Christmas is a magical time of year filled with the joys of giving, but making the big decision to bring a pet into your house at this time of year isn’t one that should be taken lightly. Each year thousands of kittens are purchased over the festive period only to end up in animal shelters in the new year, so if you’re thinking of bringing a little bundle of joy into your home then here are 4 things that you should consider first.
- Are you in this for the long haul?
It may seem obvious and yet so many people give up their kittens when they begin to mature into cats. Cats can live as long as 15 years and so making the decision to bring a kitten in to your life at Christmas means that you are signing a 15-year contract to care for and love this animal for the duration of its life. If you love the idea of a kitten but don’t want to then have to live with the cat then purchasing a kitten isn’t the right thing for you.
- Are you prepared for the disruption a kitten can cause?
Kittens are active and playful little creatures which will run around, jump on surfaces, scratch furniture and even literally climb the walls. You may have idealistic visions of them gently tapping a ball around the living room floor but the reality is that kittens can be quite disruptive and require a lot of attention and stimulation if you want to keep them from damaging furniture and running riot. Cat Scratching Posts can help to give them something to claw into and plenty of toys will keep their active minds entertained but if you plan on shutting them up in the house all day while you’re at work then you may be in for a surprise when you return home.
- Can you afford your kittens veterinarian care?
Aside from your kitten’s annual check-ups, regular flea treatment and occasional worming tablets, it is your responsibility as a responsible cat owner to have your kitten spayed or neutered to stop any unwanted breeding. In addition to these expenses, you will also need to ensure that you are prepared to take your cat to the vet if it falls ill or is injured and recognise that the veterinary costs of your pet may increase as they age.
- Who will look after your kitten or cat when you are away?
Christmas tends to be a time of year when people take extended time off work but what happens to your kitten when your kids go back to school and you’re back in the office? Who will look after your kitten or future cat when you go on holiday? If you don’t have a family member or friend that is willing to look after your cat when you are away then you will have to put them into a boarding cattery which can not only be costly but also a stressful experience for your cat.