By Wang Haisha
College life can sometimes be lonely and dull, even more so for international students away from home for the first time. What better way is there than to spend time with an adorable and “purfect” feline friend? If you have ever thought about getting a cat or are seriously considering it, here are some instructions to make sure you and your “new friend” can be happy together.

1) Discuss this with your family
It’s crucial that you talk about this with your family. I realize that some students will go back to their families after graduating. Although the cat is with you, it also affects everyone around you. It’s important that the people in your family accept this feline companion of yours. Otherwise it might end up living on the streets. This would be heart-breaking for both you and the cat. So please be responsible, I can’t stress this enough. Communicate with your family and make sure the kitty can be properly loved as a member of the family.

2) Getting ready
Before taking a cat into your home, always make sure to check with your landlord and get permission first. This can avoid some future conflicts over the pet. A cat is a fairly easy pet to look after. Besides the obvious cat food and cat litter, all you have to prepare are these things: food/water bowl (preferably made of china), a litter box for the cat to dispose of its waste, brushes to groom your cat, and a basket to carry your cat in (like going to the vet).

3) Choosing your cat
Once you’re ready, it’s time to choose your lovely cat who will keep you company for a long time.
Although you can buy them from breeders or dealers (whether in actual pet stores or online), it’s strongly recommended that you rescue a kitty from local shelters. Indeed, why should you buy one when there are hundreds of them in animal rescue societies? The shelters usually always have cats available. And as for choosing? I’d say go with your gut instinct. You don’t have to rush, pick the kitty that makes your heart melt. You’ll know when you see him/her.

4) Health issues
Make sure your cat is properly vaccinated, de-wormed, de-flead, spayed/neutered, and microchipped. Although this could cost around 100 euros, it is healthy for both you and your cat. This should already have been taken care of if you’re getting a cat from the shelters or breeders.

Once your dream cat has set foot in your house, and though you badly want to hug or play with him/her, please don’t. Cats are cautious creatures and are vulnerable to changes in the environment. It’s best to confine your cat to one room for the first couple of days. Wait patiently until he/she comes out and interacts with you, then you will know he/she is ready. After that everything should be golden. You will find that your cat has the most curiosity— he/she is likely to suspect everything in the house— and that’s what makes them so darn cute and interesting. Spend some time and play with him/her. Although different cats have different personalities, at the end of the day, I’m sure you will learn and embrace him/her. Because even if you show your cat the slightest sign of love, he/she will return that love and love you as if you were his/her entire world.


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