Life With a Cat: Heaven or a Nightmare?
Are you considering life with a cat? Cats can be a joy to live with, or they can a complete nightmare. Thankfully, the biggest factor in making it a positive experience is on us – the humans.
In my experience, if you opt into cat ownership because “they’re low-maintenance. way easier than dogs” then you’re going to have a pretty rough go of it.
After all, they are living creatures. As such, they require food and water, sure, but also emotional support, stimulation, exercise, and playtime as well.
They may be simple creatures at times, but is owning a cat easy?
After cohabiting with cats for the last 2 years (11 months, and 9 days… but who’s counting?) I have some tips for anyone considering bringing a cat home, whether it’s through adoption or purchase.
Table of Contents
The CONS of life with a cat
Life with a cat may come with some battle scars. Some cats will grab into you with the front paws and teeth but kick you away with the back paws. They may do this if they have pent up anxiety, or as their way of playing. Some cats enjoy the hunt while others enjoy the actual sensation of biting.
They need to claw both to release their scent and to sharpen the claws. Buy them a cat tower or two to save your furniture.
Independent doesn’t mean low-maintenance. It means that maintenance is on their terms.
Is owning a cat easy? But what about those damn litter boxes?! The standard litter box rule to keep cats happy is one box per cat plus an extra. So having one cat means 2 litter boxes, two cats should mean 3 boxes, you get the idea. You may be able to get by with just 1 per cat, but you’ll have to clean them more often to keep them happy.
They still require exercise and playtime. Or else they may become bored and therefore destructive.
Some cats may urinate to mark their area or to exert dominance against another pet in the house. Use bleach and vinegar in the wash to destroy the protein markers that cause them to remark the same areas.
The PROS of life with a cat
They don’t legally need to get rabies shots. Just because they aren’t legally required to get a rabies vaccine doesn’t mean you should skimp out on the vet visits and shots. Cats are natural hunters and you wouldn’t want them to become sick because of a critter they caught.
They are very picky eaters, these guys. Although this is a CON when it comes to buying them food they’ll like, I put it in the PROS section because they won’t end up in the ER after ingesting a dropped twist tie or tearing apart a ballpoint pen.
They can be leash trained if they’re young. My fiance used to take our eldest out of the town when he was a kitten but I’ve certainly never tried it!
They are fiercely loving, it’s just on their own terms. That doesn’t mean they’re aloof, heartless, or self-interested as many may believe.
Even the least cuddly cats still enjoy it sometimes. When they’re in the mood for cuddles and affection, it may last for 10 seconds, or it may last a full 8 hours.
Cats are incredible to watch. Is owning a cat easy? Well, life with a cat will never be dull. They can be incredibly intelligent and their fierce hunting skills and independence are something to behold.
Cats can make for great company. Depending on the breed of cat you choose to buy or adopt, they’ll bring along some incredibly sweet quirks. Some cats, like our eldest, are very chatty. Even though he’s a tabby, this is a common trait for Siamese. They will chirp, chatter, and howl to communicate their wants with you. Some will be huge cuddlers and sleep on your lap all day long. Others, like our youngest, may not be too big on cuddles but still enjoy the company. ShakesPurr loves curling up on the desk while you do computer work.
Life with a cat can be very happy, frustrating or altogether too much. My article wasn’t meant to convince you that cats are amazing pets – or that they’re hell on wheels. I simply wanted to open your eyes to the upsides – and downsides – of being owned by a cat.
When it comes to the question, “is owning a cat easy?” I’d say no – not if you do it well. You should be making time to play and exercise with them every day. Keeping them stimulated will ensure their happiness and the safety of your furniture.
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With all my love,