Cats can be cute, soft, warm, and comically puzzling at times. There’s rarely a dull day with a cat in the house. Those qualities make cats popular pets. In fact, according to the 2016 American Pet Products Association, there are an estimated 85.8 million pet cats across the United States. With cat’s being so popular to adopt, here are some mistakes to avoid when adopting a cat.

1.) Impulse Adoptions. There are all too many cases of people adopting animals on a whim without thinking through the consequences and responsibilities that come with that decision. Before making any adoption decisions, check to see if there are any circumstances such as potential allergies, building regulations, and financial situations that could prevent long term care for a cat.

2.) Avoiding older cats. When most people adopt pets, they go for younger cats and kittens. However, adult cats can make wonderful pets, too. One advantage is that they’re most likely past the rambunctious and destructive kitty stage. Another is that, since you can see their history, you won’t get as many surprises with areas such as their temperaments as you would a kitten.

3.) Discounting black cats. Because of the “black cat equals bad luck” superstition, many people will overlook cats based on their color. Black cats are just as loving and lovable as their non-black colored counterparts.

4.) Not considering the needs of your current pets. If you have a cat or another pet already, getting them a companion might not be the best idea depending on their temperament. If your pet has a history of aggression towards other animals, it might be best to rethink adoption or consult a professional first for advice.

5.) Thinking about your life in the long term. While no one truly knows what life will throw at them, most people have a vague idea of where they want to be in the future. Make certain that whatever your plans are, that they are also compatible for pet ownership before making a commitment you might not be able to keep.

Cat adoption, and pet adoption, in general, is serious business. It is best to think things through carefully before adopting.

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