In recent years, cats have surpassed dogs in popularity here in the U.S. This could be the ideal time to add a cat to your family, because June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.
We visited the Pennsylvania SPCA for some pointers.
First, know that shelters everywhere are eager to adopt out cats this time of year because it's breeding season. Most shelters will be full to capacity. So your choice will be at maximum.
Chances are, the staff at your neighborhood shelter will be eager to help you decide which animal is best for your home.
Kittens are almost irresistibly cute. But they're also a bundle of energy, and that might not work for some families. Older cats tend to be more relaxed.
Cats are relatively low-maintenance animals. They innately understand that they should use a litter box, so as long as you keep it freshened, chances are your little friend will be content.
Cats do need a place to scratch, so a post or scratching box is important. Just add food, water and love when you're home.
Cats don't need to be walked, and many prefer to stay indoors, especially if you raise them that way.
Toys are important for when they're in the mood to play. Also note that, especially in homes where people are out for long periods, having two cats will provide round-the-clock company, and contentment.
The Pennsylvania SPCA says two cats can be as easy as one. There are expenses associated with owning any pet, and a counselor at the shelter near you will help you understand those.
Many shelters help hold down costs by providing vaccination clinics, other veterinary services, etc. If you're considering adopting a cat, or any pet, you should try to being the whole family to the shelter. That way, everyone can participate in the process and see how well a candidate animal fits.
As much as shelters want to place animals, they also want families to make the right choice. If you're not sure on a given visit, you might be encouraged to wait and visit again soon.
The Pennsylvania SPCA is at 350 E. Erie Avenue in Hunting Park, with convenient adoption hours and an on-site veterinary clinic.
You need not be a Pennsylvania residents to adopt from there. You may phone them at 215-426-6300 or visit online at Pennsylvania SPCA, where you can "meet" some of the animals available to adopt.
If you live elsewhere, contact a shelter near you, or ask your neighborhood veterinarian which one is nearby.