June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. If you’re considering adopting a new feline best friend, our doctors and veterinary care team members recommend these five tips for a successful adoption.
- Choose a cat that matches your family’s personality and lifestyle. Kittens are generally more active and require supervision so may be a good option if you’re energetic and have time to monitor their activities throughout the day. On the flip side, senior cats are typically less active and may prefer a regular routine in a quiet home. Consider how your new four-legged family member will respond to household activities, young children, and other pets in the home. Adoption counselors will be available to offer advice on which cat would be the best match for your family.
- Cat-proof your home. Cats and kittens love to climb and explore so look at your home with a curious cat’s eye view. Food or small loose items like a spool of thread or paper clips left on a counter or table, electrical cords, and closets with open doors may prove too tempting for your new family member to resist.
- Stock up on cat-related supplies before bringing your new cat home. You’ll need a rigid-sided cat carrier with a top opening for the ride home and trips to the vet, cat litter and a litter box, food and water bowls, food, a collar, safe and stimulating toys, a comfy bed, nail clippers, and a grooming brush specifically for cats. Cats can be finicky about the type of litter they prefer so be sure to ask an adoption counselor for their recommendation before making your purchase.
- Restrict the cat to a small household area for the first few days. Cats are territorial so choose a small area like a bathroom or laundry room for them to get used to before giving free reign of the whole house. New sights, sounds, and smells may make a cat uneasy, so plan to spend short amounts of time in this small area to help it adjust to your home environment. You may also use Feliway, a cat-friendly pheromone spray, in the area. People can’t smell these pheromones, but cats can – and they are clinically proven to be calming. Most importantly, if you have other household pets, introduce them to the new cat slowly using closed doors, screens, gates or other separation devices so everyone feels safe and comfortable.
- Schedule a vet visit within the first week of adoption. It’s important to bring any medical records you received at adoption to the first visit so we have a complete history of any health issues, vaccines, and treatments. Kitten and cat wellness exams include a complete physical examination from nose to tail. We’ll check the eyes, nose, ears, and teeth, listen to the heart and lungs, palpate the abdomen, and assess bone structure and muscle tone. Our doctors and veterinary care team members will ask questions about your pet’s appetite and activity levels and determine if there are any other medical issues that need to be addressed. Based on your new four-legged family member’s lifestyle and risk factors, our doctors will recommend vaccines and parasite preventatives to ensure Fluffy is protected from contagious diseases and pests. Wellness exams also allow us to get to know you and your pet so we can work together to help ensure a lifetime of good health.
For more information about helping your adopted feline best friend feel more comfortable in its new home, please call us at 630-598-0600.