Tips from Pilgrims Vets on adopting a cat

Thinking about adopting a cat? There are plenty out there in rescue centres around the country needing good homes, and cats are often ideal for pet-lovers who don’t have the time to devote to the generally more demanding needs of a dog.

But what do you need to think about when bringing a new addition into your home? There is plenty of advice available from various rescue centres but we have put together a quick checklist here.

Rescuing any animal is incredibly rewarding as we’ve experienced time and again at Pilgrims, but it’s not to be rushed into or taken lightly, so if you’re considering re-homing a cat, here’s a short list of considerations:

Is a cat a suitable pet for all the family? Many people are allergic to cats and if you already have other pets you will also need to consider the impact on them of your new addition.

How much time can you spare? The amount you need to initially devote to a cat – notoriously independent animals in many ways – will depend on the type of cat you are hoping to adopt. You may be considering bringing home an older animal, one that is less healthy or taking on kittens…

…We say ‘kittens’ plural because most of the advice is that they should be adopted in pairs, providing each other with entertainment and companionship.

Be prepared. As cats are territorial creatures, they can be quite unsettled by a move and may try to hide away, sometimes for long periods, so try to block off any areas that might look tempting hidey-holes. Make sure there’s a small space they can call their own and feel safe in while they get used to their new surroundings. You’ll need a bed, a litter tray and a feeding station. They also love to claw and scratch in order to keep their nails down, so consider a scratching post or you may find your sofa bears the brunt.

Once you’re sure you and your family are ready to help out a cat in need of a new home, we are here to provide health checks and advice.

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