Wednesday 26 February 2014

Tips when Adopting a Cat for your Family.

If you and your family have been considering adding to the family in the form of a cat, you’ve no doubt started to think about things like what breed to go for, which age to choose and where to get it from.

If you want to truly make a difference to a cat’s life, adopting one from a shelter can be hugely rewarding for all of those involved. Cats that have spent lots of time in a shelter will usually make the perfect pet as they will be longing for a loving family to be a part of.

Adopting a cat from a shelter will be a lovely experience, and we’ve compiled some tips to help make the transition for them (and the whole family) a smooth and comfortable one right from the decision making process.

Choosing your cat.
It may be a good idea to take all of the members of your household to visit the shelter to choose your cat, as that way, you’ll be more likely to get a glimpse of things like their behaviour towards children, and how they bond with you all.

Your children will no doubt absolutely love visiting the shelter and seeing all of the beautiful cats, though they will probably fall in love with all of them! Therefore it may be worth sitting down as a family beforehand and talking about what sort of cat you would like, in terms of age and colour etc. You could look at cat care books beforehand to help make your decision.

Think carefully about the age of cat you go for as well, in terms of how well you think your family and lifestyle would be able to accommodate the specific needs they may have at each life stage.

Bringing them home.
When you have made the decision, the fun begins! You will have some paperwork to fill in and may have to pay an adoption fee (which just covers vaccinations and neutering costs), but then they will be all yours.

Before they do move in with you, it’s a good idea to make some adjustments to your home so that it is cat-ready. Some cats from shelters may be particularly nervous or shy due to previous situations, and therefore setting them up a cat bed in a fairly private, quiet part of your home will give them their own bit of space as they begin to get more comfortable in their new surroundings.

Settling them in.
You can take a few steps to help the settling in process to be as smooth and quick as possible. As mentioned above, giving them their own little space will go a long way. If they are very nervous and seem to struggle to relax, think about investing in something to help calm them, such as feliway for cats with Vet Medic.

Help prepare your children too, especially if they are young, and give them some advice on how to make them feel welcome. For example, help them understand that they will need lots of love and attention, but will also need some time to themselves, too.  

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