June is an important month for animal shelters all over the United States as they prepare for Adopt-A-Cat Month. With kitten season upon us, there are more cats in need than ever.
Each spring during “kitten season,” thousands of newborn kittens join the millions of cats already in shelters across the country. That means your local shelter has tons of cute, cuddly newborns, in addition to all the mellow, older cats and everything in between.
To help you truly consider whether or not bringing an animal into your life is right for you, there are a few things to consider when adopting a cat. Cats are dependent on their owners for all their needs―food, water, medical attention, exercise, shelter and, most important, companionship. Make sure that you consider the following before bringing a feline into your family.
- Consider taking home two – two cats can provide exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction for each other.
- Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours –laid-back or active: just as we have our own personalities, so do cats.
- Schedule a visit with us within the first few days following adoption – make sure the cat you’ve chosen is healthy and is up to date on all vaccinations needed for its new home environment.
- Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home – consider bringing the whole family to the adoption facility when picking out a cat.
- Budget for short- and long-term costs of cats – understand that a pet is a responsibility and there’s cost associated with that. Many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering and initial vaccines.
- Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives - Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
- Cat-proof your home – get rid of loose items that your cat may be able to eat or swallow
- Go slow when introducing your cat to new friends and family - If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.
- Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan – Adjust your family’s plan to include your pets.
- If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process – remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.