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Monday, March 21, 2011

How to Get a Cat for a Pet

Many people enjoy sharing their lives with cats. However, a cat is a living being with its own bonds to its family. Therefore, go about adopting your new family member carefully.

  1. Mull over your motivations and selection criteria for a cat. Do you want a young cat that needs training and extra attention, or an older cat that is already litterbox trained? Do you already have a pet, and how will they interact? Do your children know how to treat a pet? Are they in danger from a nervous cat or from cat allergens?
  2. Research your options. Many commercial pet stores host pets from agencies that care for pets in need of a home. These pets are relatively inexpensive ($100), not any particular breed, and often from homes that are relocating. Other alternatives include looking at pets on online listings such as your local craigslist or similar website. The city pound or other adoption agencies also have numbers that can be found in the phone book. There's always the newspaper.
  3. While waiting for your cat, start getting its home ready. Plan where the litter box will go, where it will eat, what will be appropriate areas for it to have some privacy. Be sure to get recommendations on a veterinarian.
  4. Go to the pet store. Look at all the cats. Find a healthy cat. The cat's eyes should be clear, the coat should look like healthy hair, and the cat has to be responsive.
  5. Pick out a cat. Start asking the shop assistant questions about the cat. Start playing with the cat. If you like the cat, then say to the shop assistant you want the cat.
  6. Start shopping for your cat. See  below "Things You'll Need."
  7. Introduce your cat to your home in a controlled environment. Have the doors closed and let the cat smell and listen to the environment. This may need to be done with the cat in the carrier if there are other pets or young children in the area.
  8. Show your cat where the litterbox, bed, and food is, and provide it with a safe place to hide. Expect a level of nervousness in the first few days. Expect other pets to take a month or more to be come acclimated to a new pet.
  9. Some vets recommend keeping the cat indoors for a month so that it understands that your home is its home as well.
  10. Take your cat to the vet within the first week of purchase for a check-up. An obviously sick, bad tempered, or incompatible cat may be returnable depending on store policy. Vaccinate and deworm your cat. Make sure it has an implanted microchip for identification should it need surgery or kenneling or it gets lost.
  11. Enjoy loving and playing with your cat.

  • A library has plenty of useful resources to take care of your new cat. Take out a few manuals, and use them for your kitty.
  • Getting a cat requires lots of time, and love. Before considering buying a kitty, think about these things. Will you be able to handle the cat? Can you afford the cat. If not, a cat isn't right for you.
  • Some consider mixed breed cats better because getting purebreds is expensive (some are $7000 US) and plus, if you have a mixed-breed, your cat is unique although may not have the personality typical of some pure breeds.

  • A pet is an inappropriate gift for a child unless you are prepared to take care of it yourself.
  • If you don't take care of your cat, you can lose money and your cat.
  • Make sure you can handle taking care of a pet.
  • If you have asthma, allergies, and other lung problems, then don't get a cat.
  • Dental cleanings are a part of health maintenance and can cost $400-800
  • Cats are solitary and do not necessarily welcome another cat in their territory. Your company is often what they want the most.
  • Cats can become very expensive especially if they become ill so make sure you are aware of this before purchase and think about pet insurance.

Things You'll Need
  • Cat food, wet or dry
  • Water bowl, food bowl
  • Kitty litter
  • Litterbox and sifter
  • Transportation device: hard carriers (like plastic cages) are recommended over soft (like bags) as many animals can be hurt in the event of an accident.
  • Grooming tools: brush, nail clipper, cornstarch to stop any nail-trimming injury from bleeding.
  • Medical: vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, worming medication
  • Cat tree/hideout (optional and recommended)
  • Scratching post (optional and recommended)
  • Simple spray bottle for water (optional and recommended for discipline)
  • Kitty toys (optional)
  • Catnip (optional)
  • Cat bed (optional)
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Get a Cat for a Pet. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


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