This month, both the ASPCA’s adopt-a-shelter-cat month and the American Humane Society’s adopt-a-cat month take place. The goal this month is to let people know the importance of adoption and the significance of developing a strong, forever relationship with a cat who is given a second chance at a loving home. Approximately 6.5 million animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year and of those, 3.2 million of them are cats. The good news is that it is estimated that half of the cats brought in, about 1.6 million, are able to find forever homes.
So, thinking about adopting? Great! If worried about adopting a cat and having it stay by itself for too long, another cat who is in need of a home could make the perfect companion. Cats need exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction, and by adopting two cats instead of one, they can provide all these things for each other when a pet parent is gone. If a family is making the decision to adopt a cat, go together and discuss options on how to introduce a new cat with an adoption center representative if there are already furry family members in the home. This should be done if a cat is being given as a gift as well. Adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a home appliance, it’s important to give the recipient and the cat time to get to know each other, and by talking to a representative, will ensure that the cat's personality and its new pet parent will mesh well together.
While a shelter may pay for the spaying/neutering, initial vaccinations and microchip, the cat will still need basic necessities, which means a trip to the pet store. Things that need to be purchased for a cat before bringing them to their new forever home includes a litter box, litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching post, a bed, toys, and a brush for grooming. After that, there’s the excitement of bringing them home! For some cats, though, it might take a little longer for them to feel comfortable in their new home, so it is recommended to keep them secluded in one room with its food, water and other items until it is relaxed enough to explore its surroundings. For new cat parents, they will soon learn that their home will need to be cat-proofed, by picking up any loose items such as paperclips, and tucking electrical cords away.
The next step is to find a trusted veterinarian, it is important to bring medical records and any other paperwork to the pets first vet appointment, which should be scheduled soon after the pet is brought to its new home.
Adopting a cat is a rewarding experience for both the pet parent and cat. If wanting to adopt a cat, websites such as petfinder.com can narrow down choices, find a shelter in the area, and help find a perfect feline friend. But what if it’s not an option right now? You can still bring awareness to the cats that are in need. On your Facebook page or Twitter account, mention that June is Adopt-a-cat month. Call a local shelter to see if they have a wish list, or even sign up as a volunteer. Every little bit helps shelters and other potential cat adopters.