What you need to know about adopting a cat

Adopting a cat can be one of the greatest decisions you ever make. It can even be life-changing. The little (or not so little) guy or gal you bring home just may end up being your best friend, your breakfast chit-chat companion, your most trusted confidant, and a tugger of heartstrings. Each cat has their own personality, some with more attitude than others, some with more energy, some with an endless need to be on your lap, and others who would prefer to keep a respectful distance at all times. You never really know what you’re getting into when you walk in to adopt a cat from an adoption center, or when you’re scanning online for your new best fur friend, but that’s part of the joy of the journey – getting to know your new cat.

However, the decision to adopt a cat shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many factors to be taken into consideration when adopting a cat (or cats!). You’ll need to think about how much time and energy you will have to dedicate to your cat, budget for emergencies in addition to the routine costs of caring for your pet, and you will also likely need patience and a certain tolerance for a bit of mess.

We spoke to TikTok veterinarian Dr. Hunter Finn, as well as Kristie Buccella, Shelter Director of North Shore Animal League America about everything you need to know before adopting a cat.

Adopting a cat: What to know

If you have never adopted a cat before, you may be a bit overwhelmed, so starting with the basics, we’ll look at where to adopt a cat and what you’ll need to prepare before you bring them home.

Where to adopt a cat

There are plenty of places to find your new furry family member, from shelters to agencies, to rescuing a cat directly from the street in your neighborhood, to Craigslist… the options go on and on. However, as Buccella says, “There’s no need to purchase a pet when so many homeless ones are patiently waiting in shelters. The more animals that are adopted, the more room a shelter has to rescue additional homeless animals. At North Shore Animal League America we like to say when you adopt, you save two lives: the animal you take home and the one who now has an open space to be rescued by us.”

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