Kat Miller: Hi! I am Dr. Kat Miller at the ASPCA and today we are talking about how to select and adopt the right cat for you. Let's talk about actually choosing the cat once you are at the adoption center. Once you get there, talk to the adoption staff and any behavior counselors. They usually get to know the animals very well, so they might know a bit more about the behavior of the cat more than you would ever see during your short visit.
They might be able to direct you to the kind of cat that's going to be the right match for you. Many shelters use the meet-your-match adoption program. This is a match-making program where the adopter fills out a survey indicating the type of cat and the type of lifestyle they have and all of the cats have been behaviorally evaluated and the adoption center staff uses that information to find the perfect match between cat and adopter.
Remember, don't base your choice on looks alone. It's easy to fall in love with the cute face but an adoption is meant to last the cat's lifetime which can be 10 to 20 years. So you want to find the right personality and the right fit. Spend time in the adoption center getting to know the cats. Candle them, play with them, just hang-out in quite time, see how social they are, how do they respond to you and everyone in your family, you want to have a good personality fit with everyone; the kids, your parents, you, everyone that's going to interact with the cat.
If you are thinking of adopting a kitten, it's worth asking if it's possible to meet the mom too. The mom's personality might give you a little bit of insight into what the cat might be like when it grows up. If you have a dog or cat at home, don't bring them with you to the adoption center, but it's worth asking the adoption center staff if you can see the cat's potential reaction by introducing it to another cat on sight or maybe even a dog.
You get a good sense if the cat has really bad reaction or if it seems friendly and interested. This will be a good predicator of what's going to happen when you bring your cat home to meet your pets. At the adoption center, make sure you spend the time asking questions, interacting with the cat, you have done all your planning and your homework, don't rush through this portion of the adoption.
Really make it count and you are bound to find the right animal to fit you, your family, your lifestyle and make an adoption that lasts a lifetime. I hope all these tips have helped you to plan and select the right cat for you. Thank you for watching.