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Adoption, the Humane Option

Here are some tips on how to keep your cat
healthy and happy if you're thinking of adopting one.

You've made a wise choice!
A cat is a lovable, charming pet that offers endless fun and entertainment. But cats may only be lovable and charming if you treat them the way they should be treated, the way you yourself would want to be treated.

So, if you're thinking of adopting a cat, keep in mind these 10 tips about how to keep him healthy and happy

1. Cats need to be fed good, nutritious food regularly, at least once a day.

2. Cats also need plenty of cool, clean, fresh water. Adult cats do NOT need milk. Cats are actually lactose intolerant and may have diarrhea if given milk.

3. They need a good clean litterbox that is preferably uncovered and scooped as often as possible (best once a day or more depending on how many cats you have). Have at least 1 box per cat and try to have them on each level of your home.

Keep your cat inside your home with you. Roaming cats are prime candidates for fights with other animals, traffic accidents, and communicable diseases from other cats. The average life span for an indoor cat is more than 14 years while the average life span for an outdoor cat is about 2 years. Many cats are strictly indoor pets and are perfectly content, as long as they have access to a clean litter box and fresh water at all times. We strongly recommend that for a healthier, happier pet you consider keeping your cat indoors only. Also keep him away from house plants, which cats may destroy. Certain plants are also poisonous to cats (Lilies are deadly!).

4. Do NOT automatically have your cat de-clawed. De-clawing is the act of removing the entire first joint of each toe. Undesirable scratching could be easily curbed for most cats. (Read about de-clawing, alternatives to it and doing it by laser). To prevent your cat from scratching or tearing your furniture, trim his claws regularly and provide him with a small rug or scratching post. Verbal scolding can also work wonders.

5. Unlike dogs, cats do NOT need to go outside. Cats are almost always naturally housebroken and will use a litter box even at an early age. Allowed outside alone, cats often get lost or hurt and sometimes get killed. Also, don't leave your cat alone in a room with an open window.

6. Make sure your cat always wears identification, even if you never let him outside. A breakaway collar with tag as well as microchipping your cat are ways of ensuring your cat has the best chance of making it home safely. Agile and clever, cats sometimes manage to get outside by themselves. Provide the animals with a comfortable, expandable collar and an attached identification tag with your name, address and phone number on it. Consider purchasing a dog license for your cat. Also consider having your cat tattooed by a qualified veterinarian.

7. Unlike most dogs, cats do NOT need to be bathed. A healthy cat keeps himself clean and well groomed. If you or someone in the family has allergies, regular baths or wiping the cat down weekly may help.

8. Make sure your cat gets good veterinary care, including all annual examinations (bi-annual for cats over 7 years old) and shots.

9. Have your cat spayed or neutered by a veterinarian once the animal reaches maturity (usually after six or seven months of age). Your cat will enjoy a longer, healthier life, there'll be fewer strays on the streets and you'll be spared the hassles of a cat in heat. Intact male and female cats could start urinating outside of the litterbox as a way to mark their territory.

10. Give your cat plenty of love and affection. Though cats are more independent than dogs, they thrive on your companionship.

Lastly, if you do plan to adopt a cat, we recommend that you consider TWO cats. Two are company for each other - and two will bring more love into your life!

Have fun and we know you won't regret adopting a cat or two !