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Advice on how to become a responsible cat owner.

First published:
15 September 2023
Last updated:

Am I ready for a cat

Having a cat is a big commitment. You should take time to fully consider all aspects of cat ownership.  Understanding the law and your legal duties which apply to cat ownership is very important.

The Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats explains what you need to do to meet the standard of care the law requires. If you are a parent or guardian of a child less than 16 years old, you are responsible for any animal that the child is in charge of.

Our Code of Practice for the Welfare of Cats   

For information on whether you are ready for a cat, visit:

What breed of cat is right for me

There are many breeds and types of cats. Choosing the right one for you can be overwhelming. Don’t choose a cat based on looks alone without researching its behavioural and health needs. Certain breeds of cats may need regular veterinary care due to specific genetic traits and physical mutilations. These factors can potentially lead to complications throughout the cat's lifespan. It is essential to research the breed you are considering to ensure it aligns well with your own lifestyle and needs.

How do I get a cat

Once you have decided you are ready for a cat, you need to consider whether adopting or buying from a reputable breeder is the right thing for you.

If you are adopting from a rescue centre, please use a reputable centre.  Similarly, before you buy from a breeder,  know their licence status. 

Your local authority will have details of licensed breeders.

It is important that kittens stay with their mother for at least the first eight weeks of life. Removing them before this time can have consequences for their behaviour, health and survival.

The Cats Protection checklist (on will help give information on what to look out for. 

More information about adopting or buying can be found at Animal Licensing Wales (on

How do I look after my cat

Under the Animal Welfare Act (on you must be able to meet a cat’s five welfare needs, these are:

  • the need for a suitable environment
  • the need for a suitable diet
  • the need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • the need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals or cats
  • the need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease

Cat microchipping is already available for all cats. Whilst not currently compulsory in Wales, it is good practice for all responsible owners to get their cats microchipped. Even those kept solely indoors in case of escape.

One important consideration to keep in mind is the birth of unplanned kittens. We recommend you consult with your veterinary surgeon before deciding to neuter or breed your cat. More information can be found in our Cat welfare: code of practice and from Cats Protection.

For information on looking after your cat and its needs, visit:

How can I get children involved