Adopting a cat for International Cat Day? Here’s what you need to know

International Cat Day is on Saturday 8th August, so there’s no better time to adopt one of the many cats and kittens that are in need of rehoming!

There are almost 30,000 homeless cats in the UK at any one time, and many of them will find themselves in rescue centres across the country – whether it’s because they’re lost, were born on the streets or because their owner is no longer in a position to care for them. 

There are endless reasons that a cat might find itself in this situation, and rescue centres do a great job of giving these cats a safe, clean environment to eat, sleep and recuperate whilst finding every cat a new home to go to.

So, if you’re a new rescue cat parent or are considering rescuing a local cat or kitten, there are a few things you should know.

Kitten relaxing with paws in the air

Consider your finances

There are a number of costs associated with having a pet, from buying all the things you need to get them settled into their new home to ongoing costs throughout their life. When you get your cat, it’s possible that you need to take them to the vets as soon as possible to ensure they’re healthy, up to date with their injections or begin any ongoing treatment they might need if they have health issues. 

Veterinary and health costs can really add up throughout a cat’s life, particularly as they get older, so it’s important that you have the finances to keep your cat up to date with their vet appointments, prescriptions and any other additional treatment they might need. 

It’s worth getting your cat insured too, which can be a yearly or monthly payment to cover any future healthcare costs. There are a number of routine costs that you’ll need to consider, such as flea and worm treatments and injections, as well as unexpected illnesses or accidents that might occur so you should be prepared for anything to ensure you can manage and afford anything your cat needs.

Cat lounging by a window

Being realistic about your time

Rescue cats need plenty of time and attention to adjust to their new environment, so they can feel safe and secure in their new home. While cats are quite independent, every cat has different needs and requirements – you can’t bring a cat home and leave it to its own devices right away! You need to have the time to settle them in, as well as patience with your cat if they have any medical or behavioural issues. 

Once your cat has settled in, it’s important that you don’t leave them on their own for too long. If you have a job that requires long hours, it isn’t fair on your pet to leave them for more than a couple of hours so ensure there’s someone else at home to keep your cat company.

Cat relaxing on bed

Assess your home

Every home is different, and will be suitable for a certain type of cat. Is your house quiet or lively? A reserved and shy cat is likely to need to be in a house that is calm and relaxed, without young children or other pets, while playful cats might better suit a house full of activity and people to keep them entertained. 

You can chat this through with the staff at a rescue center so they can help pair you with the cat that’s best for you and your environment. You’ll need to ensure that your home is ready for your feline friend to move in to, and they should be kept indoors for around two weeks so they can get their bearings if they’re going to be an outdoor cat eventually.  Your cat should have the freedom to roam in their new space; consider setting up a room or corner of your home that your cat can make their own while they get used to their new environment. 

Remember, rescue cats are likely to have experienced some difficulties in their lives so it’s important to make them as comfortable as possible when you bring them home and practice patience with your new pet as they settle. Be calm and quiet around them and as they gain confidence over time, they’ll soon make your home their own! 

Rescuing a cat is a great thing for any animal lover to do, and if you’re celebrating International Cat Day with a new feline friend, we hope you have a meowsome day.

Neil’s top tips:

  • Be sure to register your new rescue cat with your nearest vet so you can get them booked in for a routine check up as soon as possible, to make sure any issues that haven’t been picked up on can be detected sooner rather than later.
  • A cat tracker app is a great way to monitor your cat if they like to wander outdoors. You can see where they are in real time, so you don’t need to worry about them getting lost in their new neighbourhood.
  • Kittens often find a new forever home very easily, so if an older cat would suit your home and family, it’s worth considering rescuing a ‘golden oldie’!