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Is it time to find a cat companion?

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Ready to be a pet parent?

That furry little feline who has won your heart is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. Are you ready to adopt a cat companion?

woman snuggling cat

Thanks to better nutrition and more medical care options these days, a pet cat can live an average of 14 years -- with some pets extending far beyond that benchmark -- in frisky good health! Adopting a cat is a long-term commitment. The decision to bring an animal into your home and life is not a decision to be taken lightly. The cat will become part of your family and you will have the responsibility of providing it with a safe and loving home. Are you ready for a cat companion?

Long-term commitment

Kittens are so adorable that it's hard to resist cuddling them and wanting your own. Don't let the cuteness factor cloud your good judgment. Cats are relatively easy to care for and have many qualities that make them good pets, but remember that the tiny kitten you are smitten with will quickly grow into an adult cat and is likely -- with good care -- to be a part of your life for the next 10 to 15 years. You must be prepared to care for and love your cat companion for the long term. There are thousands of cats in animal shelters now, simply because there are not enough good homes available for them, and in many cases their former owners were not prepared for the daily responsibility and expense of a pet.

A cat is a rewarding companion and a good choice as a pet for those with a busy lifestyle. Unlike a dog that needs regular walks and time outdoors, cats are generally content to be on their own for longer stretches of time. Indoor cats will be safe and satisfied with a perch near a window where they can watch outdoor activities and the action that passes by.

It takes money and time

Are you ready to take on the expense and responsibility of owning a cat? Items like food, toys, cat litter and veterinary bills can add up. If you are currently struggling to get by, you might want to wait until there's enough flex in your budget to be sure you can give the pet the care and quality of life it deserves. If you live in an apartment, check first to see if your building allows pets. You may be asked to pay an additional damage deposit to keep a pet. Know the rules before you adopt! Be ready for initial pet expenses. Your cat should be spayed or neutered to avoid the overpopulation crisis, and many shelters will not allow cat adoption without this procedure. You'll also have pet supplies to purchase before welcoming your cat home: food, treats, toys, a bed and a litter box with supplies.

Your feline friend needs love and attention, so time is also a consideration. Even with a busy schedule, you will need to have time to spend with your cat every day.

There are time and money sacrifices you'll be taking on when you get a cat companion, but the love and loyalty your pet can bring to your life will be rewarding and wonderful... for both of you!

Quick Tip

If you’re ready for a cat companion, consider adopting a shelter animal. You could be saving a life, and shelters have large numbers of cats from kittens to adults hoping for a loving new home!

More pet tips:

Introducing a new cat to your home
How to leave your cat home alone

Grooming tips for stylish dogs and cats

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