With the flood of spring kittens, shelters and rescues are overflowing with homeless cats and kittens. To raise awareness, June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat-Month at the ASPCA, and the American Humane Association’s Adopt-a-Cat Month. Many shelters and rescues are offering incentives – from reduced adoption fees, to multi-adoption discounts, to features on senior cats – in order to find homes for all of these deserving felines.
Thinking of adding a cat to your family? Here’s what you need to do.
Get a consensus – make sure everyone is agreeable to having a cat and determine how the care duties will be divided up; be sure that no one has allergies severe enough to prevent them from sharing a home with a cat.
Think about your current pets – if you already have a pet, consider how the introductions will go.
Don’t be impulsive – individual cats are as different as individual people, so choose a cat who complements your personality and lifestyle.
Consider an adult – kittens are adorable and we’re not knocking them, but an adult cat will still be playful and adorable, yet have a well-established personality (and less midnight kitten energy).
Budget for the short- and long-term costs of owing a cat – think food, toys, preventative healthcare, and the cost of unexpected veterinary visits.
Cat-proof your home – there are many household toxins (such as cleaning supplies and some houseplants), things some cats will ingest that can cause problems (like yarn or rubber bands), and dangerous places where they can get stuck – remember cats are curious and can get into small spaces like air vents and behind furniture! But think about your stuff too – fragile items may not even be safe on the top shelf if you get a climber.
Pick up your supplies in advance – at a minimum, you will need a collar and ID tag, carrier, litter box (including litter and a scoop), odor neutralizer (just in case!), scratching post or pad, food and bowls. Things that you will need to pick up before too long include nail clippers, a brush or comb, and, of course, toys! But get to know your cat a little first – you don’t want to break the bank on shiny doodads only to discover your cat prefers a ball of crumpled paper!
Don’t throw a welcoming party – remember that moving can be stressful for cats, even if it is to a much better place; give your new friend time to adjust, and introduce your family and friends a few at a time.
Schedule a visit with your veterinarian – you want to get your new friend checked over fairly soon, even if they’ve had a checkup at the shelter. You want to make sure he or she is healthy and didn’t bring anything home.
Add your cat to your family emergency plan.
If you’re getting one, think about two! After all, cats are social animals, and they may adjust to their new home more quickly with a friend – you may even find a bonded pair at the shelter!
At the Coon Rapids Pet Hospital, we proudly strive to offer you and your pet the highest quality veterinary services possible. Serving Coon Rapids, Blaine, Anoka, Andover, Ramsey, Oak Grove, St. Francis and all of the surrounding metro area cities. Please call our office with any questions, comments or concerns regarding your dog or cat.