Have you ever thought about adopting a cat or a dog?
If yes, do you know what you need to do? If not, we invite you to learn from the great experience of Nikko Shaw on what to do and what not to do when adopting a pet.
- 1 WHY YOU SHOULD ADOPT A PET
- 2 Many cats are waiting for this moment.
- 3 What to do after bringing home an adopted cat?
- 4 Congratulations: you’re now ready to go out and look for a cat to adopt!
WHY YOU SHOULD ADOPT A PET
The sound of meows filled the air as I wandered down the hallways.
I had come to the shelter to look for a specific tabby kitten I’d seen advertised online earlier that day. He was easy enough to find, but when I finally saw him, I hesitated. I just didn’t feel the instant connection I’d hoped for.
He was very cute, however, so I decided to meet some other cats while I thought about whether or not I’d want to adopt him.
In another building at the shelter, I found a lovely orange cat missing his tail. I was intrigued, at first, until the kitten next to him caught my eye. The small placard on the cage read:
Tumbleweed, male, 5 months.
(I would come to learn later that she was actually female)
The kitten had white fur with calico spots on her ears, face, and tail. I’d never seen such coloring on a cat before. A nearby shelter attendant offered to let me interact with the kitten and opened her cage door. Immediately, with no hesitation, the kitten leaped into my arms!
I was chosen!
I let the attendant put the white-and-calico kitten back in her cage and decided to take one last look at the original tabby, just in case.
When I arrived at his cage I stopped and smiled as relief flooded over me – a young couple stood there cooing over the tabby kitten as another shelter attendant placed an “adopted” sign over the cage door.
It was clear to me I was meant to adopt the sweet white-and-calico kitten that had jumped into my arms and jumped into my heart. After learning that my new cat was female, I re-named her Cali, and have loved her ever since.
Many cats are waiting for this moment.
The sad truth is that many people will miss out on strong bonds such as the one between Cali and I because they don’t realize how great it is to adopt a cat from a shelter.
While there is no organization dedicated to collecting statistics on animal shelters, it is estimated 6.5 million animals are entered into United States shelters alone. Approximately 3.4 million of them are cats. Of those, around 1.3 million cats are euthanized every year. The numbers are staggering. Many of these cats would be saved if people considered pet adoption.
What are some reasons people don’t adopt their cats from shelters?
The two highest contenders are a desire for a specific breed and uncertainty about cat shelters and adoption. But cat adoption doesn’t have to be as murky as you might think it is!
Shelters make adoption as simple as possible. Those who work at the shelters just want to find good homes for the cats they take care of.
Misconception: Shelters only have mixed breed animals.
The cats found at shelters are often animals that just ran into some bad luck. Most often, a cat finds itself at a shelter because its owner, unfortunately, could no longer care for it.
It’s even possible to find many purebred animals at a shelter. In fact, in the United States, an average of 20% of the adoptable cats are actually purebred. There are even some shelters specifically for one breed.
While it can be daunting, doing just a little bit of research can help you find your perfect cat at a shelter.
Misconception: Animals in shelters are sickly, diseased, and poorly trained.
There is no need to be concerned over unhealthy animals in shelters.
If you do your research and find a reputable shelter, you can be assured the staff will screen all incoming cats for both health and behavior concerns. Most of the cats are spayed and neutered.
They will be honest to you about any needs each individual cat may have. It’s even possible they could offer you some basic training or medical procedures to help prepare your new cat for your home. These services are what you’re paying for with your adoption fees.
Just look at how the cats in shelters look and behave. They are perfect for adoption:
Misconception: Adopting a cat is too expensive.
Speaking of fees, adopting a cat is good on your wallet! It is much cheaper to adopt a cat than it is to buy a cat.
Purchasing a cat can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, or even more. Adoption, on the other hand, tends to range more from $50 to $200.
The price depends on your shelter and the cat you’re adopting. In all likelihood, you’ll get a healthier cat for that cheaper price, too.
Purebred animals can have inherent health risks that come from breeding closely related individuals in order to get highly desired traits. This can lead to vet visits, shelling out more money, and eventually heartache.
A mixed cat is less likely to have these health concerns and can end up living a lot longer, and more comfortable, life.
Misconception: I don’t want an adult cat.
Most people think that they want a kitten when they decide to get a cat. Kittens can be hard work, though, and many people aren’t prepared for it. They need constant attention.
If you adopt your cat from a shelter, you have the option of selecting an older cat that has already gone through training. Older cats will often be calmer and be more independent.
What to do after bringing home an adopted cat?
The truth is, when you adopt a cat, you get a loving companion that will bring you a great emotional fulfillment you never expected in life.
Here are some tips for making the most of your time with your new friend:
- Make sure you have time allotted to bond with the cat;
- For a while, keep the cat in its own room with its food and litter box so it can have a safe space in your house as it grows more comfortable;
- If you have other pets, introduce your new cat to them very slowly. Try having a barrier between them for first meetings.
Congratulations: you’re now ready to go out and look for a cat to adopt!
It will take a little bit of time, a little bit of research, and a little bit of patience. The reward will be worth the wait, however. All that’s stopping you is you!
Go out and meet your new best friend today!