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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Deciding to get a cat or other pet is not a decision that should be made without a lot of forethought and planning. I have often seen parents buy a cute little bunny or baby chick for a child for Easter or as part of some other holiday. Then in a week or two the "newness" wears off and they are looking for a way to get rid of the animal. A pet is a lifetime committment and you must be prepared to love and care for them for as long as they live. Rabbits and other small mammals may live less than 10 years, while a parrot my out live it's human companion. A cat that is kept indoors and who receives proper care and veterinary attention can live 20 years or longer. An outdoor cat's lifespan can be cut in half and the veterinary expenses significantly increased due to illnesses and injuries often suffered by outdoor pets. Then there is the expense of owning a pet. Even if you get a pet for free through adoption or by rescuing one on your own, they are not without cost. Caring for a pet does not just mean that you provide them with food and water. Along with providing for the nutritional needs, you must also take them to the vet and have them vaccinated, spayed/neurteured, and a check-up at least once a year.


You must also be willing to spend the time and effort necessary to clean up after them (litter boxes etc.) and to train them so that they will be a joyful addition to your family. Cats and other pets also require interaction with their human companions on a regular basis. This interaction leads to having a happy, healthy pet that is well socialized and both a joy to have around and a fantastic companion. From my experience, whatever love and affection you show towards your pet cat is returned many times over. And like most other things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.


Below I have listed several things to keep in mind when deciding to adopt a cat or other pet:


1) Can you afford a cat? Food, litter, toys, vet bills, and other supplies can be expensive.


2) Are you prepared for a long time commitment? A cat may live for 15 - 20 years or longer.


3) Are you home during the day? If you are gone from home a lot you might consider adopting an adult cat that is more laid back and independent.    A kitten will need much more attention while they are young.


4) Will you have enough time to take care of your new cat? Feeding, trimming claws, exercising through play-time, and changing litter boxes takes     time. And don't forget trips to the vet!


5) Do you have enough space for a cat in your home? This needs to include space for litter boxes, food and water dishes and toys like scratching     post.


6) Do you or anyone in your immediate family have any allergies to cats?


These are just a few of the many things that you need to consider when adopting a cat. There are many more detailed list and tips about pet adoption available on the internet. Searching for the words "pet cat adoption what you should know" will deliver a wealth of information on many different web sites. A little research and pre-planning can make for a better informed decision and a much happier and longer relationship with you newly adopted pet.

"Saving one animal won't change the world, but it will change the world for that animal."

- Unknown -

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