American Humane celebrates Adopt-A-Cat Month® each June – a month that also marks the height of “kitten season,” when large litters of kittens are born and often end up in animal shelters.
More than ever, they need our help. Not only are thousands of newborn kittens joining the millions of cats already in shelters, but a lack of foot traffic, funding and supplies at many shelters struggling to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic further threaten these beautiful animals and their hopes to find a forever home.
If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two! Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Plus they’ll provide more benefits to you. Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the cat’s personality with your own.
Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit.
Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home. Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to make a proper introduction.
Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip for permanent identification.
Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out!
Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment.
Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets.
If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process.Remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.