Originally Posted by Traveler5
Thank you for all of your help in my research to find out more about cats.
- How much do cats shed their hair? Do cats like Siamese cats shed less hair?
- Also, as far as cat breeds go, are there any particular breeds at cat shelters that we should consider over other breeds (and those to avoid) -- breeds with a good disposition, do well with kids, more loving and personable (less of a scaredy cat)?
- Also, if we adopt a cat from our local humane society, what can we expect from them in terms of if the cat has been vaccinated, checked by a vet recently, etc.?
Cats shed hair at different rates. It depends on the individual cat, length of coat, thickness of coat, and stressful surroundings. Like several others said, at times of stress cats tend to shed more. I have two purebred Siamese cats. One of them has a shorter, thinner coat than the other one. He tends to shed less than his sister. Every time I pick her up, she leaves a nice swath of fur on my mostly black wardrobe. Teach me to get white cats... Anyway, I love Siamese cats, but they definitely do not shed less than other cats. My stuff is covered with fur.
As far as shelters go, you are not going to find very many purebred cats there. A good cat breeder does everything he or she can to keep the cats that they breed from ending up in a shelter by having adopters sign contracts that if they must get rid of the cat, they will return it to the breeder. You may find mixed breed cats, however, that have characteristics of purebred cats. It is not uncommon to find "pointed" cats that look Siamese or long haired cats that look Persian in shelters. As far as what you should look for or avoid, I don't think this is going to have a lot to do with breed. You should ask the people at the shelter for cats that have the personality traits that you are looking for - friendly, does well with children, playful, and then meet those cats and see which one "jumps out" at you. The right cat for you is out there!
If you adopt from a shelter, your cat should have received at least one booster for the common kitty bacteria/viruses and a rabies shot. Your kitty should also be spayed and/or neutered before you take them home. You can expect your kitty to have been de-wormed also, and to have been looked at by a vet recently. Considering that all this is typically included, you get a great deal from an animal shelter!
However, you should DEFINITELY take your new kitty to see your vet within a few days of bringing him or her home. If you don't already have a vet (since you don't have any pets if I remember correctly) ask friends and relatives and the animal shelter for recommendations, and visit some of the vets before you adopt your kitty. That way, you will know which one you want to use before you bring your kitty home.
Don't be surprised if your kitty has a small upper respiratory infection (or URI) after you bring them home. Most kitties are exposed to that type of virus in an environment like an animal shelter. Usually this clears up after one round of antibiotics and your kitty will be just fine.
Thanks for doing so much research before you adopt! You seem like a nice guy! I hope you find an awesome kitty! Actually, I hope you find two.