Questions to ask yourself before adopting a cat or kitten
Cats are generally less physically demanding than their canine counterparts. They are great for those who work long hours, as they sleep regularly and can entertain themselves.
That said, adopting a cat is a serious commitment, as they live for a long time and need daily care and affection.
1) Can I commit to owning a cat for the next 15 years?
The average domestic can cat live for more than 15 years, with some reaching their twenties. It’s hard to predict the future, but if you’re planning to move into a rental place, start a family or head overseas to live, please consider becoming a foster carer for The Lost Dogs’ Home. Click <here> for more information on becoming a foster carer.
2) Can I afford to look after a cat?
There are many costs involved in owning a pet, including registration, food, yearly vaccinations and vet bills. The upfront cost of owning a cat in the first year is around $1,300. This includes:
The adoption fee from The Lost Dogs’ Home
Microchipping (included in the adoption fee)
Desexing (included in the adoption fee)
Vaccinations (some included in the adoption fee)
Flea and worm treatment
Food and food bowls
Collars, toys, scratching post, bedding, etc.
Vet bills can be one of the biggest expenses. If there was an accident or emergency, would you have enough money saved to cover the cost?
Following the first year, it will cost around $1,100 per year to look after a cat, plus extras (veterinary care, pet insurance and boarding).
3) Do I have time to look after a cat?
In addition to needing food, grooming and clean litter boxes, a cat requires mental and physical stimulation. This is especially important for indoor cats.
4) Is my lifestyle suitable for owning a cat?
Cats need stability and routine to feel secure. If you are away, who will look after your cat? Do you have support from others if you work late or travel?
5) Is my home suitable for a cat?
If you are renting, are you permitted to own a pet? If you plan on moving, ensure your new home is cat-friendly.
Consider whether your cat will be an indoors-only cat or whether it will also be given access outside. Do you have enough space to construct a suitable outdoor cat enclosure? Many councils in Australia have introduced legislation that requires cats to remain contained within their property. Further information on indoor vs outdoor cats can be found <here>.
With minor modifications, it is easy to make a home suitable for a cat. Some items you will need include scratching posts, cat furniture, toys and litter boxes.
6) Are all members of the household ready for the responsibility of owning a cat?
Have a discussion with every person that lives in your household to make sure they will welcome a cat. Take into consideration allergies, children, other animals and allocation of responsibilities. If someone has a cat allergy, don’t rule out cat ownership — some people are simply allergic to some types of coats and treatment options are available.
Getting a pet is a family decision and responsibility.
7) Choosing the most suitable cat for your household and lifestyle
When choosing a cat to adopt, keep in mind:
Would you prefer a kitten or adult cat?
How active and playful would you like your cat to be?
How independent or affectionate would you like your cat to be?
Do you have young children or elderly people living with you?
What type of coat do you want your cat to have and how much shedding can you tolerate?
The upfront cost can drastically reduce by adopting a cat from a shelter or rescue organisation. All cats adopted from The Lost Dogs’ Home are desexed, microchipped, have received their initial vaccinations, worm treatment and have received a full health check.