I’m sure it’s got to be a rite of passage, in parenting. When your darling little one looks up at you with doe eyes and says, “Mommy, can we get a puppy/kitty/pony/pet unicorn?”
After our beloved lab passed away, I went back and forth between never wanting another pet and wanting one RIGHT NOW. As time passed, I saw the merit in waiting to bring another furry friend into our home. The little ones had some growing up to do, and besides…pet hair. Right??
Well, my oldest is 4 and now the doe eyed conversations happen weekly. My husband and I agreed we would start some research. We understand how big of a responsibility it is to care for a pet, and we never want to treat an animal as though they are here solely for our entertainment. We wanted to make sure we knew what would be compatible for our family and our potential new friend.
First decision was the biggest one: cat or dog? My husband is definitely a dog person (though he likes cats too) and I am just the opposite. We agreed that with our busy-ish lives, that a cat would be better suited for our home at this time. Now what kind of cat?? I am typically a big supporter of “adopt don’t shop”. However, with having small children, we wanted to try ensure that our animal companion will have a gentle temperament, which meant finding a suitable breed and a reputable breeder. I completely understand that there are some very passionate views on this topic, but this is the decision we have made for our family.
The consensus in our house was that a Maine Coon would be the best fit for us and the cat. Referred to as the “cat for dog people”, Maine Coon cats are gentle giants. They naturally play fetch and can be harness trained to walk on a leash. Maine Coon cats are good natured, laid back, and extremely social cats who love interaction with gentle children and other animals.
Next we researched rescues first, then ultimately settled on a reputable breeder in our area. Our little furry bundle of joy will be joining our family the beginning of April. Make sure you feel comfortable with the avenue you choose. Our breeder is very sweet, is always willing to answer questions, and posts weekly updated photos of her kittens. We also had to agree to their contract and place a deposit.
As far as necessary items for your furry friend, it really depends on your animal companion. We asked our breeder for her recommendations on food, cat litter and boxes, grooming, and toys/scratching posts. Maine Coon cats tend to be large and quite active. We had to take this into account when choosing a diet, as well as toys or activity items such as a cat tree.
So far, we have acquired a litter box, litter, a litter scoop, starter food (we plan to transition to a raw diet – I will make a separate post for that), and food/water bowls. We’re researching different cat trees and scratching posts, both those are the next items on our list.
As I learn more, I’ll post more on this adventure. Also I’ll make a separate post on my raw diet research for our kitten.
Do you have pets? Did you get a pet when your children asked? Tell me about your experience!