How to Choose a Cat
One of the greatest pleasures human beings can experience is to share their homes with a pet. Having a cat or dog can keep you closer to nature. It should also kindle your spirit of reverence for all life on earth, from the ant on your picnic table to sow brothers and sisters in every country.
Cats and dogs are an unfailing source of companionship during times of sadness or joy. They have a sense of timing, of a minor. seen in a few human comedians. You’ll always remember their body movements. facial expressions, and “one-liners,” even after their bodies have departed and their spirits have become part of your memories. A kitten or puppy is a wonderful aid in teaching a child (and even some adults) about responsibility, patience, yore, understanding, and self-control.
No other animal on earth has enjoyed such varied public relations as the cat. Cats have been both vilified and deified throughout history. Their association with witchcraft gave them a bad reputation during the seventeenth century, but ancient, Egyptians revered them. Many others have had similar feelings. A French philosopher once said that there are only two aesthetically perfect things in the world-tne clock and the cat.
With the joy of owning a cat, however, comes responsibility. The lack of responsibility and lack of planning for owning or breeding a pet can be witnessed on the streets and in humane shelters. Millions upon millions of cats are put to death each year; the reasons range from “too much trouble” or “too much money” to “the kids went to college” or “the kitten’s not cute anymore.”
Owning a cat takes a commitment of time (as much as ten to fifteen years)and money. You and your family should ask yourselves the following questions before deciding on a new family member:
- Do We Have Time for a Cat?
- Who will have the responsibility for feeding the cat and caring for its toilet needs? Does the breed need daily grooming?
- Can We Afford to Keep a Cat Healthy and Well Nourished?
The purchase price is small change compared to the maintenance fees: food, accessories, veterinary care, boarding, and kitty litter.
Food and accessories $250-$400 per year
Veterinary care $100-$300 per year
Boarding $7-$15 per day
Kitty litter house cat$100–$150 per year
These figures are estimates and will vary in different regions, but they provide a model for figuring out your pet’s expenses for the year. Be sure that you have a little extra money set aside for unforeseen problems.
- Do We Have Room for a Cat?
- Will it be convenient to have a house cat? an indoor-outdoor cat? Do We Want a Male or a Female?
- What Are Our Favorite Breeds?
Selecting a pedigreed or non-pedigreed cat is a personal choice. Nonpedigreedcats are like us a product of mixed breeding. For the most part, these unions produce wonderful and beautiful offspring.
Pedigreed cats (the term means that there is a record, a pedigree, of the kitten’s ancestors for three or more generations) that are raised by responsible private breeders are excellent specimens of their breed. The good breeder looks for outstanding physical and mental qualities, such as soundness, beauty, and good temperament, and is continually trying to improve the line. Responsible breeders prepare their cats for breeding so that healthy and vigorous kittens are produced.
There are thirty-six breeds recognized by cat associations. You can become familiar with the breeds that interest you by attending cat shows or talking to a neighbor who owns the breed that you like.
Your veterinarian can supply advice on the breeds that interest you and help you to answer the final three questions:
- 1. What are the positive and negative characteristics of the breed?
- 2. Can such a cat adapt to our family?
- 3. What are the hereditary or common problems of the breed?
See more: How to Give a Cat CPR
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