Are You Ready To Be a Cat Owner?

‘In 2019 over 6,000 cats passed through cat management facilities and shelters in Tasmania’

This is something we need to talk about because, with a little know-how, you might realise you’re also not ready to become a cat owner and so stopping you from unintentionally contributing to the above statistic.


Becoming a pet or cat owner can be very exciting. However, sometimes the decision to become a cat owner is emotionally driven, without too much thought for the future.

If you’re thinking you would like to become a cat owner, it’s important to have an understanding of the commitments you are making and to know what you’re getting yourself into. This blog will help you assess whether you’re ready and if it’s the right time in your life to adopt a cat or kitten.


Long Term Commitment

First and foremost, adopting a cat is a long-term commitment. Healthy cats will live a long and happy life on average between 12-18 years. So ask yourself, ‘what do the next 2 decades look like for me?’ because that’s how long a cat may be in your life when you adopt one.


Do you have a secure home for your cat and will you continue to be allowed to have cats in your house (i.e. rental agreements), are you planning any long-term travel away from home in the coming years?


If you don’t think you’re ready to commit for the 12-18 year period of a cat's life, but you think you can commit to a shorter term, perhaps look into adopting a senior cat. You could also consider fostering cats or kittens for a cat management facility.


Can You Afford It?

The second point you should ask yourself is whether you can afford the cost of owning a cat.


According to ASIC’s MoneySmart, the average cost of owning a cat in Australia is $1,029 per year! That’s around $20 per week - does your budget allow for this cost? This includes expenses such as vet costs ($273), food ($576), grooming ($45), health products ($159), and boarding ($80).


You can read our full blog on ‘How Much Does It Actually Cost To Own A Cat’ over here, it also includes some cost-saving tips too.


Is Your House Ready For A Cat?

If you were to become a cat owner, your cat will be safest if it is kept healthy and happy at home rather than wandering the streets.You can read more about Keeping Your Cat Healthy At Home here.


Do you own your home or is it a rental? If it’s a rental, you will need to check with your landlord if they approve cats in your lease agreement. Secondly, will you always have a rental that allows cats? Otherwise, you may be limiting yourself from future rental opportunities because you own a cat, or have no choice but to surrender your cat.


Do You Have Time?

The thought of a cat at home to play with can be very exciting, but will you always have time for it? Much like anything new, the excitement can sometimes wear off and people can become bored of their cat, or their kitten grows up and they feel it’s not so interesting anymore.


To keep your cat happy at home, you need to make sure you are providing them with an enriching environment by playing games every day and giving your cat plenty of love and attention throughout the day. Life can get busy, we get that. Work, socialising, travel, family, and everything else. Ask yourself if your lifestyle really allows for time spent at home with a new cat.

Will you be there for 12-18 years to be your cat's companion? Always remind yourself that you are all your cat has, so making sure you can spend plenty of time at home together is important.


Are You Allergic?

Have you been a cat owner before, or even recently? One of the reasons cats are surrendered to cat management facilities in Tasmania is due to issues with allergies. Being allergic to a cat is not fun… think itchy eyes & throat, irritated skin, sneezing, running eyes, and just general irritation!


Before making the commitment to a cat, it may pay for you and the other members of your household to visit a friend with a cat, house/pet sit for someone with a cat, or visit a cat management facility and cuddle the cats to make sure you don’t have any allergies.

It would be heartbreaking to bring a cat home only to realise that yourself or someone else in the house is allergic to them!


Do You Have Other Pets?

The idea of getting another pet to keep your current pets happy and to have a new companion is nice, but it doesn’t always result in happy pets.


Cats are quite often happy alone and don’t like to share their owners, so you may have issues with your current cat getting along with a new cat. Or other pets such as dogs may scare your new cat and you will constantly be having to keep them separated in your home.

Make sure that your current pets will be happy with a new addition before making the commitment, you can check out our guide to introducing a new cat into the household here.


Still Think You’re Ready?

If you have read through all of the above and feel that you can afford to own a cat, your home is suitable for them, you don’t have any allergies, you know you have the time to be a great companion for your cat, and your other pets will be fine with the new addition, then you may be ready to adopt! Ticking all the items we have mentioned above is crucial to making sure you can meet your cat’s basic needs and provide them with a forever home that’s loving and enriching.

Our last tip now would be to encourage you to adopt a cat from a cat management facility in Tasmania. To provide a cat with a home after it’s been surrendered is one of the most rewarding things to do, providing a loving home for a cat who has lost theirs. You have three cat management facilities in Tasmania to choose from:

RSPCA Tasmania

Ten Lives Cat Centre

Just Cats Tasmania


Not only will you be giving your new cat a safe new home, but when you adopt from these facilities, you can rest assured they are healthy cats who are desexed, microchipped, and vaccinated, taking the responsibility and cost from you and sorting it before adoption. As always, remember to hit ‘like’ or ‘follow’ on both our Facebook & Instagram pages to keep up to date with all things cat, being a cat owner, tips for cat owners, and of course cute pics!

TassieCat is a state-wide initiative to promote and facilitate responsible cat ownership and management in Tasmania. The project is supported by Cradle Coast Authority NRM, Kingborough Council, and NRM North through funding from the Tasmanian Government.

© Tasmanian Cat Management Project 2021