Buying a cat from a shelter is a great idea because there are millions of wonderful kittens and adult cats waiting for someone to adopt them. It just takes a little extra sleuthing to be sure you are getting the right feline friend for your home.
When you bring a cat home from a shelter you can pat yourself on the back because will be giving a cat or kitten in need a much needed chance to have a happy home. In many cases you will literally be saving their lives.
These days you may not even have to visit the shelter to adopt because they are being very proactive about getting kitties out to where the people are. Such outreach programs can be found at adoption centers in pet superstores, at fares and festivals and even on busy street corners and in office buildings.
Shelter workers will question the person surrendering the kitty for as much information about it as they can get but that’s not always a lot. So you’ll have to rely on your and their observations of the animal in question to decide if this cat will make a good friend for you in your home.
Start by getting a feel for the temperament of the animal. Is it outgoing or does it sit in the back of the room and hope no one notices it. If it’s outgoing does it play well with the other animals there or does it bully and dominate the other cats. Neither situation is “Wrong” but it will tell you a bit about how this cat will behave in your home.
Well socialized kittens can play easily in nearly any surroundings so a kitten who is awake but hiding in a corner or who is obviously frightened of you should send off warning bells.
Adult cats are more reserved so you’ll have to give them a bit more leeway because even the nicest, most friendly cat in the world can be miserable and disoriented in the cages of a shelter. But in general an adult cat who is used to people will be friendly and inquisitive towards you.
Be sure to check for signs of good health, then ask for all the information the shelter staff have on the animals you are interested in. They will have a file on each cat or kitten containing all they found out from the person who surrendered the cat as well as vet results and their own observations.