“We are participating in National Adopt-A-Cat Month,” said Melissa Hull, shelter manager for the Animal Shelter of Pell City Inc.
Hull said for the month of June, there is a discounted adoption fee for cats and kittens.
“Our feline adoptions are $100 this month,” she said.
Hull said the adoption fee covers a feline leukemia test with negative result, FVRCP vaccine, deworming, flea preventative, rabies vaccine or certificate for vaccine at no expense if animal is under age, spay or neuter and microchipping.
“We have many loving cats and kittens ready for a new family,” she said. “We have cats available for adoption at the PetSmarts in Trussville and Oxford and also at the shelter.”
Hull said the cats and kittens can be viewed at www.stclairanimalshelter.org.
She said leading national animal organizations offer a Top Ten Checklist for Adopting a Cat.
• If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Cats require exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other. Plus, they’ll provide more benefits to you. Cats’ purring has been shown to soothe humans as well as themselves—and they have the uncanny ability to just make you smile.
• Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Just as we each have our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the individual cat’s personality with your own.
• Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption. You’ll want to take any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Due to their immaturity, kittens in particular should accompany you to make the appointment—even before the exam itself—so staff can pet the cat and tell you that you’ve chosen the most beautiful one ever and the animal will have a positive association with the veterinarian’s office.
• Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before your new pet comes home. Visiting the shelter should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to make a proper introduction.
• Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Understand any pet is a responsibility and there’s a cost associated with that. A cat adopted from a shelter is a bargain; many facilities will have already provided spaying or neutering, initial vaccines and a microchip for permanent identification. Plus, shelters and rescue groups are there to offer guidance and assistance as you acclimate your new family member.
• Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Be prepared so your new cat can start feeling at home right away. Your cat will need a litter box, cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush and nail clippers.
• Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow).
• Go slowly when introducing your new cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded in a single room (with litter box, food and water, toys and the cat carrier left out and open with bedding inside) until the cat is used to the new surroundings; this is particularly important if you have other pets. If you’ve adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember—take it slow.
• Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. You probably have a plan in place for getting your family members to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list, and be sure to have a several-day supply of your pet’s food and medications on hand.
• If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process. Though well-meaning, the surprise kitty gift doesn’t allow for a “get-to-know-one-another” period. Remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry—this is a real living, breathing and emotional being.
For more information call the Animal Shelter of Pell City Inc. at 205-814-1567.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.