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Should I get a Cat

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi there

I need some experienced people to let me know if my lifestyle right now is compatible with having a cat.

I really want to have a cat, but I consider it a delicate decision and wouldn’t want the lil guy/girl to be unhappy living with me.

I am a 20 year old student living in a apartment in the city by myself. Usually I have class from 9 in the morning to about noon or 1pm. Bout every 3 months I am away on traveling for a week or two. And for the summer I will usually be away for a lil more then a month. During the week I am usually out with friends from about 11 at night to 4 in the morning (varies).

I am wondering how dependent cats are on a owners continual presence, and how much time is recommended to be with them.

Want to make it clear that I am not looking to spend he minimal time possible with my cat, but I am just wondering about what some more experienced people would have to say about this, seeing it as I have never had a cat before.

Thank you for your help
post #2 of 13
I am also a student living on my own, with a fairly similar lifestyle. First of all I would say if you're going to do it, then adopt older cats, kittens would need more attention then you can give them, and consider adopting a bonded pair so they have company when you're not around. that's what I've done and it's worked out beautifully. It's nice to have them to come home to, especially when you are on your own. The only other thing is you are going to need someone to look after them for you when you are away for more than a day or two. I am lucky and my cat-loving brother lives in the same city and stays at my place with them when I am gone for more then a few days, and my neighbour across the hall has cats and looks in on them even when I'm gone for just a night.

As far as not being there all day, they don't mind. Especially if you get older cats and play with them and socialize with them when you are home, they will likely just sleep when you aren't home.
post #3 of 13
I'm also a student on my own, but I have a dog AND a cat looking to get a buddy for my kitty. It can be done and it's great. I can't see myself not having them both here with me. I travel, but my boyfriend is usually around to take care of them for the longer trips during winter break, plus I have a couple of friends that I met through a cat rescue that are more than willing to lend me a hand when I leave for short trips.

Also, IF you get the RIGHT personality/cat, it's not impossible to travel with them. I mention this with caution because some cats just aren't suited for it, but some do well. Some people might say it's a bad idea, but I think it depends on the cat.

Hope that helps
post #4 of 13
Just make sure you have a sitter in place for when you are gone, & at least one back-up sitter as well!! Ideally, an in-home sitter, someone to live in your home or your kitties/kitty could be really really lonely. Read up on costs, make sure you can afford a cat or two.

I do highly reccomend an adult pair, perhaps 5 years plus. Remeber, cat can live 20 years or more if cared for properly. Adults would fit better into your lifestyle, kittens....well, they need the human contact more than adults in terms of time-wise.
post #5 of 13
The other thing I didn't mention is as a student you still need to remember that there are costs. They aren't the most expensive pet, but vet checkups when something is wrong is a must, so you either need a tiny financial cushion, or know you can go to the bank of mom/dad if something happens. Buying quality petfood can reduce the cost of vet bills in the future, and realistically the good stuff (I spend 20/5 lb bag and I buy 2-3 bags for 3 months) it ends up being ~$1 a day for 2 cats, so to justify buying them this food I went from 2 cups to 1 cup of coffee a day
post #6 of 13
How will the cat be taken care of when you're gone?
post #7 of 13
From your description, I think a cat you get would be rather lonely. I certainly don't think it is fair to leave a cat home when you are gone for "little more than a month."
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have friends and family that are willing to have the cat live with them while I am away for more then 24 hours. They would not be left alone at home. Not sure if cats like beeing moved around, but i figured if early on I get it used to living in two places i wont be a problem.

Also as many if you are sugesting i was indeed thinking of getting two cats so the can keep eachother company while i am at school.

This is really helpful, thanks
post #9 of 13
Some cats *might* do well moving from one home to the next, but the majority would be utterly terrified. If you tried to move any of my 15 from my home to another, I think all of them would be so traumatized. Cats are very territorial, moving to another home, then back to the familiar will be hard on them.

Is there any way you can arrange for an in-home sitter?
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
If that is the case, I guess I will have to look up in-home cat sitters in the area. Or see if I can get one of my friends to live in my apartment for a while while I am gone.
post #11 of 13
It really does depend on the cat. My cat went and lived with a friend of mine for two weeks while I went home to see my family for christmas and she did just fine. She was a bit scared for the first 2-3 days but after that it was all ok.

She's a very outgoing and confident cat though so that helped.
post #12 of 13
I think you need to look at not just your current lifestyle, but at how you think your life will pan out in the next few years. Especially in regard to where you might be living. It's not that you can't have a cat when renting a property, but it can make it harder to find a suitable property. And if it's likely you'll be moving around a lot over the next few years (what do you plan to do when you finish college?) it might not be fair on the cat to be moved from apartment to apartment, having to cope with different roommates etc. Most cats thrive on stability and aren't always the best pet for young people starting out on their adult life.

Of course that doesn't mean that college students shouldn't have a cat, or indeed that you shouldn't, but it's something to think about. Taking on a cat is a long term committment and is a bit like having a child in that you need to consider the cat every day for possibly the next 20 years.
post #13 of 13
you'll prolly be fine, cats are fairly independent, but they do love attention.
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