When you a adopt a pet, you save two lives – the one you adopt, and the one who takes its place’.
Rightly said, isn’t it ? June is celebrated as ‘Adopt-A-Cat Month’ worldwide. Around late spring, you may start noticing the births of more and more litters of kittens due to mating season. Because of this sudden abundance of young kitties, animal shelters and rescue organisations often are full of cute new “junior” additions around the time June rolls around.
Check out these helpful tips before you adopt a cat.
- Consider taking home two – Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Cats’ purring has been shown to soothe humans as well as themselves – and they have an uncanny ability to just make you smile.
- Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours –Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. A study from the University of South Australia came up with 5 personality types – Skittishness, Outgoingness, Dominance, Spontaneity, Friendliness. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the cat’s personality with your own.
- Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time – You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption centre on your first visit.
- Make sure everyone in the house is prepared – Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to make a proper introduction.
- Budget for the short and long term costs of a cat – Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip for permanent identification.
- Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives – Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
- Cat-proof your home – A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow).
- Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family – It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded to a single room (with a litter box, food and water, toys, and the cat carrier left out and open with bedding inside) until the cat is used to the new surroundings; this is particularly important if you have other pets. If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.