Am I too harsh with my reply? and may have in the meanwhile, scared away a potential adopter who may have given a kitten a good home?
My main concern then was that the cat/kitten will be dumped when the novelty of having a cat dies off, the adopter did not research enough or the adopter did not go through the whole thought process of having to care for an animal. I do not want another cat/kitten to suffer the stress of being adopted and then dumped again in another year or so.
Mrs kxbc thinks my reply is too blunt though the content may be more or less correct. On hindsight, I think so too. Maybe I was really too harsh and direct. Maybe I was just being myself and wanted her to know the seriousness of having a pet.
The question posed by her:
"hihi all cat lovers.. i'm new to this forum and would like to know some things abt adopting a kitten..
first of all, if i do not have a car, is it still ok to adopt a cat? is taxi uncle ok with a cat in a cage cos sometimes we might need to bring him/her to the vet..
second, my house will be laminated flooring with normal classic doors for the bedroom.. will there be prominent scratch marks on these?"
I cut and paste my reply to her below:
"Nothing wrong having a pet cat without a car. Lots of us don't drive.
Done so many times taking public transport with a secured carrier. Bus drivers and taxi drivers have so far not made any noise except for some taxis which will not take pets, even in carriers. If you are booking a cab, remember to tell the operator that you have a cat in a carrier. Also remember never to put your cat + carrier in the boot, no matter what the taxi drivers says. The cat is in your care so would you put your charge in the boot? Take another cab and tell the driver he will not earn your money.
Pets are not allowed to be taken onto the MRT so take note.
When you have a cat, there are definitely going to be scratch marks here and there, on the parquet floor, on the sofa etc when the cat runs and makes a turning. My cats do not scratch the sofa but when they start playing on the sofa, their claws may unintentionally leave some marks on it. But it's fine by me. Sofas and floors can be replaced but not my cats.
And there is going to be cat fur around the house too even with daily grooming and some litter tracking here and there.
If you are one of those who want a spic and span house with gleaming new furniture and without scratches, pets such as dogs and cats will not be for you.
Cats may throw up their food every now and then if for example they eat too fast or if the food does not agree with them, esp if new food is introduced. Laminate, parquet, marble and granite flooring cannot withstanding wet patches for an extended period of time as they are porous. And if they throw up while you are not home, the vomit may already have sunk into the flooring by the time you are back home from work in the evening, leaving at best an irremovable stain or at worst, a popped up laminate.
It is true that cats make good pets and owning one or a few give immense joy. But there are a lot more things to consider before adoption eg:
1. is everyone in the household agreeable to having a cat?
2. will you not abandon the cat later on, esp when you get pregnant and are pressurised by family members to dump it?
3. do you have the extra cash to send the cat for annual vaccination, check ups (vet visits can be expensive especially when they reach old age)?
4. are you willing to mesh up your windows so that your cat will not jump out accidentally and fall to its death esp if you are living in high rise apts? Meshing up your windows will definitely spoil the look of your house unless you invest some money/thought into design and materials.
5. are you prepared to love and take care of the cat till it reaches old age?
6. do you have the time to play and interact with your cat for at least an hour every day?
7. are you willing to let your cat roam all over the house when you are not home? Keeping your cat in a cage is mistreatment.
8. cats are curious animals and they will explore every nook and cranny of your home and in doing so, they may smash some ornaments you place on shelves. Are you willing to reduce your various displays? Are you willing to forgive your cat if it accidentally breaks some precious item in your home?
9. are you prepared to live with your furniture accidentally scratched or scratched before you can fully train the cat to scratch at the appropriate places?
10. will you be the sole provider of food and love for the cat?
11. are you prepared to neuter/spay the cat when it reaches sexual maturity?
There are so many questions to be answered and these are not the only ones I have highlighted. I have not trying to scare you but you will have to consider the above and more, esp if you are a first time owner.
The advantages of having a pet cat outweigh the disadvantages. But can you live with the disadvantages? Best you speak to friends who have pet cats and chat with them first. Read up on cat onwership. There are lots of reference books in the library, especially Orchard Library (under Pets). You can also get some info from CWS http://www.catwelfare.org/ and see if you can speak to a volunteer.
I am not trying to scare you or anything but it seems that there are lots more things to consider before bringing a cat back home."
If you feel that my reply is too harsh, I will have to tone it down a little next time so as not to scare away potential adopters.