Adopting a cat is one of the best things you can do. Not just because cats are adorable, lovable, and bring so much joy to our lives. When you adopt a cat, you’re saving a life. 3.4 million cats get brought to shelters each year in the U.S. Almost 30% of those cats don’t make it out alive. When you adopt, you free up space for another cat to become available for adoption and you save the life of your kitty.
If you’re considering being one of those heroes and adopting a new cat, be sure you’re ready. Set yourself and your cat up for success by knowing the answers to these questions before adopting:
1. Are You Allergic to Cats?
Many people mistakenly adopt cats without realizing they’re allergic to them. In order to find out if you’re allergic or not, we suggest you try fostering a cat or volunteering at a cat shelter before committing to owning one. If you experience sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watering eyes or hives, you may have a cat allergy and should check with your doctor.
2. Do You Have Time to Spend with Your Cat?
A lot of people adopted during COVID-19 quarantine just to find they’re too busy to be a pet owner once the restrictions started to lift. Cats need quality time. How much time does a cat need exactly? Cats need one-on-one attention in addition to about 40 minutes of active play each day, and they need affection and attention.
3. Does Your Resident Pet Get Along Well with Others?
With any new pet, there is bound to be an adjustment period. The question is: will your cats (or cat and dog) be able to adjust without harming one another and receiving the individual care and attention they both need.
To decide on this, assess your current cat or dog’s general temperament and attitude. Is your current pet relaxed and east going? Then they may love a new buddy. If not, you’ will have to go through a trial-and-error period. Ask the shelter what their policy is when it comes to bringing back a cat that doesn’t adjust well to your current pet. After all, you want to have a happy ending for both old and new pets.
4. Can You Afford the Cost of a Newly Adopted Cat?
The long-term cost of a cat is about $340 per year in the U.S. But this can vary greatly by cat and owner. This cost can increase if you travel a lot and need a cat sitter or use a boarding facility. A cat may also become ill or suffer injuries and require expensive vet care. And of course, you will want to account for daily food, water, fresh litter, clean new bedding, treats and toys and vet care.
5. Does Your Lease Allow Pets?
If you rent, you should reread your lease to confirm that you’re allowed a pet before adopting a cat. If you’ve lived in your home for a while and inadvertently lost your copy of the lease, contact your landlord to ask. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with the perfect purrball just to find out your landlord won’t approve the adoption--or worse--you have to bring your new cat back to the shelter after your landlord finds out you have one.
6.Would You Prefer a Cat or Kitten?
Although there is nothing cuter than a tiny playful kitten, making a rational decision between a kitten and adult cat is important. Adult cats are often much calmer, however the health history and habits may be a mystery.
A kitten is very playful and active and requires more energy, new toys and food to meet their changing needs as they grow up. They also require more vet visits and veterinary costs.
7. Do You Have Major Changes Instore in the Near Future?
Not all major life changes are predictable but if you have upcoming plans to move, are expecting a baby or career change, it's probably not the best time to adopt a cat. It takes time and is not easy for a cat to settle into a new home. And if the amount of time you can devote to your cat care changes, it could be traumatic and lead to behavioral problems for the cat.
8. Do You Have the Personality to Be a Cat Parent?
We love cats because of their unique personalities. Unlike many dog breeds, you can’t predict exactly what your cat will be like. Most are independent while others are clingy. Can you adapt to either situation?
How can you determine if you’re more of a cat person versus a dog person? If you are active and outgoing a dog may be a better pet choice for you. Cats tend to be more suited to introverts, and independent, sensitive people.
9. Are You Willing To Deal with the Accidents and Blunders that Come Along with a New Cat?
Before making a final decision to adopt a cat, consider whether you are willing to be patient. You will have to clean up poop and even scrub pee out of the carpet. There’s also a high likelihood of scratching, breaking things, and spills.
At the end of the day, cats requite patience, time, and problem-solving.
There is one thing that is certain. Adopting a cat can easily be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. A strong bond with a happy cat will bring you joy that will last a lifetime.
ViviPet Big Head Water Bowl
— Meow for now —