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When looking at adopting

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
What do you look for? I know everyone has their own preference in personality, color, size, gender ect. but I'd like to know what you guys all consiter.

Personally all I care about is that the cat gets along with my dog and isn't carrying anything that any of my other animals can catch.

I don't have a lot of cat experiance. Tell me what you look for. I could really use some tips.
post #2 of 11
talk to the people there, they may know a very nice cat, that is to shy or scared to be outgoing. most people jsut go in and look for playful ones, but a couple of the best cats i had i got cause i talked to the people working there.
post #3 of 11
For the most part I would suggest personality and compatibility into the home above all else. I put much less value on appearance because it can conflict with what someone would do best with- such as someone liking the look of long haired cats but not wanting to care for their coats- or make someone miss out on a cat that would be otherwise a perfect match. One very nice benefit to adopting an adult cat is that people working with the cat on a daily basis have a much better sense of what their personality is like and can try to match up with a cat with the traits you are looking for- whether it be a lap cat or a more energetic playmate for an existing cat.
post #4 of 11
It's hard to say why I fall in love with whom I have. I mean, I work at a shelter so why did I take home the ones I have instead of a different one.
When it comes down to it. It comes down to the moment I picked them up and looked into their eyes. I felt I had a connection with them and that was the most important thing to me.
post #5 of 11
Usually if I go the shelter it is because I have a specific type of animal in mind....for example when I was hunting for a Calico.

You can NEVER tell if the animal you bring home is going to get along with anybody or anything. That is why it is so important to touch the animal, pet it, see if you can pick it up and hold it. Course, once you do that, it's all over.
post #6 of 11
In my long years with cats, I've noticed that the cats that pick YOU are the ones that are the best friends. About 17 years ago I had just lost my cat from cancer, and was in a pet store picking up dog food. I kneeled down to pick out some dog bones when all of a sudden a cat ran up the isle and leaped into my lap, laid down and started to purr. Seeing that this cat was the same color and nearly the same markings as my previous cat, I purposefully left the store cause I didn't want to adopt one to replace the one I had just lost. I told my husband about "Max" that evening and we went back to the store the next day. Max followed both of us around and wouldn't leave us alone. So Max came home with us and is still to this day one of the best cats I've ever been owned by. Max has been gone for about 9 years now and we still look for him when we get home.

A similar story can be told of my Scarlett, who at 5 years old has become a soul mate to us. We would probably lay down and die for this girl.

Don't have any pre-conceived notions about what you are looking for. Let them pick you!!
post #7 of 11
What a sweet story, and how touching.

I advertised for a particular type of cat: declawed, adult. Gizmo had no competition; her previous owner (or, rather, his wife) brought her over in a carrier. I agreed to take the cat for a weekend and see how she did.

When the small black head peered hesitantly out of the carrier, I remember thinking "Oh, I didn't want a black and white one." Then I felt an immense wave of pity for the poor little animal flow over me. The people she trusted had first gotten a scary dog, then ignored her for a year, then abandoned her, and I was worrying about her looks? I then really hoped that she would be good and would want to stay.

Well, Gizmo is an exceptionally gentle and playful cat. She would get along nearly anywhere, but for a year now she's gotten along with me. I don't know if she ever chose me, though--for her, it was a sort of deportation more than an audition!
post #8 of 11
I choose one 18.5 yr s ago ... She is my SISTER now since she wanted to be my moms cat

Zoey choose me ...lol.. little red dog cries when I leave the room... OH any help would be great , her granny dont like it
post #9 of 11
Above all else, I look for the indicators that a cat/kitten is physically and mentally well. The first thing I do is lift the tail, whether he is a newborn kitten or elderly cat. The bottom should be clean (most cats have a little poop right on the anus) and there should be no sign of diarrhoea or worms. Check the tummy to make sure it isn't bloated and that the cat isn't in pain when you feel the tummy. Next, check the head. Check for ear mites, weepy eyes, nostrils filled with or surrounded by discharge. The eyes should be clear, nicely moist and bright with very little 3rd eyelid showing. The gums should be a healthy pink colour with no redness where the gum meets the teeth. Check for rashes or irritated areas on the skin.

Of course, you may be looking for a special needs cat who is ill or disabled in some way. In this case, you must be prepared to be dedicated with giving medication and special care. Special needs cats are often wonderful companions and definitely make all the hard work in looking after them, more than worth it.
post #10 of 11
When I went to adopt my kittens last July, I had no idea what to do. I had never chosen cats before, they had always just come to my family. It seems like when the time is right a stray just happens by, meowing on our porch and claiming us or getting stuck in the car engine, etc.

I had the exact problem I expected- I was overloaded by beautiful cats and kittens and I was at a loss at how to start. So I brought my hubby, who was able to be a bit more objective. We were looking for kittens without dominant personalities that might be less of a danger around our rabbits. We played with them while they were still in the cages to see how they responded to us. Some pounced and clawed and played hard, although it was just playing. We stayed away from those. There were two singletons we really liked who were very interested in us but played gently, no claws or biting. So we played with them separately on the floor of a room and then put them together. Unfortunately the boy kitten not only wasn't interested in us once he was out of the cage, he also really, really hated the girl kitten whom I adored (and who adored us). This girl kitten is now our Eve.

We then asked the advice of the "cat lady" at the shelter and she handed us a gray and white kitten that had been asleep when we had walked through before. The lady told us that she hadn't been socialized at all due to lack of time and because she had a cage mate, but that she seemed like she'd be great with people once given a chance. My hubby fell instantly in love with her. She was very shy, but she seemed to do well with us and with Eve. We decided to adopt her, and she is our Lily. It took her one day to "socialize," and she's been a lap-loving belly rub-begging kitten ever since.

So I think that's about the best advice I can give. Go with a general personality type in mind, play with the cat to see if he's interested in you or not and vice versa, and talk to the shelter workers. Even when they're too overloaded to work much with all the cats they still have a good idea of personality and who would do well with what kind of owner.
post #11 of 11
I always wait for the right cat to PICK ME, as one person mentioned above, even if he/she is a bit on the beat-up-looking side. I fell for one little lad a few years ago with one eye missing, and half a tail. I was dead set on adopting him, when another kind couple snatched him up first...apparently he knew how to "work the crowd"! Make sure you're able to interact 1:1 with each cat, and get to know how he/she does around other cats, dogs, small children, opposite sex humans, etc. Does the cat seem well socialized? How does the cat fit into your lifestyle? In other words, if you work and are gone for most of the day, a kitten may not be the best option. You may want to opt for a lazier, more independent adult that can tolerate some alone time. I do tend to overlook health issues, as those are issues that tend to improve dramatically once a cat has found an owner that gives a damn. When I first adopted 9-month old Fergus, his tail was broken, he had a wounded paw, his ears were infested with mites, he was NOT neutered, he had an upper respiratory infection, and conjunctivitus in his eyes. He was rough looking little guy, and needed a good bath to bring out his beautiful white fur, a vet visit, and about 3 different types of medication to bring him to good health. What stood out for me about this cat was that he was AFFECTIONATE, and seemed to be connected to me right from the start...he was instantly my best friend. After about 3 weeks of tending to his ouchies, getting him neutered, vaccinated, a nice bath, lap time, play sessions, a roof over his lovely head, a quality diet, and endless smooches, he turned out to be one handsome fellow...who would have known?

THIS is what you look for in a shelter kitty...and once you get there, and spend time with the cats and learn about each one and their histories, it either becomes really difficult to make a choice, or incredibly easy.
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