adopt a catDid you know that June is the American Humane Association’s (AHA) official Adopt A Cat Month? Every year, the AHA tries to raise awareness about the importance of adopting cats of all ages, especially in the midst of what it calls “kitten season.” Right now, animal shelters all over the country are taking in as many animals as they can, which means it’s never been a better time to consider adopting a furry feline. If you’ve never adopted a cat before, here are some of the AHA’s tips for first-timers:

If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Because cats require exercise, regular mental stimulation, and varying amounts of social interaction, taking home more than one might be the easiest way to get your new pets acclimated to their surroundings. It may sound like double the work, but providing your cats with companionship will take a lot of the pressure off of you.

adopt a catBe sure to stock up on supplies before the cat or kitten arrives. Your cat really doesn’t need much, but essential supplies include: a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, a scratching post (unless you’d like them to find something else to use in lieu of one), and a couple stimulating toys. If you adopt a longhaired cat, it’s also important to keep a brush for grooming. The AHA recommends providing “a cushy bed” for your new pet, but in my own experience, very few cats will actually use this. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want your pet to feel at home as soon as they arrive, so don’t delay stocking supplies until the day you adopt.

Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. If you want to adopt a cat that is more than 2 years old, chances are, its personality has already started to develop. Just like you would with a roommate, it’s important to find a cat whose personality aligns with yours. According to the AHA, “In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active,” of one way to determine a cat’s personality. If you’re adopting a kitten at your local shelter, ask shelter staff if they can identify the breed so that you know what kind of personality to expect.

For more cat adoption tips, be sure to visit www.americanhumane.org.

Featured Image: Mathias Erhart via Flickr CC

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Sarah is a freelance writer with a wide variety of interests, including international relations, politics, education, humanitarianism, women's rights, yoga, mental and physical health, and natural remedies.