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Choosing the right rescue cat?

I am trying to talk my dh into getting a cat. If I get him to agree, I would like to rescue an adult cat from a shelter or rescue organization. There are just so many cats that need homes. However I have never even owned a cat before. I have three young kids and want a cat that is good with children and likes to be patted. I also want one that knows how to use a scratching post and not my furniture! Will the shelter or rescue staff help me to find a good match for our family? What should I look for in terms of getting a shelter cat that is going to be friendly?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:48 PM on May. 15, 2011 in Pets

Answers (7)
  • I have 4 rescue cats. Take the kids with you when u go look or get one. Realize the cat may be stressed out because its in a shelter.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 4:51 PM on May. 15, 2011

  • the rescue will help you. They should know something about each pet there. You want a cat that that is comfortable being held in several positions. His eyes and nose should be clear. He should seem interested you and his surroundings. With any cat it is somewhat hit or miss. Cats tend to be 'royalty' and us merely 'servants' I have one AWESOME lovey cuddly sweet cat that snuggles under the covers and sits in your lap... and I have one who is totally aloof and spends his days being a loner...until dinner time. I would ask about 'trail periods' so you can get accustomed to the cat and the cat to you while still having a 'fail safe' if you find the cat you chose doesn't fit your lifestyle.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 4:54 PM on May. 15, 2011

  • You won't be able to tell much about a cat's personality at the shelter in a cage, they are often stress to the max when they are there, but open the cage and offer some petting and see how it goes. A lot of times the workers at the shelter will label a cat aggressive or mean because they are just scared to death, these are the ones that get euthanized first!! So give the one that you like a chance before he gets labeled, good luck, and you eill be doing a good deed.


    Answer by older at 5:04 PM on May. 15, 2011

  • I have 3 rescue cats and 2 of them were adults when I adopted them. For me it was really easy. It wasn't so much about me choosing a cat, it was the cat choosing me. All 3 of my cats made it very obvious that they were more than interested in going home with me. My oldest cat in particular. I was actually looking at a cat in the cage underneath hers, but she kept reaching through the bars and batting me on top of the head until I looked up, then she rolled over all cute and cuddly and I just knew =)

    Go in there with an open mind. As one of the PPs mentioned look for a cat with clear eyes. Cloudy, runny eyes or a runny nose are usually signs of upper respiratory infection. Other than that, you will know the right cat when you see it.


    Answer by asmcbride at 5:15 PM on May. 15, 2011

  • I don't think the shelter/rescue people are going to know if the cat is trained to use a scratching post. Otherwise, follow the above mentioned advice. If you want to train them, sprinkle cat nip to the place you want them to scratch. Opt for whatever scratching post the pet supply store says is most effective. We bought a bargain one that our cats hardly ever use, but we didn't know about attracting with the cat nip when we first set it up.

    Answer by CoffeeWriter at 5:53 PM on May. 15, 2011

  • Don't go into this expecting the cat to come trained. That is very unrealistic. You will probably have to teach the cat so be prepared for that. Man y shelters do get to know their animals and can help you find the right fit. But watch the cats and see how they react to people coming around. Spend time with the cats that catch your attention.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 12:32 AM on May. 16, 2011

  • Most cats come Litter trained (once you show them their box) Personalities traits in any animal come out AFTER you get them home and they finally come out from under your bed. The bigger the scratching post, the safer your furniture will be as cats feel safest high up. Cats are great with children when you "train" the children. For instance "DD, you see her swishing her tail really fast? That means you are annoying her and it's time to leave her alone" For instance, I've got an 8 mos old and three cats... he's already learning gentle, no hit and such and we stop the "session" when kitty says stop. Like a previous poster, Cats have Subjects, Dogs have owners :)

    Answer by hollydaze1974 at 3:52 PM on May. 16, 2011

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