Adopting a cat is a wonderful decision. With an estimated number of 50,000 feral cats or strays that have been abandoned currently living on the streets of Singapore, there are always plenty of cats that are in need of a loving home.
Welcoming a cat into your life can be a rewarding experience, but it is also important to understand the responsibilities of pet ownership. It is best to be well-prepared so that both you and your new feline friend can have a happy and healthy life together.
Here are some important things you should know before adopting a cat:
Are you ready to have a cat?
Consider this an initial checklist.
Are you ready for a long-term commitment? The decision to adopt a cat cannot be made on a whim. They can live for up to 20 years and would require long-term care. Do consider them if you’re planning any future moves as well as the associated costs.
Are you prepared to develop an emotional connection? Pets often become beloved family members. Make space in your heart for the joys and responsibilities that come with it.
Can you give your cat enough time and attention? Cats need daily interaction and affection. Dedicate some time to play with them and care for their well-being.
Are any of your family members allergic to cats? Check beforehand if anyone living in your household has a cat allergy. Some people may not realize it until they are exposed to them.
Who will take care of them when you travel? Ideally, you can hire a pet or house sitter who can take care of your cats in your home but a boarding hotel also works if your cat is up for it. Either way, you have to vet them carefully to make sure that they are professional and equipped to care for your cat.
Are you financially responsible? Cats require basic necessities like food, litter, vaccinations, regular checkups with the vet among other expenses. Make sure that you can afford to provide for your cat’s needs.
Preparing your home
Gather essential good quality supplies before bringing your cat home and provide enough space, including vertical ones like cat trees and shelves, so that your cat can move around comfortably. Your cat’s safety comes first so be sure to cat-proof your home as well.
Click on the numbers in the diagram for more information.
Choosing the right cat for you
All cats have different personalities. Much like choosing a housemate or even a life partner, you’ll have to find one that you ultimately vibe with.
Older cats may already have established behaviours and would require time and patience to learn new things. However, they usually have a more stable temperament and require less attention than kittens.
While kittens generally need more care and attention, they are easier to train and are more adaptable to new environments. They’re usually adopted in pairs so that they can play, fight, snuggle and groom each other. This important socialization between kittens helps them to grow into confident adult cats and prevent unwanted attention-seeking behaviours such as biting or excessive meowing.
Either way, it is best to arrange a few sessions with the cat you want to adopt to see if you’re a good match. The same goes with any existing pets you may have. You can’t simply throw them together in the same house and hope they get along. Proper introductions need to be made and it’s important to do your research on how to carefully integrate your new cat into your home.
Lastly, do consider adopting from a shelter or rescue organization, like Project LUNI, which benefits not only you as an individual adopter but also positively contributes to the welfare of animals and our community as a whole. By providing a forever home for one (or two!) of the many homeless cats in Singapore, you’ll help to create more space within these organizations and allow them to rescue even more cats as well.
This content is produced in partnership with Project LUNI