A Guide to Adopting the Right Shelter Cat

Shelter Cat

Adopting a new pet is an exciting, albeit daunting, experience. When it comes to cats, ensuring that you adopt the right one to fit your needs might feel like a tall order. However, there are things you can do to prepare for this momentous decision. If you’re an avid cat lover and are eager to adopt one from the shelter, check out the points below.

Kitten or Full-Grown Cat?

One of the first things to decide before adopting is to figure out whether you want a kitten or a full-grown cat. The difference is that a kitten will require more training and more of your time. Your home will also have to be kitten-proofed while they grow, so it’s best to decide whether a kitten will enhance your life or disrupt it.

Evaluate Your Home Environment

As well as deciding on the maturity of your cat, it’s also important to evaluate your home environment. For example, do you live alone? With a partner? Do you have kids? Other pets? Your answers to these questions will greatly affect the type of cat you adopt. You’ll also want to consider space issues (if your home is cramped or roomy) and where the cat can be accommodated.

Consider Your Lifestyle

Another thing to consider before you take the leap is your lifestyle. Are you out all the time? Or do you work from home? Do you tend to travel a lot? It’s likely that your kitty won’t be happy if you’re never around and they’re constantly eating out of an automated feeder. However, if you can balance work, home, and social life, then you may have ample time for a new cat.

Spend Time at the Shelter

Once you’ve considered your home environment and lifestyle, it’s time to visit the shelter. It’s a good idea to call ahead of time or visit the shelter’s website to see what their rules and procedures are. If the shelter has a website, they may also have a listing of the cats that are available for adoption. 

When you arrive, make sure you spend some time there. Flying in and picking the first cat you see won’t do you (or the cat) any favors. Spend time looking at all the cats and then spend time visiting the ones you like.

Check Its Reaction to You

While you’re visiting different cats at the shelter, be sure to check their reaction to you. Is it shy? Or does it warm to you right away? Does it like to be picked up and held? Depending on your preferences, you’ll want to select a cat that best matches your personality. If you want a cat that loves to snuggle or be a lap warmer, it’s best to find a cat that likes physical affection. Alternatively, if you’re quite independent, you may fare well with a cat that’s a bit standoffish.

Don’t Rush

Last but not least, don’t rush! Adopting a cat is a big decision, and you’ll want to do it carefully. A vet from the likes of Pet Nest Animal Hospital or staff at the shelter can also help guide your decision. But in the end, it’s you who will be living with your new feline. So, before you say ‘yes’ to your new companion, carefully consider your lifestyle, ensure your home can accommodate them, and make sure you select the best cat that matches your personality.

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