Steps for Choosing the Right Shelter Cat for You
It is a beautiful thing to provide a shelter cat a home. When you adopt a shelter cat, you save a life and help shelters make space for new cats without a home. It is exciting, but you also want to pick the right cat for you and your family. There are many factors that you should take into account when choosing the right shelter cat for you. It is wise to do your research beforehand and prepare well for this big decision.
Choose a Kitten or an Adult Shelter Cat?
There are advantages and disadvantages to adopting an adult cat and a kitten. Before you make a final decision, look at what you are in for with both options:
- Advantages: They are active and playful, and they adjust more quickly. Kittens are more tolerant of children and other pets. They will have a longer life and lower food costs initially.
- Disadvantages: They will most likely not be litter trained. They get easily injured, are more susceptible to diseases, and will require more frequent vaccinations.
- Advantages: They are mellower and already trained. Their adoption fee will be lower, and they require less maintenance Disadvantages: Adult cats are not as playful as kittens and are less tolerant around other pets. It will be more difficult for them to adjust, and they will need more veterinary care.
Preparing for a Kitten
You most likely imagine a kitten when you think of adopting a cat. They are cute, adorable, and so much fun. However, their energy levels and need for supervision and attention may not go hand in hand with your schedule. A kitten may prove more of a challenge if you are a busy person or out of the home most of the day. In addition to that, if you have small children, other pets, or valuable furniture, you might suffer initially. As the kitten sharpens its hunting skills, your family members and furniture will be its target. The kitten’s primary goal is to eat, sleep, and prey on anything that catches its eye. If, in spite of all that, you still want a kitten, consider adopting two at the same time. If they are around the same age, they can practice their hunting skills on each other instead of members of your family or your lovely couch.
Protecting Your Furniture from Shelter Cat
After deciding to adopt a shelter cat, you should consider what changes you need to make in your home. Your new pet may take time to get accustomed to the new environment and might damage some of your furniture. Consider renting a storage unit and storing pieces you want to be protected. This option is particularly useful for storing large furniture that may be of value to you. It would be tricky to defend it in your home, and you can keep it safe in the storage unit for as long as needed.
How Much Time Do You Spend at Home?
There are lots of things to consider before bringing home a new cat. For instance, do you work from home, or are you away most of the day? Is your house quiet, or is a lot going on with your big family? If you are away most of the day, you should reconsider bringing home a kitten or a cat with behavioral challenges or medical needs. As some cats require more supervision and attention, it may not be wise to bring home a needy cat that will be left alone most of the time. In this case, you might consider hiring a cat sitter to help with that initial transition. . Picking the right shelter cat for your circumstances is super important. If that is your situation, consider adopting an older, mellow cat that can manage to stay home alone.
Longhaired or Shorthaired Shelter Cat?
One of many things to consider when choosing the right shelter cat for you is their hair length. When deciding on this, think about how much time you can spend grooming your cat. A longhaired cat can have mats forming, so you need to brush them around ten minutes a day, several days a week. However, this can be considered a very calming and meditative practice. Longhaired cats also tend to have calmer personalities. Although a shorthaired cat also requires ten-minute grooming, you can do it once or twice a week. Unlike longhaired cats, shorthaired cats are usually more active and playful companions.
Spend Time at the Shelter Before Choosing Right Shelter Cat
When choosing a shelter cat, do not rush the process. Bringing home the first cat you like at the shelter can be a hurried decision that you might regret. Be prepared to spend time at the shelter, dedicating sufficient time to each cat you like. You might be drawn to a particular cat but are ultimately not a good match. Many shelters have private rooms where you can spend some one-on-one time with a cat. This is the time to find out how you react to each other. You can see if the cat likes being held and whether you can pet it. This way, you can see if you are forming a bond or not. In addition to that, some shelters may even let you take the cat home for a couple of days before you make the final decision.
Be Patient After the Adoption
After choosing the right shelter cat for you and bringing them home, take your time getting adjusted to each other. It may even take a few weeks for the cat to adapt to its new home. Don’t take it personally and be patient if they hide under the bed or in the closet for the few initial days. Ensure they have a litter box, food, water, a bed, and toys. A great way to help your cat adjust is to play with them. Use a wand toy with a feather at the end or play around with catnip. Activating your cat and getting them to play is the fastest way to help them become relaxed and adjusted to their new home.