How to Adopt the Right Cat?

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How to Adopt the Right Cat?

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Adopting a cat is a humane act, above all. Offering our home, care, time, energy, and love to this amazing creature is reward per se. However, before we decide which cat to adopt, it is necessary to consider all aspects, because adopting a cat is a long-term commitment that can last from 12 to 15 years. It is highly recommended to carefully examine our lifestyle, habits, personality type and select the cat which temperament, age, and physical traits can suit the best. If we like peace and quiet, then the calm, mellow cat, who is fond of cuddling and curling up in the lap is the best match. On the contrary, playful and dynamic cat is the best for everyone whose lifestyle is busy, active and hectic. The article “10 Tips to Choose the Right Shelter Cat” gives us some suggestions on how to carefully select the cat which is the most suitable for us.

How to Adopt the Right Cat?

1. Start with a few ideas of the temperament of the cat you would like. Do you want a lap cat? One who will say hi when you get home but is content to be by
himself most of the time? Do a little preparation before you visit the shelter so you know what you are looking for.

2. How much time to you have to dedicate to your new cat? Kittens have a lot of energy, and need a lot of time and attention. They need a lot of interactive
playtime, and will need some training (where it is okay to climb and claw, and where it is not; most cats instinctively know how to use the litter box).
Adult cats tend to not need quite so much dedicated playtime or training, but will still want some of your love and attention. If you lead a very busy
lifestyle, a young kitten may not be the best choice for you right now.

3. Do you have kids? What ages are they? Keep in mind that small children (especially those who have not been around animals before) may not know how to
handle a cat, especially a small kitten. Consider waiting until your children are old enough to understand how to touch and pet a cat, or consider
getting an older cat who may be more tolerant of children than a kitten might be.

4. When you get to the shelter, take a quick walk through the cat room before stopping to visit with any one cat. See how each cat reacts to you walking by,
and pay attention to those who seem to be interested in meeting you. Keep in mind, cats can sleep up to 17 hours a day, so don’t rule out that cute one
taking a cat nap in the corner.

5. Go back and have a short visit (through the door) with any cats who you think you are interested in. Watch for them to come up to the door and try to
smell you or rub their faces or bodies on the door. Ask the shelter staff to wake up that cute little one so you can meet her, too.

6. If the shelter has the space, spend a few minutes in a quiet place alone with each cat that you are interested in. How this interaction goes will be very
different based on each cat’s personality. For some cats, the more you try to get their attention the more they will ignore you. For other cats, the more
you ignore them the more they will want your attention! Remember, most of these cats want more love and attention than they get every day, so they should
be interested in meeting you. Do give them some time to warm up to you, as many cats are cautious around new people.

7. See how the cat reacts to being petted. If the cat tries to bite or swat at you after being petted just a few times, this may not be the cat for you
(especially if you have small children).

8. Try picking up the cat to see how she tolerates that. Some cats enjoy being picked up and held; these will often be good lap cats. Some cats do not like
being picked up, and that is okay, depending on how the cat’s other behaviors mesh with what you are looking for. If the cat gets frantic and tries to
claw at you to get down, this may not be the right cat for you.

9. If you have kids, bring them along on the shelter visit to see how the cat interacts with them (or bring them back when you have already narrowed your
choices down to 1 or 2 cats). You are looking for a cat who seems patient around kids, is interested in being around them, but will move away when they
get overwhelmed by the attention (rather than trying to bite or claw to get away).

10. Ask lots of questions, anything you can think of! Ask how long the cat has been in the shelter, if they know why he was surrendered there, if he has a
favorite person or other cat there, his medical history, what his normal behaviors are, and if the shelter employees have any concerns about adopting
this cat (in general, or with your family in particular). The only silly question is the one you don’t ask, so don’t be shy!

Before we bring a new cat to our home, it is necessary to do some preparations. Everything that could be poisonous for the cat, such as plants, has to be removed. Similarly, every little thing the cat can swallow is highly recommended to be taken away. In the beginning, one single room is enough for the cat to explore. It is up to us to ensure the cat’s control over the space and help it to feel safe and secure. We will help it a lot if litter box, food containers, and cat’s bed are placed in that single room. When the cat accustomed itself to it, then it can explore further our living place and our joyful coexistence can begin.

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