Is A Cat The Right Pet For Your Family?

Cats are a popular pet for families across America. 41.1% of U.S households own a cat, according to the Insurance Information Institute. However, the ASPCA reports that 3.2 million felines enter animal shelters each year, as a result of families being unprepared for the cost, responsibility and lifestyle changes that a pet cat brings. The good news is that introducing a furry friend into your home is beneficial to children. But, it’s important you consider these factors first.

Photo by Callum Wale on Unsplash
Introducing a new addition
One key factor to consider before introducing a cat into your household is the age of your children. Younger children need more of your time than older ones and this can result in you having less time to dedicate to your new pet. Your child will also need to be of an age where they understand boundaries so that you can explain to them when to leave your cat alone to eat and sleep. Similarly, you also need to think about the age of the cat you get. Kittens typically need a lot more attention and care than older cats. Therefore, if you’ve got little ones at home, it’s wise to opt for a fully trained cat who has previously lived with children.

Caring for your cat
General cat care can be a time-consuming task, so you need to ensure that all family members are prepared to pitch in and help. The ASPCA suggests that cats are brushed once or twice a week to keep their fur and skin in optimum condition. You also need to regularly clean your cat’s teeth to prevent periodontal disease, trim their nails and actively fight and treat fleas and ticks with a topical treatment or oral medication. Additionally, providing human company is a must to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

The financial impact 
Veterinary care cost pet owners $16.6 billion last year. Therefore, when you first get your cat, you should look to obtain pet insurance so that your cat is covered for any medical expenses. Meanwhile, one-off expenses you can expect to pay out for upon getting your pet, include a litter box, scratching post and carry crate. There will also be ongoing costs to factor into your family’s household expenses, such as cat food, litter and treats. Owners typically spend $92.98 a month on their feline friends, according to Business Insider, so ensure you can afford this expense before taking on a cat.

Cats can bring significant joy to families. However, before you introduce a new cat into your family home, it’s essential that you’re prepared for the the time and cash you’ll need to invest in your new pet.

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