How To Prepare For Adopting A Cat

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Those sweet little faces and mischievous behaviors. All of those trills, chirps, and meows. You’ve been imagining what it might be like to be a cat parent but all of the questions can feel overwhelming.

Here’s how to prepare for adopting a cat so the transition goes smoothly for the both of you!

How to prepare for adopting a cat: helpful tips for the new cat parent
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As an animal lover myself, I do advocate for the “Adopt, Don’t Shop” movement. There are so many amazing four-legged friends waiting for their forever home. Could it be with you?

I do however understand that everyone’s needs will vary and adopting from a shelter or rescue may not be ideal for you in your situation.

No matter which decision you make, there are still some basic considerations before bringing your new best friend home.

In this collaborative post, we will cover a few of the most important.

How To Prepare for Adopting A Cat Helpful Tips

Congratulations – you have decided to become a cat parent! While this is a very exciting adventure, it can also seem overwhelming at first. These animals are known for their independence and personality, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need and love you!

Preparation is key. It helps us to remain calm when questions arise or challenges happen during the transition to bringing a cat home for the first time.

There are many different cat questions you wonder when first becoming a cat parent, but just know you are not in this boat alone!

Here are some helpful tips to prepare you for your new cat mom or dad life.

Consider their past

Each of my cats have been rescues and – wow – did they have a story to tell! It makes each of their personalities all the more special, right?

Depending on where you get your cat, you may only have limited knowledge of their past. Behavioral issues in rescues, for example, could be a result of some trauma that little one has endured.

If however, you are purchasing your cat from a pet store or breeder; you are much more likely to have complete information about their vaccination history, spay/neuter status, routine check-ups, etc.

There are still many breeders who believe in declawing a cat as well. In my humble opinion – this is a surgery that should never be performed.

Just take a look at these common behavioral problems many declawed cats have in common. This isn’t going to be true for every case, but it is for many. I can’t imagine the pain they must feel!

Whether you adopt a rescue or purchase from a breeder, taking your pet’s past into consideration is one very important way for how to prepare for adopting a cat.

Cats have moods, personalities, and feelings just like us. Showing them empathy, compassion, and understanding as you seek to find the cause for any behavioral issues builds trust between the two of you.

It is critical that you find the right Vet for you both; get up to date on deworming, vaccinations, and any other medical care needed. It’s the perfect start to a beautiful relationship.

Get supplies ready in advance

Preparing yourself to be the best cat parent can seem overwhelming, but doing your research and following through on quality will make all the difference in your cat’s life. 

Here are some things to consider when buying supplies for your cat:

  • Litter Boxes – The age/stage/mobility of your feline should help you determine what kind of litter you choose for them. Two litter boxes per cat is an ideal number and helps to discourage marking or messes outside of the box.
  • Food – This will also depend on the age and health of your cat. It is best to stay consistent with food as cats can get upset tummies from sudden food changes. Ensure the food you select is made of healthy and safe ingredients for your favorite feline. Buy the best your budget can sustain.
  • Bedding/Lounge – This can be the most exciting of the supplies to purchase. Selecting a little bed that you think your cat will love is a wonderful gesture to welcome them to your home. That being said, they will quickly find and enjoy blankets you already have around the house, towels, cardboard boxes, and pillows too.
  • Scratching Post – This one is a must for cats with claws. A scratcher or scratching post allows them a place to sharpen or file their claws so they do not have to on your furniture!  If your kitty is tearing up your furniture, take a look at this post for help!
  • Toys – It’s important to keep your indoor cats happy because bored kitties equal destruction! Experiment with different types of toys and play often!
  • High quality cat carrier – Road trips are stressful for your cat, and often for you too. Our top 4 favorite cat carriers make travel a whole lot safer and comfortable for you both.
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Photo by Aleksandr Nadyojin on

Cats like friends

Here’s a personal story. I rescued our cat Dizzy over 7 years ago, and since then, she had been an only child indoors. She always had some behavioral challenges but we did our best to keep her entertained, give her extra playtime with us, lots of love, and even natural medicine for anxiety.

All of these helped but some issues still persisted. She’s always been highly territorial so we figured there was no way we could have another cat in the home.

Turns out, we were wrong! After we rescued Pips and adjusted him to the indoors, her attitude changed completely.

Those two now romp and get rowdy all over this house (sometimes too rowdy!). When they’re not harassing each other, they’re probably mushing on us or napping!

Moral of the story? One of the best ways for how to prepare for adopting a cat is to consider a well-matched pair of cats instead of just one.

Cat proof your home

Much like child-proofing, there are some important rules to remember for catkin too. Need help figuring out how to cat-proof your home? This video will help.

Be prepared in case of an emergency

A little while back, I wrote a post called, “How To Prepare for the Unexpected As A Cat Parent.” In this post, we discuss all the often-overlooked details of preparing our pets for emergencies too.

Don’t wait until disaster strikes. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress by having a clear-cut plan ahead of time!

Other helpful resources

Here are some other helpful articles for more information:

Welcome to cat parenting!

Don’t worry, you’re not going to have it all figured out right away. You are here learning how to prepare for adopting a cat, and that means you care.

  • What are you most concerned about?
  • Are there any questions you have for me?
  • How prepared do you think you are?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! As always, thank you for sharing this post with your social media friends and family. ♥ I genuinely appreciate you!

Love & Healing Purrs,

Sharing Is Caring ♥ Thank You!


  1. Perfect information on what to do when getting your precious kitty. It’s important that you make their transition as easy as possible.

    Have a fabulous day, Holly. ♥

    1. Hi Sandee! ♥️ I agree – there are things we can do to ease the transition for them and us! It’s not always easy! Big changes for all involved.

      Sending love to you. Hope the rest of your week is filled with joy. 😘

  2. Every cat I’ve ever had has just came to our house and just took over. 😀 We’ve had cats around for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine life without a cat!

    This is such an informative post! I think some people don’t realize what they’re getting into when adopting a cat. And I’m with you on declawing a cat. There are things you can do to cover up walls and furniture, but I’ve heard horror stories about declawed cats and infections. It makes me so sad!

    I love that you included to be prepared during an emergency! The year before last we had a lot of tornado warnings during spring and fall so we spent a lot of time in our basement. We made sure we had cat carries ready to go and the cats nearby on days they were calling for possible bad weather.

    1. “…just came to our house and just took over.” LOL — that sounds about right! 😀 I could probably take a lesson or two in self-esteem/confidence from those cuties! And I relate to you about always having had cats around. The only time I’ve been without a cat was when Shug died, and I wasn’t sure I could go through the pain again. I’m sure you can relate! They really do add so much joy & laughter to life though!

      Yes! Exactly! Walls or furniture can be fixed. Most cats can be taught that those places are off-limits anyhow! To think of them forever being in pain because of a decision WE made on their behalf…it’s awful. I can’t imagine someone pulling my knuckle joint out of my fingers and then removing my nails. Wow… how?

      I love what you said about how you prepared during those tornadoes too. That’s such a great tip for everyone. Especially since many cats will hide when they sense danger outside, it’s even more important to know where they are at all times. They are masters at hiding so if they need to be found quickly…it may not always happen!

      Sending lots of love your way, Michelle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Love you dearly! ♥

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