An image of a person petting a cat.

Drawbacks of Having a Cat

We love cats. And if you’re on this website, chances are high that you do too. But, if you are someone who doesn’t yet own a cat, and is interested in potentially getting one, it is smart to know the disadvantages of owning a cat as well. This will naturally help you form a more educated decision on whether you really want to commit to having a cat or not.

Because let’s be real, as great as pets are, and as many advantages of owning a pet exist, there are also some downsides to each type of pet animal. Fishes for example, require careful maintenance of their tanks and in return are mostly just aesthetic additions to a room. Dogs on the other hand, are hyperactive little things and require love and attention all day long. Birds live extremely long lives and are incredibly smart as well as quite mischievous, in addition to making a mess all over the house. Cats are no different, and for this reason we’ve compiled this list of some of the disadvantages of owning a cat.

Firstly, They Are Very Different from Dogs

Obviously, this is something everyone is aware of. But it is still something worth bringing attention to because to the inexperienced person, a cat might not meet all the expectations they had in store for it. Cats are, by nature, extremely different to dogs and birds. Cats are generally not the sort of pet that will play with you all day long or cuddle with you 24 hours a day. This is a very important distinction to keep in mind because you might have very unrealistic expectations when buying a cat.

If you are someone that doesn’t have time to play with a pet for most of the day, and are instead busy with work or something similar, then a cat would be a great fit for you. If however, you want a pet that is ready to spend time with you whenever you desire, a cat really won’t be what you want. If you’re getting a pet for a young child, a cat is also unlikely to be a great candidate; as said child will most likely treat their new pet as a toy. Cats are best left to their own devices, and only really show affection when they feel like it, so keep that in mind before bringing home a kitty.

Their Refuse Will, Expectedly, Smell

Now, this is something that holds true for any kind of pet you get. Probably more so for birds; as they have no control over their bowel movements and defecate whenever they have to. But you have to keep in mind the size and layout of your house before committing to getting a cat. Their litter will smell, and there really is no way around it. Unless you feel like you can always clean up after them the moment they use the litterbox, whichever room their litterbox is in will smell.

This won’t be a huge problem if your house is large enough that the litterbox can be stashed away out of sight in some corner of the house that rarely sees traffic. But if you live in, say, an apartment, your home will smell no matter what pet you get. And the litterbox will have to be moderately accessible too, else the cat will just make a mess on the floor or even the furniture.

Cat Hair… Cat Hair Everywhere

If you like your suits to be pristine, your cat will see to it that that doesn’t happen. Cats shed their fur a lot. Soon after having brought one home, you’ll begin to notice cat hair everywhere. Now, admittedly, it wouldn’t be too noticeable. But if you were to try and look for cat hair, you would always find some within seconds.

It’ll be on your bed, in between the strands of your carpets and rugs, on the couches, and especially on your clothes if you hold or cuddle the cat even a little bit. It will get to the point where you would stop noticing it but any guests that come over would be quick to point out how much fur is clinging to your shirt. For clothing at least, a sticky roller made specially to deal with this problem can be used to get off the majority of cat hair in a pinch, but just be ready to have cat hair all over everything you own.

Your Cat Will Very Likely Destroy Your Furniture

Cats will always, always claw at soft things. They mostly do this to keep their claws in check and not let them grow too long, but also because they enjoy it. Carpets are commonly clawed at but don’t become too noticeably scratched. Couches and curtains on the other hand, will most definitely tear in multiple places and get gaping holes in them soon enough.

You could get a scratching post for your cat, but good luck getting the cat to use it. Most cats are really difficult to train on the more obscure fronts, which also includes scratching and clawing. Cats are rarely, if ever, take instructions from people. Commands fall on deaf, pointy ears when it comes to cats. So if you’re getting a cat, be ready for scratched sofas, curtains, trousers, and even some doors.

Cats Can Be Very, Very Loud If They Want To

Getting your cat neutered / spayed is almost a necessity. A cat in heat is louder than a wailing banshee. But, neutering / spaying isn’t the end of a cat trying to destroy its vocal cords. Cats do not just meow softly or make calming purring noises. They also mew, whine, and yowl at extremely loud volumes.

It depends on the cat of course. Every cat is different. But ask any cat owner and they will tell you all about how they first learned that cats can make all sorts of noises thought to be exclusive to jet engines and nuclear warheads. And if you are someone that needs their beauty sleep no matter what the cost, you may want to look for a cat that has a reputation of being a quite one, because cats do not follow what we call a normal sleep schedule.

Litter Isn’t the Only Mess Cats Can Make

This is another general rule that applies to all pets, but still one to bring attention to. No matter how well-trained your furry little friend is in the art of using the litterbox, their will undoubtedly be times when they make a mess out of their control. Much like us, cats can get sick for a variety of reasons. It might be something fishy they ate off the floor, or it might just be some food that is refusing to digest properly.

Both sorts of scenarios lead to the cat vomiting. They cannot control this of course, but it is something you should be aware of as you will need to clean it up as soon as possible to prevent any odors from settling in your house. Also, cats have a tendency to cough up furballs. This is an unavoidable consequence of having to lick themselves clean, leading to hair getting clumped up in their stomachs and eventually needing to be vomited out.

A Cat’s Inevitable Death Will Break You

This is, once more, something that applies to all pets. This is also something that goes beyond pets and applies to everyone you love. Death is an unavoidable part of life, and our feline friends have much shorter lifespans than us. Your pet cat will most likely die before you, and that is something you must be emotionally prepared to handle.

Over the years of having a cat, it will become part of your family and you will love it like any other person close to you. In some cases, a pet’s death can even hit harder than a fellow person’s death; owing to the fact that you know the pet was too innocent to properly ever comprehend the concept of death and never knew it would one day cease to be. However, the eventual heartbreak should not be a reason to not get a pet in the first place. Not only would you be significantly improving an animal’s quality of life by incorporating it in to your home, but you must also remember the wise words, “Don’t be sad that it’s over. Be glad that it happened.”

Conclusion

After all of those disadvantages have been discussed, we still strongly hope they weren’t enough to dissuade you from getting a cat. We hope instead that they only make you more prepared to handle a cat and in turn make the two of you get along even better. However, if you have decided that getting a cat might not be the right call, we totally understand and are happy that we could have helped you make a more informed decision.

However, if you are getting a cat, why not read about some of the different breeds of cats and decide which one is right for you? We’ve got posts on Asian cat breeds, the cat breed with the longest life expectancy, short-haired cat breeds, and long-haired cat breeds among many others.