What to Consider Before Adopting a Cat

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,174
    Pet Expert Kat Miller explains how to adopt a shelter cat.

    Dr. Kat Miller: Hi! I am Dr. Kat Miller at the ASPCA. Today we are talking about how to find and adopt the perfect cat for you. Now let's talk about some considerations before you go to adopt. First of all, think about the reasons you would like to adopt a cat. Are you looking for someone to cuddle with on the couch, a playmate for the children, or just a cat to hang out and keep you company in the house. Also, how much time you have to devote to your pet? Do you work long hours, or do you work at home, or you are retired and have a lot of time at home to spend with your new cat? Certain cats require more time than others. They might be more needy, for example, if they are kittens and they need some training and they need some playtime with you everyday. Or if they are older cats that maybe needs some extra TLC, those cats do well with folks who are at home a lot. Also, what about your family members? If you have very small, active children at home, a cat who is kiddish or nervous might not be very happy with you. But a cat who is very bold and playful might have a great time. What about your lifestyle? Do you travel away from home a lot? Or do you, most of your hobbies occur in your home and you like to have a quiet companion with you?

    What about your existing pets? If you have a dog or another cat at home, think about their considerations as well. If they have never lived with another cat, there might be a rough transition, your existing cat might become a little territorial or afraid and not have the feline social skills to get along well with another cat. And a dog who has never lived with a cat might have some predatory instincts and try to chase or even just play rough with the cat. But it might not be very welcome to your new visitor in your house.

    However, if your cat or dog has lived with cats before, it will be pretty smooth transition. Also consider finances, the basic care for a cat during the first year can run about a thousand dollars. And not just for basic care, if you provide a lot of toys and extras for your cat, it can go well over that amount. Next, consider whether you are planning on keeping your cat indoors only or going in and out. We at the ASPCA strongly recommend, you keep your cat indoors only because there are a lot of safety concerns for cats outdoors. They are much more susceptible to illness and injury, acts of cruelty, traffic, accidental poisonings, and simply disappearing. But if you keep your cats indoors, it's your responsibility to make that environment healthy and an actively engaging for your cat with mental stimulation, physical play to keep your cat happy and healthy indoors. With all these things to keep in mind, you might consider fast during a cat first on a temporary basis. There are a lot of cats in shelters who need just temporary placement in a home. This way you will get a chance to see what it might be like to have a cat without that commitment. Think about whether you might like a long haired cat or a short haired cat. Long haired cats do require more grooming and brushing on a regular basis. So keep that in mind. Also were you thinking of the pure breed cat or a non-pure breed or a domestic short hair as they are called. There's a domestic short hair for everyone. They come in every size, shape, color and personality. But if you have your heart set on a pure breed, you can find them in animal rescue groups and shelters nationwide. Just keep in mind that they might be a little harder to find, the adoption fee is a little higher in most cases. And most pure breeds have certain medical or behavioral issues inherent to the breed. So do your research before selecting the breed that you are looking for. Now that you have considered what type of cat might be best for you. Next, we will talk about planning your trip to the adoption center.