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.