How to Prepare to Adopt a Cat

Adopting a cat will provide you with a loving, loyal companion.

Adopting a cat will provide you with a loving, loyal companion.

When you adopt a cat, you will bring a loyal, loving pet into your home that will bring you years of fulfilling companionship. Carefully selecting your new kitty and preparing in advance to meet her needs will ensure a happy transition to many years of furry friendship.

Items you will need

  • Cat food
  • Bedding
  • Bowls
  • Cat toys
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Litter box
  • Litter

Evaluate your situation to make sure you are ready to adopt a cat. Cats are relatively easy pets to own, but you must be prepared for the costs of your new kitty's care. Your will need to budget for your pet's food, veterinarian care and other necessities, such as grooming needs and pet-sitting services. If you rent, you must make sure that your landlord will allow cats. Most importantly, you should be ready to commit to owning a cat, and happy about the new addition to your life.

Purchase the supplies your new pet will need when she arrives. Providing a comfortable cat bed or blanket and toys will make her feel at home. Quality cat food served in her own bowls will make mealtimes pleasant for her. A soft-bristled brush made for feline fur will help you to keep her coat looking its best. And don't forget a litter box and litter.

Select a veterinarian to care for your kitty's health needs. Even if you adopt a cat that has already been spayed or neutered and vaccinated, it is important to have her evaluated by your own veterinarian to ward off future health problems. You will also need to have a trusted veterinarian available if your pet ever gets sick, and for her yearly routine visit and vaccinations. You can find a veterinarian before you adopt your new feline by calling several offices in your area to choose the one that best fits your needs and location. Friends and neighbors with cats may be able to recommend a good vet in your area. You may even want to set up an appointment ahead of time so you can take your pet for her first examination once she settles into her new home.

Make sure other pets are ready for the addition of a feline to the household. If you have another pet dog or cat, making sure that he will get along with your new cat before you bring her home will help to make the transition easy. Watch how your current pet reacts to neighborhood cats, or ask a cat-owning friend or family member to help you figure out how your cat or dog will react to a new cat.

Decide if a kitten or adult cat is best for you. Energetic kittens can be demanding, needing lots of playtime, which may be challenging for people with active lifestyles or busy work schedules that keep them away from home for long periods. On the other hand, adult cats are often calmer and better able to entertain themselves.

Choose where you will go to adopt your new kitty. Animal shelters and cat rescues throughout the United States and around the world are full of wonderful felines in need of loving homes. Stop by your local animal shelter or contact a rescue group near you to check out available kitties, make a connection, and find the perfect cat for you.


  • Make a checklist of all the items you want to have for your new pet before you adopt her. Check them off as you make your purchases.
  • Adopt your new pet during a holiday or weekend when you have extra time to spend with her as she adjusts to her new life.

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn has been writing as a correspondent and reporter since 1991. She has written for numerous newspapers and currently writes as a correspondent for Gannett. Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts with a focus on English from Ohio University, where she also studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

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