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Pet cat: Should you get one if you work full-time

Pet Cat

A pet cat can be a great companion as they are sensitive to human moods, quiet creatures and do not require a lot of attention from their owners to be happy.

They also do not need a lot of supervised physical activity and thus are superb pets for seniors and those with a hectic lifestyle.

Cats have a reputation of being disloyal though friendly and sensitive.

Many cats, especially those that are free to go out and come back as they please, tend to have more than one home and sometimes spend part of their day with various people.

It is not unusual for a cat to have breakfast at one house, lunch at another and end the day with dinner at a third house.

As the owner of the cat, it is nonetheless your responsibility to ensure that the cat is provided with a home, food, water, and medical care as required.

Below are a few things to know if you are thinking of getting a pet cat:

Easy to care for

It is comparatively easier to take care of a cat and they are not very demanding as pets. However, like any pet, it requires commitment from your side to keep a cat.

Many people decide to have a cat for companionship, but it is important to remember that cats are independent creatures and may seem to take more than what they give back.

They are affectionate but show love on their own terms and may not even respond when you call; due to this people sometimes consider cats to be unaffectionate, unattached, and unloving.

Requires playtime

Though cats are not very demanding as pets you need to make sure that the kitten or cat has adequate room to run, jump, and play. They will require toys, trees, scratching posts, and climbing frames to stay active.

A cat that is bored can be destructive – scratching furniture and carpets, chewing on fabric or houseplants.

Although cats are more independent compared to dogs, you will still need to find some time to play and relate with your cat.

Can keep pests at bay

Cats, as everyone knows, can help to keep rats and mice at bay and if you are living in a rural area or farm, this may be another reason to keep a cat.

In this case, try to get a kitten from a mother cat with a good reputation for hunting as she would have taught the kitten some of the skills to be a good hunter.

Having a cat as a pet can also teach children valuable lessons on being responsible and putting someone else’s needs above their own. Check out our list of the 10 best cat breeds for families.

Children can also learn how to be gentle with a creature that is small and delicate.

The cost of keeping a cat

Pet cat

The cat will need a place of its own in your house – a dedicated area to rest and sleep, food, water, and cat litter box.

If you decide to let your cat go outside and come back as it pleases, then you will also have to install a cat flap.

Pedigree cat over moggy

While the cost of cat equipment may not be so high, the cost of getting the cat itself can vary from ‘free’ to a sizable amount for a pedigree cat.

Though expensive, it may be worthwhile to pick a pedigree cat over a moggy (a cat of unknown origin/mixed breed) as the former is more affectionate and friendlier than the latter.

A major reason for this difference is that pedigree cats have been selectively bred to show certain specific traits.

Choosing a pedigree cat reduces the risk of getting a cat with the wrong temperament.

Vet and cattery costs

Ongoing costs include food, cat litter, and the fees for veterinary examinations, which at a minimum should be twice a year.

Although cats are considerably easier to care for, some long-haired breeds cannot be groomed unless anesthetized.

Additional vet fees will be required for vaccinations, neutering and treatment for sickness and injury.

You can go for pet insurance to cover the costs but sometimes there will be a minimum charge when making a claim.

You also need to account for the cost of keeping your cat in a cattery if you decide to go on holiday.

To summarize, here are 6 reasons why you should have a pet cat:

1. Clean

Cats groom themselves and tend to be clean and smell better than dogs; unlike dogs, cats will not go out and roll in the dirt or in something unpleasant.

2. Quiet

They are quiet and even the loudest meow besides being adorable will not be half as loud as the bark of a dog.

3. Low maintenance

They do not require too much maintenance. You do not have to take them outside for bathroom breaks or walks two or three times a day.

4. Easy to train

They can be easily trained to use a cat litter box.

5. Keeps pests at bay

Cats help to keep away rats and mice.

6. Not clingy

Cats are less prone to separation anxiety and can put up with being alone at home for longer periods.