Congratulations! You’re about to become a new cat parent. Few things are as rewarding as adopting and caring for a kitty. But a cat’s personality can run the gamut from a fuzzy fur-ball who wants to sit in your lap 24-7 to one who prefers to be admired from a distance. The goal of this article is to provide you with some pointers & things to consider to help you chose the correct cat to add to your family,
Shelter staff can help you find your perfect companion. Bring along a list of charateristics you are looking for in your new pet to help them better find cats who fit your list.
Cats can have such different personalities that sometimes it’s hard to believe they are all the same species. Some cats are cuddly & allow people to pet and hold them. Other cats like to be petted only on their own terms. Some cats are calm & spend most of their time napping. Other cats will race around the house all day, looking for bugs and adventure. Some cats are very vocal and meow frequently, while others tend to be quiet. If you’ve always imagined snuggling with your cat, be intentional about adopting a cat that seems cuddly from the get go.
Like puppies, kittens can be a lot of work. While most kittens learn how to use a litter box without too much trouble, they require serious supervision and patience. Kittens will get into everything they can get their paws on. You need to keep a close eye on them to keep them safe. Also, it’s important to know that a kitten’s personality can change a lot as he grows up. When you adopt an adult cat, typically there usually aren’t any surprises. A cuddly, playful adult cat will probably stay that way.
Long-haired cats are beautiful but they need to be brushed regularly to prevent matting and hairballs. The issue isn’t so much the brushing itself, since a few minutes a day is fine. But some cats hate being brushed so you’ll need to teach them to endure their daily brushing. If you can’t brush them and their coat gets matted, they might need to be shaved by a professional groomer.
Don'ts of Adding a Cat to the Family
1. Surprise/Gift Cat: No impulse choices or gifts PLEASE!! Everyone in the home needs to be on board with the new family member. This is CRITICAL to the success of the adoption and the cat’s well being. Being on board means more than just saying “It’s okay" or "Sound's fun". Adding a cat to your home will result in changes for everyone & is a decision that should always be well thought & talked through.
2. Adopting a cat not suited to your household: Kids, dogs, cats, or other pets to contend with? Make sure your potential new addition will mesh well with your current family. This may mean visits to the shelter with your pets/children.
3. Not allowing time for your new cat to adjust: This one does depend on your cat. My personal experience (2 cats now) I have just let them loose in my apartment at the time and let the fun begin, BUT with most cats, an adjustment period is very helpful. Find a smaller quiet room where they can spend a few days to adjust with food, water, and a litterbox. Don't forget to spend lots of time with them building a bond.
4. Not research your breed: If you do decide to purchase instead of adopt, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. For example, flat nosed cats like Persians tend to have a lot of upper respiratory/general breathing issues long term due to their conformation. Are you prepared for extra vet bills for this? Other breeds are extremely affectionate or completely independent. Know what you want from a cat and ensure the breed you are buying fits those needs/wants.
5. Hoarding: Self explanatory. Don't adopt/buy more pets then you can safely/comfortably/financially afford, house & care for.
6. No vet budget: All pets cost money. We always endeavor to provide quality care at an affordable price, but it still does add up with exams, vaccines, prevention, spay/neuter surgery, & rentals. Not to mention any unforeseen vet visits, food, treats, & toys. Make sure you have the financial capacity each month to afford a new family member.
I know this was a ton of information to take in all at once, so I apologize if it was overwhelming, but as always, my constant goal is to provide you, as a pet owner, the best information, facts, & advice I can provide to provide the best care for your pets.
Stay tuned for next week's article continuing on our topic of the month: National Adopt a Cat Month