5 Ways to Turn Your Obsession with Cats Into an Actual Job
We’ve all heard the saying, “Follow your passion and the money follows,” but what if your passion is cats? If you’ve ever wondered how you can take your passion and turn it into your life’s work, here are 6 ways to earn a living as a cat lover.
One of the top choices for people who love working with animals is to become a veterinarian. It’s an immensely rewarding career because people entrust you with the health and well-being of their beloved furry companions.
To become a veterinarian, you’ll need a bachelor's degree that’s heavy in science courses. From there, you can apply to a veterinary school to complete a 4-year Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine.
While it’s a long time to be in school, the good news is that the U.S. Department of Labor reports that employment opportunities for veterinarians are expected to grow by 36% from 2010 to 2020.
2. Veterinary Technician or Veterinary Assistant
If you’d prefer to be in school for less time, you might be interested in becoming a veterinary technician or veterinary assistant. Both jobs give you the opportunity to work closely with cats.
A veterinary technician works under the supervision of a veterinarian to perform duties such as preparing pets for surgery, running lab tests, and assisting with treatments. If you choose this career path, you’ll need to complete a postsecondary program in veterinary technology, which is usually 2-years in length. You’ll also need to be registered, licensed, or certified, depending on which state you live in.
A veterinary assistant’s job duties may include cleaning pet areas, feeding and exercising pets, as well as administrative duties to help customers. Many colleges offer comprehensive training programs that can be completed in under a year. As well, some employers are willing to offer on the job training for the right person.
3. Cat Sitter
Finding a good cat sitter is tough to do. I can attest to that as many of the pet sitters we’ve had weren’t cat people and thus, didn’t quite understand my cat’s little quirks. If you get along famously with cats and love the idea of being your own boss, consider starting your own cat sitting business.
To stand out as a responsible and reputable cat sitter, you might want to take animal first aid and CPR courses. You’ll also want to get liability insurance and make sure you’re bonded if that’s a requirement in your state.
You can get the word out on your cat sitting business by making yourself visible in your community. You could post flyers at local veterinary offices, animal adoption clinics, and pet stores. You can also build your business by offering your services to friends and family. It’s a great way to get references and build your business through word of mouth.
4. Cat Writer, Author or Blogger
If you’re passionate about writing and you love cats, then put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and become a cat writer. Share your passion for cats in print or online. You never know where it might take you.
Take Kate Benjamin for example. In 2008, she started her blog, Moderncat.com, to share her favorite design finds for cat lovers. Since then, she has expanded her blog to encompass a design studio, a distribution business and Hauspanther, an online magazine for design-conscious cat people.
Writing about cats is so popular that there’s even a Cat Writer’s Association (CWA) to help you network and find opportunities to get published. Membership in CWA is only $30 a year and there’s an associate membership level for people who are new to the business.
5. Thinking Outside of the Cat Box
If none of these conventional career paths appeal to you, start thinking outside of the kitty box for ways to earn your living as a cat lover. Your ideal cat calling might not even exist yet.
Maybe television is where you’ll shine, like cat whisperer, Jackson Galaxy. Perhaps, you’re in tune with what cats are trying to tell us, like pet psychic, Sonya Fitzpatrick. Or if you're an artist, maybe you’ll want to share your talents by creating cat portraits, crafting cat jewelry, or even hand-painting cat feeders.
Your purrfect cat career is just around the corner and a cat’s hunting instincts may be your best guide. Focus in on what you want, spend time getting ready, start moving your paws and then take the leap to pounce on opportunity!