We spoke with 3 different people with a range of expertise and experience in adopting cats… here’s the scoop
June is National Adopt a Cat Month, and what better time for cat lovers to think about whether or not it’s the right time to add a new fur baby to their family. Options include adopting, or fostering, and keeping a cat in a safe environment until a home can be found. It’s an undertaking worthy of serious consideration and preparation, but can result in a great companion, and also offer a cat a safe, loving place to call home.
Angela Christianson, cat rescue program coordinator for PetPromise, a non-profit dog and cat rescue in Columbus, stresses there is “a lot to think about when adding a cat… Cats live for 15-20 years – they are not disposable,” she said.
As part of her duties as a PetPromise volunteer, she helps those fostering cats to ensure the cats get to the very best home. Fosterers make sure cats go to homes where current animals are already well taken care of, and they try to make sure the family gets a cat that is right for them. Since all the cats reside with fosterers in their homes, the foster parents get to know the animals very well, Christianson explained. After adoption, PetPromise keeps in contact with the adopters after the cat goes to his or her new home to ensure the animal is in a good environment and the adoption is a good match.
Volunteers also advise where to put litter boxes, scratching posts, etc. When adopting through PetPromise, those adopting must promise not to declaw, since scratching is healthy for cats. Here are some links for those interested in fostering or adopting through PetPromise.
Ohio Animal Foundation board member Kara Denison knew going into her senior year of college in 2020, it was the right time to adopt a cat. She grew up in a family that always had cats. “When I was in college, I was not used to not having a cat around,” Denison said.
“Georgie” came to live with her and her roommates when she was adopted at 16 weeks old through the Ohio Alleycat Resource, a rescue in the Cincinnati area.
Since the adoption happened during Covid lockdowns, “She definitely became spoiled with us always being home,” said Denison.
Denison recommended before adopting a cat, make sure to have essentials ready at home, including a litter box and some food. However, she advised to get to know your cat’s personality before buying toys to make sure you get things your cat will enjoy.
April Tully also volunteers as a board member for the Ohio Animal Foundation, but prior to involvement with the board, she has spent many years fostering and helping animals.
Many animals have been helped by Tully and her family. Even before fostering, she helped her young daughter, who wanted to be a veterinarian, with volunteering at a shelter more than ten years ago while living in Georgia. Volunteering at the shelter evolved into fostering some of those animals. Additionally, with a home in the country, she found herself caring over and taking in strays.
“We would take them in. Feed them, take them to the vet and get their shots/fixed. Then find them a home,” Tully remembers. “Fostering was very similar to that except that we gave them to the shelter instead of a direct placement. Two of my strays ended up staying.”
Her family fostered until 2017, and in 2019 she moved to Ohio. Although she said she hasn’t gotten back into “official” fostering, she has remained involved with Dogs on Deployment, where someone takes care of a pet for a deployed member of the military. Most recently she got to care for Cooper, a large Tabby, while his owner was deployed.
Though she’s on a break from fostering, she keeps a full house: three black cats and two dogs of her own.
But, she adds, “I try to leave room for more ‘just in case’ .” Her son is a soldier (with three dogs), and her daughter married a soldier (with one dog). Should they be sent overseas, they would want to leave room for their pets, Tully said. (This doesn’t include her other son with two cats and a dog.)
If you are looking to add a four-legged companion to your home, in addition to the rescues mentioned here, consider the Humane Society of Summit County, the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, or use Petfinder!