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Need Advice From the Kitty Experts!!

Bailey_
July 28th, 2009, 02:55 PM
My family and I have recently decided to bring home a new cat into our family. We've narrowed our search down to two reputable rescues, and are looking for a cat suited to these requirements:

Good with dogs and other cats, good with children, about 2-5 years old. Gender doesn't make a difference.

But I have some questions, and I'd like some advice to help us make the new kitties transition (once we decide on the cat) a little easier into our home.

We have two dogs and a cat. How can we ensure that the newcomer won't be stressed out by this living environment? How can we ensure that our current pets won't be stressed out?
My cat that we have now was adopted by us when she was only 12 weeks old, so I'm unsure of how to approach this with an adult cat.

I have a female cat now. Would it be better to bring home another female, or does it matter?

There are a few cats at one SPCA we're looking at that have been declawed previously. I'm hesitant about bringing one of these cats home because I wouldn't want to put it in a home with an unfair advantage (with a cat that has all her claws and two dogs with a bit too much eagerness to say hello).

Any advice/help/suggestions to make this transition easier and to help us narrow our search will be appreciated!!!

TacoGrl
July 28th, 2009, 03:48 PM
I think two girl cats have a better chance of not getting along...my two didn't and others have told me this as well...I have one of each now and they get along swell! BUT it all depends on the cats I guess. :shrug:

The SPCA and most rescues should be able to tell you which cats get along with dogs and other cats...they usually try to find out to help prospective adopters.

Slow intros (new kitty in a seperate room to start) and make sure you dote of your current pets too so they don't get jealous ;)

As for the declawing issue...usually you keep claws pretty short by clipping them, so kinda the same thing except without the pain of declawing, so I don't really see it as an issue...especially if the cat you are looking at already gets along with other animals :shrug:

Bailey_
July 28th, 2009, 03:56 PM
Thanks TG! I have heard of seperating the newcomer for a bit upon arrival, so we've already got the spare room ready for that.

As for the declawing issue, the reason I ask is because one of the cats at the Calgary SPCA has stolen my heart - buuuutt, I'm hesitant because both of my dogs are fairly energetic. Moo, my female cat is very used to playing with dogs and sticks up for herself quite well - I've never had to worry about her. I guess I'm nervous about bringing a declawed cat into the picture just on the thought that they'd have no real defense if the need arise to tell the dogs to get lost - as Moo occasionally has to do. :rolleyes:

I know we have to bring in our current pets to meet the new cat in order for an adoption to be approved, but I'm concerned that everything will be fine at the shelter and get a little crazy at home. :shrug: I think I'm just paranoid. I want this to go as smoothly as possible!

Thanks for the thought on the females vs females, I wasn't sure if there would be an issue. I will certainly keep that in mind while we look! :thumbs up

chico2
July 28th, 2009, 04:04 PM
I would say definetly get a male kitty.
If you are thinking of a kitten,he probably could adjust to the dogs,with time.
A grown cat not used to dogs,probably takes longer.
I know my 3 cats hate dogs,or I should say,they are terrified of dogs.

Bailey_
July 28th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Chico2, were you ever told from the shelter that any of them were okay with other animals? That's what I'm SO afraid of...that the new cat will be labelled as being "good" with cats and dogs, but it is an entirely different situation when a cat is cornered by a big bouncing labradoodle. (Not that my dogs are in any way aggressive with cats, however realistically I have to assume that they may want to play with the cat and say 'hi' - they're both young dogs, still learning their manners!)

chico2
July 28th, 2009, 04:20 PM
Bailey,no my cats all,kind of happened,none from a shelter,one was a farm-kitty,one from a pet-store(sorry)and my youngest was found on the street.
Never did have to get used to dogs,I don't have any.
I do however walk a Cocker every day and disaster happened when one of my cats got out accidentally while the Cocker was in my backyard with me.

However there are several people here who adopted cats"used to dogs"and it worked out fine.

Dogastrophe
July 28th, 2009, 04:40 PM
I can't speak for cat to cat as I only have the one; however, if Gracie "survived" her encounter with my two silly bounce off the wall terriers, there is hope for every kitty out there!!

The nice thing with introducing cats to dogs is that the cat will eventually build up the confidence to be among them - starts with a few exploratory missions and quick escapes to safety, to wall hugging, to strutting in front of the dogs (and maybe giving one of them a smack along the way). :D

I've been searching for the initial thread I started regarding introducing Gracie to the dogs which is full of great advise, but haven't found it yet. Will post the link when I do.

TacoGrl
July 28th, 2009, 04:42 PM
Bailey...have you tried MEOW? They let you take kitty home and try out as long as you want before you actually adopt...they are also VERY supportive...that is where I got my two from...my adoption coordinator was Tina...she was great! Right now, they are more money because the SPCA has lowered their prices for their summer sale :rolleyes: Having said that, the SPCA is a kill facility and MEOW isn't, so right now you might be saving someone's life by adopting from the SPCA, but when the field is even, I prefer the personal touch/involvement of MEOW :shrug:

Just to throw more into the confusion pot! LoL! :laughing::D:laughing:

sugarcatmom
July 28th, 2009, 05:00 PM
There's a good article here on how to facilitate a compatible relationship between your dogs and the new cat: http://www.labadoption.org/linkpages/DogBehave/Articles/Cats.pdf

Some info on introducing cats to each other: http://www.catsinternational.org/articles/getting_a_cat/good_introduction.html

I personally would be very hesitant to get a declawed cat in your situation. Even if none of your other pets intend any harm, the new kitty doesn't know that and might feel very vulnerable. You could end up with a constantly anxious cat and all of the corresponding behaviour problems (inappropriate elimination, aggressiveness, hiding, etc). If you were able to adopt a cat from a foster home where s/he was already living with dogs and was comfortable in that environment, that would preferable. Either that or a cat with claws.

Do you have a tall cat condo or somewhere that the new kitty can escape to up high? Even with careful introductions, there may come a time when the cat just wants to observe the peons below without being bothered by them. I would also ensure that your dogs don't "go after" the cat, even if it's only to play. Keep them on a leash in the cat's presence until the cat is confident and comfortable, and the dogs aren't so interested in checking him/her out.

Jim Hall
July 28th, 2009, 05:42 PM
yup a high place where the dogs cant get and aplace on the floor just big enough for her is perfect if you can have the room you keep her in a "saferoon" ie she goes there and no one is allowed to engage her


if the adoptor is good they will have vetted the cats for personality and general getting along with others

Luvmypitgirls
July 28th, 2009, 05:58 PM
Bailey, I don't know if you've already found this or not but there is a rescue called Heaven Can Wait, just a suggestion for rescueing.

I wish I could offer you some "cat advice", unfortunately I am more dog savvy, even tho I have two cats (they are brothers), I haven't had enough experience with cats that aren't related. All my cats thru~out the years have always been littermates except one, so introductions with cats not raised together and such I'm not in the position to advise, but I hope whatever happens it all works out great for you.:D

Love4himies
July 28th, 2009, 06:34 PM
You can never predict how a cat will react when you get it home, however, I have found that male cats are much more social than females, especially females who have had a previous litter.

When you go to the shelter ask if you can see the cat's reaction to other cats, if he/she is quite calm, then there is a good chance that he/she will be calm with your kitty. Also, you can ask if they have seen this kitty's reaction to dogs. Perhaps the cat was fostered in a home with dogs, or owner surrendered.

Bailey_
July 28th, 2009, 06:43 PM
Wow, thanks for all the great advice and links everyone. I really appreciate it. We want to make the right choice for our new addition, but there are SO many deserving cats out there, its making this hard.

TG, I have been looking at Meow, yes. I love how they are very specific about the personality of each cat and the background - if they know it. Thats one thing the SPCA is lacking. I'm on the fence as to adopt from the SPCA or Meow simply because, like you said, Meow is a no-kill rescue whereas the SPCA is not. It's hard to decide! :shrug:

LMPG, No I hadn't ever heard of that rescue - I'll google them tonight! We're hoping to have made our choice by the weekend so I'll keep you all updated. Thanks for the heads up.

I personally would be very hesitant to get a declawed cat in your situation. Even if none of your other pets intend any harm, the new kitty doesn't know that and might feel very vulnerable. You could end up with a constantly anxious cat and all of the corresponding behaviour problems (inappropriate elimination, aggressiveness, hiding, etc). If you were able to adopt a cat from a foster home where s/he was already living with dogs and was comfortable in that environment, that would preferable. Either that or a cat with claws.

Do you have a tall cat condo or somewhere that the new kitty can escape to up high? Even with careful introductions, there may come a time when the cat just wants to observe the peons below without being bothered by them. I would also ensure that your dogs don't "go after" the cat, even if it's only to play. Keep them on a leash in the cat's presence until the cat is confident and comfortable, and the dogs aren't so interested in checking him/her out.

Thanks for your thoughts on this! I tend to agree...a declawed cat might be at a loss in our home, at least initially and even that is enough to make me feel bad about that.
I actually don't really think I have anywhere high that the cat can get too - Moo generally wanders around on the floor or the back of the couches if she feels like getting away from the dogs. That's an excellent suggestion though - I'm sure Moo would appreciate it, as would the newcomer!

Thanks everyone, muchly appreciated!

TacoGrl
July 28th, 2009, 07:37 PM
If you decide to get a cat tree and are like me in the "too inept to build one myself" dept :rolleyes:...go to Pet Planet (they don't sell pets, but MEOW shows there on weekends-I found Messina there-hiding under her little bed :))...the one out in Creekside is the best I have found (too far for me to go regularly though, but the lady there is super). The trees are locally made and are very well constructed and guess what, they are VERY price positive :thumbs up They are also good to get EVO and NOW! treats at.

I bought my tree there and these two LOVE it! You can see from the pic it is pretty simple, but sturdy and the top is high enough to get away from dogs I am sure...they do have other styles as well :)

I appologize for all the ads :o I just like to share when I find good deals and good customer service...so very hard to find both now days.

Love4himies
July 28th, 2009, 07:39 PM
That is a great cat tree, Tacogirl, cats need one that is high and very sturdy.

Bailey_
July 29th, 2009, 02:12 PM
TG, thanks so much for the tips!! Great cat tree, btw, I'll definitely drop into Pet Planet. It's wonderful to get advice from pple who have 'been there'.

So did you get your cats from MEOW? The cat in your picture has beeeauuutiful marking! :cloud9:

catlover2
July 29th, 2009, 04:20 PM
From your talking with the MEOW rescue, it would be the better place to adopt from as they take a real interest in knowing the pet, and would let you have a "try out". I'm sure they could suggest to you the best cat to fit your family, ie. one that is dog savvy is preferable. I do feel a male would be a better fit with your female, and also one that is not declawed. Good luck and let us know what you get.

Bailey_
July 29th, 2009, 04:24 PM
Thanks CatLover! We have actually decided to adopt from Meow, now its just a matter of narrowing our search. So many wonderful kitties out there! We hope to have found our new family member by Friday so I will post pics!

TacoGrl
July 29th, 2009, 05:22 PM
Yup...I got both from MEOW at the same time almost seven months ago...Messina was in a foster (she was prego and had four kitties) and Seth was in their shelter for a year (got saved from the SPCA cuz they were going to put him down).

MEOW definately will make a good match for you...they ask you a buuuuuunch of questions (takes about an hour) and then the meet and greet...their shelter is a good place to see how the kittehs interact with other kittehs and most of the fosters are VERY helpful when you go to their places. They give you a bunch of info in the kit too about introductions, health, etc. and of course will answer your questions too. When the adoption is final, they transfer the chip into your name and they LOVE to hear how they kitties are doing...PICS OF COURSE! :thumbs up

I can't wait to see pics of who you chose...ooops, who choses you! :goodvibes:


As for Pet Planet, the only one I have had less than stellar customer service from is the one at Brentwood (it was almost like they didn't want me in there), but the rest of them are ok if you can't make it to Creekside. ;) Yes, I have been to all of them...I will be somewhere else, see one and pop in to see what toys they have and to pick up treats...my kittehs are spoiled.

Bailey_
July 29th, 2009, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the info. I am close to Brentwood, so thanks for the headsup - I'll head to the other one instead. :thumbs up

I've been scouring the pages of MEOW today, and lo and behold I did see your thankyou letter to MEOW for Seth and Messina! BEAUTIFUL cats.

It just makes me all that much more excited to adopt from such a wonderful rescue. Thanks for your help TG! Can't wait to pick ours out too! :D

Bailey_
July 29th, 2009, 11:46 PM
YAAAY! I'm so excited. We just talked to one of the MEOW founders who has set us up an appointment to view the cats & kittens this Saturday. Apparently, from everything we have previously told her about our family, she thinks that this boy is the one for us. His name is Adonis.

http://www.meowfoundation.com/data/cats/1331.jpg


I'm so excited to meet him and the others! I'll be sure to post pics of the cat that chooses our family. :D

chico2
July 30th, 2009, 06:50 AM
Bailey,OMG what a beauty:lovestruck::lovestruck:
:fingerscr:pray:that he works out!
You know of course,no matter how much Adonis(very fitting name)is used to cats/dogs,the transition-period will be tricky,until he gets used to his new home and relaxes.

sugarcatmom
July 30th, 2009, 06:55 AM
Absolutely stunning cat! I hope all goes well and we get to see many more pics of Adonis. :lovestruck:

Love4himies
July 30th, 2009, 07:00 AM
He is a beauty :cloud9: :lovestruck: :cloud9: :lovestruck:

TacoGrl
July 30th, 2009, 07:14 AM
WOW! Adonis is a beautiful cat!

I am glad I could help and I am excited for you! :goodvibes: :fingerscr

allfurlove
July 30th, 2009, 07:46 AM
What a handsome dude! He looks part siamese. Good luck at your visit...it must be so hard to choose one!

Bailey_
July 30th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Yes, apparently they think he's part siamese part lynx. He's just beautiful though, can't wait to meet him! Obviously its a bit early to tell if he will be the "one", but we're very excited.

I'll post pics of the new kitty soon!! :D

Love4himies
July 30th, 2009, 11:59 AM
I say part Ragdoll. :lovestruck: His eyes remind me of Jasper's.

Bailey_
August 1st, 2009, 05:28 PM
Well, Kiley and I went to our appointment at MEOW this afternoon.

I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised with ALL of the cats reaction to my 14 month old daughter. Our experience was amazing!

EVERY single cat tolerated her, which also surprised the adoption coordinator. Of course we've taught Kiley to be very gentle with animals, but still - she's a baby. She squeals excitedly at them, she laughs, she runs over and stomps her feet on approach. I honestly expected a few hisses in her direction, maybe even a swat - but there was nothing.

It amused me that the adoption coordinator had a list of cats that she thought would suit our family, and the two that made their presence known to us were not on that list at all. It's so true what they say - cats really do pick you.

The first fellow we met came over to us the second we were in the door. His name is Paxton and he's 1.5 years old.

http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs165.snc1/6169_222236065530_685520530_8074529_1145903_n.jpg
http://photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs165.snc1/6169_222236060530_685520530_8074528_5974451_n.jpg
http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs185.snc1/6169_222236055530_685520530_8074527_302968_n.jpg

Paxton followed us everywhere as we met the other cats, eventually lying down beside my daughter in a little hammock, where she gave him lots of kisses and pets! :cloud9:

The second cat came right over to check us out from the moment he spotted us too - his name is Aramis. (The cat in the background.)

http://photos-c.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs185.snc1/6169_222236075530_685520530_8074530_6762640_n.jpg

It was funny because when I took this picture, I was originally trying to get the cat in the foreground - didn't realize till later that Aramis had poked his face in. :lovestruck:

Aramis was equally amazing with Kiley. He followed her around, rubbing up against her and head butting her for pets. She loved him too - played with him, hugged him, kissed him. He's a smaller male, also 1.5 years old.

http://photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs185.snc1/6169_222236080530_685520530_8074531_1737328_n.jpg

Basically, we have no clue which cat to choose and we can only take one.

How do we possibly decide?!?!?:shrug:

Bailey_
August 1st, 2009, 05:31 PM
Here is the picture of Aramis on the adoption site - you can really see his beautiful markings & eyes in it.

http://www.meowfoundation.com/data/cats/1208.jpg

And here is Paxton's. Isn't he adorable?!

http://www.meowfoundation.com/data/cats/1262.jpg

AHHH, We have no idea how to decide. :lovestruck::lovestruck:

TacoGrl
August 1st, 2009, 07:24 PM
So, are you picking both of them up next week? (they do give you a deal on the second one) :evil:

I know what you mean though...there are sooooo many to choose form...I was there for two hours! Plus the foster homes I went to. :eek:

Love4himies
August 1st, 2009, 08:44 PM
So, are you picking both of them up next week? (they do give you a deal on the second one) :evil:

I know what you mean though...there are sooooo many to choose form...I was there for two hours! Plus the foster homes I went to. :eek:

Snicker, snicker. I don't think the two should be separated, but that is just my opinion. :whistle: BTW, two cats are really no more trouble than one :D

Bailey_
August 1st, 2009, 08:51 PM
:D I would LOVE to take them both. :lovestruck: Seriously, we have been sitting here all evening trying to decide. I think we may have to go back tomorrow and do this all over again, but I doubt we'll be any more sure tomorrow.

Thankfully these two particular cats don't know one another, have been kept in different areas, so they haven't bonded with any particular cat.

Still...I would love-love-love to take them both. :o Don't have a clue what we will do!!

And TG - thanks for all your help. What a wonderful rescue, with great people and such an awesome facility they've set up. It was so cool to see in person!

MadeleineI
August 1st, 2009, 09:27 PM
Go with your instinct. Each situation is different. Be open to what your animals tell you. Ask them who they would like you to bring home, thene open to what pops into your mind. Don't try to decide. If you're open, they will tell you.


No self promotion please

TacoGrl
August 1st, 2009, 10:18 PM
I am just glad I could be of some help. :)

They really do want to see kitties and people matched up properly...the thing I liked most was being able to see the kitties interact...not locked up in cages that you just walk by and pick the colour you like...it's just like the rest of life...one doesn't go by outward appearance when one finds a friend. :)

Bailey_
August 2nd, 2009, 12:03 AM
I know that was so cool! We were there for an hour and a half, but it felt like 15 minutes.

This one cat, Hermano, came leaping through the window (from the outdoor area) and ran over to Kiley - stretching out his big paws - so adorable. Apparently he is normally quite reserved and doesn't come up to people, so I honestly don't think we would've had the chance to meet him if MEOW had a setup like the SPCA. It was so neat that they could all come over to us if they wanted too. They really do let the cats pick their people! :thumbs up

chico2
August 2nd, 2009, 07:13 AM
I KNOW I could not decide,I would end up with 2 cats:cat::cat:
The facts are,black cats do not get adopted as fast as an orange/white cat,so if I had to chose,I'd probably pick Paxton,but either way,you are doing a good thing adopting:grouphug:

Bailey_
August 2nd, 2009, 11:09 AM
I KNOW I could not decide,I would end up with 2 cats:cat::cat:
The facts are,black cats do not get adopted as fast as an orange/white cat,so if I had to chose,I'd probably pick Paxton,but either way,you are doing a good thing adopting:grouphug:

Chico, THANKS for telling me this!!! It may be the deciding factor - we just cannot decide!! Can you believe that Paxton was actually adopted once from Meow before when he was a kitten, and that his owner returned him for being 'too needy'? I LOVE needy cats!!! :laughing::lovestruck:

I *wish* we could take both, it would make this all so much easier, but the fact is we only have room/finances for one more pet in our home. Thanks for all your advice everyone, it's really appreciated!!

chico2
August 2nd, 2009, 04:01 PM
Bailey,I went against all that I believe in,when I got my Chico from a pet-shop.
All his siblings were gone,nobody wanted a little black kitten,so I just had to get him.
He is the most wonderful affectionate little guy,now at 12 yrs old,he is still the same way and we love him to bits.

Love4himies
August 2nd, 2009, 04:08 PM
I KNOW I could not decide,I would end up with 2 cats:cat::cat:
The facts are,black cats do not get adopted as fast as an orange/white cat,so if I had to chose,I'd probably pick Paxton,but either way,you are doing a good thing adopting:grouphug:

Chico, THANKS for telling me this!!! It may be the deciding factor - we just cannot decide!! Can you believe that Paxton was actually adopted once from Meow before when he was a kitten, and that his owner returned him for being 'too needy'? I LOVE needy cats!!! :laughing::lovestruck:



Well those are two good reasons to adopt Paxton :thumbs up :D

TacoGrl
August 3rd, 2009, 09:54 PM
Soooooo......? :D

Sammy1303
August 24th, 2009, 01:26 AM
Hey,

I noticed that you are bringing an adult male cat into a home with dogs! I thought I would give you a heads up incase you run into the problem I did....

I have a 3 year old male cat and he gets territorial when my friends bring their dogs over for weekends. He doesn't hiss or get agressive but after they leave he tries to mark his territory by peeing at the door or where the dog was laying. It would also "steal" the dogs toys and try to keep them. Luckily dogs dont come by my house that often!

A simple trick we discovered was to build the cat a "fort"! Sounds crazy, but we gave the cat a big box with some holes in it that it could hide in and peek its head out to survey its territory! Worked like a charm! The cat stayed in there and didn't try to steal any toys. When the dog left the cat didn't feel the need to mark its trerritory because the box was its "new" house! It's a simple, cheap and effective solution to a territorial cat! (not to mention hilariously cute!!)

Good luck with your new furball! They are all adorable!

Sam :)
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