Cat adoptions have dramatically increased in recent years as more people choose to take in a rescue cat from a shelter. Increased awareness about how adopting a rescue helps more than going to a breeder can only be a good thing.

If you’re looking to bring a cat into your home and are now considering adoption, then here are some critical things to consider.

Firstly, to try and have your application moved along faster you should try going to a larger pet shelter.

These will simply have more choices, but also small shelters are often overwhelmed with applications that take longer to process. Of course, they also have fewer kitties to fulfill the demand from keen adopters.

Nonetheless, the advantage of it taking longer is that you’ll have more time to prepare your home for the arrival of your new fluffy family member.

Here are six additional key things that you need to think about when adopting a cuddly rescue cat of your own.

1. Choose Shelters and Rescue Centers Carefully

The first thing you want to do is compile a list of rescue centers or shelters in your local area that are dealing with pet adoption.

Make sure each shelter you put on your list is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit since this is a good way to verify their legitimacy.

Do some research on their website and social media to see whether they treat the cats properly and adhere to ethical standards.

You may also want to know what people who have already used the agency’s services think about it by reading some reviews.

This will give you an idea of how trustworthy the organization is. A reputable website that you can use to find pet shelters near you that we recommend is Petfinder.

2. Consider the Details

Cat adoption involves many aspects you want to consider before going to the shelter.

If you don’t live alone, it’s important to talk to other household members about your adoption idea. Even if you plan to take care of the cat on your own, it’s still essential to have the approval of everyone you live with.

If household members are happy with having an animal in the house, discuss matters like feeding, cleanup, and playtime in advance. Make a schedule for each to avoid misunderstandings later.

When it comes to cat adoption, it’s best to get a furry pal that matches your lifestyle and personality.

Energetic cats need equally active owners who provide them with stimulating activities on daily basis.

Whereas senior cats and cats that love sitting on the couch for hours may need a quieter environment with fewer activities.

Older cats may require more medical assistance, including vet checks and medications.

So be sure your budget is ready to bear the additional costs.

That said, it can be immensely rewarding adopting an older cat and knowing that you’re giving them a loving home and comfort in their later years.

While all these technical aspects are important, try to stay open-minded and let fate have a say in your choice.

If a cat makes your heart skip a beat, don’t hesitate much. Fall in love and take it to home with you!

3. Prepare Your Home for the Cat’s Arrival

Before your new feline family member arrives, you have to make sure your house is safe and comfortable for it.

Identify the unsecured furniture and try to fix it in place so that the cat doesn’t topple it and get injured. 

If there are poisonous plants in the cat’s easy reach, put them away. Depending on the plant’s toxic compound, your cat could experience mild or severe poisoning symptoms after ingesting the plant. Toxic plants for cats include autumn crocus, lilies, azaleas, dieffenbachia, daffodils, and more.

Then there’s all the cat stuff you’ll need!

It’s highly recommended that you install a scratching post and a cat tree in your house. These items will prevent your feline from scratching at furniture and walls and climbing your kitchen cabinet.

Cats tend to get bored fast so buy them plenty of toys to make sure they have plenty to do when you can’t play with them.

Also, get in touch with a veterinarian who you can turn to in case of disease or for regular check-ups. The best bet is to ask the shelter or rescue organization to recommend you one.

4. Choose the Right Food and Diet

Since cats are obligate carnivores, you should be feeding them a diet with plenty of cat foods with high protein content from meat.

Feed your kitty a diet rich in proteins, low in carbs, and with moderate amounts of fat.

Dry food is convenient to eat and can even prevent the tartar buildup on your cat’s teeth.

However, you shouldn’t deprive your furry friend of wet cat food as it’s a precious source of moisture for them. Many cats don’t drink much water as a rule so they tend to get most of the water they need from the food they eat.

While proteins should be the centerpiece of a cat’s diet, you want to feed your kitty different protein flavors and formats to make the diet more diverse and colorful.

After all, no matter how much your kitty loves meat, it will get sick of it if it’s the same every day.

5. Get That Pooper Scooper Ready!

Another thing you’ll need to pick up is a litter tray and cat litter.

Place the litter box in a tranquil and low-traffic area so that your cat can do its business in peace.

To minimize cleanup efforts, opt for a fully or partially covered box. This will make sure your cat doesn’t spread the litter beyond the box while burying it.

Try to find time for scooping the litter every day to keep the box clean and to reduce the unpleasant smell.

Keep in mind that if your feline doesn’t like the litter box, either because of its appearance, location or excess dirtiness, it will potty outside of it.

To prevent that from happening, clean the box every single day.

Also, consider changing its location to a place that won’t make your kitty feel stressed out and embarrassed.

Cats are picky when it comes to litter box location, so you will have to try several times until you get it into the right spot.

Additionally, some new owners will like the peace of mind that comes from a health monitoring litter. This Pretty Litter review explains how it can help give early warnings on many common feline health issues.

6. Help Your Cat Transition Into the New Place

Cats need time to adjust to the new environment.

So when you bring your new pet home, try to ensure it has a smooth transition to the new place by giving it a separate area to wind down and get used to the surroundings.

It’s especially important if you have other cats or pets in your home as they can scare your feline and make if feel even more uncomfortable.

Put the litter box, feeding bowl, and toys in a corner of a room or a separate area if you have one, and welcome your new kitty to your house.

Depending on the cat’s personality, the transition may last from a few hours to even weeks in the case of super timid cats.

In the first days, it’s important to play a lot with your cat.

It will help it integrate into the new environment fast, get rid of stress, and create friendship bonds with you and other household members.

By Sam Jones, a feline expert focusing on cat behavior, cat health, and cat care. She has lived with cats her entire life and has been writing about cats for as long as she can remember. She is currently a senior contributing editor at We Love Cats and Kittens.

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