Fur-ever Yours: The Joy of Adopting a Feline Companion
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WHO WILL YOU ADOPT FROM?
You may already have a few of your local adoption agencies bookmarked for scrolling. But if not, compile a list of a few nearby. Look for reputable organizations that are registered as 501(c)(3) nonprofits, and do a little background research on their website, social media, and any local media to make sure you're working with someone who treats their animals well and sources them ethically. Websites: PETFINDER and ADOPTAPET can also help you find pets at shelters and rescues near you.
DOUBLE AND TRIPLE CHECK YOURSELF
Before you even go to look at potential cat furr~iends, talk with all the members of your household, even if you live with roommates or plan to take care of kitty entirely yourself, everyone has to be on board with bringing a new animal into the home.
Set up your expectations! Decide on feeding, cleanup, and playtime schedules. This can help prevent conflicts later.
There are cats that are right for every lifestyle! Be sure to ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you can offer a cat, then find the cat who fits it best. Active kittens need equally engaged owners, who can give them the stimulation they need, not to mention training. Senior cats, however, do better in a quiet environment with lots of quiet and calm. Older cats may also have more medical needs too, so be sure to budget before you adopt one.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED?
Before you bring home your new cat, you’ll need to get your place ready for its arrival. In addition to the obvious food and litter, you'll need to create a stimulating, safe environment for your new furry friend. Cats like to run, jump, and knock things off ledges. Beware of any exposed electrical wires, poisonous houseplants, or unsecured furniture that could injure a curious kitty if they topple it. Equip your space with at least one scratching post and a cat tree for climbing. You'll also want to get them cat toys to occupy them.
Also be sure you get a veterinarian lined up. The shelter or rescue organization may already have a relationship with one, or be able to make a recommendation.
PICK THE RIGHT FOOD AND ACCESSORIES
Wide, shallow feeding bowls are preferred, these won't disturb their whiskers during meal time. Feeding your new friend a high-quality, carnivore diet that has high protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a limited amount of carbohydrates. While dry food can be more convenient, wet food helps your cat get enough water (some cats often prefer to play with their water over drinking it).
Some people find that a quality cat drinking fountain is a necessity. Cats will sometime gravitate toward drinking from a sink or even your personal glass...a fountain can help them to overcome those habits.
WHAT’S THE SCOOP?
Cats can be super picky about their litter box style, location, and type of litter. It might take a little trial and error to find what they like. Be sure to place it in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home so they can go in peace. You may also want to choose a covered or partially covered style so you don't end up with litter all over the place when they bury their mess. A good metal scooper is absolutely essential, it is durable and less likely to fling matter all over due to bending or breaking. Scoop litter daily! It will be a lot less mess in the long run, and a lot less smell! Seriously, just quickly scoop the mess out and dust a little clean litter or arm and hammer powder. Cats sometimes do their business outside of their box if they don't like their litter, its style or location, or if they're feeling stressed out or unhappy. Scooping it regularly will eliminate at least one of those factors, so set your schedule and stick to it.
THE ROYAL HIGHNESS IS HOME
When you bring your cat home, give them time and space to get used to their new environment. This is especially true for kittens and shy adult cats, it is important to help them transition into by giving them a dedicated area to relax and adjust to their new surroundings.
If you have other cats or dogs in the home, be sure you have a dedicated space for the new kitty’s litter box, food and water, and some toys, and then let them come to you. Most cats will get curious after a few days, but it can take some time for them to warm up. Don’t give up, just keep letting them know you’re there whenever they’re ready to come out and play.
Even though cats have the reputation of being aloof, don't forget to play with them. A game of chase that mouse or feather wand will help them maintain a healthy weight, stay mentally sharp, and best of all, help form the bond with you that no one will be able to break!
ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES LIST:
CAT FOOD (consult with Vet or Adoption Agency)