You often hear about people who have kittens they are giving away or kittens that are on display in the pet store, but what about adopting an older cat from a shelter? Here are some things you need to know.
The Cold Hard Facts
There are two types of shelters: regular animal shelters like the Humane Society, and kill shelters. We have all heard about the former. These are places where animals go when they lose their homes to due to disinterest or death of the owners. Some advertise on television and in flyers that there are cats that need a loving home available for adoptions.
Kill shelters are often referred to as “open admission” shelters. Unlike the Humane Society, these shelters take all strays that are picked up off the street. Because of this, many cats are not in the shape that they need to be to attract the eye of someone looking for a cat. And, when the shelter gets full, residents who have been there the longest are put to sleep. It is an almost guaranteed death if the animals have been there for several months or longer.
Finding a Shelter Cat
The good news is that you can find a shelter cat that needs adoption pretty easily. Finding one that is compatible for you and your needs might be a bit harder.
Search online. The internet is great for locating a shelter cat who needs a good home. If you are looking for a cat with specific qualifications (minimal dander, older cat, disabled, certain breed) you can save yourself a lot of legwork by letting your fingers do the walking first. And while it is a good idea to search online, it is not so good to buy your cat this way, sight unseen.
Visit a local animal shelter or pet store. Here, you can interact with the cats to see which one is best for you. If you have other animals in the home, they can also get a glimpse of their potential new companion before you bring them home. If the cat has any issues or you notice something about them, you can ask questions right then.
It may take a few visits to find the cat that you want. Don’t despair. Always bring a cat carrier with you so you have a way to house your new pet if you find him. And, have a veterinarian lined up who can examine your cat before you bring him home. Shelters or pet stores may have history on your cat so you will know what shots or treatments they have already had.
There are a few things you will need to have to adopt a shelter cat, so be prepared. First, you will be charged a fee. The fee amount depends on the age of the cat and if any services are performed for the cat before you take them home.
Secondly you will need proof of age and residence. They want to know that the cat is going to an actual home. Other information will be taken so they can follow up with you.
Receive post-adoption instructions. You may be given fact sheets telling you how to care for your pet and what you need to make them comfortable in their new home.
Adopting a shelter cat is a noble deed. You are saving a life so choose wisely.
Most people looking for new pets always go for the babies. They want puppies and kittens. But, there are several reasons that an older cat would make a great addition for your home.
Cats are quite self-sufficient creatures. They love affection but also crave time alone. Sounds like some humans that you know huh? It’s no wonder they get along with most people who adore them.
Unfortunately, kittens do grow up and become older cats. Older cats are not as desired as younger ones and often end up in shelters or worse, on the street. This increases the unwanted animal population. What usually happens then is that they are either killed on the street or euthanized in the shelter to make room for younger kittens that people might want to adopt.
Save a Cat’s Life
If you like cats and are looking for a pet, before looking at kittens, consider the older cat in your local animal shelter. They still have a lot to offer. In fact, here are five very good reasons for you to adopt one.
1. They are already housebroken – Even though cats are easy to train, it does take time to get them to use their litter box. With an older cat, the hard work is already done. Simply show them where the box is and they will take it from there.
2. They won’t end up back in the shelter – It’s a little known truth that many cats end their days in an animal shelter because their owners have died. There was no one else to care for them. Cats do live pretty long lives but if you are a younger couple and you adopt a seven or eight year old cat, chances are that you will outlive them. The same goes for an older couple who wants companionship.
3. Children can play with them – Kittens are cute but kids can be rough with them. An older cat can stand up to tough loving and come out a winner. Also, these cats are often socialized well so they don’t mind other pets in the home either.
4. Can entertain themselves – Many people avoid pets or get rid of their current pets because of the time commitment. Kittens do require a lot of time with their owners until they are older. Adult cats can enjoy quiet time without being destructive. They are perfect for singles or couples that are away from home a lot but love to be greeted at the door by an old friend.
5. Good for multi-cat families – Some older cats are stressed by kittens running around and over them all day. Introducing another cat about the same age as your first cat is a better match overall.
Considering a cat for your home? Why not adopt an older cat? They come with wisdom and a loving heart.