Cat Adoption Guide
The decision to adopt a cat requires a great deal of thought about time commitment, resources and affection by the potential adopters. Before making a decision about adopting a cat, you should think carefully about whether or not you are really ready to adopt.
Things to Consider
Cats come in a variety of shapes, sizes, temperaments and personalities, so it is important to take the time and to identify the traits and characteristics that will best fit your lifestyle. Another thing to consider is whether a kitten or mature cat is the right fit for you and your family. The first instinct of many is to adopt a kitten. Kittens are cute and playful, but are you ready to for their endless energy? If so, you may be ready for a kitten. Many people have a misconception that mature cats have bad habits but many cats end up in the shelter due to changes in the living situation of the owner.
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If there are children in the home or if your potential new pet will be in contact with children, this should be taken into consideration. Some cats are not well-suited to being in a home with children. Other things to consider are a cat could accidentally injure a child while roughhousing or a child could accidentally injure a cat by stepping on it. Regardless of the animal’s temperament and past history with children, very young children should never be left unsupervised with any cats.
Are there other pets in the household? If so, how would the current pets react to a new cat in their home? Are you ready to dedicate the time to properly integrate your new cat into the household? It is important to know the history of the pet you are about to adopt. Did they live with cats before? Dogs?
There are a variety of coat types and lengths seen in cats. Be familiar with the type of coat your potential cat has. Short-haired cats generally require less grooming than long-haired cats. Cats with thick and/or long coats have the tendency to develop mats, which would require regular trips to a pet groomer. Also, does anyone in the household suffer from allergies to animals? If so, a cat may not be the best match for your home.
Before adopting, it is important that you and the family meet the cat and spend some time with it. When interacting with the cat, be sure to pay attention to the various aspects of his/her personality. Is the cat playful? Is it overly shy or overly outgoing? Does it enjoy being petted? Or does he/she like to be left alone? It is important to recognize that animals entering a shelter arrive with little background information. This is why it is essential to spend time with a cat to learn its temperament before adopting.
Do you have the financial resources to care for the cat, whether it be basic care or if the animal becomes ill? Owning a cat requires more than providing him/her with food, water and shelter. You need to think about whether or not you would be able to pay veterinary bills if your cat has a medical emergency or requires long-term medical treatment.
Do you and your family travel regularly? If so, how will you provide care for your cat when you are out of town? Whether you plan on boarding your pet or having a pet sitter come by the home, consider how your new pet would cope with either of these situations.