23 Things You Should Know Before You Adopt A Cat
Warning: this article contains unprecedented levels of cat pictures.
Cats are awesome. And sometimes, they willingly live in your house.
But how do you find a cat who will agree to live with you? And what's the best way to go about it?
We asked Sharon Weller, a cat expert from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (a rescue centre), for her tips:
1. There are usually three steps when you're adopting a cat: registering, matching a cat to you, and then finally, re-homing.
2. It's much better to get your cat from a rescue centre than from online sites or a friend, or even a pet shop.
3. Adopting a cat will cost around £75 up front, and then £15-£25 a week for food and litter.
4. Cats are very clean, and will use a litter tray naturally. If they're not, it's usually easily fixed.
5. You should give your cat a yearly booster vaccination.
6. The best way to help your new cat settle into your home is to introduce them to each room gradually.
7. Cats that like hugs are rare, but they do exist.
8. It is possible to have an indoor-only cat, but only certain cats are suited for it.
9. Indoors cats will need things like toys, puzzle feeders and shelves they can perch on.
10. Make friends with a cat by plying them with delicious treats.
11. If you have a cat who's shy of strangers, use reverse psychology and positive reinforcements to help them get friendlier.
12. Older cats don't get as much love as they should. Don't dismiss them!
13. If you're worried about other cats coming in through your cat flap, get a microchip flap.
There’s a new microchip catflap on the market. All Battersea cats leave here microchipped, and this cat flap scans your cat like it was a tin of beans, and will only unlock for your cat. There are magnetic cat flaps that open with magnetic collars that are less expensive, but there are more problems with that – your cat could lose its collar and then be unable to come in, or there might be other cats in the area that also have a magnetic collar.
14. If you're adopting kittens, it's best to adopt two so they have a friend to play with. But older cats are fine on their own.
15. If you already have a cat and want another one, it's better to get a kitten.
16. If your cat has attachment issues, distract it with a puzzle feeder.
17. Cats and dogs can get on, but it'll take time and baby gates.
18. Help introduce your cat to other cats in the neighbourhood by having it's back when it first goes outside.
19. If you want a cat, that's great, but you need to accept it for what it is: a cat.
20. Before you adopt, make sure you go through this checklist of things to think about beforehand:
21. Most rescue centres will be on hand for advice post-adoption, and will be there for you if things don't work out.
22. If you can't adopt right now, you can still spend time with cats by fostering or volunteering.
23. Want more information? Look online!
Both Mathilda and Clive have since been adopted.