Is It Time to Adopt a Cat?

Are you considering adopting a cat? Find out the responsibilities and proper care of your new feline friend.

Kitten with collar
Right after we adopted Wessie

Cats can be wonderful and loving creatures that offer a lot of love and companionship. Before you adopt a cat, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Why do you want a cat? Do you want the cat for companionship? Think about your home situation. Do you have enough room to care for a cat? Are you renting? If so, does your landlord allow you to have pets? How much time are you willing to devote to your pet? This quiz on Animal Planet may help you to find out what pet is right for you.

Once you've decided that you really want a cat, it's time to ask yourself if you will be letting the cat outside. Will the cat be an outside cat, indoor only, or an indoor/outdoor cat? Consider what will be best for the cat, and what you believe the cat would want the most.

You must also decide whether you want a cat or kitten. If you want to raise your cat, and have it grow up in your care, then you will want a kitten. They may need more training than adult cats. Kittens are more likely to be attached to you, as they will be growing up around you, and will know you all of their lives.  When you adopt a kitten instead of an adult cat, it may be less likely to run away if you are letting it outdoors, as it doesn't have past homes to go to.

Adult cats can make great pets as well. They are more likely to be docile, and not as playful as a kitten. Adult cats can also be very playful. Past experiences may have made them attached to someone or something, making adult cats more likely to run away than kittens.  Remember, as you are considering these two options, think about what will be best for you and your situation.

You've made your decision, and decided that it's time for you to get a cat. It is now time to prepare yourself and your home for your new kitty.

Cats are easy to care for. Their maintenance can cost from around 100-800 dollars a year. The yearly cost for Wessie is around 148 dollars. The way to keep costs down is to make your own cat toys, don't buy too many cat treats, and use old containers that you have around for cat food and water dishes. There are many ideas for keeping your cat care budget low.  Outdoor cats also cost less, as they don't use very much litter.

You are going to have to feed your cat daily.  It is best to give them measured food, as opposed to free feeding, to prevent your cat becoming overweight. You will also need  to scoop your cat's litter daily, and change it at least once a week. Make sure that your cat has a clean bowl of water available at all times. You should also play with your cat daily. This will prevent it from becoming overweight, and will keep it healthy.

You know how to care for your new cat, so now it is time to prepare your home. Make sure that there is a safe and preferably small room that you can keep your cat in as he adjusts to his new home. Scan the room with your eyes. Do you see anything potentially dangerous for a cat? Strings dangling? Small things that the cat could play with, and choke on? If you don't see any of these things, get down on your hands and knees, and look around. Pick up anything that you wouldn't want near your new cat. Look around your whole house, and make sure that it is cat proof.

When you know that is safe for your kitty, it is time to get your supplies. First of all, you may want a cat toy so that you can give your cat exercise and supply him with play. You can even make your own handmade cat toys! Here's a link to my "how to make cat toys" page, which features a couple of easy toys to make. How to Make Your Own Cat Toys

You will also want to purchase a cat carrier. I use a Petmate pet taxi for Wessie's transportation. You'll want the carrier early so that you can take your new pet home from the adoption facility.

When you are at the adoption facility, look around. What cat or kitten catches your eye? If none do, then maybe your purrfect cat isn't there. It's important that you aren't just choosing the cat for its looks. The cat should be what you want, and have a good purrsonality. You and the cat/kitten should get along right off.

Once you have chosen your cat, ask to see it out of the cage. This is important, because if you really want a lap cat, you may discover that the cat you chose hates to be touched. When I took Wessie out of the cage, I discovered that he didn't like to be held. This trait has stayed with him all his life, and it is only once in a while that he actually sits on my lap.

Once you've held the cat, you have to find out if it's healthy. Don't solely rely on a staff member, rely on your own good judgment.  Check in the cat's ears, eyes, and nose. If all of these places seem free of mucus, then the cat is probably healthy. Ask about the cats medical records. Make sure that it has had rabies vaccinations if you are planning on letting the cat outside. This is especially important if you live somewhere where there are a lot of rabies carrying animals, such as raccoons.

If you are fully satisfied with the cat, it is time to adopt. There are usually some papers that you will have to fill out. The adoption fees for cats vary, depending on where you are adopting your cat. Once you go through the adoption process, it is time to take the cat home with you.

Once you are in the room you previously prepared for your cat, open up the door of the carrier. Your cat may hide in it for awhile, but will probably slowly come out and explore the room. Remember, this is an extremely stressful experience for your new cat. Don't pressure the cat to explore its surroundings. It'll explore on its own. You can leave the cat alone as it adjusts to its new home. When we got Wessie, we let him out in the bathroom. He hid under the bathtub. To gain his trust, and to lure him out from under the tub, we held out a homemade fishing pole toy for him to play with. Slowly but surely, Wessie gained our trust. Your cat will too. Some cats are harder to earn their trust than others. It takes time and patience for a cat to adjust to your home.

Play with your cat everyday. This will exercise your cat, you will have fun, and your cat will trust you more. After one year of owning your cat, you may think that you know everything about him, but you learn new things about your pet almost everyday.

Have fun with your new friend, treasure your new pet, and take good care of him!

Feline UTI and Home Remedy

Cat Litter Box - Feline UTI

This information is not a replacement for veterinary care.  It is almost impossible to diagnose your cat at home.  Improper use of this information may actually worsen your cat's condition if you have incorrectly diagnosed.

Feline UTI. All pet owners worry when they see the signs of this fatal disease it their cat. But how do you know he really has it, and what do you do if he does? Read more, and find out.

Feline UTI (urinary tract infection) is a disease that many
cats have. It’s mostly found in neutered male cats. Since it is a fatal but highly treatable disease, you will want to know the signs so that you can treat it early. UTI shows up very quickly, one day your cat is fine, and the next he is blocked by crystals or bladder stones. Toxins will build up in the cat’s body, as the kidneys are no longer filtering bad things out of the cat’s system. If your cat isn't treated, it can die within 24 hours. Recognizing the signs and symptoms is easy. Some of the first symptoms are urinating outside of the litter box, straining to urinate, blood in the urine, excessive licking of the genitals, and crying in the litter box.

Some may just think that their cat has developed bad cat behaviors. This is because they may be urinating on the floor away from the litter box. The cause of this is that if the cat finds it painful to use the litter box, they may start to identify the box as the problem. In this case, they will avoid it, trying to escape the pain. If not quickly corrected, you may have a lot of trouble getting your cat to use his litter box again.

A cat’s bladder will usually feel like a slippery water balloon. However, when it has UTI, the bladder will more likely feel like a hard peach, as it is all full. Palpate your cat’s stomach, and see if it feels hard. Hopefully it will feel normal, and soft. Once in a while, the palpating actually releases the blockage.

UTI is usually treated by a vet. At the vet they will use a catheter to push the blockage out, or back into the bladder where it will dissolve. This is a painful operation for the cat. Because of the pain, anesthetic is given to the cat. Usually, the cat will be kept at the vets for a few days with a catheter attached to them to make sure that the cat doesn't have the blockage come back, or if you are on a budget, you can leave right after the operation is complete. These vet visits may cost up to around $4,000, so you might want to treat at home.

For this, I recommend apple cider vinegar. I used ACV along with Gimborn Uri Soothe for urinary tract health. After about five days of apple cider vinegar and Uri soothe treatment, Wessie is now urinating normally. It was low cost, around $10.08, while a visit to the vets can cost over a thousand dollars.

If you are trying to treat at home, here are some tips.
  • When your cat has UTI, regularly scoop his box so that you can see any new urine that he has left.
  • Make sure that the cat keeps hydrated, but that he doesn't have too much water, as he will then be in extreme discomfort if he is unable to release the pressure.
  • Feed your cat his normal amount of wet food with a capful of ACV mixed in. If your cat usually has dry, switch to wet.
  • You might want to find a urinary tract supplement like we did.

Here’s my story of Wessie’s UTI
I knew that Wessie had a problem when I saw him straining to urinate, and nothing came out. Immediately I thought of feline UTI, as Wessie is a neutered male.

I went to the Internet to find out what you can do for your cat when he has UTI. I searched for things that you can do to help a cat with UTI. Most resources advised going to the vet. Then, I came across a website that suggested feeding your cat apple cider vinegar. After reading the reviews on ACV (apple cider vinegar), I decided to try it to save my kitty’s life. Many people were satisfied with it, and very few said that it didn't work to help their cat.

I explored different websites to find additional advice, and decided to get Wessie some canned cat food. It turned out that cats that eat dry food are more likely to get UTI than wet food eaters, as they don’t get as much water.

We headed out to Petco to see if there was any kind of urinary health treatment for cats. We found Gimborn Uri Soothe, which is used for cat urinary tract support. Afterwards, we headed over to the grocery, and picked up our ACV and canned cat food. Later, we blended the recommended teaspoon of Uri soothe with Wessie’s new food, and put it out for him to eat. Over the day, we fed him food mixed with ACV, and found that Wessie was becoming slightly more successful with his urination. During the night, I left my bedroom door open so that Wessie had easy access to his litter box. Awakening in the night to check on him, I found out that he had used the litter box and made an almost normal sized urine cake. Then, as if to prove to me that he could go and actually make something, he proceeded to urinate in front of me, leaving about a golf ball sized puddle. That day he made more golf ball sized puddles, but occasionally was unable to urinate.

The next day, Wessie was making slightly smaller than normal puddles, and sometimes made a nice large normal sized one. After several days, Wessie is urinating normally, and has his regularly large puddles.