Getting a cat is a goal for many people – whether you had cats growing up and adopting your own is a vital part of feeling like you’re creating your own home, or you were never allowed pets but always wanted them, there are lots of reasons many people dream of a cat of their own. It’s important to research the reality behind the dreams before you commit, though. If you don’t know the challenges that cat ownership can bring, you might find you can’t provide all the care your cat needs to be happy.
If you’re squeamish about cleaning up, then you may have some difficulties to overcome when you get a pet. If you have a cat, vomiting and diarrhea do become a more regular part of your life. Luckily most of the time these gastric problems aren’t serious and don’t need a visit to the vet – sometimes your cat just eats something that disagrees with it! Even without occasional bouts of vomiting, you’ll still need to clean up after your cat – if you don’t regularly empty their litter tray you’ll soon find it gets very unpleasant indeed, and even the best behaved cat may have the occasional accident.
It’s best to be ready for this – rubber gloves and enzymatic cleaners protect you from the worst while breaking down the chemicals that cause lasting stains and smells.
If you’re worried about cat diarrhea when to call the vet is if it doesn’t clear up within a couple of days, if you notice blood in the stool, or if your cat seems withdrawn, low in energy or uncharacteristically aggressive. All these could be symptoms of more serious conditions.
While many people get cats because they like the idea of a cute, purring companion to sit on their lap, you need to be ready to respect your cat’s unique personality and need for independence.
Read up on how to pet your cat safely and respectfully – look for signs like a lashing tail that tell you your cat isn’t in the mood for a stroke, and also look for signs like purring and kneading that tell you your cat is feeling relaxed and affectionate. Above all, don’t try to force affection if your cat is feeling anxious in their early days with you. Let them take the lead and show you when they’re ready – and remember there are no guarantees. Your cat might not be as cuddly and affectionate as you might like, but they’re still your pet, and you can build a great relationship with them if you allow for the personality they show you.
Health and Care
If you have a pet cat, then you’re bound by the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. This means you have a duty of care towards your pet and must ensure “protection from pain, suffering, wilful neglect and preventable disease”. In practice, this means you should register your cat at the vet as soon as possible, and ensure they have regular check ups to catch the early signs of disease or other developing health conditions.
Many vets offer a free initial check up to help spot any health problems that may have been missed by previous owners, so check for opportunities near you. It might also be worth looking into pet insurance to help cushion the cost of any unexpected vet bills in the future, too!