Are You Ready To Become a Cat Owner?

6 questions you should ask yourself before becoming a cat owner.


Making the decision to become a cat owner is exciting! The thought of having a furry companion to keep you company at home, or another addition to the family! However, it isn’t a decision that should be made lightly. Becoming a cat owner is a serious decision, which is why we wanted to chat about some of the questions you should be asking yourself before you become a cat owner.


Will my home accommodate a cat?

First of all, it’s important to know your new cat will be comfortable in your home and that your home can accommodate a cat. If you are living in a rental, it’s important that you get approval from your landlord that you can have a pet in your home. You also need to consider if your housing situation could change to a different rental that may not allow for cats.


You definitely don’t want to fall in love with your new furry friend and 12 months later you need to find it a new home or have to surrender it to a cat management facility because your housing situation changes. As much as you may want a cat now and feel like it’s perfect timing, you need to decide if you can make the commitment long term, for the sake of yourself and the cat.


Do you have other pets?

This is a big one! It can easily be an oversight when you decide to get a cat. If you already own another cat, a dog or any other pets, will the new cat get along with them? There’s nothing worse than getting a cat and then realising that your other pets don’t get along with it and you’re forever having to break up fights or keep them separate.


If you’re not sure if a cat would be suitable for your current fur babies, you can always consider being a foster parent to a cat. This is a great way to see if the cat will fit in with your other pets, if so you may be able to move forward with the adoption process.


Do you have children?

Getting a cat for the family can be an exciting thought, maybe your kids have been nagging for one for a while? Getting a cat can also be a great responsibility for the family, taking in turns with the cat-related chores (feeding, changing litter, entertainment, etc). However, the novelty of a new kitten can wear off, particularly for children, so it is important to ensure the whole family is ready for the long term commitment.


Before bringing a new cat into the family, it’s important to assess whether your kids are at an appropriate age to have cats around, will your kids be gentle and caring with the cat, are your kids allergic to cats (important one!), and will they be responsible for the cat as they get older? Again, a great way to test if a cat will suit your family is to try fostering for a while and see how cats go fitting in with your family.


Can you afford the upfront and ongoing costs?

The cost of owning a cat doesn’t just stop at the purchase fee, there are a few other costs to consider when you first become a cat owner. Assuming your new cat already comes desexed and microchipped, there are still costs associated with buying flea & worm treatment, covering vaccination costs and regular vet check-ups, buying some toys for entertainment, paying for cat litter and food. These are all costs you will be expected to cover when you become a cat owner. We broke down all these costs in a blog here where you can read in more depth about the exact cost you may be looking at to become a cat owner.


It’s important to take a good look at your budget and know if you can cover these costs, if not, maybe now isn’t the right time to become a cat owner?


Can you make a lifetime commitment?

Owning a cat is a lifetime commitment, cats can live long and healthy lives when they are taken good care of, sometimes 16yo+! 16 years is a long time, and our lives can change very quickly. It’s important to know whether your life will be able to support a cat for this duration. Perhaps you’re thinking of long term travel in a few years? Or starting a family? Or moving interstate? These are all important points to consider when you’re thinking of becoming a cat owner. Will your life be suitable for a cat for the next 16 years?


Okay, so you’ve got this far so maybe you’ve ticked all the questions and you’re ready to buy a cat? But… just one more question!


Where should I buy the cat from?

Our opinion… we believe it’s best to adopt! When adopting from a Cat Management Facility (eg Ten Lives, RSPCA or Just Cats) you’ll gain a lifelong companion who has had a health and temperament check, been microchipped, desexed, de-fleaed, wormed and vaccinated.


There you have it! Like we said earlier, becoming a cat owner is a serious responsibility. We take these questions very seriously because they are the common reasons cat owners end up surrendering their cat; they can’t afford it, someone is allergic, their rental doesn’t allow it, or it doesn’t get along with their family/pets. It’s important to take your time and consider these questions.


If you do decide to become a cat owner, congratulations! We would love for you to join our page on Facebook & Instagram where we share lots of useful information for cat owners and more of these blogs. See you over there! And of course, if you don’t become a cat owner, you can still join us for a daily dose of cute cat photos!

© Tasmanian Cat Management Project 2019

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.