Getting a Cat: 9 Important Things to Consider

Before a cat can move in with you, there are many things to clarify. We’ve summarized the most important facts that will prepare you for life with a cat in a nutshell.

Before a cat moves in, many things need to be clarified. You should know how much a cat costs, where you want to get the cat from, and whether you want an outdoor cat or an indoor cat only.

To help you figure out if you really should get a cat, here are the answers to the nine most important questions you should ask yourself before getting a cat.

Why Do I Want a Cat?

Cats are a full-time job. You can’t be left completely alone every day and then be entertained for a few minutes in the evening. Consider whether you have enough time and desire to deal with the nature of your cat.

Also, ask yourself what your expectations are of the cat. Do you want an affectionate cat that you can cuddle a lot with, or maybe you prefer an independent cat? Among other things, these cat breeds are considered to be particularly uncomplicated, which is why they are suitable for beginners:

  • European Shorthair: This cuddly cat is the ultimate family cat.
  • British Shorthair: This breed is characterized by its easy-going and affectionate nature.
  • Bombay: A loving, gentle family cat that likes to be close to its human.

Not only the breed but also the sex has an influence on the character of a cat. While male cats are said to be more robust on average and more forgiving of accidental roughness during play, female cats are said to be less aggressive but more idiosyncratic.

The nature of a cat is never entirely predictable. If a character trait is particularly important to you in a cat, you should first get to know the cat of your choice better before you adopt it.

Where Do I Get My Cat From?

Getting a cat from a breeder has advantages. The cat has papers, the breeder knows the breed and can advise you. In addition, the cats are only delivered fully vaccinated and receive a current health certificate before delivery. However, the price for pedigree cats is between 800 and 2500 euros.

Attention: This information only applies to reputable breeders. When choosing a cat breeder, make sure that they are members of a recognized breed club.
If you decide to take a cat from the shelter, give it a new life. It is true that strays, unwanted offspring, or badly kept cats often end up in the shelter. But not every shelter cat has behavioral problems or is “difficult”. It’s always worth checking your local animal shelter first to see if they have a suitable cat for you. The cost of adopting a cat from a shelter is around $100 to $250.

How Much Does a Cat Cost?

A cat not only costs money when you buy it but throughout its life. The German Animal Welfare Association has calculated how expensive a cat is on average:

Purchase: approx. 100 to 250 euros (animal shelter) or approx. 800 to 2500 euros (breeders)
Basic equipment: approx. 150 to 500 euros
Annual costs: approx. 700 euros (feed, bedding, veterinary costs for deworming, vaccinations)
This means that even after the purchase, a cat still costs around 60 euros per month. On top of that, there are costs for vet visits that go beyond routine examinations. You should also factor in the castration of the cat (up to approx. 150 euros). So check before you buy whether you can and want to bear these costs.

Fetch an Adult Cat or Kitten?

An adult cat will usually give you less work than a kitten. Adult cats are usually already housebroken, confident, and more independent. In addition, they are often already neutered because the previous owner did it.

Kittens, on the other hand, must first learn to use the litter box. In addition, young cats are more susceptible to diseases and still need to be neutered. However, they often find it easier to adjust to their new environment than older cats.

Outdoor Cat or Indoor Cat?

If you want to get a cat, you should first consider whether you want to let the cat outside or just keep it indoors. Outdoor cats can let off steam in the fresh air. However, this also means that outdoor cats must be even better protected against parasites and diseases. In addition, the free-roaming cat should be chipped.

It is essential that you observe the most important rules for going outdoors if you want to allow your cat to live outdoors.
Cats can also only be kept indoors. However, there are many mistakes that happen when keeping cats indoors. In order for the cat to have enough space, the apartment should be about 60 square meters. However, the room layout and the right accessories are more important than the size of the apartment. To avoid the cat feeling lonely, you could also get a second cat.

Keeping a Cat or Cats?

Cats are very social animals. With the right attitude, a cat can be happy alone in a family. But your cat will always have company and something to do with other cats. Outdoor cats can also interact with other cats outside, which indoor cats are not allowed to do. That’s why the question arises, especially when keeping an apartment, whether a second cat should move in.

If you want to adopt two or more cats, the animals should also harmonize well with each other. Note that more cats also means more costs. You also need more space. Think about it before you buy it: how useful is a second cat?

Responsible cat owners always have their cats neutered. In this way, unplanned offspring can be avoided.

What Does a Cat Need?

Whether it’s an outdoor cat or an indoor cat – you should have taken care of a few important things before you buy the cat. This is the basic equipment for cats:

  • Healthy cat food and water
  • bowls
  • litter box
  • scratching post and toys
  • sleeping place
  • Treats, cat grass

If the cat is allowed on the balcony, you should definitely make it cat-proof before the cat moves in.

Who Can Look After the Cat in an Emergency?

When you go on vacation, it’s important that the cat doesn’t just stay home alone. Cats, like all pets, are part of the family for life and cannot simply be abandoned if you don’t have the time. Arrange someone to look after your cat while you’re away.

It is also important that you clarify before purchasing who will take care of the cat if you are ill. Only when these two questions have been answered can you really bring a cat into your life.

How Do I Recognize the Right Cat?

No matter which cat you choose, it will surely be the right one. In addition, the decision as to which cat moves in with you is not only up to you: cats often choose their people.

In order for a cat to feel comfortable with you, you should ask yourself all these important questions and consider whether such a demanding pet is really right for you. Because you can only offer your cat a happy life if you have carefully considered this decision.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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