Ready, Set, Go — Adopt a Cat!


Filed under Friends & Family

This summer bring home a cat from your local shelter and add a lovable companion to your family. Although cats are the most common household pets in the United States, the unfortunate reality is, millions of cats around the country are in desperate need of permanent homes. Experts say three out of four cats that enter a shelter do not come out alive. Adopting a pet is, of course, not something to take lightly and you should always first consider the financial costs and lifestyle impact before acting on impulse.

When the time is right, your local shelter is an excellent place to adopt from because volunteers often know the cats’ personalities best and can help you select your perfect match. “Who knows? You might even adopt America’s next big star!” said Rose Ordile, handler and companion of 9Lives icon Morris the Cat, himself a former shelter cat with humble beginnings who went on to become a star of the silver screen and two-time presidential candidate!

Mission from Morris the Cat

And speaking of Morris the Cat, adopting is easier than ever thanks to 9Lives’ Morris’ Million Cat Rescue (MMCR) campaign. Kicking off its second tour, the goal of the MMCR is to rescue one million of his fellow felines throughout the U.S. “We are committed to saving lives and educating the public on responsible cat care,” said Ryan Thomas, 9Lives brand manager. “Our “Welcome Home Kits” provide proud new owners with 9Lives cat food samples and other valuable tips and savings.”

A state-of-the-art MMCR bus and two high-tech satellite vans will be barnstorming the country and stopping at shelters, retailers, and special events to generate awareness for adoption. Since last September, Morris the Cat and his friends have rescued over 250,000 cats nationwide. For more information on MMCR stops, visit

Cat Care 101

Although cats do not require extensive care compared to other pets, there are some basic tips and knowledge that every new owner should know before adopting. Providing the best care for your new beloved pet can result in years of gratifying companionship for your entire family.

Cats have basic needs too  many of which are very similar to those of humans, such as proper health care, nutrition, cleanliness, safety, and of course, having fun!

Health care  Just like humans, cats should have annual examinations and vaccinations. Even a minor illness or

infection can turn serious in a cat, so be sure to seek immediate medical attention if your cat appears sick or becomes injured. Most responsible shelters will send your newly adopted cat home with proper vaccinations or information on what and when these should be scheduled.

Additionally, it is very important to get your kitty spayed or neutered to not only reduce unwanted litters, but to prevent your pet from certain illnesses. “Spaying or neutering can be done at a nominal cost and makes for longer, healthier lives for cats and companions,” said David Robinson, board president, of the Hinsdale Humane Society in Hinsdale, Illinois (also, home of Morris the Cat).

Food  Cats require a nutritious diet that is also age appropriate a fact often neglected or unknown to most pet owners. Experts recommend adult cats should be fed once or twice daily, while kittens need three to four smaller meals throughout the day. Cats continue to grow until they are 3-years old. 9Lives Growing Years for cats 0 to 3 years old is available in stores this August. It provides kittens and young cats with the proper nutrition they need to grow into healthy adult cats. Regardless of age, all cats just like people, need plenty of fresh water.

Safety  Cats are extremely curious by nature and love to seek and explore new places, especially outdoors. However, most experts recommend a safe indoor environment, in order to avoid disease, fights with other cats and animals, as well as car accidents that may result in serious injury or death. Cats that grow up indoors can be very happy as long as they have plenty of toys and tools for exercise, such as a tower or scratching post.

Cleanliness  Cats constantly keep a tidy coat and rarely require bathing. However, they do need frequent brushing to keep their coats from matting and reduce shedding. They will occasionally get caught in something sticky or their fur can become oily, making a bath necessary. A mild cat shampoo in warm water will do the trick. Litter boxes must also be meticulously clean and should be scooped of waste daily, and cleaned and refilled with fresh litter weekly  some new litter boxes even clean themselves. If a cat doesn’t use her regularly maintained box appropriately, something is wrong and you should consider speaking with a veterinarian.

Moving In!

Bringing a cat into a new environment can be a bit daunting, at first. Most cats do not like traveling, so anticipate that your newly adopted cat is likely to tense or anxious when you first take him or her home from the shelter. Don’t be alarmed or discouraged. Slowly adjust your cat to her new surroundings by putting her in a small, quiet room. This enables the cat to gradually adjust to the strange new smells and slowly find her favorite hiding spots. As your cat grows more comfortable, gradually allow her to begin exploring beyond her safe zone. Just remember to be patient and understanding as your cat adjusts to a new way of life. Once your cat realizes that this loving environment is her new home, it will seem like she has been part of your family for years.

Although rules are important, permitting playtime is also crucial in the development of your cat. “Cats need play for physical and mental benefits,” said Ordile. “It’s best if you play along with them  it helps to strengthen the bond between owner and cat.” Rules and training can also be learned through play. With a little patience and effort, cats can be taught not to scratch upholstery or jump up on furniture and countertops. “Offer your cat a scratching post and show her that this is the appropriate place to scratch by moving her paws on it,” said Ordile. “If this doesn’t work, trying covering your furniture with plastic or aluminum foil for a period. Your cat will not like the feeling and should ultimately be deterred from scratching.” Always remember, your cat is a cat. You might not always understand or even like some of their traits or behaviors. It is your job as a responsible owner to train as best as you can and accommodate.

Debunking the Myths?

There are many misconceptions regarding cat care, so know the facts from fiction to ensure the long-term well being of your cat. For example, a common fallacy is that cats do not require attention or they prefer to be alone and are aloof. Regardless of their independent natures, cats need attention, love and affection, just like human beings, and do develop deep lasting bonds with their owners.

Another mistaken belief is that cats “always land on their feet.” True, cats are very agile but they can also be seriously injured or killed from a fall. Always make sure that your cat cannot jump or fall from a window or balcony, especially as they are easily tempted by outdoor distractions, such as a birds flying.

Whether you are deciding to bring home a new kitty or an older cat from a shelter, remembering these tips can ensure that your new cat will be happy, safe and healthy in her new home. “Treat your call well and, and he will be your friend and companion for life,” adds Ordile.

Article courtesy of ARAcontent

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