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Close Enough – Adopt a Cat!

I’m calling it close enough to June to talk about National Adopt a Cat Month. Probably not coincidentally, June is also the height of kitten season, which means there will be lots of kitties looking for homes this month.

If you are willing and able, adopting a new feline furbaby is always a great idea, but what do you need to know and have before you bring a new cat or kitten home? Have no fear — I’ve got the lists for you!

According to the ASPCA, here are the first things to keep in mind:
– Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat.
– Cats can be very independent. Make sure everyone knows that the fun begins only after the cat feels safe and their needs are met.
– Once you’re sure everyone is ready for feeding, litter changing, and grooming, you can divvy up chores among family members so everyone is prepared to care for kitty before they arrive.
– As with dogs, it’s important to have your new feline friend spayed or neutered.
Other tips, from Purina include:
– Plan for Costs: If you’re wondering what you need to know before getting a cat, remember to make a budget for the costs of care. Plan ahead for things like veterinarian visits, buying supplies and paying for lodging while you travel. To get a sense of the financial resources you’ll need, consult your veterinarian or local shelter.
– Consider Your Lifestyle & Environment: a primary reason cats are given to shelters is their owner’s living scenario. Whether it’s roommates, moving, landlords or just not having enough space, factors related to your living situation may make having a cat more difficult than you originally thought. Make sure you have the permission of everyone in your living space before bringing a cat into your home. Also, if you travel often or are away from your home for many hours every day, don’t forget that someone will need to provide care while you’re out. While cats don’t have the same bathroom requirements as dogs, they still need to be checked on at regular intervals.

Address Any Safety Hazards

Here are a few ways you can cat-proof your home to reduce the risk of injury to your new pet:
– Remove poisonous plants
– Keep electrical cords and items like string and ribbon out of reach
– Block access to any nooks or hiding spots that may be dangerous
– Use childproof latches on cabinets containing medicine, cleaning supplies or hazardous items

And don’t forget the supplies!
Here’s what you’ll need:
– A crate or carrier for traveling
– Food and treats, especially if you want to train your cat (Although I don’t believe this is possible)
– Food and water bowls
– Litter box and litter (Generally speaking, you want to have one more litter box than you have cats, but at least one per cat)
– Collar and ID tag
– Toys
– Scratcher or scratching post
– Cat tree
– Cat bed (though if they are anything like my cats, this will be a fruitless purchase — they will literally sleep anywhere other than a cat bed)

If you think you are ready to adopt, you can head to the Lycoming County SPCA, Lycoming Animal Protection Society (LAPS), or the Clinton County SPCA to find your new furbaby! If you turn to page XX you can learn a little about Whopper and Joey, who are both available for adoption from LAPS!

Also, it’s mentioned above, but for the love of all that is holy, please be sure to spay or neuter your cat! If one unspayed cat has four kittens, that could lead to over 50 more cats in little over a year. So please spay and neuter your cats. You adopted them from shelter, you aren’t breeding them or getting them ready to show. You are just adding to the over population that is already running rampant. Not to mention dealing with a female in heat, or males spraying is zero amounts of fun for anyone.