Cats can be loving, loyal, feisty or fierce—and if you saw the hit movie “Puss In Boots,” then you know one cat can embody all those traits and more. Adopting a cat can be a “purr-fectly” wonderful idea as long as you understand the commitment that comes along with it. Before bringing a cat home, consider these tips from Madeline Bernstein, president of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA):
• Evaluate your needs. Are you ready to make the commitment to a pet? Cats can live up to 18 years. On average, pet care costs about $400 a year.
• Visit a pet adoption center. Don’t shop when you can adopt. Shelters have many cats to choose from and adoption saves lives.
• Questions? Ask the staff. The shelter staff can often tell you the animal’s personality traits, likes, dislikes, temperament, breed, and activity level. Keep your options open. A pet doesn’t have to be a kitten to be a loyal companion.
• Patience. Be patient. You may need to visit the adoption centers a few times before you find the cat that’s right for you.
• Decide as a family. Does the cat get along with everyone and how does everyone get along with the cat?
• You made a decision, now what? Here are some items you should have before bringing your new cat home: ID tag and breakaway collar, cat food, pet bowls (2), litter box (rule of thumb: one for each cat, plus one), litter and scooper, toys, treats, scratching post, cat carrier (for vet trips/ emergencies) and a plan for veterinary care.
• We love our new cat, but we’re having some issues. Don’t give up. The solution may only require a slight adjustment in behaviors. spcaLA has an Animal Behavior Hotline at (888) SPCALA-1, x260 to answer pet behavior questions.
Even if you’re not quite ready to commit to a real cat, you can still enjoy how entertaining they can be by watching DreamWorks Animation’s “Puss In Boots,” which is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. This hilarious origin story of the notorious fighter, lover, and outlaw tells the true tale of how Puss became a hero long before he met Shrek. Featuring the extraordinary Antonio Banderas as the voice of the irresistible and legendary cat, “Puss In Boots” boasts a sensational cast of voice talent including Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris. - NAPSI