“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not” – Ernest Hemingway.

A cat is not a toy and requires time and attention no doubt not as much compared to dogs so it’s important to research thoroughly. It is a commitment for the next 12 to 15 years if looked after properly. You’ll have to consider time, money and responsibility. Once all factors have been thought through carefully then you’re ready!

Process of Adoption

If you have decided to adopt from a shelter or rescuer/fosterer, that is absolutely awesome as you have given a second chance and help lessen the cat population too.
The process adopting from shelters or rescuers/fosterers is pretty easy. A list of questions are asked for instance:

Do you live in a condo or landed property

If you reside in a condo, it is better to place wire meshes at windows so kitty doesn’t fly out and main doors at the entrance of the house so kitty doesn’t run out at the sight of anything that moves or flies. This prevents accidents while keeping kitty safe and maintaining ventilation.

Do you work full-time or part time and what are the hours

Cats are naturally independent creatures and aloof as we know yet want connection with their pet parent. Working hours for pet parents are crucial as this determines whether a kitten or adult cat is suitable. Kittens for instance require more time especially for feeding compared to adult cats.

Are there small children. If so what age

Adopting a cat that needs a home teaches important values to children and it also tells the underlying values and statement of the household. Regardless of age, children require supervision handling especially kittens as they’re fragile and soft as young children don’t realize their strength.

How particular are you on cleanliness, tidiness

All individuals have their own level of cleanliness and hygiene. If you are the untidy type, you don’t want a pet to add on to that untidiness which would lead to other problems as cleaning cat litter would be added onto your list of house chores. Daily cleaning is required with a simple vacuuming that minimizes sinus to most pet parents and cats. Being untidy also allows kitten or adult cat to hide at “dangerous” areas. So being tidy and clean is crucial.

Are there other pets in the house

Very rare would cat parents have 1 cat. You’ll start with 1 then it grows at an alarming rate! Having one seems so lonely so you end up with 2 or 3. Cats being aloof are always intimidated with newbies so slowly introduce by isolating newbie in a separate room and they’ll smell each other from the foot of the door. The shelter, rescuer or fosterer will be on hand to advise the process but don’t be alarmed or nervous if you hear cat growling at a high pitch or see them “street fighting” for a few seconds. It’s normal and they’ll get along in no time.

The questions above are just a handful but more will be asked depending on the shelter and rescuer/fosterer. The next step is to visit the cat/s and bring along a cat carrier. It’s a family commitment so whoever lives in the household should be present. Once you’ve chosen your feline companion whether it be kitten, adult cat or senior cat, the next step is a trip to the veterinarian. Shelters, rescuers/fosterers would get vaccinations, deworming, de-flea done which is the basic but a thorough health-check is required as you don’t want surprises. A vaccination card is given at the point of adoption and that card must be brought to your veterinarian to check through.

Trip to the Veterinarian

Kitty would be stressed out or anxious sitting in the cat carrier and experiencing car ride then being probed by the veterinarian but it is necessary for a thorough check-up before heading home. A blood check is done usually to ensure there is no major illness and vaccination card checked. At the vet clinic, you can buy the essentials like food and water bowls separately and not the 2-in-1 type, recommended cat food, covered cat litter tray, cat litter and scoop. To determine the size of the cat litter tray, measure the cat from the tip of its nose until the end of its tail and add a few centimetres more. From experience, I buy the largest as cats like to dig and bury. It’s their nature. The rest like cat beds, cat toys, scratching post can be purchased at pet shops as they have wider choices. Once all is good to go and essentials purchased at least for the first night, it’s the final trip home.

Adapting to Kitty’s New Home

Upon Kitty’s arrival, place her/him in a room with a door. Leave the cat carrier door opened so Kitty can freely walk out at her/his own accord. Doing this allows her/him to get used to the smell of her/his new home and its surrounding. Do this for a week then leave the door open for her/him to start exploring. This whole process takes about 2 weeks depending on the cat’s personality. Some who are shy take longer to adapt but some who are friendly adapt within the week!

Happy Cat Bonding!

This article is courtesy of Pets Corner Sdn Bhd. For more pet care tips, visit www.petscorner.com.my