June is “Adopt a Cat Month” but any time is a good time to adopt a cat and save a life.
Cat adoption is when you get a cat, or kitten, from an animal shelter. This is different than when you buy one from a pet store or accept a “free to good home” cat. Pet adoption saves lives.
To adopt a cat from an animal shelter (SPCA, Humane Society, etc.) first you should be sure you can have a cat where you live. If you own your own home this is not an issue but if you rent you will need your landlord’s permission. If you already have pet cats you should be aware that some cities have a limit to how many cats you can have so you need to be sure you are within that limit.
You need to be old enough to adopt a cat, in most areas this is 18, or you can have an adult come with you and they will adopt the cat. Note that people are not allowed to adopt cats as gifts for people unless the person receiving the cat is present.
If you have a cat carrier you should bring it with you to transport the cat back home, even a secure box is better than having the cat loose in the car.
Arrive at the shelter early in the day, this will allow lots of time to pick the cat you want and to complete the adoption process. Shelters are most busy on Saturdays so that may be the worst day to go.
When you arrive let them know you want to adopt a cat, have some idea in mind of what you want (age, gender, any special considerations such as it must be good with dogs, or it must be declawed). This will allow them to show you cats that match what you want best.
Most shelters have signs on the cat’s kennels, and ask that when you pick a cat that you bring that sign with you to the front desk to complete the adoption process. The adoption process will involve a questionnaire, and approval process (they want to get proof your landlord allows pets and so forth).
If approved for adoption they may give you some cat care tips and some shelters give bags of gifts or coupons for the new cat. They give you the cat’s health certificate and copy of the adoption papers. You pay their fee. Note that animal shelters are non-profit in most cases their adoption fee is lower than if you got a free cat and took it to the vet for vaccinations, and so forth, which will have already been done to the shelter cat.
Note that it can take 2 weeks for a new cat to adapt to a home, keep it in a small room for a while to allow it to calm down and relax.