Cats as companions: Tips for adopting and rehoming a cat

Adopting a cat can be a fulfilling experience that provides a loving home for puss and company for you. Here we explore what to look out for when adopting a ca…
adopting a cat

Cats make fantastic companions, really, they do. Even though they sometimes come across as arrogant, indifferent to contact or turn up only when there is something in it for themselves, just having them around has been shown to help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

As we age, our lifestyle and living situation can change. In some cases, this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings could be because of a relationship breakdown, losing touch with friends and colleagues after retirement or even limitations around mobility. If you or a loved one has experienced this, you might be interested to learn that studies have shown that having a pet such as a cat, can have a positive impact on your physical and mental wellbeing.

We like to think of ourselves as a nation of animal lovers and each year more than 30,000 cats are adopted and rehomed according to Cats Protection.org. So whether you’re someone who is keen to provide a home to a neglected animal, or you’re encouraging an older loved one to adopt, here is a checklist of things you should consider before committing to adopt a cat. Let’s dig in:

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Get an understanding of the health of the cat you intend to adopt.

Choose the right age: Kittens are adorable, but they require a lot of attention and training. Older cats may be a better choice for someone who wants a more low-maintenance pet.

Number: If you are considering adding another cat to your household, it’s important to consider the realities of playing host to more than one animal; including the feeding process, multiple litter boxes and most importantly, if the cats will get along. More than one cat or kitten can add to the enjoyment for you and your family, but it’s important to determine if each cat will be at home in a multiple-cat household.

It is also prudent to confirm with the shelter that the animal has been neutered.

Personality: Be aware that when rehoming, cats are under a great deal of stress – both in a shelter environment and in the adopter’s home. A cat’s true personality may not show through until it’s been in a stable home for several weeks. It is a good idea to visit cats you’re interested in adopting. If information about the cat is available from the previous owner, it should be considered. As a general rule, kittens should be active, outgoing and willing to be handled, while a shy cat may be more suited to a quiet household.

Looks: Decide if you want a long, medium, or shorthaired cat. A longer coat will require regular combing on your part to prevent matting.

Care: Remember to ask a vet to examine your cat at least once a year. Your vet will be able to provide all the necessary vaccinations and health checks to help keep your cat active and happy.

Healthy cats have clear, bright eyes, pink gums, a clean nose and ears and a smooth, shiny coat. Check your cat regularly for fleas, if you can’t see the fleas themselves the tell-tale signs of their presence are often small black specks on the fur – particularly on the tummy and warm areas. Also, a clean litter tray is very important to cats; keep the litter tidy at all times. Finally, make sure you set aside time each day to play; it will be beneficial for both of you!

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Cats have been shown to help reduce stress levels.

Commitment and responsibility

When you adopt a cat you need to be prepared and ready for the responsibility of caring for another animal. Here are some things to look out for when adopting a cat:

Consider your lifestyle: Before adopting a cat, consider your lifestyle and make sure that you have the time, space, and resources to care for a pet. If you have a busy schedule or travel frequently, a cat may not be the best choice for you.

Check their health: Make sure to check the cat’s health records and ask if they have any pre-existing medical conditions. It’s also a good idea to take the cat to a vet for a check-up as soon as you adopt them.

Prepare your home: Before bringing your new cat home, make sure to prepare your home by cat-proofing it, providing a litter box, food, and water bowls, and purchasing toys and scratching posts.

By taking these factors into consideration when adopting a cat, you can ensure that you find the perfect feline companion to enrich your life.

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Take time to think about whether your home is suitable for a new addition.

Cat rehoming: What you need to do

Search for cats available for adoption: Look for local animal shelters, rescue organisations such as RSPCA, Blue Cross or Cats Protection and pet adoption websites to find cats that need to be rehomed.

Complete an application form: Many adoption centres require you to fill out an application form, which helps the staff determine if you’re a good fit for the cat. Be honest about your lifestyle, living situation and previous pets you’ve had.

Visit your cat: Once your application is approved, arrange to visit and spend some time getting to know the cat to make sure it’s a good fit for you and your family.

Arrange a home visit: Some rehoming organisations may require a home visit to make sure that where you live is suitable for the cat. This is also a good opportunity to ask any questions you may have about caring for rehomed animals.

Collection: Once everything is approved, you can arrange to collect your new cat! Make sure you have everything you need, including food, litter and, if you are travelling to collect the cat, a suitable carrier or cat basket. Take your time introducing your new cat to your home and give them lots of love and attention.

If you found Tips for adopting a cat helpful, you’ll find more tips on how to adopt a pet on our Pets channel.

Tags: , Last modified: May 3, 2023

Written by 9:10 am Pets