Are you just overcoming the trauma of a lost pet? It might be time to adopt a foster cat. If you constantly find yourself alone and in need of a face to cuddle through uncertain times, then you and a foster cat might just be a perfect match. The good thing is you are certainly not alone in your considerations. On Petfinder.com, for instance, the number of homeowners and individuals looking to adopt a foster cat jumped 122 percent in the past year alone. The process of adopting a cat varies depending on where you live. In some states, it may take a little longer.
Apart from your location, the size of the shelter contributes to the length of the adoption process as well. For instance, small shelters generally get overwhelmed, and you will find that adopting from a small shelter generally takes longer. Fortunately, a longer adoption process might just be what you need. After all, this will give you time to prepare your home for its newest arrival. Here are some things you may need to consider if you are looking to adopt a foster cat.
Foster Cat Adoption Basics
Fostering a cat is a bit different from fostering dogs and other pets. In general, you will tend to find that there is a high demand for people who want to adopt kittens rather than grown cats. The good thing is that adopt and shop stores usually always need people who adopt pets, which is why it’s a great idea to apply. One thing you will figure out is that adopting a cat is generally a smaller commitment than adopting a dog. So, how do you go about adopting a foster cat?
Discuss With Members of Your Household
Before you go out in search of foster cats to adopt, you need to sit with the members of your household and talk about your move. Even if you share the space with a roommate, it’s important for everyone to be on board with your choice to bring a cat into the home. You must also set expectations early on about things like cleanup, feeding, and playtime schedules. That will go a long way in helping to prevent conflict later. It’s not advisable to just bring a cat into the home without talking to anyone. You might find out that your roommate has an allergic reaction to animal fur, and that could be a problem if you want to adopt a foster cat.
If you have researched cats before, you probably know that there is a cat for every lifestyle. This means you should first ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want to provide for the cat so you can find a candidate that fits best. For instance, if you lead a busy lifestyle, you might not do too well with an active kitten. Active kittens would be perfect for equally engaged owners. That’s the only way they can get the stimulation they need. If you are getting a kitten, you also need time to invest in good feline citizen training after you adopt a foster cat.
On the other hand, if you are getting a senior cat, the environment should be quiet with lots of calm cuddles. You should also keep in mind that senior cats will require more medical attention. This means you will want to look at your budget first before you can adopt one. Experts also suggest that you should let fate have a hand in choosing your feline companion. When you approach adoption agencies, you should always keep an open mind. That way, your heart can also participate in helping you choose your future soulmate.
Make a Shortlist of Agencies
If you are a pet lover, then chances are you already have a list of your local agencies. If not, then it might be time for a Google search to see who can assist you in finding a foster cat to adopt. Finding a local adoption agency is no different than finding any other service provider. You generally want to screen whoever you come across to find out if they are reputable. It’s advisable to give first preference to organizations that are registered as non-profits. However, even when dealing with those, you should keep in mind that not all of them are the same.
You should take the time to do some background searches on their social media, websites, and local media so you can be sure that whoever you are working with operates professionally. You always want to deal with organizations that source their animals ethically. If you find too many complaints about a particular organization online, you should generally stay away from them. Another great way to find organizations that can assist you nearby is to ask friends or family who has adopted a foster cat before. That way, you can be sure you are working with someone who is tried and tested. If this is your first time getting a cat, you will also want to build your directory of pet-related services like veterinarians, food outlets, and pet cremation services.
Figure Out the Age of the Cat You Want to Adopt
There are very few things more interesting than hanging out with kittens. Unfortunately, there are also a few things that are as exhausting. Kittens are hard work. They might scratch up all the furniture in your home, and they will roll around in their food bowls a lot. It’s a bit easier to care for teenage cats. There is a greater chance they will be house trained, but they will still need to learn a few manners. Teenagers can also be quite headstrong, and in some instances, they will have pretty much the same energy levels as kittens.
Adult cats are generally housetrained. They are less hyper, and it’s highly likely that they will have better manners. You will also find them at almost every shelter, so there are lots to choose from. The only downside to adult cats is that if they weren’t raised right, they might still have some hang-ups that you will need to work through after adoption. This includes things like fear of stairs or being more comfortable around a particular gender. The majority of these issues can be easily solved with some training after you adopt a foster cat.
Get the Goods and Supplies Needed
Before you can bring a cat home, it’s important to get your place ready, so your pet can easily survive. Apart from litter and food, you will also need to create a safe and happy environment for the cat. To make the environment even safer, you should consider putting away precarious tchotchkes. Cats love knocking things off ledges. You must also do away with poisonous plants, exposed wires, and unsecured furniture. Everything that can injure the curious kitty should be put away. This includes all things that the cat can easily topple.
Apart from making the place safe, you should also research what cats love so you can make the environment not only safe but exciting as well before you adopt a foster cat. For instance, it’s a great idea to equip your space with one or two scratching posts. You can also get a cat tree so your pet can climb, especially if you don’t want the cat to end up on top of the cabinets. It would also be a great idea to get some toys for the cat to keep it occupied. You can even DIY some toys of your own for fun weekend projects.
Choose the Right Food and Setup
Food is one of the most important things when it comes to raising cats. Along with the actual food items, you also need to ensure that you find a proper feeding bowl. Ideally, you should find a shallow feeding bowl that will not disturb the highly sensitive whiskers when the cat is eating.
When you are done getting the right bowl, you should ensure that you get the right feed for your cat. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that your focus should be on getting good quality meat and animal protein.
The diet should also contain moderate amounts of fat and limited amounts of carbs. When choosing feed for your cat, you should strike a balance between dry and wet food. Wet food will help ensure that your cat gets enough water. Cats generally love playing with water rather than eating it, so wet food will help you overcome the huddle of making sure your cat gets enough water. To give the diet a bit of variety, you must mix different protein flavors and formats. If you are getting a kitten, you should cultivate a more varied palate. Even older cats wouldn’t like it if they ate the same exact thing every day.
Get Used to Litter
Cats can be a bit tricky when it comes to their litter box style. It will likely take a bit of time for you to figure out the proper location. Start by placing the litter box in a quiet, low-traffic area in the home. That way, the cat can potty in peace. You may also want to try out a covered style, so the litter doesn’t end up all over the place. When you get your cat, you should scoop the litter at least once a day. That will keep the litter box clean, and you won’t end up with a bad smell in the house. It’s not uncommon for cats to sometimes do their business outside their box. They usually do this when they are stressed or unhappy. To avoid this, set a schedule for your cat and stick to it.
The Adoption Process
The process of adopting a cat is not too difficult. It can be summarized in about five steps or so. There are lots of cats available in different centers around the country. Each cat has a unique story and a ready-made personality. If you find the right agency, they will be extremely helpful throughout the adoption process. In some instances, the cats will already be microchipped, and they will have received their initial vaccinations already.
The first thing you can do when you want to kickstart the adoption process is to search for cats that are available for adoption. If you have chosen a pet service already, they will likely have a long list of cats available for adoption. If they have a website, you can filter the search by age, location, gender, and even breed. You can also select from indoor and outdoor cats and find out whether they can stay with other pets and children. You may need a portable outdoor shelter for the cat if it’s an outdoor one. Fortunately, a custom cabinet builder can assist you with such things.
Once you find a cat you are interested in, you should fill out an application form. Application forms are usually available online, so you can do everything from the comfort of your home. Before you fill out the form, you can first visit the relevant branch to see if you are a match for the cat. Fingers crossed! If the center decides that you are a match, you can then start visiting your cat. Meeting your chosen cat for the first time should be exciting. If you have a family, you should bring them to meet the potential addition as well. That way, you can also rule out any allergies.
Arrange a Home Visit
So now you have visited the cat at the center. The next move would be to arrange a home visit. These are arranged by the center, and they can help you figure out certain things before the cat finally comes to your home. The agent from the center can advise on things like food, toys, and the environment in general. They should also give you additional tips that you may need to care for your cat and ensure they stay happy. For instance, apart from a comfortable bed, your cat might also need a snug hiding place if they want to get away from things a bit. This is especially important if the cat is settling in.
Collecting Your New Cat
If everyone is happy with the cat that you chose, and the visits went well, the next step will be to bring the cat home. Once everything is settled, all you need is to go to the center to have the newest addition to your family signed over. The center will likely give you a blanket or any other item from the cat’s pod so they can feel comfortable while traveling to the new home. You can also get some booklets with useful information that will help to get the new cat settled in. These booklets usually contain information on caring for the cat, ensuring the environment is safe, and understanding general cat behavior. Be sure to go through these books to see what you can learn.
There are a lot of places where you can find cats that need to be rehomed. It’s a great idea to give a rescue cat a chance at a happy life. Ideally, you will want to find centers where you can get cats that are vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered. If the cat wasn’t neutered already, you would have to find a pet neutering service after adoption. Don’t forget to learn as much as you can about cats. Getting a cat might require you to make some changes to your yard. For instance, if there is no fence, you will want to find a custom fence installation service so you can get a fence installed.
You may also want to do a remodeling project or two to ensure that your property is cat friendly. There are several remodeling services that can assist you in making your home and yard cat-friendly. Apart from the outdoors, you should also ensure that your house is properly secured. A cat can easily get out using the windows, so if there are broken windows, it might be time to get a home renovation service to help with a replacement window.