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Adopting a cat

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I am thinking about adopting a cat from the local shelter. The cat is about 3 years old. The shelter keep him in a cage, with food, water and a litter box. He seem to make good use of the litter box as I don't see cat waste anywhere else in the cage. Since he's in a cage, I wasn't able to handle him in anyway, but he did allowed me to touch his forehead with my finger. I emailed the person who catch the cat, and here is what she said:


I found Roshi (the cat) in front of my building in Sheepshead Bay on New Year's Eve; he was standing by the vestibule entrance, asking for the attention from anyone entering the building. He was very clean and friendly; he did not appear to have been in the street very long. I gave him a can of food from one of my neighbors and went back to my apartment; I returned about an hour later to find him in the same spot. I brought down my old cat carrier (my last cat passed away last year and as I am allergic, I have been read the riot act from my doctor about having any more cats) and he stepped right into it--clearly the behavior of a cat who had previous experience with a cat carrier! I kept him in my home for about 2 or 3 days until I was able to arrange transfering him to shelter. He was well-behaved and used the litter box. He would follow me into the kitchen whenever I waved a can of food at him. I had to keep him confined to the bathroom most of the time because I wanted to contain any hair to one room due to my allergies, but I did notice that there was virtually no hair on the bathroom floor when he left--he doesn't appear to shed much. The only time I heard him "meow" was when he was about to be fed-- and on the last day when he didn't want to be locked up in the bathroom anymore and was ready to explore! His disposition is very sweet, he didn't bite or scratch, keeping in mind that I didn't try to pick him up or overwhelm him -- I didn't have him with me long enough--typically cats take a few days to get acclamated to their new surroundings and new "people".
Since I haven't had cats before, I would like to hear from experienced owners about what to look out for when adopting a cat. Advise and comments are welcome.
post #2 of 35
Sounds like you are getting a keeper!
The rescuer did a good job of describing what sounds ike a well-adjusted cat in a new situation. It sounds like you may be getting an escaped or abandoned pet - and he will probably be forever grateful for having a good home as he knows what the alternative is. (My son's cat was rescued from the parking of the apt complex and she is very appreciative/loving - and doesn't have any interest in going outside)
Behavior in a shelter isn't as reliable as it is very stressful on the critters. They may be more quiet or more vocal than normal, even more shy than they really are normally.

Be sure to take him to your vet to be checked out and get any needed vaccines/testing.

post #3 of 35
It sounds like he is a nice cat. When you take him home, be sure to put him in a room (like the bathroom) for a little while, with his food and a litter box, so he can know where everything is.

You should visit the veterinarian with him right away to be sure he doesn't have any hidden problems, and that he is neutered.

Keep in mind that every cat is an individual, with his own quirks and funny habits. He may like playing with pens, for example, or like to sleep under the couch. Some of those behaviors you can modify, others you will have to learn to live with.

Also remember that if he was outside once, he might try to escape from you, so be very careful around doors and windows. You wouldn't want to lose your new friend!

There is lots of good information on this site. Unfortunately, a lot of it deals with our occasional problems, rather than the years of joy and friendship we have had from cats.

The typical indoor cat (the only safe place to keep your kitty) can be expected to live 15 years or more, so keep in mind you are getting a long-term friendship (and commitment) here.
post #4 of 35
If you're serious about adopting him, you should be able to handle him/interact with him outside of the cage. Ask the store staff... or contact the rescue agency.
post #5 of 35
You should also find out about clipping his claws, and maybe have the shelter do it or your vet, just to keep down the damage he might do to you or your stuff in the first few days in your home. This is something you can do once a week.
post #6 of 35
Cogratulations on your decision! adopting a cat, especially by the sounds of the one you are looking at is very rewarding! I would still ask if you can take him out of the cage just to get to know him better, or if not maybe they will put him on trial with you/.?? I agree about getting his claws clipped before you take him as well, or get the people at the shelter to show you how to do it! Also educate yourself on options (soft paws, cat tree, double sided tape)if he does start scratching in his new surroundings, although it sounds like he may be a bit older so it's less likely. everybody here will be more then happy to help you as there is always a way to make a happy home!!!!

Don't hesitate to post any questions!
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
I believe the cat was not neutered when he was captured in January, but has since been "fixed". The shelter also vaccinated, microchipped, checked him for FIV, etc.

Do I need to bring him to the vet again after adoption or do you think what the shelter has done is sufficient?
post #8 of 35
I think it's a good idea, if you have a vet you've been dealing with. It's good to have a second opinion and a good base line. Be sure to have the vaccination records, etc., from the shelter.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Is it necessary to undergo flea treatment or deworming, or are those procedures only meant that exhibit these problems?

Would the cat do okay on a pure dry food diet? (Dry food is less messy and cheaper)
post #10 of 35
It would be good, especially with a neutered male, if he had at least some wet food as part of his daily diet. Cats often don't drink a lot of water and their natural way of getting water in their diets is with their food. My cats unfortunately don't care much for wet food because I only gave them dry as kittens so you may have that problem with this cat. Some cats will drink more water with a water fountain, some cats prefer running water, and the fountain satisfies that preference. If the shelter vaccinated and microchiped him he has probably been dewormed and any fleas have been taken care of. Some people use a monthly preventative like Frontline to prevent fleas, others with indoor cats only just take care of them if they become a problem. When you take him in for his yearly exams take a fecal sample in to check for worms other than that just get him checked if he develops digestive problems or sometimes you can actually see them in the litter box. They usually aren't a big problem with indoor only cats.
post #11 of 35
He sounds like a winner. I agree with what everyone said about the vet. It is really nice to see if the cat gets along with the vet, too. Welcome to TCS! Have you picked at a name yet?
post #12 of 35
Thread Starter 
He's currently named Roshi, I will discuss w. my wife, see if she want it changed. I am thinking about maybe "Plato"
post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 
I brought the cat home this evening. What a sweet little bugger he is! He was scared for about 40 minutes, and then started patrolling the house and rubbing himself on the wall to mark them. Used the litter box, and allowed me and my wife to pet him and play with his paw.
post #14 of 35
Aw, that's wonderful! Congratulations! We'd sure love to see some pictures if possible...
post #15 of 35
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Aw, that's wonderful! Congratulations! We'd sure love to see some pictures if possible...
we all LOVE !
post #16 of 35
I just caught this thread - congrats on your new addition! I bet you three with have wonderful times together Please do share photos!!
post #17 of 35
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Aw, that's wonderful! Congratulations! We'd sure love to see some pictures if possible...
...that was a great descision!
God bless you soul for take care at poor kitty from a shelter!...
post #18 of 35
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. As soon as I get my camera ready I post some photographs of the new cat Plato.
I am happy with how things turned out so far. Even my mom who usually hates cat showed a great deal of interest towards Plato. He's a curious cat, and whenever I flush the toilet, would put his front paws on the seat, and take a good look at the swirling water. One concern here though, he likes to drink from the toilet (he also drinks from the water dish I put out for him). How should I discourage him from doing that?
post #19 of 35
Just shut the lid! Or else the bathroom door, or both.

And what CoolCat said bears repeating: "God bless you soul for take care at poor kitty from a shelter!..."
post #20 of 35
Put the lid down on the bowl - honestly, I had to practice that myself before I brought my babies home. It does become second nature. But, congratulations on your new addition - he sounds wonderful!

There's a lot of help on this site, and also there are some great books out there (cats for dummies is a good one for new parents). It's almost a given that your local library will have a 'cat person' on staff - they can probably point you at all the best books they've got.

Also, as a relatively new parent, I'd suggest lining up a vet if you don't already have one. Much better to establish a relationship early (and to learn what e-vet to use after hours) than to run around when something seems wrong. So speaks a woman who called an e-vet about what turned out to be a hairball. In my defense, I'd only had him a month. But, you'll be amazed at how much you're going to be learning, and I suspect amazed at how much your little guy will enhance your lives. Also, have fun shopping for toys!

Oh, I just got a fountain for my cats, and I do notice them drinking more....maybe another thing to investigate down the road (along with cat trees, window seats, interactive toys.....)
post #21 of 35
Thread Starter 
can I flush the litter down the toilet or is that going to clog my sewage?
post #22 of 35
depends on the litter & whether you're on a city sewer or septic tank system.
for the toilet issue - i keep my bathroom door closed. i also have fountains, & now the cats aren't interested in drinking from the toilet
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
Here are some pictures of my new cat, isn't he lovely!

post #24 of 35
he is, indeed!
post #25 of 35
Oh my yes, a very handsome boy! Thank you for those!

And how is the getting-to-know-you period going?
post #26 of 35
He is a handsome boy. Thank you for adopting an adult from the shelter. So often the adults get overlooked in favor of the kittens.
post #27 of 35
What a nice looking Cat and I am glad you adopted him.
post #28 of 35
Originally Posted by yiplong View Post
Here are some pictures of my new cat, isn't he lovely!
very much so
glad you gave him a home
post #29 of 35
awww he is beautiful! You did a good thing
post #30 of 35
Very handsome boy!

Congratulations on your recent addition to the family!
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