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Give a shelter cat a new life

June 12, 2012
Daily Press

Animal shelters across the country are celebrating the American Humane Association's national Adopt-A-Cat Month this June. It's an ideal time to adopt a feline, since the spring and summer months typically bring a surge of kittens and cats to the nation's shelters.

Whether you're looking for a fun, frisky kitten or a mellow, mature cat, you'll find the perfect feline at most shelters. They will have cats of all breeds, ages and personalities, and they're all looking for loving, permanent homes.

People are encouraged to enrich their lives by adopting a cat. American Humane offers these tips to consider when adopting:

Age: While kittens are hard to resist, adult cats are often better suited to families with young children. Mature cats respond better to being handled by inquisitive toddlers.

Number: It can be beneficial to adopt more than one cat or kitten, especially if the pets will be left alone for long periods while you are gone. Not all cats enjoy companionship, but many are very social with members of their own species.

Personality: Many cats are under a great deal of stress in a shelter environment. A cat's true personality may not emerge until he has been in his new home for several weeks. Shelters will encourage you to visit the cat you're interested in several times and to read any information from a previous owner.

Coat: The longer the cat's fur, the more brushing will be needed to prevent painful matting.

Nutrition and health: Good nutrition and twice-a-year vet visits will help your cat stay healthy and happy. Keep your cat indoors to prevent her from contracting diseases, being hit by a car or getting hurt by other animals.

Tags and microchips: Millions of cats are taken to animal shelters as strays each year - but only about 2 percent of cats without an ID tag or microchip are reunited with their owners. Make sure your cat wears a collar and tag with the cat's name and your name, address and phone number. Microchips provide permanent identification that can never come off or get lost.

Prepare your home: Adult cats and kittens love to climb and explore, so beware of possible hazards. Don't let cords or wires dangle, and cover any floor heating and air vents. Some houseplants may be toxic; check with your vet for details.

Kids and cats: Children should be taught that a kitten or cat is a companion, not a toy. Rough handling can lead to injuries to both the cat and the child.

Dogs and cats: Cats and dogs often enjoy each other's company, but great care must be taken when introducing these two species. Some dogs may be aggressive toward small animals and may not be suited to sharing their homes with cats. If you have a dog, ask the adoption staff if you can bring him to the shelter to meet the cat in a controlled environment before you adopt. Most cats will be frightened the first time they see a dog and will need time to accept a canine companion.

 
 

 

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