What do I need to adopt a cat?

You need to have your head screwed on correctly! In that flippant remark what I mean is you need to get your head in gear, to think right, to be prepared mentally and committed to taking on the responsibilities for the lifetime of the cat. That is the first thing you need before adopting a cat. So, take a deep breath and think about it. Are you going to do this for 15 to 20 years? Are you prepared to have your life altered and your lifestyle compromised?

Happy boy after adopting a cat
Happy boy after adopting a cat. Photo: PoC.

Click on this link to read the article illustrated by the above photo.

You know that when you live with somebody that you have to compromise what you do. Your freedoms are gone, at least partly. The same applies to adopting a cat. Whereas at one time you went on holiday three times a year, now it's not the same because you might become so attached to your cat that you don't want to put her in a boarding cattery for two weeks. I don't want to do that. I refuse to do it. So, you don't go on holiday like you did. And you don't leave your house keys with your neighbours so she can feed your cat while you are on a beach in Spain for two weeks. I don't believe in that method of looking after a cat. But it depends on you: let's just say in round terms that your lifestyle is compromised.

So, you need to get your head in gear for those sorts of big changes. In addition, of course, you need all the usual accoutrements of looking after a cat like a cat litter tray and cat litter, food, and a home which has some modifications to make it more enjoyable for a domestic cat. If your cat is an outdoor/indoor cat then there should be a cat flap. You might consider building a cat enclosure attached to the house or circumventing the backyard. That is a big expense but a good one if you are committed to the project. 

You need to read up about cat behaviour and you can start by clicking on this link. You can read about 30 pages of this website (PoC – Cat Welfare at Heart – seen in 86% of the world's countries (168/195) (pictures-of-cats.org) on cat behaviour and that will help tee you up. So, you've learnt about cat behaviour and you think you understand cats but have you enough money to look after a cat for the lifetime of a cat? It will cost you upwards of about £18,000 in the UK to a first-class job for 18 years. Let's just put it this way, it is not a freebie ride. It is not cheap to look after a cat properly. And you want to look after your cat properly, don't you? So, adopting a cat is not just the purchase price of a purebred cat which can be up to £1500 but the maintenance of the cat for his or her lifetime.

I've mentioned purebred cats but the better course of action is to adopt a rescue cat. It is more rewarding, I'd suggest. Now you can enter into the practicalities. You can take some steps. If you want to adopt a purebred cat, I would ring up the GCCF in the UK or go to their website where they have a list of breeders. In America they have the CFA and TICA. I would start with these major cat associations. Of course, beforehand you will have to decide which cat breed you want to adopt. The answer depends upon your aesthetic appreciation of the breeds and whether you want to keep your cat full-time indoors or not. I would suggest that purebred cats should be kept indoors all the time for their safety and to prevent their theft and then you might take them out in a cat stroller or on a lead. The former is better than the latter in my view.

So do your research on the cat breeds if you want to adopt a purebred cat. You can start that research by firstly clicking on this link here. If you want to adopt a rescue cat which is my preferred course of action you can go online and search for your nearest rescue centre, telephone them and arrange a visit and go from there. Ask them what they want from adopters and meet those standards.

If you do buy purebred, by the way, you must visit the cat breeder's establishment and the breeder herself and of course the cats and ask pertinent questions. You must get a contract and the documentation that says that your cat has a pedigree, has been vaccinated and spayed or neutered and is free of disease. Do not buy a purebred cat online unseen. Never do this. You might be scammed and you probably will be scammed

These are some pointers as to what you need to do to adopt a cat. You can add to these pointers by going to my website and searching for whatever you think needs to be searched for to get your mind in gear and your head screwed on correctly before you kick off. Preparation both mental and practical are important in order to make sure that you have a good life together.

You might live in an apartment and you might think that that is unsuited to keeping a cat. In some ways it is but there are many people who live with a domestic cat companion in an apartment. Some purebred cats are more suited to it than others. And it does place a greater responsibility upon the cat's owner. I don't think you can live in an apartment and work long hours while successfully looking after a domestic cat. The cat will be too lonely and too stressed and unhappy. Take it from me that that will not work properly. If you're retired and living in apartment then you can be with your cat all the time to entertain him or her but to leave a cat alone in a small property for 12 hours a day just isn't right. I should know I did it myself once because I had to and I regret it badly. It was forced upon me to certain extent but I felt bad and guilty all the time about the arrangement. It happened many years ago.

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