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Are you sure cats are the right roommates for you? Then congratulations!
Now it is time to find the ideal feline housemate for you.
First, you should ask these questions to yourself:
- Are you looking for a single cat or would you like to adopt two cats?
- Cats are usually not loners. They need company to connect closely with each other.
- Are you interested in a European Shorthair, Siamese, Sphinx, or other cat breed? Not every breed is suitable for housing.
- How old should they be at the time of adoption? Do you prefer kittens, adult cats, or elderly cats? Or are you open to everything if the “chemistry” is right?
Giving Cats from The Shelter a New Home
There are many lonesome cats in sheltered homes waiting to be brought to their new adoptive homes. Some of them are delivered animals from previous owners.
Perhaps its owner was seriously ill, has developed cat hair allergies, or has died. Others are abandoned animals that have been brought to the shelter by kindhearted people.
You will be surprised to find many European shorthair cats, and breed cats like “Maine Coon” and “Persian-cats”. That is why it is often worth a personal visit.
On the website of the shelter homes you can find cats from different breeds, some not even known to us before this. However, the list on the website does not usually show the full selection of what is available.
So, it is best to make an appointment and have a look!
Cats of different ages are waiting for you at the shelter homes, from kittens to seniors. Every phase of life is something special and beautiful, but also brings challenges:
- Kittens are cute and playful. You will enjoy seeing them grow up. But just like young children, they need a lot of time, attention, and tenderness. They may have yet to learn how to use the cat toilet. It is difficult for them to be alone. They also tend to be troublemakers. When they romp through your apartment, jump on your furniture, and climb onto your shelves, that is when your hectic day begins.
- Cats above one year old are already much quieter than cat babies. You get to know them more beforehand. The staff at the shelter can give you information about the history of the cats and about the character: Are they sweet and cuddly, independent, self-confident, or rather cautious and shy? This helps you decide which type suits you.
- Senior cats have a lot of life experience. In them you will find faithful, affectionate companions who are grateful for a warm cuddly place, along with your tenderness and affection. Older cats love cozy, quiet places, and they sleep a lot. Sometimes they might need a staircase to reach their favorite places comfortably. With good care, cats’ lifespan can stretch to an average of 15 years old. Some even reach a much higher age. We know several cats that have turned over 25 years old.
By the way: Cats love to play even into their ripe old age! You can engage in hunting and racing games with adult cats the same way you do with kittens. Seniors, however, like it quieter.
There are cats that only feel happy as a single cat. This type of cats typically dislike sharing the loving attention of its owner and food with other cats.
There are also cats which are brought together as a pair to shelter homes. Some also make lifelong friends there and are inseparable.
The caretakers of the shelter homes would know best.
If you choose cats from shelter homes, the basic medical care is already covered. The animals are usually vaccinated, wormed, and neutered. You pay a mediation fee when you adopt your new cat. Depending on the shelter, this usually ranges from $90 to $250 per cat.
Tip: Bring different toys like a laser pointer, a cat fishing line with a long cord, fake mice, and balls to the shelter. As an “icebreaker”, treats are also a good idea. It is best to spend plenty of time, to get to know the cats as intimately as possible. At the end of the day, it would have paid off when you bring home a compatible cat.
Benefits of adopting cats from the shelter:
- Plenty of choice: cats of different ages and breeds
- You will get information about the history and character of the cats.
- Basic medical care is guaranteed.
- Chip and registration are already performed.
- It is easier to find cats that suit your personality.
- You give cats a second chance for a beautiful home.
- You indirectly support animal welfare.
Adopt Cats from Licensed Breeder
Maybe you are fixated to a certain breed of cat. In this case, a breeder is probably your first port of call.
Make sure that he is a member of a breeding club and is trustworthy. If possible, read up on reviews of his service. Only then would you have peace of mind knowing you have found a reputable breeder.
Do not be put off: The prices for bred cats are high. A kitten of your favorite breed can cost a few hundred to over 1,000 dollars.
One advantage is that you can decide the appearance of your cats in advance. In addition, you will get to know the mother cat and have the luxury of visiting your future four-legged friend several times.
You know exactly where your future kittens are coming from, watching them grow up.
Good breeders do not separate the kittens from their mothers too early. Socialization with mothers ensures a good start in their new life.
But when is the right time? This is still controversial among animal lovers.
A Finnish study suggests that kittens should stay with the mother at least until the 14th / 15th week of life, ideally even longer. They become tamer and show fewer behavioral abnormalities.
Rule of thumb: The longer you give the kittens time with their family, the better for their development.
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages if you choose cats from a breeder:
- Bred cats are more susceptible to certain diseases and generally not as “robust” as European shorthaired cats or hybrids.
- Their life expectancy is lower.
Above everything else, cats are still considered to be more of an individualistic animal as compared to other animals like dogs. But that does not mean that there are not lively or playful!
The character of a cat cannot be predicted 100%.
Why You Should Go to a Reputable Breeder
Bred cats tend to have certain diseases. Serious and experienced breeders exclude genetic defects in the parent animals by appropriate approaches.
This increases your chances of adopting healthy kittens.
A trusted breeder…
- is a member of a recognized breeding association.
- breeds at most two different cat breeds.
- has the parent animals tested for FeLV (leukosis) and FIV before breeding.
- releases kittens as late as possible (ideally after the 14th/15th week of life).
- vaccinates the kittens.
- advises you in detail about the cat.
- will enquire about your cat experience and your living conditions.
- is happy if you visit the kittens several times before the purchase.
- will constantly keep in touch to ask about the wellbeing of the cat even after purchase.
Rely on your common sense and gut feeling when you are on a site visit with the breeders of your choice. Are they cordial? Do they love their animals, or do you have the impression that they are only concerned with making money?
Look around: Do the cat rooms look clean and friendly? Is everything cat-friendly? Are there well-stocked litter boxes and clean feeding places? How does it smell there?
Also important is how the kittens affect you. Are they well-groomed, well-fed, and trustworthy?
During your visit, also investigate the ears of the kitten. Is everything pink and clean inside? The butt is also important: Do faeces hang on the fur?
This could be an indication of diarrhea. With medication, this can be treated. But they need veterinary care in the event of illness. Be sure to get to know the parents. At least the cat mother should live in the same household as the kittens.