Someone once said that saving a pet will not change the world, but for that one pet, you will have changed their entire world. While with the pandemic most people have already taken in pets to ease the intense loneliness at home, June is still Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month, and we are being encouraged to give the felines a home. It is also the kitten season, and as more kittens will be born, opening up your home to the helpless animals will be the best thing you can do to make a difference in their lives. Let’s tell you everything you need to know about adopting a cat.
Tips for adopting a shelter cat
Mental Floss listed some tips to equip you with the right information before adopting a cat. As much as you want to give a cat a comfortable life than what it was used to, you should be picky about the shelter from which you are adopting. Almost every shelter boasts of keeping the animals in the healthiest conditions through vaccinating them, but that could only be a trap to attract unwary humans to go home with the animals. You need to know the type of animal you are taking home with you regarding their temperament and any diseases they may have that require specialized medical care. Since some shelters do not conduct thorough investigations and assessments about the animals they have, insist on having them done.
Also, do not be selfish and only consider your needs. You may want a cat because you are going through a difficult period in your life and need companionship, but once you are back on your feet, you feel the cat is a nuisance. Therefore before going to the shelter, be prepared to commit to raising a pet, which also means that your pockets should be deep enough to afford the medical care the cat needs as well as food, grooming, and toys. Cats can live for more than a decade, so ensure that you are ready for such a commitment that may include getting your cat another feline to play around with whenever you are away.
Purina also gives us a checklist for someone who is considering cat adoption and one of the things you should pay attention to is your lifestyle. It would make no logic to remove a cat from a shelter, only to be too busy to spend time with him. Consequently, if you have a hectic schedule, only adopt a cat that is used to some independence, and on the other hand, if you have kids, get a feline that does not mind constant petting. Before you even decide to adopt, look at how pet-friendly your home is, and make the necessary adjustments.
Why should you adopt a cat from a shelter?
While you may think that you are doing the cat a favor by adopting him, Pet Health Network explains that cat adoption is also good for your mental health. Many people have expressed their gratitude to cats for helping them cope with broken hearts because the felines offered them selfless love in their time of need. Besides alleviating the loneliness, cats have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 33%. Therefore if your family has a history of heart disease and stroke, take advantage of the Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month to increase your lifespan.
Besides taking care of your health, cats also will help your children have fewer chances of contracting asthma. A study by the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University published by ScienceDaily indicated that children under the age of five when exposed to cats got allergy-related antibodies thus preventing asthma symptoms from developing.
If you are worried about spaying or neutering costs, then you will be glad to know that shelter cats usually are spayed or neutered hence taking care of your budget. Additionally, they are usually microchipped; hence even if they stray, they can always be traced to you. Moreover, most shelters will give you the perks of a starter pack that includes food supply and flea medication. You might be lucky to get a collar and insurance; although shelters usually include the cost in adoption fees, it will save you the headache of getting them. Most of all, adopting a shelter cat will help you sleep better, knowing that you might have just saved his life since, with the overpopulation in shelters, he was at the risk of being euthanized eventually.
Types of shelters from where you can adopt a cat
If you are on a tight budget but still feel it is your duty to give a shelter cat a better life, adopting from a local town shelter could be the solution. Although the cats from town shelters are not provided with general veterinary services such as spaying or neutering or vaccinations, you only have to part with a small adoption fee. The felines here are usually strays that need care. Municipal communities run these shelters while animal control officers deal with staffing.
You also have the option of adopting a kitty from a local animal shelter, and the advantage of these is that they provide essential veterinary services. However, if they do not, they will suggest local vets who can cater to the cat’s veterinary needs, at a fee. Finally, if neither the town shelter nor animal shelter has the type of cat you want to adopt, you can visit the specialized cat shelters. According to Hill’s, specialized cat shelters house senior cats, those with special needs or whose owners have passed away, and specific breeds.
All the shelters have their own set of guidelines regarding the adoption process, but they share some of the rules. For instance, they advertise the available cats for adoption on their website, and if you see one that you like, you should make an appointment before visiting. Differences can be in the amount of time you have to wait before taking your cat home. While some have a 24-hour standard waiting period, others can give you more time to ensure you are making the right decision before committing.