Adopting a cat in Korea

I have adopted my first pet! I’m writing to share my experience...

When I was young, I prefered dogs, and was especially fond of Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, etc. I loved the movie Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. Anyway, in my teenage years, I became more attracted to cats. I also thought that they were easier to take care of, since they can wash themselves, etc. (now I know I was greatly mistaken)

I often saw old ladies selling little kittens in the subway, I always found it kind of sad and I read online that buying a cat in Korea isn’t great because the cats are not very healthy and often suffering. I then went on animalrescuekorea.org, they list a lot of adoptable pets, and have interesting information such as air travel for your pet.

Anyway, adoption seems to be the best option to get a cat in Korea. There was a lot of pets ads in craigslist, from people going back to their country and being unable to bring their cat back. This is how I got Arya! I really liked her from the description. We went to see her on a weekend and decided to take her in. It was weird at first, to take someone else’s cat but I became really quickly attached to her. It’s too bad that I couldn’t see her in her kitten days but I don’t really mind. She seemed to be in good health at her previous owner’s house, and wasn’t very scared of us, she only hid under the bed for a few minutes.

Arya learnt how to play fetch from her previous owner and I am now teaching her to “sit”. She only listens and do it when she’s hungry though XD Her previous owner was very nice and accompanied us to a vet near our place for Arya’s second vaccination session. The vet was super nice (guroah.com) and gentle, but she doesn’t speak English... The shot cost 30,000 and the heartworm preventive thing cost 20,000. We have to go back at the end of the month. We asked about spaying and the vet told us it would cost around 300,000, this is consistent with what I’ve read and what people told me. So expensive!

Anyway, a week after her vaccination, she was in heat, and just crazy. We couldn’t get any rest. We had to spay her even if it’s really hard on her, after moving home, getting shots, etc. I looked for an english-speaking vet and animalrescuekorea.org had a good review of Chunghwa Animal Hospital. We explained the situation to them, about Arya in heat, just being shot and adopted, and they said there’s no problem to spay her now. The spay cost 376,000 and it covers the blood tests, the surgery, the pain killer shot, and a pretty useless neck collar. The good point is that they used internal stitches so she couldn’t mess with it too badly, however, a thread somehow came out of her belly and she’s always pulling on it. The incision site looks pretty clean though so we’re not alarmed. It seems to be healing well.

She was very weak during the first days so we were really worried, but she got better after 2 days and went back to her usual hyperactive self. So active that she hurt her leg when we weren’t watching! Arya is really giving us a lot of worries!

For all her food, sand, supplies, I use Gmarket. I think most of the Koreans use Gmarket/Auction for this. We’ve tried going to Homeplus, Emart, looking for pet shops around the house, but there was nothing for cats. Everything was for dogs.

Anyway, we found someone to catsit her while we are going back to France for Christmas, I hope everything will be fine! I’ll write again when I get her microchip.