If you’re thinking about getting a cat, there are some things you should consider. Being a new cat parent is a huge responsibility and it’s important to be prepared for that.
It took me quite a few years of careful consideration before I made up my mind to have pets in my life and home.
There are many expenses, time and energy that go into owning a cat. Cats do require a certain level of care, depending on the breed. Contrary to what many would think, cats aren’t pets that you buy and forget about.
Check out this article for everything you need to know about the pros and cons of owning a cat!
Is It Good To Have A Cat As A Pet?
Truth be told, there is no such thing as a good or bad pet. It all depends on your affinity to the species and if you, as the owner, can take the bad with the good.
You’ll be amazed at the kind of animals that people keep as pets around the world and accept as part of the family.
Here’s the question of the day.
Is keeping fish considered pet ownership or a hobby?
Having a cat as a pet can be a very rewarding experience throughout the lifespan of ownership and beyond.
A feline companion can be fun to be with, playful, loving and give a sense of joy and happiness.
The Pros Of Cat Ownership
Let us look at what the pros are of cat ownership and why they are so widely loved around the world.
1. Cats Are (Somewhat) Low Maintenance
At its most basic level, as long as you regularly keep your cat’s litter box clean, feed it and do the occasional grooming, most cats will be fine and dandy.
A typical cat’s life consists mostly of eating and sleeping.
However, if you have a young kitten or a cat that requires more grooming like the Ragdoll or Maine Coon, then more effort will be required.
Kittens are always hungry and hence do require more feedings and playtime given their high energy levels.
Long-haired cats like the Maine Coon requires more grooming and brushing otherwise they will get matted very easily.
2. They Are Entertaining And Fun To Watch
Ever wondered why cat videos are the most-watched videos on Youtube?
It’s because they are good at self-entertainment that it is a joy to watch. Plus they look so darn cute when being playful.
Unlike dogs, cats do not require a lot of interactive playtime with their owners.
Some mutual playtime with your furry friend is good as it strengthens the bond between cat and human.
There are some cats that enjoy playing ‘fetch’ but those are few and far between.
Cats can spend hours playing with an empty toilet roll, a crushed-up piece of paper or even a hair clip.
They love batting stuff around and chasing them all around the house.
All you have to do is make yourself comfortable with a cup of coffee and enjoy the show.
Who needs a TV when you have a cat at home?
3. Cats Are Affectionate Creatures
It is a huge myth that cats are unaffectionate creatures.
Well, they can be at first but go to Youtube and you’ll see how big cuddle bugs cats can be.
Cats seem ‘aloof’ because they need some time to warm up and trust you. Unlike dogs who will play with anyone, cats are a different breed.
The thing is, once your cat trusts you, you can be sure of the fact that it will start to get more affectionate as time goes by.
Some cat owners have even mentioned that their cats show them more affection than their dogs.
Nothing beats stroking a purring cat on your lap after a hard day at work.
One thing to note though is that as humans, cats show their affection differently.
Not every cat is a lap cat. Not every cat will love giving you nose kisses. Not every cat will come running when you call.
But one thing you can be sure of is that your cat will love you in its own unique way.
4. Cats Make Awesome Pest Exterminators
Cats are excellent hunters. They are fast, stealthy and enjoy stalking their prey.
Many households kept cats in the old days to help keep pests like rats and insects at bay.
Don’t be alarmed if you happen to see your cat get all excited when they spot a lizard or roach at home.
They won’t exactly consider such pests as cat food but they enjoy the thrill of the hunt and will probably end up catching it.
Although you can’t really stop your cat from trying to eat the occasional moth or ant, you need to be mindful about letting your cat near poisonous bugs such as spiders and centipedes.
5. Cats Help To Reduce Your Stress Levels
Petting a cat is a great stress reliever and it feels therapeutic.
By stroking a cat, it helps release feel-good hormones like endorphins to help lower your stress levels.
Cats purring has been shown to be at a frequency level that can heal broken bones and repair damaged tendons and ligaments.
This is why cats not only purr when they are contented but also when they also purr to promote healing.
There are many hospitals and medical centers that have started using cats as therapy animals to help improve the physical and mental wellness of patients.
6. Cats Don’t Require A Large Living Space
If you live in a small apartment and are looking to keep a pet, owning a cat might be the best option. Unlike dogs, cats do well in small living spaces.
All they need is a quiet corner to do their business and a couple of great sleeping spots which they will discover on their own.
Sure, it would be great if you have a huge garden for your cat to venture about.
But rest assured that your cat will find your comfy pad more than sufficient.
It is not a good idea to let your cat venture outside of your personal property.
There is a high chance of it eating something toxic, being kidnapped, getting injured by other animals or running away when let outside.
Please keep your cats indoors to prevent any unfortunate incidents.
The Cons Of Owning A Cat
As great as owning a cat can be, there are some cons that you need to be aware of before you make a commitment to be a responsible owner.
1. There’s Some Cost To Owning A Cat
Owning a cat might not require you to spend a fortune on essentials but there are still some upfront and recurring costs involved.
When you first get a cat, it is important to bring the cat to a vet for a thorough check-up. This is to make sure that your cat is free of any parasites or has any existing medical conditions.
You will also need to neuter your cat if it isn’t already.
Throughout your cat’s life, there will be times when you need to bring your cat to the vet for any illness or emergency. Vet bills can be costly so you need to be prepared for that.
It’s a good idea to get some pet health insurance coverage as soon as you get your cat.
There are a couple of essential items that you need to get beforehand before bringing your cat home.
- Litter tray
- Cat litter
- Cat food
- Food and water bowls
- Scratching post
- Car carrier
If you are looking to get an automated litter box for your cat, those can easily cost a few hundred dollars.
Items like cat litter and food are monthly recurring items so you’ll need to budget for this as well.
I would strongly suggest that you spend more on better quality food for your cat.
Please do not feed it dry food or kibbles as that can cause many health issues.
At the very least, buy good quality canned food. Or the best option would be a raw food diet, which is the natural diet for cats.
2. Be Wary Of ‘The Claw’
Cats love to scratch stuff.
Scratching stuff enables them to mark their scent in that area, gives their muscles and tendons a good workout and gets rid of the outer dead sheath of their claws.
This is why it is important to have a scratching post ready at home for your cat. It serves as an effective distraction away from your furniture.
Having a scratching post doesn’t always guarantee that your cat will leave your furniture alone.
Sometimes, they just like leaving their mark on your belongings.
3. Developing Cat Allergies
You might find yourself developing some form of allergic reaction to your cat after some time. This can happen even if you have never had cat allergies before.
These are the common cat allergens:
By constantly exposing yourself to these allergens, it can cause your body to trigger an allergic reaction.
The usual symptoms are a runny or itchy nose, puffy eyes, coughing, chest tightness or lightheadedness.
If you have a history of asthma it would be good to consult your doctor before having a cat.
Preventing Cat Allergies
It can be difficult to prevent cat allergies since your cat is living with you. But there are a few ways that you can employ as a deterrent:
- Don’t touch your face or eyes after touching your cat
- Wash your hands about touching your cat
- Don’t allow your cat to sleep in your room on go on your bed
- Make sure to vacuum your home regularly
- Use an air filter that’s good for cat allergies
- Keep your immune system healthy
4. Cats Can Be Very Fussy And Finicky
If you have a cat that’s easygoing and very adaptable, congratulations, you have struck feline lottery.
The majority of cat owners struggle with their cats’ sudden and abrupt fussiness.
Cats are generally creatures of habit and routine.
Change to them is like going to the dentist to remove your wisdom tooth.
If you are looking to change up your cat’s food or litter type, it would be best to do it slowly.
Any sudden change will cause them to be less accepting.
When it comes to change in cats, less is more.
5. Cat Hair Invasion
When owning a cat, be prepared to have cat hair everywhere. Even in places where you thought it’s not possible.
Cats shed every day and even more during the hotter and colder months. Some breeds also shed more than others, especially long-haired cats.
Make sure to vacuum and brush your cat regularly to get rid of excessive cat hair at home.
Will A Cat Protect You?
If you are hoping for your cat to protect your family and home like a trained guard dog, then the answer is no.
Cats can be feisty but they are shy creatures and usually tend to avoid danger rather than confront it head-on.
However, there have been many reports of cats protecting their owners from intruders and other animals. Just don’t expect it to be the norm.
Is A Cat A Loyal Pet?
There’s a rather tongue-in-cheek saying about cats and dogs.
“Dogs have masters and cats have slaves”
Even though it sounds rather extreme, there’s some truth in the saying.
Dogs are pack animals and will obey and defend their leader or alpha of the pack.
Cats on the other hand don’t submit to anybody hence it is pretty much every cat for itself.
However, don’t miss construe this to mean that cats aren’t grateful for your love and care.
Now that you are aware of what the pros and cons of cat ownership are, it would be good to give it considerable thought before adopting a cat or taking in a stray that won’t leave you alone.
It is a commitment that will span many years as cats have long lives.
Nora is a passionate writer with a love for books, animals, and gardening.
Her writing is inspired by her two cats and a loyal dog, who serve as her muses, as well as the tranquility she finds in her garden.
With a knack for storytelling, Nora offers a unique blend of book recommendations, heartwarming animal tales, and gardening insights.
Whether you’re interested in paws, petals, or page-turners, Nora’s world is a treasure trove of engaging content.