You’ve been thinking about it, haven’t you? You’ve been planning to add another member to your household, and nothing appealed as much to you as another cat. You’re going to be best friends, and you’re going to name him or her Mr. Pickles or Miss Pearl, respectively. Anyway, you’re thinking about adopting a cat, and you would like to know about some tips to help you decide. That’s what we’re here for. Taking a cat is an exciting experience for cat lovers, and so it’s understandable when you don’t want to mess it up by doing one thing wrong. That said, here are 10 tips to help you get the perfect cat for adoption.
What Shelter are you considering?
This is one of those things you just cannot skimp on. You need to assess the shelter you would like to adopt your cat from for a variety of situations. The very first thing you need to do is pay a brief visit to the shelter and get a good look around. Take it all in with your eyes and learn about the animals there.
You should take a long and hard look at the animals at the shelter. If any of them don’t look even remotely healthy, then the people at the shelter will have a lot of questions to answer. Shelter attendants should put the health and overall wellbeing of the shelter animals at the forefront of their priorities. You should, therefore, ask them plenty of questions about the behavior of the animals at the shelter and their health.
A proper shelter will do a routine checkup on the animals there and check to see if there is a notable change in their behavior or health condition. They should also test the animals for the most common diseases as often as possible. A shelter that does none of these things won’t be able to answer any of your questions about the condition of the animals and definitely won’t be able to match you to the appropriate cat for your needs.
It’s a Long-term Relationship
When you finally make the decision to adopt a cat, don’t expect to spend the next week with it and then just get bored and abandon the relationship. This isn’t a fling or a guest from AirBnB crashing at your flat for a few days. No, this is a lot more serious. This is like getting married to the partner of your dreams and permanently moving in with them. In fact, unlike a lot of marriages, when you shack up with a cat, it really is until death do you part.
A cat is basically your roommate for the long haul, so you should be up for the commitment before you even make the trip to the animal shelter to arrange for the adoption.
Your cat can expect to live for anything between 15 years and 20 years, and will, hopefully, die peacefully of natural reasons due to old age. Over the span of that time, your cat will likely set you back more than $1000 every month for such things as kitty litter, toys, treats, food, vet care, and so on.
People like to assume that cats aren’t fussy pets and that it’s very cheap and almost unnecessary to take care of them; that they can “take care of themselves.” You’ll need to get rid of that kind of thinking before you adopt your cat. Prepare yourself for the commitment, and then get yourself a cat.
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Give your Cat its own Space
Cats are naturally territorial creatures so they can feel very uneasy when they first come into your house. Space is unexplored, and they are naturally apprehensive about what might be lurking in the shadows and all the nooks and crannies.
To help your cat feel at home, do him or her a favor and set aside a separate room for them That space should be entirely their own for at least a few days, though the optimal amount of time is a week.
It doesn’t have to be too big; it could be a bathroom you don’t use or a laundry room. Fill the room with as many amenities as you can to get your new cat comfortable. That may include toys, a warm bed, a litter box, and, of course, food and water. You will likely spend time with your cat in there so make sure there’s a comfortable sitting spot for you as well.
Another thing you should think about is the litter box. Your cat will need at least 2 inches of litter in his or her litter box. Make sure the litter box is in the cat’s room so that it gets to enjoy some privacy when it goes, just like you do. Actually, with more privacy, your cat will warm up to the litter box much quicker than it would if it had to go into an open place such as the living room.
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What are your Needs when adopting?
When bringing in your cat, you want it to feel as comfortable as possible, and for that to happen, it will have a bunch of needs. It might be a solitary cat that doesn’t like to be around other pets, or one that doesn’t do well with kids, or one that loves a lot of play room and tends to venture outdoors.
While you’re at it, you might also have your own needs that affect what kind of cat you’ll need. These should also be taken into consideration, so both you and your kitty are happy when you meet.
The very first thing you should do is make an assessment of yourself or your family and what your needs are when it comes to a pet. Do you have a lot of small children in your home? Are you going to be away from your house a lot and need a pet that will cope well? Do you have any allergies that might be an issue if you got a pet? It might be you or any of the other members of your household. They should all be taken into consideration. Perhaps you have other pets, and you need to get a cat that will fit in well with the rest.
None of these things means that you shouldn’t get a cat. They don’t preclude you from adopting a cat. However, they are critical factors when deciding just what kind of cat you will be adopting, whether from a shelter or elsewhere. You might find yourself gravitating to a specific type and personality but have needs that call for an entirely different character. Be honest with yourself and only go for a cat that meets your requirements.
Give your cat a Safe Place
Cats just love to get away often. They like to have little places such as nooks and crannies where they can set off to when they feel like they’re not safe or when they panic. It doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t like you and wants to get away from you; it just says you cat needs some time alone in a place where only he or she can access. Note that this is not the same as their room. It should be a place that not even you can access.
You should provide such a space for your cat. If your cat came in a cat carrier, then that’s a right place to start. You can put the carrier in a beautiful hidden spot so your cat can go there when it needs some time alone. You can also cut a little doorway at the end of a box for your cat. Make sure whatever hiding spot you choose for your cat is large enough for the cat to stand. Also, make sure your cat can see the entrance to the room from where it’s hiding.
Provide your Cat with a Scratching Post
The claws on a cat grow continuously. Your cat will, therefore, need to scratch a lot of different things to wear the claws down. Apparently, you would instead this wasn’t your curtain or your chairs. To make sure all parties are satisfied, provide your cat with socially acceptable scratching posts. These can be made out of corrugated cardboard or any other suitable material. The posts can lie horizontally on the floor or stand upright.
You can sprinkle catnip around the scratching post or dangle a top near the top to attract the cat to it. It’ll get the idea, don’t worry. You should also take measures to discourage your cat from scratching furniture by installing sticky tape or blocking your cat’s access to the furniture.
Sort out Healthcare before the Adoption
You might think that a vet is something to do much later after you’ve got the cat and it starts to have health problems. That isn’t the case. To begin with, if the shelter you got your cat from wasn’t doing routine assessments of their animals, then you definitely need to take your cat for a checkup as soon as you bring it home. Even if the shelter did routine assessments, you would still need to make your cat for a checkup to catch anything they might have missed.
A vet also comes in handy when your cat starts showing abnormalities in behavior or appearance. You need a vet who you’ve built a relationship with and feel you can trust with your pet. On the other hand, your cat will definitely benefit from dealing with a single vet every time because it will get used to them and feel a lot more comfortable in their presence.
You can choose a vet based on referrals from your friends, or you can do your research online with different vets before you arrive at a decision. Whatever you do, make sure you have the vet arranged for before you ever bring your cat home.
The Importance of Bonding
You might think that it all boils down to petting your cat and holding it as often as you can. Cats love that stuff, right? Yours will fall in love with you in no time. However, it is a little more nuanced than that. While bonding is essential for all cats, the type of bonding matters just as much. That type will often be determined by the age of the cat and what it has been used to before.
If you’re adopting a kitten, you want to handle it as much as you can. Let the kitten see your face as often as possible, so it gets used to you. You should interact with your kitten on both a visual and tactual level so that the kitten grows to understand that this is how it should interact with humans.
Things change a little when you’re dealing with older cats over 4 months old. These cats will want to dictate the terms of your bonding. There are times when the cat will want to come to you and let you touch it and hold it and pet it. There are also times when it will want some space and will be a little apprehensive if you get close. Bond with such a cat on its own terms, giving it the care it wants and you will be able to build a robust relationship with it.
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Let your Cat Socialize
It’s a good idea to let your cat get to know other cats, so long as you do it the right way. You shouldn’t just sit back and make two cats work out their relationship. That’s not the best way to get them to strike a rapport with each other. To start with, let them be in separate rooms, divided by a door. However, let them be able to catch each other’s scents under the door. Also, feed them at the same time on their respective sides, so they associate each other with positive memories. Eventually, you can even swap their bedding, so they get acclimatized to each other’s scents. When they are finally familiar with each other, you’re likely to hear a lot less hissing and growling, and they will be pretty friendly around each other.
Your cat might look like the healthiest cat in the world when you first adopt it. However, that doesn’t mean things will always be so elegant and dandy in the future. Just like with humans, it’s a good idea to get your pet insurance while he or she is healthy. You’ll be able to save money on health care in the future and also keep your cat healthy.
Your cat will also benefit from insurance because you get to take your cat to the best quality vets. Your insurance policy will not approve any vets who aren’t qualified to provide your cat with only the best healthcare. You will also be able to afford them because of insurance coverage.
Ultimately, a cat is worth all the trouble and care. You will have the loving companion that you can always hold close to your heart and share all your secrets with.
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