Be a Responsible Pet Owner

April 5, 2006

Alright I admit. Terry’s story still irks me. I know purrsNswipe has talked about pet ownership but here’s my 2 cents worth to anyone who is considering to adopt or buy a pet & then regret it & decides to abandon it or dump it with the SPCA.

Think First
1) Recognise the commitment. Pet ownership is not something to be taken lightly. Owning a pet is a life-time emotional and financial commitment.

2) Evaluate your lifestyle. When you get a pet, it will become a part of your life. You need to make sure the pet is suitable for your lifestyle. If you are a busy person, work long hours, likes to go back to a quiet home, then DON’T GET A DOG! Get a cat instead. Every aspect of you & your family’s life – schedules, hobbies, personalities, should be taken into account first.

3) Take your time to pick your pet, consider your options carefully. Ask the breeder/shelter questions about the pet you are considering – its health, temperament, behaviour, history etc – no more flimsy excuses like – “I didn’t know I need to brush the persian everyday” or “I didn’t expect the JRT to be so active”.

Get Ready
1) Pet proof your home. Make sure electrical cables are safely tucked away. Create a comfortable area for your pet – bedding, food & water bowls, if it is cat – litter bin. And if you are bringing home a cat, MESH YOUR WINDOWS. Keep your cats indoor at all times.

2) When the pet comes home with you, give it time to adjust. It is probably frightened in a new environment, so it could be hostile, shy, not behaving its usual self. If it is cat, make introductions carefully. In doubt, please refer purrsNswipe’s blog. Excellent reference materials there. Remember, it takes time for the pet to get used to you, your family and the rest of the pets at home. If you expect the new pet to integrate right away, you are delusional.

Keep Your Pet Happy
1) Schedule annual check ups for your pet & sterilise your pet. A sterilised pet lives a longer & healthier life.

2) Feed a good diet. What is good for us is not necessarily good for your pet. Always provide fresh, clean water.

3) Exercise. Your pet need regular execise to ensure continuing good health.

4) Be alert to your pet’s changing needs. As it ages, its needs will change. It may require a different diet, need more sleep & become less active. Do what you can to keep it comfortable. Your pet may not be as fun as before, but it is still the same pet you loved as when it was a puppy/kitten. You should do everything you can to pamper it in its final years.

Be a Friend
1) Play. Cats & dogs love to play. Set aside time each day for play sessions. Play is also a form of exercise for the pet.

2) Talk to you pet. No kidding. Your pet may not understand your words but it will enjoy the sound of your voice (although Beauty will beg to differ here – she finds me too much of a nag! that is a cAt with attitude to boot).

3) Give your pet your time. You are the centre of your pet’s world. You may be tired after a day’s work but your pet just spent a day on its own waiting for anxiously for you to come home. The least you can do is to reward it with your time.

Last of all, your pet loves you no matter what. So love your pet back!

And after all these & you still treat your pet badly, neglect it or abandon it, I gonna come round your place & smack you.

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17 Responses to “Be a Responsible Pet Owner”

  1. Celeste Lock said

    Very well said Cat! = )

  2. vegancat said

    Unfortunately some people buy a pets to suit their arrays of branded stuff..to show..I have made it in society! But unlike a Gucci or Prada bag, a branded dog will pee, will poo, will bring back ticks, will fall sick,will mount if not eunuchized, etc…so a living breathing branded possession becomes a pain in the neck!

  3. calsifer said

    Great post, and great references, Cat ;-P

    I’ll have to add this to my list of great petcare reference manual!

    BTW, I just to add, for the benefit of your blog readers, that even though a cat may require less attention than a dog, it doesn’t mean they don’t care for attention. They do, and if a cat parent is working long long hours, the parent should consider a companion for his/her single-cat. Ref here.

    Thanks for the great breakdown, Cat.

    calsifer aka the active half of purrsnswipes.

  4. Cat said

    Good point Calsifer!

  5. KXBC said

    All paws up. Agree.

    If you don’t have time to interact with your pet daily, consider not having a pet at all, not even fishes.

    Meow, kxbc gang

  6. auntie p said

    May I ask: how much interaction time with one’s cat is considered sufficiently acceptable? My foster cat is left alone in the bedroom when we go to work and when we sleep at night…not ideal, I know. I do feel a sense of responsibility to rush home and spend more time with the cat whenever possible. Sometimes, I think they’re better off living as free community cats as long as their environment is safe for them.

    I agree with purrsnswipes’ blog that a single cat can be lonely. It’s one reason why I chose not to have a cat of my own (since the current ‘truce agreement’ at home is only 1 cat allowed; previously it was zero).

  7. Mary said

    For anyone needing a ‘pet’, please, please don’t go to the breeders/pet shops. There are many abandoned and abused animals needing new homes and love. Supporting the many illegal breeders and pet shops is as good as sending these animals to their death for the many kittens/puppies that are not sold, they are sent to AVA to be put down. Info from a inspector who used to work in SPCA.

  8. KXBC said

    Not sure if the rest will agree but I think how much interaction will depend very much on the cat itself.

    Take my cats for example. XX & CC will want to spend the whole day with you if possible. BB seeks petting only when she feels like it. KK wants suckles on your lap at least twice a day. Little lioness YY demands at least half an hour of playtime every night chasing the “fishing rod”. Sometimes we can interact with them as much as we would like also. The good thing is that they have each other for company when we are not around.

  9. Cat said

    I agree with kxbc.

    Beauty needs no more than 10 minutes of me each day. Dim Sum, Carma & Junior comes when they needs attention.

    But Alex, is just high maintenance. He demands for attention, loves hugs & kisses all the time.

    But each day, without fail, the minute I step in the house, the first thing I would do is kiss Beauty, Alex, Carma, Dim Sum & Junior in this order. I would talk to them for next 15-20 minutes, while preparing their dinner, watching them eat & clearing up after them.

    This is to tell Beauty that she is important despite taking in the other cats. Its also to reinforce the hierachy in the house & at the same time giving Beauty the recognition she deserves. She is still the head honcho.

    This is not textbook, but just my way of loving them & keeping order in the house.

  10. calsifer said

    Auntie p:
    I agree with kxbc and Cat. There is no hard and fast rule – it is just like the myth of ‘quality’ time. You can’t say just because you spend a fixed time everyday with your cat, it’s enough and satisfy his/her need, and you’ve fulfilled your obligations. It really depends on how much your cat wants and needs too.

    We have 6, and each wants loving in different settings, and with varying lengths… it varies from day to day for the same cat too. But bottomline, we feel glad they aren’t alone during the day. Even the grouchiest catists, Teddy and Bam Bam, they would do the swagger-walk and show the others who’s boss, and they can’t stand it if the others go near them, but you’ll find them all sleeping near each other everyday, sometimes within a 1metre radius!

  11. auntie p said

    Hey everyone, thanks for the tips! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Among the cats I’ve fostered, I find that those that came to me as kittens became more docile and loved lots of handling and cuddling, or just hanging around me, whereas those that are over 1 yr old (like Jackie) tended to be more independent. Jackie still likes to play a lot though, and can play for hours in the evening (with balls, newspapers, strings, etc.). I guess a playmate would be nice for her.

  12. vegancat said

    Right now, the hair on Mei-mei’s tail is all standing up as she stalks Chinky outside my room. Both came to me by “accident”..not because the rhythm method fails ๐Ÿ™‚ but i had thought i was always a “dog person” and i thought..nothing could replace a “man’s best friend”. I think Chinky, my “first born” would have been just as “happy” if Mei-mei had not stumbled in a year later. However Mei-mei perhaps helps to keep his BMI in check with the occasional wrestling that also woke me up when the performance moves to my bed at 5am! Both are not the lovey-dovey personalities that some of my friends boast of theirs but they are part and parcel of my life now and there would be a vacuum when the time comes for separation (by natural expiration i.e.) I agree that there is no hard-n-fast rules of one cat or two cats. One can be fine and more can also be fine.

  13. Cat said

    Vegancat you are quite right on the BMI factor. Since Carma & Junior joined us, Beauty has had more than enough exercise chasing after those 2. Her weight is now down to her ‘ideal’ BMI as previously prescribed by the vet.

    Now my task is to ensure she keeps her current weight & not lose more!

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  15. Zeus said

    What a very well-written post! Straight to the point and excellent suggestions! I think every new pet owner should read this.

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