other tips for new cat owners / people who may get cats soon:
no, getting a grown cat won’t be boring / less cute! they’ll become just as attached to you as a kitten. get a cat that speaks to you (literally or figuratively, maybe you want a cat that’s chatty). older cats will be so appreciative to have a home.
people get rid of their cats for all kinds of unfair reasons. just the ones i’ve seen on the craigslist listings in the last 5 minutes: “i am just more of a dog person (7mo old kitten)”, “we hoped she would get over her kittenish behavior, she has not (2yr old cat)”, “i need to get rid of my cat before my baby is born (3yr old cat)”.
you can totally pick up a beautiful, loving, grown up kitty who will be needing some comfort after getting dumped. just look at this girl.
(taken off craigslist) she would be more than happy to live her cat life with you. is she not cute? she is. she is cute. so, ultimately, adopt whatever cat you like, but don’t rule out older cats!
nextly: no no, do NOT declaw your cat. DON’T DO IT. I’M TELLIN YA.
it’s a deeply painful procedure, actually removing the entire first knuckle, not JUST the nail. it causes long-term and potentially permanent pain in the cat, and can lead to nasty infections, behavioral problems, and helplessness if they ever find themselves outside and in need of protection or climbing abilities.
“but i don’t want my cat to scratch me / my kid / my furniture!” okay, i feel you, but there are other, cheaper, less inhumane options. my favorite of which are claw caps.
you gently press on your cat’s foot (to unsheath their claws), and place the soft cap onto their claw using the glue that’s included in any soft paw kit you get. it might take some getting used to on the cat’s part, but it should under no circumstances be painful, and when the kitty’s claws grow, the cap just kinda falls off, and you’ll put another one on.
you can also file or clip their nails down! if you’re too nervous or clumsy to do it, your vet will usually do it for a small fee, or a groomer can take care of it. Personally, I just let my cats’ claws hang out and accept the pokes when they knead on me, since i don’t have any little babies or expensive upholstery in my home.
No, cats ain’t “low maintenance”. This is a living, social creature, not a chiapet. Especially if you’re raising them from kittenhood, they need a lot of attention and resources. cuddles, playtime, training, health care, feeding, cleaning up their facilities. you get a pet to interact with, not to buy and leave it be! a cat that you don’t socialize is going to be very moody and sad. get a pet if you plan to invest the time and energy they need- if not, maybe we can come back to that cactus idea?
Cats need meat. I repeat, cats cannot survive without meat. Dogs need meat too- but cats are incapable of creating taurine in their own, and where do you find taurine? meat! hallelujah!!
Feeding cats a vegan or vegetarian diet is a slow form of starvation and animal abuse. If you’re not comfortable feeding an animal meat, please do not adopt a carnivore. There are plenty of vegetarian mammals that you would be much better suited owning, but do not abuse your cats just because of your own feelings about protein.
Without enough taurine in a cat’s diet, severe health problems will follow, like blindness, weak and decaying teeth, weak heart, and digestive issues. This is terrible. This objectively sucks. So pretty please give your cat a proper diet!
It’s way way safer to have an indoor cat. I don’t need you to tell me that you want your cat to be with you for many years, ‘cause I already know you do. Outdoor cats are exposed to wild animals, animal abusers, poisonous substances, cars, harsh weather, kidnapping, and diseases. Cats like rolling around in grass and grabbing birds from trees, and that’s great, but having an outdoor cat makes for a steep decrease in their estimated lifespan. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 16.8 years, whereas outdoor cats average out to a hard-hitting 5.6. Ouch.
So it’s definitely safer to keep a cat indoors! If you’re adopting a young kitten, it won’t be hard, since they won’t be expecting outdoor time already. If you’re still really into that whole grass idea, you should totally grow some indoor grass for your cat to chill in.
that’s everything i can think of for the moment, but please don’t be afraid to do your own research on animal care. there are tons of resources out there, and if you have a good vet, they’ll answer any questions you have!
thank you for readin’ about cat care. as a reward, i’m adding a picture of toby as a baby. enjoy.