How to know if you're ready for a cat

With cats now living on average 16 years, taking on a cat is a long-term commitment. If you’re considering a cat as a pet, think carefully about current lifestyle and commitments. Also discuss this important decision with your family. Here are some things you should consider.

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  • Young kittens need a home with an owner who is there most of the day. They need regular play sessions and lots of socialisation to become a well rounded adult who can cope with different challenges in the future
  • Young kittens shouldn’t be left for longer than 4-5 hours as they need regular meals throughout the day and close monitoring. If you’re not able to feed your kitten 3-4 meals evenly spread out meals a day, look at rehoming an older cat
  • Most adult cats can be left alone for a working day quite happily, although there are always exceptions
  • It is important to allow your cat access to outside throughout the day so they can exhibit natural behaviour, including hunting prey. Think carefully about how you feel about this
  • As a general rule we don’t advise keeping cats as purely indoor pets, they should have the choice to go outside to avoid developing frustration issues. Again there are exceptions to this
  • If you work very long hours and are out of the house often, your home is probably not right for a cat at this time. Most cats require regular attention even if they have other animals for company.
  • If you travel or are away a lot, think about who will care for your pet in your absence

If you’re unsure about whether you’re ready for a cat, please call 0300 303 9876 to talk through it with us.