Choosing the Perfect Kitten or Cat
Bringing a cat into your life has numerous benefits and can bring joy to your home. But before choosing a new feline friend, you should consider the type of cat that best suits your lifestyle. Every cat has his or her own unique personality. Fortunately, cats come in numerous breeds and a little research will guide you to your perfect feline friend.
Why Adoption Matters
If you’re searching for a new companion to add warmth and happiness to your life, look no further than your local animal shelter. Chances are good that your new best friend is there, just waiting to meet you! Approximately 3.4 million cats enter shelters each year and among those, roughly 1.4 million are euthanized. Choosing to adopt a pet not only helps curb pet overpopulation, but it’s also your chance to save a life. Plus, adopting a cat will often cost you substantially less than buying.
Senior & Special Needs Pets
When considering adopting a cat, you may also want to consider adopting an older or special needs cat. Older cats are usually litter box trained and may also have already been spayed/neutered, dewormed and immunized. You should also consider adopting a special needs cat. While special needs cats can require more attention, they can also be a rewarding experience for you and your family.
Before You Bring Your New Cat Home
Before bringing your cat home, you’re going to want to grab a few basics. Food and water bowls, a cat carrier, plus a litter box and bed are all things you’ll want to have before bringing your new furry friend home. It’s also a good idea to get a few toys and treats to help ease the transition process. Lastly, it’s important to remember that a cat’s claws need to be worn down, and they do this by scratching things. To prevent them from choosing your furniture, provide your cat with an appropriate scratching place.
Choose the Right Food
When choosing the right food for your cat, it’s important to remember that cats have unique nutritional needs. Kittens especially need more nutrients and calories than their adult cats. Cats can also be picky eaters so you may need to try several options before settling on the right one. You should also do your research and check with your vet to make sure your cat is maintaining a healthy diet.
And the Right Litter, too!
Learning to manage the litter box, and the not-so-pleasant odors that come with it, might seem like a challenge. But not to worry, ARM & HAMMER™ Clump & Seal™ cat litter is here to help. Clump & Seal™ has unique technology that forms a tight seal around odor and destroys it with powerful odor eliminators and ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda. It’s the secret to a 7-day odor-free home – guaranteed. Not to mention, its plant-derived particles help create rock solid clumps for easy scooping.
Kitten-Proofing Your Home
Make sure all cords and other dangling things are out of reach for your new kitten—consider running electrical cables under carpets. Kittens can get themselves tangled in dangling cords and choke. The same goes for keeping your kitchen and bathroom cabinets closed, so your kitten doesn’t encounter dangerous household items. Take a survey of the houseplants in your home, and remove any that might be toxic to animals. Lastly, keep your toilet lids down, just in case your new friend gets curious.
Make a Safe Haven
It’s finally time to bring your kitty home, and he or she may be nervous entering the new environment. Set up a small, quiet space beforehand to set up all the basic items you’ve purchased. Keep traffic to the area low as he or she adjusts to the new space. Don’t be alarmed if your cat is shy, skittish, or won’t come to you; with patience, he or she will come around. Spend time together and offer affection if the cat is interested, but also allow your new friend time alone to acclimate.
Welcoming Your New Cat to the Family
If you have small children and bring home a kitten, introduce the kids one at a time as not to overwhelm the kitten. Monitor them when holding the kitten– kids can be unintentionally rough and you don’t want to scare or hurt the kitten. It’s also important to remember that if you have other pets in your home, you’ll need to make sure they’ve been checked out by the vet and are disease free before bringing your cat home. Don’t leave your new cat alone with other pets without supervision until you know they are comfortable with each other.
Time to Explore!
Once your new cat is comfortable with your home and family, you can let them get to know the rest of the home by starting a little at a time. Cats like to climb and explore, so don’t be surprised to find them on top of the kitchen cabinets. Kittens can sneak into small holes so make sure you cover any possible access points.
Health & Wellness
Set up a wellness visit with your local veterinarian within the first week. You’ll want to bring any immunization records (if you have them) from the shelter too. Fellow pet owners can be a great resource for choosing a veterinarian. You’ll want to do your research and make sure that the veterinarian you choose meets your needs and the needs of your pet.
Spaying & Neutering
Spaying or neutering your pet will help control the pet homelessness crisis, which results in millions animals being euthanized each year. Spaying your cat also has certain health benefits and can help prevent your cat spraying your home. Spaying or neutering is also far less expensive than caring for a litter.
Pets Are Family
The benefits of adopting a kitten or cat from a shelter go both ways—your kitty will have a new home, and you’ll have a new member of the family. Studies have shown that the benefits of having a pet aren’t just emotional, but physical too, with lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other debilitating conditions. It’s just another reason to head out to your local shelter to find the perfect loving companion, for now and always!