A Cat is Waiting: Adopting The Right Cat For You

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Only a few days are left in Adopt-A-Shelter Cat Month, so if you’ve been considering adding a feline friend to your family, there’s never been a better time to adopt love! But maybe your not sure about the RIGHT cat to adopt?? Then here’s some useful insights and advice in this article excerpt from our friends at ASPCA.

The kids have been clamoring for a cat. You’ve held them off for as long as humanly possible, but now you must decide whether or not to make the  commitment to a new feline friend.

To dog people, taking on a cat seems like no big deal – no house training, numerous daily walks, or obedience classes. But if you are a novice at animal care-taking, hair on the furniture, paw prints on countertops, and kitty games at 3 A.M. — not to mention litter box training and daily maintenance — can take some getting used to. Time must be found in hectic schedules for grooming, feeding and interactive play.

If you are considering adopting a kitten, factor in plenty of time for socialization and supervision to ensure that the end result will be a well-adjusted adult cat. Cats had only one function throughout the centuries: vermin control. Only in the last 100 years has selective breeding caught on — synonymous with the rise of the cat as a companion; however, common house cats have charmed their way into becoming the number-one most popular pet in the United States.

When you have made the decision to commit to a cat, head to your local animal shelter where an array of felines resplendent in tabby stripes, calico patches, solids and tortoiseshell patterns awaits. The feline diversity residing in local shelters and rescue groups ensures you will find a kindred spirit.

Many shelters vaccinate, de-worm and test for feline leukemia before putting up cats for adoption. Some shelters spay/neuter before adoption as well. Ask yours for specifics on what is included in the adoption package.

Before searching for “Mr. or Mrs. Right” while facing kennel after kennel of homeless cats, consider your needs and expectations. If yours is a full-time working household, I recommend passing up kittens and adolescents (less than 18 months old) in favor of a more low-key adult whose energy needs will be easier to meet. If you are a novice cat owner, stay away from “excessive” cats — excessively shy, aggressive or demanding — for they may provide too great a challenge for your first experience.

Your best bet is the friendly, outgoing cat, who nudges an outstretched finger offered through the kennel bars and who nuzzles and purrs when you hold him in your arms. This profile is a particularly good choice for families with children younger than 7 years of age.

Is coat color or pattern important? Then by all means, choose a cat who attracts you, but remember that the gorgeous calico hiding at the back of her cage may well go into prolonged hiding once she is released into your home. A cat who is social and relaxed at a shelter usually has the aplomb to meet the stresses that life throws her way.

Consider the whole cat, not just one element. A cat in your life can add warmth, humor and peace of mind. A cat can teach your child empathy for others while keeping her secrets. If you can make the commitment, a cat is waiting to enhance your life in ways only a kindred spirit can.

Written by Jacque Lynn Schultz, MA CPDT, Director & Companion Animal Programs Advisor, National Outreach, ASPCA. See full article at http://aspcapro.org/sites/default/files/adopting-the-right-cat-aspca_0.pdf

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