Adopting a Shelter Cat – Before you bring your New Kitty Home

Adopting a Shelter cat

Cat Adoption / May 5, 2022

cages of cats in a shelterAnimal shelters can be a good source of many different types of fine quality pets. Most shelters accept cats and dogs, and some also accept birds, small mammals, and even horses.

Types of shelters

Not all shelters are alike. Some shelters are actually part of your local government, supported by your tax dollars. Animal Control Officers or the police may be responsible for bringing abandoned or free-roaming animals to the shelter (or 'pound'). Some shelters are independent, and rely on charitable contributions. Some may be associated with national groups such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who can provide them with guidelines on operating the shelter, and educational materials for new pet owners and the community. Finally, some may be totally independent non-profit organizations. In our area, for example, we have an organization called 'Critter Rescue.' They help to provide homes for pets whose owners may not be able to take care of them, either on a temporary or permanent basis.

Shelters may differ in the services they provide, which is often associated with their operating budgets. Many tax-supported shelters have lower budgets than those who operate through contributions. Regardless of budget, in every shelter there are staff who are dedicated to their work and the animals in their care.

Reasons animals are in shelters

Many animals in shelters are pets whose owners can no longer care for them for a variety of reasons. This may be because their owners:

  • Are moving and cannot take their pet with them
  • Have health problems
  • Have become incapacitated or died
  • Do not have time for the pet because of changes in their lifestyle, e.g.; new baby, ill family member
  • Have other pets who do not get along with this one
  • Realize they should never have gotten a pet

Other animals are brought to shelters because they are homeless or come from abusive situations.

Animal evaluation by the shelter

girl petting a Siamese kittenWhat is included in the evaluation of an animal surrendered to a shelter depends on the shelter. Some shelters provide an in-depth evaluation which includes obtaining a good history of the animal's health and behavior in his prior home, a veterinary exam, screening for various diseases such as heartworm or feline leukemia virus, and an assessment of the animal's temperament and behavior in the shelter. Other shelters, often because of budget constraints, provide only a minimal evaluation. Ask the people at the shelter how they evaluate the animals that come to them. If possible, get a written copy of the evaluation and any veterinary care to keep as part of the animal's medical record.

Before you go to a shelter

Having a pet is a big commitment. This animal will be spending years of her life with you. So, before you go to a shelter, it is important to ask yourself several questions:

  • Am I emotionally, financially, and personally ready to take the responsibility of having a new pet?
  • Do I understand the nutritional, housing, and health requirements of this pet?
  • Have I acquired the necessary items needed to take care of this pet, and have I 'pet-proofed' my house?
  • Do I know what type of pet I want, e.g.; species, breed, or size, temperament, gender, age, energy level? Write down the characteristics you are looking for. We have heard many stories of people who went to a shelter with one type of pet in mind, and 'fell in love' with an entirely different type of animal, and adopted him. Sometimes this worked out fine; other times, the owner regretted the on-the-spur-of-the-moment decision. Be sure to think carefully about what type of pet you are looking for.
  • Are all of the family members in agreement about getting a new pet?
  • Have guidelines been set for the feeding, grooming, discipline and training, and cleaning up after the pet?

The adoption process

To adopt an animal from a shelter, there are usually several steps, including:

  • Filling out an application
  • Choosing your new pet
  • Experiencing a waiting period (usually 24 hours)
  • Signing a contract and paying a fee
  • Undergoing a trial period

Application: When adopting a pet from a shelter, you will be asked to fill out an application form which may ask for:

  • Proof of age and permanent residence
  • Pet ownership history including veterinarian records,
  • Proof of vaccination and licensing of other pets
  • You may also need to provide a photo id

Choosing a pet: It may be overwhelming to see the number of animals you have to choose from. Take your list of desired characteristics with you to remind you of any limitations you have on your choice of animal. Remember size, temperament, sex, age, and coat.

The behavior of a caged animal is not always the same as the behavior the animal would have in a home environment. Do not necessarily overlook the animals which may appear quiet, scared, or overly excited. Talk to the staff regarding the animal's temperament, and remove the animal to a quiet place where you may better observe his personality.

It is important that the whole family meet the pet, including children and other pets. The meeting should take place in a quiet, neutral environment with the shelter staff present.

Waiting period: Many shelters will require a waiting period of 24 hours or more before you can take the animal home. This is to give you the time to think about your decision and talk over any concerns with the other family members. During the waiting period, the shelter will put a 'hold' on the animal so no one else can adopt her while you are waiting.

how to layout a blog blogging without social media blog generator name blog name examples blogging through squarespace blogging the bracket blogging for kids blogging websites blogging income blogging through mobile blogging light blog post ideas blogging on medium blogging keyword research tools difference between blog and forum bloggings by boz blog outline template blog after gallbladder surgery what is blog made of blog post format blog bio examples difference between blogging and journalism blogging your book blog page blogging without social media blog is made up of what two words blogging about food blog out what really lies at the bottom of the ocean blogging events in blog or on blog blog income blogging startup blog jobs remote blogging groups near me blog sign off examples blogging over 40 blogging quizlet blog questions for students laptop for blogging under 40000 blog difference between vlog blogging coach blogging vs instagram covid-19 blog topics blogging university blogging is dead blogging under pseudonym blogging about my life blogging definition and example blog as gaeilge blog from google blog games blogging quizlet blogging zelda retired now what blogs blogging as a side hustle blogging to the bank blogging journal blog into the gloss blog gardien de but blog journalism definition blogging in the classroom blogging websites to make money blog about covid blogging millionaire blog into mystery difference between blogging and microblogging blogging name ideas vlogging camera blogging under your own name blog zen habits blogging on facebook blogging in the elementary classroom blogging of cars blogging step by step science blog blogging with shopify blogging on google blogging of art blogging at medium what do you mean by blog blog for beginners blog like you mean it blogging guide blog vs forum blogging for free blog under construction blogging guidelines blogging rubric blog up meaning blogging hoosier history synonym till blog blogging on shopify blogging earning potential blog writer jobs blogging as an educational tool blogging events near me blogging vs blog blog mickey blogstomp blogging success zone blogging by sophia lee blogging mama blog on squarespace blog set up blog as a genre psychology behind blogging know before blogging blogging at medium blogging for students blog inside closet blogging topics blog beyond the obvious blog landing page blog keyword generator blogging the bracket blog her blog from the bog blogging in zambia blog to pdf blog via de la plata best buy blog blogging your way to the front row blogging websites to make money blogging names blog clipart blogging coach bloggings by boz blogging up meaning blog biz bootcamp blogging up meaning blogging as a career blogging at 40 blog pro astra blogging kaise kare blogging under pseudonym blog after breakup can i earn from blogging blogging rubric blog by jackie bavaro secret behind blogging blogging of e commerce blogging as a career difference between blogging and podcasting blog for free blog on facebook blogging meaning in english difference between blogging and affiliate marketing blogging through instagram d&d beyond blog blogging quiz blog of oa blog url creating a blog within a website blogging to blogging gigs vlogging camera with flip screen blogging your book advantages of blogging over social media blogging as an educational tool blog during quarantine blogging platforms examples blog as a side hustle blogging images blog for business blogging without website blogging by google blogging about books blogging out meaning blogging to earn money advantages of blogging over social media difference between blogging and journalism blogging of a product blogging website builder blogging dirty blog titles blog made with wordpress blogging theology youtube blog about food bloggingpro reviews blogging as a nurse blog break even meaning behind blogging moving beyond blogging blog bio examples blog up meaning blogging about mental health bloggings by boz blogging workshops near me blogging conferences 2021 blogging of future tips before blogging blogging like you mean it blogging at fl250 blogging unscramble should i blog or vlog blog of dubious intent blogging courses blog templates free blogging light blogging and making money blogging under pseudonym blog to read blogging by sophia lee blogging through instagram blogging events blog etymology blogging history blog length blogging networks blogging about tv shows know before blogging blog que es blog outside blog off in a bongo blogging with google blogging to win course review blogging retreat xanga blogging blogging is dead blogging as a business model building over blogging blog in text citation apa blogging money blog house blog ideas for 2021 should i blog or vlog blogging vs podcasting blogging from scratch blogging books blog writing jobs advantages of blogging over social media blogging in wordpress blogging up meaning blog income blogging best practices considerations before blogging psychology behind blogging blogging in google blogging over thyme blog to make money blog during quarantine jill outside blog blogging as a business blog computer definition blogging etiquette blog from wordpress blogging through pinterest diff between blog and vlog blog best practices blog red machine personal blog under instagram name can i retire now blog blogging events near me blogging about my life blogging revenue blog at vlog blogging conferences 2021 blog def blog as a business blogging godaddy blog without writing blogging gif blogging at the limit blogging sign up inside outside blog blog vs article blogging translate into bengali blogging in past tense blog kasi tusk blogging qna blogging jobs from home what do you mean by blog blogging about tv shows blogging retreat blog definition and example blogging like blogging vs instagram blogging in 2021 blogging the boys trolling the nation blogging keywords blogging dog center blog as subdomain or subdirectory blogging with wix blogging apps that pay blogging sites blog via squarespace blogging vs instagram blog red machine like the posts at the top of a blog typically blogging quizlet blogging for business blog to blogging by sophia lee difference between blogging and website blog by marvin williams blogging over thyme blogging platforms 2021 blogging classes near me blogging kaise kare covid blog ideas pro blogging tips blogging beyond the classroom blogging over wine set up blogging site blog websites blog with next js blog design blogging pro jobs blog like a lady blogging the boys in your blog or on your blog blog hosting sites free blogging salary blogging without a niche blogging millionaire blogging keywords blog contra e verso blog behind the black blog updates blogging synonym blogging for money blogging on medium blogging questions blogging about books blogging to make money blogging as a career blogging the boys trolling the nation passing thru blog blog sign up bloggingpro theme blogging to earn money blogging on instagram difference between blogging and affiliate marketing difference between blogging and website blogging from iphone blog pro astra claire till blog blogging pro jobs blogging zarada blogging in past tense blog barking 123 recall blog banner blogging in wordpress blogging business blog of mayhem blogging zarada money off blogging blogging your way by holly becker blogging degree blog during american period blogging on wix blogging sites like tumblr blogging microphone blogging in past tense blogging like site blog like a lady to blog or not to blog blogging with students blogging quotes blogging examples blog topics during coronavirus blog website builder blogging vs blog building over blogging blog yellow fall into blogging bloggingpro reviews blogging from paradise blogging vs journaling blog sites blogging ideas for beginners blogging through the fourth dimension blogging websites meaning behind blog blogging through google blogging beyond the classroom blogging boys blogging mama blog keywords blog within a blog blog up step blogging in spanish blog on facebook blogging vs vlogging 2021 blogging quora blog made with wix blogging like apps blogging journal what is blog made of blog made with react