One of the best ways to become a new cat owner or to add another to your family is through rescuing one from a shelter. There are many local shelters that take in thousands of stray or abandoned animals every year and, although there are some no-kill shelters, the sad truth is that many of the animals that can’t get adopted are euthanized. If you’re ready to save the life of a shelter kitten or cat but have no idea where to start, this blog will cover the three important ABC’s.
A: The Adoption Process
The first thing you need to do is prepare yourself to go through a bit of an adoption process. A shelter is not like some pet stores where people can usually walk in and purchase an animal like any other product. Every shelter will be slightly different, but they are very serious about making sure that their animals go to a loving home. You can expect to fill out some paperwork about yourself and how you will take care of your cat, and you might have to bring your whole family in to visit before you can adopt. There will also be an adoption fee, which will differ depending on the shelter’s policies. It can feel like an overwhelming process at first, but it will help you and your new cat in the long run.
B: Bringing Kitty Home
It’s important to make sure that you are prepared before you take your cat home from the shelter. Schedule a day and time for pickup that you will be free to stay in the house with your new cat to make sure nothing goes wrong. Also, set aside a room for them that is away from heavy foot traffic and other pets and, if you can, put nothing in there except a cat bed, food and water, a litter box and a couple of toys. Then when you go to the shelter, don’t forget to bring a cat carrier. It sounds obvious, but many shelters do not provide temporary cardboard pet carriers. You can get a temporary one at a pet store or buy a new one, if you plan on using on you already have, keep in mind that if it has the scent of one of your other pets, then it might upset your new cat. Expect your new cat to be anxious when they get taken from the shelter. It’s normal for them to yowl, meow, or hiss on the way home. Don’t be discouraged if they hide for the first couple of days. Just be patient and let them adjust to their new home.
C: Call the Vet
Your cat’s first vet visit will be one of the most important ones in their new life with you. The shelter might even have a stipulation in your adoption contract for you to take your cat to the vet within the first week that you take them home. Until then, your cat should be quarantined in their room away from other pets in your house. At the first vet appointment, the vet will give booster shots if you have a kitten and test your cat for any health issues such as worms and feline leukemia. Depending on your cats age they may have already been spayed or neutered and given a rabies vaccine. Your vet will discuss this with you because this is criteria you will need to obtain a Maryland pet license. Once you cover these basics, you will be on the right track to getting your new cat a happy life.
CONTACT CATONSVILLE CAT CLINIC TODAY!
For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!
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