Are you prepared to become a pet owner?
Adopting a cat is a joyful event in every family. But cats bought at first glance can cause a big surprise and unfortunately sometimes a great disappointment, too. Many unwanted cats end up in the streets or animal shelters because of people’s irresponsibility or inconsistent pledge.
It is not only joy but also a great responsibility
It is important to know that if you buy a pet, you will have to take responsibility for it. You should never buy a cat as a result of a sudden resolution. As a pet owner you are required to take responsibility for an adopted living creature, you must take care of it not only when it is fit as a fiddle but also when it is ill for the rest of its life. The following guide is for those who are to become cat owners for the first time in their lives.
Where should you get your kitten?
It is very important where you get your cat because it does matter what experiences your future cat has gained during the very first part of its existence. If you would like a pedigree cat then it is worth the trouble to look for a breeder who will kindly show you his or her animals and can provide you with information on the advantages and disadvantages of the different varieties.
You can buy cats in pet shops, too. You can buy healthy, well-bred, well-kept kittens in some of the better pet shops. Kittens are catered for their special needs in these specialised shops, for example, they are provided with runways, toilet boxes, and things to climb on and to play with.
But it is more common to adopt a cat from our friends or to pick up a stray cat from the street. It is also worth visiting the nearest animal shelter for kittens, but enthusiastic animal rights activists can pick up an abandoned kitten from the street. In this latter case you should also take into account the different parasites such as vermin, flees, ticks or the appearance of latent diseases.
How old the cat should be that we intend to adopt?
It is not simple to place an animal in a human’s habitat and it is also true for cats. Kittens should stay with their mother and siblings until they are 7 or 8 weeks old, because it is essential for their sense of safety and it is essential for their healthy development. During this time they can learn what things can be dangerous for them such as dogs, strangers, cars, etc. The fact that they have accustomed way too much to their original surroundings can cause problems for those cats that are older than 9 or 10 weeks. They can have hard time getting used to their new environment, they often wander off or run away.
Would you prefer a female cat or a tomcat?
You should make a decision about your cat’s sex well in advance because a she-cat and a male cat can cause totally different problems.
Keeping of a mature male cat involves many unpleasant things because by the time a tomcat becomes sexually mature he gets into the habit of spraying. You can prevent this if you have your cat neutered in time. Due to their instincts, tomcats often wander off, fight with the other male cats of the neighbourhood and by doing this they get wounds, bruises and parasites easily. They can acquire or pass on incurable diseases such as FIV or leucosis. If you forbid him to go out, he will meow desperately. Female cats are smaller, gentler, they like petting and cuddling much better than male cats but they can also cause a lot of problems when they become sexually mature.
Around the time when they become 5 or 6 months old, they become sexually active, which recurs in 14-week periods. During this time, they run away and look for a partner if they have a chance to do so. They give birth to 2 or 3 litters of kittens a year. To prevent the inconveniences that are due to this frequent labour and to avoid certain diseases it is recommended to neuter female cats, as well. Animal protection associations also suggest that you should have both girl and boy cats neutered. Nowadays these operations are considered routine procedures and they are absolutely painless.
Would you like to adopt a pedigree or an ordinary domestic cat?
Rare, registered pedigree cats are sold for hundred or thousands of dollars while you can put your hands on mixed cats for free. There can also be significant differences among the different varieties concerning intelligence. For instance, there can often be deaf cats among the white ones and there are the so-called over-bred silly varieties and those types that require special treatment. You are not recommended to keep such cats even if they are award winning and you can afford them. Although crossbreeds are wilder and harder to domesticate than pedigree cats, they are better to keep as hobby pets since they are tougher and more resistant to diseases. And last but not least their character is more similar to real cats.
(Continued in Part 2)