June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, a celebration sponsored by the ASPCA! If you’ve been considering adopting a new furry friend, this month might be the perfect time to do it.
Here’s more information about why adoption is a great choice and what steps you’ll need to take.
Pet stores are full of adorable kittens. Why go to the animal shelter? Millions of cats are in shelters around the country, and sadly, many of them are euthanized due to a lack of space. By adopting a cat from a shelter, you might be saving its life. Animal shelters also have a wide variety of ages and breeds so you can pick the cat that’s best for you.
Your family may want to consider adopting an adult cat instead of a kitten. Since kittens have the cuteness factor, adult cats are often overlooked and struggle to find a home.
This is especially true for senior cats — any cats above the age of 10 or 11. There are lots of benefits to adopting an older cat. Their behavior will be better than a kitten’s, and they’ll probably be content to lie around the house and sleep all day. Senior cats can be a great choice if you don’t have the energy to keep up with a kitten.
Not everyone is at a place in life where they’re able to adopt a cat, and that’s okay!
Owning a cat is a big responsibility. If you don’t feel ready, it’ may be a better choice to let that cat find a good home somewhere else. There will always be cats who need to be adopted, so you’ll be able to find a good pet down the road in another stage of life.
What should you expect when adopting a cat? First of all, you’ll need to prepare from a practical and logistical standpoint.
Is your home a good place for a cat? (Cats need areas that are safe and large.) Do you have children who know how to treat animals with respect? Questions like these can help determine whether this is the best time to adopt.
You’ll also need to think about the financial aspect of getting a cat. Re-homing fees, medical fees, and purchasing supplies all play a part in being a cat owner — and many of these costs will be ongoing. While cats may not be as expensive as some other types of pets, it’s still important to make sure you’re prepared.
Finally, it’s important to ensure you have the time and energy to give your cat the care it deserves. Playing with your cat, feeding and brushing him, and taking him to the vet are all activities you’ll need to do on a regular basis to help your cat have a healthy and happy life.
If you feel ready to adopt a cat, do an internet search to find an animal shelter or Humane Society near you. You can look at pictures of their cats online before making a trip to the shelter. There, employees and/or volunteers will be happy to help you get to know any cats you’re interested in.
Once you’ve chosen a cat, there will most likely be some paperwork and perhaps a re-homing fee to get through before you can leave.
The final step before bringing your new cat home is to take care of any medical needs. Many animal shelters will spay or neuter your new pet before you bring it home; otherwise, though, your vet can handle this job. Similarly, while some animal shelters will administer vaccinations upon adoption, in other cases you may need to bring your cat to the vet to get updated on its shots.
When you bring your cat home, be patient while he gets used to his new surroundings. Being in a big new house can be intimidating for cats. To ease the adjustment period, keep your new cat in a smaller space (such as a bathroom) with its food and litter box for the first few days. Then slowly let him or her explore the rest of the house at their own pace.
It’s important to remember that you should not force your cat to play with you or sit in your lap; take your cues from them. Be gentle and patient — and don’t hesitate to use treats and toys to prove that you’re a friend!
If you aren’t ready to adopt a cat, there are other ways you can “celebrate” this month, too.
Consider donating to your local animal shelter. This doesn’t have to be a monetary donation — you can take supplies, make homemade cat toys for the cats waiting for homes, or volunteer your time scooping litterboxes and helping with paperwork.
Animal shelters are always looking for willing and able volunteers to help get extra tasks done. Even if you aren’t ready to adopt a cat, you can still help some friendly felines find good homes!