WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — If you're looking to add a four-legged member to your family but don't have the time to devote to a dog, a cat may be a great option. But these creatures are not maintenance-free. There are factors to consider when bringing a feline home. Here are tips from Friendship Hospital for Animals and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue

Don't be wary of feral kittens. Many adoption facilities have rescued feral kittens from areas that are overpopulated with them. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue recently saved street cats from Puerto Rico; which suffers from this problem. When they're rescued at an early enough stage, they can be properly socialized and are just like any other kitten in the adoption facility.

Encourage playfulness. Cats may not be as time-consuming as dogs, but they do require attention. Kittens especially are very playful. Special toys keep them occupied and help you two bond. Cat trees are great to motivate your kitten to climb on those instead of clawing at your expensive couch. 

Annual vet visits are key. Cats need to get a checkup to ensure they're healthy. Transporting them to the veterinarian office can be tricky. Dr. Christine Klippen of Friendship Hospital for Animals advises to keep the carrier out and allow your cat get familiar with it. Don't store it away in the closet and bring it out only for occasional travel needs. Let it become a part of your cat's natural surroundings to minimize anxiety. When at the vet's office, bring a towel to place over the carrier to shield them from other animals and keep them calm.

Always microchip. Even indoor cats can get out of the house. Before that happens, get your cats microchipped and make sure they're registered so they can be more easily located. Personalized Break-Away collars ensure your cat is easily identified and keeps them safe if the collar gets caught on anything. 

This article is sponsored by Friendship Hospital For Animals.

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