If You Want To Adopt A Cat, What Steps Should You Take?

Those of you who subscribe to this website certainly don’t need this information, as you most likely already have a cat. If you come upon this post because you want to adopt a cat and don’t quite know where to begin, this information might help.

Can You Make The Commitment?

two cats in a cage

Your very first consideration requires some serious thought. A cat, as a living creature, deserves to occupy a place in your household as a family member. After all, taking on a cat assumes you will accept the responsibilities going with that choice.

For the lifetime of the cat, you need to provide healthy food, a safe place to live, love and companionship, and veterinary care when necessary. Discuss having a cat with the other folks who live in your home, as you will need to share this commitment.

Have You Decided On The Age Of The Cat?

Do you want a kitten? Kittens can charm you and make you laugh, but they also require much time and attention. If you have the time to spend with them, it does not hurt to have two young kittens who can play together and grow up together.

Two kittens will help with their socialization, as they have each other to play with. If they want to have mock battles, better with each other than with your hands or feet. Also, they may learn from each other through observation and imitation, making your job easier.

kitten in dog dish with litter

If you have children, make sure they understand that the kitten is still a child as well, and might have lots to learn. They should learn that the baby needs handling in small doses until it gets a bit older, and that the kitten may scratch because it doesn’t understand yet how to play gently.

Would an older cat be a better choice? A senior cat for a senior citizen is often a good choice. The cat will not require so much time and attention, and may prove to love to cuddle. A cat who has a little less energy due to mature age might just fit the bill perfectly.

Check The Shelters First

A shelter is a great place to select a cat, as these cats all need to find good homes. If the shelter has a no-kill policy, at least the cat will have a longer chance to be selected for a forever home. Often the facility will have many beautiful cats of all ages available for you to consider.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, every year shelters euthanize 2.7 million animals. Your adoption of one cat isn’t much, but one life is saved and space made for a new resident.

If you must look for a specific breed, check for breed rescue organizations, as they may have just the right small furry bundle you need.

kittens in cage; adoption info

When you select a shelter cat, the facility usually takes care of spaying or neutering, gives the initial shots, and has a clearance exam performed by a veterinarian. If the cat has any health issues, the shelter has most likely already begun addressing the problem.

If you can spend some quiet time with a number of cats and let the cat pick you, that is quite helpful. If there are multiple kittens and you want to pick one, sit quietly and let the kitten come to you. If you are chosen, consider yourself lucky.

When I got my Carlos at the Kodiak, AK shelter, I’d about decided to take him. I stood at the tall counter in the office with my arms laid across it. Carlos, who was a “trusty” and had the run of the place, jumped on the counter, laid down between my arms, and started purring.

Of course, I took him home. He was the best cat I’ve ever had. (And I’ve had lots of wonderful kitties.)

If you’re choosing a second cat, read this post for helpful suggestions to aid the adjustment.

Consider The Cost Of Choosing A Cat

You will need to budget for short- and long-term expenses. For starters, you will need a litter box and some litter, food and water bowls, a good-quality cat food, scratching posts, a soft bed, and a brush for grooming. A toothbrush and nail clippers will also help.

Long-term expenses will include veterinary care. Choose your vet and schedule a visit shortly after you adopt. If you choose a shelter cat, chances are you won’t have to take care of spaying or neutering, or the first shots. Ask the vet what additional care the cat might need.

The vet should do a full exam, to ensure that kitty has no existing physical problems. Have your cat microchipped, if the procedure did not get done at the shelter. It’s a great idea to have some way to identify the cat if he runs away, so that you might get him back again.

Great Lessons In Responsibility For Children

child with black & white cat

Not only can a cat be entertaining for a child, but it can teach children how to behave responsibly so the cat does not become injured or frightened. Parental instruction becomes most important when children learn the proper way to treat a small animal.

Children also learn that the cat has needs, too. Regular meals become part of the routine. By feeding the cat, child and cat may form a bond. Playing together forms another. Such chores as cleaning the litter box can also fall into the tasks a youngster might learn.

Hopefully all family members will interact to some degree with kitty, and the love can be passed around.

Save A Life And Stock Up On Love

When you adopt a homeless kitty, you can feel proud that you have not only saved a life, but added a new dimension of pleasure to your own life. Play with your cat daily and get to know her well. In time, kitty will bond with you and give back unconditional love.

That’s a commodity that is often scarce in this world, and kitty can help fill the lack. Enjoy the process of selecting a new cat family member and interacting with him when you bring him home.

References I used for this post:

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