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General Adoption Advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Forgive me, I couldn't decide where this post should belong in the forum.

I am looking for advice more about adopting cats. I have read several posts about adoptions that seem to ask specific questions related to their unique situations. I am looking for the advice to the questions may not be addressed until it is too late and the kitty has arrived. In the past two years, I have run through several cost analysis and know that I can afford to love an older cat or two kittens. I feel ready to adopt as I am in a stable job and location.

I do have a few questions that are specific:
1. How well does a cat deal with another human moving into the living area? (Such as a fiance into my apartment? We both want an older cat or two kitten.)
2. Do cats chew on things (electrical wires, ...)
3. What are the best ways to introduce a cat to a new location?
4. For an indoor cat, how do you prevent the cat from escaping when you come home and open the front door?
5. What are the best setups for litter boxes for both use and cleaning?

I would greatly appreciate any advice for a new cat owner that may not have anything to with what have asked above. Was there anything that you didn't find out until after you had your kitty that you wish you had known before your kitty arrived home?

Thank you very much in advance!

~Mud-ball
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mud-ball View Post
1. How well does a cat deal with another human moving into the living area? (Such as a fiance into my apartment? We both want an older cat or two kitten.) This one depends on the cat... They do get used to the other person, eventually, but it might take some time as with everything else in regards to cats
2. Do cats chew on things (electrical wires, ...) Also depends on the cat - mine don't, but a kitten will probably do so... The best way to deal with this is to kitten-proof your house, and make sure the wires are hidden. Again, I never had a problem with that.
3. What are the best ways to introduce a cat to a new location? Place the kitty in a small room first, with food, water, and a litter box. Spend lots of time in there with the kitten on the first day, then open the door and let him/her explore... Let the kitty do at it's own time, don't force it to go outside... Always a small room first.
4. For an indoor cat, how do you prevent the cat from escaping when you come home and open the front door? In general they won't go outside... They will be afraid of it, and stay back. It is rarely an issue, however precautions should be taken just in case... Both my cats have collars (safe collars) that read "Name / If outside, I am lost / Cell phone #.
5. What are the best setups for litter boxes for both use and cleaning?
The best for me is a large Sterilite under bed storage container (lower sides) (bought at Big Lots for less than $6.00), with clumping litter
.......................
post #3 of 13
Congratulations on your choice to add feline friends to your family!!!!! It will be very rewarding and this will be an amazing resource for you....

1. How well does a cat deal with another human moving into the living area? (Such as a fiance into my apartment? We both want an older cat or two kitten.)

I adopted two older cats, initially lived alone, then my boyfriend moved in, then we moved to a bigger apartment and my brother moved in. Generally if they are cat friendly people then they are just more laps to sit in and generally the cats will get along fine, there may be a minor adjustment period if you have a shy cat.


2. Do cats chew on things (electrical wires, ...)

They are animals, so it 'can' happen, however I have NEVER had a destructive cat and never run into this type of issue. Cats are of course, more well known to be destructive in the scratching department, but if you get your new friends a cat tree, scratching posts etc you will have no trouble at all!


3. What are the best ways to introduce a cat to a new location?

Generally picking a 'safe room' works. A room you can enclose them with their food, water and litter until they are comfortable and then let them out once they aren't frightened. Some cats will hide for a couple days, others will just be happy that they are HOME!!!


4. For an indoor cat, how do you prevent the cat from escaping when you come home and open the front door?

If the cat has never been an outdoor cat this probably won't even become a problem. They don't really try very hard to escape, this is only something you have to worry about if it becomes a problem,but I doubt it will, cats (especially older) are generally happy to be where the couch is


5. What are the best setups for litter boxes for both use and cleaning?
Depends on your set up, preferably one litter box/floor of your house. I am in an apartment so I had to get creative, I have two litterboxes on either side of the apartment and I use clumping litter because it doesn't smell.



I would greatly appreciate any advice for a new cat owner that may not have anything to with what have asked above. Was there anything that you didn't find out until after you had your kitty that you wish you had known before your kitty arrived home?

- My advice to you is to maybe go with the older cat (s) especially if you are a first time owner and work full time. Kittens can be a bit more of a hnadful and need a bit more supervision. Older cats can be left all day with no problems, I leave my cats overnight and don't have to worry about them. I adopted them at 8 and they bonded 100% with me, so that's not a worry. They are less destructive and you have a lot less to worry about. I also reccomend you adopt two, then they always have company and two doesn't cost very much more financially then one......... Adopting older cats was the most rewarding thing I've ever done!

Good LUCK!
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmunsie View Post

- My advice to you is to maybe go with the older cat (s) especially if you are a first time owner and work full time. Kittens can be a bit more of a hnadful and need a bit more supervision. Older cats can be left all day with no problems, I leave my cats overnight and don't have to worry about them. I adopted them at 8 and they bonded 100% with me, so that's not a worry. They are less destructive and you have a lot less to worry about. I also reccomend you adopt two, then they always have company and two doesn't cost very much more financially then one......... Adopting older cats was the most rewarding thing I've ever done!

Good LUCK!
I second the older cat recommendation! Kittens are a lot of work. Also you get more say in the personality of the cat(s) your getting if you get an adult who has already developed its personality and character traits. A reputable shelter will have a profile of the cats personality: outgoing and friendly, whether its good with other pets, children, any behavior problems like chewing, shyness. Many shelters also have a hard time adopting out what they call 'bonded-pairs' cats who are used to each other and have always lived together and will do a 2-fer deal on the adoption.
post #5 of 13
I adopted my first cat about two and a half years ago and was a complete novice. My advice would be to read something along the lines of Cats for Dummies (your local library no doubt has at least one cat lover on staff and they can point you in the right direction). Also, I'd think about getting an adult, or two, for several reasons - but mostly that you won't have to deal with kitten crazies while you're learning about your new housemates. Mine were about four years old, and it was perfect for me. I've got two who have bonded with me, and it's made my life at least 100% richer (ok, they've got a Drinkwell and I've got old clothes, but hey, it's worth the trade).

But, as mentioned by others, visit various shelters, and maybe even tour a few vet offices so that'll be lined up before you bring anyone home. Also, vets often have lines on cats that need forever homes, as well as shelters. But, best wishes as you move forward, and bless you for considering adopting.
post #6 of 13
I do have a few questions that are specific:
1. How well does a cat deal with another human moving into the living area? (Such as a fiance into my apartment? We both want an older cat or two kitten.)
i applaud the idea of either the older cat or pair of kittens [get older kittens, too]. but i've never had another human move in, so can't tell you about that.

2. Do cats chew on things (electrical wires, ...)some do - mine never have.

3. What are the best ways to introduce a cat to a new location? i've always just let them explore... more trouble introducing them to new animals than new surroundings. let them have as much time as they need to become comfortable in the new place - even if it means they spend a great deal of time under the bed or in a similar place.

4. For an indoor cat, how do you prevent the cat from escaping when you come home and open the front door? none of mine are 'door rushers', so i haven't had to deal w/this problem. altho all have collars & tags w/my home & cell #s, their names & the 'if you see me outside i am lost - reward' message on the tags, just in case. my senior cat has issues w/her collar [makes her lose her fur around her neck] so she doesn't wear hers anymore, but the other 4 all do.

5. What are the best setups for litter boxes for both use and cleaning? personally, i prefer having my boxes in closets. helps cut down on tracking, in my experience. i have 3 boxes in one closet [it's a fairly large one] & 1 box in the other. all of my boxes are littermaids - i work & i live alone, plus do some community theatre where i'm home late - i like not having to worry about someone choosing an elimination spot other than a box because the box isn't 'clean' enough.
HTH!
post #7 of 13
Another vote for adult cats - 2 is good so they can be company. They are much easier to start out on than cute, but wild kittens.

I have had several cats who chew cords. There are inexpensive products that you can get to help deal with the problem. I've used Phooey, which is a really nasty (bitter) spray. Be sure you wash your hands after using if you get it on your hands! Bleh.

The standard recommendation for litter boxes seems to be 1 box/cat plus one more box. I've got 2 cats & 2 boxes & that has been fine, though I am a vigilent cleaner (2/day, sometimes more).

Good luck & enjoy your new kitties. They are delightful family members.
post #8 of 13
One of my cats chewed on my computer wires when he was a kitten. I sprayed them with the bitter apple spray that can be used on hot spots on dogs. As long as I sprayed them every 3 or 4 days he left them alone.
post #9 of 13
The only thing I can help you with is to tell you to spray your kitten with water if s/he tries to chew, it normally works. It hasn't with my new kitten because he loves water but oh well. Normally I find they chew on things when the can't find something to play with so having a toy around they adore is a good idea.
post #10 of 13
As a shelter volunteer, I have to say the idea of a couple of older cats (adults, not elderly cats) may be the hot ticket, especially if you can find a couple of cats that are used to being together.

We frequently have adult cats that lived with each other come in, often declawed, usually in good health.

Kittens are great fun, but they ARE "children," and, you can tell from some other posts here on the forum, they CAN get in trouble.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mud-ball View Post
I would greatly appreciate any advice for a new cat owner that may not have anything to with what have asked above. Was there anything that you didn't find out until after you had your kitty that you wish you had known before your kitty arrived home?
One thing I wish I had known beforehand was actually about different shelters... I did not know that in some it was possible to interact with the cats way more than in some others, as well as in some the volunteers had fostered some of the available cats, so that there was really quite a lot information available on particular individuals. Referring to some of your questions above, you might very well find out specific information whether a particular cat is a 'chewer' or 'door dasher' even before taking them in those kinds of places.

I would vote for adult cats too. I have had new comers who have taken to the house right away and screamed to get out of their 'safe room', and now our newest boy who thought his tiny 'safe' bedroom was so humongous it looked like he thought he was going to get lost the moment he came from under his blankie.

I think with the litter boxes the most important thing is that the cats know where they are, and have peace and quiet to do their business. I am not so sure they need to have immediate access (like box in every corner) as I have boxes only in the basement (for my cleaning/sniffing convenience), and we have a 2-story house. We have no cats with mobility problems and installed a pet flap in basement door, so that works great for everybody.
post #12 of 13
Since all of your questions have been answered multiple times, I just want to comment on the adult VS kitten question.

I volunteer at the local Humane Society and we have a room FULL of adult cats that are rarely adopted because people want kittens. When I go into the room and sit on the sofa, at least 10 cats approach me for attention. I think this is a great way to choose a new pet for your home. You and your fiancee could go to a local shelter or Humane Society that has adult cats. You'll have a chance to meet and get to know a cat's personality before you adopt. The two of you can choose a cat (or two!) that you both like...and it will probably be a cat that likes you, too!
post #13 of 13
1. How well does a cat deal with another human moving into the living area? (Such as a fiance into my apartment? We both want an older cat or two kitten.) Cats have personalities just like humans. some are easy-going, some are a little shy (but warm up after a while), some are exceptionally shy. My advice is not to force attention on a timid cat, but let the cat make the overtures. It can take time with some cats.
2. Do cats chew on things (electrical wires, ...) Some cats are chewers. I have never had one that chewed excessively (or on electrical wires), but I know such cats (and puppies/dogs) are out there. My current adoptee, Buddy, will pick up a pair of glasses by the ears and swing them around! Especially when they are young, cats explore a lot and, like human babies, tend to put everything within sight in their mouths. Kitten/cat proofing is important - don't leave "stringy" things laying around. Buy some toys that are large enough they can't be swallowed or those that you stow safely away when the cat can't be supervised. Cats love to play in paper bags and boxes and they love to chase. A scratching post will keep them busy and maybe a window seat where they can watch the great outdoors.
3. What are the best ways to introduce a cat to a new location? I think it best to confine a cat to a small-ish space until he/she feels at home. An extra room is ideal because you can put their food/water bowls and litter box in separate corners and they can get themselves acclimated. With a kitten, this becomes important because it is so easy to lose them! They can get into the darndest spots! You might want to use a breakaway collar with bells to help you find the cat, but some cats dislike them.
4. For an indoor cat, how do you prevent the cat from escaping when you come home and open the front door? Vigilance. With Buddy, who is always at the door when I come home, I throw my keys inside across the floor and he always runs after them, which gives me time to get inside. One day he will get too smart for that, but he falls for it now! Open the door slowly and move one foot inside, feeling carefully for little paws. If someone else is home, it helps if they can assist you. It takes time. My late Casey always came to the door too, but he never tried to get out, bless him.
5. What are the best setups for litter boxes for both use and cleaning? Ours is in the basement. We kept it in the basement stairway until Buddy knew where it was and then we moved it downstairs. Buddy makes a big "production" of using his box; he "announces" he is going downstairs and then "announces" his return when he is done. He is a character.

Enjoy your searching for a feline friend(s). It is fun and somewhat bittersweet because there are so many that need homes. Most rescue groups/adoption centers are happy to answer your questions and try to match you up with the perfect friend for you and your family. They will ask a lot of questions of you too, so be prepared for that. But it is only because they want the best fit for both of you. I enjoyed meeting lots of cats and kittens on my recent search, although Buddy eventually found me! That happens a lot too!
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