Consider a feline friend during Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month

June 11, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 11 a.m. June 11, 2011

Cats rank as the No. 1 companion animal in the United States.

Though more than 80 million felines live in households across the country, many more remain still in shelters, waiting for a permanent home.

In June, Regional Animal Services of King County is joining the American Humane Association, Petfinder.com, and other animal organizations in the Puget Sound region and throughout the United States to promote Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month.

“Cats make great companions, and this is a perfect time to come find a new furry friend,” Regional Animal Services Manager Ken Nakatsu said in a news release. “We’re in the middle of kitten season, when shelters like ours are teeming with wonderful, lovable, adoptable felines. Through Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month, we hope to get more of these great pets into great homes.”

Pets adopted from the agency have been spayed or neutered, have received their initial vaccinations — including a rabies vaccination — and have had a health exam. Find available pets on the agency’s website or at the shelter, 21615 64th Ave. S., Kent.

Before choosing a cat companion, the American Humane Association offers a Top 10 checklist:

  1. If you’re thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two. Cats need social interaction, and two cats can provide this to each other when you’re not home.
  2. Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. Regional Animal Services of King County has many staffers and volunteers who can assist you in finding the right companion.
  3. Choose a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit soon after the adoption. Although all pets adopted from Regional Animal Services of King County receive a health exam, it’s a good idea to build a relationship between your pet and your personal vet early.
  4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home. Make visiting the shelter a family affair.
  5. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat. Along with food, litter, a license and other necessities, cats also require regular vet checkups to stay healthy.
  6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Among the items you’ll need are food, bowls for food and water, cat litter, a litter box, a scratching post and stimulating toys.
  7. Cat-proof your home. Cats are amazing jumpers, and will climb on countertops looking for a tasty morsel. Also, put away any items that might be tempting for a cat to chew on.
  8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take some time for a cat to relax and become familiar with its new environment.
  9. Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. Add your vet’s number and the number of the nearest 24-hour animal hospital to your emergency phone list.
  10. Never surprise anyone with a pet as a gift. Make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process.
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