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Thinking about adopting a cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi , I am not sure if this is the right forum. I lost my 20 year old cat back in November. I am thinking about adopting another elderly kitty to hopefully be a companion for my 16 year old cat. My daughter found a cat she likes at the local humane society but when I went and sat with the cat in a visitation rooms she let me pet her for about 30 seconds then tried to scratch me every time I tried to touch her. She is 13 and has been in there since January. The director said when Tiger came in she was rated a 41 which is a high number but she has been in there so long she is becoming agressive. Although I have older kids, I don't want a cat that swats at everybody. I asked the director if I could try Tiger out for two weeks and she said I could and she would give me my full refund if I had problems with Tiger. I like helping the eldery cats out that most people don't want to adopt but once I take on a pet it becomes my problem and I am worried I won't take it back.
I am wondering if any of you have seen cats become agressive after being in a cage for a long time and if so do they come back around to being a sweet cat. The fact that Tiger has been around so long at the humane society makes me think she must have been sweet before.
post #2 of 15
I think that depends on the cat & the person. If you are willing to work with Tiger, then I think you can make things work out. Sometimes, the mental damage & stress that a cat is caused being at a shelter is irrevirsable. Can you imagine what it must be like for a 13 year old cat to be stuck in a cage with so many other cats around? I know it can stress even the most laid back cats.

From what you are describing, not many other people are going to want Tiger. I think you should adopt her & keep her. It may take work, but IMO, Tiger can be a wonderful happy cat again. All she needs is someone who loves her, cares about her, & understands her.
post #3 of 15
The only way to find out is to try taking Tiger home and give her time. Right now, i'm working with 2 abused cats; one outside, one inside - they do come around, but it's been over a month. Surprisingly enough, it's the outside cat who came around the quickest. There are still some swiping-incidents, but things are improving.
Bless you for taking on the older cats - you are real cats'-guardian angel
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meower
Hi , I am not sure if this is the right forum. I lost my 20 year old cat back in November. I am thinking about adopting another elderly kitty to hopefully be a companion for my 16 year old cat. My daughter found a cat she likes at the local humane society but when I went and sat with the cat in a visitation rooms she let me pet her for about 30 seconds then tried to scratch me every time I tried to touch her. She is 13 and has been in there since January. The director said when Tiger came in she was rated a 41 which is a high number but she has been in there so long she is becoming agressive. Although I have older kids, I don't want a cat that swats at everybody. I asked the director if I could try Tiger out for two weeks and she said I could and she would give me my full refund if I had problems with Tiger. I like helping the eldery cats out that most people don't want to adopt but once I take on a pet it becomes my problem and I am worried I won't take it back.
I am wondering if any of you have seen cats become agressive after being in a cage for a long time and if so do they come back around to being a sweet cat. The fact that Tiger has been around so long at the humane society makes me think she must have been sweet before.
Chip was in a shelter for a while, & the people there said he didn't 'show' well, because he was so unhappy. they fostered him out before i adopted him. he's a real sweetheart! if they'll let you take Tiger on a trial basis, i think you should. i know my Pixel would've been lost if Cable hadn't already been a part of our household when Pixel's littermate Mouse died. good luck with Tiger
post #5 of 15
If you decide to adopt Tiger, please keep her totally separate from your kitty for longer than the usual separation period. She will be adapting to your home and you, and should probably wait before meeting your kitty.

Do you know if she was an only cat before being turned in? That might make it harder for her to accept your kitty.

If you decide Tiger isn't the kitty for you, try to find a rescue nearby. At my rescue, all the kitties are held in homes. A rescue director could guide you towards a calm older kitty who has little chance of finding their own home, but who is accustomed to living in a multicat household.

Also, be sure your kitty is up to date on shots before adopting. Often a rescue or shelter kitty has been exposed to multiple illnesses, and there is a small chance they may bring something home. A co-worker just adopted one of my foster kittens, and she had her kitty vaccinated before bringing Nala home.

Condolences on the loss of your cat.
post #6 of 15
I don't know where you are located but we are a cat rescue that is in home so we know their personalities, we have a few senior and adult cats that would love to have a home. If you would like to contact us please pm me, or go on petfinder under petsearch and look us up.You may also contact me at ericaboatright@bellsouth.net
post #7 of 15
I have two adult cats (8-9 years old) male and female (both altered) in Ohio that are looking for a loving, caring home. PM me or contact me at cblechl@googlemail.com if you want more info.

Thanks!
post #8 of 15
I just wanted to say how awesome it is that you are looking for a senior cat - I myself just adopted a 15 year old.

As for Tiger, I think you've been given great advise and I just want to stress the point of taking it slow. Good luck!
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for your comments. I live in Washington State. I have Tiger at home with us now separted from my other cat. We are in a new test program with the local humane society that allows me to try her out for 30 days to see if she fits with my other elderly kitty, dog and three children. This is not a program they offer to everyone..just special situations.
Tiger was snitty with me when I met with her in the get acquainted room at the humane society. I came back another time with my daughter and we met with her in the director's office. She was very loving and continued that personality at our house. There must have been some kitty smells she didn't like in the get acquainted room.
The true test will be to see if she gets along with my other cat after she has been cleared of any diseases....to be continued.
post #10 of 15
I would like to say that yes, it is common for older cats that have been caged for a long time to become agressive. That is great you are interested in her and I really believe that she will open up to you when you get her home and settled in. You may not want to even try to pet her the first day or two. Put her in a quiet comfy room, with all her necessities, toys, dim the lights and play soft music. I am sure she will love the cozy change from the cold steel cage. But give her a day or two before approaching her. Unless you see a really quick change and she is meowing and approaching you right away for attention.

Assuming she keeps her distance at first, sit with her and talk and read to her but let her come to you.

I can totally relate in a similar situation. I trap cats all the time, some are cats that seem really agressive. But they were usually dump or left outside, they are scared, alone, they don't know me, and I just trapped them in a scary trap that made a loud bang and now they can't run away.

Naturally they will defend themself and seem agressive. Almost all the time, when I get home and get them out of the cage and eating, they make almost a complete turn around. Especially when they realize that you care about them and bring food and attention.

Good luck!
post #11 of 15
I am so happy to hear that you've brought him home and are going to try to make it work!!
post #12 of 15
Good luck with Tiger. The world can't be in as bad a shape as they say if people like you are willing to give so much time and love. There must be something special about Tiger as well for you to feel such a desire to bring Tiger into your home. Bless you both and I wish you every happiness together. Keep us posted!
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Tiger scratched my daughter tonight. I am not sure what to do as this didn't seem to be aggravated by anything. She just petted her twice.
Any thoughts.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meower
Tiger scratched my daughter tonight. I am not sure what to do as this didn't seem to be aggravated by anything. She just petted her twice.
Any thoughts.
Have a look at the first thread in the behaviour forum ("how to stop kitty agression toward people") - that should give you some good guidance.
post #15 of 15
I am relating from a recent experience with a 3 year old neutered flamepoint from a local shelter. He had been there for a bit and their adoption rate is pretty low so I took him in. I have been working with him over a month, and today I had to take him back for a bite quarantine, he nailed my husband pretty severely.

This was his general habit. Pet him and stop before he is ready for you to stop, and he would swat you (claws out).

Pet him for longer than one minute, and he would bite you. Bit me three times, bit hubby twice.

Sit in a chair and ignore him, and he would claw his way up your leg, or back and nail your face or anything else he could reach.

Start to leave the room and he would swat at your leg or ankle, or jump on you.

Sad state of affairs for Sinatra. He is a needy cat that has probably never been handled as a kitten, so human touch excites him, but also makes him aggressive and anxious.

Would not show any give or take with either my two ambassador kitties or any of my other cats, charging them, growling, screaming, constantly trying to climb higher in his caged area to show he was alpha.

Bottom line for him is that he needs to be owned by someone who has no cats, and someone who understands that he is petting-aggressive.

When they are in a shelter, they are desperate to get out. Once you bring them home and start working with them, you have to take your cues from the cat. If he isn't a cat that can handle petting, don't pet him. You haven't had him all that long for you to be so familiar with him, and touching means that he trusts you. Let him get to know you and the family first and once he does, then work with petting him in small degrees.

It takes time and patience and more time and patience to work with a long-term shelter cat. Keep him confined in one room with a doorway he can see through(use stacked baby gates) gradually allow him into the rest of the house, but for now, a small room is going to be overwhelming to him.

Sinatra will not be back here. I cannot have a cat that bites to the degree that Mike got bit today. All he did was reach into the caged area for the litter pan (which is on the second level) Sinatra was on the first level he leaped up, mouth open aimed for Mike's wrist and dug in.
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