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3 Questions to consider before getting a kitten

12 July 2020
3 Questions to consider before getting a kitten What better feeling is there than the excitement of getting a new kitten? Thinking of names, picking out cool equipment and accessories, reading up about how to make your kitten the most spoilt animal in the world...

Getting a new kitten is exciting, but the decision to get one should not be made lightly. There are many things to consider. Here are just a few:

1. Are you ready for the financial commitment?

This is probably one of the most important questions, which is often forgotten by prospective pet owners. Any domestic animal is a huge financial responsibility, for a long period of time. Especially when you are getting a kitten, there are vaccines, vet checks, neutering, worming and flea treatment that all need to be done (unless you’re adopting the kitten from an adoption centre).

As the cat ages, you will need to visit the vet for yearly vaccines and a vet check. If and when their health declines, can you afford to look after the cat and give it the necessary vet treatment for the rest of its life? Bear in mind, some cats can easily live up to 18 years of age. A solution for your financial worries may be to get good quality pet insurance, or to consistently put aside some money every week/month and only use it for your cat’s veterinary needs. You should also consider the regular costs of food and flea and worming treatment; which insurance does not cover.

If these costs are overwhelming, maybe now is not the time to get a cat. Remember that, when you get a pet, you are taking responsibility for their wellbeing. Not attending to their basic and medical needs is neglect. Therefore, if you cannot afford to meet these needs, let that animal find another loving home which will be able to properly take care of it.

2. Is a kitten suited to your lifestyle and household?

This is another important question to consider before choosing to buy or adopt a kitten. This is why it is so beneficial to adopt animals from rehoming centres – we will help assess whether a cat is right for you and, if so, which one.

When thinking of getting a kitten, consider the extra care and attention the kitten needs. You will need to toilet train it and clean up the mess when accidents will inevitably happen. Think about the extra damage that a kitten might cause, as opposed to a more mature cat. Kittens are lively pets that will need a lot of play time and require training and setting of clear boundaries. When not given enough time and attention, they will amuse themselves with anything that’s around.

Whilst kittens are goofy, funny and rewarding to take care of, they are a handful. Therefore, if you want a pet that will play with you, but will be a bit more disciplined and sensible, consider getting a cat that is already a few years old. You will get the same amount of love and fun, but it may save you some rips on the sofa.

3. Can you commit to the long-term?

This question is similar to the first question regarding financial commitment. However, there is a wider commitment to consider beyond just money – can you imagine taking care of a cat for the next 18 years?

Finance aside, where do you imagine yourself in 5, 10- or 15-years’ time? Will your lifestyle still allow you to take care of your cat? Of course, this is a hard question to answer for anyone, because nobody knows where life will take them. However, when taking on any pet, you really need to consider how long they are likely to live and whether you are truly dedicated to take care of them for that long.

In particular, a kitten will grow up (FAST). Therefore, you need to make sure you will be dedicated to care for your cat when it is no longer tiny, cute and playful.

We would particularly like to stress that, whilst you may have more time now, during lockdown/working from home, please consider how you will be able to accomodate the needs of your new pet when you return to your normal lifestyle.

If, after reading this, you still think a kitten is right for you, please click here to open our Kitten Checklist - a tool that will help you find a happy and healthy kitten.