9 Things To Look For When Adopting A Cat

| Published on July 17, 2015

When you decide that you want to adopt a new for friend, there are things that you should consider. This cat is going to be your best friend who is with you for most of your downtime. Almost like romance, there are specific things that attract you or appeal to you as a person.

1. Whether we like it or not, the way a cat looks can appeal to you (or not) and that’s OK. You want to feel good feelings when you see your cat. I laugh when I ask people, “Is that face you want to wake up to every morning?” But there is some value in the question. Whether we like it or not, appearance plays a role in a functional relationship. Choose the cat whose looks appeal to you and make you want to know more about the cat.

2. For felines, the hair coat is a part of the external appearance of your cat. It is more important than just the way the hair looks. Cats come in long haired, medium haired and short haired varieties. Long-haired cats require more grooming and care than short haired cats. If a long-haired cat appeals to you, be sure that you know what care will be required to keep your cat clean and mat free.

3. Next you want to consider the age of the cat you are considering. Did you want to adopt a very young cat or were you more interested in a more mature and settled friend? Either is a fine option and shelters can provide information about their resident cats’ age.  You should find a cat who fits your mental image of the ideal pet you were looking for, so you will be more likely to have happily ever after.

4. Do you have a preference of the gender for your cat? Some people definitely prefer one gender or another and if you have such a preference be sure you ask about the cats you are considering. Again, it shouldn’t really matter, but fulfilling your mental image of what you wanted in a cat is your best chance for a successful outcome and that’s really the good.

5. There are cats from all different breeds in a shelter population but if you’ve always dreamed of having a specific type of cat than one can probably be found that at least resembles your favorite breed. I love Siamese cats and I’m always keeping my eyes open for Siamese crosses to come available at my local rescues. I love all cats, but there is something about a Siamese that really appeals to me.

6. We have talked about the characteristics of cats that you cannot change like their appearance gender and breed, but certainly some time should be given to the consideration of the disposition of your candidates. You want to find a cat who meshes well with your personality. If you are interested in having a cat that will play with you, it might not be a good idea to choose a very mature couch potato cat. A young cat will have energy to burn and if you do not have much time for interactive play, you might choose a more sedate cat. Spend some time with the shelter’s residents and see if a certain disposition really reaches you.

7. The health of the cat candidate is also important for you to know. Some shelters specialize in hard to place animals and you should know what you’re getting into if a cat that you plan to adopt has ongoing health issues. Depending on what the hell issue is, you might have to plan for special food for a special environment for your new cat. Knowledge is power. Be sure that you know the health status and special needs for your new friend and make sure that you can handle whatever the issue may require from you.

8. Make sure that the preventive care your cat will need to start his new life with you has been already addressed by the rescue. Typically vaccines, deworming and feline viral testing will have been completed. Be sure you ask if you are not given health records. Most veterinarians partner with Shelter groups to provide a complementary health exam after adoption.

9. Cats are typically very fastidious about using their litter box. Your shelter volunteers will probably know about the litter habits and behaviorof your candidate. A cat that does not use the box can be a real hurdle to a good friendship moving forward. It is usually a surmountable issue, but one that you need to be aware of before adopting.

Everyone wants you and your new cat to live happily ever after. These 9 things are considerations that are important for you to consider before you choose your feline housemate.



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vet thumbnailAbout The Author: Dr. Kathryn Primm is a practicing small animal veterinarian. She has consulted on articles for national magazines, done numerous radio interviews and appeared on local television. She has contributed to an article for Prevention magazine and Woman’s Day in Feb 2014 and June 2015. Her radio segment Chattanooga Pet Talk airs each week on all the local iHeart Media affiliates.

She has a social media presence on TwitterFacebook and Google+ and enjoys interaction with others about her passions, animals and communication. She is a regular contributor to Boomeon, the online community which can be found at www.boomeon.com . She has also written a book, Tennessee Tails:Pets and Their People. The book received recognition as Runner Up in the Memoirs category at a national book festival. You can read more about Dr. Primm and how to get the best value for your pet care dollar at her website, www.drprimm.com.

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