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I wouldn't be without him
Owning a Cat in General
Member Name: Nik-Nac
Owning a Cat in General
Advantages: Lots of love, laughs and affection.
Disadvantages: Vet bills can be costly.
My partner never had a pet growing up. I've said for as long as I've known him (eight years) what an injustice this is - every kid should get the opportunity to have a pet to care for growing up, right? It teaches responsibility and often provides a loyal companion as children grow into teens and feel that the rest of the world 'just doesn't understand' Yes, I'm drawing on my own experience here. I was a bit of an angsty teenager.
Anyway, when one of our flatmates who was allergic to cats moved out we decided we would get a little kitty of our own. Looking back now, we probably should have gone to a cat rescue shelter, but we ended up getting from a gumtree ad instead. Our little black bundle of fluff is called Okami (though more regularly answers to the name 'cat' thanks to our flatmate!) He is a rather dinky British Shorthair, and is about a year and a half old.
Okami is cheeky - often hiding my hair ties, pouncing on my leg as I walk around, sitting on top of our living room door and refusing to come down and swiping at my hand to let me know not to pester him when I'm getting too affectionate. He can be downright rude - waking us up meowing loudly at 5am, scratching on doors (our landlord will NOT be impressed) and urinating in the bathtub. His vet bills can be costly - especially when the vet concluded that our cat was stressed and gave him shots, a special diet and a Feliway plug in to release 'happy' phermones! My cat has absolutely no reason to be stressed, all he does is sleep, eat and play, but we paid the bill and thanked him all the while wondering if we'd been shafted.
Okami is a VERY talkative cat. I grew up having lots of cats, and none of them blether like he does. Most of the time it's just because he wants to talk, but when he's hungry BOY do we know it. He also has the capacity to be very loving and affectionate. If we say 'kisses' to him, and he's in the right mood we get a headbutt from him - apparently with cats this is a good sign! He can also be unintentionally very funny and cute (this is true of ALL cats)
He is a pro at finding the sunniest, warmest spot in the house. He knows just the right time to sit on my lap - just when I'm about to get up - so he can shout at me for the inconvenience I've caused him. He think's he's part dog and will play fetch and chase his tail. He is the best cat in the world...when he's asleep! And I wouldn't change him - annoying traits and all.
It's worth noting that cats do have different personalities. While I have an affectionate, cheeky, noisy cat you might find yourself falling in love with an altogether more independent, smart, lazy cat. It's important to get to know your cat. It's very rewarding discovering their individual characters and habits.
Practically owning a cat doesn't need to be expensive, unless your cat is particularly prone to illness and needs lots of trips to the vet. I spend about £12 per month on food, and about £10 on cat litter. We buy him the occasional toy and pet insurance can cost about £8 per month. These are worthwhile expenses.
You do need to be able to fit a cat into your lifestyle. In my opinion a particularly noisy, busy home where there are always lots of different visitors is not particularly suitable for a cat and can cause them undue stress. While cats are more independent, they do still need affection and time with their owners so if you don't spend a lot of time at home, again a cat may be unsuitable. Either that or get two cats, so at least they have some company when you are not home. A bored cat can become badly behaved!
If you think a cat will suit your home I wouldn't hesitate in recommending one. They are fantastic companions, who aren't too high maintenance. There are downsides - litter trays, vet bills, fleas, scratches, cost of food and cat toys, etc but the great times are fantastic. A cat purr is my favourite noise ever. If Okami is happy so am I.
Summary: Cats make great pets.