If you have the opportunity to adopt a cat, you can change the world for him or her. The modern world is a harsh place for animals.
Natural habitats are being lost, food is scarce, and dangers of modern society are rampant in what once belonged to Mother Nature. Opening your home to an animal in need is an amazing act of kindness and compassion.
When I deciding to adopt a cat near me
Imagine bringing another child into your home and all the things you provide for it to thrive. Cats are similar. They need food, doctor visits, love, attention, and cuddles.
Some cats are snuggle bugs while others want their space. But they all have one thing in common – they need a home. The first time I decided to adopt a cat near me from the local shelter, I felt like I met my furry soulmate. She was independent but full of love when she needed to cuddle.
We were perfect for each other. But adding to your family is a big step you shouldn’t take lightly.
Fostering vs Adopting
Adopting is a conscious decision to permanently add to your family. Cats enjoy the security of a stable home just like we do. Knowing they have a warm house and a steady food supply lets them know you love them.
But when you can’t offer a permanent home, the next best thing is to foster. I fostered several litters of kittens over the years, and it held just as much meaning as adopting.
One litter was only a few weeks old, and their mother was struck by a car. They were ill, malnourished, and in desperate need of a safe environment.
I couldn’t adopt them all, but I could offer a warm bed, food, medicine (provided by the shelter), and lots of love. Two months later, they were healthy enough to be adopted out. I got to keep one who was particularly attached – for free.
Adopt instead of shop
When I knew I wanted to adopt a cat, I wasn’t sure how to do it. Since I wanted to adopt a cat near me, I made a quick stop at the local animal shelter. If it didn’t pan out, I would widen my search area.
I discovered that some local shelters euthanize the animals that don’t get adopted after a certain amount of time. These lovable pets live on borrowed time as they wait for someone to notice them. If no one does, they never leave.
Pet stores offer pure breed and exotic animals. If you adopt a cat from a pet store, you’re supporting a horrible cycle of abuse.
Puppy and kitten mills are rank with disease and horrific living conditions for the parents who are routinely impregnated.
The offspring are purebreds (and sometime inbred), but can have extreme health problems not noticeable until after the adoption.
Where to adopt a cat
Think about how far you’re willing to travel to meet the cat of your dreams. I chose to adopt a cat near me because I lived in an area with multiple shelters and sanctuaries.
I looked at adoptable cats within a 10-mile radius and was lucky enough to find the perfect little girl.
Local shelters are the most common places from which you can adopt a cat. It’s guaranteed you will find a pet surrendered, abandoned, or dumped there not of their own free will.
Shelters spay and/or neuter, administer immunizations, and treat any known illnesses before the animals are put up for adoption.
Animal sanctuaries are another option. Cat sanctuaries are a safe haven for those lucky enough to reside there.
Not all are adoptable, but most are. Most of sanctuaries offer to take back the animal if the adoption doesn’t work out.
Social media is another prominent resource full of people looking to rehome pets or unwanted litters. But be wary of people online selling animals.
They could be kidnappers trying to make a quick buck by selling someone else’s family pet. Be careful of people giving away animals, too. They could be breeders who want to get rid of a puppy or kitten who is sick so they need not pay a vet bill.
Choosing the right cat to adopt
When I decided I wanted to adopt another cat, I wanted to give a home to a cat that had no chance of being adopted elsewhere. I had one condition: no kittens.
I had my sight set on a senior cat who just needed love and a comfortable home to live out his golden years. Around Halloween, the local shelter was offering discounted cat adoption fees.
I spent two hours searching for the perfect, older, discarded cat who would love me. Each time I found the perfect candidate , someone else snatched it up Then I noticed people talking about how black cats are evil.
In the corner was a cage with two of the tiniest, scrawniest, and terrified kittens I’d ever seen. They were pure black with beautiful golden eyes too big for their heads.
A lady brushed past me and told the staff they should be euthanized because they were evil. All I saw in their dirty little faces was fear and hunger. I didn’t adopt a cat that day. I adopted two cats – brother and sister – whose mother and siblings had died a week earlier. They were four weeks old.
Be open to the type of cat you want to bring into your home. It’s not about what you want. It’s about what the two of you can give to each other. My kittens needed a mom, and I needed to give them a chance at life.
Expenses to consider
The main cost pet owners face is food. As kittens, I fed mine soft food until they could chew on hard kibble. But once our routine was set, they didn’t want to budge.
Now that they’re a year old, they each get a small scoop of canned food for breakfast and dinner. The kibble is left out all day to be eaten at their discretion.
So, I have the expense of dry and hard food. And snacks. Lots of snacks which can easily run up the grocery bill.
Like dogs, you may be required by your county to register your cat. Both of my cats have tiny licenses on their collars along with their rabies tag.
It helps to reunite them with you if they’re lost, and it provides crucial data for the county to provide sufficient evacuation centers in cases of natural disasters.
It’s also cheaper to register them than to pay the county fine for not doing so. Another perk is that registering your cat deters animal control from kidnapping domestic animals to collect impound fees.
Pet insurance is a marvelous investment if you can afford it. Like medical insurance for humans, it has a deductible, monthly installment plan, and covered and non-covered veterinarian costs.
Immunizations and annual exams usually aren’t covered, but broken bones, surgeries, and illnesses are. When you adopt a cat, they come with a laundry list of extra responsibilities of which you should be aware.
Make the commitment
If you adopt a cat (or multiple cats), make sure you are ready for a long term commitment. Cats feel love, fear, and heartbreak just like we do. Some people think nothing of moving out of town and leaving their cats behind.
From the cat’s viewpoint, his family left him behind and broke his heart. When I decided to adopt a cat, I committed to care for, provide for, and love her for her entire life. She – and the others – have never stopped loving me in return.
Article by our US cat loving correspondant Laura Lee Hathaway
Has your cat got some characteristics or quirks that are giving you concern? Understanding your cat so that you can identify and deal with it effectively is essential for a happy home – read our article ‘Bad Cat Behavior – and how to identify and deal with it’ here