Over twenty-five percent of households in the United States include a cat. They're so popular because they're a lower-maintenance pet that you'll still love having around. But, like with anything, it can be hard to make a decision when you're thinking about choosing a new furry friend.
So, how do you choose a cat that'll fit right into your family? Read on to find out how to adopt the perfect cat for you.
Know Your Needs
First of all, you'll need to think about what kind of cat would suit your lifestyle.
If you're a busy person on the go, it may not be a great choice to adopt a kitten, since they tend to require a lot of care.
You should also consider your living space. A hyperactive cat may not be the ideal choice if you live in a small apartment without a lot of floor space. On the other hand, a slower-paced cat might feel overwhelmed in a larger home, particularly if they've been in a shelter for a while.
You'll also need to think about what the cat might need from you. If you're not home a lot, you may want to consider adopting two cats, so that they have someone else to interact with when you're out and about. Just make sure that the cats have a good relationship before you bring them into your home.
You may also want to consider adopting an older cat. Cats do live a long time, so just because a cat is older doesn't mean it's on it's way to the rainbow bridge.
And, an older cat is more likely to have a calmer personality. This could be an especially good choice for first-time pet owners.
Additionally, you should take some time to think about your finances. While the cat itself isn't likely to be expensive, the costs associated with owning a cat can add up. That's not even taking into consideration possible emergency costs. Put together a budget, and seriously consider whether cat ownership is financially viable for you right now.
Adopt or Shop?
It can be hard to decide whether to adopt a cat, or purchase one from a breeder or store. Of course, adopting a cat costs significantly less than buying one. In most cases, adopting a cat is also more convenient.
You really only need to think about purchasing a cat if you have a particular breed in mind, or if you have allergies that need to be taken into consideration. If you do choose to purchase a cat, look for ethical options in your area.
Meet the Cats
A cat may seem like a good choice on paper, but individual cats have individual personalities, likes, and dislikes. That's why it's important to meet the cats you consider adopting, to see if you actually get along. This is doubly important if you have children or other pets in your household.
You may want a cat that's more cuddly and seeks attention, or one that prefers to spend more time on its own. You might be interested in a cat that prefers the quiet, or one that's accustomed to louder noises.
Once you have your eye on a specific cat, it's time to get acquainted. See if you'll be able to spend one-on-one time with the cat you have in mind, so that you can evaluate if you're a good match for one another.
When you're adopting a cat from a shelter, you'll want to ask the employees detailed questions about the cats they have. They may be able to recommend a cat that suits your family situation and personality if you give them some information about what you're looking for.
You should ask them about the cat's past living situations, so you can see if they've previously lived in a similar environment. If the cat has previously faced abuse or trauma, you'll definitely want to know before committing to adopting it.
And, you'll want to take some time to make sure that the cat you choose is healthy. Ask about any conditions the cat may have, or health problems that the cat may have suffered from in the past. Check to make sure your new cat is fully vaccinated. Ideally, the cat will also be spayed or neutered.
Make Sure You're Prepared
Once you've chosen the perfect cat, you'll want to gather everything you need to get your new friend comfortable living in your home. Learn about cat health and nutrition to ensure that you choose the best cat food. You'll want to look for food that your cat will both enjoy eating, and that will keep them healthy.
If you've got the room, you'll want to have two litterboxes in different rooms, for your cat's convenience. Have a scratching post or area available so that your cat won't be tempted to scratch up your furniture instead. And, have a veterinarian lined up before you bring your cat home. You'll need to bring your cat to regular checkups, and you'll want to have a veterinarian available in case of an emergency.
Choosing a Cat: Start Today
You have a lot of options when you're looking for a cat. Hopefully, you know now where to start looking. It may take a while, but in no time you'll have a cuddly new member of the family.
Do you need to start shopping for healthy cat food for your new pet? Consider buying GO! SOLUTIONS food for your cat today.