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Owning A Cat

Who Should Not Own a Cat

Although cats are adaptable and friendly creatures, they may not make good pets for certain types of people or for people with certain health problems.

For instance, it is probably wise not to get a cat or kitten if you are pregnant. The cat’s exposed feces can cause a potentially fatal blood disease called toxemia.

Another related health problem that cats can cause for both pregnant and ailing individuals (people with diseases and compromised immune systems) is caused by cat hair and dander. Cat hair and cat dander (skin flakes) in the air overstimulate the immune system and create respiratory problems not only for a mother and child but also for elderly individuals and those with diseases that cause the immune system to be compromised, such as AIDS.

Cats are also not recommended as pets for people who suffer from respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma or emphysema. When cat dander and cat hair is inhaled, it can irritate the human's airways even further. People who have allergies to cats should also avoid owning a cat. If you are not sure if you have an allergy to cat hair, do both the cat and yourself a favor and get yourself tested before you got to the shelter or a pet store. Too many animals end up in shelters or humane societies simply because a potential pet owner did not take the time and expense to find out if they were allergic to the animal before taking it home.

Cats are not recommended as pets in households with infants or toddlers. The old wives’ tale where a cat will kill a baby by “stealing its breath” has its roots in some truth. A cat will seek out a place of warmth and infants make good space heaters. A large cat, with even the snuggliest of intentions, could accidentally smother a small infant.

There are also several life-style and considerations that should affect your decision to own a kitten.

Don’t own a cat if you can't afford it. Many selfish people think that nature takes its course or that a cat can just eat scraps from your plate. This is not true. A kitten is certainly less expensive to take care of than a puppy, but within the first year you can expect to spend an absolute minimum of $640 on a new cat. This includes such expenses as a litter box, food, a collar, a carrier, toys, spaying, neutering and vaccination. If you do not have at least that amount in your bank account, then you cannot afford to own a cat.

If you are a collector of fine art or rare furniture get a goldfish instead. Kittens are naturally destructive at first and owning one will merely frustrate and anger you.

You should also not consider adopting a cat if your plan of action is to let it roam around outside. Kittens are easy prey for larger animals and children. Letting them wander around outside makes the vulnerable to poisons, worms, verbal and physical abuse, attacks from other animals, falls, accidents, theft and extremely contagious diseases such as feline leukemia and feline AIDS. If you are going to adopt a kitten, make sure you have ample room inside your home.

And finally, you probably should not consider owning a kitten if you cannot grasp the concept that those cute little tiny balls of fluff eventually transform into cats. Cats eat more, defecate more, urinate more and shed more cat hair than a kitten. The number of felines in our humane societies and pet shelters are a testimony to people who have given up a commitment to a pet once it has lost its “cute” factor.