Adoptiong a cat
|There is a multitude of websites with good advice about adopting a cat or kittens. I am not trying to scare you, but I am going to touch on some subjects that other sites avoid, because they might seem cruel or callous.
Most of these sites start off talking about the life long comittment you are making, which is true. One thing I strongly encourage you to do is either get the new addition to your family from a reliable source that has tested the cats for feline lukemia or get it tested yourself. If the potential family member hasn't already been tested, that is one of the first things you should do. It is so painful to fall in love with a new cat, when it is destined to be a short relationship. Some people are better at dealing with that kind of adoption, but most of us aren't.
As much as the feral cat population presents opportunities to help the cat community, feral cats seldom make good pets. The ASPCA endorses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies.
A stray cat is different from a feral cat. Feral cats were raised wild, and seldom approach humans. Stray cats live or lived with humans, and will usually come up to people for food and affection. Stray cats may have owners, who let them out to roam around. Or they may have been abandoned or lost by their owners. If you do take in a stray, it would only be responsible adopting, if you attempt to find out if the cat currently has an owner. More amd more people get ID chips implanted in their pets, so a trip to the vet can be a time to see if the stray you found has one.
If you find kittens abandonded by their mother, that are younger than six weeks old, and you decide to save them. Keep in mind that they will need to be fed a special formula every two hours. Feeding them cows milk is a sure fire way to insure they won't make it. Taking them to a facility that is equipped to handle kittens that young is the responsible thing to do.
About 3.4 millions cats are taken to shelters each year. Of those, about 1.3 million of them are adopted, and all but about 100,000 of the other 2.1 million are euthanized. So by getting a cat from an accredited facility, you are more than doubling their chance of living and they will have already been tested for most major illnesses.
I am bringing up some of these negative facts, because about 35% of all cats adopted are strays, and another 29% are aquired through friends or aquaintences. In most of those cases, it is from an unwanted litter from a non-spayed female.
Approximately 21% of cats that ownership is relinquished, and the cats taken to a shelter, is because a new residence does not allow pets. Another 11% are given up because of allergies. Before adopting, if you think you might have an allergy, hang out at a friend's house who has one, or offer to cat sit, while they are away. Again, falling in love with a new cat, and having to give it up is no fun.
Are you thinking about not getting your cat cpayed or neutered? The average number of litters a fertile cat produces is one to two a year; the average number of kittens is four to six per litter. That is four to twelve homes you will need to find each year.