Why You Should Not Get a Cat
Okay, wait what?!?! Again, with this?? An animal lover AND a pet blogger writing a post about why you should first not get a dog, and now a cat?! Am I crazy yet? Still no on this reason, I’m sure we will get to my other crazy later.
Like I have said before in other posts, of course, I want all cats to be adopted, and everyone to have kittens and cats and spoil them and love them forever. Unfortunately, that is not reality. While I would love for everyone to spoil their cats, and give them a great life, some people are just not meant to have pets. At least not yet.
So, if you’re thinking about getting a cat, and you fall into any of these categories, I would take a second to think about it. Kittens, while sweet and amazing, are still a big responsibility. The decision to get one needs to be a well-researched decision. Once you get a cat, it is a decision for about 20 years, and you want to make sure you’re ready for that kind of commitment.
Again, I never want these posts to be taken as harsh, mean, or insensitive. However, my biggest pet peeve is when people get animals and then just give up on them. If I sound frustrated or passionate about this, the truth is I am. Animals lean on us to help them, and when people exploit that, I want to turn into a very mean person.
1. You only want a kitten or the look of a kitten
Because I started in hot when it came to puppies, let’s just do the same for kittens. NEWS FLASH! SURPRISE! Whatever! YOU SHOULD NOT GET A KITTEN IF YOU ONLY LIKE THE LOOK OF A KITTEN. Yes, kittens are adorable beyond measure.
Oh my gosh, are they just one of the cutest things ever, next to puppies. But, the kitten is going to grow up into a cat. They are not going to stay the size of a kitten forever. And while they may not get as big in size as dogs, they definitely grow out of their kitten-look eventually.
When adopting a kitten, you can enjoy the time in which they are little. What you cannot do is forget about them once they become a full-grown cat and no longer have a cute little meow. Like I said before, a cat is a deal for their entire life. Good and bad. Kitten and cat.
The number of shelters who are filled with cats who’s owners turned them in because they decided they did not want a cat, or their cat doesn’t “bond” with them…it makes me sick. Those people get a kitten because let’s face it, kittens are adorable. Then once they realize that a kitten becomes a cat, grows up and puts on weight, they no longer want it. They drop the cat off at the shelter saying it is ‘not a right fit’ and move onto the next kitten.
If you are one of these people who thinks kittens are cute and only want the cute kitten, think again. If you only want a short-term cat situation, perhaps think about fostering instead. You can get your kitty fun, but can “pass them off” eventually. Fostering is a much better option than adopting a cat and giving it to the shelter. Instead, you are helping to keep the shelter volumes down so they can advertise for the kittens only. Then the kitties get a nice, warm loving home until they find their forever home.
2. You don’t actually want a cat
Next, you don’t actually want a cat. But Paige, why would I not want a cat?! I’m thinking about adopting one after all? Well, this is where I will challenge you on that. Do you really want a cat? Or do you just like the idea of a cat?
The idea of a cat is great! Someone to snuggle up with, tell your problems to, and provide company when you are feeling lonely. But what about the real stuff that comes with a cat? When they decide to act out and scratch your furniture? Or have tummy troubles and throw up in the middle of the night? Or want to play in the middle of the night and meow to let you know?
Cats come with good and bad. For every snuggle, there is a 2 AM meow session or headache that comes along with it. If you only want the good parts of a cat, then you don’t actually want a cat. You want the idea of a kitten. Or the calmest cat in the world. (If you find that…I will happily take that cat too!)
Kittens require a lot of patience, especially the first few days after you bring them home. They have to become acclimated to a new, scary environment away from their mother and siblings. This means that there are changes they could be up crying all night, hiding for the first few days, or acting out. This is the process of owning a cat. And sure, there are things you can do to make the first few nights easier, like pheromones and plenty of cat scratchers, but there is still time and effort that goes along with it.
If you think you only like the good things about the cats and the bad things make you cringe, maybe wait to adopt a cat. This isn’t to say that you never will want one, just maybe not now. What you want to avoid is getting in over your head, then giving up when it gets tough. If you are willing to dig your heels in when it gets tough, then maybe a cat is a good fit. Just make sure it is something you have really thought about.
3. You don’t have time for a cat
Ugh, this one is hard. Actually, it is really hard for me because there is a lot of controversy around it. Cats are a fairly independent animal and they can be left alone for a good amount of time. That being said, that is not an excuse to leave to days on end all the time and expect your cat to be okay. If you plan on not being home very often, but still wanting your cat to cuddle up next to you when you are, think again.
If you are not willing to put the time in for creating a solid relationship with that cat, 9 times out of 10, then you should not be a cat owner. And there is a big difference between going to work for 8 hours, and going away for a week and putting extra food and water out. During that time, the cats are left alone. Completely alone in complete silence. Imagine that for yourself. Nothing to do, being stuck in a house with food that must last you a week and nothing to do. You would be pretty mad when people came back around, wouldn’t you?
Now, I work a 9-5 job, workout after work, and sometimes hang out with friends. However, even with my work schedule, and other duties, I know I can give my cats the love and care they deserve. And there are many nights where I turn down hanging out with friends because I have not been home a lot during the week and needed to give the cats some love and relationship-building time. This makes them happy, healthy and still loving cats, even when I have to leave them a little longer than usual.
The reason this is so controversial is like I said before, cats are fairly independent. Yes, they CAN be alone by themselves for a number of days. But does that mean they should? Well in some instances. There are times when we travel away for a night, and leave the cats at home for a day by themselves. The difference? This is not the norm for them. They don’t expect their humans to leave every day for multiple days never knowing when they will come back.
Luckily, if you are not always home, that doesn’t mean you CAN’T have a pet. There are so many things that exist nowadays to help pet owners give their pets a happy life. My cats are a perfect example. I have a pet camera that currently sits in our living room that I can check in on the kitties at any time and make sure they are safe and sound. There are even some pet cameras that owners can give their cats a treat, like these. And probably best of all, there are now jobs that exist for pet sitting services. Companies like Rover, exist to help to provide pet sitting services to pet owners while they are away. There are instances where pet owners can hire people to come in and check on their cats while they are away, or take their dogs on a walk in the middle of the day
Options like the one above allow pet owners to care for their pets, even if their schedule has crazy moments. These options just come with a price. If you are willing to pay for a camera, a pet-giving camera, or someone to come to check in on your pets, then owning a cat should not be a problem for you. This blog post is not for those people who have crazy lives but are willing to make it work. This is for the people who don’t want to pay for cat comfort. Which leads me into my next topic.
4. You don’t have money for a cat
Ouch! This one is also tough, but true. Cats cost money. That’s a common fact. They require food, water and toys just to keep them alive. Animals also require doctor visits, more commonly known as visits to the vet.
If you are someone who lives paycheck to paycheck, not counting the cat, please rethink the cat. The last thing that you want is to get a kitten, and then not be able to pay for their food. Or have to get the bare necessities for them. That is not fair for either of you. Your kitten will not be happy, and you will feel bad about not being able to give your cat more.
The other thing you really need to consider before getting a kitten is vet visits. Cats can get sick. Sickness requires vet visits. I cannot tell you the number of posts about people asking about what is wrong with their pet. When people say go to the vet, they usually respond with, I can’t afford it.
If you cannot afford a vet visit, then you should not have a cat. I am not talking about the one-off visits where your animal has a horrible injury that requires thousands of dollars of surgery. I am talking about your cat is acting weird, or has a weird bump, but you cannot afford to take them to the vet until payday.
It is not fair to let your animal be in paid, or to ask others to help you take care of your cat. Like I’ve said before, cats are a lot of responsibility. One of which is financial responsibility. If you are not able to provide basic care for your cat, you should wait until you are more financially stable to adopt. (One last thing to call out though. If you are reading this, own a cat, and are thinking you cannot afford it, DO NOT abandon that cat. If you really cannot afford to take care of it, it is your job to find it another loving home. Abandoning your cat is selfish, horrific and just evil).
There are also a lot of tips to help you save money while owning a pet. So cat ownership does not have to be expensive. In my post 6 Cat Products You Should Be Buying on Amazon, you can order cat supplies in bulk for cheaper than store price and allow your pets to lead a happy life. If even budget saving tips with your cat seem unreasonable to you, that is when you need to rethink kitten adoption.
Reason number five. You should not get a cat if you know you are going to be moving far away, or if you are in a renting situation. Now, I need to clear the air on something. I am not saying that anyone who rents should not get a cat. Not at all! What I am saying is that if you are renting, moving every year, and have situations where cats are not allowed, you may want to reconsider adopting.
There are a lot of people who will get a cat, and then need to rehome them because they are ‘moving to another country’ or ‘their apartment doesn’t allow pets’. If this is you, do not get a cat! If you know you want to travel to another country, or there are desired areas doesn’t allow pets, do not get a cat!
Again, to repeat myself. This is not for all renters! There was one girl who I was talking about this on social media. She is a renter and has a beautiful puppy. She said she would sooner be homeless, living in her car with her dog before choosing a place to live that doesn’t allow dogs. I’m the same way with my cats. I’m currently renting, and you best believe there is not a place I would choose over my cats. You get to choose your place to live in most situations. If there is a place that does not allow cats, and you own a cat, choose another place. It’s as simple as that.
If you want the freedom to travel the world, or rent wherever you want, do not get a cat until you are more settled. If it is not fair to the cat for you to ditch them as soon as you find an opportunity that seems more fun for you. It needs to be, where you go, the cat goes. Simple as that.
6. You only want an outdoor cat
Ugh, I go back and forth on this one. Which is really why I put it last. Let’s say you find a cat outside, you feed it when it comes and do the bare minimum when it comes to caring for them. You are not willing to provide the cat with the care it needs.
Some cats enjoy being outside, but a lot of the time, they want to be inside a warm house. Outdoor cats usually just want the OPTION of being able to go outside when they want, and then coming inside when they are over the adventures.
If you find a cat outside and are not willing to provide the option and patience that goes into taken care of a cat, then you should not be a cat owner. Or, if you adopt a cat, and then expect them to be an outside cat.
Every cat is different so at the end of the day, you have to go based off what the cat itself wants. But if you find an outdoor cat that wants your love, you need to provide it the basic care and love that cats deserve. Otherwise, connect with people to trap the cat and find a proper home for him or her.
Wow, Paige, way to really make me second guess pet ownership. Well good! Like I said, of course, I want all cats to be adopted, but I want them to be adopted to good homes with people who will give cats a good life. I do also want cat adoption to be taken seriously.
There are so many wonderful cats that are sitting in shelters because of one of these reasons above. I’m not calling these people evil (well, some of you are I’m sure). But the majority of people are just misinformed about everything that goes into taking care of a cat.
If someone is reading this and takes a second thought as to adopting a kitten, and one less cat ends up abandoned because of it, then I would consider this post a success.