Before Adopting a Cat or Kitten

Adopting a cat or a kitten is a big decision. There are many things for you to consider before making this commitment.

Cats, like people, have different dispositions and it is essential to understand what you want from your feline companion. If you have children or pets in the home already, you should consider how this new addition will fit into your household.

Feline veterinarians recommend that you carefully think about each of the following items before making the commitment to bring a kitten or cat into your home.

Important Considerations

cat being held

Your Time

Do you have the time to care, play, and meet your cat’s basic needs?

Multi-Cat Households

Do you already have cats in your household? If so, what are their temperaments?

Have you scheduled a visit to the veterinarian to test for diseases to limit exposure?

Adult or Kitten

Do you have other household pets that need to be considered?

One or Two

Should you adopt or acquire a single cat or a pair? For example, siblings are already a bonded pair, and will usually remain so for years. They also are great playmates, since they have the same energy level.


Are you able to cover the costs associated with cat adoption? These can include, but are not limited to: food, litter, bedding, annual visit to the veterinarian, spaying or neutering, toys/scratching posts, parasite control, vaccinations, and microchipping.


Do you understand basic cat behavior and/or are you willing to learn? Are you familiar, or willing to become familiar, with feline health conditions, treatments, and diseases?

Speak with your veterinarian about each of the items above prior to bringing a new cat into your home. If you do not already have a veterinarian, you can locate a feline veterinarian and AAFP Member or Cat Friendly Practice® near you.

Contributed by Dr. Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline)