Common Cat Questions and Answers – What to Expect When Youre Ready to Adopt a Kitten


A close up of a cat looking at the camera

Are you considering adopting a kitten? If so, you may have some questions about the process. In this article, I’ll answer some of the most common questions about cats and adoption. This information will help you make an informed decision when it comes time to bring a new furry friend into your home.

1. Where should I look for cats available for adoption?

A close up of a cat
  • A local animal shelter where cats are located
  • A rescue group that take cats in from other locations
  • A reputable breeder who is active in the community and offers cats for adoption
  • A person you know who has cats they are unable to keep or no longer want.

2. What should I expect when visiting potential cats?

A cat lying on a bed
  • Visit cats at least twice before officially adopting one. Cats will need time to warm up to new people, so be sure to visit multiple times before making any commitments.
  • Usually, cats are not allowed out of their cages until they are adopted. This is because some cats don’t take well to strangers, may have health problems that make them more susceptible to diseases spread by other cats, can become stressed easily around large groups of people, etc… For the same reasons, cats are not available for holding or petting.
  • Cats available for adoption will be in cages with water and food bowls and litter boxes. Cats should have clean ears, eyes, noses, and mouths. They should not be overly nervous or antsy, nor excessively sleepy or hiding. – Cats available for adoption may show signs of affection such as purring and rubbing up against the bars of their cage (kneading). This is all part of cats’ natural behavior and shouldn’t alarm you. It is also normal that cats may seem to ignore you when you visit them at first; cats require time to warm up to new people, so this behavior isn’t uncommon either. If cats appear ill, such as having runny noses or crusty eyes/ears, or are excessively peeing or pooping in their cages, they should be checked out by a vet.
  • Cats available for adoption may display certain behaviors you are not accustomed to seeing cats do. For example, some cats will meow at the bars of their cages as if asking for food or water; cats sometimes do this if they are overly hungry or thirsty. Other cats may appear to behave aggressively by growling, hissing, and striking through the cage bars; cats don’t typically want to interact with strangers outside of their normal social order (which includes humans). So cats often act more anxious than usual when they first meet new people. If any cats do not seem healthy or calm during your visit, tell an employee so that they can be checked out by a vet.

3. What should I expect when adopting a cat?

  • Cats for adoption will be in carriers, but they may not be travel-friendly or familiar with staying inside them if they have been at the shelter for a while. To help cats adjust to their new homes, keep the carrier out and open so that cats can get used to it. After cats are adopted, do not place cats in carriers unless absolutely necessary (for example traveling).
  • Baths or frequent brushing if necessary due to excessive shedding or tangles/mats
  • Cats available for adoption should already have been spayed/neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated against rabies and other common illnesses such cats may contract at the shelter.
  • Cats already microchipped before their adoption should receive updates on where to find information about their microchip, such as on felineaholics.org (which you can share with cat owners if your cats are lost).

If cats are not spayed/neutered yet, they will be done before being adopted out of the shelter. The fee for cats adopted from a reputable rescue or breeder can vary depending on whether cats have been altered and what vet is performing any necessary procedures, but cats from local shelters usually come spay/neutered and microchipped for free. If you think you might want to adopt a second or third cat in the future, ask about a discount on cats’ adoption fees when adopting cats in multiples.

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