10 Things to Know about Cat Adoption (+ How to Prep your Home!)

Hi, I’m Erica, and I’m a cat lady. Not a crazy cat lady…cos I’m totally sane about it. 😉 But anyone who knows me knows I’m a cat lady through and through. ICYMI, J and I are high on cat adoption right about now; we adopted a rescue kitten the other week (meet Purrcy). He’s now a grand 12ish weeks old, and he’s a SPITFIRE. In other, more somber news, our oldest fur baby, Moose, has been sick for awhile now. A few weeks ago, his behavior did a 180, and I had a gut instinct to take him to the vet. Turns out, he had a fever of 106. Our vet (whom we lovelovelove) ran tests and exams, but found nothing conclusive, so she put him on an antibiotic and called it a day. Two weeks later…the fever was back, as was clear physical pain. We repeated the process, thinking the antibiotic needed a few more days to work (since he was doing obviously better on the antibiotic). But, same thing happened – it worked great, all seemed fine + well, but antibiotic ran its course and it’s back to fever + pain. On the day I’m writing this, I have to take him out to a specialist for a second opinion + different testing to try and get to the bottom of this. TBH…I’m an emotional wreck. If this is any indication at all as to how I’ll be towards any future children of ours, Lord help us all. If I’m this weepy over a sick fur baby, I don’t know how I’ll function through a common cold. HA.

Anyhoo, my focus, time, + resources have pretty much all gone to Moose last week. (Big #blessing of having flexible work hours, and I have y’all to thank for that!). SO, in the spirit of sending all the good vibes ever + prayers galore to Moose, I’m partnering with my friends at Allstate to share something new around these rosy parts. Today, we’re talkin’ pet adoption, pets at home, and integrating multiple pets with each other. (Note: specific focus here is cats, just cos that’s my particular area of self-proclaimed expertise. 😉 )

10 Things to Know about Cat Adoption (+ How to Prep your Home!)

Adopt (don’t shop)

First thing’s first: I support adoption and rescue shelters. While I get it if you’ve been after a specific breed your entire life and just HAVE to have a full-bred Bichon Frise as your puppy pal, there are just SO many amazing furry BFFs that go unloved or unwanted for far too long, to the point of euthanization in some states.

That makes me sick.

Allstate has some great tips on going through a local shelter (which is literally saving a life, might I add). Biggies here:

  1. Ask Q’s. It’s so insanely important to know as much as possible about an animal before taking it home. *Especially* if you’ve got kids (or want ’em), other pets, move often, etc, it’s just good to know what sortsa animals work best in certain situations, spaces, the whole nine yards (cos yards are important, especially for pets 😉 ).
  2. Don’t be afraid to “shop around,” even through adoption. Meaning, come back to the pet store/rescue shelter multiple times before signing on the dotted line! All three of our cats are rescues, and we got all three through rescue shelters that work directly with pet stores to circulate rescues in the hopes of finding forever homes. (Fun fact: Moose + Purrcy were from the same rescue, just a few years apart!). Don’t feel obligated to adopt the first furball you spot; come back a few days in a row, if possible, to play with the cat, hold it, and get as good a feeler as possible for how it’ll be with you (+ with other animals, if applicable).
  3. Get pet insurance. Seriously tho, it could be worth it. I say “could,” cos oftentimes, I’ve heard that it’s not necessarily put to good use for what you pay monthly. BUT. ICYMI, on Instastories recently, I shared about some of the health problems our poor Moose is battling. It’s been seemingly all uphill, stressful AND expensive (not to mention, the *worst* seeing your fur baby in pain – ugh). We’ve been hitting ourselves over the head that we don’t have pet insurance on him, especially since we had just gotten over the urinary tract emergency surgery he had to have about a year ago.

Quick story:

One of my best friend’s on the planet, Molly, has the biggest heart of anyone I know; she especially loveloveloves talking cat adoption of special needs cat. She adopted a 10-year-old disabled cat, Otitis, who is now her certified therapy cat and has, quite literally + quite frankly, changed her life. Otitis “the seal pup” has his ears surgically removed after his original owners didn’t want to fund surgery to remove cysts that had developed for too long in his ears. The amazing rescue that Molly adopted him from (the Feline Rescue Association of Baltimore, for anyone in the area!), takes in pets like this and funds the surgeries for them, so they were able to cover his surgery and find him a forever home. Enter, Molly. I swear this girl never backs away from an opportunity to make somebody’s life better. She is the ultimate cat lady, so much so that the Instagram she created to spread the word + fun in Otitis has over 35,000 followers; she’s also been featured in People Magazine, the Dodo, + she’s got a children’s book on the way (which I’ve read already and OH MY GOD IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD y’all need it, whether or not you have kids, it’s just that baller). Point being, adoption can be the most amazing opportunity, for both the animal you’re rescuing, + you!

*Steps off soap box*

So yeah, adopt. Don’t shop.

 10 Things to Know about Cat Adoption (+ How to Prep your Home!)

Our rescues in order L to R of adoption: Pumpkin (adopted when she was 16 weeks), Moose (adopted when he was around 4 years old), Purrcy (adopted at 10 weeks old)

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Prepping the House for Home

  • Get a vet! Know exactly where you’ll be going, have their number handy, and get any first appointments set up ASAP. Also, know the shots schedule, especially if you’re adopting a little guy who doesn’t have ’em all yet! Purrcy can’t be neutered for a few more weeks since he was a baby when we adopted him. He also only had one shot out of three that requires them in near-exact time intervals. Know the who, what, + when of the vet!
  • Figure out what pet-tasks you’ve gotta do on the daily – which might change depending on the season, neighborhood, etc. Do ya need a litter box? Where can it go to be discreet? Where will meals happen? Allstate has more great tips here for really prepping your home for a new furry friend. One I never thought of that they covered (bless them): Be careful with plants! Apparently azaleas can be poisonous to pets??? I’m no green thumb, but azaleas are a pretty common flower! Especially if your pet goes outside at all – even if it’s like our cats, just on a leash in the backyard – know your surroundings well enough to avoid any emergency trips to the vet.
  • Prep depending on your new pet’s age. When we adopted Moose, he was 4-5ish (they didn’t know exact age, since he was a rescue). Moose was already fullgrown + set in his personality, so he wasn’t as much as a liability to houseplants or blinds. Purrcy on the other hand…what a wild man. He’s got a knack for knocking everything OFF of where it’s supposed to be, whether that’s pens from desks or vases from windowsills. I’m also waiting for the day that blinds come crashing down, since he loveloveLOVES the hanging tassel on those. And Lord help us all come Christmas…Purrcy might just be the cat to make friends with the angel on top. 😉 Kittens are more likely to play like cray, knock things over, push things around, and chew on anything + everything. SO, plan accordingly! Putting your grandmother’s crystal bowl at an edge the kitten can access is asking for disaster. Leaving your designer bag out on the floor makes for one hella expensive chew toy (whoops).
  • Know the rules! If you’re in an apartment, you’ll wanna go through this checklist stat before deciding on an adoption. Some apartment/condo complexes have added fees of hundreds of bucks if you’re living with a pet. Ain’t nobody got time (or $$$) for that. Another thing to note if you’re taking that plunge: Fees for anything damaged. *Especially* if your furniture or amenities aren’t your own!
  • Insure accordingly. You might wanna check your homeowner’s insurance (if you’re a homeowner) to see if anything is covered by personal property or liability coverage. Nothing’s worse than coming home to a totally wrecked home. Except maybe coming home to a wrecked home and a sick pet from EATING something bad while wrecking said home. OY.

Two’s a family, Three’s a family

We had two cats for what felt like the longest time – and it felt like our little family. (It WAS our little family!). We weren’t necessarily planning to get a third cat. Then, y’all heard about Purrcy. Actually y’all FREAKED OUT about Purrcy on Instastories when we were in-store looking at rescue kittens – ha! And now, we’re a family with three cats.  A crazy cat family.

I know some folks get up in arms about calling their pets their “babies,” or really just loveloveloving their animals. But really, at the end of the day, I think it’s really friggin’ awesome to come across little furry companions who need a home + some lovin’. Life just has SO MANY ups + downs. Whether you’ve got cats or dogs that can make ya laugh instantly with their wild antics (helping ya forget the day’s anxieties), or you’ve got the biggest snuggler who knows exactly when ya want a hug (and tries its darnedest to offer comfort), pets rock.

Have you ever adopted a pet?

Are you a dog person or cat person? If you’re a dog person we can’t be friends. HA JK. But really tho. Cats rule, dogs drool (literally). Cats4Life. Vive la cat! OK I’m done. 😉

ALSO, be sure to check out the Allstate blog for more helpful tips if you’re on the market! It’s SUCH a full resource, and super handy to keep bookmarked, whether you’ve got a pet question or something else entirely (like insurance, cos that’s important).

If you’ve got any other Q’s on cat adoption (or pet adoption in general), drop ’em in a comment below!

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*This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. As always, all thoughts and opinions presented are entirely my own. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Coming Up Roses!