If you’re looking to expand your household this month, then you’re in luck. It’s actually National Adopt a Cat Month, which will help you have even greater luck at finding the new addition to your household. Of course, cats do add on to the monthly budget, so if you’re not sure about a fur baby yet have no fret. There’s actually a lot of things you can do to ensure your cat won’t cost you an arm and a leg. These ten tips are sure to help you find a balance in your budget, so you can afford to add a little more love into your home. Now, all you have to do is find the right cat!
1. Adopt Older
Many people that adopt a pet wind up looking for a kitten. The idea of having a cute baby grow with the household is charming, but it isn’t always realistic. Small kittens require more maintenance and their behaviors are a little unpredictable. This could leave you with a kitten that destroys furniture, doesn’t get along with other pets or even scratches at younger members of the household. An older cat is usually a great option though. These cats have usually been in households before and most have been behaviorally observed. This will allow you to know what you have to look forward to when you let your new pet loose in the home. These behaviors include how they act with other animals and children. Older pets tend to be more mellow too, so you might wind up with the lap cat you hoped for.
2. Consider Adopting Two
Often, cats don’t get lonely, but some cats actually do. So, if you tend to be a household that is always on the go then you might want to consider two cats rather than one. Of course, this doesn’t just mean going to the shelter and picking out two cats. You will need to see if they get along first. Often, the shelter will have more than one cat put together, especially if they have a bond with one another. This is probably your best clue as to when you should get two cats. If you choose bonded cats then you are going to go home with pets that already feel slightly more comfortable. This should allow them to adapt the household faster. It can also keep their health up, especially while you and your family are out and about. It will also encourage your pet to exercise as they will always have someone to run around and wrestle with. This in itself will help keep up health immensely.
3. Adopt During an Event
Since it is National Adopt a Cat month, many shelters are going to be more apt to offer free or discounted adoption events. This is one of the best times to jump in and see if there is a match for your home. Of course, we are also in the midst of kitten season, which means that shelters will be over flowing. This alone may help you find some discounts on adoption. Some shelters will even host events that will allow you to get two cats for the adoption fees of one. This not only helps you find a great cat for your home, but it gives the shelters a reprieve as they often have to care for too many pets. If you adopt from a kill shelter then you will certainly be saving a life or two during this season.
Adopting from a shelter automatically helps out your budget. For starters, you usually get a cat that has been spayed or neutered. If your cat is too young for this procedure then the shelter tends to give you a voucher to get this procedure done at no cost to you. There are many financial reasons why a cat should be spayed and neutered. For starters, you don’t want to have to deal with a lot of kittens on your hands. Although many people sell kittens, there’s still vaccinations, vet bills and food to consider for a large group of cats. Spaying and neutering can also help keep your home cleaner. Males that are not neutered tend to spray for their territory, which will leave your home smelling terrible. Likewise, if you have a female that is not spayed then you may have neighborhood cats spraying around your home.
One of the best things you can do for your cat and your budget is find out what kind of cat food they were eating at the shelter. Abruptly changing your cats diet can lead to digestive issues for the pet, including bleeding during bowel movements. Of course, you will probably not want to keep your cat on this diet. All you have to do to ease them into the new diet is to mix the foods together. You should try to steer clear from cheaper cat foods though. Although they help you financially in the short run, they will cost expensive health problems over time. You can also try out DIY food, which is usually chicken and rice. Your veterinarian will be able to lead you in the right direction based on your pet’s needs as well as your budget.
6. Cat Tree
It doesn’t matter if your cat is young or old, a cat tree is one of the best ways to make them happy. Don’t put off of this idea because of the price of cat trees though. These amazing toys really come in handy, especially if you don’t want to add anymore costs to your budget. A cat tree actually detours your pet from scratching on furniture, which can be costly to replace. The tree also encourages activity, which will help your pet stay lean. Apart from that, the cat tree gives your pet a safe place to sleep if you have a dog or small children in the home. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a cat tree though. If you’re on a tight budget then consider shopping at the thrift store or yard sales. You can also make your own cat tree.
7. Pet Proof
One of the best things you can do before you even go to look for a cat is pet proof your home. Make sure there aren’t small pieces of plastic or other items on the floor that can be eaten. Pets tend to be drawn to items that are small, as they may potentially be food. You should also check out small spaces in the home. Cats tend to like to hide in these areas, but if they give access to the outdoors, inside of the walls or are small enough for your pet to get stuck then you could be in for trouble. Finally, check around the house for any plants you may be using for decoration. There are some plants that can lead to illness or death if a cat consumes it. By looking over your home before bringing in your pet, you will ensure you won’t have to make any unexpected vet visits.
8. Keep Cats Inside
A lot of people love to let their cat outdoors. This can be a huge problem if you’re keeping to a budget though. Outdoor cats are subjected to many dangers every day. From busy streets to other animals and people, you may find it safer to just set your pet up indoors. Indoor cats tend to lead longer lives than outdoor animals, which will make the whole family happy. You also won’t have to deal with unexpected diseases or injuries. If you have to let your cat out then consider using products that keep your pet in the yard. You can also design a catio or special cage that allows your pet to safely enjoy the outdoors. Of course, you can also just open the windows to let the fresh air in. Walking your cat is also a great option that will help both you and your pet with health.
9. Change Litter Often
Changing cat litter is probably one of the worst aspects of having a cat. However, keeping the litter box clean is necessary. You should change the box often, especially if you have multiple cats. The litter box tends to hold bacteria, which can cause your pet to become ill. Male cats, especially, can get urinary infections that could lead to a lifetime on a prescription, surgeries or even death. Allowing your litter box to go without proper cleaning can also lead to your pets going in other regions of the home. It can also cause territorial problems. Apart from that, a clean litter box can cause less anxiety in some cats. It will also make your home smell much cleaner.
10. Find Cat Clinics
Having a great vet on hand is crucial. However, if you know where your local pet clinic is then you can save a lot of money in the long run. These clinics tend to offer low cost vaccinations, which will allow you to keep your pet much healthier. The clinics often will spay and neuter your pet for a lot less too. You may even find a clinic that will take in pets for a lower price. However, you may have to prove your income in order to meet the requirements of the clinic.
Having a cat can really liven up the home and bring more love to your family. However, the cost can make some people steer away. These ten tips will help you enjoy your pet even more, especially when you adopt during National Adopt a Cat month.