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Even before you bring your new fur baby home, you’ll want to make sure your space is prepared to make that fuzzy feline happy and healthy. Are you ready?

The Cat Necessities:

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We’re excited for your new fur baby! If you need more preparation tips, be sure to check out our articles on choosing the best litter box and preparing a perfect home for your new kitty.

We don’t like to use the word “hero,” but…actually, yes we DO. Because that’s exactly what you are when you adopt a cat. You’re giving a forever home to a kitten who can’t wait to start off a great life, or an older cat who might have been waiting to be adopted for some time. In any case, you’re truly saving a life — either from euthanasia, or if it’s a no-kill shelter (which we support), making room for another kitty who needs some TLC.

There are so many reasons to adopt a cat — and encourage friends and family to do the same:

  1. Giving a home to a cat who needs one: According to the Humane Society of the United States, every year 2.7 million animals are euthanized in shelters. Every cat (or dog or hamster or bunny) that’s adopted makes a dent in that number, and helps make room for another fuzzy friend who needs help. And the increasing rate of natural disasters means that even more animals are landing in shelters who need homes. Our motto? Always adopt.
  2. Do it for the love: Adopting a cat means opening your heart to a new fuzzy family member, a beautiful new best friend, one that will fill your home with love, cuddles and two-way adoration.
  3. Pets are good for your health: Again, because of the love. Animals have been shown to be emotionally and physically fantastic for their human parents. They provide a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and reduce stress and loneliness. Recent studies have shown that petting a cat releases endorphins and even lowers blood pressure.
  4. They teach kids a sense of responsibility: A cat is a great way to create a connection between a child and an animal, often one they’ll both remember forever. And it’s an easy way to teach that while a cat is fun to play with and pet, he also needs to be fed — and have his litter cleaned regularly.
  5. They’re independent: Cats are perfect for city-dwellers and other busy people because they can entertain themselves (though prefer to play with you). Make sure you still make time to spend with your fuzzy friend: They need snuggles and companionship, too. Though we’re guessing with an irresistible new friend, that won’t be too hard.
  6. They’re litter-trained: Usually, and if not, can be taught fairly easily. Unlike a dog (though we have nothing against dogs, we love all animals), you won’t have to take your cat for a walk outside at the break of dawn or in the cold, dark and rain.
  7. They’re endlessly fascinating creatures: Cats are gorgeous, mysterious little beings who are so much fun to play with, to get to know, to bond with and of course to snuggle with. Love all around.

Sold on adopting a cat yet? Get on over to How to Adopt a Cat — then get yourself to your local shelter to find your new fuzzy friend.

Want to help other shelter cats live their best lives? As a Paw Points® member, you can donate points to your favorite shelter, which they can redeem for free litter, cozy beds and toys.

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!

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!