If you’re considering getting a pet, you may have wondered: are cats high maintenance? Click here to learn the ins and outs of adopting a furry friend.
If you want to join the 46.5 million American households that care for cats, you likely have some questions before adopting. It’s important to give your furry friend the attention and love they need so that they can thrive as part of your family.
You need to know upfront what you’re getting into. That’s why it’s important to answer the critical question: Are cats high maintenance?
Read on to examine this question more and get a comprehensive answer.
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Are Cats High Maintenance Pets?
Cats are low maintenance when compared with dogs. You don’t need to take them for daily walks. You don’t need to be home all day to let them into the yard.
However, you should not adopt a cat because you think it will be “low maintenance.”
This is because cats do have both physical and emotional needs that owners must meet. Guardians who initially adopt them thinking that cat maintenance is easy sometimes fail to give their cat the attention and love that they require. This can stress them out, cause depression, make them feel bored, and contribute to behavioral issues.
Cats aren’t just low-effort animals that sleep all day. If you leave a cat to their own devices for an extended period, they’ll make their own fun. This usually means scratching at furniture and shredding things, so you won’t like it.
But you don’t need to worry about these issues assuming that you give the cat the love and care that they crave! When you take the time to show your kitty affection and attention, they’ll usually be super well-behaved. A well-loved cat usually won’t be as destructive as energetic dogs or small animals that chew on everything.
How Much Attention Do Cats Need?
Cats need consistent attention in order to thrive. If you choose to open your home and heart to a cat, you should be giving them 20-60 minutes of one-on-one attention.
This may involve pets or playtime depending on your cat’s activity level. It’s generally a good idea to distribute active play and loving cuddles fairly evenly.
You don’t need to spend all this time with your cat in one big chunk. This is especially true if you’re engaging in active playtime. Cats are energetic in short 10-15 minute bursts naturally, so play with them in these chunks of time.
Cats also like to be near you even when you aren’t giving them one-on-one attention. They’re much more affectionate than people give them credit for. In fact, when offered the choice between food and love from favorite humans, most cats choose love without a second thought.
So, you can expect them to sit beside you while you work, read, or engage in hobbies.
Any cat owner can tell you how awesome this is. You’ll have a best friend who loves to spend time with you, so you’ll never be lonely again!
What Does Caring for a Cat Involve?
Attention, playtime, and affection meet a cat’s emotional needs, but what about their physical ones?
Generally, cats don’t need a ton of physical care to contribute to their upkeep. This is why a lot of people think of them as “low maintenance.”
You need to feed your cat a few times a day. The frequency will depend on the diet that the vet prescribes them. Usually, they’ll get between 2 and 4 feedings of both wet and dry food.
You will need to change their water every couple of days. However, there are also automatic water bowls with filters in them to keep the water clean. You may only need to refill these and change the filter once every couple of weeks.
It’s important that you clean the litter box at least once every two days. You don’t want the cat to get sick because of dirty litter. You also just don’t want them to step in their dirty box and walk around the house for sanitation reasons.
Unlike dogs, though, cats are generally very clean. You don’t even need to bathe them since they groom themselves! They’re fussy about cleanliness, so you don’t need to worry about messes.
Cats need to go to the vet annually for checkups. This is inexpensive when you have the best pet insurance available. Older cats or cats with health issues may require more frequent visits.
Is Cat Maintenance Worth It?
Cat maintenance is 100% worth it. Cats are extremely affectionate and loving animals, and they’re loyal companions who love to spend time with their favorite humans. They’re playful and fun-loving, and every moment with them is a delight.
Cats also make people happier and healthier. Studies show that cat purrs literally have healing properties because of the endorphins they release.
These endorphins lower the stress levels of both the cat and their human companion. It can help to lower blood pressure and decrease depression and anxiety.
Cats also love to snuggle. They’re soft and cuddly, and the physical contact can help you stave off touch starvation.
When Should You Get a Cat?
If you’re looking for a little love in your life, getting a cat is a great choice. Just make sure that you adopt from a shelter rather than going to a breeder. Shelter cats are in need of homes, so you’re rescuing a wonderful, loving animal who’s looking for a better life.
Just make sure that you can take care of a cat forever when you adopt one. Pets are looking for forever homes. You’re making a lifelong commitment.
You need to be ready to take your animal with you when you move, get them care when they’re sick, and stay with them for the rest of their lives.
If you can do this… it’s time to enrich your life with a cat!
More on the Benefits of Getting a Cat
So, are cats high maintenance? The answer to this question depends on the cat. Still, they’re almost always lower-maintenance than dogs or exotic pets, so they’re a great choice for most people.
Now that you know the basics of cat maintenance, it’s time to learn more about the care and keeping of your new best friend. Check out the “pets and animals” tab on our home page to learn more.