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Thread: How do you chose a great cat for a pet?

  1. #1
    Member GingerMay's Avatar
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    How do you chose a great cat for a pet?

    Hello, fellow eNotAlone community members.
    I've been struggling with finding a pet cat, and thought I would ask advice from anyone who has a great cat and can suggest how I could select one for myself?

    I am looking for an older cat that is friendly, likes to be pet, and does not run away from anyone new who enters the room. Preferably, the cat purrs. Also preferable the cat does not scratch when you pick it up, and might even sit on your lap for a while.

    My approach so far has been to look at local humane society locations and animal shelters. I've gone online to Petfinder.com where they include write-ups of the cat's personality traits. However, each time I go, the cat is not as they were described, not social at all. I've experienced the cats remaining inside their enclosure after it is opened for me to meet them, hiding under chairs when they do walk out, squirming to be let down if I pick them up, and one even bit me when I was petting it's cheek. Note - my hand did not bleed, and the bite fortunately did not break the skin. Anyway, I am now educating myself on cat behavior so I can be a good cat-mom.

    I found one cute kitty last month, so I submitted the application to the related organization called "PAAWS". They contacted me and told me my application was approved. After a few days, they emailed me that the cat had already been adopted by someone else, and to keep checking for others. Possibly poor processing on this organization's part, so my search continues.

    Does anyone tips on what to look for in a cat to ensure you are choosing a social cat accepting of human companionship?

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Someone gave me a great tip once. Whether it's a puppy or kitten, turn it on it's back (still holding it safely) and see how it responds.
    I have used this and it works really well.

    Timid ones will fight you and ones that are trusting in nature with a good disposition will allow you do it.
    One of my cats purred when I turned her upside down and just laid there. Keeper!! She's a sweet heart.

    It's not the only thing to look for naturally, but I think it's a great tool.

    A friend of mine who is really good with cats wanted a new one. She went to a shelter and while taking her time with the cats, one of them laying near her placed his paw on her foot. She prefers to think he picked her and not the other way around!
    "Jack" is a pretty special boy.

    It's just a sense and a connection . . much like dating! You just kinda know

  3. #3
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    You have to understand that cats take a while to warm up to people. Cats take a while to form a trust bond with people. Cats also remember what has happened in their life and have a good long memory some say up to about 10 years. Cats are also easily stressed by new environments. So a few days is not going to give you the true personality of a cat. You need to give a cat an adequate amount of time to flourish . Some cats do not like to be picked up but they don't mind being pet. Some cats don't like visitors but enjoy their " person". You're not going to find all the qualities that you want in one cat. Pick a few that are your absolute top qualities.

    Also if you own a cat you are going to get scratched a few times that's just going to happen. This should not upset or worry you.

    I have had cats all my life and currently own three.

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    I think PAAWS is a good place to start because you are getting a cat that has been in foster care. I would think the foster home would have a better idea of the cat's personality as opposed to one that is kept in a shelter cage. Can you tell them what you are looking for and ask to be put on a waiting list?

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  6. #5
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    [IMG] ]

    These are two that I adopted from my vet three years ago. My vet also does animal rescue. They are a pair of polydactyly twin brothers. One is very cheeky brash gets into a lot of trouble because he's too curious for his own good. The other is very shy timid and only loves mama.

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    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I have two cats now and have had many over the years. They are aloof by nature, most dont come up to you looking to be picked up. They need to check you out and get a vibe from you as to what kind of person you are, just like you are checking them out to see what they are like. If you do come across one that's instantly friendly, that's great, but also not too common. I applaud you for wanting an older cat, but remember it knows what it's past is, and you dont. Dont dismiss a cat quickly if it doesnt appear friendly right away. It takes time.

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    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by melancholy123
    I have two cats now and have had many over the years. They are aloof by nature, most dont come up to you looking to be picked up. They need to check you out and get a vibe from you as to what kind of person you are, just like you are checking them out to see what they are like. If you do come across one that's instantly friendly, that's great, but also not too common. I applaud you for wanting an older cat, but remember it knows what it's past is, and you dont. Dont dismiss a cat quickly if it doesnt appear friendly right away. It takes time.
    Exactly I would take an older cat again. We adopted an eight-year-old cat from the Humane Society and he turned out to be the best cat we've ever had. He was surrendered because his family couldn't handle his medical bills but he was just the most outstanding cat anybody could ever have. He was half Maine coon and I think that's why he was so outstanding. Older cats do have a hard time being rehomed.

    And yes , cats do need time to form a trust bond.

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    Platinum Member Hermes's Avatar
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    Cats are not the same as dogs. Just love those cats!! Always been a cat person.

    On seeing you for first time of course those poor cats hid. Normal reaction. They take a while to get used to new owner not to mention new home.

    Once when we moved house the cat hid for three days in the airing cupboard, and refused to come out lol.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Don't bother with the online searches. Just stop by shelters and look at the cats they have. Lucky for you, you actually want a grown cat. Not only are there a ton of them who are perfectly social but needed to be surrendered, but they're typically free to adopt as well. The cat my girlfriend got wasn't listed online for the ASPCA, but we found her when we went in. She's what I like to call an "idiot fart face," but she's got her quirks. She's 6 years old but still looks kinda like a kitty. Meet Comanche:

    [img] ]

    And if you don't find a cat you click with, make a few different trips at different times. Especially with it being kitty season, you're getting a lot of cats and kittens coming in pretty routinely. Also, try to go in earlier during the day. The cats usually are emotionally exhausted by the afternoon, so they're not as friendly nor their normal selves.

  11. #10
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
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    Yes, cats are not dogs. They are much more subtle.

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