How often do you scroll through cute cat pictures online? Or laugh at the best bits (AKA the cat bits) on You've Been Framed? Well, maybe it's time to make all of your fantasies come true and hang out with a cat furreal. To mark the best holiday of the year — International Cats Day 2019 — I reached out to the friendly people over at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to find out their top tips for adopting a cat.
Obviously, as with all types of pet ownership, it really is best if you adopt, don't shop. Because, guys, there are a lot of sweet baby angels out there who are in desperate need a furever home. And a humom. OK, I've gone too far, I'll stop now.
As previously mentioned, I contacted the cat team over at the famous Battersea Cats & Dogs Home and asked them how they would advise perspective cat owners to proceed. So listen up and get ready to break the news to your loved ones, your landlord, and your social media contacts. Things are about to get catty AF (in a good way) and you are so here for it you could scream. Or is that just me?
1. Is your home suitable?
"A lot of cats need regular access to the great outdoors to lead happy, healthy lives," the Battersea team explain. "And they also crave their own personal space or somewhere to go and relax when they’re feeling nervous or overwhelmed." Basically: make sure your home suits the needs of your cat before you adopt them. The experts at whichever cat home you go to will be able to let you know the preferences of your particular furry friend, and you can work things out accordingly.
2. Will your finances support owning a pet?
Owning a pet is no joke, and the finances that come with it may shock some people. Make sure you are prepared for them. As the Battersea team explain, "hopefully your cat will lead a long and healthy life, however accidents do happen and things can go wrong. As well as paying for food, toys and other regular costs such as pet insurance, you need to be prepared for the possibility that you may be faced with vet bills in the future."
3. Are there any big changes coming up in your life?
Cats enjoy routine, especially when they are getting used to a new home. "A new cat will need time to settle into their home and become familiar with their new family," the Battersea team say. "If you have any changes in routine such as a holiday or a house move, it is better to wait until everything has settled before bringing a cat home."
4. Are their children in your home?
Lots of cats enjoy the company of young kids, but, if you have children, it's always worth checking whether the cat will be comfortable around them (and vice versa) before you adopt, the Battersea team advise. The staff at the cat home where you adopt should be able to let you know which animals are child friendly and which are not.
5. Will your existing pets be happy about the new family member?
"Some cats and dogs will co-exist harmoniously, others may need an adjustment period," the Battersea team say. "And some should remain the only pet in the household." They suggest checking out how your current pets reacts around other cats or dogs while out and about to see whether they will be able to live harmoniously with their new little buddy.