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Adopted adult cats

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Here I'm again asking for your help in another research question: Did any one of you adopted an adult cat? If yes, could you please share with me some of the experiences you had or are having? Was it hard to understand him/her at the beginning? Was there somekind of behavior that you didn't understand but that now makes sense to you? Did the cat changed his/her behavior? What kind of problems did you have? Did you change?
I received very interesting stories last time that were very useful for my research. If you folks could help me with this one too it would be great. Thank you very much,
post #2 of 10
Two of my cats I adopted as adults, Fallon and Sampson. Fallon I adopted from the clinic I work at and she had spent the most part of her 1 and a half years in a little cage because no one wanted to adopt her. Because of this she is a very timid cat but she has come a long way from when I first brought her home.

When I first brought her home she hid for a week. Luckily I had a big cat enclosure that I had boughten for her so I kept her in that but she hid in the corner. Slowly she would edge her way a little further each day until she would be sitting at the front of her cage. Then it came to the point where she would attach herself to me and not let go. Everywhere that I went she had to go.

Then I moved in with my boyfriend to a bigger house with other cats and one other dog so we started back at the begining. She hid again only this time longer but slowly she would work her way out from under the bed.

She started playing with the other cats and when you were sitting or laying down on the couch she'd come snuggle with you. At night she likes to sleep on the bed next to you but during the day if you're in motion she's off hiding somewhere.

Of course not all adult cats are like this and you certainly wouldn't have to go through with what I did with Fallon with another cat but considering her start I can understand why she is this way.

Sampson on the other hand was her complete opposite. I adopted him from the clinic I work at(notice a pattern here?) when he was 3 and a half. When I brought him home he settled right in and quickly established himself amoung the other cats. He was a little shy towards affection at first but as soon as he felt comfortable his personality started to shine.

He is an awesome cat and adopting him was one of the best things I've ever done. I love him to bits and his cuteness factor is greater than any kitten I could have adopted instead(I don't love him or anything do I?).
post #3 of 10
Interesting questions!

We adopted Sam when he was 5. He had been with a family, then at a kennel for three months. He apparently hated the kennel, did not leave his cage.

Our biggest problem was learning to understand what he wanted. Now I know all of the different "meow"s, but at the beginning, all we knew was that he seemed to cry a lot. He didn't like the food we were giving him, and didn't know how to tell us that he was hungry. We eventually found something he liked by trial and error. However, I am still discovering things about his previous life - like the other day when I was opening a can with a can opener, within his hearing for the first time, and he raced to my side, little paws up on the table to watch. That's when I figured that his previous owners has fed him canned food from a tin that needed an opener.

We are always noticing things he does that make us say "oh - that must have been how his first family did things". For example, at first when we got him, if he threw up, he would run and hide. I suspect that he was punished for doing that. Now if he is throwing up, I pat him and rub his back, and he doesn't run away.

The biggest adjustment has been in establishing a new routine, and then having him adapt to that routine, without necessarily knowing what he was used to before.
post #4 of 10
Corky was 9 months when we got her, not really an adult I know, but when we first got her she had a scratching problem. A lot of the time when we stroked her or walked past her she would take swipe.

After a few monthe she stopped doing it completly, it wasn't untill recently that we learned that in the foster home, she got very stressed out being kept in one room and started having a few problems, she managed to strip about 2 walls of the wallpaper.

My friend took in an older cat, who won't eat from her food dish unless she is shown to the bowl and given a few strokes, he beleives that the previous owner teased her with the food before letting her eat and she doesn't seem to have got completly over it.

post #5 of 10
The only adult cat we adopted was a female who was about two years old. We couldn't decide on a name, so we ended up calling her Kitty. She spent the first few hours in our home hiding under the furniture. By the evening of Kitty's first day with us, she felt brave enough to start exploring and was able to find her food dishes and litter boxes without any problem. Kitty was a wonderful cat and made herself a part of our family within her first few days, she was truly the perfect pet for us. Unfortunately, we only had Kitty for a couple of years. Her bladder became completely obstructed and she died at the veterinary clinic following emergency surgery. We still think about her.

After the loss of Kitty, we adopted Midnight who was almost an adult. She was an eight month old kitten who had spent the last six months living in a no-kill shelter. When Midnight first came to live with us she was not used to people and was unsure of everyone except me. I spent a lot of time working with her and encouraging her to trust people. First, she became more trusting toward my son, and eventually I saw dramatic improvements in her behavior with other people. Midnight was with us for 13 1/2 wonderful years, the time came to put her to sleep a year ago last August. She is missed a lot.
post #6 of 10
I've adopted two adult females in the past.

Kali came with her kitten, Alf (he was about 3 weeks old) and we think she was about two. Never knew what happened to her other kittens, as only Kali and Alf were found - cornered by a dog. She was a lovely cat, and there were no problems with her integrating into the house, but she gradually stayed out longer and longer until she just didn't come home one day (about 5 years ago). I still miss her. I just think she was an outside cat, who tolerated us while she was feeding her kitten and made sure he was ok before moving on.

Moogie came to us as a older cat (about 10 years old). Her previous owner was bedridden, and eventually died. Poor Moogie hid under the sofa for quite a lot of her first 6 months with us - and would run away if she saw people standing up. But she was all over you if you lay down! She was a bed cat - Julian would cuddle her like a teddy-bear at night, which she loved! After about a year she came to trust me, and would just stand in my way not moving - but it took a lot longer with Julian (bigger feet and big workman boots). I don't think there were any misunderstandings - as she just didn't communicate with us much for her first six months. Did she change? Yes, she came out from under the sofa. Did I change? Yes, I would warn her that I was about to move - which sounds mad, but she "understood". She died about 2 years ago. I do miss her - miserable old flea bag that she was.

Would I get another older cat? Yes.
post #7 of 10
My parents and I have always adopted adult cats. The only time I ever had a kitten was when I was a kitten myself

Our 4th adult family cat passed away 2 years ago, and since then I have moved out and now live on my own. Within a month of moving out I *had* to adopt a cat. I knew I wanted an adult because of our past good experiences with them.

I adopted Maggie from the SPCA, she was around 3 years old. She had previously lived with a male adult, who didn't like her apparantly. Anyway - we got to know her for about a year, she did change a LOT from the first months. Then we started to worry she might be lonely, so we adopted another female adult cat, which Maggie wasn't too pleased about. As hard as it was watching them stalk each other and fight, i believe it was for the best because it really brought out even more charecteristics of each cat. They finally get along, now and Maggie is soooooooooooooooooo, well - just Maggie! she started out being the un-affectionate sour puss, and every day changed little by little - she is now a cuddler and i also notice she talks a lot now too, whereas before she meowed maybe once a day. now it's all day!
she also used to hate being held, but now she puts up with it and sometimes even enjoys it. i don't know if she has changed this much over time due to the other cat in the house, or if she would have drastically changed anyway.

i have changed too - i never thought i'd find another soul mate after my family Kitty died 2 years ago, but Maggie and I have a special bond that i have never experienced before. I think Ruby, her recent friend and i are headed down that same path, but Ruby is less of a challenge for me since she has always been affectionate and a lover.

Speaking of Ruby - yes she's changed noticeably in the last year. She is more confident in herself and won't let Maggie even look at her funny! 6 months ago Ruby would have just ran away. Now she will stalk back!

i don't know if i really answered your questions, feel free to ask more specific ones.

oh - some more thoughts: regarding past owners of older cats....it's deifnitely interesting when you notice specific things that they probably experienced with their past owners. Ruby for example - i think she lived with an opera singer, because she just goes NUTS if you sing for her!!!!!!!!!!! i have never seen a cat react like that. she is also more dog-like than cat-like, so i think she lived with dogs. she is also very scared of spray-bottles, so i know that's how she used to get punished for things. i think she is realizing lately that i won't spray her with Windex so she has stopped running away whenever we are cleaning something or if i spray perfume on me.

Maggie's tail kinda shivers when she's happy - i think she's had it stepped on pretty badly in her past......

i like having adult cats because of neat things like these to ponder..........
post #8 of 10

This is Isabel. I adopted her on January 11, 2002. She was about 2 years old when I brought her home. She has been the only cat I have ever adopted as an older cat rather than as a kitten. I had moved from a busy household into an apartment. The cat I already had was getting lonely while I was at work so I decided he needed a friend.

I went to the local pet shelter and began "trying out" the older cats. I would pick them up and see how friendly they were. I was actually wanting a cat that looked a certain way, not a tabby. But, for some reason I opened Isabel's cage and picked her up anyway. She was had a mindset to get herself adopted! She purred and rubbed her head against my chin and neck and got all cuddly. I decided to give her the test I had thought up. I walked around the cat area with her and held her up to all the cat cages to see what her reaction to the other cats would be. It turned out she wasn't bothered by any of them so I took that as a good sign and adopted her.

My other cat accepted her but wasn't sure about her. Isabel tried her best to be charming with him too. At first he didn't want her to touch him at all or sit on "his chair". Afterwhile he decided it was ok if she sat there so long as he didn't feel like sitting there. After about 2 months she charmed him enough that he would let her rub up against him.

Isabel did come with a surprise however. Three weeks after Isabel had come home she gave birth to one kitten underneath my futon. The unfortunate part was that the kitten died. I was rather upset about it and complained to the pet shelter as it is their policy never to adopt out pregnant animals. I was upset that they hadn't checked her over well enough to know she had been pregnant.

Unfortunately, a few months after that my other cat was diagnosed with cancer and had to be put down in May. I have since adopted again, this time a new kitten (the darker, Sarah, in my avatar), and Isabel accepted Sarah and treated her like her very own kitten.

It did take me awhile to understand Isabel. Her way of communicating was quite different than my old cat. I also took awhile to discover her favorite way of cuddling. She likes to but tucked all the way under my quilt while I watch tv. She never has managed to learn her new name though, but thats ok. I shall try to keep teaching it to her.
post #9 of 10
I am a proud owner of three beautiful felines. Buddy and Echo are now 4 years old, but they were only babies when I got them. At the time, I had an older cat, Mimi, who passed away last year in October (I still miss her dearly). When she passed, I wanted to fill the "void" right away...but luckily, I waited until this past August. I adopted Tiki (purebred Himalayan) who was 10 months old at the time. I was tickled pink when I found out she was to be adopted...only I didn't realize what kind of problems I might have by bringing her home. She was quite timid at first. I could tell that she didn't really like dogs and would shy away from our pup. Bud was totally pissed at her...he would hiss and growl constantly at her. Tiki was raised around other cats, so she didn't understand why he was so mad. Echo has become a little Mommy figure to Tiki. Instantly, Echo rubbed against her and started to bathe her just like she would a kitten. At first, Tiki refused to eat. Apparently she didn't like the food I had for the others...then she refused to use her litter box. Finally after 3 months, she is finally comfortable with her new life and is becoming very lovable. She is definitely a sassy little girl with an attitude, but she has trained me well. I've learned that when she wants attention is the only time that she gets attention. She is definitely set in her own ways, but I can tell that I've made a difference in her life and I can't imagine my life with out her.
post #10 of 10
I recently adopted a slightly older female cat named fury.When i first brought her home she hid underneath the bed for two days. It's been about two weeks now and i'm happy to say she has adjusted well . Older cats are great there's no surprises about thier temperment,size, or appearence. If you are going to adopt an adult cat you should adopt it from a local no kill shelter. thier usually willing to take the cat back if there is a problem.It's better to be safe then sorry.
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