5 Questions You Need To Ask When Adopting A Cat

And why they’re so important!

questions to ask when adopting a cat

Whether you’re adopting a cat for the first time or the seventh, you’re going to have a lot of questions. (And you should!)

The Dodo spoke with Tracie Peddy, founding member of Kitt Crusaders in Los Angeles, as well as Susan Courtney, a rescue partner with Kitt Crusaders, to find out the best questions to ask on your adoption journey.

According to Courtney, the five most important questions you should ask when adopting a cat are:

1. Are there any health issues or special needs I should be aware of?

2. What vet care has the cat had and what do I still need to do?

3. What is the cat’s backstory or history? Where did the cat come from?

4. Does the cat have any behavior issues or triggers?

5. Is the cat good with other pets, kids or being alone? (This question will change slightly depending on your living situation or family.)

Peddy broke down why each of these questions are so crucial to ask.

1. Are there any health issues or special needs I should be aware of?

The point of this question is all about ensuring that you have all the information you need before deciding to adopt a cat.

“A health issue [or] special need is not a deal-breaker, but it’s important to ask the question upfront so that you can make an informed decision,” Peddy told The Dodo.

That’s because if your potential cat does have a health condition or a special need, it’s going to involve a bit more of a commitment from you, which you have to be willing to take on in order to give your cat the best life possible.

“There might be additional time, treatment [or] financial responsibilities and you want to make sure you are prepared and equipped,” Peddy explained.

Of course, any cat can develop health issues later in life, so always make sure you’re financially prepared for emergencies!

2. What vet care has the cat had and what do I still need to do?

When you ask this, make sure the shelter or rescue (or wherever you’re adopting your cat from) goes into detail.

Because you’re going to want to know exactly which procedures he’s already had, and which ones he still needs.

“This is so important because there are vaccines and procedures that need to be done in order to ensure the health and safety of your new cat,” Peddy said.

According to Peddy, these are some of the most important procedures your cat will need:

  • Sterilization
  • Vaccination
  • Testing for FeLV (AKA feline leukemia)

3. What is the cat’s backstory or history? Where did the cat come from?

“It’s good to know this [information] so that you have an idea of the environment the cat was in before [he comes home] to you,” Peddy said.

Depending on where your cat is coming from, it could mean he needs a little extra care.

“If the kitten was born outside or to [a] feral or [an] outdoor cat, [you’ll] want to do a fecal panel test to make sure there are no parasites or infections,” Peddy explained.

Plus, knowing where he’s been and how he’s been living could help you learn a little bit about his personality, and anticipate how he might adjust to your home.

“[It’s] also good to know if the cat or kitten is used to other pets [or] people,” Peddy said.

4. Does the cat have behavior issues or triggers?

Learning about behavior issues in an adoptable cat will really help you determine whether or not he’s the right match for you or your family.

“You don’t want to bring a cat that gets agitated, and could scratch or bite when chased or handled, into a home with a toddler, for example,” Peddy explained. (On the other hand, a cat like that might be a perfect fit for a home with a calm adult who won’t chase him, and no kids.)

And if you don’t mind taking on a cat with a behavior issue, you’ll at least know what sort of extra care you’re going to need to make him happy and comfortable in his new home.

5. Is the cat good with other pets, kids or being alone?

When trying to find the right cat or kitten to adopt, you really want to think about what your lifestyle is like, and if the cat you’re considering will mesh with what you’ve already established.

“This will help determine whether the cat will be a good fit for your specific situation,” Peddy said.

For example, if you already have kids (or know you want them), but find out the cat you’re interested in doesn’t vibe with little ones, that will really affect your decision.

This question can also help you figure out if there are areas in your life you’re willing to adjust to fit your cat’s needs.

Like, for instance, if you aren’t home very often, but the cat you want doesn’t like to be alone, you could try to make some changes to your schedule that will allow you to spend more time at home. Or you could even consider adopting a pair of cats.

All of these questions are super helpful, because they’ll set you and your cat up to have a wonderful, loving life together.

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