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The decision to bring a cat into your home isn’t always an easy one to make. There are several things that you should consider before taking that important step. Before you even start looking for a cat, ask yourself a few questions and give yourself some honest answers.
- Do I have the time to commit to a cat? If you work long hours, live alone, and find that you spend very little time at home, you might want to reconsider a cat. Though cats are very independent, they also love spending time with their owners. However, two cats can keep each other company, so adopting two can help when you’re not at home.
- Do I have other pets at home to worry about? If you already have a dog, there is much to consider before getting a cat; how will you socialize him? Do you have a breed that gets along with cats? Are there cat breeds who get along better with dogs than other breeds? If you have fish, birds, or mice, are their enclosures secure enough to keep a cat out?
- Do I want my cat to go outside or stay indoors? Most veterinarians agree that indoor cats live longer and stay healthier than those who frequent the outside, but that is something to consider.
- Am I patient enough to litter train and deal with accidents if they happen? Litter training is pretty easy for a cat. As long as you understand that accidents can happen for various reasons and are prepared to be kind to your kitty when it happens.
- Can I care for a cat for anywhere from 10 – 20 years? A cat can live for a long time. In a 20 year time span you might move, get married, have children, change jobs; any number of life-altering things. Make sure that you are ready to take your cat with you through thick and thin because he’ll become a permanent part of your life.
Consider Adopting A Cat
If you have asked yourself these questions and have decided that you definitely want a cat, your next step is to start searching for one. The newspaper often has ads for kittens who are “free to a good home,” or you might even know someone whose brother’s cousin has a litter waiting to be adopted. Breeders can be found on the internet if you are looking for a cat of a specific breed, and pet stores sell kittens who were bred for just that purpose. But if you are looking for a way to bring a cat into your home who desperately needs one, try your local animal shelter.
Adopting a shelter pet is one of the most rewarding things that you can do in your life. Most shelter cats were once owned by someone, but for whatever reason, lost their owner and home and ended up in the shelter. Shelter cats know what it’s like to love an owner and they just want to have the ability to do so again. Not only will you save his life, you’ll find that it makes yours even better in the process. Once you spend some time with the kitties who are available for adoption, you’ll know who the best fit is. Every shelter has a different adoption process, and some may seem lengthy, but rest assured that they just want to be sure that each cat gets a very good and loving home.
Feeding You Cat
One thing that you will need to think about is what you’ll feed your cat. There are many, many options on the market and most of the brands out there claim to be a top rated cat food. It is difficult to say which brand is the absolute best because many of them are good options that provide excellent nutrition. What you need to do is look for top rated cat food brands that have meat listed as the first ingredient as opposed to corn meal, wheat, or grain fillers. Cats don’t care about corn, they want meat because that is what their diets were full of before they became domestic pets. Cats are actually carnivores, meaning that in nature, they will gladly skip the grains and veggies and go right for the meat. Since they are not eating in the wild, they also need some vitamins and minerals, such as D3 and taurine, to ensure good health. And avoid any cat foods that have artificial dyes like Red 40, Blue 2, and Yellow 6 or preservatives like BHA and BHT.
Choosing The Right Food
Choosing a cat food for your new friend can be difficult to do. One thing that is recommended is that you find out what kind of food the cat is already eating at the shelter and purchase a small bag or box of it and start mixing in small amounts of the new food with the old food to gradually introduce it into their system. Making a drastic switch can cause stomach upset and the last thing you want for your new cat is to have them be ill and uncomfortable as they try to adjust to their new home.
Some of the top rated cat food has multiple varieties and flavors that your cat will love: beef, fish, chicken, and duck (even venison and rabbit!) are just a few. The following brands have taken pride in providing the best, most nutritious, high-quality cat food out there and if you choose one for your adopted kitty, they will be more than thrilled.
- Blue Buffalo, Blue Wilderness
- By Nature
- Natures Variety
- Natural Balance
- The Honest Kitchen
There might be other top rated cat food brands that we did not mention, so go ahead and do a little research to find something that looks good (and good for) your cat. Enjoy this precious pet and you’ll see just how amazing a shelter cat can be.