Can’t have your own cat? Five ways to get your kitty fix
For some unfortunate cat lovers, it is impossible to have a kitty of one’s own. That doesn’t mean not ever being able to get your kitty fix, however. Cat in a Flat discovers the top five ways to get that all-important cat contact if you can’t adopt a furry friend.
1. If you can’t have a cat, why not try cat sitting
Cat sitting allows you to meet kitties in your area. Looking after someone else’s cat while they are away from home is fun and rewarding. Cat sitting is about so much more than cleaning the litter tray and leaving food. Play, cuddles and quality time are all essential parts of the job. Kitties need attention and interaction to keep calm and happy, and there’s no one better to provide that when their owner is away than a true cat lover. Cat care can consist of daily or twice-daily visits or even an overnight stay for kitties that need more attention and support. If you’re visiting once or twice a day, you should spend 20-40 minutes hanging out with your cat client – so you should have plenty of time to get your kitty fix!
You can state the services you’re willing to provide in your cat sitting profile to make sure the job suits you. Repeat cat bookings are common when carers bond with their kitty clients, so you could make a friend for life by trying cat sitting. And the more familiar you are with a cat, the more likely they are to be affectionate. At the moment, with more people thinking about returning to the office and starting to travel again, cat sitters are in demand, so it’s a great time to try it out if you haven’t already.
2. Meet cats at your local cat cafe
A cat cafe is an establishment that provides food and drink and is home to a clowder of kitties. The trend for cat cafes is relatively new, but most cities now have one or two. At a cat cafe, you can enjoy a coffee and maybe even a slice of cake while being surrounded by lots of furry friends. Most cat cafes discourage visitors from picking up or bothering the resident felines, but there are usually some friendly kitties around who enjoy a stroke.
Many cat cafes, such as Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium in East London, rescue their resident cats from adoption centres and choose them for their gregarious personalities, suited to hospitality. At Lady Dinah’s, their resident cats are also adopted to loving homes as soon as they feel the kitty has had enough time in the cafe. Research your local cat cafe before visiting to make sure it treats its kitties with love, care and respect.
Many pubs, cafes, and bars around the world have a resident cat. You could try a resource such as this Time Out article on London pub cats to see where you might make a new furry friend.
3. Volunteer at a local cat shelter
If you’re looking for a way to get your kitty fix and give back at the same time, consider volunteering at your local shelter. Many cat shelters would benefit from extra support, especially if you have time free during the week when fewer people are free. It is essential to consider that shelters need help with everything from fundraising to marketing and transport, not just cat care. Volunteer jobs such as cleaning out pens and litter trays can be physically challenging, not something anyone can do. But the work is rewarding and helps kitties who need support. If you’re craving your cat fix, contact your local adoption centre and see if there’s anything you can do to help!
4. Find out how to foster a cat or kitten
Most cat shelters are usually on the lookout for people who can foster a cat or kittens. Fostering is when a cat or kittens is placed temporarily into a domestic environment before being adopted into their forever home. It is a vital service for cats who struggle in a shelter environment and find it stressful. Many pregnant cats, kitty mums with young kittens, and shy or anxious cats will be placed into a foster home to give them peace, quiet and security before finding a permanent carer. Fostering could be a great way of caring for a cat temporarily if you can’t have a permanent kitty. Many shelters will provide everything you need to support your new cat charge, though this varies from centre to centre.
Seeing a cat you’ve cared for being adopted might be sound sad, but the vast majority of cat foster parents find the work of supporting vulnerable kitties incredibly satisfying and rewarding.
5. Indulge in all your favourite cat books, films, video clips, blogs and magazines to get your kitty fix!
For some cat lovers, sadly, none of these options will be possible. Luckily, the world is full of kitty obsessives who want to write, film, paint and talk about our furry friends. Read Cat in a Flat’s articles about the best cat films and books to get your kitty fix from culture. Or browse the Cat in a Flat blog for more fascinating articles on kitty behaviour and care – and plenty of gorgeous pictures of cats. There are dozens of YouTube channels and social media accounts dedicated to the worship of Mr Whiskers too. Cat in a Flat’s community of cat lovers on Instagram is an excellent place to start for lots of lovely photos of our kitty clients.
Find out more about why you might need a cat sitter on the Cat in a Flat blog. One thing to consider at the moment is managing your cat’s stress if you’re returning to the office as lockdown eases. Find out more about managing your cat’s separation anxiety in this article.