Before adopting the boys, I read a lot of articles for new cat parents. Now, I'm a small-time advocate for cats, because I keep trying to convince people I know to adopt. If you're considering cats, here are my two cents:
- Do it: Really, you will love living with cats. You will make sacrifices for them; they may even make the occasional mess, but about a week after you adopt, you will forget how you ever lived without them. When your cats purr for you, you will fall in love.
- Be Choosy: A lot of people adopt a cat that someone else offers them or go to just one shelter and adopt the first cat they see. But remember that cats can live more than 20 years. Even if you get an adult cat, you're entering a long-term relationship. So choose your cat wisely.
If you have your heart set on a male gray kitten, keep going to different shelters until you find one that you can bond with. It's not selfish to want a particular gender, color, age or personality of cat. Remember, you'll be saving a life no matter which cat(s) you adopt.
By the way, don't be put off if the cat you want is not friendly to you in the shelter. I almost made the mistake of adopting a different pair of cats because my boys were not friendly to me when I played with them at the shelter. As soon as I got them home, we started bonding. The way a cat acts in the shelter is no indication of how he'll act when you adopt him. However, you can get a general sense of whether a cat is skittish, playful, or curious. My boys were very curious but not playful or affectionate with us in the shelter. As soon as we got them home, it was a whole different world.
- Get Two: Two cats are much better than one. Kittens, in particular, need company. It's no fun being an only child; I know this from experience. If I had only one cat, not only would be lonely but I'd miss out on watching the cats interact with each other. They are beyond cute when they are snuggling and they are a blast to watch when they are chasing each other around.
- Plan Ahead: Before you bring your cat home, stock up on food and litter. Get bowls, a litterbox, a scratching post, and a carrier (or two if you're getting two cats).
- Get the Good Stuff: Don't skimp on the food and litter. Your cats will be your family members. Get premium quality cat food and feed a mix of dry and wet food. Stay away from clumping clay litters. I recommend the World's Best Cat Litter.