June is “Adopt a Cat Month”! Cats are wonderful additions to families who are looking for more companionship. It’s a great time to learn and shed some light on the cat-friendly ways to prepare your home for a new fur baby, and how to care for your feline friend. Sadly, shelters are full of cats and kittens in need of forever homes. One great local resource to consult is The Indy Humane Society! Visit their website to view adoptable cats, what services they offer, and how you can get involved in helping out the community! If you’re ready to take the next step and adopt a beautiful kitty, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips on what to know before adopting your new feline friend!
1. Why cat owners should not declaw their cats
Whether or not to declaw your cat is a controversial topic, and it is handled differently depending on where you are in North America. The primary reason cat owners choose to declaw their cats is because they want to prevent them from scratching on their furniture. To some, this can be seen as a selfish and inhumane reason to declaw a cat. In the United States, declawing your cat is optional, but only if it is done for medical purposes. For the most part, declawing your cat has quite a few negative consequences. Cats instinctively hunt and explore their environment, which includes scratching at items such as tree bark or a scratching post from your local pet store. If you have an outdoor cat, keeping their claws is essential since they need them to defend themselves against predators.
2. The importance of neutering/spaying
When considering getting a pet, deciding whether to get them spayed or neutered is a significant health decision. Some people like the idea of breeding their cats or dogs in order to later sell their puppies or kittens. There are a ton of health benefits to getting your cat spayed or neutered, which is why most vets will recommend this. A big reason for getting your female cat spayed is that it will help her live longer overall. For your male cat, this could prevent unwanted litters, as well as testicular cancer. Neutering your male cat will also change their behaviour for the better. Unneutered cats have the potential to start spraying strong-smelling urine all over your house!
3. Supplies to have on hand before adopting
When you’re ready to adopt a cat, it’s good to make sure you are as prepared as possible. Getting a few essential items ahead of time can allow you to relax with your cat more, and spend more time enjoying raising them. Before bringing home your new kitty, it would be good to pick out a food and water bowl. Having a few different types of food on hand is also a good idea, so you can try your best to figure out which food your cat likes the most. Also, picking out a few fun and interactive toys can help keep your cat stimulated and playful! One of the most important toys to have available is a cat scratching post. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch to mark their territory. To prevent them from scratching up things like your couch, providing them with a scratching pad will help them exercise that natural urge!
4. Encouraging grooming and nail clipping
Not only do you have to take care of your kitty on the inside, but you must also ensure proper grooming measures are taken care of! Regular sessions with a brush or comb will help keep your pet’s hair in good condition by removing dirt, spreading natural oils throughout her coat, preventing tangles and keeping her skin clean and irritant-free. Brushing your cat with a high-quality metal comb a few times a week (depending on the length of their hair) can get them used to proper grooming sessions.
When your cat is young, it’s a good idea to get them used to their paws being touched so you can gradually lead them up to getting their nails trimmed. You can start by rubbing your hand up and down their legs, and then gently touch each of their toes. Don’t forget to give them lots of praise and treats while you’re doing this. If you can keep this up for about 1-2 weeks, your cat will be much more receptive to getting their nails clipped, and you reduce the risk of getting scratched in the process!
5. Regular vet visits and vaccinations as needed
When you first adopt a cat, it’s important to know whether or not they have proper vaccinations. You must ensure your cat has the right vaccinations to help them live a long, happy life! If you’ve adopted a kitten, they should start getting vaccinations when they are 6 to 8 weeks old until they are about 16 weeks old. Usually, they’re required to be boosted one year later. Typically, adult cats don’t need their shots as often. They usually require them every year or every three years, depending on how long a vaccine is designed to last. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly animal clinic to take your kitty to, check out Face Low-Cost Animal Clinic for more information on their vaccine costs!
Adopting a cat can be such a rewarding experience for you and them! So many cats are in need of loving homes, so check out your local humane societies and animal shelters for more details. A great resource to get you started is to check on Adoptapet.com to find out which local animal shelters have cats available for adoption!