Cats and dogs are the two most popular types of pets in the country, and while dogs have been dubbed “man’s best friend,” cat owners are quite vocal when expressing their love for their feline friends.
Those looking for a cat may not have to look far. The ASPCA says approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and roughly 3.4 million of those are cats. An area shelter is an ideal place to find a new pet for those thinking of getting their first cat or adding to the pets already in the household. Cats, can be purchased from pet stores, but they also may be available via friends or family members who have recently welcomed a new litter.
Before bringing your cat home, it is best to make sure you and members of your household are prepared to welcome a furry feline friend into your home.
· Is everyone ready for the responsibility? Pets are a big responsibility, and all members of the household should be ready and willing to pitch in and care for pets. Divide duties based on age and physical ability. If a member of the family doesn’t support the decision to get a cat, this might not be the right time to do so.
· Find the right match in a pet. Temperament can play a role in how well a cat fits in with your family. A cat that is fearful and skittish may not be the best match for a family with young, active children. Special-needs cats may be better for adult-only homes or for people who can devote the extra time needed to properly care for the animal.
· Designate a cat-friendly spot in your home. A new cat may need some time before he or she acclimates to a new environment. To facilitate this process, designate a room or area in the house for your cat. This should be a low-traffic spot. Keep a litter box and food and water bowls nearby.
· Stock up on your supplies. Cats will need various pet supplies to be comfortable and healthy. For the time being, use the same products the cat had at the shelter or pet store, which can create a sense of familiarity that makes cats more comfortable in their new homes. Over time you can transition slowly to new supplies, including:
– litter box and litter material
– food and water bowls
– scratching posts
– interactive toys and solo toys
– brushes and other grooming supplies
– sturdy cat carriers
· Find the right veterinarian. Select a veterinarian whom you trust and makes you feel comfortable. Have your cat examined by the vet and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. A vet may be able to install microchip in your cat for identification purposes as well.
· Safe-proof your home. Cats can be curious, and many will want to investigate rooms throughout your house. To protect curious cats, keep cleaning products and other chemicals locked away and secure electric wires with cord containment devices. Know which houseplants are toxic and, if you don’t discard them, make sure they cannot be reached by cats.
Cats make wonderful pets. Bringing a new cat home often requires taking certain steps to ensure your furry friend is comfortable in his or her new home.