Thinking about adopting a pet? Are you ready?
This Time, It's for Keeps
ASAP statistics will tell you that acting on impulse is not the way to welcome a pet into your home. Most of our cats had a home at one time but ended up here because their owners were unable or unwilling to continue to care for them. They all have stories. Fran was hit by a car and her people abandoned her because they couldn't afford to pay for the surgery to fix her hip. Oscar was brought in because his owner moved to an apartment that doesn't allow pets. Missy's owner's new boyfriend didn't like cats, while Rufus was a stray and no one bothered to look for him here.
As you stroll through our aisles and look at all of the hopeful faces, please keep in mind that you are choosing a pet who will depend on you for the rest of his or her life. They have already seen hardship and bad luck and they are depending on you to make a responsible decision.
Will Your Home and Life Accommodate a Pet?
First, consider why you want a pet. Adopting a kitten simply because you can't resist how cute they are, or because your children have been begging you for a pet can be a big mistake. Owning a cat will mean a long term commitment of up to 20 years. That's a lot of commitment for a momentary weakness!
Do you have time for a pet?
Many people decide to get a cat because they want a low maintenance pet. And while it's true that cats may not need to be walked everyday like a dog, they do need your attention every day. Simply put, all animals require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of their lives.
Can you have pets in your current home?
Rental complexes may not allow pets or may have restrictions. Make sure you know what the rules are before you fall in love with a feline friend.
Are you prepared for the unexpected?
Scratched up furniture, litter box accidents or unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but potential aspects of pet ownership. Most issues can be addressed, but do you have the patience to work through a problem if it arises?
Is an adult willing to shoulder ultimate responsibility for the animal's care?
Pet ownership can help children learn about loyalty and responsibility, but a child can't be expected to do all the work of feeding and caring for an animal. Their life and interests will change over time but a pet will continue to need care for many years.
Do you have the financial means to support a cat?
Adoption fees are minimal compared to the lifetime costs of medical care, food, litter, toys, and other supplies.
Finally, is the timing right?
Change is difficult for a cat. If your near future includes a job change, a move to a new house or apartment, or a new addition to the family, waiting until your situation settles down may be wise.