Are you ready to add a cat to the family? Cats are fairly independent creatures, so if you want the companionship of a pet but have a busy schedule, a cat may be the perfect choice.
With the proper amenities, cats are usually content to be left alone. Unlike our pet dogs, cats do not need to be let outside to do their business and can live a happy and fulfilling life completely indoors.
Basic cat care includes cleaning a litter box (scooping at least once a day), vacuuming up some hair, regular grooming and vet visits.
A cat can be completely happy to sit in a nice window with a view, and he or she will be entertained for hours simply by watching the birds, squirrels and cars passing by.
Some cats are very loving and cuddly, insisting on sleeping with their human, while others are more aloof but are always glad for attention. Their overall friendliness depends on the cat’s level of socialization, so not handling the cat will result in it becoming more aloof.
All cats seem to enjoy enrichment games such as waving a feather in the air, dragging a string or using a laser light for them to chase around a room.
Kittens, just like puppies, get into everything, so those who do not want to deal with the baby months may want to opt for an adult or juvenile cat. Cats can live up to 20 years and even older.
Most shelters offer a foster-to-adopt program so that potential adopters may have a few weeks to make sure a particular cat is a good fit for their household and lifestyle.
Before bringing a new cat into your home, you should make sure no one there is allergic to cats. Many people are, so making sure everyone is the home is allergy-free will avoid having the cat lose its new home before it gets settled in.
The transition for the new cat should go as smoothly as possible. Take into consideration where the cat came from. Was the kitty in a cage in a shelter? Did it come from off the street, or is it coming from a home environment? Did the cat once live with other animals? Was the place too noisy or too quiet?
A brand new environment can be stressful. Taking things slowly and thus, easing the cat into a new routine, is surely the best way for it to integrate into a new family.
Some cats might be a bit fearful when introduced to a new home; being moved from a kennel to a house is a big change. The new scents and noises may take some time to get used to.
Initially, you may confine a new cat to one room and slowly introduce it to the rest of the home. Providing hiding places such as a cardboard box or open closets will truly give the cat a safe place to go until it feels comfortable.
It is very important not to force a cat to be social and cuddly until it is ready. Instead, trying to coax it into playing with a toy is a good icebreaker. Once the realizes you are its friend, the cat will come around. In most cases, it only takes a cat a few days or so to acclimate to a new home, but it can take several weeks.