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Shelter Cats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I would like to hear your stories about how your shelter cat's personally changed/shined through after you brought your cat home and got used to things.

I have two shelter cats, my youngest, Sarah, was born in a shelter and has never known the outside world so, she really hasn't changed.

I adopted my other cat, Isabel when she was two and have now had her just shy of 2 years. Isabel has always been cuddly, but I have always had to go and get her. She would sulk because she wanted a cuddle but never would come and get a cuddle on her own. All of a sudden, just this summer, she has discovered that she can get a cuddle when she wants one if she comes over to me. It's quite a big change for her. She never learned to come and would never come up to me on her own. She still doesn't know how to come when I call her, but its really nice to have her at least come on her own.

Also, when I got Isabel she used to eat every last lick of food immediately when I gave it to her (and an old cat I used to have). She ended up getting fat and I had to change her diet so she would get in shape again. She has managed to learn its ok not to eat every lick right away and that she will get more later if she needs it.

Isabel has also seemed to learn to talk back to me.. also started this up suddenly this summer. Its funny, I talk to her and she meows back at me in her very best baby pitched voice.

So, does anyone else have any stories about how their shelter cats have changed?
post #2 of 12
wow Isabel sounds like she has came such a long way and sounds an adorable kitty. Sarah still might come around.

We got Blossom from an animal shelter when she was 6 months old....she had spent the first 2 months of her life running wild on a farm and then the next 4 at the shelter. I have to say she is such the lover....a real lap cat and not a bit of fear in her lol...she jumps and tumbles and knocks things over and just doesn't care!! Quite the little rascal but she is the greatest company for Daisey which is why we got her to begin with. I had never really given much thought that a shelter cat might have personality problems or bad habits...but Blossom has just been a little bundle of joy. She keeps both us and Daisey entertained for hours. If we could afford it and if we had a house...OMG I would be back and forth rescuing cats from the shelters every month. When I seen Blossoms picture on the internet...that was it....my heart was her's.

The only problem we do have is that because she is from a shelter....she devours her food like it is her last.....we have her since September and I was kinda hoping that she would have realised by now that there will always be a steady food supply for her...so I have to feed them apart otherwise she steals Daisey's food! Other than that...Blossom is our little angel.
post #3 of 12
Great stories on your successes!

I have no true shelter cats in my house. They are all strays, feral-born, or dumpster kitties. Many had the same issues that you described with yours - at first they all ate like there was no meal tomorrow, but all have settled in nicely and fairly quickly. I think that's quite common.

My hats off to you for rescuing your babies from a shelter!!
post #4 of 12
I enjoyed your stories, and I'm glad you've made such a difference to these cats. JC's mother was taken in by a foster family to have her kittens, so he was never actually in a shelter, and all the other cats we've had were strays or ferals (though our dogs have always been from shelters, and it always took months for them to realize that they'd always have enough to eat). Our last cat was a feral for about eight years. He apparently used to steal food in supermarket parking lots. After we gave him a home and he got regular meals, he would occasionally bring us "presents" of meat, cheese or lunchmeat in bags from a nearby supermarket!
post #5 of 12
My last two are from a shelter. When my 11 year old baby died last year from CRF, my senior cat was very lonely, plus we were used to having 2 cats. We decided to go to the shelter and adopt a kitten. He was 3 months old when we got him and he is now just a little over a year old. He is such a sweetie and is such a love.

My husband and I visit the shelter every few months to drop off food. When we were there in October, we decided to get another kitten. He was 6 months old and the first day he came home, he ran no stop through the house. It was so cute, because he had been in a cage for 3 months. He was in foster care before he was brought back to the shelter.

We really didn't have room for a third cat, but after seeing so many that need homes, we just wanted to give another one a home. He is happy and cuddly as well and sleeps in between our pillows every night or on my head.

I'm glad I was able to help them.
post #6 of 12
Both of mine are shelter cats as well.

Sphinx hasn't changed much although his coat is better. His personality is about the same - Independant, occassionally frisky (in a good playful way), playful on occassion, and the occassional chin rub.

Kuce has changed the most but still has a way to go. She's now a total lovebug to the family, playful, and follows one around the place. She's still afraid of strangers and the vets.

Both don't mind the noisy vacuum, thunder storms, other cats or plastic bags.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's funny that you mention plastic bags. My cats are funny. Many times when I am unpacking groceries Sarah somehow manages to get the handle of a plastic bag around her belly. This never alarms her in the slightest. She wiggles once or twice and if it doesn't magically come off, she just continues on her way with it around her. Isabel, on the other hand, gets sight of this and flips out in panic and the bag isn't even attached to her.
post #8 of 12
I have 3 cats, all from shelters. My first cat was my first foster cat. After a couple of months I knew he belonged with me so I adopted him. I guess I was a foster failure first time out.

My second cat was because I felt bad for Taz (first cat) because he would become friendly with the fosters then they would leave. So I wanted a permanent friend for him and found one at a local shelter. They are now best buds.

My third cat is a current foster. He's been with me now for over 10 months. He was EXTREMELY afraid of people, acted feral in fact. He had been living at a cat shelter since the age of 6 months and I began fostering him at the age of 3 years. A long time to live at a shelter, but not in a cage. These cats live in rooms with access to outdoor enclosures.

He's come a long way, but still has a way to go. He could go to a very special family who understands the special needs of a cat like this. But with this guy, "baby-steps" takes on a whole new meaning. Just last night he finally head-butted me. He did this to my face while I was sitting in a chair and he was on the back of it. He still hasn't rubbed against my legs as he is still very intimidated with my just standing. He always has to run by me, not just walk. I still can't just walk up to him without him running away and forget about trying to pick him up. I still have the scars from the last time I tried. Nothing aggressive, just pure terror in trying to get away. But when he head-butted me last night, I felt so proud at the progress he's made. He must have been feeling especially affectionate that night....or it could just have been because the food bowl was empty.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow! Didn't the cats at that shelter get any human contact? At the shelter near me they have volunteers to come in everyday to pet and brush the cats.
post #10 of 12
Zoey has done a 180 since I brought her home from the shelter last April. She was surrendered by her owners because she bites ( ) and I just thought she was so beautiful I didnt care, I wanted to take her home. In the get acquainted room at the shelter I called her and she came right over to me, head bonking me and just SO CUTE with the extra toes I had to take her home. Once home, yes she bit me.. every time I tried to pet her. But it wasnt angry biting, it was like she just didnt know better.. my hand was moving and she wanted to bite it.

I was so frustrated.. I tried everything and finally started her on flower essences (rescue remedy mixed with other essences) and just would never let her bite me anymore, I got toys, I told her NO! I even spoke with an animal commmunicator.

Needless to say, 8 months and another kitten later, Zoey NEVER bites me anymore I can pet her for a very long time and she will purr and meh meh meow and head bonk me to death but never biting. I am so proud of her.
post #11 of 12
My oldest cat Smokey came from a shelter. He was 2 1/2 when we adopted him. We had him for almost a year when we decided that he needed a friend because he was a little anti-social. We adopted Nick from a rescue society when he was 8 weeks old. They are the best of friends! Smokey is still scared of people, but he has made tremendous progress. When we first got him, he would hide whenever anyone came into the house. Now, he hides for a minute or two and then comes out to see who it is. If they speak quietly, he will stay out. If they are loud, he will retreat into the closet or under the bed. We have had Smokey for almost 2 years and Nick for almost a year.
Nick is as laid back as he can be. He LOVES people. He almost tackles you as soon as you come through the door. It doesn't matter if it is me or my husband or a complete stranger!
post #12 of 12
ImmortalFlower - These cats are around the volunteers who work there, but much of their time is cleaning and other duties. They do give them attention, but there are way too many to give all individual attention. And because Ike (the foster) was sooooo scared he would never let anyone get near him. The shelter assumed he would be a shelter cat for the rest of his life.

He took to living in a house amazingly fast and in fact is the best behaved cat I ever had. He never has attempted to scratch the furniture and just knew instinctively to only use the cat furniture. I've begun nicknaming him Mouse as he tends to squeak instead of meow, and it just fits his personality.

Any bets on whether I'll be a foster failure again??

Below is Ike's (aka Mouse) picture:
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