Should you get a cat? Why, how, and where to adopt
“Should I get a cat – and can I take care of one?”
That’s a great question, I’m so glad you asked!
The answer is probably yes, but let’s make sure.
Are you ready?
My current favorite “cheat sheet” for deciding if you can properly care for a cat is 10 Things to Know Before Getting a Cat.
As for why you should you adopt a cat and where, I have some great input from Laura at the RSPCA.
Why and where to get a cat
Every cat I’ve had was a rescued or shelter cat and they’ve all been amazingly loving and adorable.
Here’s Laura from the RSPCA on why and where:
“Why you should visit your local shelter and adopt a cat:
1. You save a life or two. Every year, over half of the millions of cats in shelters go unadopted and end up euthanized. These animals have sometimes been rescued from harsh conditions or abandonment, so why buy a new kitten? Sure, they are little and gorgeous but they don’t stay little for long, and its so rewarding to rehome a cat that hasn’t had a good start in life.
Cat rescue is not only a caring move, but also a responsible one. While there are many respectable and caring breeders, a number are unlicensed amateurs and some have impure motives. Why not adopt a cat who would have otherwise been put down instead?
2. Your physical health will benefit. Statistics show that cat owners experience less stress and better health than non-pet owners, and caring for pets gives them a sense of purpose. Anyone who has played with a kitten or cat has known sheer delight, watching them stalk and pounce their pretend prey.
3. No housebreaking required. Cats are far more self-trained than dogs. They basically train themselves to use a litter box. They’re not going to need you take for them for a walk just so they can go to the bathroom, and you generally don’t have to show them how to behave.
4. Your mental health will benefit. In hospitals and mental institutions, cats are brought in as therapy, a clear indication of their soothing and healing powers. A soft, purring cat beneath one’s hands is pure joy – and one that everyone should know!
Cats and kittens can bring a lot of joy to your life, as I found when I rescued two little kittens that I found at the end of my garden…and I fell in love with them. I did all I could to feed and home them, making sure that I had the right food and adequate cat insurance to keep them healthy and happy.”
Now let me add…
5. The life you save may be your own.
As Laura says, adopting a cat at a shelter is a life-saving act. And sometimes, as I’ve hinted before, the life you save may be your own! In fact, this news story is a literal example of that.
Are you ready to meet some cats? Here’s how to pick a cat out.
The key to a happy cat adoption is not breed, or color, or type of fur. The key is to go with the cat that picks you out! You’ll know.
Trust me on this.
If you’re in the US, hop over to the The Shelter Pet Project and enter your zip code to find the closest shelter and even pictures and descriptions of cats that are up for adoption. It’s a great resource.
If you’re in the UK, check out the RSPCA for adoption. They promote responsible cat care, adoption, and cat health insurance.
I’m a happily dog/cat person. We are equal in my house 🙂 Two cats, two dogs and 1 California king bed!
Jessica, love your comment – “Two cats, two dogs and 1 California king bed.” Truly King beds must have been invented for people with pets. : )
Over the course of the past 27 years, we have adopted a total of 9 cats. (We never had more than 4 or 5 at once, and currently have only 2.) We have also fostered 13 cats or kittens for our local cat rescue society. Every one has a different personality, and we remember them all. It’s so rewarding to help them find their forever homes. Just by chance this past Saturday we ran into the lovely woman who adopted one of our favorite fosters five years ago. We were thrilled to hear that he is still happy and well loved, and we got to see some great pictures of him. Cats bring a tremendous amount of love into our lives, and all they ask in return – that we love them back – is easy.
Rosemary – good for you guys, fostering 13 cats over the years! I’m very impressed with the love and strength you put into that – all in addition to caring for your adopted kitties too.
I also know many cat converts, have just talked to one actually that living with two dogs and after adopting a cat -for the first time in her life- last year has just taken the second one.
It is possible to have loving relationships with dogs or cats, Alex, that does not mean that one is better or not, just this particular one is better for you… or you are better for it.
Thank you Maru! I couldn’t agree more.
Not so fast. I’ve met many cat converts.
If you’ve never been close friends with a cat, you don’t quite know what it’s like.
Dogs are great – especially if you want a buddy to take on the road and outdoors a lot, but some of us really bond with cats.
Cats can survive more without us, and they’re not programmed to automatically think we’re awesome, so when a cat adores you there is a bit of awe to the experience. They are also usually better snugglers. Each cat is really different – that’s part of the fun of them.
Incidentally, most of my cats have played fetch and all have greeted me at the door when I get home (even if they already have food).
Like I said, go with the animal that picks you…you’ll feel it when you meet them at the shelter.
dogs are better