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Question about shelters/breeders

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Good Morning, Day or Evening Everyone.

I just signed up for this forum and have a few questions I would like to ask you, of course if you don't mind.

I moved to US about 5 years ago and my g/f been here for about 2. So neither of us know really anything on how things done in here. Back at home I had a dog and a cat, my g/f had a cat. So naturally we would like to get us another bundle of joy.

My questions are pretty simple. As I did some research and found out that breeders charge for cats something around 500-600$, which we simply don't have. The shelters charge you about 75-80$ AND you get to do something good (Adopt a strayed cat ).

Now are there are anything we should be looking at when adopting a cat from a shelter? How long does it usually take to get one? I noticed websites mention some sort of "adopt-a-pet paper" you have to sign.


PS: Does not really go into any of the previous questions, but this one was actually bugging me for years. Would you feed cat a "dry" food or "wet" food? Back in Russia we fed our cat chicken, meat bought from the shops. Never was ill, active and very happy.

Thank you for your future answers and help.
post #2 of 10
Welcome to TCS!

I am all for adopting a homeless pet, I am not qualified to answer the breeder questions. When you go to adopt from a shelter, look for a healthy & friendly cat. Don't overlook the adults/seniors. I suggest a pair, unless you are willing to get a kitty who is other cat aggressive. You can find many kitties who are already declawed if you want one declawed(please do not declaw a kitty you adopt/buy).

Most shelters require you to fill out an adoption application. Some even do home visits. You will have to contact your local shelter to find out their policy. Most times, the cat is already fully vetted. If not, you will sign a contract that states you will have the cat altered.

As for cat food, just straight meat/table scraps isn't a complete diet. Cat food is complete & good for a cat. Wet food is ideal, for moisture/health.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post

Now are there are anything we should be looking at when adopting a cat from a shelter? How long does it usually take to get one? I noticed websites mention some sort of "adopt-a-pet paper" you have to sign.
different shelters have different procedures. most of the time, all they are looking for is loving responsible people to adopt their cats. we usuall have people choose, and come back a week or two later to make sure adopting wasn't some whim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
PS: Does not really go into any of the previous questions, but this one was actually bugging me for years. Would you feed cat a "dry" food or "wet" food? Back in Russia we fed our cat chicken, meat bought from the shops. Never was ill, active and very happy.
we feed 90% raw but adopt out cats to kibble families. like i said, the most important thing is love and stability/permanence. a happy cat will thrive even if food is not ideal.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your replies. I have another question for you.
What should I be looking at when trying to find a cat. We would like to find a nice, huggable and playful little thing. My previous cat was Turkish-Angro and she was HUGE. Not as in fat, just grew up really big. She didn't like to be hugged or be on the lap, she however loved sitting on top of the bookcase and big wardrobe and study petty humans. So are there are any tell tells in kittens which can help us make the right choice?
post #5 of 10
The problem with kittens is that there is abosolutely no way you can predict how big they'll be & what their purr-sonality will be. You could adopt a cute/cuddly/friendly kitten & have it turn out to be something completely different.

I do encourage everyone to adopt adults. Not only are they harder to place, but they are more often euthanized. With an adult, you know what size/look will be & who purr-sonlity will be.

Trust me, stop & take a look at the adults. Yes, kittens are cute, but they are very naughty/messy & expensive. Adults are so much better....and they are just as loveable as kittens!
post #6 of 10
Agreed! Even a ten year old cat will have five years or so of good life left... and getting a two-year-old, you'd have almost as much time with them as you would with a kitten.

If you do want to get a kitten, you'll end up with the unpredictable personality; but generally, if you want the cat to be friendly to you, all you really have to do is be nice to it. Now, "friendly" doesn't mean cuddly or constantly wanting attention; but it does mean at least a cat who won't mind having you around, will probably sit nearby, will probably greet you when you get home. Bottle babies (orphaned kittens) are often very human-centric; but they do also have some minor behavioral problems they are more likely to have--things like not knowing how to interact with other cats, sucking on wool or hair, not knowing how to cover their poo in the litter box, etc. Most don't have those problems, but some do.

The one thing you need to know about America is that this country is way more dangerous for outdoor cats than most places. You just have to look at this forum to see a lot of examples of animal abuse; and there are more that aren't reported. Also, drivers tend to have less caution about cats; and there are a lot of people who outright hate cats, as well as wildlife like coyotes that eat cats. Generally an American outdoor cat lives about five years, as opposed to an average of fifteen years for indoor cats. That's a big gap! Just like humans, cats can adapt to life indoors. They do need to be played with, and you need to interact with them to keep them company; but they are fine indoors. A cat that has to stay on its own indoors should however have a companion... In this case I would highly recommend adopting a pair of cats who have been together their whole lives and whose previous owner wants them to be adopted out together. There are a lot of pairs like that, and they're harder to place because a lot of people just want one cat, but they're perfect for people who go to work during the day because once you've cat proofed your house (removing poisons and such), they'll entertain each other and won't be lonely.
post #7 of 10
With the adult, what you see is what you get, so if someone is friendly (rubbing their face on the bars, seeking eye contact, talking to you, extending a paw) you can be confident that affection seeking behavior is part of the cat already.

A lot of shelters will let you sit in a room alone with the cat out of the cage, to see if the people are compatible with the cat. I think this is a great idea, and you can evaluate the cat. Don't expect anyone to jump into your arms right away, but a cat being open to friendliness will mean the friendliness will only increase.

Also, think about the cats who have the "thousand yard stare." I'm not talking about cats who avoid you, or hide in the back of their cage, but cats who are just droopy in their posture and generally look depressed.

They are depressed, and with good reason. Talk to the shelter people about how they wound up there, and you'll hear hard luck stories. Somebody moved, somebody dies, somebody is expecting a baby and got untrue advice about cats and babies not mixing. Usually it's not at all the cat's fault.

And they are depressed because they are capable of bonding deeply and lovingly and got rejected. Not their fault.

These cats can be absolutely wonderful.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Werebear View Post
Also, think about the cats who have the "thousand yard stare." I'm not talking about cats who avoid you, or hide in the back of their cage, but cats who are just droopy in their posture and generally look depressed.
I have one of those cats that hid in the back of his cage. He was returned to animal control by a rescue group that had him in a pet supplies store for three months. They gave up on him. Nobody would adopt him because he just cowered in his cage. I saw him at animal control and he would hiss at me but I called his bluff and would pet him anyway. I ended up bringing him home and he really came out of his shell. He's a sweetheart. The cat that you see at the shelter sometimes isn't the cat you'll have once you go home. The shy scared one often just needs a chance to be in "normal" surroundings.
post #9 of 10
Yeah. Tiny was a really scared cat when I first got him--he was a stray who must've been dumped as a kitten, because he was afraid of humans. But a few days later, he felt more calm, and I was able to touch him... now he stands on my lap (won't sit down, but loves to be petted)! So I know he was a stray, not a feral.

But then, some of those scared cats will be scared even if you get them out of the shelter--so it's really a gamble. An actual feral cat doesn't want to be touched at all, even after it gets used to you; so if you want a cat who interacts with you, you will need to be sure the cat you get is a cat who has had at least some decent human interaction. (Some people keep indoor ferals, mostly cats who can't live outdoors any more for some reason or other; they aren't pets, though--they are still wild.)

Anyway, if you take on a scared cat, you want one you know is scared because the shelter overwhelms it; and you need to be very calm and nonthreatening when you get him home.
post #10 of 10
There are also different kinds of "shelters" in the U.S. The term is often used for any group that rescues animals, whether they be through publicly sponsored animal control shelters (usually run in conjunction with the police), independent shelters, or rescue groups.

Some independent shelters and nearly all rescue groups do in home fostering. If personality is an issue for you, you might want to locate these types of groups as they can better judge the personality of the animal because it will be in a more natural setting (their home). And like others have said, a kitten's personality doesn't always reflect what they will be like as an adult, thus the recommendation to adopt an adult cat.

If you want to find all the "shelters" in your area, go to www.petfinder.com and do a search based on the zip code where you live. The available cats will come up with the shelter that currently has them. You can then contact the shelters to find out whether the cat is being fostered or kept in a traditional shelter.

Good luck!
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