With “kitten season” fully underway, shelters will soon be full of cats and kittens in need of loving homes. It is in late spring and early summer when cats often have a litter of kittens. This increases the number of felines that are homeless. Due to higher-than-normal numbers of kittens and cats in shelters at this time of year, June is recognized as Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month.
By adopting a cat or kitten in June, you can help lessen the burden on shelters at this time of year. Even if you are unable to adopt a cat or kitten, there are other ways that you can help:
- Make a donation to your local animal shelter or humane society as a way to help offset the increased costs.
- Spread the word! Use social media to post a message about Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat month on your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account.
- Consider becoming a shelter volunteer. Contact your local shelter to find out how you can become involved in their organization.
- If you can’t bring a cat into your home permanently, consider fostering. Contact a rescue group or your local shelter to see how you can become a foster parent.
If you are thinking of adopting a cat, there are a few things to consider:
Make sure everyone is in! Discuss the adoption with all members of your family or your roommates. The only thing worse than a “surprise” addition to the household, is having to return a cat to the shelter.
The right cat. Make sure you meet a few cats before making the big decision. Every cat has her own distinct personality. Try to find one whose personality matches yours! If you are energetic and want to play games, be sure to find a cat that shares your energy.
Budget. Cats can live for up to 20 (or even more) years. It is important that you are prepared to care for a cat for its entire life. Owning a cat comes with costs: food, kitty litter, treats, toys, and veterinary care. These are the necessities that your new cat will need for a healthy and long life. Be sure to budget for the short and long-term costs associated with owning a cat.
Two’s company. Consider adopting two cats instead of just one. Cats are very social animals. Having two cats can provide exercise and play for one another.
Supplies. Stock up on supplies before you bring your new cat home. You will need a litterbox (or two), cat litter, food and water bowls, a scratching post, food, toys, a bed, toothbrush, cat-safe toothpaste, nail clippers, and a comb or brush for grooming.
Be prepared! Secure items that a cat exploring her new home could knock over. Be sure to store cleaning supplies and other toxic home and garden chemicals in locked cupboards. Cats can be very curious, so cat-proofing your home is a must.
Vet visit! Book an appointment with your veterinarian to check over your new cat before bringing her home, or if that is not possible, soon after you bring her home. You will need to make sure your new cat is healthy, vaccinated, and free of fleas, ticks, mites, or intestinal parasites.
Take it slow. It may take some time for a cat to feel comfortable in her new home. Take it slow when introducing your cat to your home and your family members. It may help to keep your new cat in one room (with food, water, and litterbox) until she gets used her new environment.
Don’t forget senior cats. Senior cats can be just as playful and cute as kittens. Sadly, they are often overlooked by potential adopters. They need a loving home too!