Considering adopting a cat? There are many things to consider before bringing a furry feline into your home. Making it a smooth transition for the cat from the shelter to your home will set the tone for your future life together. This guide breaks down exactly what to consider before adopting. Already know adopting is definitely for you? Look no further, here we share the best ways to integrate a cat into your home!
Before you adopt
Evaluate your lifestyle
Before adopting a cat consider your lifestyle. Of course a precious fluffy kitty seems idyllic, but you must be honest with yourself to be sure you are ready for a lifetime commitment to a cat. What does it mean to evaluate my lifestyle you ask? Start with asking yourself these simple questions.
- Do I spend a lot of time away?
- Do I have other pets? If so, do they get along with other animals?
- Are there children in the home?
- Does anyone in the home have cat allergies?
- Am I able to take on the financial impact of owning a cat?
Answering these questions honestly will let you know if you are ready to move on to the next step!
Understand the commitment you are making
Adoption is for life. It is crucial to understand that in making the choice to adopt a cat into your home has a furrever impact on the cat. Being shuffled back and forth between homes and shelters is extremely taxing on an animal. Pets feel stress the same way humans do and being moved around multiple times leaves a lasting impact on an animal. Always remember Adoption is for Life.
Do your research
Research the shelter you are adopting from. While most town/city shelters are reputable it doesn’t hurt to do a quick Google search for reviews and other information such as background and mission when it comes to pet adoptions. The more you know, the better equipped you will be when making this life changing decision. We suggest Adoption of a shelter cat rather than purchasing a cat from a breeder because every year over a million cats end up in shelters in need of a loving forever home. Be part of the solution.
Know the best fit for you
Know the type of personality you are looking for in a cat. If you work long hours adopting a more independent cat might be the way to go. Are you the laid back snuggling type? Consider a cat who will be easy going and enjoys affection. Cats have personalities just like people! Decide what characteristics will be the best fit for your life and find the cat that suits you. This will ensure a long lasting and enjoyable relationship for everyone.
Bringing your cat home
Choose a Vet
Plan ahead by choosing a vet that you know and trust. If you have never owned a cat ask your cat owning friends who they use. It is a good idea to get multiple recommendations and compare. Of course you can always do a good ol’ Google search and research Veterinarians in your area, read reviews, and make an educated decision on where to take your fur baby. Once you get the health records from your shelter it is a good idea to book your cat’s first check up ahead of time. Many vets are extremely busy these days and it will be one less thing to think about after you bring your kitty home.
Cat Proof your home
Cats are curious, agile and smart so get ready! Become aware of the things that can pose as a potential danger to your cat. It may take a little bit to get used to but once you are aware of the items to keep an eye out for it will become habitual. Some things to look out for:
- human food left out on the counter
- small choke hazard items such as paper clips or tacks
- electrical cords they may be playing with or chewing on.
Keep a close eye out for what they are playing with in the first month and arrange items in your home accordingly.
Stock up on supplies
You might be surprised by how many items your cat will need to feel comfortable and confident in their new home. Stock up on essentials such as food and litter, as well as treats, toys, and grooming items. Download our “Cat Supply Checklist” for a full list of items you will need as a new cat mom or dad.
Give love, patience and space
Last but certainly not least, LOVE, PATIENCE, and SPACE are three keystones for a happy, healthy, cat/cat owner life. Your cat may take several weeks to fully adjust to their new environment. Exercising patience as they learn the “house rules” e.g using the litter box, not jumping on the counter, not chewing your shoes, will encourage them to behave appropriately. They may also need “alone time” in a designated space such as their sleeping quarters. It is important to allow them time to explore independently in their new home as it will build their confidence in their new environment and in you as their pet parent. Always remember Love, Patience, & Space.
Adopting a cat is a beautiful thing! Using this simple guide will ensure you and your new fur baby will have a long, happy, well-adjusted life together.
Have a cat adoption story? We would love to hear it! Share with us in the comments.
The late, great Mr. Moses, or Mr. Mo, as his owners affectionately called him, was considered a family member to Chris & Mariesa Hughes. To honor the life of their beloved dog, they created a non-profit group, called The Mr. Mo Project. It is very common for senior shelter dogs to be overlooked by adopters. So, the Hughes family thought it was important to help save these dogs.
Mr. Mo Project sponsors include:
- Bensons Pet Center
- Life in the dog house
- Nassau Vet Clinic
- Backyard Fence
- Pilots N Paws
- Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
- Shawna’s Dogs
- Assisi Loop Circle of Care
Thanks to the support from these generous partners, the project is able to offer assistance to those who adopt senior shelter dogs. Some of these benefits include free hospital visits, discounts on other medical needs, training and dog food. The sponsors who work with the project really believe in what they are doing and think it is important that all senior dogs get the love and care they deserve. By doing this, the project feels they are making senior dogs more adoptable by assisting with the expenses associated with caring for them. (www.mrmoproject.com)
In addition to the benefits you could receive through the Mr. Mo Project, here are some more reasons you should consider adopting an older dog:
- You get a dog that is most likely at their full grown size
- They are easier to train because they are more calm than younger dogs
- They are very loving
- They tend to be more independent and don’t require constant attention
- They become part of your family rather quickly
- An older dog is usually potty trained
- Older dogs are not high energy and are usually very easy going
- You could save a dog’s life by rescuing them from a shelter
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, older dogs are often the last to be adopted in shelters. Or they never get adopted and are the first to be euthanized. (www.aspca.org)
What age constitutes senior dog status, anyway? Well, most dogs fall into the senior category about the age of 7. It also depends on size. Smaller breeds become seniors a little later in life. To many adopters, these dogs are considered “old”. But, this isn’t true. If dogs are well cared for, they can remain active and puppy-like far into their senior years. (www.srdogs.com)
If you have a senior dog and are considering taking him to a shelter because of the high cost of medical bills, you may be able to get assistance from the project. In most cases they would rather help than see another senior dog go into a shelter for the rest of his life or worse, put down.
The Mr. Mo Project also helps senior shelter dogs at risk for euthanasia. The project will remove the dog from the shelter, pay for medical bills for the rest of their lives, and transport them anywhere to make sure they find a good, permanent home. (www.mrmoproject.com)
You can check out, Life in the Dog House on YouTube. It’s a HooplaHa.com online reality series that features Mr. Mo and his family. Portions of the proceeds from advertising are donated to the project. Any money that comes into the Mo Project goes directly into a fund to cover veterinary costs and all other costs associated with rescuing these dogs.
Have you heard of Stiggy’s Dogs?
Dog lovers such as ourselves know that our dogs provide so much to us. I think we can agree that taking a dog into our family improves our overall health. But did you know that, now more than ever, Veterans of war suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury are being paired up with rescue dogs? Yes, it’s true. Shelter dogs, many that were slated for euthanasia, are bringing hope and healing to our Veterans. One such organization that unites shelter dogs and veterans is Stiggy’s Dogs.
Why? Many say that service dogs are an alternative form of treatment and it’s true. According to studies referenced by Stiggy’s Dogs, 82 percent of veterans that had the opportunity to work with a service dog showed a decrease or improvement in their overall symptoms. This included a decrease in the need for prescription medications in 40 percent of those studied. Fantastic, isn’t it? We think so too!
What’s cool about Stiggy’s Dogs? Well, each dog is individually trained for the veteran he’s being paired up with. In fact, he’s trained right alongside the veteran once they are matched. Additionally, the pairing is done at no cost to the veteran. Win-Win! Well then, who is Stiggy? Stiggy’s Dogs was founded by Jennifer Petre in memory of her nephew, Benjamin Phillip Castiglione “Doc Stiggy”. Doc Stiggy gave his life while serving in Afghanistan. Doc Stiggy is remembered by his marines as determined, professional and witty. However, his family remembers him as caring and loving towards his family and dogs. Jennifer Petre says “I am proud to honor Ben and determined to carry on his legacy of helping others through Stiggy’s Dogs.”
Would you like to learn more about Stiggy’s Dogs? Their website provides a wealth of information. Spread the word about this amazing organization. You never know who might be in need of an amazing rescued, service dog.
Help a Veteran & A Shelter Dog Today!