Adopting a cat is a very exciting stage in a pet parent’s life. Not only are you getting a new feline friend to share your home with, you are also giving a cat a forever home that they desperately need and deserve. It is usually quite a simple process of adopting a cat. Most of the time you can choose your cat, and after filling out some paperwork and paying a small fee, your new fur baby can home with you right away! But there are a few things to think about before you adopt. Read on to find out the top 10 things you need to know before you adopt a cat.
1. How to adopt a cat
First things first, how do you adopt a cat? You can usually search online to find a feline friend in a shelter that is local to you. These websites will tell you all about the cute cats they have available and how to get in contact if you are interested in adopting. Once you have chosen your kitty, head down to the shelter to visit your new pal! The shelters will help you decide if your cat is the right fit for you and you will be able to find out about the cat and what sort of care they will require. Cats that are living in a shelter will be well looked after by volunteers and should have all their injections up to date, as well as flea medication and sometimes they are neutered too (this is healthier for your cat).
2. Are you the right fit?
It’s important to learn about your cat’s history and what their needs are. Some adopted cats can be nervous in certain situations, like around children or other pets. Make sure you know if you are the right pet parent for them. Is your home suitable for them? Can you take care of their needs? What sort of cat do you think you can be a parent to? It’s important that you choose your pet carefully, for the benefit of both of you.
3. Being ready to adopt a cat
Are you ready to adopt? Taking on a new pet is a big commitment. These cats are desperate for a forever home and a lot of them have had a bad start in life. Make sure you are ready for that commitment. Cats can live for many years so you need to take stock of your life and where you will be in 5, 10, or maybe even 15 years’ time. Your pet will be part of your family and you need to factor in what that means for your life. Of course, we can’t control where life takes us all the time, but the last thing these cute little fur babies need is to be put back into a shelter.
4. Handling an adopted cat
As we briefly discussed before, adopted cats may have certain characteristics that have developed from their history. They may be shy, nervous, or may have medical needs. You will need to gain their trust too. Be patience and calm around them and make sure they come to you. Make each encounter they have with you a positive one.
5. The cost of caring for a cat
Are you ready financially to take care of a cat? Although the initial adoption fee may have been small, have you considered the future costs? You will need to pay for food, medical care, insurance, grooming products, a bed, and toys to name a few items. Of course, this can all be affordable, but it is important to consider whether you can support both of you in the future.
6. Settling your new cat into your home
The adoption process can be very quick, but the settling in may take more time. Your cat will need to adjust to their new surroundings, so make sure you are patient with them. Get them a good scratching post and a cozy bed for them to snuggle up on (after all, cats do spend most of the day having a good snooze). Let them explore your home without pestering them too much. They may hide at first, so give them a bit of time. If you’re worried about them not coming out, you can always convince them with a treat and pet them to show that they are in a safe place.
7. Caring for a cat
Although cats are fairly self-sufficient, you will need to be prepared for the responsibility and day to day tasks of taking care of a cat. They will need feeding each day and depending on what breed they are, you may have to groom them occasionally. To keep them entertained and exercised, get them a selection of toys and posts to play with. Even a cardboard box will do the trick to keep them amused. They will also require a certain level of attention and petting, depending on how affectionate they are.
8. Understanding cat behavior
Cats can sometimes be difficult to read, especially those with a past. They will usually love attention and petting, but don’t be surprised if they suddenly decide that they have received enough attention and give you a little swipe with their paw. Some cats may not like being touched on their belly or ears like some other cats do, so be mindful when petting them. It’s also important to give them space to themselves. Unlike dogs, cats like to be on their own sometimes. You will find them hiding in strange places sometimes or finding new places to nap, so if you can’t find them, look in the wardrobe or behind the sofa (or look up if you have beams or high shelves).
9. Time and patience
Adopted pets require time and patience. When you first settle them in, will you have time to be there for them and get them used to their surroundings while in your company? You will have quite a lot of freedom when it comes to having a cat in the family, as they like to nap a lot of the time and explore by themselves; but remember to keep toys out for entertainment and their food and water ready for when they need it if you’re going out for a while. You will find after a while your cat might like to greet you at the door, too, which is a very cute welcome home!
10. Your life will change for the better
It is a wonderful feeling to adopt rather than shop. An adopted cat will give you a lot of love and companionship in return for giving them a forever home. Your cat will provide entertainment as well as comfort and affection. If you love watching funny cat videos online, get ready for regular, live funny cat moments that are simply priceless.
To summarize, adoption requires a bit of thought beforehand but is a wonderful thing to do. You will need love, compassion, patience, enough money to take care of both of you in the future, and a suitable home where your new fur baby can live out a happy life.