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How to Adopt a Cat

Say yes to love.

You’ve just made a great decision: to adopt a fuzzy, lifelong companion. You’ll be saving an animal’s life — and adding so much love to your own. Now what? Here’s what you can expect when you’re expecting to adopt a cat — and a checklist to make sure your home is ready for your new friend.

The Adoption Process:

Every shelter has different requirements, but they’ll all want to make sure of a few basic things:

  1. If you’re renting, will your landlord allow a cat? If not, that new friend of yours might be headed right back to the shelter, and that’s no good for anyone.
  2. Did you choose the right cat for you? An older, shy cat might prefer a quiet house, while a kitten might be great for a household with kids to play with.
  3. Can you provide food, litter and vet visits for your new family member? While cats are generally low-maintenance, they are an added expense (we can help offset the cost of litter a bit with the Paw Points® program.

You can often look at a shelter’s website to see which cats are up for adoption. They’ll often tell you how old the cat is, any behavior issues, and what type of temperament the cat has. Once you’ve landed on a few beautiful faces, don’t swipe right! Go to the shelter and meet a few cats in person. You’re bound to fall in love with at least one. Shelter staff will be able to answer any questions you have and steer you toward the right cat for you. Then you’ll have to answer a few questions, fill out a few forms, usually pay an adoption fee, and then you’ll be headed home with your new buddy.

Prepping for Kitty’s arrival.

Your cat will be looking forward to discovering her forever home. But there are a few supplies you want to make sure you have before she sets a paw in the place. This checklist makes it easy to get ready for your new feline:

Welcome home, Kitty!

  • Appropriate size litter box be bigger than Kitty’s length)
  • Fresh Step® litter
  • Litter scooper
  • Cat carrier
  • Delicious and healthy cat food and treats (make sure you’re getting kitten food if you just adopted a kitten)
  • Dishes for food and water
  • Fun and fascinating toys
  • Brush or comb
  • Kitty nail clipper
  • Scratching pad or tree
  • Cat bed or box with a warm blanket or towel

Your new cat might be a bit shy for the first few weeks. It’s best to confine her to a single room (like a bathroom) for a couple of days, with food and litter. If you think she’s open to exploring and not scared, make sure she has access to a quiet place to escape to if she gets nervous. Finally, give her lots of love and time to come out of her shell. It’s a lot of change very fast for a little cat. Soon she’ll be snoozing, snuggling, playing and generally owning her new territory — and your heart.              

Cats can’t read, but you can.         

New to the world of catdom? There are so many resources online to help you out — many of them right here on the Fresh Step® site. We’re kind of cat nerds, and we love to share everything we know about how to help you and your cat live your best lives.             

And make sure you join the Paw Points® Rewards Program. Every time you buy your favorite litter or engage in fun activities online, you’ll earn points. You can redeem those points for free litter, coupons, toys and treats.

Snuggle on!               

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