Successfully adopting a shelter cat requires preparation before the adoption, care during the cat selection process and mindful supervision of the new pet after adoption. Before adopting, consider what kind of cat would get along best in your household; for example, if there are small children in the home, an older cat that is tolerant of children may be the best choice. For a household with dogs or other pets, choose a cat that gets along well with other animals.
Decide what kind of personality you would enjoy best in a cat. For those who want a lap cat, an older or low-energy cat are better choices than a rambunctious young kitten. Owners who prefer playful animals should choose a kitten or a high-energy, frisky cat. Visit an adoption center and spend time with various cats to see if a connection arises with a particular animal.
Additionally, consider how much time you can afford to spend with your cat. Kittens require more time, training and attention than older cats, and may not be a good choice for owners who have little time to spend with their pets. Owners who are gone for long periods of time may consider adopting two cats, so that the animals have company during owner absences.
Before bringing a new cat home, prepare a quiet space where it can feel safe and at ease. Introduce the cat to the home gradually to lessen the stress of living in a new place. Do not immediately expose the cat to other pets; instead, give it time to become acclimated to the home. Limit stressful situations as much as possible during the first month of ownership, and ensure that a clean litter box and fresh food and water are within easy reach of the animal.