June is the American Humane Association’s Adopt-A-Cat Month. What could be a better way to kick of the summer then by adopting a new family pet?
Cats in need
Before making the decision to buy a cat, consider the fact that there is an abundance of cats currently available who need your help. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), 6-8 million dogs and cats are placed in shelters and rescues each year, of which 3-4 million are euthanized! It is very likely that your local rescues or shelters already have the perfect pet waiting for you to take them home.
Finding a Cat to Adopt
One quick and easy way to see a list of cats that are available near you is to use petfinder.com. You can search by desired age, other characteristics, and your zip code to see pictures and descriptions of available cats. This can help you narrow down your search.
The next step is to arrange a visit to meet the cat in person. You can do this by clicking on the “Contact this Organization” button on the cat’s profile page. This will send an email to the shelter or rescue that is currently housing the pet and you can coordinate a visit that is mutually convenient.
Things to Consider before Adopting a Cat
During your visit, try and learn as much as possible about the cat. Some key questions include:
- Does the cat have any known medical conditions? This will help you determine the cost of caring for the pet.
- Has the cat had exposure to other pets (if you already have a pet) or kids (if you have young children)? It is preferable to adopt a cat that best fits in with your current household environment.
- Is the cat an indoor or outdoor cat? An outdoor cat will require access to a safe outdoor space while an indoor cat is fine in almost any setting.
In many cases the pets available for adoption have little or no background information on record. In these situations, you should learn as much as you can from the shelter/rescue staff about their temperament and behavior.
Bringing your New Cat Home
Once you make your choice, one of the first things you should do is make sure that your home is ‘cat proof’. Cats can jump on counters and get into cabinets. Check your kitchen and bathrooms to make sure that the cabinets are secure.
You should also schedule an appointment with a veterinarian for a checkup. Ask your vet to help you estimate their age (if it is not known), their optimal weight, and to assess their overall physical condition so that you are well prepared to provide a happy and healthy living environment for your new pet.