Thinking About Adopting a Cat?

America has become a nation of disposable pet owners. Doesn’t your family cat deserve better? Choose wisely, otherwise everyone suffers when it falls apart. Selecting your new family cat is a life-long commitment to the cat.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • Is the whole household on-board?

    Does anyone have allergies or health conditions that could be affected by cat dander? Do you have other pets and have they had experiences with cats—good or bad?  Do you have a closed-off space in your home where the new cat can adjust to its new surroundings?

  • Can you live with claws?

    Scratching is normal cat behavior. Cats scratch to remove the dead husks from their claws, mark territory, and stretch their muscles. Declawing a cat is the removal of the last bone of each toe. Think in terms of having the last knuckle of each of your fingers removed. If you adopt a cat, provide it with a scratching post and be ready to work out any scratching issues that come up. Declawing is not a solution.

  • Who will be the primary caretaker of the cat?

    The whole family should be involved in choosing the new cat, but an adult needs to be the one who makes sure the cat is properly cared for.  Feeding and litter patrol is a daily chore and the cat’s health depends on it.  Involving children in the care is a great opportunity for them to learn responsibility, but do not expect that they can do it all.  And remember the kids will grow up and leave, but the cat will still be with you.

  • How much can you spend?

    Money

    To adopt a shelter cat at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter (a City of Steamboat Springs facility) is only $80. This seems pretty inexpensive, however, there are many other costs with adopting a cat. Annual vaccinations, good quality food, litter pan and litter, toys, and a scratching post are necessities. And, don’t forget about veterinary emergencies. These can cost hundreds of dollars.  Urinary infections are common with cats. As they age, they can also be more inclined to have heart, respiratory, or kidney issues.

    Time and Energy

    If you decide on a kitten, realize that they have three times the energy of an adult cat. You will also need to spend more time socializing them so they will become friendly, well-adjusted members of the household.

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