Headwaters Animal Shelter

Choosing the Right Cat



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Choosing the Right Cat

Choosing the Right Cat
Cats make wonderful pets. They tend to be less demanding and can easily adjust to a variety of lifestyles and living spaces. A cat’s personality, age, and appearance, as well as the kinds of pets you already have at home, are all things you should keep in mind when making your selection.

As you walk past the cat condos at the Shelter, you will probably notice that some cats meow for special attention, while others simply lie back and gaze at you with some apprehension. Regardless of individual personality, look for a cat who is playful, active, alert, and comfortable while being held and stroked. Keep in mind that some cats who are usually quite social may be frightened or passive while at the Shelter. These are the cats that may need extra love and attention to come out of their shell, but in the end make loving pets.

You need to decide which cat might be best for you and your lifestyle. To help make your decision while at the Shelter, ask staff members for assistance when you wish to spend some time with individual cats.

Kitten or Cat?
Kittens are curious, playful, and full of energy, while adult cats are more relaxed and less mischievous. Kittens need more time to train and feed. Cats are only kittens for a few months, so the age of the cat you adopt should really depend on the level of maturity you are looking for. Young children usually do not have the maturity to handle kittens responsibly, so a cat who is at least four months old is probably the best choice for homes with kids under six years old.

Shorthaired or Long?
Cats can have long, fluffy coats or short, dense fur, and the choice between the two is primarily a matter of what you feel you can comfortably manage. The main thing to keep in mind is that longhaired cats require frequent grooming to avoid matting. Cats with short coats also benefit from brushing, though they do not need it as frequently. Most cats enjoy a regular brushing and will look forward to this as part of a daily routine with you.

Room for One More
If you already own a cat or dog, you’re probably wondering how easy it is to add a cat to the family. The good news is that cats generally get along with other cats and many dogs can get along with cats. Introducing a new cat to a home with other pets, however, will require some time and patience.

Be Responsible!
Regardless of the cat you choose, you will want to start being a responsible pet guardian from the very beginning. The easiest way to do that is to keep your cat indoors with you. If you don’t let your new friend outside, s/he will never miss it, and will have a much better chance of still being around to enjoy a long and healthy life with you and your family.

Adopt a Cat for Life
Finally, remember that you are making a commitment to love and care for your new pet for his or her lifetime-which could mean 10, 15, even 20 years. So choose your new best friend carefully and be a responsible pet guardian. In no time at all, you will know how wonderful sharing your home with a cat can be.

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