So You Want To Adopt?


Please Think
Before You Leap

There are various situations to consider before adopting a life long friend. It can happen to the best of us. You see a cute, tiger-striped kitten with white paws and green eyes, just begging for attention. Or maybe it's a gorgeous Labrador mix whose tail seems to be wagging just for you. You take one look, and the next thing you know, you're walking down the pet food aisle at the supermarket.

If you're like most of us, falling in love with a pet is easy. And no wonder! Sharing your home with a four-legged friend can be one of life's greatest joys. Dogs, cats, and other pets give us unconditional loyalty and acceptance, provide constant companionship, and even help relieve stress after a hard day's work.

Adopting a pet, though, is a big decision. Care of cats requires lots of time, money, and commitment-over 15 years worth in many cases. Pet ownership can be rewarding, but only if you think through your decision before you adopt a companion.

Things To


The fact that you're thinking about adopting from an animal shelter means you're a responsible and caring person. But before you make that decision to bring a furry friend into your life, take a moment to think over these questions:

  • Why do you want a pet? It's amazing how many people fail to ask themselves this simple question before they get a pet. Adopting a pet just because it's "the thing to do" or because the kids have been pining for a kitten many times ends up being a big mistake. Don't forget that pets may be with you 10, 15, even 20 years.
  • Do you have time for a pet? Dogs, cats, and other animal companions cannot be ignored just because you're tired or busy. They require food, water, exercise, care, and companionship every day of every year. Many animals in the shelter are there because their owners didn't realize how much time it took to care for them.
  • Can you afford a pet? The costs of pet ownership can be quite high. Licenses, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter, and other expenses add up quickly.
  • Are you prepared to keep your cat indoors? Allowing your cat to roam freely outside puts them at risk of disease, parasites, injury and not returning home. Cats should be valued as a member of your family and should not be put at risk by allowing them to roam outside.
  • Are you prepared to deal with special problems that a pet can cause? Flea infestations, scratched-up furniture, litter box issues, and unexpected medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.
  • Can you have a pet where you live? Many rental communities don't allow pets, and most of the rest have restrictions. Make sure you know what the rules are before you bring a companion animal home.
  • Is it a good time for you to adopt a cat?If you have kids under six years old, for instance, you might consider waiting a few years before you adopt a companion. Pet ownership requires children who are mature enough to be responsible. If you're a student, in the military, or travel frequently, you should think through your decision and consider if waiting to adopt may be more appropriate.
  • Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind? Before adopting a cat, do some research! That way, you'll ensure you choose a cat that will fit into your lifestyle and your living arrangements.
  • Do you know who will care for your cat while you're away? You'll need either reliable friends and neighbors or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service. Even if only leaving for a day or two, it is a misconception that cats can be left home alone. They become part of your family and should have fresh food, water and interaction daily.
  • Finally, are you prepared to keep and care for the cat for his or her entire lifetime? When you adopt a cat, you are making a commitment to care for them for his or her lifetime. Giving them love, companionship, exercise, a healthy diet, and regular veterinary care are essential. They should be considered part of the family and loved for life.



Sure, it's a long list of questions. But a quick stroll through an animal shelter will help you understand why answering the questions before you adopt is so important.

Many homeless animals are puppies and kittens, victims of people who allowed their pets to breed. However, there are as many older dogs and cats in shelters who are more than a year old, who were obtained by people who had not thought through the responsibilities of having an animal companion before they brought an animal into their home.

Please, don't make the same mistake. Think before you adopt. Sharing your life with a companion animal can bring incredible rewards, but only if you're willing to make the necessary commitments of time, money, responsibility, and love-for the life of the pet.

If you're ready to adopt a companion for life, please click the at the top of the page to see a sample of our many wonderful cats available for adoption at the Cat Association of Topeka.

If someone tugs at your heart and you would like to meet him or her, please contact our Kennel Manager at 785- 272-4735 or