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Should I Do Anything Special Before I Adopt a Cat?

Cats are wonderful pets and adopting a new cat or kitten can be such an exciting experience. With their sandpaper kisses and healing purrs, cats bring joy into our lives without even trying. Whether it's your first time adopting or not your first rodeo, there is nothing wrong with being prepared for that special day when you get to bring them to their new forever home. Many adopters wonder what they should do to prepare for their newest family member. There are many things to consider before adopting a cat, like long-term costs, children and other pets in your home. If you have those factors figured out and are ready to move forward with the adoption, then you're probably wondering what else you should do before adopting a cat. You’re not the only person asking “should I do anything special before I adopt a cat?”

Answer: Preparing a space just for cat needs will make the transition easy.

One of the easiest ways to help your new cat transition is to have everything set up for them when you bring them home. Before they come home with you, place their litter box and bowls in an easily accessible place. Moving their litter box around can cause them to stop using it. Make sure you find a good place for it and keep it there while they are adjusting to their new home.

Cats, especially kittens, need surfaces to scratch on. This not only expels energy, but it is also how they keep their claws sharp. If you don't want them scratching on your furniture, then it is important to get them posts and trees to scratch on. If you are getting a kitten, you are most likely going to have to teach them to only scratch on their post. This can take some time. So, you may want to consider cat-proofing your home before they get there. Furniture covers can save you a lot of hassle while your new kitten learns where it is okay to scratch.

If you think you might eventually want another cat, then before you adopt you should consider getting two. Two cats that grow up together can form a powerful bond and it is easier to adopt two cats together than try to add another cat to the family later on. Having two cats can also help with socialization, stimulation and exercise which are all vital in having a happy cat. We can help provide these things for our cats, but if you adopt two cats together, they can provide most of these things themselves with little effort from us.

Finally, don't expect to see your new cat much on the first day home. It is very common for cats to find solitude in a new place until they get used to it. Just like any other animal, cats want to feel safe. So, let them hide for a little while until they get used to their new surroundings. This is completely normal, and it isn't much cause for concern. They will come out when they're ready.

Additional Resources

We have gone over some of the most important aspects to prepare for your new cat, but we didn't get to cover everything. Here are some other helpful resources to check out before adopting a new cat.

  1. Animal Rescue League of Boston - Here is a great article to help you out if you are adding a new cat to your existing family. It has some useful information about factors to consider when adopting and how to be considerate of your other furry friends.
  2. Petfinder - This article will help you estimate how much your new cat will cost, not only for the first year but for years to come. Each cat is different, so there won't ever be an exact amount, but it's never a bad idea to get an estimate. This article breaks costs down in a helpful chart so you can see what is coming in the first year and beyond.
  3. Hill's Pet - Above, we talked about cat-proofing your home. This article takes that discussion a step further. It gives you a list of things to move or get rid of and possible choking hazards.

Questions to Consider