As a cat shelter, the staff at Hervey Cats are familiar with all the different reasons people adopt a pet and all the different approaches they take. Before adopting a cat for your family, there are a number of different questions you need to ask yourself, and your family, in addition to a few factors you should consider during the selection process.
Cat or Kitten?
Kittens are cute and fun, but often a handful and sometimes difficult. While they eventually grow into adult cats, you will need to kitten-proof your home before bringing home a little one. Kittens get into everything and depending on how well they have been litter-trained, they will often find hidden spots to relieve themselves. Kittens also are less likely to seek affection as they are still exploring their worlds.
Adult cats can be temperamental, and some come with trauma, but overall they make fantastic family members. While they may not have grown up with your family from a young age, they often are too tired to tear apart your furniture, they like to seek affection, and depending on their personality, they may become a major part of your lives!
All of this isn’t to say a kitten is a bad choice. Lots of people adopt kittens and have a great experience. We are just asking you to take a serious look at an adult cat. Adult cats are adopted far less than kittens, especially black cats!
Is Personality Everything?
We think so. As a cat shelter, our goal is to unite cats with their forever homes. It breaks our heart to hear a cat has been returned to the shelter or is being given away after someone adopts them. What’s the best way for us to ensure cats go home to their forever families? By stressing the importance of personality.
When adopting a cat, don’t look for ‘an orange one’, or ‘a tortoise-shell’, look for personality. Go to the shelter and meet all the cats before making a decision. More often than not, people adopting cats will make a strong connection with one cat in the shelter which ends up being a much better match than if they walked through and chose a cat based on its appearance.
The biggest mistake families make when choosing a cat to adopt is basing their decision on appearance. Families have different needs from single people. Single people can adopt any pet and if there are behavioural issues it’s not too big a deal. There aren’t young children to misinterpret the mood of the cat and be scratched.
Should you adopt one or two cats? As with all of this stuff, the answer isn’t easy. Some cats have cohabitated with others and are referred to as ‘bonded pairs’. These pairs are usually adopted out together as it would be devastating to them to be separated. On the flip side, adult cats who have spent most of their lives alone don’t often react well to being placed into a home with another adult cat.
As a cat shelter, we are happy when we see adult cats get adopted, so we aren’t afraid to adopt out pairs to people who have experience working with cats. For a family with young children, for example, we would not suggest putting two stranger adult cats into the same home.
Kittens and young cats are a different story. They are more likely to succeed as a pair living under the same roof. If your family is looking to adopt more than one cat, we highly suggest a bonded pair or a couple of younger cats. These will generate the best outcomes for your family as the chance of territorial fighting is far less.
Cats with Disabilities
Disabled cats make excellent family pets as their extra care can be covered by multiple people. The extra care can also make a great teachable moment for young kids. There are also lots of disabled cats that don’t need any extra care, such as those missing a limb. Cats with viruses like FIV make great pets, though they often have shortened lifespans as sickness poses a higher risk to an animal with a lowered immune system. That said, FIV is not transmissible, and these cats need love too!
Where to Get a Cat?
Our answer is to adopt from a shelter! People are always giving kittens on social media or classified websites, and that is not likely to change. Cat shelters provide homes to animals who need care and have nobody to provide it for them. These cats are just as loving and curious as any other, they just don’t have families as of yet. So please, before adopting a cat from an ad online consider visiting a shelter.