June is American Humane Association’s Adopt A Cat Month and ASPCS’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. Read over this checklist from Guthrie Pet Hospital and get prepared before you adopt a cat.[Tweet “Read over this checklist from Guthrie Pet Hospital and get prepared before you adopt a cat.”]
Did you know that cats are the most popular pet in the United States? 10 million Americans have at least one cat in their household. Here in Guthrie, Oklahoma kitten season has arrived which means there are lots of cute little kittens and adorable cats that need forever homes. The team at Guthrie Pet Hospital recommends you think ahead and have a plan before you adopt a cat.
1. Adopt a cat or a kitten?: Kittens are much more active and will require more attention than a mature cat. Dr. Coffin says that all cats need mental stimulation, which can be achieved through interactive toys. They need exercise and social interaction which can be achieved through playing with a human or another cat or dog. In fact, adopting two kittens can alleviate most of these issues.
2. Personality: Every cat’s personality is different but certain features can help you predict things about their personality. For instance, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. The staff of Guthrie Pet Hospital recommends you research cat personalities for the breed that you are interested in adopting. The Cat Fancier’s Association has an excellent breed characteristic and personality chart with pictures. Dr. Coffin believes that male cats are typically more affectionate than female cats.
3. Food and water: Dr. Coffin recommends feeding a combination of canned and dry foods. She prefers that you feed diets without any colored dyes in the kibble, as some cats can’t tolerate the dye. Cats are very finicky about their water and prefer fresh, running water. A pet water fountain will encourage your cat to drink.
4. Litter box: The litter box should be at least 1 1/2 times the length of the cat. It’s very important to scoop the box daily and thoroughly clean once a week. Provide covered and uncovered boxes in different locations. The team at Guthrie Pet Hospital offers this general rule of thumb on how many litter boxes you should have in your house: Number of cats in the house plus 1 (So if you have 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes).
5. Veterinarian: Look for American Animal Hospital Association or AAHA accredited hospitals before you adopt a cat. They voluntarily have their hospital evaluated by a consultant who makes sure they meet or exceed the association’s high veterinary hospital standards. Guthrie Pet Hospital has been an AAHA accredited hospital since 2003! Accredited members do this to demonstrate their commitment to providing quality pet care. Search for one in your area.
The American Feline Practitioners has developed a program where veterinary clinics are now becoming Cat Friendly Practices. This means that they have made changes to decrease stress and provide a more calming environment, such as feline-only waiting areas and examination rooms. Their staff has also been trained in feline-friendly handling and understanding cat behavior in order to increase the quality of care for your cat. Guthrie Pet Hospital has been a Certified Cat Friendly Practice since 2012! Search for one in your area.
6. Budget: When you adopt a cat, it’s important to be financially responsible for that pet. There are costs associated with owning any pet, and it’s important to make sure that you can be financially responsible for more than just food and love for each pet. Cats should be taken to your veterinarian in Guthrie, Oklahoma at least once a year for an annual exam.
7. Supplies: Toys, scratching post, bed, grooming tools are just a few basic items recommend for cats of every age.
8. Cat-proof your home: Cats are agile and can jump on kitchen cabinets so it’s important to keep food picked up and stored securely. Leaving food out will only encourage the cat to continue to jump up on the cabinets. Check out these common home pet poisons.
9. Introductions: It can take 2-4 weeks from the time you adopt a cat for it to become accustomed to it’s new home. Dr. Coffin recommends confining them to a single room in the house which has their food, water, litter box and other supplies. Once the cat seems relaxed and adjusted then you can slowly start allowing supervised outings. If you have other pets, let them sniff each other from opposite sides of the door.
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Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family. Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family.