There is this myth that you cannot or should not adopt an adult cat because it will run away and won’t get attached to you or your home. The latter is decidedly untrue and to combat the former is really quite simple, if you follow a few rules.
The wonderful thing about adopting an adult cat (especially one that is abandoned), is that it is likely to be house trained, litter trained and human friendly. It is also most likely to be spayed or neutered, which saves you the trouble and expense of doing the surgeries. If not neutered, you must ensure it is done before bringing the pet home because an unsterilized cat is much more likely to wander and get lost.
Most of all, it is the deep fulfilment you get from knowing you have performed a marvellous act of kindness: adult cats who have settled into a home undergo terrible insecurity and disorientation when they lose this home and family. The good news is that with a little patience, love and common sense, you can not only keep them safely in the new home, but win them over and enjoy their love and companionship greatly.
All you have to do is remember that when you bring an adult cat home, you need to confine him to one room initially. Once accustomed to this room, and to you, allow him to explore the rest of the house, keeping doors and windows closed. Once you sense your cat is comfortable and not restless or wanting to run away, you can let him out for brief periods under your careful supervision and soon your cat will have accepted his new territory.
Puddy, a 14-year-old cat had to be given up by her human as she was going into an old age home that did not take in pets. She was adopted by Susan, a wonderful expat with two other rescued animals. Initially, Puddy was quite upset and hid under the bed, coming out only to eat or use the litter box. But as the days passed, she became firm friends with her humans and the other pets. Early this month, Puddy flew back with them to the US - we hear they all reached safe and sound.
(The author is founder of the Cattitude Trust. For further guidance on adopting or settling in your new adult cat, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
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