If you’ve never had a pet before, you may be curious about what owning one is like. Whether you prefer dogs and puppies or you’re a cat fan through and through, having a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It also creates a long-lasting and fulfilling bond that you can cherish for years. In this article, WHISKAS delves into what owning a cat is like and offers advice for potential pet owners thinking of getting one.

Curiosity killed the cat

Lots of cat owners confess that having a cat is like having a small, furry shadow. Cats are naturally inquisitive by nature, so if you own one, you may find that they are extremely interested in everything you do. No cupboard must be left unexplored, no dark corner left undiscovered – whether it’s poking a paw into your cup of tea or seeing what happens when they sit right on top of your newspaper. This can be both frustrating and endearing – just be mindful that if you have any potential hazards in the house, you should take care to ensure your cat cannot access certain areas.

Small, thoughtful gifts

Cats are natural hunters and love nothing more than bringing their human friends small snacks as a gift. If you want your cat to be an outdoor cat, be aware that they may occasionally catch mice or small birds and bring them into the house. Although indoor cats are less likely to do this, they will still need mental stimulation and exercise to keep them fit and happy.

Natural stress relief

Although it may not be their most discerning feature, cats can be just as affectionate as dogs, and they’re often happy to provide love and affection when their owners most need it. A cat’s purr is deeply calming, and when combined with the feeling of stroking their fur, you’ll start to feel all your troubles melt away. In fact, owning a cat has been proven to protect against heart disease, as it lowers the heart rate and, therefore, blood pressure. It’s no wonder cats are often used in PAT (Pets As Therapy).

A live-at-home decorator

If you choose to have an indoor cat, bear in mind that you will also need to purchase a litter tray for them to use. Some cats may use this opportunity to decorate your carpet with the litter as they kick it out of the tray. To avoid this from happening, you can get an enclosed litter box, or invest in a mat to place by the tray to try and reduce litter spreading.

Trips to the vet

Being a cat owner comes with ample responsibility – it will be your duty to care for your cat and get them neutered or spayed, stay up-to-date with vaccinations and worming treatments, and take them for check-ups if they’re poorly. Although this may put some people off, caring for your cat, feeding them the right diet and knowing when they seem off-colour are all part and parcel of being a good, responsible pet owner.

Entertaining behaviour

One of the best things about owning a cat is undoubtedly getting to know your cat’s unique character. Cats can have a wide range of personalities, from bold, goofy and energetic, to shy, aloof and lazy. Fastidious cats love to bathe themselves for hours on end, while mischievous cats may hide on top of cupboards, waiting for you to walk past so they can drop onto your head. Spend time playing with your cat – you can make a game out of the smallest things without having to purchase expensive toys. Most of all, enjoy getting to know your cat, discover their individual quirks and funny habits, and make the most of every minute you spend in their company.