If you have decided to take the bold step and adopt a furball, congratulations!
Adopting a pet allows you to have a lifelong companion who will offer you unconditional love. But giving an abandoned feline home isn’t only good for you but for your cat too. You get to give a vulnerable animal a forever home.
A little kindness to an abandoned or stray cat will see them transform from a lonely, sad, and scared animal to a happy companion. Many cats living in shelters experience love for the first time when they are placed with their adopting family.
And just to show you that love can give life even to the most neglected animals, here are 20 heart-melting before and after cat adoption photos that will put a smile on your face.
We added a few adoption tips just in case you want to give a needy kitty a furever home.
#1 My baby Bucky had missing fur when I found him. He had also lost lots of weight, but four months later, the transformation is incredible. Plus, he has now officially taken over my bed!
Whether you’re adopting your first, second, or fifth cat you wouldn’t have made a better decision. ASPCA estimates that about 3.2 million cats find themselves in US shelters and animal rescues every year. Those are too many furballs if you ask me.
Choosing to adopt a cat means you’re giving a feline in need a home. Besides, adoption also opens up space in the shelter for another vulnerable cat.
#2 My kitty was a wild cat before I found her. On the day I took her in, she was very sick and had a high fever. Her teeth were also broken and she didn’t want anyone near her. You can now see how it’s now going in the second picture. From forlorn to fabulous!
#3 Meet Yuzu, a stray cat who had a bad case of scabies when we first found her. She also had ear mites, a stud tail, and never-ending fungal, ear and eye infections. Thank God I am a vet student or she would have died. Look at her beautiful self now, she is barely recognizable after a year of lots of love and vet visits.
Before you bring your pet home you’ll need to be prepared. Cats are territorial so your new pet might be a little shy or uneasy. For a smoother transition, get to know your kitty before the adoption.
Ask the shelter to give you a brief history of the feline. You can ask about the cat’s medical history and if she has been socialized. If you have kids or other pets in your home, ask how well the cat is with children and other animals.
#4 She is called Barley. She was a stray cat when we found her with my son on the roadside. You can tell from the pictures that she was barely surviving. And she had lots of fleas. Three months after as you can see in the last photo, she is very healthy and strong. And absolutely amazing if I might add!
#5 Meet Kai Mana. He was starving and underweight when we met. He also couldn’t eat as he had an injured jaw. Although I couldn’t take care of him as I worked full time, my best friend took him in. He took him for surgery and carried him to his place of work on several occasions. Look at him today all happy and well-fed!
Before you bring your kitty home, you’ll also need to shop for some cat essentials. Some of them include stainless steel food and water bowls, a stainless steel litter box, unscented clumping litter, a soft case carrier, scratching pads, a collar with an identification tag, and cat toys.
Don’t forget to get cat food for your new friend. You don’t want to discover at 2 am in the night that you have nothing to feed your hungry cat.
#6 Sela is always ready for a party, but she wasn’t so happy a year ago. She was a lonely, flea-infested and underweight stray cat. But look what one year of pure loving can do. Today was her adoption anniversary and we had to celebrate!
#7 Someone found him trying to get a nap in this broken plastic container. He was scared and hungry. Three years after adoption, he is chubby and the most curious pet in our home. Whoever found him, we are forever grateful!
Once you bring your feline home, prepare a safe room that they can call their own. If you don’t have an empty room, you can use an empty closet or a corner in a room you seldom use. This will give your feline the safety he needs as he becomes familiar with all the sounds and scents in your home.
Leave some food and water in the same room and the litter box at a corner in the room. Don’t be surprised if your new pet doesn’t touch the food on their first day or if she hides from you for a few days. As the days progress, she will become comfortable enough to trust you.
#8 Hardy was brought to the Alley Cat Rescue Inc. after someone found him wandering around. Undoubtedly, Hardy had seen lots of suffering in his short life. He had been neglected and abused for weeks and was also badly wounded. A few months later, Hardy was finally healthy. Today, Hardy is doing great. He lives with a loving couple who are both vets.
Credit: Alley Cat Rescue Inc.
#9 When we first found him at the shelter, my wife was a bit concerned that he wouldn’t survive. He looked so sick and frail but we took him home anyway. Turns out he didn’t even have any threatening condition. All he needed was food and lots of love to thrive.
You also need to cat proof your home before your new pet starts to mingle. Cat proofing your home isn’t difficult, you only need to consider all the areas your cat might be interested in. For instance, once your cat is comfortable, he will snoop and inspect the kitchen. Ensure your kitchen is closed off. If you have a habit of keeping foods on the counters, you may need to consider storage containers.
Cats are notorious for jumping onto counters and cupboards. Put all the food on the counters and cupboards in hard to open containers. You’ll also need to keep all fragile items and anything that can be harmful to your cat in a safe place.
#10 When Phoenix was first brought to the shelter, his fur was covered with tar. After a month of love and a little grooming, Phoenix is now ready for adoption.
#11 Kira almost starved to death. She was found on a farm and it was apparent she hadn’t eaten for days. After one week of giving her food and lots of love she was blossoming right before our eyes. We couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful blessing!
Cats love to hide in small dark places. Provide your new pet with a safe hiding place such as a box with a small opening or a covered cat bed. Ensure the hiding spot is big enough for your pet to turn around and stand up. Cats also love to climb and perch on things. Thus, buy your pet a cat tree and put it next to a window or outside for your outdoor cat. This will give your pet a high perch they can use to survey their territory.
Your new pet will also need scratching pads or a scratching post. Scratching is second nature to your cat and we don’t want her sharpening her claws on your sofas or rugs. Sprinkle the post with a catnip to encourage your feline to use it.
#12 Lady had been tortured and was extremely scared of humans when she was first adopted. In her new home, she wouldn’t let anyone touch her and she hid under the bathroom sink for two weeks. But with time her parents earned her trust. Today, lady loves to cuddle and her confidence has grown.
Credit: Ellen Hoffman
#13 I met Sonny in a Petsmart. Unfortunately, At 13, Sonny was underweight, his teeth were rotten, and he had lots of fleas. No one was willing to adopt him. I took a leap of faith and took him home. I had his teeth removed and made sure he was warm and comfortable. It has been two years with Sonny and I am glad I took him home on that fine afternoon.
You’ll also need to take your cat for a vet visit. If this is your first pet, find a cat-friendly clinic. Also, check if the vet you’re going to see is certified. A vet visit is important as you’ll get to know if your cat has any medical issues.
If your feline isn’t vaccinated yet, it’s also a good time to learn about all the necessary cat vaccinations. You also need to have your pet neutered or spayed if this wasn’t done by the adoption agency.
#14 This senior 20lb cat was up for adoption. My cousin took him home and after a year of healthy eating, a few vet visits and a ton of love, Roger is doing great. He has lost more than 5 pounds and is very active.
#15 Guys at the shelter gave him the name Cupido. Some freak shot him with an arrow and it went through. His immune system was also compromised as he is Felv positive. Today, my fav pet is fat, spoilt, and happy!
If you have children and other family members in your home, you need to prepare them for the new addition to your family. Your children may be intrigued by the new pet but they need some advice on how to behave around your furball.
Take time before you bring in your adopted feline and talk to your kids about the dos and don’ts regarding your furry friend. Emphasize that it’s crucial for everyone to treat the pet with compassion and care. Teach other family members how to read a cat’s body language. You should also teach them how to safely handle the new pet.
#16 We didn’t even know she was pregnant when we found her. She was also homeless and in bad shape. Two hours after taking her home, she gave birth to five beautiful kitties. She is our champion and princess. You can help but admire her resilience!
#17 Meet handsome Albus. We found him lonely and hungry at a Cairo street. He couldn’t eat much due to the many stray animals in the street. Well, a few months later he eats to his fill and we just can’t get enough of his cuddles and kisses.
If you have another pet in your home, you’ll need to introduce them to your new friend. Start by introducing the animals to each other’s scents. You can do this by giving each pet a blanket that the other pet has been sleeping on. Also, you shouldn’t keep the animals in the same room, let them be in separate rooms for a few days so they get used to each other’s sounds. After some time, you can let the animals meet each other but ensure there is a baby gate between the two to avoid a physical confrontation.
Repeat such introductions until both animals are comfortable with each other. Praise your pets or give them treats when they behave in a civil manner towards each other. Once you’re confident that the two can cohabitate cordially, let them meet face to face.
#18 We rescued these two brothers from the street. They wouldn’t let go of each other. After several vet visits and some Tlc, these two are as inseparable as they were the day we met them.
#19 You can’t help but marvel at Cricket’s transformation. He had a really tough childhood. He was starving and had bowed legs due to malnourishment. Thanks to all the love he has received from a rescue home in Battersea London and from his adopted family, Cricket is no longer an unhappy and unhealthy kitten. And we love the change!
It’s important to note that some pets especially some dog breeds may never be ok having a cat around. Some dogs love to chase small animals and your new cat may become their new chase mate which can be extremely uncomfortable for your feline. In such a case, consider getting your kitty a housemate. Adopting another cat will also keep your furball company and may discourage your new pet from having clawing and biting issues brought by single kitten syndrome.
#20 Midnight fur can now shine in the dark. When we found her, she was weak and unhealthy. You could tell by just looking at her fur. After a few months of love and some grooming, Midnight has never been better!