Getting a new pet is an exciting time . . . but choosing one can be very overwhelming! It's hard not to get caught up in the "awwwwww" factor before considering the reality of what a new pet will bring to your family. The first thing to consider will be the amount of time you have to dedicate to your new pet. This should never be an impulse buy, so here are some quick tips to making educated choices:
- Adult cat or kitten? While kittens are adorable, adult cats are often calmer and already trained. Check with the staff to see if the kitty is litter-trained and spayed or neutered. If you're choosing an adult, it helps to ask about the cat's background as well.
- Do you have children? Kittens don't usually mix well with young children, because they can be rambunctious at times. If you do have young children, consider adopting an adult cat who has lived with children before. Keep in mind that if you do decide to get a kitten (or even an adult cat), you must supervise all interactions between your children and your new pet.
- How does the cat look? It's not just about beauty — make sure the cat appears healthy. Look for bright, clear eyes; clean noses and ears; and nice, unmatted fur. Listen to the cat's breathing as well.
- How is the cat behaving? Select a few cats you have in mind, and take a closer look. Consider each cat's behavior toward you (e.g., clawing or relaxed) and toward the other cats (e.g., listless or playful). It is important to see how this kitty's attitude will fit into your lifestyle, especially related to other pets and small children in your home.
- Short hair or long hair? If you're going to choose a long-haired cat, know that your new pet will need frequent grooming sessions to prevent matted fur. Short-haired cats don't require as many grooming sessions, but some cats enjoy being brushed anyway.