All over the country, animal shelters are reporting massive upswings in the numbers of animals they’ve been able to adopt out or place in foster homes due to the recent pandemic. Here is a list of things you should consider before adopting since we all (someday) will have to go back out to the workplace. Make sure to adopt from your local shelter, you can find one on Petfinder.
This can be a decades-long commitment. Cats can live up to 20 years. If you adopt a new cat please understand that this is going to be a relationship that will span a lot of time. The average lifespan is 13-17, but can they can live longer.
Declawing Your Cat. Many vets will not even perform this surgery, as involves amputating the end of your cat’s toes, and it is extremely painful. All you need to do is clip the tips of your cat’s nails on a periodic basis.
You Need a Scratching Post. The scratching helps a cat keep its paws in good condition and shed its outer nails so it can grow new ones. The post should be about 3 feet tall and a little bit of catnip sprinkled over it encourages the cat to use it. If the cat is scratching parts of your furniture, move the scratching post to that area and consider protecting the edges of your furniture with clear plastic.
Keep Your Cat Indoors and Do Not Bring Outside Unattended. Cats can encounter parasites, infections, cars, cruel humans, and large animals. Your cat will appreciate a safe patio or window spot where it can watch outside and get some sun.
Feeding. Set up a regular feeding schedule purchasing high-quality, brand-name cat food. Your veterinarian will be able to assess your new cat or kitten and determine the best diet. Factors such as age, activity level and health make a difference in what and how much a cat should eat.
Water. You will need to provide fresh, clean water at all times, and wash and refill your cat’s water bowls daily.
Don’t be Lazy With the Litter Box. It should be in one specified area of the house and not moved. You have to clean out the litter box on a daily basis. If you do not keep up with the cleaning, your cat may decide to go somewhere else!
Be Prepared for Some Vet Visit Expenses. If money is super tight and unpredictable maybe now is not the time to take on the responsibility. Often, a pet will not cost more than an annual check-up for most of their life, but there are exceptions where a cat will have more serious, costly health issues.
Play With Your Cat. You don’t have to even buy a bunch of toys, simply throwing crumpled paper or pulling a string or belt around will give your cat some stimulation and recreation. Like us, cats can get bored and need things to do.
Read more about cat care from the ASPCA