Interested in getting a new cat, but not sure how to go about it?

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Answered by: Jennifer, An Expert in the Cats for Newbies Category
Maybe you were not allowed to have cats when you were growing up. Perhaps your first apartment had a no-pet policy. Was you ex-boyfriend/girlfriend allergic? Regardless of the reason, there's nothing more frustrating than being a cat person who can't have a cat!

But now, your obstacles are behind you and you are ready to bring a feline companion into your life... almost. For someone who has never had a cat of their own, getting a new cat for the first time can be a daunting experience. You want to be sure that you are providing the best environment for your future best friend, so there are quite a few questions you'll want to ask yourself before you dash off to your local shelter.

Do you think you'll have an adequate amount of time available to train a kitten, or is your schedule more suited to having an adult cat? How attached are you to your furniture, and are you willing to provide proper toys and scratching posts to help preserve said furniture without caring whether or not it matches your decor? Are you prepared both emotionally and financially to deal with any medical problems your cat may have over time? Are you planning to keep the cat as an indoor pet or let it outside?

If you are planning to let it outside, are you aware of both the risk factors and responsibilities associated with having an outdoor cat? This is just a sample of the questions you should be asking yourself before you go about getting a new cat. If the answers seem obvious to you, then you are probably already half way there. If you are wondering what other questions you should be asking, well, that's where I come in. It is my goal to help new cat owners become responsible cat owners.

A quick caveat, though - I'm not a vet and I'm not part of the ASPCA. None of my advice should be taken as official medical or legal advice. I'm just an ordinary person who is enthusiastic about cats and making sure that cats end up in loving, forever homes. Additionally, as I seek to help others, I will also be helping myself. I just moved into a new apartment after spending a prolonged period in a situation where I could not have a cat of my own. Once I am settled, I hope I will soon be able to share my own experiences about getting a new cat. In the meantime, I'm more than happy to share my past experiences with you.

I grew up with a tabby named Adora, and a tuxedo cat named Tony. I guarantee you that the two of them provided more than enough antics to fill 18 lifetimes, which is very convenient considering that cats supposedly have 9 lives a piece! So welcome to the exciting, thrilling and entertaining world of cat ownership. Just be prepared: The cat that ultimately owns you will have high expectations about being entertained.

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