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Articles and Advice from our Pet Expert

Meow, More Than Ever, It's A Great Time To Adopt A Cat

Like clockwork, "kitten season" happens each spring, meaning newborn kittens join the millions of adult torties, tabbies and tiggers already waiting in animal shelters to be adopted. For this reason, June is "Adopt a Cat Month" – brought to us by the American Humane Association in partnership with Petfinder.com and the CATalyst Council.

Before you head out on the hunt for the perfect cat, however, a quick reality check is in order. Consider the commitment your family should be willing to dedicate to this new companion.Surely you’ll enjoy having your ankles rubbed by a furry, affectionate critter, but will you mind sharing your house with someone who sheds, tracks kitty litter, throws up hairballs and never cleans up after itself? (They do bathe themselves, though!)

Regardless of these truths, there’s a reason that cats are America’s most popular pet with over 95 million of them living in our homes! The companionship benefits they offer and their relatively easy care regimen should win you over. They also make great apartment or condominium pets, requiring only modest living space.

Here are my five favorite tips, some from the Adopt A Cat Month partner organizations, to help you and your family experience a purr-fect cat adoption:

  1. Review the Cat Adoption Checklist assembled by Petfinder.com. In your excitement to adopt, it can be difficult to think of everything you should consider before bringing a kitten or cat home. The checklist will ensure you do not miss anything important.
  2. Hold a family meeting. It’s important that the whole family (or certainly the majority) is in agreement with bringing a new cat or kitten home. It will take time, love and responsibility from everyone in the home. Also, keep in mind that children under 6 years old shouldn’t be expected to consistently take on significant responsibility. An adult in the home has the ultimate responsibility for the pet’s safety and well-being.
  3. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. According to a study by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the typical healthy cat will cost approximately $640 per year, including food, veterinary care, litter, supplies and toys. The good news is that a shelter or rescue cat is a bargain; many facilities provide spaying or neutering, initial vaccines and a microchip for permanent identification.
  4. Prepare yourself and your family for success. Cats are sensitive to new surroundings, so planning ahead is essential in reducing stress for the feline, humans and possibly other pets in the home. Check out Petfinder.com’s "I’m Adopting a Cat, Now What?" article.
  5. Can’t adopt? You can still help! Perhaps you already have a cat or three, or you simply cannot adopt a cat at this time. There are still many ways you can help! “What Can I Do” is Petfinder.com’s list of easy ways to spread the word to others about Adopt a Cat Month.
  6. Share your adopted cat and kitten stories with us! Here’s mine. My husband and I, along with our 4-year-old Labrador mix, Chilly, rescued two cats, Olivia and Turtle (aka “Turdie”). They bring us such joy and laughter every day! Olivia likes to snuggle at night, while Turdie and I have “Turdie Time” each morning over coffee.

Kristen Buck60x60

Written by:
Kristen Levine, Pet Living Expert

June 1, 2014

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