Owning a Cat | The Pet Series
Are you thinking of adding a kitten or cat to your Brisbane family? Cats make loving fur-ever friends and are great with kids, but there are some things you need to consider before adopting one. Read on to find out all you need to know about bringing a feline into your family.
Is a cat the right pet for your family?
Cats can live for up to 20 years, so you need to be willing to commit to caring for your animal for a significant amount of time. Cats can be easier to look after than dogs as they don’t need to be walked, don’t need as much space and will sleep for large periods of the day. They are also quite independent but they love human interaction and need to be petted and played with. Cats are easily toilet trained and will use kitty litter indoors or toilet themselves outdoors. Cats groom themselves and do not require bathing. Cats are great company and will love to cuddle up with your Brisbane Kids on the couch, or play games such as chasing a ball of wool.
Kitten or adult cat?
If you have younger children, you may want to consider getting an adult cat as it will be calmer, gentler and will not require as much attention. In addition, adult cats are often overlooked for adoption in favour of cute kittens, so you will be helping an unnoticed cat find a home, and in turn be rewarded with unconditional love. However, there really is nothing sweeter than a little ball of fluff that is a mischievous and curious kitten…
Indoor or outdoor cat?
Statistically, indoor cats will live longer lives as they are less likely to be part of an accident or be attacked by a predator. However, if you decide to allow your cat outdoors, you need to be considerate of your neighbours and take steps to protect local wildlife – cats are known for their hunting skills! Try putting bells or reflective mirrors on your cat’s collar to protect other animals and birds.
Adopting a cat in Brisbane
There are a number of wonderful animal shelters across Brisbane that house kittens and cats that are waiting for a family to adopt them. These shelters are run primarily by volunteers, and they ensure that cats are healthy and of a suitable temperament for your family. These animals are not given away – they need to be purchased to help the shelter cover their costs, but are usually cheaper than purchasing a cat from a pet store or breeder.
If you live within the Brisbane City Council, you can keep up to three cats without a permit. If you want to keep more than three cats, you will need to apply for a permit. Anyone selling cats or dogs as pets in Brisbane must hold a permit. Licensed sellers can only sell animals that have passed a health check and are vaccinated. Anyone selling a cat or dog are also required under State Government laws to have the animal microchipped.
Caring for your cat
In addition to providing enough food, water, exercise and love, it is important to:
- identify your cat with a collar and microchip
- desex your cat before it is six months old
- vaccinate your cat annually
- worm your cat regularly
- check your cat periodically for fleas, ticks and other parasites, and treat if necessary.
Your story – Marie, Brisbane mother of two
We travelled out to the Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) shelter one weekend and spent some time in the cat enclosures. My son was instantly drawn to our cat, Edith, who was three months old at the time. The volunteers are very mindful of keeping the enclosures calm and quiet for the cats so our son was allowed in to her pen briefly to sit and play with her. (They will not let small children in the pens as it can be stressful for the animals and they won’t let the animals be handled too much.) We decided that she was the cat for us. From there, a lot of paperwork was required. The AWLQ is very careful to ensure they send the animals to good homes, so they ask a lot of questions and spend lots of time answering yours to ensure the animal will settle in well. Having never owned a cat before, we had lots of questions and they were exceptionally helpful.
The cost of adopting a kitten from the AWLQ (kittens are cats under 6 months) is around $200-$250. The AWLQ ensures all animals are de-sexed, micro-chipped and vaccinated before they leave the shelter, so the cost partly covers the vet services and partly covers the cost of accommodating the animals. Edith settled in to her new home very quickly and the kids just adore her. She is now just over a year old and a valued member of the family 🙂
Five fun facts about cats
- Cats rarely meow at other cats. They save this form of communication for humans.
- Most cats are lactose intolerant, so avoid giving your cat cow’s milk.
- Cats love to eat grass, as it assists in digestion and helps prevent the accumulation of fur in their stomachs.
- In Ancient Egypt, mummies were made of cats, and embalmed mice were placed with them in tombs.
- A group of kittens is called a ‘kindle’. A group of grown cats is called a ‘clowder’.
For more information about caring for your cat, and for the latest in cat products and accessories, visit Pampered Cats’ Playground.
Follow the Brisbane Kids Pet Series with our guides to Owning a Dog or Owning a Guinea Pig. The Parenting 101 section of our site contains lots of valuable parenting information, including 50 Nut Free Sandwich Fillings for Kids.