The definitive guide to adopting a cat

14 April, 2019AwwwwCats avatar@AwwwwCats

When looking to adopt a cat, it's essential that you understand the process. The necessary preparations, too, such as the items to purchase and the kind of environment to have in place. This cat adoption guide provides you will all that information. If you've made up your mind to become a proud cat owner, read on for everything you wanted to know concerning how to adopt a cat. First, the process to ready yourself for the pet's arrival.

Preparing to adopt a cat

Cats are marvelous pets. Bringing one home can be exciting and adopting them from a pet shelter a fulfilling experience. However, that also means having ready the items necessary for proper cat care. They include:

Essentials

Cat Food

It's essential that you find out what type of food the cat fed on while at the shelter. Because their digestive system is susceptible, you might want to continue the diet after adoption.Should there be a need, you can change that later, but gradually.

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Food and Water Bowl

You will need a place to serve the food in, which means having a food bowl ready. A water bowl, too, for the cat to drink from. The size of the bowl you buy should match the pet's stature and face shape among other considerations.

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Litter and Litter Box

It's essential that you have these regardless of whether you intend the cat be an indoor or outdoor pet. For grown cats, ensure the box is adequately high to avoid them throwing litter over the sides. For the kittens, low sides are necessary to allow them to get in and out easily.

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For indoor cats

Scratching Post

Cats love to scratch at anything they come across, and providing them with a scratching post is recommended. You can buy the post at the pet store, or you can make one yourself. However, a commercial scratching post is more advisable; it contains a scent your cat will like.

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Cat Tree

It offers exercise and for your cat. It also provides a safe place for the kitty to hide and can help it to fit into its new surrounding fast. Consider a cat tree if the pet will be spending a lot of time indoors.

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Other useful items

Toys

These come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. They help keep a cat happy and busy which can be an excellent incentive to relax your newly adopted cat and make them settle in quickly. Ensure the toys are safe enough for the cat's age and physique.

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Cat Carrier

You will need this when traveling and you want to bring your cat along. Invest in a carrier that's sturdy and durable, made from either plastic or fiberglass and featuring an opening through which your pet can look out when being transported.

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Grooming Tools

They include a comb, nail clipper and other tools that are necessary for the appearance and cleanliness of the cat. It would help to make a list of what you need to ensure the right tools, or you can ask at the pet shop if unsure.

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Pure Breed or Mixed?

Now that you're ready for the cat to arrive, the next step should be finding the type you want.

TL;DR

Pure Breed

  • known physical traits
  • known personality traits
  • rare in shelters

Mix

  • every cat deserves love
  • unknown physical traits
  • unknown personality

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While any cat can make a good pet, those with specific looks and personality traits are preferred by many. These are the pure breeds whose ancestry is known and which one can choose for particular reasons. Choosing a pure breed allows you to pick a cat whose care fits your lifestyle or whose appearance suits your description for the most adorable pet.

On the other hand, a mixed breed cat will come with traits that are unknown to you. If you pick a kitten, there's the possibility that it develops habits you cannot cope with later in its life. These can be health issues or a temperament that makes training it difficult. To avoid later regrets, you may want to choose a purebred cat. Pet shelters understand that and have the necessary records to assist those looking for specific breeds to find their choice.

Adult Cat or Kitten?

Another choice to make when adopting a cat is whether to go for a grown-up cat or a young one. Deciding between the two can be difficult, especially if it's your first time to own a cat. The choice you make depends on many factors such as the amount of time you have to care for the pet or even how patient you're with teaching a new behavior. The space you have in your home may also influence the decision you arrive at. It can also be about whether you have other pets in your home. To help you make the right choice for your situation, here are the advantages and downsides of each type of cat.

TL;DR

Adult cats

  • already trained
  • known behaviour
  • hard to break habits
  • health issues

Kittens

  • you can train them
  • good health
  • you need to train them
  • they require a lot of attention

More about adult cats

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Adult cats

People who choose to adopt cats do so for several reasons. First, an adult cat will have its personality and temperament already developed and which will be communicated to you before leaving the shelter. That means you will not get behavior surprises once you have the pet in your home. Another reason is that a cat will have been taught some rules at the shelter and not much training will be required to mold it. Except for the rules in your home, most of the other actions will follow what was instilled at the rescue center.

Adult cats have their downsides, too. While they may not need much training, the habits of a grown-up cat may be hard to break. That can be a problem when you find the behaviors undesirable or even contrary to the rules in your home. Older cats may also be frail and need extra attention to their health. That can mean finding time to care for it or even take it to a vet. Besides the time factor, it would require you to be prepared for the extra expenses.

More about kittens

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Kittens

Despite the many upsides of adopting an adult cat many people seem to prefer kittens. Reasons for that vary, but most are valid ones that fit many situations. Apart from being adorable little creatures, young cats are easy to mold into perfect pets. Save for some early training such as using the litter box, a kitten will not have received the hard training for behavior. You can, therefore, mold it to your rules so they grow to suit your lifestyle and home situation. In addition to that, these young pets will have their health at its prime which means they won't be too tasking to look after.

Kittens are not without drawbacks. You will need to have adequate time for the one you adopt. They don't know how to take care of themselves, and most of their safety depends on you, the owner. Kittens are also at the learning stage of their life and wildly energetic. They're more likely to mess up your home or run into all kinds of accidents. On top of that, it would be upon you to train them in behavior and more, which would require you to have infinite patience.

What's the Process to Adopt a Cat?

Here is the general procedure.

  • Researching on the rescue and shelters in your area of residence, finding the one that interests you and paying a visit.
  • Complying with the cat adoption guidelines of the shelter. These are specific to the particular shelter or rescue. The general process involves filling in an application form, speaking to the shelter coordinator, arranging for home visits for the shelter to do background checks and other requirements for adoption.
  • Meeting with the cats that are up for adoption so you can choose the one to adopt. At this point, you may be provided with all the necessary information regarding the cat's previous owner if any, ancestry, personality, and more.
  • Making the necessary preparations such as preparing a list of and buying the essentials such as pet food, toys, and sleeping place.
  • Paying the required adoption fees, signing the adoption contract and taking home your adopted cat.

Shelters in North America

If looking for a cat in North America, there are plenty of choices. An online search will bring up many of them. However, not all are worth considering and not every adoption site that pops up is can be relied upon to offer genuine and professional services. One of the most trusted places to adopt your cat is adoptapet.com. Here, you will find a list of the felines, and you can choose the one you would like to own.

When You Finally Bring Your Adopted Cat Home

Find them a safe zone

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Find them a safe zone

This could be a room in your home that's not frequented by humans and where there are no other pets. It serves the purpose of getting the cat used to the new environment. Put in the room all the items the pet needs such as the food and water bowl, sleeping spots, toys, and more.

Make the introductions

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Make the introductions

If you've other let's, it would be necessary to introduce them to their new friend. Some shelters will require that before you can take the cat home. If they don't, make it your priority. It should be gradual, though, and not intimidating. Do it in the cat's safe room to avoid situations where the kitty feels stressed out. Pet experts advise that you use under the door greetings at first before moving onto the face to face meetings.

4 tips for the first days

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4 tips for the first days

Your kitty will need proper handling for it to adapt to its new home quickly. For that, it's necessary that you know what works and what doesn't. Here are the tips.

  • Don't try to force or persuade the cat out of its crate the very moment you arrive home. It can scare them out of their skin. Allow time for them to feel secure enough to venture out of the box.
  • Provide toys to help the cat brighten up and to calm them down in case they feel frightened.
  • Make their room or safe zone as comfortable as it can be. The cat probably had the best environment at the shelter, and you want to ensure the same here, too. You could also ensure that by having a cat tree or bed in there.
  • Don't try to speed up the cat's transition from the shelter to your home. Allow it to take its natural course. Do provide a suitable environment, though.

Litter box Training

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Litter box Training

Unless the cat you adopt is trained to use the litter box, you will need to do it yourself. Your new cat may also fail to use the box out of the anxiety and stress of being in a new home. To make the process quick and easy, you need to provide an enabling environment. Invest in a big box that offers ample space. Site it in a good location where it's accessible and away from the food and water bowl. It should also be in a quiet place. Of possible have several of them. Use the right kind of litter that's both comfortable and effortless to dig into. Use the right amount and change it frequently to avoid awful smells.

Proper Feeding and playtime

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Proper Feeding and playtime

Ensure your cat feeds on the right type of food. Ensure, too, that it's in the right proportions and clean to avoid stomach problems and infections. Feed your cat in the right intervals to maintain its health. Provide adequate and clean water. It's an essential part of taking care of the pet.

Cat need exercises to grow healthy and to avoid boredom. Provide that by ensuring there are enough toys for them to play with. There are many of them, and you can research the best ones for your particular cat. Have a scratch post and cat tree around for them so they can remain happy and stress-free.

Cat Health and Grooming

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Cat Health and Grooming

Your new pet will need its health taken care of. That includes proper feeding and regular visits to the vet. Ensure they're vaccinated and that they get checked whenever they seem to be down with an infection. To ensure good health and appealing looks, practice all the cat grooming procedures such as brushing their coat and trimming their nails.