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Adopting a Cat

Cats can make wonderful and long-lasting pets, so it's important to consider your options when deciding to bring one home. Remember: your decision will affect your life--and your cats--for the next 15 to 20 years! Here are a few considerations to make.

Kitten or Adult

Every kitten will be rambunctious, lively and silly. It will take a lot of diligence and patience to keep up with one! Kittens may also play at night, so be prepared to potentially lose a little sleep until your kittne is a bit older. Rember also that a cat's true personality won't shine through until the cat is an adult; for some prospective pet owners, it's much easier to adopt an adult cat and avoid the rambunctious stage of kittenhood. Kittens should be introduced to adult cats as early as possible. This will promote proper socialization skills that we humans simply can't impart properly. Kittens that are bottle-raised and never have contact with other cats have a reputation for being more aggressive towards both humans and other pets. 

Male or Female

The choice wheather to adopt a male or female cat is entirely up to you. YOu may find that your particulat personality or lifestyle is better suited to one gender or the other; try spending some time with cats of both gendersto see which you prefer.

Shelter, Breeder, Pet Story, Stray

The decision of where to get your cat from is an important one. If you're adopting a stray kitten off the street, be aware of the health and socialization requirements that will be necessary to ensure your new pet turns into a well-functioning adult. If you desire a specific breed of cat, you'll probably need to contact a breeder. Consider, though, that there are thousands of homeless cats in shelters that need loving homes--you may find that giving a needy pet a home trumps particular coat pattern, coloring or body shape preferences.

Health of the Cat

It goes without saying that you'll want to make sure your new cat is healthy. All new cats should undergo a complete veterinary exam before being brought home. You don't want to expose other pets in the home-- or your human gamily members--to disease or infection carried by your new feline friend. A healthy cat's eyes should look bright and clear, the coat should look shiny, tidy, and well-moisturized, and there shouldn't be any visible discharge from the nose or ears. A professional veterinary exam will rule out any intestinal parasites, mites, fungal or bacterial infections, and viral diseases.