June is adopt a shelter cat month, and this is not a coincidence. During spring and summer, overwhelming numbers of homeless kitties arrive at shelters, and they all need homes.
The Watauga Humane Society has done some calculations, and one un-spayed female cat together with one un-neutered male cat can – together with their offspring – produce 420,000 kittens in just seven years. There are many cats needing home, and if you adopt one you don’t only get great company for yourself; you save a life.
So, what should you think about if you’re planning to adopt a cat?
Maybe you should take two?
If you’re considering adopting a cat, think about taking two. Cats are social, they need exercise, and they need mental stimulation. If you have two cats they’ll entertain each other. This makes it easier on you, and you get twice the purring, cuddling, and other kit tie benefits.
Consider the cat’s personality
Just like people, cats have different personalities, and it’s important that you match. Do you want an easygoing kitty, or an active one? Shelters and rescue groups have all kinds of cats. Do you want a playful and energetic kitten or a senior who’s happy to nap?
Make a budget and stock up on supplies
All pets cost money, and cats aren’t an exception. When you adopt, the cat might already be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed, or neutered, and this is a great saving. But you still have to think about vet visits, litter box, cat litter, food, toys, scratching posts, bed, grooming, food bowl, and water bowl. It’s a great idea to have everything in place before kitty arrives, so he or she can feet welcome and at home.
Plan and kitty-proof your home
Cats are like children in many ways, and they get into stuff. It’s difficult to predict what will look like a great toy. You might want to put expensive decorations away for a while, until you and kitty get used to each other and figure things out. Make sure you don’t have loose things lying around the cat can accidentally swallow, keep food put away, and keep an eye on electrical cords. Kittens who don’t know better might try to play with them or even chew them.
Plan where you want to put the cat’s food and water bowls, and where to put the litter box. Many put it in a bathroom, closet, or laundry room, but that means that the door needs to be open all the time so the cat can get in and out. This isn’t always a feasible option, and we’ve seen some creative cat owners who put a PlexiDor cat door in the door to the laundry room or similar to allow kitty access while being able to close the human size door.
Take it slow
It will take your new furry friend a while to relax and settle in. Give him or her some time to get used to the new surroundings and new people.