Making a list before you visit a shelter is critical. If you already have had animal companions, you can ignore the following information.
What kind of a pet do you want?
Let's start with cats.Cats are intelligent, affectionate, very clean and low maintenance.Think of them as live stuffed animals. They are cuddly but can be aloof at times. What does low maintenance mean? They can be fed dry or moist food. They use a litter box; this means they urinate and defecate in a specified box filled with cat litter. A scratching post is all important. Just like their relatives the Great Cats, these animals have tremendous urges to scratch. To avoid your favorite chair or piece of wood furniture being shredded, a post provides just what is needed to satisfy this urge.
Cats have raspy tongues which allow them to lick themselves. They are very diligent when it comes to being clean. They seldom need bathing. However, this procedure produces hair balls. These are coughed up from time to time. Do not be alarmed! This is quite natural and avoids intestinal blockage.
Upcoming: Shelters: What you need to know to adopt an animal