If you are thinking of adopting a cat from a shelter there are some major points to consider first.
Why adopt a cat?
You will be rescuing a life as there are millions of cats and kittens looking for a forever home. And now with kitten season well upon us, shelters are full.
Can you afford a cat?
It's not just food that cats need. Other expenses are: neutering, microchipping, vet bills, pet insurance, etc. Not to mention when you go away. Can you afford to board your cat or pay a sitter to look after them?
Does your lifestyle suit having a cat in it?
If you are away a lot will there be someone there to care for your cat in your absence? What about when you are out at work all day? An indoor cat can get lonely in an empty home. Getting another cat to keep him company is advisable here of course. And do you have children? Not all children and cats can get along. That's why it's important to check with the shelter if the cat you are intending to adopt is suitable for both you and other members of your family.
Are you committed enough?
Think hard about this. Are you sure you can commit to being a pet parent? Yes, it is like being a parent and you can't send a kitten back just because it knocks over an expensive vase. Kittens (just like children) can be naughty. As soon as I got Athena home, she was already strutting about the place as if she owned in and started clawing up the walls. There are scratch markings on our wallpaper everywhere. But I don't care. Those are material things. But if you do though, think again. Perhaps an older cat would suit you better. There are so many adult cats in shelters in urgent need of loving homes too.
Make sure you and your cat are compatible.
Read the personality profile of the kitten (or cat) you have in mind. Ask the shelter staff about it too. Do your research into the breed. However, if it's meant to be, the cat will definitely choose you. Athena wanted me as her mum as soon as I walked into that cat shelter. I had already seen her online and went into the shelter the next day to view her, and there she was, leaping onto the door of her pen and licking my finger straight away. It was love at first sight for both of us.
Cat proof your home.
So you've decided you are getting a shelter cat. Before you bring your little fur ball home, you will need to cat proof (or kitten proof) your home. Common sense is needed here. Treat your home just like you would if you had a toddler crawling about the place. Like children, kittens are inquisitive. It's how they learn.
Here are some tips I found on the Purina website on how to cat proof your home.
Other helpful links:
My book A Forever Home For Athena tells the story of my rescue cat. I am donating some of the proceeds to three of my favourite animal charities. You can order it from Amazon and it's available in e-book and print format.