What to Consider Before Adopting a Cat

by | Cat Care |

cats lying together Cats may be seen as having an independent and carefree personality, but they require just as much quality time, affection and responsibility as other pets. Before deciding to share your life and your living space with a newly adopted feline, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself beforehand:

Can I afford a cat?

Cats have a lifespan of about 15 to 20 years. While that means you’ll be gaining a long-term companion, it also means a considerable financial commitment. Cats require ongoing expenses such as food, litter, supplies, ongoing veterinary care, as well as unplanned expenses, such as unexpected medical treatments and dental care.

Will I be home often enough?

Cats like routine. If you have the kind of schedule where there’s no such thing as an average day, now may not be the best time to adopt a cat. Cats should be checked, at minimum, on a daily basis and should be provided with fresh food and water every day. Litter boxes also need to be scooped out daily and cleaned thoroughly once a week. Make sure when you adopt a cat, you’re able to set aside time every day for quality time and care.

Do you have a cat sitter?

If on occasion you have to travel or work late, you should have someone you can call to cat sit for you.

Do I have the patience?

It takes time before your new family member will feel comfortable in your home. It’s a good idea to start off small: introduce your cat to a single room stocked with food, toys and a litter box. When your cat feels a little more comfortable, leave the door open and wait for your cat to explore the rest of the house at its own pace.

Do I have a veterinarian?

Before adopting your new cat, you should have a vet to help you care for your new companion. Ask around to friends and neighbours for recommendations, or do an online search to see if there’s a vet in your neighbourhood. If you’re still undecided, try contacting a possible choice and ask if the Hospital Manager can give you a tour.  Once you’ve adopted your cat, you will probably be asked to set up an initial exam. This is a great opportunity to ask your new vet any questions you may have.

Do I have all the necessary supplies?

Once you’ve decided to adopt a cat, you should purchase all the supplies in advance (e.g., food and water bowls, litter box, bedding, collar and ID, toys, scratching post, cat carrier, grooming tools, etc.). That way when you bring your new pet home, you can focus on spending quality time with your new family member!

If you’re interested in adopting a cat, viewour collection of adoption tip sheets and visit your local Ontario SPCA Community to Meet Your Match!


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