Some people may decide to adopt a kitty spur of the moment, but they need to remember that adoption is for an entire lifetime. “With good care… most cats can live 15 to 20 years, so it is critical that you consider what is likely to be happening in your own life over the next 15 to 20 years—before you adopt a pet,” writes American Humane Association. Owners neglect or abandon too many animals because they decide they don’t want the ongoing responsibility.
So how do you know if you’re ready? You likely are, if you’re willing to:
- Care for a cat—spending the necessary time, energy, and money—after getting married, starting a family, switching jobs, or moving long distance.
- Keep the cat indoors. “There are too many hazards to the outdoor life for cats to list here,” says About.com Cats Expert Franny Syufy. “However, they far exceed any benefits you may perceive of outdoor life for cats.”
- Continuously spend money on cat care, including spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and medical care.
- Properly feed and groom a cat, and clean her litterbox—as an adult. “Pets are fine for teaching children responsibility, but there should always be an adult around to supervise and make sure the necessary jobs are done every day,” writes Syufy.
- Provide a scratching post, nail clipping, and litterbox training and maintenance to keep a cat from ruining you furniture. However, you’ll also need to be able to cope with a cat getting to it anyway.
- Spend at least 15 minutes playing and petting a cat every day.
- Take measures to overcome a spouse or child’s allergies to a cat.
- Explore ways to overcome a spouse or child’s incompatibilities with a cat.
- Care for a cat yourself after your children move away, especially if you adopt one specifically for the children.
- Determine ways to prevent avoidable illnesses or accidents from afflicting a cat, like heartworm disease or a car accident.
Credits to National Cat Protection Society