Adopting a Cat
By Dr. Anne Ray, Veterinarian
Are you considering adopting a cat? That’s exciting and there are a few things to consider before taking the plunge.
FIRST – Adult cat or kitten?
If adopting a kitten, I recommend one that has been with it’s mother until the weaning age of 8 weeks because kittens learn important cat socialization skills during that time. Having said that, I know some are up for adoption at a younger age because of circumstance and they can make wonderful companions too. In general kittens seem less threatening to the adult cats that you may already have, although they have a higher energy level which some can find annoying. With time, these things are usually worked out amongst themselves.
Adult cat adoption can be perfect for the owner that doesn’t want to go through that “kitten stage” of high activity. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving that mature cat a forever home. Adult cats in the same household usually develop their own social order. It is not uncommon for the new “upstart” to be intimidated by the other cats while they are adjusting to the newcomer. Have a a quiet room selected so that the new cat can have privacy while adjusting to it’s new surroundings.
SECOND – Cats have different personalities.
Kittens are fast at adapting to a new environment. Some adult cats adjust immediately, many often take more time. Some cats are laid back and cuddly. Some are more standoff-ish. I generally do not recommend pushing yourself on the new adult. Let that cat come to you. It will decide when he / she wants to come out and interact.
THIRD – Have the new member of your family get a thorough exam by your veterinarian.
Bring us all the patient’s medical history that you have, which lets the examining doctor know of any medical conditions it may have, and any vaccines or tests that may be needed. Be sure to bring a fecal exam so that your new pet can be screened for internal parasites. Most of all we celebrate your new family member.
LASTLY – Enjoy your new feline. A cat will make a wonderful addition to your home and welcome to the Rocky George Animal Hospital family!