New year means new laws adding more responsibility for cat owners

cat feline
(Pixabay photo)

47% of individuals in the Midwestern United States own a cat, according to research conducted by Joybird. There have been big changes in the law regarding cat ownership in Illinois this year, with $200 fines due to be issued to owners who fail to vaccinate and register their felines. Therefore, it’s important you take steps to keep your pet healthy and that you take your cat owner role seriously.

Meeting your pet’s needs 

Cat owners spend an average of $915 a year on their feline friend, according to USA Today. Some items you’ll need to purchase, such as a bed, will last your kitty a lifetime. Whereas, your cat will regularly require other items, including, cat food and litter. Clay cat litter should be replaced at least twice a week for hygiene reasons. Therefore, you’ll need an ample supply of cat litter in your home. And don’t forget to purchase a pet carrier for those important vet check-ups, as well as flea and worming treatments for optimum protection against mites.

Sharing the love 

67% of pet owners consider their pet to be their ‘fur baby’. With cats and owners having such a special bond, you may think that the perfect gift for your parents this Christmas would be a cat so that they can enjoy the benefits of pet ownership too. However, the ASPCA advises that pets should only be given as a gift when the recipient has expressed an interest in obtaining a pet and when they have the free time to provide love and attention to him or her. So before choosing a moggy as a gift, get the intended recipient to spend time with your cat, talk to them about the cost and care you have to give them and ask them outright if they wish to become a cat parent.

Owner responsibility 

In August, it was announced that as of January cat owners must register and vaccinate their cats against rabies. Registration will cost $8 per year or $20 for 3 years’ cover. Meanwhile, rabies shots will cost between $20 and $40. As January is just around the corner, it’s important that you arrange for your cat to be vaccinated against this disease and that you stay on top of your pet’s shots. Another responsibility to factor in is your cat’s grooming needs. Certain breeds, such as Ragdolls, need brushing twice a week and you’ll need to clean up all the fur they shed daily, too.

As a cat owner, it’s important that you take your ownership role seriously. Therefore, ensure you adhere to Illinois’ new pet laws, can provide everything that your cat needs both physically and emotionally, and carefully consider the impact of gifting a cat to any of your loved ones.

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