The past couple of cats I had were all adult male strays. This time I'm going for a kitten. The woman I adopted my previous cats from moved away, so now I'm trying to find somewhere to adopt, or buy, or get, a kitten. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I had a person recommend PetSmart. I'm curious as to how much shelters actually know about their animals. They're not going to know the date of the litter, right? Adult cats they're probably going to have little background information on, but what about kittens?
Any advice you could give would be most appreciated. This is a first for me. I've been trying to read up on it. Maybe you could give me some advice as to what to look for, what to ask for (vaccinations, neutering, etc?).
Ask your vet -- they can often hook you up.
OP, have you considered a young female (1-2 yrs) shelter rescue? Kittens are adorable but can drive you absolutely bonkers :-)
Older Cats Are Wiser Cats
I agree with R2. Kittens are adorable little fur balls but the last one I took in spent most of his time climbing blinds and drapes and clawing the shit out of my furniture. Thank god, he's outgrown that craziness even though he still claws furniture when he's pissed or wants attention.
It depends on the shelter. I trust my local chapter of the Humane Society because they have veterinarians who examine the animals, vaccinate and worm them, etc. I know people are all into no-kill shelters these days but I know somebody who adopted a dog from one and it turned out to be pregnant AND it had worms.
I'm with R2. Younger cats that have all the kitten "out" of them are so much better.
Also, you may find a shelter that has a foster-to-own program. Basically, they let you spend a weekend with a kitty and if the cat likes you, your surroundings, etc. then the adoption goes forward. If not, no harm no foul.
I'm looking for a male kitten, and I now have the time to watch over them. Believe me, my cousin had two young cats. I saw what she was dealing with, although the one cat always hid, and was very skittish. No problems with that one. My cousin got the cats from the same woman I got mine years ago. Bottom line: I'm ready.
I've done both. I would say I have better results with kittens rather than near or full grown. If you get a kitten you've got a pretty good chance of not ending up with a neurotic cat.
But that's just my opinion.
Also, think of getting sibling kittens.
I also go with getting a kitten. I've only raised one from kittenhood. He was the first one out of the litter to come marching down the hallway. He grew up to be a great cat. Before that little guy, I adopted a three-year-old from the shelter who turned out to be a problem. It was so bad, I wondered if someone had brought him back to the shelter after adopting him. Years later, when I got the kitten, I felt like I had a clean slate and he proved me right.
Walmart parking lot: these are free-range kittens and the owners know everything about them. Keep your meth hidden, though.
I've only had one kitten as an adult and what I remember is that they are like babies. Their schedule is eat, playtime and then nap. They usually just nod off in the middle of playtime. Repeat every 3 hours until they move out of that phase.
Phase two is when they claw everything so you have to get stuff that's okay for them to shred and gently train them to use those items and not your furniture. They also like to investigate everywhere and everything. So watch out for places they could possibly get stuck. Another thing is they discover the joy of knocking things over so be on the look out for breakables and stuff like that. This is also a good time to get them used to having their nails trimmed.
Phase three is when you discover what a little weirdo your cat is and contrary to popular opinion, your cat will have a lot more to his/her personality than being aloof and condescending.
What happened to your other cats?
Spring is kitten season. In a few weeks there will be tons of kittens available for adoption.
[quote]Phase three is when you discover what a little weirdo your cat is and contrary to popular opinion, your cat will have a lot more to his/her personality than being aloof and condescending.
I have had three cats I raised from the bitty kitty stage. Same home, same schedule, same treatment.
One became a sort of hidey cat, if she didn't come out for food and the litter box I might not have known she lived with me. She hardly ate, lived on the gravy on her tinned food. She did not like to be handled, but would sit under the lamp like a sphinx, blinking at me as I worked at my desk.
Another grew up to be a class pal. Clamored for attention and play, loved to be petted and cuddled, would follow me around mewing till I answered her. Whatever I was doing, she liked to be near. She would fetch small balls and items for me. Also a clown, would go into various antics just to make me laugh. She ate everything and anything, would beg like a dog when I was eating. Sat up put front paws on my leg, would dig at me like a puppy. Lover her so. Will never have another like her.
The third was a hunter. She lived to be let out so she could prowl. Once while driving through the neighborhood, I observed her streaking across a yard, then skulking and stalking till she got her prey. I often opened my front door to an offering on my doormat. When she came home from her outings, she would sit on the island counter and stare at me. Like feed me, slave. Imperious. She was top cat in the neighborhood. All the cats were afraid of her. Except the male cats of course, they would collect on my deck, serenading us with their yowls. She would sit inside the screened door, watching their contortions, a scornful queen. After her first litter she was spayed. She was a great mother, and she chose several of the kittens as her hunting students. She went out one day and never returned. Perhaps I should have made her an indoor cat like my others had been, but she demanded her freedom.
Get a dog
I have had two cats, both from kittens, and neither exhibited behavioral issues. Well, the second cat did kind of tear up a roommate's sofa. But the cat was there first, and I told the roommate before he moved in that if my cat did anything to any of his possessions, I was not going to be responsible. But he insisted upon moving in, so...
And my cat used his white sofa as a scratching post. She hated him. I think she sensed that I didn't like him very much--I only wanted a roommate for the money, and he pushed me because he was desperate to get away from another living situation.
R14. Dear god and black Jesus you are sad
[quote] She went out one day and never returned. Perhaps I should have made her an indoor cat like my others had been, but she demanded her freedom.
That's really rough R12. I know exactly what you mean though.
KITTENS ARE INSANE. I will never ever get a kitten again. They get homes easily so if I ever get a cat it will be a 2 year old; 1 years olds can be nuts too.
One of my most favorite cats was a declawed 4-5 year old I adopted from a shelter about 15 years ago. Once stettled in, she revealed herself to be a very loving indoor lap cat, good eater, extremely friendly to all. The only issue was she'd get confused about where her litter box was. I confined her to my bathroom with the box and let her out in increments. She memorized where it was...I also reminded her constantly "do you have to go?" and led her in there like you do with a small recently potty-trained child. She got it in no time.
I've found I prefer male cats to female ones. Males seem to be much more affectionate.
Kittens are indeed like baby humans -- but they're much cuter & grow up much faster -- by 6 months, they're young adults & the manic phase is pretty much done.
Watch the kitten cam at the link for a couple of days to see what you'll be in for with kittens. Totally worth it, in my view -- I've never had so much fun doing anything else in my life.
Our girl is a very affectionate lap cat, but she is shy--very much a one daddy girl. Our boy is affectionate to all and loves us both, though I think he prefers my partner primarily because our girl has pretty much claimed me as her sole property.
Ditto on ask your vet. They're generally overloaded with abandoned kittens. We found one under our front porch. In our case our vet also happens to be our next door neighbor. He didn't really want another one but was very helpful about coaching us on how to bottle feed and litter box train. Bottom line is we raised a pretty great little kitty and we eventually hooked up thru the vet with someone who really wanted him. Happy ending for all.
"I've found I prefer male cats to female ones. Males seem to be much more affectionate."
More sexism at the Datalounge!
My kitten was a lot more mentally stable than my older shelter torti. I think because they don't have baggage, I would get 2 else it will be lonely. 2 cas no more trouble than 1.
I recently went with my sister to the local humane society to help her pick out a kitten after her older cat died. It was a great place, they had visitation rooms so you could get some interaction with the kitty before making a decision, rather than just seeing one in a cage and taking it home. She ended up taking 2 of them and they are just so much fun. Perfect matches.
With kittens, 2 are actually less trouble than 1 because they keep each other company & entertain each other. So much round-the-clock energy needs an outlet, & better that they chase their littermates than climb your drapes (but you should get rid of the drapes until they grow up).
I got my older cat a kitten, and the kitten turned my cat into a monster, flying around the apartment and knocking things off counters and shelves.
The kitten went to a girl I knew after a week. She LOVED him.
I've been around al sorts of kittens and cats since I was young. All cats are different, but yes, all kittens pretty much do the same things in their kitten stage.
I suggest looking at the different breed characteristics. For example, Siamese have different personalities than Himalyans. Ragdolls are big, squishy balls of love...or neediness.
Visit a cat show in your area to see the different breeds and speak to the owners.
All cats are different--just like dogs.
If you play rough with a kitten though and let them bite and scratch you, as they grow up they will think this is acceptable. To stop that, always be gentle with them but let them know when something they've done is is wrong. They do learn.
I would really be hesitant adopting for a shelter, as kitten immune systems are so delicate. Many diseases can be caught in a shelter and not show up immediately.
Good luck in your search.
Definitely get a pair. A sibling pair is the best.
r10 has some good sense and humour to share.
r27 thinks he knows more than a cat, or that you can control the outcome based on breed or peoples opinions and you will have minimal success with that.
Ok, now for my opinions.
Get a cat from a shelter if possible. If you are up to kitten lunatics, it is a lot of crazy fun and scratches and interrupted sleep. They will be no more bonded to you than if you choose a cat that is one or two or three years old.
Always get them fixed. Always.
I like female cats better, they are often a little less sucky but also are less prone to urinary infections than males.
I had an object of art cat, Abyssinian and she was a lovely sweet thing with me, very shy and admired by others. My present cat is just a cute tabby that was 2 years old when I got her and is so strong willed, smart and playful. She is very social and completely disobedient to most anything I say but really doesn't do much wrong anyway.
GO by instinct when choosing a cat. If they are 12 weeks old and look like Egyptian sculpture they may be chinless and pudgy by one. Look for bright eyes, responsiveness, alligned strong back legs and radar ears. See if they respond to your voice and fingers.
A cat personality is gonna be fun, and maybe hard to understand, but they are very much smarter than people think, though it is not necessarily about playing fetch. Winks, word associations, hiding things, running and giving them the illusion they are being hunted or hunting is fun for all young healthy kit cats. Cats are a freakin joy once you understand that they are fully willing to play and can learn a lot, but it is not about obedience training or shaking a paw. They may like to please, but it has never been proven. They like to interact.
Two cats are better than one if you want two cats. One cat is just fine with one owner if you plan to be a good roommate for them. They will see you as the guy they live with who brings food, and they will be as great company as you are. If you are not going to be around much or just think of a cat as low maintenance fluffy, then best to get two or none.
Sound is a cats best sense and therefor the best way to train or discipline. Fast hard claps with a firm "NO" is better than any water bottle confusion or attempting to move them around. Listen to me. Two hard claps of your hand and a masculine "NO", will get most cats down from the kitchen counter or out of the wet tub.
Soft sexy sweet talking is very effective too. Not kidding and not as weird as it sounds. I like dogs, but dogs are like children, you have to repeat and use commands and rewards - cats are more like aloof boys you want to long term seduce. Provide food and a bed, don't make too big a deal of any of it, but talk sweet to them and sometimes dance and show off to them. Be Patient. They come back.
Scratching things is a problem you will get or not, and then you will have to figure it out. It is instinctive behavior, that can be neurotic, but if you are frightened by primitive instincts including the love of the kill, you are going to have a hard time understanding a lot of what a cat does.
Never hit an animal of course, but if you have to be firm, shake the scruff of the neck, or pick the cat up that way to get it out of harm's way.
NEVER hit a cat in the face. Butt your head up against theirs for affection, like their mother would do. Most cats like it firm and steady, full body strokes, some tail pulling and ear scratching. Be respectful of their face. They will never bite or scratch yours. Funny.
Kidney disease kills most cats, so they need high quality protein and mostly dry food. Water, some brushing. Cheap treats to run for, and some nip if you like to get a bit nipped yourself.
I sound like the crazy cat lady with 26 cats, but really I responded because our cat is 15, recently pretty ill and I just think she is swell and I am feeling a bit worried.
(Name a cat with a hard consonant as the first letter of it's name. Not Cecilia, but Delta. Not Oona, but Tuna. Not Allie but Cat Deely. Not Umberto but Bob)
The thing with breeds is that you're unlikely to find a cat that is of a single breed at an animal shelter. Purebreds have a lot of health issues too due to the inbreeding. Going by breed is not the smartest thing to do.
[quote]Totally worth it, in my view -- I've never had so much fun doing anything else in my life.
What, watching a kitten cam for hours on end? ;)