The Purr-fect Match: Adopting the Right Cat for Your Family

A child holding their kitty

As a Certified Cat-Friendly Practice, we see a lot of wonderful, playful, affectionate cats  at Berkeley Veterinary Center. There are few things more gratifying than seeing cats being cared for so deeply by their owners. Cat pet-parents tend to enjoy the privilege of cat ownership immensely, often doing anything and everything to ensure that all their cat’s needs are met. 

You may assume that “any” cat could be the best pet-match for any and all, but adopting the “right” cat for the “right” person takes a substantial amount of time and consideration.

Looking Toward the Future

Because cats can live an average of 13-17 years, before adopting a cat or kitten, it’s crucial to explore what your life might look like in the future. 

Kittens require a lot of dedication, and cats don’t deserve any less time or attention as they grow older. Cats benefit from routine medical care (2 wellness visits each year, vaccinations, parasite prevention, dental cleanings, and more), so this is definitely something to factor in when considering becoming a cat pet-parent.

Preparing to Bring a Cat Into Your Home

Many times feline adoptions are made on impulse. While it may be hard to deny the power of a cat in need of a home, before you make the leap into cat ownership, we recommend taking the following into consideration:

  • Your Living Situation – Before adopting a cat it’s important to know whether or not you can keep a cat at your residence. If you rent or have roommates, get approval from everyone prior to adoption. You may have to pay a pet deposit or have a discussion about shared space and kitty-related chores. 
  • Safety – Looking around your apartment or home, can you see things that need to be cat-proofed, like windows, fall risks, tight hiding places, etc.? Consider building a catio to increase enrichment. A large property can have it’s own risks regarding roaming, so harness and leash training for you cat is a great idea. Above all have your cat microchipped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and protected from parasites with a reliable flea and tick preventative that can be purchased through your veterinarian. If you live with or near dogs it is crucial that you are able to keep a cat safe from threats or injury.
  • Kids – The benefits of cat ownership positively influence kids, but adopting the right cat for your family is only possible when everyone’s safety needs are met. Because children can potentially injure or scare cats, they’ll need to learn proper tactics for handling cats. Also, share with them the needs of the cat and involve them with certain chores, if appropriate.
  • Lifestyle – Are you away from home a lot? While cats can be home alone for longer stretches than dogs, they still require daily exercise, mental stimulation, and snuggle time. Be sure that you can sustain their needs and interests to reduce the development of behavioral problems. Some cats, when adopted as a pair, can experience less loneliness or boredom than solo cats. But, if you choose to adopt two cats or kittens, please be mindful that two cats are twice the responsibility, both when it comes to time and money.

Adopting the Right Cat

Depending on your preferences, adopting the right cat for you may be just around the corner. Ranging in age, size, coat, color, and personality, your new best friend will likely bring you and your family a lifetime of joy, snuggles, and companionship.

Adopting the right cat may be as simple as asking what you want or need. If you’re looking for quiet company or an affectionate lap cat, adopting a senior cat may be the best move. Alternatively, a spunky kitten may add a lot of value to an already busy, bustling, energetic home. 

If you have other animals , it’s important to find a cat that doesn’t cause stress, fear or conflict. As always, please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. 

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