If you are a cat lover and you are considering adopting a cat, I know perfectly well how much this means to you. However, before you do it, there are some crucial things you need to keep in check.
Providing a home to a cat is a fantastic and noble thing to do. Many homeless cats may have been abused and mistreated, abandoned or not well taken care of. Thus, these cats are out fending on their own and a second chance to a home is more than welcome to them.
However, before bringing the new member of the family home, some things need to be set. This is particularly important as it is the first chance to make an impression on your guest. Therefore, the impression you give her will determine if she will stay or run on arrival. It is therefore very necessary to ensure that you are ready to receive and welcome the cat.
As the saying goes, you only have once chance to make a first impression. In this article, we will see the things you need to know before adopting a cat. Below are some of the checks to ensure you are ready.
Factors to Cosider When Adopting a Cat
1. How Much Will It Cost To Adopt A Cat?
Adopting a cat involves some cost. If you are adopting from a shelter, you may be required to some adoption fees which varies depending on the organization. Moreover, the cost may vary considerably depending on the age of the cat you are adopting.
For Kittens, the cost will be lower than adult cats since the shelter may have already administered vaccines and supplements for adults which may not be the case for kittens. If you are adopting a kitten, you need to be conscious of the additional initial veterinary and vaccination costs for the medication you need to administer to the kitty.
Additionally, you will also need to spend on some cat essentials to ensure a warm welcome to the guest. These may include but not limited to cat litter boxes, cat food, cat bed, water fountains, cat toys, etc. Also, you will need to ensure that you pet-proof your home. This includes activities to ensure your home is suitable as the new home for your cat. Moreover, it may include removing dangerous objects such as plastic bags, sharp items, replacing broken windows, etc.
2. Where Do You Live?
Where you live is also a factor to consider when adopting a cat. If you live in an open area with lots of open safe spaces, you may want to adopt an outdoor cat. However, if you live in a flat or shared area, an indoor cat is best suitable for you. It is also important to check with the landlord if pets are allowed into the buildings before you adopt if you live in a rented building.
3. Is This Your First Pet?
When adopting a cat, it is also worthwhile to consider whether this is your first pet. Some pets don’t get along well with others. For example, if you have a solitary indoor cat, adopting another may heat things and the situation may get messy and violent real fast.
It is, therefore, best to ensure you choose a pet that gets along well with them. However, if it’s your first pet or if you have a pet that likes the company, you have the freedom to choose the cat of your choice.
The cat’s age also determines your choice of the cat. If it’s your first pet, you may want to adopt an adult cat as they tend to be more independent. As for kittens, they tend to be more playful and joyful around other pets.
4. The Cat’s Health
Before you adopt a cat, you need to consider its health. This is important to ensure you can guarantee the proper treatment to the cat in terms of medication and nutrition and also to cushion you from extra medication costs and stress. It is also important to consider the health of the cat since it may expose you and your family to diseases.
When screening the soon to be your cat, you need to at least ensure the cat has bright eyes with white teeth, clear ears with black or brown wax, smooth nails and skin without fleas or ticks. The eyes and nose should be dry without tears or running nose. You should also be given the medical file of the cat to see its medical records and disclosure if it is suffering from any long term illnesses.
5. Your Family Needs
It is important to consider the impact of the cat on your family and their reception of the feline friend. Therefore, you must let them know about your intentions in advance to prepare them psychologically for the guest’s arrival and their future roles in the growth of the cat.
Also, this will give you a chance to get feedback on their opinions and know if there are any objections. It is also important to consider whether any of your family members are allergic to cats or cat hair.
6. Where to Adopt From?
You have the option of adopting a cat from a breeder or a shelter. Some people find adopting from a breeder a better option since they can select their preferred breed and have a clear history of the cat. You are also presented with a wide range of breeds and various ages by the breeders.
However, shelters may not be able to guarantee the desired breed. You also need to ensure you create a relationship with the cat before taking him or her home. This will be achieved by running routine visits to the breeder or shelter to identify and create a relationship with the cat.
7. The Cat’s Personality
According to Karen O’Rourke, the president of the stray cat relief fund and an owner of six cats , “Cats are like humans-there are all sorts of personality types. Some just want to chill in your lap all day. Others are high-energy and want to play nonstop, which can be great for families with kids or other playful kitties.”
Some cats are timider, others more affectionate. Some are outgoing and others will take time to gain their trust. All in all, you will find they are all very lovely. You need to choose a cat that has a personality that will match your family requirements. For example, if you have small kids, they will be more thrilled by a kitten since it’s more playful and less timid. You should, however, be open to any personality of the cat upon maturity.
8. How Many Cats Do I Adopt?
How many cats to adopt is not always an easy choice to make. Sibling kitties, for example, have already bonded and are easy to bring up together since they are on the same energy levels. They will also be keeping each other company and challenge each other.
However, bringing home two cats will also require additional resources and you may have to get deeper into your pocket for food and other amenities. You will, however, find it more enjoyable having two cats as compared to one as it means more cuddles and more love. Besides, who would want to put siblings apart?
Read Also: How Often Can a Cat Have Kittens?
9. Male Or Female Cat?
There are no many differences in behavior between male and female cats. You will find males can be as loving as female cats and the female cats can also be as independent as their male partners. Male cats, if not neutered, may start urine spraying once they become sexually active.Also, they may also wander off and may fight with other male cats which may leave them hurt and bruised or make them acquire diseases and parasites.
Likewise, female cats despite being gentler, may cause problems at five to six months of age when they become sexually mature. They may also stray away during this period and may get pregnant and bring home unwanted kittens. It is therefore important to ensure the cats are spayed at a good age, whether male or female. Neutering a female cat is more expensive than neutering a male cat. However, most breeders and homes have already spayed cats before they give them up for adoption.
Read Also: Reasons Why You Should Spay Your Cat
Once you have finally identified the right act or cats for adoption, it is important to take things slow when you are finally home. The introductions should be slow to avoid overwhelming the cat with your expectations. You may also ask the breeder or the shelter for some of the cat’s beddings to help the cat settle faster since they will identify their scents immediately.
Once the cat is finally settled, it will slowly come to you and the cuddles and hugs will start flowing. As the kittens mature, they will be active and playful and may scratch with their nails or bite. It is therefore important to always have them vaccinated and immunized to avoid them passing deadly diseases to you or your children.