With the arrival of spring, comes a flood of spring kittens, and the result is that shelters and animal rescue centers are full of homeless cats and kittens. If you have room in your heart (and your home!), June is a great month to add a cat (or two!) to your family.
If you need a reason to adopt a cat, here are a few…
- Owning a cat reduces stress.
- Petting a cat can lower your blood pressure.
- Think of all the great cat memes you can add to the internet!
- They love to play.
- Studies have shown that children who have pets in their home learn empathy and learn to relate to others.
- They are SO soft!
- They fit into any size home.
- The purring!
If you do decide to adopt a cat this June, here’s what you need to know before you bring kitty home:
Make sure everyone in the house agrees that adding a cat to the home is a great idea. Don’t get a cat if someone in the house has allergies severe enough from sharing the home with a cat. It would be upsetting to have to return the cat to the shelter just after adopting it – both for the cat and your family.
Meet a few cats
Don’t be impulsive and adopt the first cat you see. Cats all have different personalities. Make sure to choose a cat that will complement your personality and your lifestyle.
Consider an adult cat
Kittens are cute, but can be a lot more work than an adult cat. You need to keep a close eye on kittens or they can get into trouble! Adult cats will have an established personality, while a kitten’s personality can change a lot while it grows up.
Cat-proof your home
There are many household items that can pose a danger to your cat. Household cleaning supplies, medications, houseplants, and garden chemicals can all pose serious dangers to your cat. Ensure these are stored away from curious kitties. Remember that cats can be climbers, so keeping grandma’s antique vase on a high shelf may not keep it safe!
Pick up supplies you will need in advance
You will need a litterbox, litter (and a scoop), food and water dishes, a collar, ID tag (even if you plan on keeping your cat indoors – you never know if she might escape), carrier, scratching post, food, and of course a few toys!
Consider pets you already have
Think about pets you already have in your home and consider how the introductions will go. If you can, find out how the cat you are adopting has interacted in the past with other animals.
Schedule a visit with your veterinarian
You will want to have your veterinarian check over your new kitty before bringing her home, or if that is not possible, fairly soon after. You want to make sure your new addition is healthy, is fully vaccinated and isn’t bringing any of its own “friends” (fleas, ticks, mites, or intestinal worms) into your home.
If you can’t adopt a cat, there are still ways you can help with the overpopulation of cats. Donate your time to your local shelter. They may be in need of people to photograph their adoptable cats to post on their website, or they may be in need of foster families for cats waiting to be adopted.
It may take some time for shelter cats to trust again, but they are social animals and may adjust to their new home more quickly than you think, especially if you give her lots of love and attention!