Cat Adoption Basics
Cat adoption can be a fun and exciting experience. After all, most of us have fond memories of bringing a new pet into our home. And, for those who will be owning a pet for the very first time, cat ownership can seem like a new and exciting adventure.
But the course of cat ownership doesn’t always run smoothly. Especially for those who don’t take the time to give cat adoption some thought, and take a few simple steps to prepare.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to make the cat adoption experience an easy and enjoyable one, for both you and your new cat.
Adopt from a Local Animal Shelter
We have all seen it. Someone on the side of the road (or in the parking lot of a local grocery store) will have a box full of cute and adorable kittens that they are giving away. For some of us, the sight is too tempting not to at least stop and look. And, from there, it can be just one small step to taking one of these adorable balls of fur home.
But resist the temptation. It can be hard to keep a clear head in the face of all the cuteness. And this method of “cat adoption” can seem easier and more hassle-free than some other options. But there are all sorts of benefits to adopting your new cat from a local animal shelter.
For one, cats in animal shelters are usually very well cared for. They are examined by a veterinarian, who will make sure they are healthy, and not suffering from any “hidden” illnesses or conditions. And shelter cats are usually given vaccinations against the most common—and, in some cases deadly—feline ailments and diseases.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Many local animal shelters will spay or neuter your cat for free, a procedure that could cost a pretty penny if you had to pay for it yourself. Some shelters will have even started—and maybe completed—a cat’s litter box training before you take them home.
This is stuff you just won’t get (or, at least, can’t be sure of) when you adopt a kitten on the side of the road.
An Adult Cat or a Kitten?
This is one of the most important questions a person contemplating cat adoption has to ask themselves. Should you adopt a kitten? Or would you be better off adopting an adult cat?
Well, kittens are cute, there’s no doubt about that. They are also playful, energetic, and fun to be around. But you have to remember that kittens aren’t kittens for long. So if your only reason for wanting a kitten is the cuteness factor, you should consider all of the benefits of adopting an adult cat.
If you want to lead a quieter, more sedate life, an extremely energetic kitten might not be the best choice for you. On top of that, you won’t really know what kind of temperament a kitten will have once it becomes a full grown cat.
With an adult cat, their temperament and personality is already established. The chances of them changing much from the way they are now are pretty slim. So, during your visit to your local animal shelter, spending a little time around an adult cat will give you a very good idea of what they will be like in the coming years.
However, kittens are hard to resist. And, if you do decide to adopt a kitten, be prepared for lots of energy, and temperament changes.
Cat Proofing Your Home
Just as you have to baby proof your home when your little one learns how to crawl, you should also cat proof your house. So, before you bring home a new cat, give your house a thorough looking over. You might be surprised by some of the potential dangers you spot.
Are you a plant lover? Well, some cats love nibbling on plant leaves. Unfortunately, many plants are toxic to cats. So do a little research to find out if any of your plants will pose a danger to your new cat. You might have to either get rid of some of your plants, or hide them away in a place where your cat can’t get to them.
Electrical cords are another potential danger. If your cat discovers an exposed electrical cord, they just might decide it looks like it would be fun to give it a nibble. So you need to find ways to hide and conceal such cords. You can even find covers for your electrical cords that no cat, no matter how sharp their teeth might be, could ever chew through.
Preparing Your Cats New Home
Once you have made sure your home is cat proof, it is time to make sure your cat has all of the basic cat essentials. These essentials include a kitty litter box, a warm and cozy place for them to sleep, and dishes for food and water. For the latter, choose stainless steel food and water dishes that won’t tip over and leave you with a messy spill to clean up.
There are other things that might not be quite as essential, but will make both you and your cat a lot happier. You can buy a few inexpensive but high quality cat toys for your cat to play with. And a good cat scratching post just might save your furniture from your kitty’s claws.
If you are interested in owning a cat, cat adoption is a great option. Adopting a cat from an animal shelter will give any cat owner—whether you have owned a cat before, or this is your very first one—a great head start.