June is ASPCA’s National Adopt-a-Cat Month and these sweet animals are so deserving of an entire month celebrating just the wonders of these unique animals. It is also a great time to encourage everyone to go adopt a furry, purry little ball of fluff! Shelters in the US are overflowing with unwanted cats and kittens – in fact, 71% of the cats that enter shelters are euthanized. Did you know that the number of cats in homes is greater than the number of dogs? There are approximately 88 million cats in homes versus just 74 million dogs.
There is no question that these wonderful animals make tremendous companions to their humans and if you are considering adopting one into your home, here are a few things to consider first:
Make sure you are not allergic. Go and spend some time in the cat rooms at your local shelter to test your sensitivities (and get some sweet kitty snuggles at the same time). Allergies are the number one reason cats are surrendered to shelters. If you are prone to allergies, be sure you and your family members are not reactive before making the leap to cat ownership. It is important to note that just because you are allergic to one cat does not mean you are allergic every cat – so if you are really wanting a feline friend, be sure to test your response to more than one cat!
Consider your long term plans. Pets are a lifetime commitment and you should consider if you are ready to fully commit to having a cat for a lifetime. Cats can have long lifespans and regularly live into their 20s.
Do you have other pets in home? Consider the addition of a new pet to how they will react to the new addition. Are you committed to working through any aversion your current pets might have to the new cat? For instance, if your current cat is not a fan of other cats you might want to test the waters first before taking the leap to add a rambunctious little kitten to the mix so maybe you should try fostering first. There are many products on the market that can assist in helping cats acclimate to new environments – and just giving time for things to settle down will help a lot!
Pets can be very expensive (even free pets rescued from shelters) as there are a lot of expenses that are involved. Plan ahead and make certain you are financial able to handle any emergency veterinary expenses that might arise as well as the day-to-day care like cat food, litter and of course, toys!
As if we need to tell you cat fans this – but cats are a very different from our canine companions. While sometimes more independent, cats have unique features that require special diets and certain needs like scratching posts. Be sure that you have a good information sources to learn more about your cat’s needs or to help solve common cat issues – independent pet food and supply retailers as well as a qualified veterinarian are perfect resources!
Cats are incredibly unique and fun animals to add to your furry family. There are so many fun things to learn about these very special pets.
Here is a great link for some truly fun facts: 82 Astounding Facts about Cats (https://www.buzzfeed.com/chelseamarshall/meows?utm_term=.tcej7o192#.ufwLnag3x).