Thinking of growing your family by adding a furry feline companion to the mix? Here are some things to consider before adopting to ensure the right match for your family and for the feline you are bringing home.
You need to consider your home environment and lifestyle
It’s always important to consider these factors as you want to set yourself up for success from the beginning. If you already have pets at home you will want to consider their age, stage and personality as it might be harder to bring in an active kitten if you’ve got a house full of seniors. Perhaps adopting an adult cat might be a better fit. Also, consider your lifestyle as any new addition is going to require your time. A new kitten can be especially mischievous and will require more of your time to help it burn off all that extra energy.
You need to consider breed, hair coat and gender
Is there a specific breed of cat that you are partial too? If so, is it a breed you have personal experience with to know their personality traits and medical predispositions? If not, take some time to research the breed to determine whether or not they would be a suitable match in your home and be aware of any medical issues known to the breed. Being aware of any medical predispositions allows you to plan financially (time to consider pet insurance), catch on to signs and symptoms early and even to reconsider your choice if it is something you are not able to handle.
Hair coat considerations really come down to how you feel about brushing and cleaning. Long haired cats require brushing and often shed in clumps versus a short haired cat which typically does not require as much brushing but when they shed it often goes everywhere so there will be a lot more vacuuming in your future!
Gender is really a personal preference. Males are less expensive to surgically alter (neuter) than females but beyond that there is little difference in the medical care or personalities between the genders. It always comes down to the individual personality of the cat you are looking to adopt.
Consider where you will choose to adopt this new member from
Do you wish to adopt from a breeder, shelter, rescue or a private adoption? All of these options have pro’s and con’s but the biggest pro of all is that you are coming home with a new family member!
Purchasing a kitten or adult cat from a breeder will provide you with a specific breed (if that is what you are looking for) as well as being able to provide you with some health history of their lines and some initial veterinary care.
Adopting from a shelter or rescue provides a cat in need with a loving home. More often than not these cats come without much background so it’s a learn as you go with respect to their personalities or medical history. Shelters and rescue groups often do personality tests with their cats to help match them to the right home. These cats often come with some initial veterinary care.
If adopting privately, you are again providing a cat in need with a loving home and helping out another family re home their cat. In this situation, you should be able to gain some valuable insight into the cat’s personality and be able to access their health history. These cats may come with regular veterinary care or may not.
No matter where you adopt, we always recommend a visit with the veterinarian for a complete physical exam. Please bring any history you were provided with so we can guide you through a preventative health care program.
Bringing your new addition home
After you’ve made your decision, it’s is time to bring the new addition home. We recommend setting the cat up in one room with their food, water, litter and toys. Providing the cat with their own space minimizes stress while adjusting to the new environment and allows them to adjust to sounds and scents of other pets in the household before they meet. After some time to settle in, we recommend a gradual introduction by swapping bedding to exchange scents, allowing short meet and greets with existing pets, and a gradual introduction to the larger spaces.
Should you have any questions about adding a furry feline to your family, we would be happy to guide you through the process. Our hospital manager Kelly would love to help you find your next kitty!
The Team at Davis Drive Animal Clinic