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View Full Version : OT - any tips on picking out a cat?


pantherlj
04-11-2010, 03:55 PM
We are considering get a cat (or kitten?) for the girls - 7 1/2 and 11. We had 3 cats before kids. The last one died about 4 years ago and she was the unfriendly one of the bunch so they really haven't had a pet.

I am finally ready again I think (I hated the liter box smell in the house ...) but now have 2 girls that can scoop!

Any tips on finding a "friendly" cat? I don't want to end up with one like our most recent one that wouldn't give us the time of day. We want a cuddler that will play.

Any concerns or those in favor in getting a slightly older cat from the SPCA - just a couple of years old vs a kitten?

I'll take any liter box tips while you are at it :) Favorite brand? Automatic cleaners?

jls886
04-11-2010, 04:02 PM
No huge tips as I've only had two cats. I got my most recent cat as a kitten (4 mths) and thank goodness he has calmed down and become a very sweet cat as an adult. He was a very rambunctious kitten! I found my first cat on the street, but it was very obvious that she was a domestic cat that had been abandoned. After I got her cleaned up and healthy she was absolutely the sweetest cat ever! I really think it was because she was saved and was grateful for that. Calvin has turned into a sweet cat, but he is definitely not as loving as she was...so I almost wish I had gotten a young adult cat that had been rescued.

As far as litter, I use Fresh Step Perfume & Dye Free, and we really don't smell the litter box at all. We were using regular Fresh Step, but discovered that the first cat was allergic to the smell, so we had to start using the perfume & dye free version. I actually like it better because then the cats don't smell like the perfumed litter anymore.

GaSleepingBeautyFan
04-11-2010, 04:09 PM
I tried to pick one that was playing while we were at the cat adoption place. That's how I ended up with my sweet Lola. She was a 12 week old kitten (now over a year old). She loves to play still and hangs out with DS14 and myself.

I prefer to adopt a cat between 12 weeks and 6 months old. The younger the better because they'll have had less time to develop bad habits (like biting, not using litterbox, not wanting to be petted).

She's not a fan of DD10 though so you do need to be prepared that the cat might choose one of your kids as the favorite.

When we got Rocky last year (2 years old) he was bump on a log. He was picked out by my kids. Sure enough he's still a bump on the log. I tried to talk them into another cat but they weren't having it.

So I'd look for one that's playing and purrs when petted.

As far as litter/type of boxes ect. that's more of a trial and error thing. Rocky is very picky and we had to change our litter to accomodate him. Luckily, Lola doesn't care.

Food is another issue. Lola is easy but Rocky will get sick if he doesn't eat a sensitive stomach food.

So you may want to ask about the food the cat is eating so you stick with the same type. I'd also ask if they knew how the cat ended up in adoption. Also if you are adopting from a place that fosters the cat, ask how the cat is kept (ie: a room with other cats or treated like a member of the family?). The more info you have, the more you'll be able to figure out if the cat you like will fit in.

I knew we were in trouble with Sebestian (he was 4 when we adopted him and died of a brain tumor last year at age 10) when I found out after we got him that he was an owner surrender because he wouldn't use a litter box. Rocky had a sad story and Lola is the kitten of a stray.

Good luck choosing. There are so many cats out there who need homes.

hopemax
04-11-2010, 04:17 PM
We just adopted a cat 2 weeks ago and he is the mellowest "lap cat" I have ever seen. We went to a cat specific rescue place and they had a list of all their cats, and a brief description of the personality the volunteers had observed.

When we went in the cat rooms, we first waited to see if any kitties approached us, and then those that were awake, we approached and lightly petted and watched how they responded. Most seemed ambivalent, but some would actively push against our hands. Our guy not only strongly rubbed against us, but started purring immediately. Even after 2 weeks, you even go to touch him and his motor starts. We originally planned to adopt young kitties, but we ended up with a 7-yr old, because his loving personality was so overwhelming. When we asked for more info about him we found out that his previous owner passed away. We can tell that he came from a good home.

After reading up on adult cats, I did see a recommendation that if personality is important to you, you may not want to adopt a kitten. If you adopt a juvenile or older cat, their personality will already be developed and you can see who is a cuddler. A kitten that snuggles with you, may still turn out to grow up to be a more aloof cat.

Other things that we did, was to gently attempt to touch front, back paws, hindquarters. See how the kitty reacts to being held, turned on back, etc. Our guy you can do whatever you want to him and he makes no attempt to bite, or fight to get away. We watched them trim his nails at the rescue, and he just purred away since he was getting petted.

In some ways, he is almost a little too mellow. He likes to sleep on my legs at night, and when I try to move them, he refuses to move. If he is already in his "spot" and I go to climb in bed, he won't move, and just lets me shove my legs under him. I kinda miss my space! :lmao:

hopemax
04-11-2010, 04:25 PM
Oh, I forgot about litter question. That is one thing we are still struggling with. Our kitty, is very, very, very good about covering. And he flings the litter, so we end up with piles a foot away from the box. We might have to switch to one of the high sided varieties. He's a big boy, so I think a covered one might not enough space for him.

Litter, we bought 2 types since we weren't really sure what he would like...Scoop Away from Costco, and Tidy Cat. He seems to prefer the Tidy Cat. But it may be because he prefers to go in his room upstairs, instead of in the family room downstairs. I did read that with kittens, you might want to stay away from the clumping variety until they are 6 months old. They might lick too much of it, and if it swells inside of them, bad things can happen.

Deb & Bill
04-11-2010, 04:40 PM
Check out fostered cats, especially older cats. They may be more settled and won't climb the draperies. ;)

If you have a Petsmart in your area, they usually work with animal adoption agencies and you can get a wonderful cat that way. We got our three from Animal Welfare, Inc in our community. Plus we wound up volunteering with them taking care of the cats and kittens up for adoption at Petsmart.

Our three were about 2 years old, 2.5 years old and six months old when we got them. The younger one is still a baby, even though he is about two or three now (I can't keep track). He has to sit on my lap while I work on the computer or near me at the kitchen table when I eat there (trying to break him of jumping on the table with a squirt gun, but he just opens his mouth to get the drink. Goofy cat.). The older two were pals at Petsmart and the older of the two still protects the other one when he hears his "brother" cry.

mum4jenn
04-11-2010, 04:41 PM
Let the cat choose you.

daisyduck123
04-11-2010, 05:09 PM
We have had several cats and all have been wonderful.

We've had two orange tabbies (both males) & both of those have been "extra affectionate" cats...I mean real "love bugs" towards us.

I did read somewhere once that orange tabbies are like that & I believe it to be true.

Deb & Bill
04-11-2010, 05:33 PM
We have had several cats and all have been wonderful.

We've had two orange tabbies (both males) & both of those have been "extra affectionate" cats...I mean real "love bugs" towards us.

I did read somewhere once that orange tabbies are like that & I believe it to be true.

That must be true. My "baby cat" is an orange tabby. He was paler when we first got him, but he's gotten darker orange.

sherry7
04-11-2010, 05:51 PM
If a cuddly personality is important to you, consider adopting an adult cat instead of a kitten. Most kittens are rambunctious, and it's hard to tell their true personality until they get older. Sometimes even a cuddly kitten will change his personality by the time he is an adult, and not like to be held, etc.

I highly recommend going to PetSmart on a weekend (call ahead). Some Petco's do this as well. They partner with local animal rescue groups and they have the animals there on the weekends. PetSmart typically has a cat room all of the time, but on the weekend there are even more animals. One of our cats came from there. We paid $70, but he had already been "fixed", was up to date on his shots, etc. Believe me, that stuff will cost a ton more if you pay for it out of pocket. In addition, most of the animal rescue groups use foster families to house their cats during the week, which means they gets socialized better than a kitty who is living at an animal shelter.

The best way to keep litter box odor down is by scooping at least twice a day. Also, the entire litter box needs dumped occasionally too, and refilled with totally fresh litter. Since you have 2 daughters, these chores should be easily accomplished by them. :laughing: Personally, I don't like highly scented litters. We use the generic kind from Sam's Club. I can't remember the name, but it's a green plastic bucket with a blue lid.

It's also good to note that cat poop tends to stink more if you're feeding the animal a low quality food, mostly because of the unneeded corn fillers in the food (cats don't digest corn, so it makes super stinky poop). Consider using a higher quality dry food that doesn't have fillers. The cat will actually eat less, so the cost evens out in the end. Plus, it's better for their health. We feed California Naturals Chicken & Brown Rice dry formula. I pay $29 for a huge bag which last our 3 adult cats a little over 2 months.

As a general rule, you won't find good quality cat food at a grocery store. The best they will probably sell is Iam's or Eukanuba, which while expensive, is not a very good quality food at all. PetSmart sells a few good foods, if you know what to look for. We buy our food from a local pet food store.

Muushka
04-11-2010, 05:54 PM
Yup, older kitty, can't go wrong.:thumbsup2

A shelter can match you up with the perfect one.:goodvibes

scard192
04-11-2010, 05:57 PM
That must be true. My "baby cat" is an orange tabby. He was paler when we first got him, but he's gotten darker orange.

I have an orange "tabby" too and he loves to sit on my lap all the time! He
is the most affectionate cat I've ever had. I choose him at the shelter because he was so darn cute and I've wanted an orange cat.

I use the BJ's brand of scoopable litter. 40 lbs for $8.99. Besides the price I like the litter because the pieces of it are not too fine (makes more of a mess) or too big ( hurts my feet when I step on it).

sl_underwood
04-11-2010, 06:28 PM
We have three cats but one is the perfect family pet. He is huge- weighs nearly 30 lbs and it is all muscle. The SPCA thought he had some bobcat in him. Apparently in our area that is not nearly as uncommon as one would think. He is playful but not destructive. He is cuddly and loveable. My son is currently on the floor with this cat (who is now nearly 5 years old) and they are playing with a extra long sonic straw. I honestly dont know how you pick a good cat. I do know that this kitty didnt start out as one. He had previously been in the home of a cat collector, had fought for food and was the tiniest cat I have ever seen even though he was technically more than 8 weeks old. He was skittish and he had food issues. He ate until he vomited every time he was fed. My daughters and I cuddled him and cared for him and in a few short weeks we had a completely different kitty. I do know that if I had been on the hunt for the perfect cat, we would have never found our Indy. I would reccommend staying away from strays. My mom has a knack for bringing home feral cats or cats with disease. That is definitely not something a family would want to deal with.

uromac
04-11-2010, 06:42 PM
I personally find that male cats seem to be more social and personable to humans on the whole compared to female cats - but that might just be the ones we have had - if I were to get another one it would only be a male cat Although I swore our last cat (lived until he was 22) would be our final cat because he was the best one ever - as a kitten he even nursed on our female dog who began lactating for him - so he became a 'dat'!!

I second the idea of getting a shelter/rescue pet just because I truly believe they somehow know and are really appreciative how lucky they are coming into a loving home!!

Good luck :goodvibes!!

Deb & Bill
04-11-2010, 06:46 PM
One last thing. When you get your new cat, keep him/her inside all the time. It's safer for the cat both healthwise and to not get lost.

Good Morning Dewdrop
04-11-2010, 07:05 PM
Ideally try to adopt from a pet adoption group that has foster homes. If the cat has been living in a home situation (as opposed to a shelter with rooms or cages) you can find out a lot from the foster family about it's behavior. Talk directly to them - go in with a list of questions. They'll know if the kitty is a lap cat or not. Also be sure to ask how the cat / kitten came into the group and at what age and temperment. If they came in shy/ skittish and took time to adjust you need to be prepared they may take awhile to come around at your house too.

While I love orange tabbies myself don't be swayed by the appearance of the cat - the personality is SO much more important.

Ditto the idea of adopting a kitty 6 months or older their personalities are so much more developed at that point. With a kitten there's no telling what you're going to end up with. Affectionate kittens can stay affectionate or decide to be more independent

Make sure you're clear on what medical work has been done - if you adopt from a reputable group the cat/ kitten should have been kept indoors for at least 2 weeks prior to being tested for feline leukemia and FIV. They should have had at least 2 rounds of distemper and a round of rabies. Also they should have been dewormed at least twice (2 weeks apart).

We like Arm and Hammer cat litter.

Big Kahuna
04-11-2010, 07:13 PM
We went to one of our local shelters. This photo show two kittens we adopted. The orange and white male is named Disney and the orange female is Pixar. They are brother and sister, and both are extremely affectionate.

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/1122127?photo_view=3

Topper
04-11-2010, 09:03 PM
If it barks, it is not a cat. ;)

MsStinkerBelle
04-11-2010, 09:45 PM
Last July (after we got back from Disney) we adopted two 4 month old kittens for DD10. We got them from a rescue group at our local PetSmart but we checked out kittens for almost 5 WEEKS. Personality was a big thing, especially since DD10 has PDD-NOS. When we finally found our kittens, we picked them because they let DD10 sit and hold them without any squirming or scratching or hyperactivity. Our male kitten even hissed at the other cats in cages because he 'thought' DD10 wasn't going to hold him! :lmao:

We would up getting a male Russian Blue kitten and his sister (black American Shorthair/Russian Blue) together. Fresh Step cat litter is the only litter I use. One drawback is, the litter box smells so clean you may get lazy and skip a day or two scooping the box when you should. :rotfl:

Our female cat is pretty downright friendly but very independent her brother is very vocal and a true 'momma's boy'. :goodvibes

Good luck in choosing!

Erin13178
04-11-2010, 09:57 PM
My cat of 16 years had to be put down last summer so we recently adopted a kitten. If we didn't have a guinea pig I would've adopted an adult cat from a shelter, but I had to do a kitten so it wouldn't want to eat the gp.

Anyway, we went to a shelter to "look" and ended up coming home with the sweetest cat I've ever owned, and I've had a lot of cats.

Before we got to the shelter I told my dd that we were going to adopt a very friendly loving kitten and that we had to keep an open mind of what color etc. When we got there this little yellow tabby who was in the cage with 3 other kittens kept coming up to the cage rubbing on it, etc. So the people let us get in there with all of them and he was definitely the most playful and affectionate. When we picked him up he purred automatically. So we brought him home. He is the best pet. He has never had a litter box accident, eats dry food, and wakes me up in the morning kissing my nose (licking). As I type he's getting ready to jump up and get in my lap. He's 4 months old now and such a lover.

Just my opinion, but get a shelter cat, they are great.

MomToOne
04-11-2010, 10:09 PM
1. Sit down and identify your must haves/must not haves in the cat.

For example, one of my must haves for my latest cat was it needed to know how to play lightly without bringing out her claws. I've had cats that did and didn't do this - and with a small child who tends to love on kitties, it was a must this time around. One of the must not haves was long hair - again, had had both long and short hair cats and knew I didn't want to deal with the long hair again (awful hairballs, no matter what I did).

Don't forget to think about things like gender (I prefer female cats, but that's just me), coloring (what blends best with your furniture? :rotfl:), age (I prefer young cats about a year old - plenty of life/fun left in them, but out of the terrible kitten stage), etc.

2. Where ever you get your cat, try to spend some time with the cat one-on-one before you "choose" him/her. My SPCA - my favorite place to adopt - has a room where you can spend some time with the cat. In just 20-30 minutes with my current cat, I learned she was very social, a cuddler, had no problems with kids, and knew how to play without her claws. It was near instant love :love:

Good luck!!!

kaphil
04-11-2010, 10:34 PM
Thanks to everyone that has adopted a shelter cat! I work at a shelter that currently has close to 300 cats and would say that you should take the whole family to visit the kitties. This will give you an idea if the cat is friendly to all of you, we definitely have some cats that don't care for men or loud kids. This will also probably result in each of you wanting a different cat, (which is how we get you to take two!) Don't be in a hurry, see if anyone fostered the cat you like. I know a lot about the cats that have been guests in my home for a couple of months while awaiting space at the shelter. Every group seems to have one that stands out as sweetest. Our shelter cats are roaming around in rooms, if you can, sit in a chair or on the floor and see who runs over. Leave the room for a few minutes then go back in and see if they do it again. There's nothing better than a lap full of cat lovin'!

As for litter, scoopable is soooo easy. I have a large, covered pan, I don't notice a smell. Maybe because we wash 65 litter pans a day at the shelter? Perhaps I am immune. I also suggest getting a good-quality food, you'll notice the benefits in the litterbox odor and the cats health.
Good luck in your adventure!

zumbergc
04-11-2010, 10:39 PM
I just wanted to mention the chance at socialization for a cat occurs between 8-12 weeks. So if you get a formerly ferrel cat. Well, if it wasn't socialized it will be more skittished towards people.

We have 2 ferrel rescues.
Odie our most recent rescue. He was 6 months old. Born outside, and survived out there for a good 5 months. He was rescued by a group, and then he was fixed and vaccinated. However, since he wasn't caught until later in life he is skittish. He spent the first couple weeks in the batheroom He was so scared. He hid in his cage when we walked in. Although we could here him playing in there. He did start gradually playing with us. It took a lot of work and patience to get him where he is today. He is close to a year old now. He loves being petted at night before bed and first thing in the morning when we get up. We feed meals because he and scooby are food obsessed. Even though he is over 10 pounds, he gulps his food down as quick as possible, and getting a belly as we speak.

He is afraid of strangers. Although we had 2 break thrus last week. Cleaning ladies boy came over when she cleaned, he was scattered on the floor doing homework. Odie came out. I gave him some treats as a reward, and then gave the treats to my buddy, to give to odie. Odie didn't let him get petted, but he was out and about, a plus. Then 2 days later, a guy giving us an estimate for some work we were doing. He came out again, got more treats. Let us pet him. So he is a work in progress. He loves food so much, he will run my obsticle course in the family room. He doesn't like fast movements, it scares him, and doesn't like when you come inside wearing your big winter coats.

Odie did have health issues, he had lung worm and as a result has some limited lung function. He take breaks or can start panting. I guess the dead worms kind of sit in his lungs.. yuck. He also had lots of parasites ad worms too.

Scooby we got almost a year ago. Scooby had an "eye infection", when we got him. They said we could have waited to get him until it cleared, but I wasn't afraid of doing eye drops. Well, scooby has some serious allergies. Dust mites, 300 on the blood test shows positive, he is a 3000. So, the house gets vacuumed more than ever now. He also has food allergies, and is on a raw diet. Plus of raw food, smaller amount of poop, and it doesn't smell as much. Scooby is a high maintnance cat. He is a lover, he loves to be petted. He also was born outside, but someone rescued him sooner. His ferral tendancies got worse when we got odie, as Scooby was choosing odie as a role model and running when people came over. Where as before, Tinky our other cat loves attention, so he would just keep a distance but hang out.

So, if having a medically challenged cat is a deal breaker. Make sure the cat has clean eyes, clean ears ( take a sniff of the ears too) - no black or yeast in there. Also check the fur. Make sure the cat doesn't have bites on him/her. Reason being a cat that is allergic to flea bites or other things, allergies.. lots of work. Old cat had flea dermititus, along with tons of other allergies. Special food etc. If you do get a allergic cat... consider raw food. It has really helped scooby out.

Touch the cats ears, paws, tail, etc to see how he may do when having to be groomed, or trimming claws. If they aren't to good with it, then after your petting the cat and he is relaxed start slowly and briefly working with the feet/ ears or other body part.

Have fun, if your looking for a certain pure breed cat. It could take a few months or longer to identify the cat with a personality that you want as a family member. If your fine with a dom cat, you'll have a bigger pool of cats to check out and more likely to find one sooner.

One thing to think about. Don't pick a cat and bring it home right away. Do all the paper work get them reserved. Go home and think it thru and think, is it just the heat of the moment, or did the personality match up.

When we were looking for a siamese mix rescue. First they go fast, and second, my heart would melt anytime I would see a siamese, and I wanted each and everyone we saw. We wanted a short hair. The ones we saw at first were med length hair, we filled out paperwork, and then later called back to let them know we had changed out minds. I even was super temped by Chief. His owner passed, and he had been abandoned, and was super upset. He didn't like being in the petsmart cage. He was doing well, I was petting him, and then all of sudden he had to much, I can't remember if he lunged or just swatted at me. I so wanted him too, even though he had issues. I've had other siamese cats and well, they don't take well to the cage situation... and being away from their owners..

Ok, my epoch post is now over... i just love catss...

jjjmranch
04-11-2010, 10:42 PM
We have a Seal Point Himalayan Persian cat that is absolutely wonderful. Persians are very social and this cat is so tolerant of DS6 who isn't as gentle as he should be. We adopted him when he was 5 months old and the transition was great. He also tolerates baths. Persians are very social and even tempered. You just need to brush, brush, brush!

hipchickie
04-11-2010, 11:08 PM
I have personally never had a female cat that was not bonkers...the majority were completely antisocial.
I have a thing for male black cats - every one I have ever had has been so cool, affectionate, mellow and sweet. I have never had an issue with a male cat spraying, but make sure they are neutered young.

Tigger1221
04-11-2010, 11:26 PM
We currently have 4 cats (3 we own and 1 foster). Our Maine Coon is amazing and everyone who meets her want one too. She is very cuddly, playful, and can take rough handling. She was a feral cat and we got her at a young age from a rescue. We didn't know what breed she was and she chose us. She jumped out of the cage onto my husbands shoulder and struggled to get out of the ladies hands to get to me.

Our second cat is small grey tabby. We found her in a parking lot and weren't going to keep her but DH fell in love with her. She is very sweet too.

The third is a light orange male tabby. He is a lover but hates to be picked up. He was not like that as a kitten he loved to be held, however he has changed a a lot as he has grown as have all the others. His mom was abandoned and we got him when he was young.

Our Foster is a special case. He is a big orange tabby and he spent almost the first year of his life in a cage. He hated humans. DH and I wanted to foster a cat and I knew the lady of the agency who had him and I was visiting him a lot. It took 4 of us to catch him but he made it home. We have had in a year now and I picked him up for the first time today. He loves to be rubbed and I can love on him and he greets strangers (the rest run away, he is very curious.)

All this to day every cat is different and if you get a kitten the personality might change. Also each cat is different just b/c one orange taby is great another may not be. I originally wanted a fluffy orange cat. Our first cat our Maine Coon is Grey/Brown but we fell in love. I would defiantly go with a shelter as they are the best place to judge personalities. Ours knew our foster was problem and told us he was but we are willing to work with him, if it was our first cat I would of not taken him on.

Litter- we currently use Fresh Step and it works great! No smell and one of the litter boxes is across from the bedroom. I know a lady at work who uses Tidy Cats and she loves it, she have 15 cats and her house doesn't smell.

Planogirl
04-12-2010, 12:21 AM
Let the cat choose you.
This is what a cousin of mine always says. If the cat likes you, he is bound to be friendly.

Tinkerbelle9980
04-12-2010, 12:26 AM
Good luck choosing a new kitty! I have never really "chosen" a cat, I just seem to end up with them. I currently have three of the sweetest girls ever.

Tinkerbelle will be 15 this summer. She was about 5-6 weeks old when I found her. We think she was tossed from a car along a highway into a ditch, where I found her. She was so little and scared when I found her. She is a long haired calico.

Sunni will be 9 this summer. I found her and her two sisters at a Taco Bell/KFC eating rocks in the parking lot. She was 8-10 weeks old and so scrawny. She couldn't even run away, plus was sunburned. It took two months to catch her sisters and find them good homes. She is my red head, white with dark orange patches including a helmet.

Kida is the newest addition and will 1 this summer. My parent's found her living in a tree stump in their neighbo'rs yard by herself. It took over a month to catch her but she calmed down quick. She hissed at us for a week, but never bit. She is a short haired black cat.

The point is all of these cats and many more that I've had over the years were strays. With love and patience they all became amazing pets. I think you'll find that it doesn't matter where they are from or how old they are. Once you gain their trust you have a friend and family member for life. All cats have quirks, just like people. Hopefully your family can find the perfect fit!:)

Lisa_M
04-12-2010, 04:34 AM
We have had several cats and all have been wonderful.

We've had two orange tabbies (both males) & both of those have been "extra affectionate" cats...I mean real "love bugs" towards us.

I did read somewhere once that orange tabbies are like that & I believe it to be true.

I had an orange tabby as a child, who I loved so much, but was the meanest cat ever. This can be true of any cat.

I also don't know if the gender thing is true or not, because the orange cat was a male and mean and now my two current cats are male and sweet as ever. My parents have 2 female cats that came into the house as adults and they are very territorial and don't seem to like each other, but are kind to the family.

OP, I would suggest going to the shelter or to a rescue and adopting 2 young adult or adult cats that get along with each other or previously homed together. I think cats need a buddy and since you have two kids, you wouldn't have them fighting over 1 cat and who can play with it or feed it. etc. They can be responsible for taking care of their cats together. Also, 2 cats still can mean 1 litter box as long as you scoop daily. We use Tidy Cats Scoop. You really can't get easier than the scoopable litter, but I wouldn't flush it regardless of what some brands say.

My current older cat found us as a young adult. He had an infection from a recent neutering, hungry and ran in my parents house and curled up on my little sister's lap. He chose us, no matter how we tried to get him to go home. I contacted all the local vets, the shelter, the newspaper and no one ever claimed him, so he became ours.

When I moved out, I took him with me, but he seemed to miss the dog. He seemed kind of lonely. One day, I took him to the vet, just for a checkup and there was a lady there with my little guy who was 6 months old at the time. He was living in a mechanics garage and very skittish. When we introduced the cats we did it slowly and kept them separated when not supervised.

Now (age 7 and 5) they are great brothers. My big cat became like a mother to the little one. He gave him baths and taught him how to clean himself. They sleep together and play together every day. The only problem is the little one runs and hides when new people are over and he never covers his pee. He tries, but he pees so close to the edge of the box, he ends up scraping the side with his paw. Since we scoop so often, it doesn't matter.

Good luck with finding a cat or cats. I second the person who said, let the cat choose you.

JCMHutch
04-12-2010, 06:43 AM
We have had several cats and all have been wonderful.

We've had two orange tabbies (both males) & both of those have been "extra affectionate" cats...I mean real "love bugs" towards us.

I did read somewhere once that orange tabbies are like that & I believe it to be true.

We too have an "orange" tabby and he is the sweetest cat! He's also a big cat.

Definitely check out local shelters if you adopt. There are so many wonderful cats looking for homes. I adopted my little girl from one and my mom adopted both of her "boys" this way (one is 1/2 persian and beautiful!). The shelter we chose fosters the cats in volunteers homes so they know if the cats are good with others, kid friendly, etc. Plus, they are a no kill shelter - which is a good thing!

Good luck!

ShannonMB
04-12-2010, 08:24 AM
I have no advice on picking the kitty, but I did want to chime in to say even though your kids are of "scooping age" :laughing:, if they are anything like my DD, it will be you and your DH doing the scooping 99% of the time.

Good luck!

debbiecarr98
04-12-2010, 08:27 AM
We have a Seal Point Himalayan Persian cat that is absolutely wonderful. Persians are very social and this cat is so tolerant of DS6 who isn't as gentle as he should be. We adopted him when he was 5 months old and the transition was great. He also tolerates baths. Persians are very social and even tempered. You just need to brush, brush, brush!

I second this. My persians actually liked my dd dressing them up, "feeding them" in a high chair, personality, plus, but you do need to commit in return for their exceptional personalities, as above, the grooming.
To us, it was worth it 100 times over!

damren
04-12-2010, 09:07 AM
Here is what I tell people when they come into the shelter.
If you already have in your mind age, sex, color etc then go for that.
Otherwise talk to the staff, we come to know the animals pretty well, and if we know all your concerns and wants we can help steer you in the right directions. All the furriends need you so anyone you do choose will be lucky :)
At the shelter and at my home we use feline pine. It's great litter with no smell, it breaks down to sawdust when it's done so you don't have those big lumps of smelly urine! It last longer as well because you just take out the waste and not litter.
Good luck and POST PICTURES!!!:lovestruc

Muushka
04-12-2010, 09:28 AM
I second this. My persians actually liked my dd dressing them up, "feeding them" in a high chair, personality, plus, but you do need to commit in return for their exceptional personalities, as above, the grooming.
To us, it was worth it 100 times over!

We once took care of a friends Rag Doll Himalayan. Poor guy was beautiful except for his crossed eyes. One day we sacrificed a baby's 2 piece outfit (cut a hole out for the tail). We put it on Zipper and he did fine. But to watch that poor boy walk into the sliding glass door (those crossed eyes sure did screw up what was open and what was closed) in his little yellow outfit was a hoot!:lmao:

OP, watch the kitty's tail. If it is straight up, he is comfy with you. :goodvibes

ceecee
04-12-2010, 12:37 PM
My sister finally took the pludge and got another cat. She wanted a kitten so she got one at the shelter...it was very needy and kept her up all night and wouldn't use the litter box, etc...well it was a baby after all, probably should have still been with it's mother...so she took it back (they have a 3 day return policy if it doesn't work out). We then went to another shelter looking at dogs with my other sister and a 5 year old cat was just dropped off because the owner had to go into a nursing home and the daughter couldn't take care of it. They normally don't take cats so it was one cat in a cage in a seperate room but he was terrified of the dogs! We left because she didn't want an older cat. Two days later she went back because she couldn't stop thinking about him, he was still there and she brought him home. He is now King of the house and a perfect pet! We adopted two dogs at 2 and 4 instead of pups and both were chew and potty trained and are great. Don't let the age of the pet affect your discision too much. Puppies and kitten are adorable but they grow up really fast.

amandaraye
04-12-2010, 03:21 PM
My best advice is to let the kitty choose YOU. I went to a shelter to get a kitten I saw online and had my heart set on her. She had ZERO interest in me:confused3, but an adorable male gray and white kept trying to climb up my leg. His name is Jett and is has been with us now for 6+ years and he's a perfect fit to our family. :lovestruc

Ephany
04-12-2010, 03:55 PM
We have had several cats and all have been wonderful.

We've had two orange tabbies (both males) & both of those have been "extra affectionate" cats...I mean real "love bugs" towards us.

I did read somewhere once that orange tabbies are like that & I believe it to be true.

I was going to say the same thing, I've read that they're very affectionate and talky. My little orange guy loves, loves, loves to play and be cuddled. He actively stalks my DH's lap and even though he's 8 almost 9 he still 'plays' with DD. He catches toy mice, plays fetch, loves string and those fuzzy long ropes attached to a pole you wave around. The only thing is he talks. A lot. All the time. I tell him when he's being a pain that I'm going to give him to a nursing home because he's such an attention hound, he just purrs at me.

dyna
04-12-2010, 04:24 PM
Yep let the cat pick you......DD was wanting a cat dh notwanting her to have a cat he claimed he did not like cats. We was out at sis's house an dd asked if she could catch a feral cat if she could bring it home to my surprise dh said YES. Low an behold dd went outside anin less than a minute a feral cat adopted her, rode the hour home in an open box in back seat never tried to get out of box. Came in house never climbed curtains or scratched up furniture. Took to the liter box immedately an has been a great cat....not muchof a player but a great cat.

Then 2 summers ago we had a cat have litter of kittens under our pool barn about the time they started gettin out an about the momma cat moved them but there was 1 solid black one I really wanted. 2 months passed I never saw the momma or the kittens again then 1 morning got up an my dd's said the kittens was back an had been on the patio all morning. I go to the front door look down an there is the black kitten I wanted out of the litter standing knockin on door with his paw. Opened the door in he ran is is very loving demands attention can not get enough. He too took straight to the litter box did not climb no curtains or anything.

BTW once he was in the house his siblings took off and was never seen again it was like they came to drop him off an stayed long enough make sure he got inside OK then left! lol

daisyduck123
04-12-2010, 06:38 PM
I was going to say the same thing, I've read that they're very affectionate and talky. My little orange guy loves, loves, loves to play and be cuddled. He actively stalks my DH's lap and even though he's 8 almost 9 he still 'plays' with DD. He catches toy mice, plays fetch, loves string and those fuzzy long ropes attached to a pole you wave around. The only thing is he talks. A lot. All the time. I tell him when he's being a pain that I'm going to give him to a nursing home because he's such an attention hound, he just purrs at me.

OMG my orange tabby is a "talker" too. I didn't mention that earlier.

He will come up & just try to have a conversation with me. We go back & forth. When I ask him a question, he promptly responds. He cracks us up!!:rotfl:

Gr8dan2
04-12-2010, 06:42 PM
We are considering get a cat (or kitten?) for the girls - 7 1/2 and 11. We had 3 cats before kids. The last one died about 4 years ago and she was the unfriendly one of the bunch so they really haven't had a pet.

I am finally ready again I think (I hated the liter box smell in the house ...) but now have 2 girls that can scoop!

Any tips on finding a "friendly" cat? I don't want to end up with one like our most recent one that wouldn't give us the time of day. We want a cuddler that will play.

Any concerns or those in favor in getting a slightly older cat from the SPCA - just a couple of years old vs a kitten?

I'll take any liter box tips while you are at it :) Favorite brand? Automatic cleaners?

You should consider going with a shelter that uses the ASPCA's Meet Your Match Felinality program. you fill out a survey and get matched to a 'type' of cat and the cats for adoption are 'typed' based on an evaluation that's done at the shelter when they arrive. http://www.aspcapro.org/aspcas-meet-your-match.php believe me, worth the trip! our shelter just started doing it this year, and its the FIRST time we have a cat that's really what we wanted!

Deb & Bill
04-12-2010, 08:46 PM
OMG my orange tabby is a "talker" too. I didn't mention that earlier.

He will come up & just try to have a conversation with me. We go back & forth. When I ask him a question, he promptly responds. He cracks us up!!:rotfl:

Ours, too. He sits outside my bedroom in the morning, crying for me to open the door so he can come in.

busyshrew
04-12-2010, 08:48 PM
Just a quiet warning. Kittens have an important socialization period where they should be with their mothers and littermates. Be careful of adopting a very young kitten that has missed this stage!

Our kitten came to us too young - she was taken away from her litter at about 5 weeks and missed that critical window. So she had some strange habits. She kneaded and suckled on me ALL THE TIME for the first few months, wouldn't eat her food unless I was actually in the room with her (at first, I had to be petting her before she would eat!), always had to be sleeping near me (on my hair, actually!). I had to teach her how to use the litterbox - Thank God, it didn't take long. She never learned to like other people. It was always me, and only me, that she really loved. And she was always a bit rough with her claws and quick to bite. Stuff she should've learned from her mommy, but didn't.

So, I'd say, make sure you get a cat that had at least the first 7 or 8 weeks with its mother. It will probably make your transition a LOT easier than mine was!