- June 29, 2022
Given our cover story, it seems appropriate to use my space this week to celebrate ‘Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.’ We all know that there are plenty of cats in shelters that could use good homes. More than ever, the kitties need our help. Not only are thousands of newborn kittens joining the millions of
Given our cover story, it seems appropriate to use my space this week to celebrate ‘Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.’ We all know that there are plenty of cats in shelters that could use good homes.
More than ever, the kitties need our help. Not only are thousands of newborn kittens joining the millions of cats already in shelters, but a lack of foot traffic, funding, and supplies at many shelters struggling to maintain operations during COVID, is further threatening these beautiful babies and their hopes to find a forever home.
If you have the chance, please visit LAPS during their open house this weekend. Maybe you’ll find your newest family member. I had the pleasure of checking out their new facility recently and whew! is it beautiful. It is bright, and welcoming and I know that the kitty cats that are staying are getting all the love and care that they need. But there is nothing that will replace them finding their furever home.
However, before you decide to adopt, please keep a few things in mind. These tips are courtesy of American Humane.
If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Plus they’ll provide more benefits to you. Cats’ purring has been shown to soothe humans as well as themselves — and they have an uncanny ability to just make you smile. A great place to start your search is online. Sites like lycomingspca.com, clintoncountyspca.org, and lapsshelter.org let you search available cats and narrow your search and more quickly find the match that’s right for you and your new feline friend.
Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the cat’s personality with your own.
Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Kittens in particular should accompany you to make the appointment — even before the exam itself — so staff can pet the cat and tell you that you’ve chosen the most beautiful one ever.
Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip for permanent identification.
Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow).
Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded to a single room (with a litter box, food and water, toys, and the cat carrier left out and open with bedding inside) until the cat is used to the new surroundings; this is particularly important if you have other pets. If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember — take it slow.
Also, please make sure you have time to dedicate to love and play with your new friend as well as time for grooming. Long-haired cats can require a good 20 minutes per day for proper grooming!
What if you are unable to adopt? Don’t worry; there is still plenty you can do. Donating either money or supplies to the Lycoming County SPCA, LAPS, or the Clinton County SPCA locally is a great way to support Shelter Month.