Deciding to adopt a cat or any animal is a big deal and you want to make sure that you are prepared.
It’s important to do your research to find out what you are getting yourself into before adopting a living creature.
Pets truly become part of the family and they are a 10-20 year commitment, not just something you can get rid of when you get tired of them.
Cats are great companions and do their own thing for the most part, so this makes them the perfect pet for people who may not have time for a dog or another high maintenance animal.
Today we are going to be talking about how to adopt a cat and everything that comes along with it.
We’re also going to discuss some other information you should know about adopting a cat such as how to prepare, how to pick a cat, and things to look out for.
Table of Contents
How To Adopt A Cat From A Shelter
To adopt a cat from a shelter, you must go through a few steps before taking your new furry friend home.
Depending on which shelter you decide to adopt your cat from there may be different steps and procedures you have to go through. But generally, these are the typical steps:
Pick Your Cat
Look online at the shelter’s website to view all of the cats that are available for adoption and then choose which one you might like.
Fill Out An Application
When you’ve chosen which cat you would potentially like to adopt, fill out an online application for that cat.
Your application will be reviewed by the shelter staff and if you sound like a good match they will contact you to give you more information.
Visit The Cat
Once you’ve gotten approved for the adoption of that specific cat, then you can schedule a date and time to visit the cat in person.
Provide Your ID
You will most likely be asked to show your ID just to confirm your age and residency.
Pay The Adoption Fee
There will be an adoption fee when you adopt your cat at a shelter. Most of the time the price depends on the age of the cat.
So if your wanting to get a kitten the price will be higher than if you were to get an older cat.
Once you have completed all of those steps you may be able to take your cat home the same day!
Some shelters have a 24 hour waiting period so they can get the cat ready and spay/neuter the cat if they aren’t already, but after completing the whole adoption process it won’t be long before you can take your new pet home!
Why Should You Adopt A Cat From The Shelter?
Adopting a cat from the shelter is one of the best options when considering getting a cat for a few reasons.
Firstly, cats that are in shelters have most likely already lived in a house and are used to being around people, so they may have an easier time adjusting than a cat that has never lived in a house.
Secondly, you are providing a home to an animal that deserves it. Most of the time the reason animals end up in shelters is nothing to do with them, it’s to do with their previous owners.
Lastly, by purchasing a cat from the shelter you are supporting that shelter and your adoption fee will help them help other animals that are in the shelter.
Also read: can kittens eat adult cat food?
How To Adopt A Cat From The Street
Adopting a cat from the street may seem simple, but it is a little more complicated than you may think.
A lot of stray cats have never lived in a home or even had the chance for a lot of human interaction so it’s very important for everyone’s safety to take it slow and on the cat’s terms.
The steps for adopting a cat off the street include:
Gain The Cat’s Trust
At first, the cat probably won’t trust you, especially if it is not very socialized with humans. Start by seeing how the cat reacts to you.
If the cat approaches you and seems eager and friendly then you may carefully attempt to softly pet it.
If the cat seems skittish, scared, or aggressive, don’t pet it right away.
Instead, try leaving a bowl out with some canned fish or cat food and see if they will eat it. It may take you leaving the area first for them to feel comfortable enough to eat.
This is not an overnight process. It might take a few days or even a few weeks, so be patient and let the cat build its trust for you.
Pick Up The Cat
Once you’ve gained enough trust from the cat where they feel comfortable with you, try to pick them up and see how they react.
If you can pick them up and they are relaxed and seem to enjoy it, then you’ve earned enough trust.
If you pick them up and they become flustered, stressed out, or try to jump out of your arms, then the cat is not ready and doesn’t trust you enough yet.
Continue to pet them and feed them for some more time until they become more comfortable.
Schedule A Vet Appointment
With a stray cat, you will have no idea about their medical history or medical problems they may be suffering from.
When you can pick up the cat, take the cat to the vet for a checkup.
The vet will check for any problems and if they are spayed or neutered, and an estimate of their age.
They will also give them any shots they may need and check to see if the cat has a microchip or tattoo which indicates that they already have an owner.
Bring Your Cat Home
When the vet determines that the cat is healthy then you are ready to take your new cat home.
Remember, this cat has probably never lived in a home before, so be empathetic and try to make the cat as comfortable as possible.
Even though adopting a cat from the street is more difficult than adopting a cat from the shelter, it is not impossible.
With a little bit of patience and time, you will gain the trust of the cat and be able to give them a great forever home.
How To Pick A Cat
With so many options it can be hard to pick out just one cat, but there are a few things to take into consideration when choosing the right cat for you:
Choose A Healthy Looking Cat
First and foremost, you want to pick a cat that looks healthy.
Not all cats you find in the shelter or on the streets are in good health, so examine the cat closely and look for any signs of illness such as excessively watery or gunky eyes, excessive smelly wax build-up, and looking malnourished.
These could all be indicators that the cat is sick and needs medical attention.
Pick A Cat With A Good Temperament
Watch how the cat behaves and see if they display any signs of aggression.
You want to get a cat that you will be able to handle and get along with so you don’t risk having to bring them back to a shelter or finding them another home.
Evaluate What Cat Needs You The Most
Is there a cat at the shelter that has been there for an extensive amount of time?
Maybe there’s a senior cat that keeps getting passed up on because everyone bought the kittens.
When adopting an animal, you are giving them a better life that they so desperately need and deserve.
Consider adopting a cat that has been there the longest and that needs some TLC.(tender, loving care)
What To Look Out For
When you adopt your new cat, you want to make sure they fit into your lifestyle.
Think about your ideal cat. Is it a kitten or an adult? Does it have long hair or short hair or even no hair?
Does it do well with kids or other animals? Is there a specific breed that you are interested in? How does the cat act daily?
These are all things that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a cat to adopt.
Talking to the staff at the shelter will help you gain a better understanding of the particular cat that you are interested in and may help you make the best choice.
How To Prepare For Your New Cat
To prepare for your new feline friend and make them feel as comfortable as possible there are a few things that you can do:
Buy Them A Bed
If you don’t want the cat to sleep on your bed with you or your couch you can buy them a cat bed.
This is good because they will have their own area to go to when they want to sleep or relax.
Get Them Some Toys
Just like dogs, some cats can be extremely playful.
Purchase a few new toys for your cat such as some catnip, a scratching pole, or a toy with some string attached to a stick.
You could also even get them a cat tree so they can climb. Having something to keep them entertained will make them feel more comfortable and allow you two an opportunity to bond.
Also read: best cat toys for active cats.
Pick Out Some Delicious Food
One way to win an animal’s heart is through food!
There are all different types of options for cat food, so pick out the one you think your cat will enjoy.
Cat treats are another good thing to purchase to get them comfortable with you and your home.
What To Keep In Mind When Adopting A Cat
When you adopt an animal, you ever know their full history and what they have been through.
Remember that the cat may be very scared because they have no idea what’s going on.
They are used to their previous lifestyle and now all of a sudden they are in a new environment with new people, new objects, and maybe even new pets.
It can be a lot to take in, so just be sure to give your new cat some extra love and attention while they are getting used to their new life.
In conclusion, adopting any animal is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a long-term commitment and requires you to invest your time, money, and effort into that animal.
But when you adopt a new pet you will be providing an animal with a loving and caring home that they deserve.
In return, receive unconditional love and a life-long companion. How much better can it get?