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So, You Want a Cat or Kitten?
Things to Consider First.

Bringing a pet into your life can bring many moments of happiness. It also brings with it certain responsibilities, far beyond just giving it a place to live and feeding it. Different types of pets have different behaviors and needs. And different breeds within each pet group vary as to their needs, also.

As you probably realize, pets are living, breathing and sensitive creatures. They react to love with love and to abusive treatment with mistrust and potentially dangerous reactions. What should you consider before purchasing an animal? Here is a list to consider. Taking time to consider each point with everyone in the family will be worth it. Remember, you should be willing to commit yourself to the pet for its life.

1. Most animals considered as pets require from their human owners their physical needs (food, water, place to sleep) and attention. Most pet animals don't like to be ignored anymore than humans do. So, do you as an individual or family have the financial resources, the space and the time to give to an animal?

2. What is your lifestyle and what animal will fit in? Do you keep your house squeaky clean? Some animals shed. Do you live in a small apartment? Some animals need room to roam. Do you travel a great deal? If so, who will take care of the pet in your absence? Some animals are quiet, some are noisy.

3. Are you considering getting a certain breed of pet because it's so cute? Looks can be deceiving. That cute dog or pig or cat, etc., may not get along with children or may need special attention that you or your family is not able to give. Investigate the needs of the pet you are interested in and see if there is a match. If not, there are many other cute breeds that can offer the love and companionship you're looking for and match your situation.

4. Your new pet will quickly become a member of your family. Is each family member willing to give it the attention it needs? Will introducing a pet into your family cause resentment by some family members?

5. If you're buying a puppy or a kitten, realize they grow bigger week by week until reaching their full size. Do you have enough room for the pet?

6. Most pets require some sort of grooming or other care that takes time and some amount of owner involvement. Are you willing to learn what is needed and take the time required to groom your pet and care for its other needs?

Additional Sources

There are more considerations, too. For a very thorough list on dogs, go to the American Kennel Club's Web site If you're considering bringing a kitten or adult cat into your life, you'll want to spend a few minutes reading Myths and Facts About Cats on the Cat Fanciers Association web page.