So you’ve decided it’s time to bring a new cat into your life, giving a cat a new chance and a cosy home. If you want to adopt a cat, there can be a lot of things to think about, and whether it’s your first time owning a cat or not, it’s important to consider a few vital points—so we’ve put together our guide to adopting a cat (or kitten!).
Before you even get down to the details, it’s important to consider how a cat will fit into your life, and which type of cat would be best suited to you, your family, and your home. Perhaps you already know exactly what kind of cat you’re looking for, but if you’re a first time cat parent, here are a few pointers.
Cat or kitten?
While many cats at rescue and rehoming centres will be adults, there are still a fair few kittens looking for new homes too. Deciding whether you want a younger cat or kitten or an older more mature cat all comes down to personal choice, lifestyle, and maybe energy levels!
Kittens can reach almost their full size by about 6 months of age, but their typical kitten behaviours can continue until about 18 months, meaning they’ll need plenty of supervision, training, and attention. Adult cats are generally calmer and will most likely be toilet trained, having already lived in a home before.
Indoor or outdoor, child-friendly or lone wolf?
It’s not just the age of the cat that should be considered: are you looking for an indoor cat or an outdoor cat? Will they be living with other animals, or children? Do you want a higher maintenance long-haired floofball, or a short-haired cat?
If you’ve owned cats before, you might know already, but if it’s your first time, it’s important to consider these factors. Every cat is different, but having an idea of these differences in advance will help you to find your perfect match—and mean both happy owners and a happy cat.
Research your local rescue centres
Look into the organisations in your local area. Alongside the bigger national centres like Cats Protection and RSPCA there are also small local shelters doing great work to rescue and rehome cats.
Many shelters will list available pets online, giving you the chance to look, but it’s always worth giving them a call to explain what you’re looking for because they know the animals in their care better than anyone!
Search for your perfect match
Once you know the shelter options in your area, you can start looking for cats (or kittens) that’ll fit perfectly into your life and home. Most shelters will do their best to work out each cat’s preferences and personality, so their profiles should help you find the best match for you.
Applying to adopt
If you think you’ve found the perfect cat for you, you’ll have to register your interest with the shelter. This process might involve questions about your home, and may involve a home visit to make sure it’s a suitable environment for a cat.
Adopting usually comes with a small fee—this covers the veterinary treatment your cat receives, and helps the shelter to continue their work and rescue even more cats in need!
Getting your home ready
Once everything has been organised and you know you’ll be bringing your cat home soon, it’s time to get your home ready for the new arrival. The shelter or charity you’re adopting from can offer advice on things like food, toys and environment.
Provide your cat with a comfy bed or two (and you can read more about cats and their sleeping preferences in our blog here!) and a safe place to retreat to where they’ll have their own space.
Bringing your cat home
The final step in the adoption process—bringing your new feline friend to their forever home. The shelter might give you a blanket or something else that smells familiar to take home with your cat, which should help them feel more comfortable. Once you get your cat home, it might take them a little while to get accustomed to their new surroundings, but this is totally normal. Give them time and space to get used to everything and settle in.
Adopting a cat and giving them a second chance at a safe and loving home is incredibly rewarding, and we humans benefit from having them around, too. There are scientifically proven health benefits that come with owning a cat, including reduced stress and anxiety—but if you already own a cat, you’ll probably know that anyway!
If you’d like to find out more about adopting and rehoming a cat, why not take a look at some of our charity partners?
21/01/2022 by NatuTeam