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10 Things You Might Want to Know About Cat Adoption
Tips for Day One with Your New Cat / Kitten - There's lots you can do within in the first day to ease your new kitten / cat adoption into your home. When you arrive, select a quiet, closed-in area such as your bedroom or a small room away from the main foot traffic, and set it up with a litter box, bed, food and water. If you are adopting an adult cat, be sure that this "starter room" has locked screens, or keep the windows completely closed. If feasible, make the starter room the permanent location of the litter box. If you plan on having the permanent location of the litter box be elsewhere, you'll need two litter boxes. Please do consider the advantages of keeping your new cat indoors always — outdoor cats are exposed to disease, cat fights, being killed by dogs and other wild animals, and hit by cars. If you have other pets, don't introduce the new pet immediately. Let your new cat get to know and trust household members, before it must adjust to the entire home. For more on each of these tips visit our blog.
Introducing Cats & Kittens - Based on their age and personalities, you may take days or months to fully integrate your new cat adoption or kitten to your family pets. Generally it's believed the easiest introduction is when the new cat is younger, smaller, and of the opposite sex, but it really depends on the personalities and experiences of the felines involved. First always make sure each cat is healthy so that it does not transmit a disease. Neutering/spaying of all cats to be introduced is essential, ideally 2-4 weeks before the introduction, so the hormones levels have time to subside. The first step is to confine the new cat to one room with its litter box, food, water, and a bed. Feed your current cat(s) and the newcomer on either side of the door to this room. After the 7-10 day isolation period is done, and your new cat is healthy, you can progress to the next steps. For each step please read this post
The Myths of Cat Adoption - Did you know that most cats do not have a home due to no fault of their own? It is a common myth to think that all cats up for adoption in shelters and rescues are damaged in some way. But, nothing could be less true! Cat shelters and rescues are full of lovable, active and healthy adoptable cats just waiting for someone to take them home. A majority of cats are given up when their prior owner no longer afford the financial requirements to keep them, got divorced, had a death in the family or other unexpected change in their family situation, or didn't realize how much time & attention a cat adoption deserves and needs. Even worse, the number of cat adoptions in need are compounded by a surplus of cats bred for profit: millions of adoptable pets are killed each year due to overpopulation. By taking home a cat adoption from a rescue or a shelter, not only are you saving that pet, you're either making room in the rescue so they can save another pet from a shelter, or making room at the shelter itself. As you can see, cat adoption is truly a continuous cycle of saving lives, and it's the humane thing to do! Thank you for considering cat adoption, and please help us debunk the myth of homeless pets in the future.
Some Rescue Cats Are Already Trained for a Home - Even though living in a cat rescue isn't ideal, most rescues (and some shelters) are assisting the cats in more ways than just keeping it alive. Cats can be socialized with other animals that help make them kinder and playful with all types of animals. Many rescue organizations use foster homes, where puppies and kittens for adoption are socialized with children and other cats, and given essential obedience training before they go to their new homes. This makes the transition to your home much easier for both pet and owner. Another positive aspect about cat adoption to point out, many cats in animal shelters and humane societies are already housebroken, trained and ready to go! Usually this is on behalf of the hard working shelter volunteers, and foster care givers, or it is because the cat has already lived in a home and has gotten to know the household rules like using the bathroom outside, or not jumping onto furniture.
Rescues Are Pros at Matching You With the Right Cat Adoption - Shelter workers are very careful to make sure your cat adoption goes well and their cats end up in the best homes for cat and owner. Each organization has its own cat adoption application and screening process for potential adopters. Since pet rescues spend so much time with their cats, they are able to match you up with the perfect companion for you. Volunteers also follow up with you after the adoption to make sure everything's going well. They can help you get through any rough spots by offering cat training tips and lots of other advice. Adopting from a pet rescue group has another benefit: if, for some reason, things don't work out with your new cat, most rescues will take the cat back, saving you a lot of trouble. Each rescue has its own cat adoption process for screening; this process is designed to make sure you end up with the right cat for your family. In an effort to help people make good choices when they chose cat adoption, many rescues even specialize in small cats, some rescue only giant breeds. There are thousands of rescue groups devoted to a particular breed of cat or cat, too!
Rescues Have Plenty of Purebred Cats - If you have your heart set on a specific cat breed, before you check out a breeder or pet store, why not at least look into cat adoption as a option? 25% of all cats in a shelter are purebred. There are also lots of specific cat breed rescue groups that specialize in a particular breed of cat. Don't be fooled into thinking that animal shelters and cat rescues are filled with cats that were discarded because they're "bad". Shelter cats for adoption are wonderful companions who became the victims of family tragedy, unlucky circumstances or irresponsible owners. Did you know that many backyard cat breeders and pet stores who supply the majority of purebreds simply are selling inbred pets without care for preventing genetic problems? Mixed breed cats have less inbreeding, generally less inherited genetic disease, and therefore overall lower vet bills and happier cats! And the best place to find a mixed breed is at rescue, SPCA, humane society or animal shelter.
Cat Adoption Will Build Life Lessons for Kids of All Ages - Cat adoption provides a fertile opportunity to teach significant values to children. The decision to devote your resources and care to a cat in need sends a very clear message about the identity of a family and its underlying values. It is a great time to explore who you are as a family and what you stand for. It is through this process that a child learns things like, "We are a family with an important choice to make, and we are going to use the power of this choice to save a life." This teaches kids about personal responsibility and their impact on the greater good as they make choices in life. Children need to feel they can impact their world. We need to give them opportunities to do so in positive, pro-social ways. Choosing cat adoption can plant the seeds for that ethic. Kids also learn responsibility by feeding and caring for a cat's routine needs. Children with cats display improved impulse control, social skills and self-esteem. And for emerging readers, reading to a catis an easy way to feel comfortable.
How to Plan for a Cat Friendly Schedule - How much time your new cat adoption will really needs is dependent on the type of cat, including but not limited to the breed, age, amount of previous training, other pets & people in your home. Matching the time a cat will take to the amount of time you want to spend on your cat is a very important part in finding your new best friend! A good first step is really thinking about your daily routine. How much free time do you have each day that you are willing to devote to the care, training, and attention of your new cat adoption over the next few months, and then for the lifetime of that cat? For social pets like birds, rabbits, and cats, time spent just "hanging out" with you while you're watching a movie or reading a book, counts too! Cats and puppies vary the most in their time requirements, ranging from an adult, already-trained, mellow breed, to a high-energy puppy that would love a jogging companion and another high-energy cat friend. Be prepared to spend at about 3-4 hours a day with a single adult cat and more time for kittens.
How to Prepare Your Budget for Cat Adoption - Being a good caring cat owner involves many things that don't affect your wallet, like your time and love, but there are certainly costs to plan for. If you've never owned a particular type of pet before, knowing how much your new pet will cost can be complicated. When adopting a cat there will usually be an cat adoption fee. Rescuing pets is expensive work! The rescuer often pays to have the cats spayed or neutered if they aren't already, provides vaccines, and pays for all medical care needed while the pets are in their rescue. Food, beds, collars, tags, grooming, it adds up, but luckily much of that cost is not passed on. Typical cat adoption fees range from $100 to $300. Next consider you basic supplies such as a collar, IDs, microchip, pet bed, bowls, and toys. The biggest cost will be food, that depends on the size and type of cat you will be adopting. Asking the shelter what they are feeding the cat you want to adopt and the cost can help prepare for this. Other costs are mostly medical and will include regular vet checkups, and the potential for a trip to the vest because of an accident, or illness.
FAQ for Cat Veterinarian Visits - Taking your new cat pet to the veterinarian should be your first priority. This is especially true if you have other pets. It's a good idea to make sure your new cat is healthy and doesn't have any diseases or viruses he or she could transmit to other animals in the house. The best way to find a veterinarian is by word of mouth. The animal shelter or rescue group where you got your cat may have a good recommendation for you. For proper preventative care, your cat or cat should be examined by a veterinarian twice a year. A typical vet checkup includes searching for fleas using a special flea comb. Taking your cat's temperature, and a physical examination which will include checking your cat's ears, eyes, nose, teeth, skin, legs, joints, and genitals, and lymph nodes and listen to the heart and lungs. It will be common for the veterinarian to stress the importance of avoiding parasites, and will suggest options for flea and tick prevention and control.
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