Buying a new cat is something that shouldn’t be acted upon on impulse. You need to think very long and hard and take many factors into consideration. Sometimes people will think it's a good idea at the time and then realise that it is more work than they thought. You need to remember that you are dealing with an animal's life, you can't buy a pet and give it up when the novelty has worn off.
More often than not, animal shelters are overflowing with cats & kittens desperately in need of a new home. When you adopt from a shelter you will pay a small fee (usually around $205.00), but the cat will be desexed, wormed, flea treated, microchipped and lifetime registered with Council, so it really is very good value to take a cat from a shelter, plus there is the added benefit of knowing you have given a home to a cat in need.
One cat or two?
Are you away from home for extended periods of time? If so, you may consider adopting two cats so they have company when you are not at home. Obviously this will mean greater expense, twice the food, vet bills etc., but you will also have double the fun!!!
Cat or kitten?
Let's face it, kittens are cute, they are playful and entertaining to watch. It is wonderful watching your bundle of fluff grow into an adult. However kittens do require some work such as litter training and are usually full of energy. This energy will also provide endless hours of fun and mischief for both you and your kitten.
Adopting an adult has its advantages too. Its personality is developed, so you know what you are getting. Adults, in general, are less energetic than kittens, require less training and are less likely to chew on cords etc. Adults are often overlooked for adoption at shelters, which is a terrible shame as an adult can provide just as much love and companionship as a kitten, so do give some thought to adopting an adult. If you have a young child/toddler then an older cat may be better than a small kitten.
Longhair or shorthair?
This comes down to personal choice. Longhaired cats are beautiful, but do require regular grooming to keep their coat matt free, so please be prepared to put in the maintenance that comes with a longhaired cat.
Preparing for the new arrival:
You will need to purchase some items in preparation for the new family member. These include:
- Litter tray and cat litter.
- Scratching post, cats have a need to scratch & enjoy scratching. Providing your cat with it's own scratching post will reduce the chances of your cat using your furniture or carpet.
- Food/water bowls
- Cat carrier, for those trips to the vet
- Cat bed
- Cat food: Select one for the appropriate age of your cat. For example if you adopt a kitten, then buy kitten food etc.