10 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Cat

1. Do you want a lap cat or a busy bee? If you work long hours and don’t want to spend your evening waving a feather wand or cleaning up shredded toilet paper, a middle-aged, adult cat may be a better fit than a young, bouncy kitten or very young cat!

2. Should you foster or adopt? Cats live anywhere between 12 and 20 years or more! If you’re not ready to be a ‘forever’ home, you may want to consider fostering instead of adopting. Ask us about how you can foster today.

3. Where will your cat live? We ask our adopters to keep their cats indoors, and to harness-train and supervise their cats if they do go outside. This will help keep them safe from predators, vehicles, and strangers who may or may not have good intentions. Are you looking for an outdoor cat to help with pest control? We have working cats available for adoption so ask one of our counselors to meet them.

4. How long will your cat be left at home? Although cats are fairly independent, they may get lonely when you are gone at work or travelling. Consider adopting two cats so they can have company while you’re away. Did you know that we actually recommend adopting two kittens instead of just?  Kittens raised in pairs get lots of exercise from playing with each other and develop better social skills.

5. How much does owning a kitty cost? Just like everything, cats cost money. Be prepared to purchase food, litter, and other supplies monthly and veterinary care annually or whenever your cat gets sick or injured. Your new cat will come spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped. Your pet will need vaccinations each year.  Carol House Quick Fix Clinic is the most affordable place in the area for low cost vaccinations and flea preventatives.

6. How much do you love your furniture? Scratching and climbing are natural behaviors for cats. Providing them with appropriate cat scratchers and cat furniture and keep your kitty’s nails trimmed. Cats adopted from PACC cannot be declawed, as there are many other physical and behavioral risks involved with this procedure. If you want a declawed cat, please ask a staff member or volunteer if we have any already-declawed cats. If we don’t, we can point you to a local rescue who does!

7. Can you put the time into training? Kittens, especially when adopted on their own at a young age, may need socialization and even training. They need gentle correction, appropriate alternatives to naughty behaviors, and training to learn that fingers and couches are not toys. They also need to have a litterbox nearby to prevent accidents.  

8. Are you prepared to be patient? Plan on three months for your new cat to acclimate to your home. All cats are individuals and it takes a long time for your cat to become part of your family. You may be surprised to know – many adoption returns happen in the first 48 hours after adoption. That’s because the new owner probably did not expect time would be needed for the cat to adjust. Some things that may take a while include coming out from their hiding place when people are around, living with other animals in the home, and relaxing. If you have any questions about living with your new cat, you can contact us at training@gatewaypets.org and we can offer you advice and resources to help!

9. Will you be kind and gentle with your new cat? Most of our cats have suffered the trauma of losing their homes and their families. They will be stressed out and confused for a little while after you adopt them. Will you show them patience and kindness as they learn to live in a new environment with new people? Adopted kitties need time, love and patience to become their best selves.  Don’t hesitate to contact us at training@gatewaypets.org if you need any advice or suggestions to help your pet settle in.  

10. Do you have kids or other pets? In general, it’s important to think about how your new cat will get along with anyone who might regularly be at your house. If you want to see how a cat will do outside of the shelter with your other pets or kids in the home, ask us about checking their notes to find out what kind of history they may have. If you are adopting a cat to a home with small kids and other pets, remember the golden rule: GO SLOW! Take time to do introductions and don’t leave your new cat unsupervised with kids or other pets for at least two weeks.

I’m Ready to Adopt