Get To Know Your Adopted Cat With Our New Cat Checklist
Whether you adopt your new feline family member from a shelter, rescue, reputable breeder or other organization, the staff and volunteers can often provide you with important information for a healthy, happy relationship.
Along with our friends at Cat Healthy, we helped develop the New Cat Checklist, an easy to use guide that can help shelters and other organizations pass details about a cat to new cat parents and their veterinarians.
The checklist includes spaces for key information including:
There is basic information about your new cat that you will need to know – including their age, weight, whether they are spayed/neutered, and if they have been microchipped or tattooed.
The shelter may tell you that your cat has had “all of his shots”, but you’ll want to know more than just that. Depending on the age and lifestyle of your cat, risks for specific infectious diseases differ. When your new companion’s doctor asks you what vaccines he has had, it really helps to know which ones. Here are a few more questions you can ask:
- Is this cat up to date with all the vaccines needed for their age?
- Are there more vaccines needed in that series?
- Are there some vaccines that are recommended that haven’t been given?
Your veterinarian will do a risk assessment for your cat at every age and every visit to determine whether anything has changed. For example, moving to a new part of the world, or into a different housing situation may change what they recommend.
Deworming & Flea/Tick Protection
For external and internal parasites, the same factors (age, lifestyle) apply plus season, depending on where you live. Like vaccines, different products that treat or protect against parasites are given on different schedules. It’s important to have details about what products have been administered and when, similar to the type of information needed about vaccination history.
Some cats don’t tolerate changes to their diet very well, especially when other things are changing – like where they live!
Find out what type of cat food and treats your kitty has gotten used to eating. This includes the brand, flavour, and wet or dry formulation. You should also ask about how much and how often they have been fed – twice a day, or have they been allowed to graze all day?
Continue the same feeding pattern and diet for at least two weeks while your cat adjusts to your home. If you do plan to change, do it gradually over a few weeks.
Using the Checklist
While many pet adoption organizations across the country use this checklist (or something similar), not all of them do. You can download the New Cat Checklist below. Ask the staff or volunteers at the organization to help you fill it out, then share it with your veterinarian at your cat’s first visit.