What To Know When Adopting a Cat
Whether you find a breeder, adopt from the local humane society or rescue a kitten off the streets every little feline you encounter will come with its own set of quirks and difficulties. While you may not receive a "how-to" manual, these secrets for cat owners should get you through what could be some tough times and some lovable years.
#1: The Basics
Once you adopt your cat some important things must be considered. Many vets advocate spaying/neutering your kitten at six months. This not only prevents the potential for more kittens running around, but also is important for your cats health. It is strongly recommended to get this procedure performed. Many shelters already take care of this, packaging it in the cost of the kitten - usually about $150.
Claws are the next issue. Point blank, your cat will have them. While de-clawing is an option, there are many alternatives. The most basic of which is a scratching post. This will help your kitty as well as protect your furniture.
#2: The Food
If you adopt a kitten you may come to find out that the cat has only been fed one type of food. Figure out what the exact brand and flavor is from the get-go. Some cats can be extremely fastidious when it comes to what you're serving up. If you discover that their food is hard to come by try out different foods - wet or dry. When their young, it is easier to switch cat foods, making it easier in the future to mix up their meals. It is vital to your cat (and your rugs) that you monitor any changes in behavior - any defecation around the house to be specific. When you're cat makes an accident, they're upset about something. Listen to them, or else you may find yourself stepping in their do-do at six in the morning. It is also important to keep your kitty's food in the same place (along with their litter box) as to not confuse the animal.
If you find that your cat is eating less or acting out; begin by offering them a different food choice. Sometimes they just grow tired of the same thing for years in a row (especially those indoor cats). If, however, it persists for an extended period of time, your vet is the next option. It's best to get to the source if there is something seriously wrong.
#3: The Personality
Cat's have gained a (sometimes true) stereotype over the years. Introverted, skittish, surly, unsociable, irritable are all words that are sometimes used to describe these felines. Each cat possess their own individual personality, while a lot of cats are a bit skittish and better left alone by strangers - it's not always the case. Cats surely are characters. You'll find the ones who climb under your sheets to wake you up in the morning, or some that always insist on walking on your computer keyboard at an improper time. I can guarantee you will grow to love whatever crazy shenanigans your cat puts you through.
#4: The Expenses
Any animals comes along with baggage - in your kittens case its the cost. If you are adopting an indoor cat the expenses will go up with just the kitty litter alone. You've got to be willing to invest in your feline, giving them quality food and kitty litter. If unsatisfied, your cat will in fact show their displeasure in some not-so-nice ways.
#5: The Hairballs
Adopting a snuggle-buddy is not all fun and games. There'll be poop to scoop, and more importantly, plenty of hairballs to wipe up. You may find yourself accidentally stepping in one or two throughout your lifetime, with a cat (especially a long-haired one) you'll get quite used to it. Cats can spend up to half of their waking hours grooming themselves - a process that never seems to be quite finished. Cats usually groom themselves for a variety of reasons: relaxation, cooling down, cleanliness and protection. To avoid some of these resulting hairballs, stay on top of your cats fur - establish a daily brushing routine. Most cats appreciate the help in fact, though after a while they can get a bit fed-up.
Along with the hairball issue, also comes the shedding issue. You will soon be finding cat fur on every piece of clothing and furniture you own. It will seem as though you can never truly get rid of it all. In this case, a lint roller is your best friend and a necessity.
#6: Prepare For Love
You will, undoubtedly, love that cat. They'll become a trusty friend and a comforting buddy. This will make it even harder to see them go. Spend as much time with them as you have available and love them with all your heart.