Cats are fantastic pets to have around. While they may be independent and quite mysterious, they can bring a lot of fun and joy with their playful antics and for being affectionate. If you’re considering adopting a new cat, prepare for an exciting endeavour!
Adopting a New Cat: What to Expect as a New Cat Parent
Choosing the Right Cat
Consider what type of cat you want – the breed, sex, and temperament. You can research various cat breeds to find what fits your personality and lifestyle. Some of the most popular cat breeds in Australia are Persian, Ragdoll, Australian Mist, Siamese and Russian Blue. You may be able to find these breeds in shelters.
Finding a Reputable Shelter or Breeder
You can ask around for recommendations or do some research online. Choosing a shelter or breeder that prioritises the health and well-being of the animals is paramount.
Adopting from a shelter will involve filling out an application and possibly meeting with an adoption coordinator. Be prepared to answer questions about your lifestyle and the environment your cat will be living in.
Preparing Your Home
Make sure your home is set up to accommodate a new kitten or cat. Purchase all the necessary supplies before bringing them in (e.g. cat food, litter boxes, food and water bowls, and toys.) Create a separate space where they can get accustomed to their surroundings. Remove all potential hazards, such as electric wires and cords, to avoid accidents and injuries.
Assessing Your Cat’s Health
Like other pets, cats require routine healthcare to ensure they are healthy and happy. Ask the shelter or breeder for necessary documentation stating what type of vaccinations the cat has been given or if there are any existing medical conditions. Kittens require vaccinations that usually commence between six to eight weeks of age.
Book an appointment with your vet as soon as possible, preferably before you bring the cat into your home, so they can perform a health assessment and administer necessary vaccinations.
Introducing a Cat to Their New Family
When adopting a new cat, give them ample time to explore and get acquainted with their new surroundings. Gradually introduce the new furry feline to family members and other pets. Always supervise their interactions with children and other pets to ensure they are safe.
Providing Daily Care
Although cats are known to be solitary animals, they are very sociable and can get along with people and other pets, given the right environment. Make sure to give them lots of love, care and attention. Kittens love to chase and pounce, so get them interactive toys they can play with.
Make time to teach your cat tricks and to follow orders. Yes, cats are trainable. Consistency and repetition are the keys to successful cat training!
As for their overall health, start by giving them a well-balanced diet of nutritious food and the occasional treat for being a good furbaby. Consult with your vet to determine a suitable diet, and ask for recommendations for vitamins and supplements. Mark your calendars for their regular checkups too.
Adopting a New Cat is a Fulfilling Responsibility
When adopting a new cat, it is important to recognise that it is a huge responsibility that requires careful physical, emotional and financial preparation. Remember to be patient throughout the process and enjoy the journey as a pet cat parent. Caring for these beautiful creatures and giving them a happy home is truly rewarding and a worthwhile experience for many years to come.