Cats: one of humankind’s earliest triumphs of domestication, cats are both deadly predator and loyal friend. They likely evoke strong feelings in many of your friends and family, neighbors, strangers, and internet personalities, and these feelings range wildly from love and admiration to vitriol. Why?

Cats are versatile animals and typically the lower maintenance option if you’re looking for a large mammal foster pet. While some people may not enjoy cleaning a litter box every day, cats also don’t need to be walked outside in the rain or snow. While cats don’t have the same exercise needs that dogs have, a cat still enjoys daily play and mental stimulation with their owner, and are very athletic animals. Best of all, cats sleep about 12-16 hours a day, so you don’t need to feel bad about leaving them at home while you’re at work.

Unlike their reputation may suggest, cats are loyal pets. Cats are also intelligent and can be taught tricks and general obedience training, just like a dog. Some cats even like to walk on a leash in nice weather!

Like dogs, cats should be provided fresh food and water twice a day. Their litter box should also be cleaned once a day, or more frequently if you have multiple cats. Cats may bond with each other as well as their human companions, and will engage in play and mutual grooming behaviors in your household. A cat’s antics can bring a smile to anyone’s face. There’s a reason they make the best funny compilation videos online!

That said, cats may need a little more compassion and understanding than your average happy go lucky dog when they first enter your household. Most cats are not used to travel, and car or plane rides can upset their mental stability and physical health. It is not unusual for a cat in a new place to exhibit stress behavior such as hissing, growling, bristling fur and tail, swatting at their companions or at their own tails. The key is to give the cats a single room to relax in while they adjust to the sights, smells, and sounds of their new home. Cat’s may take anywhere from 4-8 weeks to fully acclimate to a new environment.

Once settled, a cat is a true companion who can keep you company in good times and in bad. Loyal, smart, affectionate, and silly, cats are great companion animals and sorely in need of more love and understanding. Please consider fostering a cat or two with PACT for Animals today