Sigmund Freud once remarked, “Time spent with cats is never wasted.” Cats add a dimension of personality, warmth, and sociability to our lives that few other creatures can. Their adorable features, inquisitive expressions, and whimsical antics quickly earn them a spot in our hearts (as well as our sofas) that can never be relinquished.
While every month is a good month for adopting a cat into your family, many shelters experience overcrowding in June due to the influx of kittens born every spring. The ASPCA has made June National Adopt-A-Cat month, encouraging everyone to consider adding a cat or kitten into their family. Here are five tips to help your adoption process go smoothly.
1. Double the Fun
Cats are highly social creatures and often love the companionship of another feline. If you’re considering adopting one, perhaps a second friend would ease the loneliness and make for an easier transition into their new lives. Talk to the shelter staff to find out which cats have been friendly with one another—they can often point you to the perfect pair to make your family complete.
2. Coordinate with your Vet
Schedule a checkup shortly after their adoption. Not only will this ensure your cat is in good health and up-to-date on all their shots, it will also provide an opportunity for your cat and vet to get to know one another and begin to build a positive relationship.
3. Stock up on Supplies
Having cat food, bowls, cat litter and boxes, grooming supplies, collars, scratching posts, and treats on hand will make those first few days go so much more smoothly, eliminating the need to shop for necessities and leaving you free to focus on bonding. You may want to quarantine your cat to a small room in the beginning, keeping all of their belongings together for their first few days, and then gradually expand their territory as they become more comfortable.
4. Pet-Proof your Environment
Known for being extremely curious, cats will want to explore every shelf, counter, crevices, and corner so make sure that valuables and breakables are put away. Plants can pose a major danger as many leaves can be hazardous—or even deadly—if eaten and will need to be given away or put in a room where your cat cannot access. Electrical cords, blind pulleys, and small objects look alluring to cats, especially if they are moved by a breeze or glittering in the sunlight. However, many of these can lead to choking or electrocution and must be kept out of reach. All of these potential threats should be addressed prior to bringing home your new adoptee.
5. Acclimate your Family
Besides having the proper supplies on hand, you’ll want to talk to family members in advance in order to create a welcoming environment for your new cat. Keep your home routines simple for the first few days, minimizing loud noises and additional company to allow time for your cat to adjust to their new surroundings. Teach children how to properly pet and approach the cat as well as what signs to watch for in the event the cat is overstimulated or scared. Lavish lots of love on your new cat but allow him or her time to get used to their new home and family.
The Arizona Humane Society has over 100 cats awaiting adoption right now. Visit their website at http://www.azhumane.org/adopt-a-pet/cats/ for photos and detailed descriptions of the cats and kittens searching for a new home and find the one that’s right for your family.