The true cost and commitment of that “free” kitten are a bit more than you might expect; know before you go compulsive over cuteness.
The concept of free is not what it appears to be where a free kitten is concerned. The truth is that you do save some money on the cost of a pure breed purchase and of course it’s always wonderful to adopt; however, that isn’t where the financial requirements end.
Like anything else of value in your life- your loved ones, your car, your computer- care and expenses are required for adequate maintenance.
In the first year of your kitten’s life, it’s likely that your expenses will be at an all-time high. The reason for this is that there are some fundamentals that you’ll need to attend to so that your pet can have a comfortable life. In fact, some of these needs could make the difference between the life and death of your kitten.
A cat can live for 20 years or more if she is adequately cared for. The real cost of your free kitten can be broken down into monetary value and time spent.
The Financial Cost of Your Free Kitten
The financial aspect is typically the only one that is thought of when the discussion of spending is given focus. It is near impossible to properly care for a kitten without the financial wherewithal to do so. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you plan well before adopting a furry new friend.
Veterinary bills are a big part of kitten care, and they tend to account for the bulk of the spending that is required for your free kitten. The reason for this is that there are two classes of veterinary bills.
The first set consists of care that is standard for all kittens. Your new fur baby will need vaccinations, microchipping, spay or neutering, heartworm prevention, flea and tick prevention, and more. Without taking care of these necessities, your kitten won’t have the best chance at a happy, healthy, comfortable life and could even be at risk.
A Kitten is susceptible to various illnesses and conditions, such as heartworm infections, which you must protect against. The only way to do this, of course, is to do the required spending.
The second set of veterinary bills consists of those that arise unexpectedly as a result of random illnesses or injuries that might occur.
One way to offset the costs of veterinary bills is to obtain pet insurance. Just like humans, pet doctor bills can get out of hand and insurance is a good way to ensure you can get the care your pet needs and give you peace of mine.
Apart from veterinary costs, you need to take care of your kitten’s daily needs. These include treats, toys, a scratching post, proper protein-rich food, and hygiene items such as a litter box and good litter.
The commitment cost of your cuddly kitty
Sadly, people sometimes choose to adopt a kitten because they think that cats don’t need much care or attention. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s true that cats are a bit more independent than dogs, they still need love and attention. In fact, some cats can be quite attached to their owners!
While you won’t have to train your kitten to go potty outdoors, you will need to set up his litter box, show him where it is and, most importantly, keep it very clean. That means you need to commit to cleaning that litter box every day. Cat’s can be pretty finicky when it comes to a clean “toilet” and can you blame them? Still, not only is it important for the happiness of your kitten to have a clean box, it is extremely important to her health.
Likewise, you’ll need to make sure he always has clean bowels (would you want to eat off a dirty plate?), and freshwater. Many cats prefer clean, running water, so I provide mine with a zen fountain, which serves as a decoration for my home and a source of clean, filtered water for my cat.
Finally, you’ll need to feed your cat every day and, best of all, play with her and cuddle her.
Be prepared to make this time investment for your cat’s entire life.
As you can see, the concept of a free kitten is not real. There is far more involved, so please be sure to take these things into consideration before you get swept away by the cuteness or decide to gift a kitten to a child for a birthday or holiday.
Adopting a kitten can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll do in your life. Your sweet furry friend will reward you with companionship and love so long as you take your responsibility as a pet parent seriously and have the time and financial resources to properly care for him.
At Riverdale Animal Hospital, we offer a free wellness exam for first-time patients. So, when you bring fluffy home, be sure to schedule an appointment to get her checked out, take care of her basic vaccinations, and schedule an appointment for spay or neutering.