Tips for adopting the right cat for you

When I was a child, my parents decided to get me a kitten. I was thrilled, but because I was used to dogs (very patient dogs at that) I did not transition well and expected my new cat to play with me and put it through any type of torture I came up with (countless hugs, dressing up in doll clothes, chasing, etc). The cat my parents picked out was aloof and independent, and did NOT want to be held all the time, so needless to say, we did not get along so well. Eventually, we had to give him away to someone who was a much better match for him, and my parents waited until I was older to get another cat.

I learned at a young age to be careful when choosing a cat. If you want a cat for a child, making sure the cat has prior experience with children, or is generally mild and lovable is so important. Likewise, if you work a lot and live alone, a more aloof cat is ideal.

Though it’s not always easy to tell how well a cat will respond in certain environments, you can tell a lot just by the way they respond to you when you first meet them. For example, I now have 2 shelter cats both picked out at different times. The first is a female who grabbed my attention by rubbing against the bars of her cage, anxious for some love and affection. She stood out to me since I love to snuggle with my pets. She’d been at the shelter for several weeks and shared a cage with five other kittens, so I knew she got along with other cats which was a real plus for me because I planned on one day getting a second cat. The second, a male, was also in a cage with other kittens and he didn’t seem to be either the runt or the dominant one. I didn’t want him to bully the female I already had at home or to be bullied by her, so it seemed a happy medium. I spent some time holding him before I adopted him, and when he purred loudly and enjoyed a good snuggle, I knew he would be a good match.

The shelter we adopted from provided neuter and spay services which was also important. I’ve seen people end up with pregnant cats and with so many potential pets having to be euthanized since there are so many, I didn’t want to add to the problem.

So, to summarize:

1. Choose a kitten or cat that has a personality you can easily bond with whether it’s lovable or overly independent.

2. Make sure they will get along with any other pets you currently have. While it may not be possible to know for sure, at least you can have an idea based on whether they have prior experience with other animals.

3. Find out the pets background in case there are any medical issues they may have.

4. Be sure they’re fixed or get them fixed as soon as possible.

5. Try finding a cat that has been around children if that’s important to you. No matter how well you explain things to a child, they’re still going to want to love on their new pet.

And finally, be sure you are ready for a cat and are willing to keep it for life. If you are prepared and are willing to accept your cats unique personality, everything will go better for both of you.

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