Choosing a Cat Companion

Are you thinking of adding a new pet into your home? Domestic house cats make fantastic roommates, but there are […]

Are you thinking of adding a new pet into your home? Domestic house cats make fantastic roommates, but there are some things to consider before bringing one home! 


Deciding If You’re Ready


Remember that cats are more expensive than just their adoption fees! You will routinely need to buy supplies like food and litter, and will need to account for regular veterinarian fees. You will also want to make sure your cat is either spayed or neutered and is microchipped, which could possibly be an additional cost. Roughly 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters every year, and taking these few steps can help prevent your cat (or any kittens) from being one of them!

Cats are a lifelong commitment, and if you adopt a kitten, you could be with your furry friend for almost 20 years! If that feels too overwhelming, you can always consider symbolically adopting one of our cats here at Turpentine Creek! 


Choosing a Cat


Wherever you adopt your cat from, you want to ensure they’re healthy before taking them home, unless you’re preparing for a cat with special medical needs! Healthy cats will be alert, will have bright eyes and shiny coats, and won’t show any obvious signs of being sick. For kittens, the age of adoption can be very important! You should not remove a kitten from its mother before it is 8 weeks old, and even then, waiting until 12-14 weeks of age is even better! Kittens not only receive nutrients from their mom, but they learn important social skills and develop their immune systems during this time! Kittens separated too early from their mom are at a higher risk to develop behavior issues in adulthood, so keep this in mind when choosing a kitten! 


When choosing a specific cat, take your own personality into consideration, and try to match your cat to you! Would you rather sit on the couch and watch movies? Maybe adopt a more laid-back adult cat. Are you full of energy 24/7? Then maybe a rambunctious kitten is for you! You’ll also want to look into the personalities of your current pets as well. Your lazy, senior citizen cat might not appreciate you bringing home a crazy kitten! Also, if you own a female cat, they tend to be less accepting of new animals, but age and temperament are much more important than gender!  Personality matching will ensure the best fit for both you and your furry friend! 

Preparing Your Home


You’ll want to make sure you have the right supplies to provide your cat a happy and healthy life in their new home. Your cat will need a food and water dish, as well as a litter box to utilize. If you already have cats, make sure you have at least the same number of litter boxes as the number of cats in your household. For example, if you own 2 cats, and you are thinking of adopting another, you will need at least 3 litter boxes! These are all necessities, and something to prepare before deciding which cat you will bring home!


You’ll also want to make sure your cat has plenty of enrichment, or things to keep their minds and bodies active! Balls, scratching posts, cat towers, cat wands, and catnips are all great examples of this! Puzzle feeders can also be a great option, especially for very intelligent or food motivated cats. A bored cat is more likely to exhibit unwanted behaviors, such as biting and scratching furniture. Providing lots of fun enrichment can help prevent these, and make sure that your new addition is keeping healthy!


Bringing Home Your New Furbaby!


Make sure to give your new friend time to adjust to their surroundings! If you already have pets, you’ll want to slowly introduce them to your new addition. The best way to do this is by sectioning off a small area of the house for your new pet. You can let your new and resident pet smell each other through a door to get used to each other’s scent. Then, when your new cat is feeling comfortable, give them access to the entire house while your resident pet is locked in another area. This will allow your new pet to get used to the scent of your other pet. 


Next, you can do supervised introductions between your two pets! The most important things here are to keep an eye out for signs of stress, such as freezing, crouching, hissing, or pinning back their ears. If you see this, you can use treats or toys to distract them, and create positive associations with your other cat. Keep in mind, this process can take some time! It can take over a month for your new pets to become used to each other, but don’t give up! With a little work, your new pet will be an established member of your household!

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