15 Important Things You Should Know Before Getting a Cat

By John Cruz

Last Updated:

So, you’re considering the idea of getting a cat?

That’s what we were thinking about a year ago when all this coronavirus craziness started.

We had zero experience, and super basic knowledge about cats led to many surprises.

So, I want to share several vital things you should know before getting a cat because I’m sure some of you might end up regretting it.

On the other hand, some of you might end up loving it and will probably get a shirt that says “cat dad” or something.

Whatever you do is up to you, but at the very least, I want to tell you some critical things you must know about cats, so you don’t act surprised.

Tell the cat people you are dealing with to hold their horses, and you’ll get back to them as soon as you are done reading this post.

Things You Should Know Before Getting a Cat


You should know several things before getting a cat, and although I wanted to keep it to a few, the list got longer as I recalled all of them.

I find each of them just as important, so I couldn’t leave any of them out.

If I did, you might end up making one of the not-so-great choices in your life.

So, should you get a cat?

Here are the things you must know about cats, and I hope this helps make your final decision.

Some people are just not cut out to be cat owners, so we shall see if you are one of them.

1. Cats Aren’t Like You See on TV


TV gives you the most significant misunderstanding about cats.

And I don’t mean just your actual TV but everything else you see on Youtube, TikTok, Facebook, or wherever else you get your fix of cat videos.

Not all cats are cuddly and friendly as you see on TV.

In fact, most cats keep to themselves and don’t want your crazy paws on them.

They’ll want the occasional cat rub, but they don’t want you petting them while you watch your next episode of Outer Banks.

Sure, there’s the debate on whether cats like to be petted, but don’t expect much from them if you think they’re going to be like their feline counterpart.

2. Cats Aren’t Dogs


Fetch boy!

That’s the kind of thing you say to a dog, and unless you have the cat in the Chevy commercial, don’t expect them to retrieve any sticks.

They don’t require the same attention dogs need, and as I mentioned earlier, some might not want you to touch them.

Cats don’t usually go on walks, although I do recommend you give that a try.

Our cats don’t go outside at all.

So, try taking your future cat on a walk, and let me know how that goes.

3. Cats Shed Hair Like Crazy

Grab your Dyson because you will need it a lot more once you become the owner of a new cat.

I knew cats and dogs shed lots of hair, but I didn’t think they shed as much as our cats do.

I mean, there is fricken cat hair all over the place.

There’s hair on the floor (which we can’t see), there’s hair on our furniture, and there’s hair on our clothes.

Whatever is in a cat’s path will have hair, and I can not stand it.

It reminds me of when I used to see people with pet hair on them and how I didn’t think it would happen to us.

Well, guess what?

It happens to us, everyone else, and yes, it will happen to you too.

4. Cats Do the Petting

Cats need attention, but not like a dog.

They don’t want you coming up to them and telling them how good of a girl or boy they are.

They will come up to you and rub their body all over your legs.

It’s a weird feeling at first, but you eventually get used to it.

Cats usually do this because they want something, and it’s most likely because they want food or you, their future owner, to clean their litter box.

5. A Cat’s Purr is Not What You’re Thinking

Cats purr and meow, but the purring caught me off guard.

When I hear the word purr, I think of a soft, higher-pitched sound close to a meow.

Well, it’s not.

I like to think of it as an engine of some sort that rumbles and sounds crazy.

It caught me off guard, and I didn’t know how to react when I heard our cat purr.

Don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard a cat’s purr because it’s something not everyone can experience unless you own a cat.

There are other cat sounds they make, but cat purring is one of those things you must know about cats.

6. Cats NEED to be Fixed (Spayed or Neutered)

Once again, we got surprised.

Our cats made some crazy sounds, and it wasn’t meowing or purring.

This was a crazy, crying kind of sound that freaked me out.

It almost sounded like a baby’s cry, but it was loud, and we could not stop it from making that sound.

With some help from Google, I figured out the problem and immediately scheduled an appointment to get our cat spayed.

Getting your cat spayed helps with that crazy sound and reproduction, which I will get to a little later on this list.

There are several other reasons to get your pet spayed or neutered, but this is probably the biggest one of them all, at least when it comes to cats.

7. Cats Know Where to Go


Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to be potty trained.

They know what they’re doing, and they don’t need you to show them how to use the bathroom.

All they need is for us humans to provide an excellent spot for them to get rid of their waste, and it usually comes in the form of a litter box.

As much as I have reasons why you should not get a cat, knowing that I didn’t have to house train a cat made me get a cat.

If a low-maintenance pet is on your list of wants, then a cat might be what you need.

8. Cats Will Scratch Everything


I hope you hate your furniture or your skin because cats will scratch them.

I’m not saying they will attack you, but they will react as a typical cat does and scratch whatever it is that they deem scratchable.

This consists of couches, doors, carpets, office chairs, and sometimes even your leg within a standard household.

To prevent this, you want to get them a nice scratchpad/post or a cat tree equipped with one.

These are two amazing things to purchase if you do decide to get a cat, as this will give your cats a lot to do and prevent them from ripping your couch apart.

9. Cats React Naturally


I mention this not to showcase a cat’s reflexes but to warn you about your skin.

If you are trying to get a cat off your couch, remember that they will react the way any living mammal would.

They will try to grab ahold of something, and sometimes it will be your skin.

Yup, they will grab you, and you will be left with a nice wound that had you looking like you fought with a cat.

I’ve gotten scratched all over my body, and it’s because I didn’t think about a cat’s natural reaction.

So, be aware of this or be prepared to get clawed.

10. Cats Reproduce Like Crazy


Oh, he’s so cute, It is excellent when it’s one or two, but it’s a nightmare when there’s a lot of them.

If you don’t plan on getting your cat fixed, you need to make sure you keep them away from the opposite sex.

On top of the crazy noise, I mentioned earlier, getting your cat fixed will help produce more cats.

And, if you don’t know about cats and reproduction, they will reproduce extremely fast.

By the time you know it, you will have a bunch of cats that you don’t know what to do with.

11. Cats Don’t Need a Bath


I was ten years old when I found out that cats don’t need a bath.

Our neighbors gave my friends and me some kittens, and we decided that they needed a bath.

That was a bad idea.

These little balls of fur popped their claws out and let us know that putting them in water was something they weren’t going to allow.

Some people bathe their cats, and some don’t.

Some cats are cool with it, and others aren’t.

According to some cat experts, cats don’t need to take a bath.

I did experience firsthand what cats can do when you try to bathe them and it wasn’t pretty.

12. You Might Be Allergic to Cats


You don’t want to be that person who gets everything for your cat to find out that you or someone in your household is allergic to cats.

It happens a lot, and then the cat has to be returned to sender.

You can do a skin-prick test or take a cat and play with it for a few minutes.

I’m no cat expert, and those are the only two options I can think of.

13. Cats Are Up at Night


Knowing that cats will be moving about at night is one of the more essential things you should know before getting a cat.

Some people get cats and freak out when they hear all kinds of sounds in their living room.

Don’t be alarmed, as cats are one animal that does their thing at night.

They could be acting like a big cat and trying to find dinner, or they’re probably feeling the freedom of its owner and their spray bottle.

There can be many things to consider, but there are legit reasons why cats are awake at night.

For us, we decided to get two cats, so we experienced the cat 500.

Our cats were chasing each other around the house like crazy, and they were running at incredible speeds.

We were in shock at first, but now, we’re used to that stinking cat behavior.

14. Cats Climb


I like to use this as a reminder because some people forget that they’re getting a cat.

That animal that has claws and likes to climb on things.

So, if you don’t plan on getting a cat tree, expect to find them on top of your closets and shelves.

Then again, you’ll find them on there regardless.

15. Cats Like Bags


I don’t care what kind of bag it is. A cat will get in and might not want to come out.

Whether it’s a plastic bag from the grocery store or a paper bag, a cat will get in it.

I thought that’s where the “the cat’s in the bag” thing comes from but, it might be from dealing with getting your cat in a carrier.

I’m not sure about that one, and I’m a bit lazy to find out why, so you can do it or be lazy like me.

These Are the Things You Should Know Before Getting a Cat

I’m sure I can think of many other things to add to this list, but I have to go and feed my cats.

Until I give this post an update, I hope these things you should know before getting a cat have helped you in one way or another.

So, if you’re still contemplating on getting a cat or not, I hope you can see the pros and cons that come with taking on the responsibility of owning a cat.

I think my decisions would’ve been different had I learned about these things, but I’m glad I can at least help you with your pet hunting needs.

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Now, you tell me.

Will you be getting a cat?

Do you have anything you want to share on things you should know before getting a cat?

We’d like to hear it, so please do share.


About the author

With four humans of his own, John is our parenting expert. He loves being a dad, and when he's not trying to work on his golf game, you'll find him at his kid's soccer games or at the mall with his kids.

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