Considering Getting a Cat? Here's What You Need to Know


Considering getting a cat? These are popular pets and you’ll find them in many households across the world. A cat is generally a relatively independent pet who can entertain his or herself but will still prove a great companion. You do, however, have to take a lot of factors into consideration when it comes to choosing a cat. At the end of the day, they are living, sentient creatures with needs and feelings, so you’re going to have to invest a whole lot of time, effort, money and love into them. Here are some things to think about before you go ahead and get a cat of your own.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats

There will forever be ongoing debate surrounding the subject of whether cats should be allowed to roam outdoors, or whether they should be kept indoors as house pets. You may have your own opinions on this already, but the general consensus from both vets and wildlife societies are that you should seriously consider keeping your cat indoors. Here are some reasons why:

  • Traffic - cats who roam the streets have an increased risk of being hit by a car, bike or other form of vehicle. These incidents can often prove fatal.

  • Fleas - cats who roam outdoors are significantly more likely to come into contact with cats and other animals who may be carrying fleas, which can pose a serious threat to your cat. Not only do their bites cause allergic reactions (causing your kitty discomfort) but they can cause anaemia, a condition where your cat is losing blood faster than they can produce new blood to replace it. Bites can also trigger dermatitis and you may even find that the fleas are carrying tapeworm

  • Ticks -  ticks can carry a host of feline diseases, such as Lyme disease, haemobartonellosis, tularemia, and cytauxzoonosis. You may initially be unaware that your cat has these parasites living on them. However, they do need to be dealt with and can be completely avoided by keeping your cat indoors.

  • Wildlife - indoor cats are much better for the local environment too. Cats are highly skilled hunters and it’s in their nature to catch birds, mice, bats and other animals. Seeing as they are hunting for play as opposed to food, this is a waste of natural life.

Different Breeds

Many people don’t tend to be aware of this, but cats have breeds, just in the same way that dogs do. The type of breed that will best suit you and your lifestyle will depend entirely on factors like your work, your home, your free time and more. Different breeds of cats don’t just have different physical traits - they have different needs, personality traits and more. A Sphinx will be a completely different cat to a Siamese or a Norwegian Forest Cat. So, do your research before choosing. There’s plenty of information available online that will help you to make the right decision for your needs and circumstances. If possible, do try to adopt rather than buying from a breeder. There are countless cats out there who need a loving home that you could provide them with. Try visiting a shelter and take a look around. One cat is bound to catch your eye and steal your heart.


Whether you decide to keep your cat indoors or let them roam, you’re going to have to invest in veterinary care for them. This includes routine veterinary care, as well as veterinary care for illness or injury that they may experience. Some basic and routine appointments will include:

  • Vaccinations

  • Microchipping

  • Neutering

  • Annual health checks

  • Dental checks

  • Further treatment for conditions and injuries

It’s highly recommended that you take out pet insurance for your cat. This will help to cover the costs of any veterinary treatment or medication your pet requires. This also ensures that you don’t end up in difficult situations where you may be unable to afford the treatment for your pet.

Essential Investments

All cats will need certain items bought for them too. These are essentials and will allow you to provide them with a comfortable lifestyle and the basics they require.

A Bed

All cats need somewhere to sleep. Some will choose their own space, but it’s always good to get your new cat a bed that they can call their own. There are countless options available on the market, so have a browse and read some reviews.


Cats need a well rounded diet. Your vet will be able to make specific suggestions for your cat in particular if you do get one. However, generally speaking, cat food is widely available and it is a competitive market, which helps to keep prices low. One thing that you should take into consideration is that some cats do end up having allergies or require specific diets. Foods for these diets can often prove a little more expensive.


Most cats enjoy toys. They're not all quite as serious as they look. There are a variety out there and different cats enjoy different types. So, try a few to find what they really enjoy. You could even look into some DIY cat toys. Just be careful to make sure that they are solid and don’t pose any potential choking hazards.

A Carrier

A cat carrier is going to prove essential when it comes to getting your cat from A to B. Sure, you may not use it on a regular basis, but you will need it to get your cat to the vets, to pet sitters and anywhere else. When choosing a cat carrier, consider the following points:

  • Ventilation - your cat needs to be able to breathe freely when inside their carrier. A good cat carried should have openings on at least two of its sides

  • The Opening - getting your cat in and out of the carrier can be difficult. Many people opt for a carrier that opens at the top, so they can drop the cat in and close it, rather than trying to coerce the cat through a door or flap

  • Size - cats differ in size and so do cat carriers. Make sure to check the dimensions before ordering to ensure it can fit an adult cat inside

A Toothbrush

So many people fail to realise that they are meant to clean their cat’s teeth. Many pet owners neglect to do it, but it is important. After all, if you don’t clean your cat’s teeth, who will? It’s an important step in maintaining their dental health and can help to prevent issues that could result in tooth removal. Investing in a cat toothbrush and cat toothpaste is a genuinely good idea if you do get a feline friend.  Given the average cat’s life expectancy is up to 16 years, you need to do your utmost to ensure that their teeth last their entire lifetime without causing them any pain or discomfort. While cats can survive without teeth, it’s much more preferable to have them. Like our own teeth, cats’ teeth can build up plaque, which can ultimately lead to tooth decay and gum disease. A vet will be able to give you a demonstration on how to best brush your cat’s teeth. Often, people find it easier to ease their cat into the process by offering them a little flavoured toothpaste on your finger as a treat, then slowly moving into brushing.

Of course, there are countless other things you should take into consideration when getting a cat. But these are just a few examples of things you will have to do and buy on a regular basis once you have a kitten or cat of your own. Put some real thought into the decision and make sure that you will definitely be able to give a cat everything it needs before going ahead!