This is a new service I started in 2020. I like to think of it as preventive behaviour therapy: by getting my advice early you can prevent future behaviour problems from developing.
It is hard to resist temptation when you see a couple of cute kittens or an adorable cat, but once you have a cat it is for life! Thinking things through really pays off in the longer term as you can make a more informed decision. This is where my experience and knowledge come in: I have the expertise to help you and your home get ready for your feline friend.
Who is this for?
Anyone who is thinking about adopting a cat, getting a kitten from a breeder or about rehoming their own cat (which is an incredibly difficult decision, but sometimes in your cat’s best interest).
Why should I book an appointment?
Many people believe that cats are easy pets, and up to a point they are. However, you will need to make some lifestyle changes and changes in your home to accommodate their needs. Cats need to be able to climb, for example. If your cat cannot go outside, or you don’t want them to, then you’ll need to provide for this inside. Keeping indoor cats happy is generally more work than cats that go outside or have both indoor and outdoor access. You will need to spend time playing with them, every day and preferably multiple times a day. This is especially true for kittens! In addition, kittens still need to learn a lot and problems such as litter tray issues or nighttime vocalisation are not uncommon.
What do I offer?
I offer help with and advice on a variety of topics, such as:
* Why do you want a cat?
* What is your home situation like: are you single or do you live with a partner or flatmates? Do you have children? Do you have other pets?
* How do you prepare for the arrival of your cat, a.k.a. catify your home?
* Should you adopt a kitten or adult cat?
* Should you go to a shelter or a breeder?
* Do you want a specific breed and if so, why this breed? Does the breed suit your lifestyle? What to look for when finding a breeder?
* Questions to ask the breeder before committing to a cat or kitten
* If you already have a cat, why do you want a second one? Would this really be the best for both your current cat and the new one? What if it they do not get along?
* How to introduce your cats?
* Your cat seems unhappy after a change in its environment, for example moving home or death of its feline companion. What should you do to help them?
I can help you find the right solution and increase chances of successful adoption of a new cat or a smooth transition to a new home.
My own cat Dirk was a rescue cat. I had just bought my own home and had always wanted a cat. However, I still took some time to decide whether I’d be up for it. I knew that the cat might destroy my new furniture, the cat would be alone during the day as I was single at the time. Spur of the moment holidays or weekends away are also slightly more complicated when you have a pet. And of course, what if the cat is not happy living in an apartment without outdoor access?
I thought about it for a few months and decided the company of a cat meant a lot to me so I was willing to accept potential damage to the furniture. I had a back-up plan as well: if the cat was not happy with me, my parents said they would take the cat and it would then be able to roam outside as well as stay indoor if the cat wanted to. And I decided not to get a kitten, because a) it would be home alone for long periods during the day, and b) there are plenty of lovely adult cats in rescue centres desperate for a home.
I got all the necessary supplies and then went to pick a cat. Obviously that is not how it went at all. There were so many cats in the rescue centre and all of them in the same play area that it was incredibly difficult to decide. Some kept climbing all over me and meowing in my face, they would clearly not cope well with being home alone during the day. But they also made finding the right cat difficult: try and focus on something when you have two cats in your face!
And then there he was: in the middle of the playpen, sitting contentedly and just looking at me. I went to pick him up and he started purring immediately. He’d been in the rescue centre for several months and had had some health problems while he was there. Nothing was known about his history except he wasn’t neutered when he arrived and the vet guesstimated he was between 2-4 years old. And he was perfect!
I’ll never forget when the volunteers put him inside the cat carrier and told him he was going home 🙂