We all need companions, and cats can give us the friendship we crave. They live long lives and bond closely with their human caretakers.
Cats are especially suitable for seniors; not only are they more amenable to you being away from home, but they don’t have the rigorousness of some dogs. If you’re thinking of getting a cat, read on for great tips and advice.
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Adopt, Don’t Shop!
You may be familiar with the expression, but adopting really is better than buying a cat. Most shelters, unfortunately, will put down animals that don’t get adopted.
By adopting, you may be saving a cat’s life.
Even breeders that may seem reputable, or stores that say they only buy from select breeders, may not be healthy environments for kittens or their parents. Adopting is also often much less expensive, with the added benefit of having your pet already neutered or spayed and chipped in case it gets lost.
You will have an ample selection, from cats already grown and trained to playful kittens looking for a loving home. There are trustworthy sources to adopt from near you, such as the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
Helping Your Cat Settle
The first thing to do is to make your home pet-safe. Start with one room, and let this be where your new cat can acclimate to a new environment. Your new friend may be anxious at first, and having a quiet space to itself is an excellent way to get it to relax.
Put a box or two in the room where your new feline companion may hide from the world. This may help them feel safe, and it will hopefully allow them to adjust quickly to their new climes. In addition to the essentials, such as food, water, and litter, put clothes you have worn in the room, so they learn your smell.
Spend some time playing with your cat. Toys, especially familiar ones they had during their time at the shelter, may help them feel comfortable — and getting to know you will too. It may seem like a lot of work, but it will be worth it in the end.
Keeping Your Kitty Safe
Making sure your new friend stays safe is going to take some prep work. Once your cat is brave enough to venture out of their safe room, they may wind up in all kinds of trouble. Keep food out of your cat’s reach and secured in pantries or the fridge.
Have cords pinned out of a cat’s reach, as they will want to play with them and may ingest them, which can be deadly. Cats often will eat houseplants, so either remove them or be absolutely sure that they are not toxic.
Trash and cleaning chemicals can also be dangerous if they are unlocked and accessible to a curious feline. Have plenty of toys ready for your cat, as a bored animal may become destructive.
Caring for an Older Cat
If you adopt an older cat, there may be challenges along the way, but it will be a rewarding experience. Senior cats are often overlooked, but they can be the best-tempered. You’ll need to ensure they see a vet at least twice a year.
As any pet ages, it will need more check-ups, so make things easier on your cat by crate-training them. This way, their crate is a place of sanctuary, not something scary. Keep an eye on your feline’s health, as any changes should be investigated.
Older cats may crave more attention and, in turn, may be more affectionate. When getting a cat, don’t hesitate to consider an older companion.
There are many wonderful things that come with being a cat owner. They deserve our love and will give it back immeasurably. There is very little greater than knowing you have a pet who cares for you waiting at home.