PAWS AND PAGES: Undertake-A-Cat Month | Pets

June is National Adopt-A-Cat Month!

Each spring, also known as “kitten season,” hundreds of newborn and young kittens join the hundreds of cats already in the care of the Humane Society of Imperial County.

What does that mean? Well, your local Humane Society has tons of cute and cuddly kittens in addition to the several friendly and elderly cats that have been at the shelter for months or even years. The Humane Society of Imperial County’s team is ready to help you and your family adopt your very first cat or bring home a friend for another beloved cat you may already have. Regardless of which shelter or rescue you’re adopting from, our team encourages our community members to adopt a cat or two.

This popular campaign is part of a larger effort by the American Humane Society to adopt cats and kittens into loving homes at animal shelters across the country. Although cats have often been referred to as one of America’s “favorite pets,” they statistically receive less veterinary care, have less research on their unique health and behavioral problems, are more feral, and are more likely to be euthanized in a shelter. Less than 1 percent of lost cats are ever reunited with their families.

Courtesy of the American Humane Society: Here’s a top 10 checklist for when you’re thinking of adopting a new feline friend:

1. If you are considering adopting a cat, consider bringing home two. Cats need exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can afford this to each other.

2. Find a cat whose personality matches yours. Just as each of us has our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more relaxed than slender cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are usually more active. Adoption counselors can advise you on how to balance each cat’s personality with your own.

3. Find a veterinarian in good time and schedule a visit within the first few days after adoption. You should take with you any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Due to their immaturity, you should accompany kittens to make an appointment – even before the examination itself – so that the staff can stroke the cat and the animal has a positive association with the veterinary practice.

4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before your new pet comes home. Visiting the animal shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. If you are adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to provide an appropriate induction.

5. Budget for a cat’s short and long term costs. Understand that every pet is a responsibility and that comes with a cost. A cat adopted from the shelter is a bargain. Many facilities have already provided castration or neutering, initial vaccinations and a microchip for permanent identification. Accommodation and rescue groups are also available to provide orientation and support as your new family member settles in.

6. Before the cat comes, you should stock up on supplies. Prepare to make your new cat feel right at home right away. Your cat needs a litter box, high quality cat litter such as Cat’s Pride, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a comfortable bed, a brush to clean, a toothbrush and nail clippers.

7. Cat-safe home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things behind. Food left on the kitchen counter teaches your new friend to jump on the counter for a potential lunch. Remove loose items that your cat could chew on, be careful not to let the kitten chew on power cables, and pick up random items such as paper clips (that kittens could swallow).

8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take a cat several weeks to relax in a new environment. It is a good idea to keep the newcomer isolated in a single room (with the litter box, food and water, toys and the cat carrier left out and open with litter inside) until the cat is used to the new environment. This is especially important if you have other pets. When you have adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.

9. Be sure to add your new pet to your family’s contingency plan. You likely have a plan to keep your family safe in the event of an emergency. Adjust this plan to suit your pets. Add the phone numbers of your veterinarian and the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic to your emergency call log, and make sure you have a multi-day supply of food and medication for your pet on hand.

10. If you are considering giving away a cat, make sure the recipient is actively participating in the adoption process. The surprise gift for cats is well meant, but leaves no time to get to know each other. Remember, adopting a cat is not like buying a home appliance or a piece of jewelry – this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.

To promote Adopt-A-Cat Month, the Humane Society of Imperial County is reducing all cat and kitten adoption fees by 50 percent for the entire month of June.

The adoption fee for adult cats over 1 year old is $ 30 and the adoption fee for kittens under 1 year old is $ 40. Of course, as always, all adoptions include our standard adoption benefits and all adoption protocols and procedures continue to apply.

To see all of the cats and kittens we have available for adoption, please visit https://www.adoptapet.com/shelter86128-cats.html

We are now also on Petfinder.com.

Thank you for making adoption your first choice and have a happy Adopt-A-Cat month!

Devon Apodaca is the executive director of the Humane Society of Imperial County.