By: Robin Desmet – August, 2018

Newpet1Your neighbor’s cat has kittens and they are weaned and ready to be adopted. You hold one of the wiggling furballs for a minute and instantly you fall in love.

You weren’t really looking for a kitten, but before you know it you find yourself at the pet store purchasing kitten food, a litter box, and an assortment of toys.

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new pet, but before you decide to take this little life home, there are some things you need to think about.

Do you have pets at home already?

Newpet2 (1)If you have a 14 year old cat at home he may not appreciate the energy that is about to come his way. A new kitten, however cute, will likely add stress and discord to a household with older pets.

Maybe you have a 1 year old cat that could use a bit of companionship while you are at work. In this case, a kitten probably makes sense. No matter the situation, think about the pets you already have and ask yourself if it is really the right decision to add another animal to the household.

Are you a renter?

Do you live in a condominium?

It is important to check with your landlord or condo association and find out if pets are even allowed. Your landlord may charge you an extra fee every month if you choose to have an animal, or you may find yourself losing your security deposit if your animal causes damage to the property.

Condominiums have very specific policies when it comes to animals. You may be limited to a certain number of animals or to a certain size or type of animal. It is best to check with your landlord or condo association before you adopt an animal.

Can you afford another animal?

That kitten may be advertised as “free”, but there is really no such thing as a free kitten. If you bring an animal into your house it is going to cost you. Beyond the basics of spay/neuter, vaccinations, and food, there are other inevitable costs associated with pets. All animals will require veterinary care at one time or another. There is just no predicting accidents and illness. Veterinary care can be quite expensive and even if you have pet insurance, it will not cover all of your costs.

Do you have other family members at home?

Even if you plan on being the primary caretaker, it is important to think about everyone’s needs. A new pet will likely impact everyone in the home. Maybe you have household members that don’t want another pet. Maybe someone in the house is allergic. You may have young children or elderly parents that you need to consider.

Lastly, do you have enough time to properly care for your pet?

Are you willing and able to give it the love and attention it deserves? Pets are not obligatory-they are a choice. If your pet is going to spend every day in the basement or in a crate, is it really the right decision to get one? Animals can live for a long time. Before you commit to bringing a new animal home, put some thought into it. Make sure it is the right decision for you, your family, and for the animal.

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