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Making sure you are ready to adopt a cat

Snickers a Torbie Cat for Adoption
Snickers a Torbie Cat for Adoption
Corinne Mitchell

A young woman came into the shelter last week to adopt a cat. She had visited with all of the cats, chosen the one she liked best and completed a cat adoption application for Snickers, a three year old Torbie boy.

One of the Cat Adoption Counselors called her to complete the interview and go over the application and set up a time to meet the next day to complete the adoption.

When she came in she expressed her concerns about Snickers being lonely whenever she was out of the house. She decided it would be best if she adopted two cats and agreed to adopt Milo, the cat that had been relinquished with Snickers and who she had a soft spot for.

The next evening, she left a message saying that she felt that she didn’t have the living space for two cats and that she would like to bring one of the cats back. By the next morning she had decided that she wasn’t really ready to adopt any cats and so both cats were returned.

Although it is disappointing when a cat adoption doesn’t work out, everyone involved supported the young woman’s decision and applauded her having the insight and courage to do what was best for the cats and for her.

Making the commitment

Adopting a cat is a big decision and there are many things that you need to consider before making the commitment to this new member of your family.

2 important considerations

As seen from this woman’s experience, there are two major things to consider before you adopt a cat or kitten:

  • Time - do you have the time to care for, play with, and meet your cat's basic needs?
  • One or Two – should you adopt a single cat or a pair? For example, siblings are already a bonded pair, and will usually remain so for years. They also are great playmates, since they have the same energy level.

A matter of time

While cats are relatively easy to care for, it takes time to care for them, to have a relationship with them and to make sure they have an enriched life that will help them stay happy and healthy with no behavior problems.

Living with a pet cat is not a one way street with the human getting all of the love and companionship they want from the cat. The cat has its own needs for love and attention from their human.

Studies demonstrate that a stronger bond makes you and your pet physically and emotionally healthier. Building this bond requires you spending “quality time” with your cat and you have to be honest with yourself about if you have the time to give to a cat before you adopt.

Two cats are better than one

The young woman had the insight to know that a young single cat would be lonely and would benefit from having a feline companion. The experts agree that even if two cats do not form a strong friendship that they are healthier physically, mentally and emotionally when they live with another cat.

In addition to being beneficial for the cats, having two cats makes life easier for you. They have each other to play with and this helps keep them out of trouble. With kittens this is especially important as they learn boundaries from interacting each other that they do not learn from humans.

They also have each other to hang out with while you are gone and this helps prevent the loneliness that can lead to bad behavior and boredom eating that can result in obesity.

It is important that you are honest with yourself about the responsibilities that go along with adopting a feline – or two. Making sure your cats are happy will keep them healthier and will give you the best possible relationship with them.