Deciding to adopt a pet is a big decision and comes with lots of factors. Since June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, we are providing a list of tips on how to select the perfect cat for you. In selecting a cat you should consider the following:
Physical characteristics of the cat
Do you want a kitten or an older cat? An older cat will require less training, but may be prone to more health problems. Long hair or short hair? Purebred or mixed breed? Different breeds exhibit different behaviors.
Do you have a family?
Be sure to bring your family to the shelter with you to make sure the cat interacts well with everyone. It is also important to note that young children and cats don’t always mix well. Young kids don’t know how to properly handle cats, and babies or toddlers can grab the cat incorrectly leading to a safety hazard.
What kind of personality do you want your cat to have?
Do you want a mellow cat, or one with a lot of energy that likes to play? Do you want a cat that likes being held or one that prefers to be left alone? A quiet cat or a talkative one? These are important questions to consider when selecting a cat.
Do you have other pets?
It’s important to consider the pets you already have in deciding to add a new one. Not all cats get along with other cats and not all dogs are good with cats. Adding a new cat to your home when there already is one may actually distress it and lead to urination, fighting, or hiding.
How much time will you have for your new pet?
The younger your cat is the more energy it will have and the more playtime it will require. A younger cat is also going to require more training most likely than an older one.
Take some time to interact with the cat at the shelter.
Try petting the cat or picking it up. Does it try to bite or swat at your when you do so? If the shelter has a space for it, see if you can get alone time with the cat before you bring it home.
Ask the shelter employee as many questions as you like!
It’s better to know as much about the cat as you can before you bring it home. How long has the cat been at the shelter? Why was it brought into the shelter? Where did it come from? What’s the cat’s medical history? What is it’s normal behavior like? Has the cat had any behavioral issues? No amount of questions is too many.
Making the decision to adopt a cat is a great one, but you should consider ALL of the factors when doing so.