Pet Bulletin: What to know about life with cats

Gloria J. Towle, Special to The County
10 months ago

Cats are super soft, cuddly, cute and a lot of fun. They do make great pets. They will entertain you, comfort you, lower your stress, reduce your chance of having a heart attack, and chase away loneliness. But if you have never lived with a cat before, you might be in for a few surprises. 

The average lifespan of a cat is 10 to 12 years. An indoor-only cat could top 15 to 17 years. My cats, Willie and Annie, both lived to the ripe old age of 18. I also have a friend, Christine, who has three older kitties, one that is 16 and two that are 20 years old. 

When you adopt a cat, you are taking on a big commitment. Adoption fees can range from $50-$300 depending on the area of the country, the type of organization you adopt from, and the age of your kitten.  

Seeing “Free Kittens” signs are more than a little frustrating to me.  When you adopt from a reputable shelter, you know that the pet is healthy, has been tested for certain illnesses and has all the necessary shots and vaccines.  Many of the Central Aroostook Humane Society’s pets are spayed or neutered before finding that forever home.

Yearly expenses can really add up. depending on your cat’s age, health and dietary needs. There are ways to save on pet care, but the fact is that annual vet check-ups, food, litter, toys and pet sitters if you travel all certainly add up. 

Some people think that cats are independent, sleep all day, and don’t care about their people. That couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, cats crave your time and attention. Just like my previous kitties, they want to be in the middle of whatever we are doing. They’ll follow you all over, including into the bathroom. They’ll sit on your book and walk all over your computer while you are working or scrolling your favorite social media.

Keeping your cat’s litterbox cleaned often can eliminate your kitty doing his business on the floor or, worse yet, your bed.  He is not doing it out of spite, he is reacting to having a dirty bathroom. 

It goes without saying that cats shed. Fur is part of life with cats. Grooming can help keep it somewhat under control, but it is something that cat owners need to accept.

The No. 1 thing you want to know before adopting a cat is: you might become obsessed with your furry little friend and his or her well-being. And that is the best thing that will happen for both of you. 

If you are looking to add a pet to your family, stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society or check out our Facebook page.  

Please be responsible: spay and neuter your pets. 

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the Central Aroostook Humane Society board of directors.