or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Wanting a shelter cat
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wanting a shelter cat

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
This is the first time I am posting as I just found this site. It
looks highly informative and most posts I read seem to be so helpful!
I do have a few questions.
I have never had a cat before and have decided that I will let my son have the cat he so wants. However, I am looking to adopt one from a local shelter.
Heres the problem,
He's been around quite a few cats and some he sits with for 30 minutes or so, holding em, petting em and such. No reactions whatsoever. These are someones pet who I am assuming bathe and brush their cats.
So...off to the shelter we go again(because I am reassured once again...that he couldnt possibly have allergys)to finally find our new friend to bring home and Then he picks up the ones at the shelter and he starts sneezing, itching furiously, reddened eyes and super red nose!
Could this be because the cats have been there for at least a month and havent been bathed or brushed at all??
Is it possible they have such a buildup on them that it is affecting him? I haven't had him tested for cat allergies yet.
I am thinking that it is because they have SO much dander as all they do is sit in a cage ALL day and most likely clean theirselves quite alot. I found an AWESOME cat who has such a calm personality and he wants to get him.(Me too!)I cannot believe someone has not snatched this little guy up yet!
I am wondering if I got him, bought all the things needed to keep him brushed and had a proffesional give him a good bath and brushing (maybe Shave??)before he arrives, this may make the problem dissapear. PLEASE any advice at all would be SO helpful as my son is a very hyper child and seems to calm down SIGNIFICANTLY when he is with a cat(he does not want to leave its side at all!..haha!)He has been begging me for months and I finally decided to do it and now this!!
I have to say...this cat has the same amount of hair length as the ones he doesent react too. We just seemed to have SO much hair on us when we left.

Also, this cat is not neutered yet...me..never having a cat before...does not know if male cats put off any type of reactions more then a females.

post #2 of 11
Wow, no reactions to cats but had one to a cat you brought home. It is very possible that what he is reacting to is some other allergens in the coat from the overcrowded shelter. Usually a severe allergy will happen with any domestic cats. There are a few pure breeds that dont have the same or a lower amount of dander.
My best advice on this one is yes, make sure the cat has a bath and is brushed well before you bring him into the house. As far as the male/female issue. It will not effect alleriges at all. Either way male or female will need to be spayed or neutered ASAP. It may even be a good idea to Take kitty to the vet for surgery and bath before he comes home. This way all is taken care of, shots are updated if need be and the cat is altered. It is very possible that over time your son may even become more tollerant to cat dander. If you start the cat out right away with bathing, you can keep him on a monthly bath schedule to help too. I hope this helps a little. It is late and I am trying to stay half way intelligent. I just wanted to answer some of the questions before I head off to bed.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the fast advice!
I have not actually brought any cat home yet. We have been looking for a little over a month now and just trying to find one with a good temperment who loves to be around people, not shy or withdrawn and likes attention. We just want to make a responsible decision as the cats have already been through some changes by being at the shelter to begin with. I do NOT want to return him once I bring him home.
As far as neautering...most deffinately...this WILL be done and I am not quite sure why it hasnt already been done as this cat is at a "petsmart" where the animal humane society keeps the cats to help adopt some of them out.
Do you think that a purebreed would be the best choice??
They actually have less dander?? I didnt even think about that.
The others that my son has been exposed to are at friends houses and he never has ANY problem at all being around them.No sneezing...red eyes...nothing.
The ones he has picked up at the shelters(except for the baby kitty's), he starts reacting too.
I had been looking at persians and himalayans between looking at the shelters as I would feel much better giving a wonderful cat a second chance at life with a family who would adore him. However, if a purebred would not make my son get a reaction..this would be the way to go then. I know all cats need another chance and if your in the Minnesota area and are looking for an awesome attitude cat...I can give you more info on where he is.
Maybe its the food they are eating?
Small space they are confined too with no room to move?
Probably the no bath..no brush thing that is giving him this reaction the most.
Any more advice would be great as I am wanting to get one any day now but I do not want to bring one home just to find out he is starting to react.
post #4 of 11
What part of MN are you in? The president of our humane society (also a foster mom) has had success teaching some of her foster cats to tolerate bathing. I think she has a bath-tolerant cat available.

I live in southern MN, the junction of I35 and I90.
post #5 of 11
I wanted to add that sometimes it is not the cat that the person is allergic to...instead it is the kitty litter. Find out what brand of litter the other people use (whose cats don't cause problems for your child) and try using it.

I also read in last month's Cat Fancy that people are more likely to be allergic to dark or black cats than to light colored cats!
post #6 of 11
I also wanted to add, I don't have allergies to cats, although I do have allergies to other things. I have two of my own. However, I do sometimes have an allergic reaction when I go to the shelter. I think it's all the dander in such a small place. Maybe that's your son's problem.
post #7 of 11
With the pure breed issue...if there is a horrible allergy then it may be the answer. However, as you said in the first post he is not allergic to most of the cats he has been around. By adopting from the shelter you will be saving a cats life and adding a joy to your life at the same time. The cats that are supposed to be easier on allergies would run anywhere from 400.00 to 1200.00. So by saving a cat from a shelter, you will be saving money right there. If you really want to rescue a cat, find a local no kill non profit or someone who does this on thier own. More than none, they keep the cats clean and healthy. You will also have a chance to see the cat in action as well as let your son handle them. Axnell, actually already suggested one. With the pet store, there are SOOOOOO many possible answers. It could be the litter, the cleaners they use, any flea powders etc. As for the WHY arent they altered when you adopt them...thats a darn good question and more "rescues" should be doing this as another step in preventing unwanted litters.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thankyou all!
Just a few more things.
The cat that is at the petsmart(humane society has them there)is the most sweetest cat I have seen! He just loves to be held and doesent squirm, lets you hold him like a baby and looks right at you! His disposition is absolutely wonderful!
He has been there for at LEAST 3 weeks. Has not been adopted as I doubt to many even ask to take the cat out of the cage to hold him(by the way, my six year old RAN up to the front counter to ask if someone could please unlock the cage so he could hold him! awwwwwww!)
I don't know how the humane society works but I don't think they keep them past 30 days...not sure though...could be wrong. So, my question is, how possible is it that my son is having an allergic reaction to this cat ONLY because of its litter, never being bathed or brushed, chemicals in the store, type of food he is eating, etc?? If I had the cat shaved down or bathed and brushed at a groomers, would this solve the matter?? Has anyone else had this problem?? Is it possible that my son just can't deal with all the buildup of the dander and once he is bathed very well...it will be fine? Of course he would need to continually need grooming to stop it from happening again.
Are cats THAT opposed to you bathing them?

I am planning on feeding my cat(when I get one)...top of the line food...any suggestions?
I am also prepared to buy a huge home/scratching post...tons of toys and of course grooming aids.
I feel my only option is when i do get a cat, to get it from the shelter. Has been my plan all along. It wouldn't be fair to do it any other way. There are way way to many in need.
I want THIS cat...BOOTS....but what if he reacts when I get him home to my son???
post #9 of 11
Allergies can be hard to predict and to deal with. When I was growing up, my mother had severe allergies and we couldn't have any inside pets. She's still deathly (literally) allergic, but there have been some great advances in allergy medication since I was a kid. My mother can now take some Zyrtec (or something similar) and come visit us. She still has problems, but not as bad.

If I were you, I'd get the cat, take it to a groomer, get it washed and brushed. Then, I'd make sure I have a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter on it. Vacuum all the time. Also, use good quality air filters in your furnace system. You can also buy air purifiers if you need to for your house. If your son has a reaction, take him to the doctor and get a prescription for an allergy medicine.

I had to grow up without inside pets, and I couldn't even have a dog until we moved to Texas, where it was warm enough to have one outside. I was obsessed with animals, and I hated not having pets inside. I vowed I would let my children have pets if they wanted (now we have 3), even though it has caused such an uprising in the family.

I hope everything works out well for you and your son. I know how it is to be a kid and not be able to have a pet.
post #10 of 11
I too would take a chance on adopting the cat your son seems to like so much. I have a hard time believing that your son would have problems with this cat if he never had problems with your friends' cats.
post #11 of 11
i'm allergic to cats, myself (and dogs and really badly to horses - a whole package of sudafed for a 1-hour ride, and i was still sneezy, running nose, etc.), but have found that constant contact improves the ability to cope with it. after three months of living with a cat (lived apart from fiance for some time. go army!), my constant stuffy head is gone, with only a rare bad day (which might just be a cold).

some cats seem to enjoy water. my cat, casey, is obsessed with running water, enjoying playing with and in it. baths mildly annoy her, but cause no fuss.

as to food, just remember that if you start feeding the cat human food "because it looks sooo cute", the cat will soon start getting into all of your dishes, especially the ones you enjoy the most - i suspect the logic is "if its good enough for humans, than its good enough for cats".

a little rambling in form, but i think its helpful.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Wanting a shelter cat