Are You Ready To Be A Cat Owner?

Cats are beautiful, friendly creatures and they make wonderful pets for owners who want a little more independence than you can have as a dog owner. You can typically leave cats alone for a day or more at a time, unlike dogs who need you to take them outside every few hours. Yet, owning a cat is still a lot of responsibility, and it's important to make sure you're ready before you take the plunge and adopt your first kitty. Here are three questions to ask yourself to determine whether you're ready to be a cat owner:

Do you have room in your budget?

Cats are not as expensive to own as some animals, but they will cost you some money to feed and care for. Your cat will generally need to see the vet once a year for a checkup and booster shots. A checkup starts at between $45 and $55 dollars, and vaccines are usually $18 - $25. (Your cat may need two or more shots per year). Then, there are emergency vet bills when something goes wrong. You need to know that you have the room in your budget to pay for veterinary care when your cat needs it.

In addition to vet care, you will need to pay for cat food. While there are cheap cat foods out there for only a few dollars a bag, they don't tend to be the healthiest for your cat. You'll want to wait to buy a cat until you can afford at least a middle-of-the-road cat food that supplies your cat with the nutrition he needs.

Do you have someone to cat-sit if you go away?

While you can generally leave a cat alone overnight with a bowl of food and water, you will definitely need someone to cat-sit if you leave for more than a night. Someone will need to scoop the litter box, give your cat fresh water, and provide socialization. There are kennels that board cats, but this tends to be more traumatic for a cat than for a dog, and it's always easier to leave your cat at home and have someone babysit.

Do you have time in your day?

Some cats are very independent and only want a little interaction from humans. Others demand more attention. Since you won't always know what a cat's personality will be like until it has lived with you for a while, make sure you have some time in your day in case the cat you get falls into the latter category. If you're working 80 hours a week and are only ever home to sleep, it may not be the right time to get a cat.

Contact an animal hospital like Erz Animal Hospital for more information and assistance.