June 30, 2016

“Adopt a Shelter Cat Month” Tips for Adopters

ASCM: Adoption Tips

June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, and we are so excited for all the cats and kittens who have found new homes. But as the month winds to a close, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) wants to remind all adopters—both first-timers and old pros—that it’s important to check your home for hazards and toxins before welcoming a new furry friend.

Just recently, the APCC fielded a call from an adopter who brought home two adult cats, Charlie and Walt, from a local animal shelter. Like many cats, these feline brothers have a knack for exploration, and after an afternoon out of the house, the adopter came home to find that her peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.) had been chewed and ingested.

At the recommendation of a local veterinarian, Charlie and Walt’s adopter called the APCC, who informed her that peace lilies contain insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation to the mouth and stomach when ingested. Fortunately, we were able to ensure that—other than some drooling and stomach upset—both boys would be just fine.

Charlie and Walt’s story ended well, but not all animals are so lucky. If you’re considering bringing home a new pet, remember that even adult animals can be very curious about their new surroundings and get into many things. Here are some tips to help avoid a problem:

  • Before bringing an animal into your home, get down on the floor at their height and see what they might get into.
  • Some cats like to eat plants, a number of which can be toxic. Consult the ASPCA’s list of toxic and non-toxic plants and consider moving your greenery out of reach.
  • Remember that interesting smells can be tempting as well. Use a garbage can with a lid, and make sure that you remove any poisonous or potentially hazardous materials from your home.
  • Consider placing barriers around any area that you don’t want your new pet to get into until they get the hang of the rules in their new house.
  • Consult our full list of Adoption Tips to ensure that your home is prepared for your new pet.

Whether it’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month or any other month of the year, we hope you will consider welcoming a shelter pet into your life. Visit our Adoption page to find an adoptable companion near you!