Sometimes we choose our cats; most times cats choose us. Whether you're looking for a new cat or want to revisit the moment your cat accepted you into his life, follow along with our guide to adopting a cat. Or rather, getting adopted by one.
1. Choose your mode of adoption
The three biggest possibilities for cat adoption are:
- Adopt one from a local shelter or friend,
- Buy one from a breeder, or
- Take in a stray.
Each has its own pros and cons: using a breeder gives you a heads up about potential health problems or temperament; adopting from a shelter means saving one more feline life from a dreary existence in a cage (or worse); giving a stray a home means he'll always have a warm place to sleep and a good meal.
Of course, you don't always get to plan ahead. When you see the one, it might be love at first sight. Or it might take some speed dating or wining and dining before you meet a compatible cat. Wait, are we reading too deeply into this?
2. Have the necessary items for cat ownership
Getting a cat means getting a whole kit to go with it. You'll need a kitty litter box as well as the litter to go with it, the right type of brush for your cat's fur, a scratching post, funds for vet visits and vaccinations, toys, and the time to dedicate to owning a cat. That's a lot of stuff to keep in mind before you let a cat get too comfortable in your home. In fact if you don't own a cat yet, just buy all those things right now and keep them somewhere at the ready. Just in case. You never know when a cat's going to come in out of nowhere and choose you as his companion.
3. Bribery works
When trying to befriend a cat, bribe him with all you've got. We don't just mean with food (remember, treats should make up no more than 10% of your cat's daily food intake!). We mean offering the cat other pleasant things like play time, a warm place to sleep, and a daily dose of love to get the cat interested enough to adopt you.
4. Be open to infidelity
Even if you've managed to win a cat over, it doesn't mean he'll be yours 100%. Cats are independent creatures, and if you have an outdoor cat you can never be sure that he hasn't adopted other humans. Be aware of this possibility. Can you live with yourself if you know you're not the only one in your cat's life?
5. Be prepared for the takeover.
Owning a cat is more than just something you do -- it's something you become. Before you know it, you'll be wearing cat apparel, buying them organic treats, and sharing pictures of your cat to friends and strangers on Instagram. We joke about it, but the truth is: our cats are like our children. We love them all, no matter how they came into our lives!
We'd love to hear your story. Where did you get your cat?