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!


  1. That is some really good information about get a cat or kitten. One thing, if you do want to get one, please adopt one from a shelter since there are so many cats and kittens that really need some forever homes.
    Take care.

  2. Great post on getting a new kitty! One thing I've learned the hard way is to consider buying pet insurance. Be sure to compare policies and know what you get for what you pay out in premiums. As with people, if your pet becomes seriously injured or ill, the bills can be astronomical!


  3. Usually cat foods also affect cat's behavior, how? Cats eats whatever they wanted, and owners give sometimes whatever food to them. There are times that cats got irritated with what with its stomach. Without knowing that they are not comfortable with what they have eaten.