This is the purrfect way to seamlessly add a cat to your home.
Choosing to adopt an animal is a big decision for a household to make. Hannah Shaw, the animal advocate behind the mega-popular Kitten Lady pages on social media and partner with pet food brand Royal Canin, spoke to Fox News on when, how and what to do to make sure your adoption goes successful, and how your cat can live its best life (or nine).
When is the right time to adopt a cat or kitten?
It’s National Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month and the middle of kitten season -- which runs from spring through early fall -- making it an excellent time to head to the shelter if you’ve been planning on adding a furry member to the family.
“We’re seeing an uptick in cats and kittens entering shelters recently,” Shaw told Fox News. “And right now is a great time to adopt because you have more time to bond,” she added, referring to the many people working remotely these days."
How do you decide what a cat is right for your home and lifestyle?
“I say, ‘There is a cat for every home,’” Shaw said. But to find the cat that is right for your home, Shaw said you have to ask yourself what you are looking for in adopting an animal.
“If you want a really specific cat, or like, [have] a specific personality in mind, a kitten probably isn’t the right cat,” she said. “If you’re adopting an older cat, you can tell its personality -- if it’s more relaxed or gets along with other animals or children.”
If you are determined to get a kitten, however, Shaw’s “biggest piece of advice” is to consider adopting in pairs.
“One kitten is half a kitten, two kittens is a whole kitten,” she said. “They do best in pairs. They take their energy out on one another, they learn from one another. It’s actually less work to have a pair than it is to have a solo.”
What types of items or toys should you buy for your new cat or kitten?
“A big piece of advice for new adopters -- because people, when they’re preparing for a cat, obviously they need a litter box, they need nutritious food -- but they also need things like enrichment,” Shaw said, noting that often cat parents might not be providing enough experiences for their cat.
“With a dog, you’re taking a dog outside. They get to smell things, look at things. They get enrichment from that. But with an indoor cat, they only have the enrichment that you give from inside your home.” (Unless you are harness-training them to go outside, which Shaw said is possible.)
Shaw said she “highly recommends people get the toys, the cat tree, the perches.”
“You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Just look at your space. Maybe scoot your dresser closer to the window for a place for your cat to look at the window. There are easy DIY hacks for toys that I share on my YouTube," she said.
“People picture cats just lying on the couch,” Shaw added. “Whereas a dog, they think of as more active. But maybe the cat is just lying on the couch because they’re bored."
For more information on cat adoption, Hannah Shaw recently hosted a webinar series with Royal Canin to help pet parents navigate their newest additions.