There are many national and local rehoming centers across the country that have cats available for adoption. Good rehoming centers will often neuter, microchip, worm and vaccinate cats, and maybe even offer free insurance for the first few weeks of ownership too – making these aspects of the transition into cat ownership stress-free.
Offering an unwanted pet a forever home can be a highly rewarding experience. Getting an adult cat from a rehoming organisation means that you won’t necessarily ever find out about the cat’s background, but how well he or she settles will depend on you making the new home as cat-friendly as possible.
Be prepared to be asked a number of questions by good rehoming centers, such as about your lifestyle, family, home, garden and other pets. This allows the staff to match a cat’s needs with your lifestyle, ensuring both you and the pet are happy. Many rehoming centers will also want to visit your home to make sure it is suitable.
Some pedigree breed clubs do sometimes have cats that need new homes – if there is a particular breed of cat you would like to care for you should contact them and they will be able to advise.
You should always ask about the cat’s history if it is available. Ask about the cat’s previous owners – did he/she live in a family environment with children or with elderly owners? Did they live in a large house with a large garden or a flat? It is vital to find out as much as you can about the cat’s history as this will give you a better idea of how the cat will react to your home.
You should be given the opportunity to spend a little time with your new cat before you decide its right for you. If you have a busy household you will want a cat robust enough to deal with noise and lots of coming and going; if you live quietly on your own, you may want to take on a quieter and perhaps less confident cat. However, a
a very nervous cat may take a great deal of time to come around or it may never be very friendly, so choose carefully in line with what you want from your relationship with a cat.
A good rehoming center will be able to offer you advice on how to care for your particular cat and it is very important to take this information on board.
BRINGING YOUR NEW PET HOME
You will need to cat-proof your house before you bring your new pet home. Think about open washing machines, hot hobs, paper shredders, small holes and chimneys, cleaning items, wires, and plants/cut flowers. Keep the cat inside for a couple of weeks to get used to your home and to accept it as a new territory. It is also a good idea to use pheromone vapours when first bringing your cat home, as it will help him to relax into his new home more easily.
Do not try to introduce other pets immediately and ensure children do not swamp the cat with attention. If you have a dog or another cat, find out how to introduce them safely and take the time to do it carefully – understanding how this is done and making the effort could make the difference between cats getting on or not in the future.
To find out more details about how to introduce your cat safely visit www.icatcare.org
It is certainly worth setting up a comfortable place for your cat to feel safe and secure, preferably in a smaller room where it can begin to feel secure before opening up the whole house. Place food and water dishes down and a litter tray too (away from the food and water). A cardboard box turned on its side with a fleece blanket inside can provide a safe place to rest and hide.
Wherever you’re rehoming your cat from, ask if you can bring home something familiar with you, such bedding or toys. This will give your cat a familiar smell when everything else is new.
Don’t be worried if your new cat hides from you for the first few days.
It will take him/her some time to get used to its new home and feel comfortable, especially if it is a known nervous animal. Never force your pet to come out from its hiding place but do be sure to keep an eye on him/her and make sure it is eating and drinking. Try sitting on the floor and allow your new pet to come to you when he/she is ready.
FOOD AND WATER
Feed your cat the same food as it has been used to – a sudden change in diet can cause stomach upsets. If you wish to change your pet’s food this should be done gradually by mixing in a little bit into its current food over the course of a week. Your cat should have access to fresh, clean water at all times.
Always check your cat’s health before you rehome him/her. A cat shouldn’t be weak or sneezing, it shouldn’t be showing signs of diarrhoea or straining to go to the toilet, any hair loss, fleas, or discharge (from eyes, ears or nose).
Be sure your new pet is up-to-date with vaccinations. Cats need vaccinations again feline enteritis, cat ‘flu’ and feline leukemia and regular boosters will be required – ask your vet for advice.
You cat should also be registered with your vet as soon as possible and insured against unexpected veterinary costs.
Food and food bow
Basket and bedding
Litter tray, litter, and scoop
Brush and/or comb
Collar and tag
Book on cat care
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 means all pet owners have a legal duty of care to their pets. Anyone who is cruel to an animal or is found not to be providing the five animal welfare needs, as listed below, can be fined and sent to prison.
The Five Animal Welfare needs:
1. Environment: Pets should be given the correct housing according to its size, this includes shelter, space to exercise and a secure, comfortable place to rest.
2. Diet: Pets should be offered the correct type and volume of food to cover all their nutritional needs alongside access to clean, fresh water.
3. Behaviour: Behaviour: All pets should be allowed to exhibit normal behaviour patterns and should be provided with the facilities to do so.
4. Company: Some animals require the company of their own kind, whilst others should be kept on their own.
5. Health: All animals should be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease, and given veterinary treatment if they become sick or injured.
Credit to The Pet Charity www.thepetcharity.org.uk
Registered Charity No: 1052488