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At the beginning of 2018, we adopted a 7 year old cat from the local animal shelter.
I’m not gonna lie; I was pretty apprehensive about this.
I’ve never lived with a pet that has roamed cage-less through the house, so there was definitely some fear of the unknown for me.
How much work was this going to be? How much mess? How much headache? How much was it going to cost?
Well, a year into it, I have to say that it’s gone so much better than I imagined it would, and here are eight things I’ve learned in the last year.
1. A cat is less work than a caged animal.
This was kind of a revelation to me! Scooping a litter box is less effort than changing an entire cage full of bedding.
And the cat really has not made a bunch of mess in the house, so it’s not like she added a lot of cleaning to our workload.
2. A cat takes up so much less space than a caged animal.
Our guinea pig has a pretty large cage, and compared to that, the cat is taking up a lot less space. We have two litter boxes plus her food and water, and all of that makes a much smaller footprint.
3. A cat smells less than a caged rodent.
I definitely can smell the guinea pig in our house sometimes (and same went for hamsters when we had them), but I pretty much never smell the cat.
We use Slide litter and I have to say, it’s AMAZING at keeping cat smells at bay. Worth every penny!
(We buy ours from Chewy.com, which has such great prices on pet supplies.)
3. She’s been a lot less destructive than I imagined.
She’s scratched up the molding on some doorways, yes, but it’s just paint damage that can be fixed if I want to bother with it.
But she hasn’t scratched our furniture or had a bunch of accidents, and I’m pretty relieved about that.
It probably helps that we adopted an older cat rather than a kitten; she’s just not energetic enough to do that much damage.
I’m a little bit nervous about what will happen as she gets older, but hopefully she will age gracefully, with few accidents.
4. Cats don’t need a whole lot to be happy.
A cardboard box, a bed to hide under, and a soft blanket can make a cat pretty pleased. We definitely have not needed to buy her oodles of things to keep her content.
5. Sleeping with a cat is no fun.
Lisey used to let the cat sleep with her every night, but even she kicks the cat out at bedtime now.
(The rest of us decided long ago that the cat is a terrible night time companion!)
The problem is that she likes to be awake at night, so she walks all over you, cheerfully purring.
Which is very sweet but at 2 am, we all really prefer to not be receiving cat affection.
6. We are no good at nail clipping.
We TRIED. But no matter how many times we watched things like How to Trim Your Fractious Cat’s Nails on YouTube, we were not successful.
Somehow she always escapes our grasp!
So when she needs her nails clipped, she gets a ride to the vet for a quick clip appointment.
(Guinea pig nails I can totally do. But cat nails are another story, at least for our cat.)
7. More of us are cat people than previously thought.
Zoe is still very much a dog person, but she loves the cat to pieces. And as it turns out, Mr. FG and I like cats more than we thought we did!
(We already knew that Joshua, Lisey, and Sonia loved cats.)
I don’t know if I love cats enough to get another one once we have no kids at home, but I do like this cat.
8. It’s a great compliment if a cat chooses you.
Most dogs offer affection liberally (too liberally for my taste. Ha.), but a cat’s affection is a bit more rare.
So when she sits down on our laps we are always like, “I HAVE BEEN CHOSEN!!!!”
In summary: this has been easier and less expensive than I anticipated, I like being a cat owner more than I thought I would, and it makes me happy to think that we are giving an abandoned cat a happy place to live.