Now that you’re positive you wish to share your life with a cat, let’s examine the various sources out there for getting your new companion—whether a kitten, an adult, a purebred, a mixed breed, hairy, hirsute, male, or female.

As I’m positive you’re cognizant, cats aren’t in brief offer. You could in all probability open up your back door and virtually realize one hanging go into the yard. I go on 3 acres and virtually every morning I spot a special cat crossing through the sphere.

While a good many of us come upon the cat of their dreams through rescue efforts, that technique isn’t for everybody. The out of action or starving cat you pick up from the margin, or the one you rescue from the shelter’s cellblock, could or might not end up to be the friendly, trusting, well-socialized animal you’d hoped for. I’m definitely all for anyone United Nations agency offers a cat a second likelihood at life, however you ought to confirm you recognize what you’re moving into. I want you and your cat to spend many, many happy years together. Make sure everyone in your family is on the same page regarding the type of cat you want and the amount of time and patience you have to help that cat get beyond any negative history.

A note of caution: When you begin your search, I recommend that you not bring your children along. Your first visits to shelters, breeders, etc., need to be strictly to evaluate the facilities. I’ve seen too many owners coming home their first day out with a kitten they weren’t prepared for because the children fell in love. Oh, and by the way, children aren’t the only ones who suffer from the inability to walk out of a shelter empty-handed—we adults wrote the book on impulsivity.

Shelters—Finding Your Diamond in the Rough

Walking into a shelter is a very emotional experience for an animal lover. Walking out empty-handed is very difficult for an animal lover. Be prepared—you can’t save all the animals. It’s very tough to go from one cage to the next, staring into the eyes of the cats in need of homes. As much as you may want to take the neediest of the cats into your arms forever, be sure you know what it’ll require. Making an impulsive decision you aren’t ready for could end up being wrong for you and for the cat.

There are many shelters around the country, ranging from public animal control facilities to nonprofit private organizations. In your search, you’ll find well-run facilities and you’ll come across horrible jailhouses.

Chances are very slim that you’ll be able to come across a purebred cat at a shelter but it does happen. If you’re looking for a kitten, they go fast—everyone wants kittens, especially around Christmas. But if you’re open to the idea of an adult cat, you’ll find many ages, colors, and personalities.

Although shelters are staffed by caring people who try their hardest to house the cats in as comforting of an environment as possible, considering how stressful shelter life is, don’t expect the cats to be on their best behavior. Very often these cats are in emotional shock. Many have been abandoned by their owners, lost, homeless, injured, or maybe even abused. Suddenly they’re put in a cage away from anything even remotely familiar from life as they knew it and they’re terrified. Even though your heart’s in the right place and you plan on giving a cat the best home in the world, initially he may not act very appreciative.

Some cats who’ve been relinquished to the shelter by a family due to a behavior problem may pose an extra challenge to you. Very often though, a cat adopted from the shelter eventually puts his past behind him and ends up being the love of your life. Some of the smartest, prettiest, most sociable, tolerant cats I’ve seen came from shelters. I toured nationally with the famous Friskies Cat Team and these talented cats who are seen on television and in movies were rescued from shelters. When on tour, that fact always surprised people who assumed that “performing” cats had to be specially raised from kittenhood. Not true! Just ask Flash, Harley, Squash, and Spike—four feline headliners with shelter beginnings.

Shelter staffs work with cats when they’re first brought in to help them become adoptable. Volunteers come in daily to interact with the animals, offer comfort, affection, attention, and playtime. Many shelters now take an active role in providing behavioral information to the volunteers as well so they can interact with the cats in the most productive way. At many shelters, new owners can also find behavior support resources in order to help them through the adjustment period with an adopted cat after the honeymoon period has ended.

Shelters do an amazing job even though they’re all overcrowded and underfunded. Before you decide to go the shelter adoption route, inspect the facility, ask questions, and be completely informed regarding their policies. Some shelters even require an in-home visit first to make sure the environment will be appropriate. Don’t be offended at the questions asked of you. The staff is trying to make sure you’re matched with the best cat for you.