a kitten or a cat?
- How do I introduce my new kitten to my cat?
- How can I help my cat and dog get along with each other?
- How can I look after my cat when I have to be away for work?
- How to litter train a cat?
- What human food can I give my cat?
If you have further questions, check out our advice page! We might just have the answers.
Now that you have reached the end of this article, we hope you find it helpful. And if you have any advice for future cat parents, share it in the comments below.
You may also like to read: