If you have ever owned a cat, you know that they can be aloof, mysterious, and temperamental. But you also know that they are affectionate, devoted, and loyal companions. June is Adopt a Cat month, and I can think of no better time than the present to welcome a furry, four-legged, feline friend into your home. Before you adopt, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
Am I prepared for a new cat?
Cats can live up to 20 years, so make sure you are ready to take on the commitment to care for a cat for that length of time. You must be prepared to:
- Give love and attention. Choose fun, interactive toys for your cat!
- Potty train. You’ll need to teach your cat how to use a litter box, and then keep the box clean. According to PetMD’s 5 Tips on How to Make Your Cat Love You More, “A clean, odor-free litter box means everything to a cat, and she’ll love you for it.”
- Provide food and water. It is important to feed your cat a balanced diet. According to Dr. Kerri Marshall, DVM, cats have different dietary needs depending on their age. She cautions cat owners to “be sure to always buy pet food that’s specifically balanced for the life stage of your pet.” See PetMD’s article, What is a “Balanced” Cat Food, for more tips.
- Plan for care when you’re away. If you are going to be out of town, plan to board your cat at your vet or ask a trustworthy neighbor to check in on your cat.
- Cats can get into a lot of trouble, which is one of the many reasons you'll benefit from having a pet insurance policy! Enroll in pet insurance to ensure you can afford the best veterinary care for your new cat! Customizable plans give you the ability to choose a pet insurance policy that can fit your needs and budget! Get a quote.
- Make and keep vet appointments. Cats require yearly check-ups in addition to visits whenever your kitten is showing symptoms of feeling sick.
Not ready to adopt?
If you're not quite ready for the commitment of a new family member, but you still want to make a difference you can:
- Educate your family and friends on the benefits of pet adoption.
- Donate to your local shelter. Many shelters are in need of household items such a towels, newspapers, and cleaning supplies.
- Register to be a foster parent at a shelter. In her PetMD article, Five Reasons You Should Foster a Kitten, Jackie Kelly compares fostering a kitten to test driving a car. If you are not ready for the financial responsibility of a cat, fostering is a good option since the fostering experience is usually a month or two versus the 20 year commitment that comes with adopting a cat. Fostering a kitten can help you know if you are ready for full time pet ownership. If you choose to foster, you’re saving a life, since kittens need to be fostered for at least eight weeks or until they weigh two pounds. A kitten’s immune system cannot handle the volume of germs they would be exposed to in a shelter. When you foster a kitten, you are making sure he gets the best possible start so he can have a happy, healthy life in his forever home.
Change a cat's life!
It’s official, the cat’s out of the bag! It’s the perfect month to adopt a kitten! So what are you waiting for? Go on, take a look. You won’t be able to say no to that furry little face.