Looking for a new addition to the family, but not yet ready for one with opposable thumbs? Adopting a kitten, or even an adult cat, is a great way to find love and companionship that might make you and a feline friend very happy. Here’s a little insight into how to go about the process of finding and bringing into your home a new kitty.
Local Rescue Centers
There are specific areas all over the country that are designed to temporarily house as well as facilitate the adoption of both cats and dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is a highly reputable resource when it comes to locating and adopting animals. Though their headquarters and main adoption center is in New York City, the ASPCA has connections to shelters all over the country, and their website is a terrific resource for finding the nearest location to you. You can also utilize other convenient online resources, such as Pet Finder or Adopt A Pet, both of which serve to assist prospective adopters in finding the pets that are geographically nearest them. Beyond these specifically designed pet adoption websites, a simple Google search will help you target your local animal shelter from where you’ll find it most expedient to rescue a cat or dog.
Things To Consider Before Adopting
Even though you’re very excited and quite sure that you really want to adopt a cat, here are a few things that the ASPCA suggests considering before diving headfirst into pet ownership.
Why Do You Want To Adopt A Pet?
There are a number of different reasons why people choose to adopt a pet, and these variances can determine what species, breed and age of animal will best suit your needs.
Are Your Prepared For A Long-term Commitment?
Regardless of what point you are at in your life, once you decide to adopt a pet, you’re signing on for a serious commitment. An animal may be in your life for anywhere from 10-15 years for dogs and up to 20 years for cats. It’s important to understand that no matter how your life might change (e.g., moving residences, new jobs, marriage, children, etc.), you’re committing to the care of this animal for the extent of its life.
Can You Afford The Costs Of Pet Ownership?
The adoption fee is just the beginning of a sizeable amount of new costs that you’ll be taking on with the adoption of your new pet. Once you’ve adopted, you’ll need to account for the costs of food, identification, spaying/neutering and additional veterinary care. These factors will add up to a considerable annual cost, for which you, as pet owner, will need to budget.
Can You Devote The Necessary Time To Your Pet?
Although dogs do require more attention than cats, the latter are just as dependent on occasion, yet regular play sessions to heighten physical activity and energy levels. If you find yourself traveling often for work or spending long periods of time away from your home, you may want to reconsider this as an optimal time for pet adoption.
Finally, Is Your Family Ready For A New Pet?
Whether it’s young children or other animals in your home, you need to consider all of the factors, and there are none more important than your family members. The ASPCA explains that pet ownership is best executed as a team, which means that waiting for children to become slightly more self-sufficient can mean an all around better environment for your new pet. Additionally, you’ve got to consider how your current pet(s) are going to react to a new animal presence in the house. Some will find it easy, some difficult, while others will be entirely uncooperative, so this is also an important issue to address.
Ultimately, and barring only a few exceptions, any cat or dog will be better off in the loving care of a new owner, as opposed to the confines of a shelter, no matter how well staffed or comfortable its facilities may be. It’s just a matter of making sure that your circumstances are best oriented to accommodate a new pet in your life. Once they are, though, there are few greater joys than bringing a new cat or dog into your life, so relish the opportunity!