It’s been half a year since the cats have moved in with me. And six wonderful months at that. I have been thinking about getting cats for about three years before finally taking the plunge and making the commitment to have two furry friends moving in with me. And I wouldn’t want to miss them a day. They make me look forward to coming home in the afternoon and make leaving in the mornings a million times harder. And although they can be little devils on some days, I would not trade living with cats for anything in the world.
As I get a lot of questions about getting the cats and what life is like for me now, I thought I’d compile a list of 10 things to consider before getting a cat. So below you’ll find a list of the good, the bad and the ugly. But most of all, the beautiful. Because having cats live with you is the best.
#1 Getting a cat is a lifetime commitment, don’t rush into it
Ever since I can remember I have loved cats. We used to always have at least one cat in the family. And I always considered myself more a cat- than dog person anyways. Getting one, however, was a huge deal and needed a lot of growing up on my part. Cats will live up to 20 years and that getting one will inevitably change my life forever. You do not get a cat for just one or two years, it’s almost like getting a kid. So think twice if it really suits your lifestyle before bringing home a fluffy friend.
#2 The more, the merrier
Cats are social animals and enjoy each others (or your) company. I knew from the start that instead of getting one cat only, I’d get two at the same time. This way they’d always have a fluffy friend to play with when I’m not around. True, I work from home a lot. But I also like going out, hanging out with friends and sometimes have longer meetings and appointments in the city. I did not want my cat to feel lonely and neglected. So I decided to get Lilly, my little tiger, and add a white-orange fellow named Fin to the family shortly after.
#3 Have back-up plans ready for when you are travelling or not around
As a true millennial I, of course, enjoy traveling and exploring the world. Moreover, my job also requires me to travel a lot. So I knew that before actually bringing my two cats home I’d have to have working back-up plans of who’d keep an eye on the fluffy ones when I am gone. Currently, I have a really good arrangement of my boyfriend, friends and family whom I can call and ask to watch the cats when I’m not around. You never know when you’ll have to leave them for a night or two, so be aware to have one or two people in the back of your mind that you trust with your cats.
#4 Cats certainly are easier to handle than dogs, but they still need your time, affection and commitment
I have heard a lot of people say that cats are no work at all and the easiest pet to have. Not true. If you want to give them a beautiful life, you’ll have to schedule play time, cuddle time, feeding times and also regular vet visits for your fluffy friends. They certainly don’t need two walks a day but you can’t fully neglect them either. Just be sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.
#5 Consider monetary issues
Pets are never cheap. You’ll always have to buy food, cat litter, toys and also keep in mind that there might occur a sudden vet emergency. Be sure that you are financially able to support your cats before you get them.
#6 Consider adopting a cat rather than getting a special breed
I’m not going to lie, I absolutely adore British short hair cats and other lovely breeds. However, I knew from the start that I’d rather give two little ones that are already alive the chance to a beautiful home than paying someone money to breed them for me. Lilly is a little European short hair mix that was found in the streets as a kitten and grew up with a foster family. And Fin is a shelter-cat that was previously owned by someone who couldn’t keep an eye on him anymore and wanted to get rid of him. I am very glad I gave both of them a lovely home and would always recommend to adopt a shelter or farmers cat, rather than shopping for one.
#7 Make time to establish a steady routine
I have made the mistake of establishing a very early morning routine with Lilly and now she wakes me every day at 7 to get fed. This is good, on the one hand, because I can never oversleep and don’t actually need an alarm clock. But it also doesn’t allow for lazy Sunday sleep-ins anymore. Teach your cat feeding habits you are comfortable with. Give them their food at approximately the same time every day rather than feeding at random times during the day. It will make your life easier and theirs more regular.
#8 Get information on poisonous plants you might have and double check your flat before you bring home your new furry friend
This actually is a major thing. I had owned lots of plants before and gave away a lot of them when I brought the cats home. Some plants may be poisonous for cats and you’ll never be able to completely keep them from nibbling away on the leaves. So it’s better to not own any harmful plants, rather than risking your cat getting sick because of an accident.
#9 Cats can be assholes – be prepared to get annoyed by your lovely little ones
While owning a cat can be bloody brilliant, it can also be incredibly annoying. Cats have a will on their own and sometimes aren’t too eager to please. Be prepared to come up with ideas on how to keep them entertained so they don’t start annoying you with little nasty ideas like scratching on your furniture, stealing your food or peeing on your bed. Been there, done that. No fun. In the end, they’re just too cute to be angry, though. Little rascals.
#10 Make sure to buy your cat-equipment before bringing them home
What you’ll need before getting a cat:
- Litter trays, litter, cat food, food trays, toys to play with, some cuddly places to sleep for them, blankets, scratching posts, and other little bits and bobs
Make sure you actually are prepared and have a wonderful home waiting for them when they arrive at your house. This will make it easier for them to get used to the new environment and feel at home. Surely they will soon walk over to you and purr, which is simply one of the best feelings in the world. Also, do invest in a good lint roller because there will be hair EVERYWHERE.