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Purebred kitten? Or adopt a shelter kitten? Or adopt a shelter adult?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I am looking to add a feline companion to my house in the next month or so. Currently we have no pets in our home. I joined this board when I adopted my former cat, Bella, from the Humane Society. She was 10 months old at adoption. THe first night, she was manic and chewed every suture from her spay out. Took her to the ER the next morning and they stapled her and gave her an e-collar. She chewed every staple out WITH the e-collar. Then, she got a respiratory infection that nearly killed her, was found to be badly infested with worms, and the kicker - had kidneys that did not function properly. Beyond her medical problems, no matter how hard I tried she never truly adapted to our home (in the year that she lived with us) She was skittish and angry, she was manic and rarely slept. If I let her roam the house she would literally get lost - I had to keep her in our addition (a huge sunroom at the back) Eventually she lost her battle with the kidney problem, and it has taken me a while to decide I was ready to adopt another kitty.

Now the question becomes - did I do the wrong thing? Is it better to get a younger kitten so that they can more easily become acclimated? Or is an adult that needs a good home a better idea - because they know how to behave? Is a kitten from a breeder going to be healthier? I just don't know if I could handle having another kitten die from a virus she contracted at the shelter. I know purebred kittens get sick too, but I just want some advice on this. I want to do things right this time - I've neen doing my research on these boards for months. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 23
well my house is full of rescues, we adopted willie as an adult and he is the most friendliest and most loveable cat u will ever met we also now with kittens they are kittens u know so will behave like a kitten! O and also forgot to add that Willie was adopted at the age of three from a shelter, and he is going on 11 years old now! I think rescueing is a great idea, y dont u try to go to ur local shelter and have a look around, the right one usually chooses u! But its really up to wat u want, we also got blue and tessa at a rescue group that was filled with cats and tessa was sick but we gave her her antibiotics and she is the most spunkiest kittie there is Also with kittens u dont really now what their personality is going to be like! But with adults u usually no! But i vote for adopting from a shelter
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SSmith0385 View Post
Hey guys,

I am looking to add a feline companion to my house in the next month or so. Currently we have no pets in our home. I joined this board when I adopted my former cat, Bella, from the Humane Society. She was 10 months old at adoption. THe first night, she was manic and chewed every suture from her spay out. Took her to the ER the next morning and they stapled her and gave her an e-collar. She chewed every staple out WITH the e-collar. Then, she got a respiratory infection that nearly killed her, was found to be badly infested with worms, and the kicker - had kidneys that did not function properly. Beyond her medical problems, no matter how hard I tried she never truly adapted to our home (in the year that she lived with us) She was skittish and angry, she was manic and rarely slept. If I let her roam the house she would literally get lost - I had to keep her in our addition (a huge sunroom at the back) Eventually she lost her battle with the kidney problem, and it has taken me a while to decide I was ready to adopt another kitty.

Now the question becomes - did I do the wrong thing? Is it better to get a younger kitten so that they can more easily become acclimated? Or is an adult that needs a good home a better idea - because they know how to behave? Is a kitten from a breeder going to be healthier? I just don't know if I could handle having another kitten die from a virus she contracted at the shelter. I know purebred kittens get sick too, but I just want some advice on this. I want to do things right this time - I've neen doing my research on these boards for months. Thanks in advance.
ADOPT A SHELTER ADULT!!! You REALLY know what you're getting...their personalities are set at this point. They're also much more mellow, more likely to either be healthy or have their health issues ON FILE (if the shelter is worth its salt, anyway) and, quite frankly, they appreciate it SO MUCH. All of my living cats were 2+ at the time of their adoptions and all 3 of them adjusted to my home almost immediately. And I seriousl think that they feel so grateful to me for taking them out of the shelter system. I can just tell by how they look at me.

Personally, I don't choose to support the work of breeders because I would rather save one of the 3-4 million lives that would otherwise be ended in this country. I think it's also somewhat misleading; you know a little bit more what you'll get, but no breeder can guarantee health any more than a good shelter can and I think people sort of overestimate the "stability" of purebred cats' personalities. They all are individuals after all! Also, from my experience on this site, good breeders who take excellent care of their kitties are out there, but they seem to be in the minority from what I've observed. You'd want to be very careful either way. Bad shelters are unfortunately out there, too.

Go for a shelter/rescue that offers a health guarantee of 14-30 days. Try to, if possible, look for a foster network or cageless shelter. Ask to see medical and socialization records. Talk extensively to whichever staff or volunteers have been looking after the kitty. Spend a lot of one-on-one time. Try to get information about a previous home if possible, and if not, look into how to properly socialize a formaer stray or feral into a home. Confine the new kitty to one room for 1-2 weeks after coming home. After that 2 weeks, see a vet for a well-visit.

And...adopt an adult!!! You'd be doing a good thing...no, a GREAT thing, and honestly, even though you're gunshy after having such an unfortunate experience before, each and every cat, despite age and breeding, is an individual. I lost my adopted kitten, supposedly healthier and mor elikely to adapt, at 8 months old due to illness. So go with your gut, visit a variety of cats, foster homes and shelters and get chosen!
post #4 of 23
I am a firm believer in giving homes to shelter cats. I have had several cats during my adult life and all have been rescued from shelters. Of all those cats only one had behavior problems which with time I eventually worked throw. I lost one of my cats whom I had had for 14years on 17th of March. Since that time I have adopted my newest additon Linus who is a little doll. Yes he has some behavior issue's that we are working on, but my cat Sassy loves him, and I know with a bit of time and patience he will overcome any problems that he has...
These poor cats deserve that second, third or even fourth chance that we can give them.
post #5 of 23
I second the ADOPT and ADULT cat .... I have had purebreeds from breeders and will likely again... I also have a purebreed from a shelter who I got as an adult ... I also have a oppps I didnt spay momma cat kitty and a shelter mutt kitty

I like adults or at least adolecents as babyhood is over rated ( though I give big thumbs up to the bottle feeders and kitten fosters)
post #6 of 23
First let me say I am sorry for your loss, I am sure you did everything you could for Bella. Somethings are unfortunately out of our hands. My personal experience has been adopting kittens from shelters, when they first allow them to be adopted. There are positives and negatives with this, although all of my experiences have been positive! Often shelters put kittens up for adoption at a very young age, sometimes 5 weeks, recommended age is 10-12 weeks. When you do bring a kitten home under 3 months, they need a lot of attention, more nurture and affection as if the mom kitty would give. It is very important to realize that you and what you show them is what they remember for the rest of their lives. This is what causes some cats and older kittens to have difficult adjustments in new homes, traumatic kitten life and or experiences. They grow up much faster then we do, but are just as effected by trauma in those delicate months. It is hard to for see a cats past, but sometimes you just know if they are the one for you.
post #7 of 23
The choice is utlimately up to you really. Kitten season is on us and Adults often seem to get overlooked this time of year. everyone wants a cute kitten

I am a breeder but we have a housefull of rescues as well. so it boils down to what you feel best doing.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the advice. I'm definitely going to consider an adult cat now in my search.
post #9 of 23
You could also look into a retired adult cat from a breeder, if you are after a certain breed.
post #10 of 23
Good luck in your search. Just go along to a couple of places and see what jumps out at you
post #11 of 23
I think it is completely up to you, we have no purebreads but have rescued both kittens and adults.

I have to disagree with lionessrampant with 'you know what you are getting' because with everyone I know who adopted an adult cat, the cats personality changed in the new household, so you really don't know what you are getting.

We adopted one of two cats who were 6+ and being given away because the owners thought their toddler maybe allergic, someone else adopted the outgoing, playful, healthy kitty and 6 months later gave him up because he would not settle, had turned into a nasty cat that hid and hissed all the time. We adopted a scared quiet kitty with majot health problems who has now only been to the vet once in the last year because of those problems (he has been for check ups etc also), plays with my other cats and is so much more outgoing and playful.

That being said, not many people will take adult cats and you are helping a kitty that otherwise may not find a home.

If you want a kitten, go for it, you had a bad experience but there are plenty of perfectly healthy kittens out there
post #12 of 23
I have two rescues - one 3 year old and one 11 month old. (She will be 1 in a week). I have never met a cat more grateful and loving than a rescue. Kittens will fly out of a shelter, as will pure-breds from a breeder.... but rescue adults are so hard to home. Here, if someone comes and asks if we have kittens (it's not kitten "season" yet) and we say no, they just turn around and leave, complaining that other people will have kittens, why don't we? They won't even bother to glace at the other poor babies we have just waiting for the right people to come and love them.

My vote will always be with homing a rescue adult.
post #13 of 23
First of all I am so sorry about Bella, that is so sad. As far as adopting another kitty, I would go to the nearest shelter and take a look at the more mature cats. The kittens are usually adopted quickly but the older cats just sit and wait for somebody to adopt them. Sometimes they don't make it at all unless it's a no kill shelter. Save a kitty, I believe that with all my heart and a mature cat is less trouble, they won't be biting wires like kittens. Anyway that is my honest opinion, and if you could maybe you could adopt two adult cats especially if they have been together at the shelter. I adopted my Misty when she was only 6 weeks old and she never wanted another cat in the house (I tried), she is now 14 years old so I won't get another. When she crosses the bridge, and I hope that is many years from now, I will adopt an older cat. Good luck to you.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilleKat View Post
I have two rescues - one 3 year old and one 11 month old. (She will be 1 in a week). I have never met a cat more grateful and loving than a rescue. Kittens will fly out of a shelter, as will pure-breds from a breeder.... but rescue adults are so hard to home. Here, if someone comes and asks if we have kittens (it's not kitten "season" yet) and we say no, they just turn around and leave, complaining that other people will have kittens, why don't we? They won't even bother to glace at the other poor babies we have just waiting for the right people to come and love them.

My vote will always be with homing a rescue adult.
My vote too!!! I agree with LilleKat, kittens are far more likely to get homes than the "grown up" kitties. These "big" kitties are wonderful - they are past the destructive kitten stage, but usually still love to play. Most of these cats have ended up in shelters through no fault of their own, but because of irresponsible people who abandon them for a variety of shameful reasons.

As another member suggested, do consider adopting two! Twice the fun, twice the love, and they can keep each other company when you're not around (no guilt!) Many shelters have pairs of cats who have lived together in a previous home. Most shelters will try hard to keep these cats together but you can imagine how difficult it is to find homes willing to adopt the pair.

I'm so glad you're considering adoption!!! Go for an adult kitty (or two )!

PS - So sorry about your Bella - it sounds like you did your best to take good care of her.
post #15 of 23
I add my opinion of adopt an adult!

Also....don't look past the older ones. I mean 10 isn't really that old if you take good care of the kitty. Or special needs cats....a deaf cat really isn't all that special needs.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
ADOPT A SHELTER ADULT!!! You REALLY know what you're getting...their personalities are set at this point. They're also much more mellow, more likely to either be healthy or have their health issues ON FILE (if the shelter is worth its salt, anyway) and, quite frankly, they appreciate it SO MUCH. All of my living cats were 2+ at the time of their adoptions and all 3 of them adjusted to my home almost immediately. And I seriousl think that they feel so grateful to me for taking them out of the shelter system. I can just tell by how they look at me.

Personally, I don't choose to support the work of breeders because I would rather save one of the 3-4 million lives that would otherwise be ended in this country. I think it's also somewhat misleading; you know a little bit more what you'll get, but no breeder can guarantee health any more than a good shelter can and I think people sort of overestimate the "stability" of purebred cats' personalities. They all are individuals after all! Also, from my experience on this site, good breeders who take excellent care of their kitties are out there, but they seem to be in the minority from what I've observed. You'd want to be very careful either way. Bad shelters are unfortunately out there, too.

Go for a shelter/rescue that offers a health guarantee of 14-30 days. Try to, if possible, look for a foster network or cageless shelter. Ask to see medical and socialization records. Talk extensively to whichever staff or volunteers have been looking after the kitty. Spend a lot of one-on-one time. Try to get information about a previous home if possible, and if not, look into how to properly socialize a formaer stray or feral into a home. Confine the new kitty to one room for 1-2 weeks after coming home. After that 2 weeks, see a vet for a well-visit.

And...adopt an adult!!! You'd be doing a good thing...no, a GREAT thing, and honestly, even though you're gunshy after having such an unfortunate experience before, each and every cat, despite age and breeding, is an individual. I lost my adopted kitten, supposedly healthier and mor elikely to adapt, at 8 months old due to illness. So go with your gut, visit a variety of cats, foster homes and shelters and get chosen!
I agree with you wholeheartedly! Well said!!
post #17 of 23
I have 12...one shelter cat, four vet clinic abandoned/surrenders and seven rescues.

If I had to go to the shelter today and pick out a cat, I would probably ask the staff to point me in the direction of the most wonderful, overlooked adult cat that had been there way too long for some insignificant reason that potential adoptors were not willing to overlook.
post #18 of 23
I'm sorry about Bella Sounds as though she had a lot of problems, and it sounds like you did more for her than a lot of other people might have! you gave her every possible opportunity, and unfortunately she wasn't able to respond.

I say get a shelter kitty, and I won't say to get a kitten or an adult - I'll say go for whoever appeals to you, but don't get suckered in by a kittens cuteness - the older kitties have a lot to offer as well!

Go to the shelter at a quiet time, talk to the volunteers, and ask their opinions about the cat, then spend time with each cat you're interested in, with just that cat in their play/adoption area.

Are you planning on getting a second cat in the future? If not, I would recommend against a kitten, or an active adult - they generally need another cat to amuse them. If you only want one cat, ask which cats don't get along with other animals, they often get overlooked, and I find are generally fantastic with just one person - they lavish constant attention!

If you plan to add to your fur family, make sure you get a social kitty, and one who will be likely to accept another cat into its household once you decide to add to it.

Either way, if you go with your heart set on something specific, you generally come out with a completely different sort of kitty.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
I have to disagree with lionessrampant with 'you know what you are getting' because with everyone I know who adopted an adult cat, the cats personality changed in the new household, so you really don't know what you are getting.
Having brought a kitten and several adults into my household, and having been doing adoptions for my shelter for quite some time now, I really do have to say that if you want ANY stability in terms of personality, an adult cat is really the ONLY choice. A kitten, from a breeder or shelter, is going to change drastically by the time it reaches adulthood and may end up having a completely contrary personality to what you'd have hoped for. EVERY non-feral kitten is going to be cute and playful and snuggly in his or her way. Sure, nurture has something to do with it, but nature cannot be discounted. A more withdrawn cat will be withdrawn to some degree despite the best socialization in the world.

And yes, I definitely see where you're coming from...my cats came out of their shell upon coming home as well. But it wasn't a completely drastic change, and in every case, it was for the better. Of course, I got 2/3 of my cats from absolutely excellent cageless facilites, so I think that makes a difference as far as gauging a kitty's personality in a shelter.
post #20 of 23
My kitties were both almost a year old when I brought them home from the shelter. They had been there for over 8 months, and after I saw them, there was no way I could leave them there. I went in for kittens and came out with 2 teenagers!! Best thing I have ever done!!
post #21 of 23
I'd have to agree w/ the shelter cat too, although I don't think there is ANYTHING wrong w/ wanting to have a purebred as well.

We recently adopted Bayley (11 months) from the shelter, and I get so much joy from knowing we brought him into a house full of love, compared to the life of sadness he had prior

Good luck w/ your decision!
post #22 of 23
I surely understand your dread of going through such a painful loss again. But purebred cats can have health problems, too, and when you consider that you have a chance here to save the life of a shelter kitty that would otherwise be put to death, I think it's worth the risk.

Our six cats are all shelter kitties (one a rescued feral), and we've been lucky with their health -- my Clyde almost died from pneumonia and pleural effusion when he was a baby, but as you can see below, he's grown up healthy and beautiful... and that was the only serious problem we've had.

I sympathize with the desire for a purebred. But the shelters overflow, especially at this time of year. And even if you do feel the need for a purebred, those too can be found at the shelter. Just the other day at the shelter where I volunteer, a woman tearfully surrendered a beautiful six-month-old Bengal girl because her son was allergic.

So yes, please do visit the shelters and see who you find, or who finds you. And you might think about fostering. If there's a no-kill shelter near you, you might ask if they would like to let you foster one or two of their older cats for awhile, to make room for mothers during kitten season. If you fall in love and decide to keep your fosters, that's wonderful! If not, you've still done a good deed, and they can go back to the shelter when space is available.

I dearly hope you find a wonderful companion or two who will be with you in good health for many, many years!
post #23 of 23
I can't tell you what to do, but I can echo what others have said. There are always homes for kittens and purebreds, but adult cats in a shelter are really in the most need.

We adopted two adult cats from a rescue and they have been the best kitties ever (the only cat we've had that was better was a stray we found in an abandoned building)...they are wonderful, loving pets. I can't say that their personalities are that much different since bringing them home (Bella's still bossy, Stan's still a luvbug). They have had health issues from their past (Stan came from a cat hoarder, Bella was abandoned with several other pets in an empty house and nearly starved), but they are both doing much better now and they are the envy of all my cat owning friends.
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