What do I need to know before adopting a cat?

What do I need to know before adopting a cat?

Cat adoption not only gives a pet a second chance, it can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences.  Fostering is another great way to introduce a cat into your life and support your local rescue group or animal shelter.   

The decision to get a kitten or an adult cat should involve your head as well as your heart.  There are many things to consider before getting a cat.  Consider adopting two cats together, a bonded pair that are known to get along, they will always have a playmate and never be lonely!

Before your heart melts at the sight of an adorable kitten or cat on the rescue group website or at the shelter, think carefully about the kind of cat that will fit into your lifestyle for up to around 20 years.  

Aim to find out as much as possible about the cat you are interested in from the rescue group or animal shelter, such as:

  1. The cat’s history. A cat from a colony may need more patience to encourage them to become comfortable with humans.
  2. Any medical/health issues that may need further attention and care
  3. How well socialised is the cat to people and other species
  4. The personality of the cat as described by the rescue or shelter and how the cat reacts to you.  (Bear in mind the shelter environment can be stressful for animals, which may make them more fearful or timid).  
  5. Physical and behavioural needs of the cat or breed. 
  6. The cat may need to be indoors only. 
  7. How would the new cat fit in with your multi-species household
  8. Ensure the cat is adoption ready, that is de-sexed, microchipped, vaccinated and health-checked. 

Pets4Life recommends that you see the cat on its own and sit quietly until it relaxes.  Let it come an investigate you and see how it reacts to being touched.  You’ll need to gauge the difference between the cat is being naturally cautious or is the cat fearful of people in general.  

Your cat may have been living at the shelter or with a foster carer for a long time.  Ask for advice on how to help your new cat adjust to their new home.

More at https://pets4life.com.au/before-you-get-a-cat/



Cathy Beer is founder of the Companion Animal Rescue Awards and Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians, and positive dog training services provider


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