If you’ve ever passed by the local pet supply store during the weekend, you’ve likely encountered one of their weekly pet adoption events, and you know how difficult it is to resist the cute eyes of a fluffy kitten pleading with you to take him home with you.

But before you give in, remember that taking care of a cat includes a lot of responsibility, time and money. Unfortunately, many people are blinded by the cute facade and they don’t realize off the bat what they’ve gotten themselves into.

As a result, adopted cats can suffer from neglect or end up surrendered to the animal shelter, and in the worst case scenario, put to sleep because an adequate home cannot be found for them.

But in the right environment, an adopted cat can thrive and enrich the lives of the people in its household. So if you’re looking to adopt a cat, take into consideration the following.

Is everyone in the household willing to adopt a cat? Many animal shelters will require everyone in the household to be present in order to adopt.

If anyone isn’t willing to put up with a cat in the house, then this will cause serious friction in the future. Think of it this way: should a couple uninterested in taking care of a child go to an agency and adopt?

Similarly, each of the members of your household will take some part in being a caretaker for this cat. If anyone is unwilling to take on this responsibility, he or she will likely conflict with the other caretakers and in turn create a negative environment for the cat who needs its caretakers to be willing and involved in its care.

If you adopt a cat, do you have the necessary environment, supplies and funds? If you have a landlord, you will have to make sure that cats are allowed in your residence.

Also, you should have adequate space for your cat to roam around. You will also need a litter box supplied with clean litter, food, and occasional veterinary services.

The cost of taking care of one cat is about $50 per month. Are you able to, and are you willing to spend for your cat’s care?

Finally, do you have the time? A cat requires less care than a dog, but still requires ample time and devotion. Your cat will need about 30 minutes of exercise a day, and will likely need comforting in adjusting to its new home.

Cats are not as aloof as popular opinion might have you believe. Most cats enjoy the company of their owners and want attention and love.

If you have considered the above and decided that you fulfill the requirements, then you can check out various cats at the local animal shelter.

It is recommended to adopt a cat from a shelter because not only is it cheaper, but also your cat will already be neutered or spayed and have the necessary shots. Also, you will be adopting an animal that really needs love and care.

Many shelters have pictures and videos of their available cats online, and if you find one you like, make an appointment to see the cat and to potentially provide it with its new, loving home.

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