Pssst! Are you sure you’re ready to adopt? You might want to check out part 1 first: https://www.cchumanesociety.com/are-you-ready-to-adopt-a-cat-here-are-some-things-to-think-about/
When should you start looking for a cat?
Put simply: when you are ready to bring one home. It’s okay if you need a day or two to get supplies together because it typically takes a couple days to process the application, but if you won’t be moving into a place that allows pets for a while or aren’t able to take them home soon for another reason, it’s probably best to wait. If you come in way before you can bring one home you are bound to fall in love with someone, and it would not fair to the cat to leave them waiting at the shelter until you are able to bring them home, which is why we don’t hold animals for extended periods of time. Trust us, there will always be another super cuddly cat to fall in love with. It’s also a good idea to get moved into your place first. You don’t want your new cat escaping while you are trying to move stuff in, and on top of the fact that moving is very stressful. It’s best to bring your new pet home when you can spend time with them, and ideally when things will be calmer, which is never the case when you are moving.
If you rent: Even if your lease allows pets be sure to check with your landlord before coming to the shelter. Many people come in and get attached to an animal only to find out their landlord has other requirements. Many landlords also require cats to be declawed, which many people consider to be inhumane, so that is something you need to consider also.
Things to keep in mind when looking at cats:
- Do you have or plan on getting any other pets? Dogs? Cats? Smaller animals who might be loose in the house? Let the shelter staff know first thing if you have or would like to get other pets. We are able to test cats with dogs if we don’t already know how they do with them, and we typically have a good idea of if they will get along with other cats.
- Kittens are adorable, but they look a lot less cute when they are climbing your curtains. While this is true for all new pets, you will likely need to spend some extra time teaching them the rules of the house.
- Adults, especially seniors tend to have a more difficult time finding homes than kittens. With adults it is a lot easier to see what sort of personality they will have, as opposed to kittens who you aren’t likely to know any personality traits of. Seniors and some other adults tend to be on the calmer side too, so if that is what you are looking for, they might be a good option.
- Playful or calm?
- If you have a busier life and don’t have a lot of time to spend with them, maybe you want a couch potato.
- Have young kids or want a cat who is very playful? Maybe a kitten is a good option for you.
- Snuggle bug, independent, or somewhere in between?
- Grooming – long haired cats can require a lot of brushing
- Allergies – don’t assume getting a short hair means you won’t have as much of a problem with allergies! Also be suspicious of “hypo-allergenic cats.” We’ve heard all sorts of theories from calicos to siamese being hypo-allergenic. Allergies are typically specific to the person, and spending time with the cat tends to be the best way to determine if you are allergic to them.
- Declawed or toes intact? While we don’t agree with declawing cats, if you are looking for a declawed cat, consider one who is already declawed.
- Landlord requirements – As we said some landlords have specific requirements. Some also require you to declaw. Again if you have to have a declawed cat it is much better to adopt one who is already declawed rather than put another cat through that sort of trauma.
Another important note on looking for cats:
It’s often not a good idea to look for a pet for another person. If they are actively looking for a pet, and you see one you think they might like, by all means let them know about that cat, but if they are not looking for a pet, do not push them to get one. Just because you think that a pet might be a good friend for them does not mean that they are ready for the responsibility of a pet. You also need to consider if the person is able to care for the pet. If they are elderly they need to be able to handle caring for a cat, and they need to be able to properly care for whatever type of animal they get including grooming, trips to the vet, and even knowing when vet care is required. You don’t want to push someone to get a cat. They might feel like they have to get a cat because you went through all this effort to find the “perfect pet,” even if they don’t want a pet or are not able to care for that particular pet.
Adoption Process at CCHS:
You are welcome to come meet the cats during our open hours. You will need to fill out an adoption application, which you can either do online ahead of time or at the shelter once you have found a cat you like. It usually takes us a couple days to process your application, then we will contact you to tell you if you were approved. Cat adoption fees are $60 and kittens are $75. They are all spayed or neutered, up to date on vaccines, and microchipped. We will also give you a sample sized bag of food, so you can feed them half and half to get them switched over to whatever type of food you would like to feed without tummy upset.
One of the biggest things to remember when looking for a cat is to be honest with not only the staff but also with yourself about what you are looking for. We know the cats pretty well and can usually suggest the one that would be best for your situation. Also remember if you chose not to go through a shelter, make sure you go to a reputable breeder. Do your research first, and please spay and neuter.
Now that you are familiar with the adoption process, check out this post on getting ready to bring home your new friend: https://www.cchumanesociety.com/pet-adoption-series-3-preparing-your-home-for-your-new-cat/