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Adopting a cat can be both exciting and daunting. Here's how to choose the right cat for you and prepare for your new companion's arrival.

Adopting a cat with Cats Protection

We think adopting a cat is a great option for everyone looking to add a new feline friend to their home! You’ll also be giving a loving home to cat who doesn’t have one.

Want to adopt with Cats Protection? Find out how our quick and easy three-step adoption process works in our video:

Choosing a cat

Choosing the right cat for you is important, with your new companion's character as unique as your own.

A kitten is likely to require more energy and attention than an older cat, and long-haired cats need more grooming than short-haired felines. Talk to a Cat Care Assistant or volunteer on your visit to a Cats Protection centre to determine which cat might be a good fit to your household.

Find out more about choosing the right cat for your family.

What are the benefits of adopting a cat?

If you choose to adopt a cat instead of buying one, you’ll be providing a new home for a cat in need. There are loads of great things about adopting a cat, including:

  • you’ll be helping a cat down on their luck in need of a good home
  • if you adopt from Cats Protection, your cat will be fully vaccinated, neutered and microchipped
  • you’ll be matched as best as possible with your new companion. A cat that has lived in a home previously usually comes with more information about their behaviour than a kitten bought from a breeder
  • if you adopt from us, we also offer free aftercare to help your new pet settle in
  • helping by not adding to the cat population and fuelling breeding

You can find out more about adopting a cat from Cats Protection in our guide.

What does my cat need?

It’s important to be prepared before bringing your new friend home to make sure they have everything they need. This will help them to settle in much better and mean no last-minute dash to the shops for you!

Make sure you have:

  • food and water bowls, one of each plus one of each spare. Make sure you don’t put your cat’s food and water bowls next to each other as they prefer them to be separate
  • the right food for your cat. If you adopt your cat from Cats Protection, our friendly care assistants will give you guidance on what you should be feeding your cat. You can find out more about feeding in our guide
  • a bed (or two, or three!). Some cats prefer this to be up high, others might like it in a quiet enclosed place like a wardrobe. Offer your cat a few comfy places to nap and see what they prefer
  • two litter trays, placed away from your cat’s food, water and bed
  • a good scratching post or cat tree to save your sofas and carpets from sharp claws
  • lots of fun toys to keep your cat entertained, especially as they’ll need to stay indoors for a few weeks to get used to your home
  • a good cat carrier for taking them home and vet visits
  • an empty household for the first few days as the cat settles in. Only have the key household members around initially and avoid having lots of visitors over to see your new addition, give them time and space to adjust to their new environment

You can shop cat essentials and accessories online in our vet-approved cat care collection. 

Indoor cats and outdoor cats

Ideally all cats would be allowed access to the outdoors to express their natural behaviour. However, cats are all individuals and while some might like to embrace the great outdoors, others will be more content curled up somewhere warm. If you've got an indoor cat, you'll need to make sure you keep them occupied with toys and activities to keep them mentally stimulated.

While outdoor cats can benefit from a varied environment and enough exercise to keep them healthy, there are still risks. They are more at risk of road traffic accidents, getting lost or fighting with other cats.

Whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, they can still pick up parasites such as fleas, ticks and worms, so regular checks and vaccinations are necessary to keep diseases at bay. You'll also need to make sure that your cat is microchipped to make sure they can be found if they go missing.

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