Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, and if you ask anyone who owns one of these beautiful animals, if it is worth it, they’ll likely tell you yes!
However, a cat may not be the ideal pet for everyone. Despite the overwhelming number of benefits to owning a cat, there are some downsides. If you are thinking about getting a cat, it is good to weigh the pros and cons to help you decide if a cat is the right pet for you.
The Pros Of Owning A Cat
There is little doubt that there are many pros to owning a cat. Cats have a reputation for being independent animals who mainly rely on their humans for the essentials, but they can also be affectionate and playful.
Below are some of the biggest advantages to owning a cat:
Cats are Ideal for Apartment Living or Smaller Homes Without a Yard
If you live in an apartment or a smaller house without a yard, a cat is a great pet choice. Unlike their canine counterparts, cats do not require vast outdoor space and many owners keep their cats indoors full-time.
Furthermore, most cats don’t need to be taken out on walks, so it can be a good choice for people who have busier schedules or who live in areas where walking may not be safe or accessible.
They are Low-Maintenance
It’s no secret that kitties do not require the same amount of maintenance as other types of pets. For the most part, your cat will require a clean litter box, healthy meals, water, and something to scratch on and play with.
Since cats are so independent, they make wonderful pets for people short on time, or people who have physical challenges that would make owning a higher maintenance pet impractical.
Of course, all animals need some TLC, so you should plan to spend quality time bonding with your cat so that your relationship gets stronger day by day.
They Catch Pests
No one wants rodents, spiders, or other unwanted house guests. The great thing about owning a cat is that they play an essential role in removing these pests from your home.
It may come as a surprise that one of the main reasons that civilization brought cats into the home in the first place was to control pests. Since they enjoy chasing these little critters – it’s a win-win for everyone.
They may Help Lower your Stress Levels
There is significant evidence to suggest that owning a cat, or at the very least, petting a cat, can be extremely beneficial to your emotional and mental health.
One of the great things about owning any pet is the companionship they provide. Although cats have a reputation for being sneaky and moody, they can also be incredibly affectionate once they have formed a bond with you.
Having the affection of an animal helps to reduce your cortisol levels, which helps to combat stress.
Cats can be Entertaining
We have all seen those adorable and funny cat videos on the internet. Cats a known to be curious and sometimes that curiosity gets cats into hilarious situations for us humans.
Watching a kitten or cat explore the world will provide you with some much need levity, and maybe also provide you with a viral Youtube video or two in the process.
Kittens are Adorable
Another pro of owning a cat is how absolutely adorable they are as kittens. Of course, your shouldn’t get a kitty just because they are cute, because they won’t always be that size, but the cuteness is an extra plus.
Also, if you get a cat as a kitten, it allows you to form a special bond of trust with them from a young age, which helps them trust you more as they get older and sometimes moodier.
The Cons Of Owning A Cat
Although there are many benefits to owning a cat, let’s also discuss the reasons why cats won’t be the best pet for every person.
They may Induce Allergies
For some people, pet dander, saliva, and urine contain proteins that the immune system sees as hazardous – this results in itchy eyes, a runny nose, and difficulty breathing, otherwise known as allergies.
There are ways of reducing an allergic reaction to a cat, but for some people, the response is too profound, and having to deal with allergies on a daily basis will be too much.
Some people don’t know they are allergic to cats until they are around one. It is possible to only be allergic to cats and be fine around other animals. So, if you are thinking about getting a cat, spend some time with a friend or family member’s cat just to make sure you aren’t allergic.
Cleaning the Litter Box
One of the biggest downsides to owning a cat is having to clean the litter box. Unless you have trained your cat to use the toilet, cleaning the litter box is an inevitable part of cat ownership.
Any pet that you have will have to be cleaned up behind, so if you aren’t cleaning a litter box, you will be cleaning a cage for small animals like guinea pigs, or picking up poop outside for a dog. It is just one of the joys of pet ownship.
Another big con to owning a cat is their love of scratching. There are two problems with scratching, one is they can scratch you (which hurts terribly), and the other is they can scratch up your furniture.
If your cat is well bonded to you, they likely won’t be scratching you all the time. However, since cats have many different moods, some owners end up being scratched by their cats, if they try and bother them when they don’t want to be bothered.
In addition, cats are known to use furniture as their personal scratching posts, so be prepared for some claw marks around the house. Getting your cat an appropriate scratching post can help to alleviate this problem.
Cats can have a Jekyll and Hyde Personality
On the one hand, cats can be very loving animals and have a lot of affection to give to their owners, but in contrast, they can quickly change their mood and behave in undesirable ways.
This could include things like scratching their owners, stalking, marking the house with urine, not listening to you, being stubborn, biting, and meowing really loud to get your attention.
There are some breeds of cats that are known to be moodier than others, so best to do your research on the particular type of cat you want to get so you can know what to expect before bringing your feline friend home.
A cat may not be the best pet for someone who doesn’t want animal fur all over their house. Unless you get a hairless cat, your kitty is going to be shedding.
Of course, as mentioned above, this could be especially bad for someone with allergies. However, you also need to consider the extra cleaning that will need to be done to keep the house hair free. If a little extra cleaning doesn’t bother you then the fact the cats shed shouldn’t deter you from getting one.
Owning a cat also comes with the potential for higher veterinary costs. Cats and dogs have some of the highest vet costs for household pets. Pets like guinea pigs, hamsters, and rabbits don’t require medical care that is as expensive. Plan on spending a decent amount of money on your cat for flea medicine, annual checkups, and shots.
There are many reasons why cats make great pets: they are low-maintenance, don’t require walks, are crazy adorable, and will help keep pests away. However, there are also some cons to owning a cat, such as potential allergies, shedding, scratching, and their ever-changing personalities.
Owning any pet is a big responsibility and cats are no different. Before deciding to add a cat to your household, closely examine the pros and cons of owning a cat to help you narrow down if a cat is right for you. This decision will vary from person to person, but if you decide to get a cat, you’ll be in for a lifetime of fun.