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Before You Adopt a Cat

Consider These Important Questions Before Committing to Adopting a Cat

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So you think you might want to get a cat, and don't know where to start. You no doubt have dozens of questions running through your mind: "Should I get a male cat or a female, a kitten or an older cat?" "I'd really like a purebred (name your favorite breed), but maybe I should adopt a mixed breed instead." This tutorial helps answer those questions, as well as a few you haven't thought of.

Adopting a cat for the first time should be a lifetime commitment, so it is important to do your homework first.

1. Am I Ready for a Cat?

Make sure the whole family agrees on getting a cat
Photo Credit: © iStock Photo/Daniel Bobrowsky

Think seriously about this important step, which is much like entering into a marriage. Bringing a cat into your family should be a lifelong commitment, so give it serious thought. A good place to start is by understanding that no one truly owns a cat. Cats are sentient beings, and your cat (should you decide to welcome one into your home) deserves to be a family member rather than a "collectible." If you are looking for a cat as an adornment to your home, you definitely should reconsider.

However, if you've wanted a cat for some time, and think the time is right, read on. Here are some questions to ask yourself and other family members - you all need to share the commitment to make it work, since the cat will be part of your family.

2. What Kind of a Cat Should I Get?

Should I adopt an adult cat or a kitten?
Photo Credit: © tursiop_luu
You may have some preconceived notions that you want a particular breed of cat, or that you want a kitten instead of an adult kitty. But before that important decision, do some homework. Like life itself, there are many factors involved in choosing a cat, some of which you may never have considered. For example, if there are very young children in your family, a very young kitten would be a poor choice.

3. Where Should I Look for a Cat?

Caged Cat in Pound - One of thousands who would make wonderful pets
Photo Credit: © iStock Photo/Dan Brandenburg

In our first lessons, we discussed things to consider before deciding if you should adopt a cat, and what kind of cat you might want. We're ready to move on to the subject of where to go to get a cat. The following are several alternatives, depending on your motivation and budget, and two alternatives you should NEVER consider.

It's no secret that I am partial to humane shelters and cat rescue organizations. These groups are packed full of beautiful, adoptable cats and kittens. If you are dead set on a cat of a specific breed, there are also breed rescue organizations to explore.

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