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Adopting a cat from the shelter is an amazing step to take towards helping shelter animals. If you are ready to jump in and adopt a cart for yourself, these tips might be able to help you out.

How to Prepare Before Adopting a Shelter Cat

Like any big life decision, it is important to do your research before adoptiong a cat.  If you are ready to adopt your own shelter cat and begin your life together, here are some ways to get yourself prepared for this big step:

Get to Know the Cat First

Before deciding on a shelter cat, it is so very important to first spend time with the cats that you have to pick from. Don’t just make an instant decision right after entering the shelter.

Try to pick a week where you can visit the shelter for 2 to 3 days. This will give you plenty of time to get to know the cats and figure out which one is best for you. Ideally, several weeks would be the best time period for getting to know the cats, but this is not always realistic.

Try to spend several hours at the shelter at a time, going around and spending time with several different cats. Try to find one that has a compatible personality with you as well as your family.

If you are adventurous and energetic, it may not be best to pick out a laid-back and sleepy cat and vice versa. Try to be realistic and pick the cat that would fit seamlessly into your life so that you are able to give them the best life possible

Never base your decision on appearances, as a cat is so much more than its beautiful coat or markings.

Prepare the Environment

The next thing that you will need to do is get your home ready, don’t make the decision to adopt a cat without preparing the environment.

Cats are very sensitive creatures and will be heavily affected by their surroundings, so you will need to create an environment to make them feel safe and at home.

The best way to do this is to create several cat-friendly places around your home. Put out fuzzy blankets, catnip toys, and litter boxes. You should also make a safe place for them to eat and drink.

It is a good idea to take either a toy or blanket to the shelter for them to use so that at least one item will smell like them.

These are all small steps that can make a huge difference in how quickly your new cat adjusts to their living space.

Talk to the Shelter Staff

Another really important step that you should take before setting your heart on a shelter cat is to talk to the shelter staff. They can be very helpful since they spend every day with the cats and know them well.

Try to come prepared with plenty of questions to help you know if a certain cat is right for you. Many shelters also have certain requirements for each cat that helps them to find their perfect home.

Make sure to talk about how many people you live with, as well as if you have any other pets. These are very important details and can make the difference between whether you adopt one cat or another.

Some cats do well with children, while others don’t, and some can live with other pets, while others can’t. This is why it is important to figure out what is going to be best for the cat that you are looking for.

By being diligent and learning all that you can, you can avoid adopting a cat that won’t be happy in your environment.

Discuss it With Your Family

If you live with other family members or your own family, it is important to discuss this important decision with them. Decide who will be in charge of doing what for the cat as well as how to act when they arrive at their new home.

Children especially should be prepared ahead of time to take things slow and be extra gentle around the new cat.

Learn About Shelter Cat Behavior

Another very vital thing that you should do in preparation for adopting a cat is to do research on shelter cat behavior.

Some of these cats have lived lives that we will never understand, and all carry their own past trauma and memories. They require special attention and understanding as they will deal with situations in their own unique ways, and you don’t want to rush them.

Cats from shelters may have certain behavioral issues that they will need to work through. This could include things like aggression and peeing outside the litter box.

That is why it is so important to understand that they will need time and plenty of patience. You cannot rush them and will need to give them room to trust and feel comfortable living with you.

In the end, adopting a cat from a shelter is such a rewarding experience and you will be grateful for your new fuzzy companion! 

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