Cat Adoption Washington DC
How Old of a Cat Should I Adopt?
You've decided it's time to get a warm, fuzzy love ball - in essence, a cat. But there are so many unwanted cats up for adoption it can be overwhelming to choose one. When selecting a cat, you might consider size, temperament, shedding, and other criteria but the first issue to solve is how old you'd like the cat to be.
This can be determined by looking at the benefits and drawbacks of adopting an older cat or young kitten. All cats have something special to offer regardless of age but there are some considerations which will help you make the best cat selection.
Kittens are so much fun but they're a lot of work, too. What's the best age to adopt a kitten? The ideal age is 12 weeks, but certainly not under eight weeks. Otherwise, a kitten is likely not to be socialized properly, nor be as healthy.
A Fresh Start: Kittens are a clean page for you to fill in the story. They haven't had a chance to develop neurosis or behavior problems. It's up to you to mold them.
Training: You can start training a kitten right away. They respond well to treats, attention or a toy. They can also be gently corrected for unwanted behavior, such as scratching or biting.
Comedic Relief: There's little funnier than a kitten jumping straight up in the air to catch a fly or a kitten falling off the sofa and looking shocked.
Other Pets: Existing cats or dogs are more likely to accept a kitten than an older cat.
Health: Kittens can have special health issues, including worms, ear mites, Ringworm and Feline Leukemia. Sometimes their have sensitive stomachs which can mean finding the right food is a task.
Safety: Kittens get into everything. Your house must basically be clutter free and you need to check for holes in walls, screens, etc.
Housetraining: A kitten must be trained to use a litter box.
Mewing: Some kittens are very vocal and it takes some crafty training to curb this.
Personality: When you adopt an older cat, you get a good look at her personality before bringing her home. The shelter should know if she's good with other cats or dogs, children, etc.
Health: A cat tends to be healthiest in the middle of their lives. Your cat should have been checked over by a veterinarian and treated for any immediate health issues.
Activity: An older cat is calmer and more placid.
Background: Shelters often don't know a cat's exact background which means she could have some personality or behavior issues.
Training: It can be tougher to train an older cat but you also don't have to be as reserved. Using tools such as a water squirt bottle can help deter unwanted behavior.
Spaying and Neutering: If your cat has not been fixed, you can expect some behavioral issues such as humping and vocalizing when she's in heat. It is safe to spay or neuter a cat up to six years old and many people do it past that, as well.
Cats over 10 are considere...
The Steps and Costs for Adopting a Cat
Sometimes it's possible to adopt a cat whose owner can no longer keep it and is happy to offer it "free to a good home." Most of the time, however, you can expect to pay an adoption fee when you adopt or rescue a cat.
So, how much does it cost to adopt a cat? The fee can vary with the type of organization you adopt from, as well as the part of the country you live in. But in general, cat adoption fees are a bit lower than dog adoption fees, ranging from $30 to $200.
Adoption fees serve a good purpose. The fees you pay to a shelter or rescue group are most likely used in part to offset costs of caring for many animals. Your money may also cover the cost of vaccinating, spaying or neutering, or treating the cat you take home for fleas or ear mites.
But most importantly, cat adoption fees serve as a screening measure, designed to weed out would-be pet owners who are unwilling or unable to spend money on their pets. Someone who can't spend $75 on cat adoption fees is also unlikely to be able to pay for routine veterinary care or even food.
Cat adoption fees may also vary depending on the specific cat you choose. Some shelters or rescue groups may ask more for a female than a male, because of the higher cost of spaying versus neutering. Kitten adoption may come with higher fees than adult cats because of the cost of the initial rounds of vaccinations. When shelters are full to capacity, a rescue group may slash adoption fees as an incentive to families who are considering adopting a cat.
If you rent your home, another cost you may encounter is an additional security deposit sometimes required by landlords when you adopt a pet.
Each shelter or rescue group will have its own adoption procedures, but the following is a list of steps that you're likely to encounter during the process:
Why Adopt a Cat?
Cats are often regarded as low-maintenance pets, ideal for people who are too busy to care for a dog. Yet the decision to adopt a pet cat should not be taken lightly. A cat will become a long-term commitment as the average housecat lives between 12 and 20 years. It's wise to go through the following checklist of questions to ask yourself before adopting a cat.
Is Your Lifestyle Suitable To A Cat?
Despite their seemingly aloof manner, cats are social creatures, so your new pet will need your companionship. If you spend many hours away from home, you should reconsider your decision to adopt, or adopt a pair of cats so they can keep each other company.
A cat may be the ideal pet for you if you rent. Many landlords who won't allow tenants to keep dogs will accept a pet cat, but you should be sure this is the case before you adopt.
How much do you care about your furniture and carpeting? It's a fact that cats scratch, and while they can usually be trained to use a scratching post, some damage to furniture and flooring may be inevitable. The consensus among animal welfare experts is that declawing a cat or kitten is cruel and inhumane treatment. (Declawing actually involves amputating the tip of each toe at the first joint.)
You'll also need an easily-accessed spot for a litter pan. If you have multiple cats, you may need more than one litter pan, and you should be prepared to scoop out the waste daily. Before you adopt a pet cat, make sure that none of your family members have cat allergies.
Can you afford a cat?
Adopting a cat involves a long-term financial commitment. Kitten adoption in particular can be costly; within the first year you'll have to budget for spaying/neutering and the necessary vaccinations. Before you adopt, consider the ongoing costs of food, veterinary care, kitty litter, scratching posts, and even pet sitting if you travel frequently.
Should you adopt a kitten or an adult cat?
Kittens are adorable, cuddly, and playful. Be aware, however, that kittens are fearless explorers who will climb curtains and furniture, possibly knocking things over in the process. You may find that your kitten requires close supervision, or even restricted access to certain rooms. As the kitten matures, its unique personality will emerge, and playfulness may turn into aloofness or a preference not be cuddled-and you'll have no control over that.
An adult cat, on the other hand, won't be so likely to get into mischief. It will come to you with its temperament and personality already molded, so what you see is what you get. If you decide to adopt a rescue cat, you'll probably find that the rescue groups in your area have many more adult cats than they have kittens.
Will you keep a cat indoors or outdoors?
After declawing, this is the biggest controversy in cat ownership. Experts agree it is irresponsible and even cruel to consign a cat to a strictly outdoor life. Yet some cat owners feel it is similarly limiting to keep f...