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Why Not Get a Cat as a Pet

metaphoricalplatypus [Flickr]

Most folks like kittens - after all, kittens have built-in cuteness!  But - they don't stay kitten-like for long.  Eventually they become cats.  So if you adopt a kitten (with all its cuteness), before you know it you have a CAT!  And if you really didn't want a cat as a pet, then adopting a cute little bundle of feline fur and whiskers and big eyes is probably not the right thing for you.  However, if you are willing to lose your heart to a feline friend, even an adult one, and you have room in your life for a new furry friend, consider adopting one now, especially during Adopt a Cat Month!


June is Adopt A Cat Month, so it seems like a good time to talk about why you might want a cat as a pet. A dog needs walking and training and housebreaking, while a cat can be relatively low maintenance. Indoor cats tend to be healthier andlive longer than dogs. But even a cat is not a “set-it-and-forget-it” pet. So maybe the question to ask is: why should you not get a cat?

First, think about why you want a pet. If it’s for cuddles and snuggles, most cats are pretty good at that. But cats have different personalities. Some are calm and cuddly, and others are more active and playful. If you start with a kitten, it’s probably going to be cute. Remember, though, that kittens grow up to become cats. Your pet will be a kitten for about a year, but it will be a cat for maybe fifteen to twenty years. If you’re not really a fan of cats, maybe you should pass on the kitten. If you just really love kittens, you could help out your local shelter or rescue group by fostering homeless kittens until they are ready to be adopted.

Another reason not to get a cat is because you just don’t have time for a pet. A cat can seem pretty independent; you can go to work all day and not have to worry about going home to let it out. In fact, a cat can, if needed, get along by itself for a day or so, but not for several days in a row. Any animal that is left alone for long periods is not going to bond with its human very well, and that bonding is what makes any animal a pet.

A cat should be kept indoors. An indoor cat will be safer, healthier, live longer than its outdoor buddies, and become a better companion because it is spending time with its people.

For me, I think cats make great pets and companions. I like getting to know each cat’s individual personality. If you feel the same way, if you ask yourself, should I get a cat, and the answer is yes, then this is the perfect time to visit your local shelter or rescue group and take home a new feline friend, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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