By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.
Adopting a cat or kitten should never be a spur of the moment decision. This is especially true when adopting a shelter kitten or cat, whose medical and social history is often unknown. Before visiting the shelter, please ask yourself some important questions. Here are five tips when looking to adopt a shelter cat or kitten.
1. How much time will you have to devote to your cat or kitten’s needs for food and water, grooming, affection, litter box maintenance and play? Are you financially able to provide what your cat will need in terms of food, litter, grooming supplies and veterinary care?
Cats tend to be less expensive pets than dogs, on average, but cats can become costly if they develop serious medical problems. Consider purchasing pet health insurance while your cat or kitten is healthy before any major health issues occur.
2. Once you’ve considered these questions, you may want to consult your veterinarian for help selecting the right cat or kitten. A veterinarian can help you decide if a kitten or cat is more appropriate, and explain grooming requirements for longhaired versus shorthaired cats.
3. Visit a veterinarian as soon as you adopt your new friend, preferably on your way home. This is especially important if you already have pets at home. If you will have to delay that first veterinary visit, make sure you keep your new kitty separate from your other pets until he or she can be checked for parasites and infectious disease.