In addition to the official start of summer, June also happens to be the official Adopt-A-Cat Month. When considering bringing a cat into your life, take a few moments to plan ahead, as bringing a new cat into your home can result in some pretty significant changes in your life.
Get To Know the Cat First
Every cat has their own personality, and sometimes those personalities only mix well with other similar personalities. It’s important to approach adopting any animal just like you would with a dating service or hiring a skilled workman for a home improvement job. Rather than just grab the first cat that you find, take some time to see how the cat interacts with you.
While it’s impossible to learn every personality quirk from a single visit, it will give you an idea of what kind of cat you’ll be adopting. It may also give you an idea about what you’ll need to change in your home to accommodate the cat. If you’ve got a young and playful cat, for example, it might be a good idea to clean off the tables and flat surfaces before they start knocking things everywhere. Older cats may be more relaxed and social, making them ideal for a house full of people and/or other pets.
Make A Cat Budget
What’s the monthly cost of feeding a new cat? How much does kitty litter cost? Did you factor in the cost of annual visits to the veterinarian? What about the cost of cat-proofing things in your house, such as furniture?
Adopting a cat requires a degree of personal responsibility to properly care for the animal, so it’s important to make a budget plan for the basic necessities involved.
Contrary to popular belief, cats require more than just food and a litter box to be happy. As social creatures, most cats will need stimulation that can only be achieved through social interactions and regular exercise. While cat toys can be helpful for exercise, your cat may need more social options, especially if you spend most of your time outside of your home.
Some pet experts recommend adopting two cats at a time to help foster that social interaction, or to already have another cat or dog at home.
Prepare the Family
If you’re a single person living alone, you can probably skip this step with no problem. If you’re living with anyone else, however, it’s smart to let them know your plans about bringing a cat home.
Any new addition to a home can result in drastic changes to how everyone lives, so aside from just being courteous, this allows everyone else in the house to start the mental preparations of adapting to the idea of having a cat in the house.
When you do bring the cat home, give everyone time and space to adapt to the change. The cat will most likely hide when they first arrive, and family members should refrain from chasing the cat down until they’ve had a chance to get used to their new surroundings. Even if everyone just wants to pet and play with the cat, let the cat decide when it wants to be social.
Enjoy Each Other
A happy and healthy cat can bring plenty of humor and love into your home, so remember to treat your cat like you would any other living creature in your care. And remember to have fun with each other, because that was the entire point of adopting the cat in the first place.