Becoming A Cat Guardian: Are You Truly Ready?

becoming a cat guardian

Cats are great companions. If you’ve been thinking about getting a cat, there are a few things to consider.  How do you know if you are up to the task of becoming a cat guardian?  Just because you want one, doesn’t necessarily mean you are ready for one.

Having a cat is definitely a rewarding experience, but it is also a responsibility, and not one to be taken lightly.  Thanks to, here are a few things to consider before becoming a cat guardian:

Are You Ready To Handle Issues That Might Arise As Your Cat Grows?

becoming a cat guardian
Behavorial issues may arise as your cat matures.

Do you love kittens? Are you genuinely obsessed with them? We get it. Those adorable little puff balls are so cute and lovable. However, they grow up quickly and soon you will be dealing with an adult-sized cat, complete with adult-sized cat issues. Are you ready for that? If not, you might want to hold off on getting a cat.

Are You Financially Able To Care For A Cat?

becoming a cat guardian
If a pet emergency arises, evaluate whether your budget can handle the unexpected expense

Do you barely live paycheck to paycheck? You may be ready for cats in all other ways but when it comes to finances, this could be holding you back. Cats cost money and you will need to factor in health care costs into your monthly budget.

You will also need to put aside some funds for those unexpected, “rainy day” type of events that will most likely occur at some point with your cat, such as an emergency vet bill.  Inquire of other cat owners first as to what they spend on routine items such as food, litter, litter boxes, toys, bowls, etc., and then determine if these costs are compatible with your income.

What Are Your Expectations In A Cat?

becoming a cat guardian
Each cat has his own personality

Do you fully understand your expectations in a cat?  In other words, do you want one that acts like a dog and comes running to you every time you come home and who will cuddle with you on the couch? Each cat is unique and you can’t predict what type of personality yours will have.  Are you ready to accept your cat for who he is?

Will Your Schedule Allow Time To Bond With Your Cat?

becoming a cat guardian
It’s important to set aside time for one on one time with your cat

How often are you at home? Cats, as compared to dogs, may appear to be on the lower end of the maintenance scale, but that is not good thinking on behalf of your cat.

Your cat needs your time, love and attention, especially in those first few weeks when you bring him home.  You will need to be around to help him adjust to his new environment and make him comfortable with his surroundings.

On a daily basis, your cat still needs your attention, love and regular playtime. If you cannot provide that, re-think your decision about getting a cat.

Are You Willing To Make A Lifelong Commitment?

becoming a cat guardian
It’s important to view the relationship with your cat as a lifelong commitment

Finally, how committed are you to getting a cat and maintaining a relationship with him?  Cats are known for their longevity, and some can live into their 20s.  Where do you see yourself in the long-term?

If a cat is not in the picture down the road, you might want to consider adopting a senior cat. There are plenty of them out there that need loving homes.


Becoming a cat guardian can be a very rewarding experience.  It’s important to honestly answer all the questions above before adding one to your family.

If you can’t truthfully answer yes to all of the questions above, that’s a good indicator the timing isn’t right.

There are ways to interact with cats, though, if you can’t commit to becoming a cat guardian now:

  • Shelters and rescues welcome volunteers to work with cats in their care to increase chances of being adopted.
  • If you’re lucky enough to have a cat cafe in your town, visit as a customer, or ask if they have job openings.

When you are ready to get a cat, please adopt rather than shop for one.  There are many cats looking for good homes!

Have you recently added a cat to your family?  Leave a comment and let us know how becoming a cat guardian has impacted your life. We’d love to hear from you!


Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.