There are so many animals that are in desperate need of a loving home so if you have decided to get a cat, why not choose one from your local cat rescue home or animal shelter?
By adopting from a shelter instead of buying from a pet shop, you help those animals that are most in need to find a home and help fund the rescue work so that other cats can be saved. Many of these felines have had difficult lives so far – they may have been abandoned, abused or neglected by their owners. So, responsible rescue centers will take special care to match owner and pet and find them a good home. They will give you as much information as possible about their charges’ personalities and histories to help you choose wisely.
At the animal shelter, use your power of observation.
Take some time to just watch the cats and kittens without trying to interact with them. Observe how active they are and what type of attitude they have. A cat that stays huddled in a corner or appears lethargic may be sick, which could mean expensive vets bills in the future. Or the poor cat may have been abused and so is terrified of everyone and everything. If you have the time and patience, please don’t automatically dismiss an abused feline. They can repay your care many times over.
Give the cat a thorough examination, starting with the eyes. Bright and clear eyes with no discharge or weepiness are a good sign.
The nose should be clean and slightly moist.Again, there should be no discharge.
Ears should also be clean. Those that are extremely dirty are potentially contaminated with ear mites which can be very difficult to eliminate and can easily spread to other cats at home.
Finally, the cat’s fur should be clean, shiny, and free of fleas. Fleas can be particularly bothersome to both the cat and to the owner. Eliminating fleas once they infest the home can be very difficult.
Listen to the cat. A cat that coughs, sneezes, or sounds congested can be quite ill and should be avoided. Also, listen for sounds of contentment. A cat who is purring is probably happy and healthy.A meow can indicate either trouble or contentment – a long, pleading meow could show that the cat is ill. On the other hand, a playful meow could mean she is already developing a bond with its potential new owner!
Watch how the cat plays. Some pet owners are looking for playful cats that will scamper about the house and chase and play with toys. Others would prefer a more docile cat who will spend hours cuddled up in the owner’s lap.
See how they play with each other first to get a feeling for their disposition. This is particularly important for pet owners who already have a pet cat at home. Then play with the kitties yourself.
Take out a string, ball of wool or car keys and dangle them in front of each cat. The one that seems most alert and active is likely the better choice. Of course, you could always take home more than one if the decision is just too hard to make
It is so rewarding to adopt a cat from a cat rescue shelter and know that you have saved its life and given it a comfortable home but do be aware of potential problems. Any cat or kitten that comes from a shelter will be stressed to some level. This stress has put them at a higher risk of attracting a respiratory infection. They may also be more prone to bite or scratch you before you have bonded. Most cat rescue shelters offer a spayed or neutered cat, with full shots and de-worming but You must also get your cat tested immediately for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
finally, listen to the advice of the shelter workers and don’t rush into any decisions.