Meow! Tips for adopting a cat
BY CATHY M. ROSENTHAL : JUNE 1, 2015
June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, and for good reason. Cats and kittens fill up animal shelters this time of year because of rampant springtime breeding. If you’re looking for a feline friend, it’s a great time to make that love connection; there’s a huge selection of felines, and your adoption will free up shelter space for even more cats and kittens still in need of good homes.
Technology makes finding a feline friend super easy these days. Visit any animal shelter online and view photos and information on their available pets. Most groups also upload their animals intowww.petfinder.com, giving you the chance to look at the available cats and kitties from area shelters and rescue groups at the same time.
When you visit an animal shelter this time of year, you’re going to be tempted by lots of wide-eyed kittens. But remember, there are always adult cats in need of good homes, too. Cats can live 14 years and up (several of my cats have made it to 20), so this is a considerable commitment, especially when you adopt a cat as a kitten.
No two feline personalities are alike, so spend at least 30 minutes on the floor in a meet-and-greet room before deciding if a cat is the right fit for your family. Watch how they interact with you and the family.
I remember a young adult cat named Misty Gris that I always wished I had adopted from the San Antonio Humane Society. She could be brought into a room full of kids and had no problem with them approaching her. She was adopted into a home with two children and I am sure they lived happily ever after. She was an amazingly friendly cat.
What this means is, cats and kids do mix, but it depends on the cats and the kids. Social, outgoing cats will approach and give you head butts and purrs. Shy cats might retreat to a corner of the meet-and-greet room and simply watch you for 30 minutes.
It may not be fair to adopt a shy cat in a home with children younger than 7, and definitely questionable in a home with high-energy kids. Oftentimes, cats are so stressed in these households, they become biters and forever-hiders. So know your kids and find a cat who will fit into your family’s unique mix. Trust me, older cats bond with their new families, and just for fun, you can make up a story about their early life that will become a part of your family’s feline folklore.
If you’re not adopting, you can still help a shelter cat by fostering, volunteering or donating to your favorite animal charity.