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Cat adoption: how to adopt a cat [step by step

How to adopt a cat, what does it involve and how to prepare for adoption. These questions are answered by Katarzyna Olszak-Hołownia, a veterinarian.

Cat adoption

"A house without a cat is stupid " - some time ago such a slogan circulated on the Internet and various Internet forums.

There are many benefits associated with the presence of cats in close proximity to humans - the owners of these fluffy quadrupeds admit that cats can de-stress after a hard day, the touch of silky fur improves the mood of the worst sorrows, and looking deep into the cat's eyes is hypnotizing.

Apparently, even a regular sandwich tastes better when there are cat fluff on it ?

Scientists have long argued that owners of at least one cat are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease and live longer than people who do not have a pet. In a word - it is worth living with a cat.

When choosing a fluffy roommate, remember that this is a decision that will be binding for the next several or several years - a pet is not a toy that can be thrown away when bored, or replaced with a new one when it breaks down.

The record holder of the cat lived 32 years, cared for by her owners.

When discussing the topic of a new family member, we encourage you to do not buy, adopt!

In the following article you will find some tips on how to prepare for cat adoption.

  • Layette for a cat
  • A cat-friendly apartment, or how to secure your home
  • Cat adoption step by step
  • Cat adoption and other household members
  • The process of cat settling in

Layette for a cat

Layette for an adopted cat

First of all, it is worth considering the basic expenses of the future caregiver. This is equally important in the case of adoption of a purebred cat and from a shelter.

The cat may seem fairly simple to use - one bowl of food, one bowl of water, a cat litter box and a cat scratching post.

Cat food

Let's start with cat food.

There are supporters of dry food (they are convenient to use, they stay fresh longer) and wet food (more palatable, "hydrate" the cat and reduce the risk of kidney failure).

It is worth remembering that in both cases, the food should contain a lot of meat in its composition - cats are ruthless carnivores.

The shorter the composition of the food, the better for the pet - the ideal food should not have preservatives, flavor enhancers, or smell.

Dry food should be stored in a sealed package so that it does not get stale.

The cost of a kilogram package of dry food with a quite good composition is about PLN 30.

Food must be served properly - you should buy bowls that are convenient for your cat (at least 3 - for food, water and spare).

The best ones are flat, plate-like - they do not irritate the cat's whiskers, which are very sensitive to any stimuli.

Ceramic bowls cost 5-10 zlotys each.

Some cats refuse to drink water from a regular bowl, they find flowing water much more attractive.

For such demanding pets, you should buy a special drinker in the form of a fountain.

The cheapest ones start from PLN 90.

Cat litter box

A very important element of the cat layette is the cat litter box and the appropriate litter.

The litter boxes come in various shapes, models and colors - from the simplest bowl-like litter boxes to covered litter boxes equipped with a carbon filter of the air coming from the litter box.

It is worth noting that adopted cat may not accept the selected model of the litter box - it may seem too small, too large, or set in too little secluded, noisy place.

It is a good idea to put a mat in front of the litter box, which will catch the remnants of the litter on its fluffy paws.

When it comes to cat litter, its price ranges from a few zlotys to even 70 zlotys per bag - the cheapest one is bentonite (it can stick to the paws, it creates less hygienic mud in contact with moisture), a slightly more expensive silicone one (not recommended for young cats may try to eat it), but there are also corn and hemp fiber.

Some companies have scented versions of the cat litter, but not all cats like this - it is good to start with the odorless variant.

It is worth paying attention to the way the litter is disposed of - some can be thrown into the toilet or on the compost, which is an additional advantage. When mentioning the litter, you should also mention litter box fresheners, but as in the case of scented litter, not every cat will like the intense smell.

Cat tree

A cat scratcher can be included in the additional equipment, but it is worth getting your pet used to its intended use from the very beginning of life with the cat.


It's worth pampering adopted cat comfortable lair - there is also a huge selection here, ranging from booths, houses, ending with hammocks hung on a radiator.

It is worth remembering to choose the bed according to the size of the cat - it should not be bought outgrown, the cat will not feel comfortable in it then.

The perfect bed is soft and at the same time made of easy-to-clean material.

The cost of a cat lair - from PLN 20 to PLN 100.

A cat-friendly apartment, or how to secure your home

How to prepare a house for receiving a cat from a shelter?

When the layette is ready, it is worth looking around the apartment and securing it in such a way that it is safe for adopted cat.

Cat window net

Absolutely nets for tilt windows are necessary.

Cats are very curious creatures, they often like to stick their nose or paw through an open window. Worse, when they decide to jump outside through them.

The tilted window then becomes a death trap for the pet - most often the cat gets wedged, half of the body outside, the other in the apartment, squeezed by the window frame.

This position causes the internal organs to be very compressed, the blood supply to the lower half of the cat's body is hindered, and each movement causes more and more traps.

A cat is doomed to death in agony, unless someone helps him quickly.

It is better to prevent such a situation and to secure the windows before the arrival of a new household member.

The net cost is about PLN 30 per piece.

When considering securing an apartment, you cannot ignore the balcony. The best solution is to hang a net that will prevent your pet from falling out.

Cats like to have access to the balcony - lounging in the fresh air, watching what is happening outside, smelling all the smells that come to the balcony - for a pet it is a great entertainment.

However, a moment of inattention is enough and the cat may fall out of the balcony. This is a very dangerous situation, regardless of height.

The cat may suffer serious injuries, extensive fractures, or get scared and run away from home in panic.

The net can be installed on your own or you can hire professionals for this purpose. The cost of such a service is priced individually, depending on the area of ​​the balcony.

Poisonous plants

Before coming a cat from home adoption, it is worth removing plants that may harm it from its range.

In this article you will find a list of plants that are poisonous to cats: // cowsiers, debris.en / rosliny-pojace-dla-cat /.

Cat adoption step by step

How to adopt a cat?

Home prepared, layette bought - only the cat is missing.

Where from and how can you adopt a cat?

Adoption of cats are in charge of foundations and shelters for homeless animals. There is also quite a large group of people who are looking for a home for homeless creatures on their own - so it is also at stake adoption of a cat from the street.

It's also a good idea to call the vets who work nearby. Often, veterinary clinics cooperate with foundations, treat animals under their care and have contact details for people who help homeless cats find a home.

Many foundations and shelters have websites on which they are presented cats for adoption.

It is also worth calling and asking about the possibility of a visit.

When one of the cats steals the heart and a choice is made, contact the volunteer who is taking care of him - this person knows best what the cat's character is, whether he is friendly or rather shy.

Each cat is different, the character of the animal is very important.

Before releasing a cat to a new home, certain conditions must be met - a foundation or shelter may require pre-adoption visit.

A volunteer working in a foundation or shelter will check if the house is ready to receive the pet.

He can ask about vacation plans (are you not planning to abandon your cat before going on vacation), or about the way you work - to assess how long the cat will be alone.

The visiting person will answer questions about the future pet, but may also check your knowledge on cat topics.

Pre-adoption visit its purpose is to check whether the cat will go into good, responsible hands.

Animals staying in the care of foundations or shelters usually have gone through a lot in their lives, the caretakers want to spare them the trouble.

When adopting a cat, an agreement is signed under which the guardian undertakes to care for the health and good living conditions of the cat. Often, the condition for signing an adoption contract is consent to castration.

Some shelters or foundations indicate that after adoption they will once again check the kitten's living conditions and welfare, during the so-called post-adoption visit.

Visits before and after adoption should not be afraid, volunteers only care about the welfare of their charges.

Sometimes a volunteer may suggest or say directly that the cat you have chosen will not feel well with you - it is usually dictated by the animal's welfare, not maliciousness.

Volunteers spend a lot of time with the animals they care for and know what their character is, what they like, what they do not tolerate, how they get along with other animals or young children.

Cat adoption and other household members

What about adopting a cat if there is a child in the house?

Cat and baby

If there is a child in the house, it must be mentioned during the process of adopting a cat.

Often, shelters or foundations take care of cats after crossings, not all of them accept children. However, a large number of cats are pets with a lot of patience for a young person.

It should be remembered that a cat adopted from a shelter or street is not a passive toy, when the limits of its patience are exceeded, it may withdraw in search of a quieter place, and when provoked - it may attack.

The child should be informed that the cat may not always be willing to play and caress, it should not tease it, pull its tail, mustache, provoke it to attack, and when it tries to withdraw - it should be allowed to move away to a quieter place.

Usually, children get along well with cats, but a child's allergy to the pet may be a problem.

Before signing the adoption contract and adopting a new household member, it is worth taking a test - let all household members try to have contact with the cat for a while.

It is a good idea to visit the foundation, shelter or temporary home where the cat is.

You can read more about cat allergies in the article: // cowsiers.en / cat-allergy /

Is it worth it to decide on adoption when there is already another cat in the house??

Yes of course! Most of our pets spend a large part of the day alone - people go to work, school, and take extra classes. With a companion of the same breed, your cat won't feel so alone.

However, it should be remembered that cats are individualists, not every individual will be happy with a roommate. Before adopting a second cat, the first thing you should consider if the cats do not like each other?

Is there enough space in the house for the cats to live side by side and not with each other??

Will there be enough free time during the day to pay attention to both cats??

If these issues are considered and the decision is upheld, choose a cat of a similar age who is gentle with their companions at a shelter or foundation.

A cat who doesn't get along with her roommates, or one who is at the top of the hierarchy, may not get along with her new companion.

Both cats should have a separate set of bowls, separate litter boxes (and preferably one spare) and lairs. Before getting to know cats, it is a good idea to give them mildly calming and calming supplements for a few days.

It's a good idea to use pheromone collars or catnip to keep both cats in a good mood.

The first days after adoption, cats should be spent separately.

Cat - the resident should be given a blanket or a carrier for a new family member to smell so that he becomes accustomed to the smell of the new companion.

The moment of the first meeting should take place on fairly neutral ground, but so that each of the cats has the opportunity to withdraw in the event of a tension.

For several days there may be quarrels and even fights - until the situation stabilizes, it is worth continuing the administration of sedatives.

After about 2 - 3 weeks, cats should get along, short-circuits should not occur.

However, if they still cannot find a common language, it makes sense to consult a behaviorist.

What to do when there is a dog in the house?

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Contrary to appearances, cats often get along well with dogs.

As in the case of a child, the presence of a dog should be mentioned during the pre-adoption interview.

Not every cat tolerates a dog, so in this case it is worth asking the volunteer who takes care of a given cat about how the cat reacts to other animals.

Again, before adoption, ask yourself what if the animals don't like each other? Will it be possible to keep the dog and cat separate? Is it possible to plan the daily schedule so that the cat and the dog receive a similar amount of attention so that no animal feels left out??

If, after considering these issues, the decision to adopt a cat is upheld, it is worth planning the first meeting well.

Even if the dog responds well to cats and has had contact with them before, before meeting face to face, it is worth giving him a sniffing carrier for the new family member and providing a decent dose of fun or a long walk to make the pet a bit tired.

When it comes to a cat, it is a good idea to shorten its claws just in case.

It's a good idea to have dog and cat treats on hand to evoke positive associations from the very beginning.

It is good to plan the meeting in a place where the animals will be separated by a net or glass - so that they can see each other.

You must not scold the dog or the cat if there is a negative reaction (growling, hissing) - it is worth to calm the pet and stroke it.

Once the initial responses are positive or neutral, the mesh and glass constraints can be removed and allowed to sniff but still under supervision.

A dog should not chase an adopted cat - if he tries to do so, distract him with a ball, a toy.

A cat from adoption should have a place where the dog cannot reach it - a cat carrier, a cupboard on which it will jump.

During the first days, when the owners are away, it is a good idea to isolate the dog and the cat from each other to avoid tensions and fights.

In this case, also after about 3 weeks, the relationship between the animals should stabilize and if there are frequent tensions after this time - it is worth consulting a behaviorist.

The process of cat settling in

Cat settling down after adoption

How to make it easier the cat's adaptation process in a new place?

Please remember that the first days in a new place after adoption are very stressful for a cat.

New smells, new habits and people can confuse your pet.

When you get home, give your cat a few hours to familiarize herself with the layout of the rooms.

Place the carrier in a quiet place and open the door - the cat will come out of it when it is ready. Do not force him out or throw him out of the transporter, it will make him scared.

When a new member of the family starts sightseeing, please do not disturb him - visiting new places is very important.

Some cats tolerate shifts quite hard, they spend the first hours in a new home tucked under the bed or crammed into a tight corner. You must not pull your pet out by force, you should give him time to get used to it.

However, if this situation continues, it is worth helping your pet to survive the stress - preparations with pheromones that have a relaxing and relaxing effect on the pet are helpful.

Some cats relax, feeling the aroma of catnip or treats - it is worth having them at hand to familiarize your pet with a new home.

Note - uncastrated males can mark a new territory with their urine, so it is worth making an appointment for a castration procedure after adoption.

An adopted cat often takes time to fully adjust to its new environment. However, once the process is complete, when she feels comfortable, she is a great companion in life.

We encourage you - do not buy, adopt!

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