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How Did You Choose Your Cat?


TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Feb 17, 2018
Saskatchewan, Canada
Hi folks! As the time ticks down before I move back to my university city and into my pet friendly apartment there, I've been thinking about cats even more than usual (I'm sure some of you can relate!). When I'm settled in my new place I will be going to the local SPCA to look for a cat friend to share my life with!

My plan at present is to go in and let the shelter staff know what I'm looking for demographics wise (an adult cat between 1-5 years old, fairly laid back, good with or at least tolerant of other animals) and have them let me know what cats fit what I'm looking for and then see if any of those cats choose me. I've been looking at the SPCA website too but there's still some time before I'll be looking for a cat so I realize there will likely be some turnover, and between that and the sparse information on the website I'm trying not to get too invested in the pictures :p

But, being the emotional person that I am I wanted to hear your cute stories- how did you know your cat was the one for you? How did you know your cat chose you?


Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Jan 9, 2018
Colorado USA
For both cats, at this location and me an adult, there was a lot of time spent looking at lists of photos. The first cat, her photo, older age and story spoke and then so did she :) and she lived a very good life for another seven years.
The second time was a series of trying the same approach with a couple of misses, and then finally a win win, Himself in my avatar ;)
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TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Dec 4, 2016
Gizmo was actually the first and only of all the cats in my life that I ever "chose." I had just lost my previous cat Willow to oral cancer and the shelter in the next county over conveniently announced that they had been sponsored and were doing free cat and kitten adoptions. I went to look at what they had available for kittens and none were available right at that moment because they were all set to be sent out to be neutered/spayed the next morning and they told me I could come back then. There were two orange and white boys that immediately caught my attention.

Since it was first come first serve, I stressed about it all night and the next day worrying somebody was going to come in and adopt those two cuties. As soon as I was able, I went back and lo and behold they were both still there. One of them was a little lethargic from his neuter and the other one, who I renamed to Gizmo, was an energetic little ball of terror. He kept reaching for me through the cage and was playing and biting at my fingers. When I tried to pet other kittens above or below him he would demand my attention back. To this day I wish I would've taken them both but I ultimately decided on the little needy hellraiser. It was a perfect fit from the start and he's a little jerk sometimes but he's MY jerk and he's definitely a mama's boy. :redheartpump:


TCS Member
Top Cat
Apr 20, 2017
When our elderly female cat passed away, we wanted to adopt 2 cats.

We had the space for 2 or more and I wanted to improve the lives of 2 cats that were otherwise going to the pound, or were going to be homeless. I also wanted 2 older cats, as they are harder to find homes for. Two cats that had bonded and were about to be seperated, would be a plus, as we would keep them together.

While watching "kijiji", a buy and sell website, I saw two very handsome, young healthy male brothers that were a year and a half old. I did not call the cats owner as I thought these cats would easily find a home.

I continued looking for 2 down on their luck cats.

A few weeks latter the 2 brothers were still on the website for adoption. The owner was even giving them away for free, but still had found no interested parties.

Out of curiosity (with no intent to adopt these cats), I sent an email asking why the difficulty in finding a home for the cats. I was told there was a general lack of interest and no one would take both together.

We exchanged a few emails and the next thing I knew we were visiting the cats at their home. My wife and I had agreed, that if the home smelt like cat pee, would we not take them. As much as we love cats we cant stand the smell of urine, and it wouldnt be unreasonable for new cats to spray at a new home.

When we walked into their home, it reeked of cat urine. But I also noticed the litter boxes were filthy and overflowing. We could not fault the cats for that and went upstairs to see them.

They were huge! We had no idea from their single picture how large they were. The "small" brother was 16 lbs and the big one was 19 lbs (we latter learnt). 3 years latter, the cats are now 20 and 22lbs.

The smaller one was quite interested in my wife and came over to see her. He let her pick him up and was curious and interested in her. The big one just sat on his chair and stared intently at us. At 200plus lbs, im not afraid of a house cat. But the big one was just too big, staring too intently and not showing any friendly gestures or interest in us. His body language and expression was quite clear........ "dont even try to interact with me".

But the "little" brother and my wife were becoming quite smitten with each other. And after only a few minutes, she decided she wanted them.

Arnold continued to hold his ground on his chair and stare at us.

We invited the owner to come to se our home and said if tthey were not comfortable with us then we would accept that and not adopt the "boys".

Both cats were majestic, impressive looking animals, but the big guy wasnt friendly and was more "part of the deal", we would not separate them.

The owners brought them to our house, apparently felt comfortable and we "adopted" the boys. Who then hid under seperate beds for almost a week! Frankly I dont know how they survived the week. We left out food, water, and ckean litter boxes, and virtually never even saw the cats.

And then one day, when I came home, the a bathroom had been decorated with shredded toilet paper. I knew then, the boys were finally "at home".


This xmas, greg (short for "gregarious" as he was the one who came to see us ) and Arnold (short for Schwarzenegger, because he was so big and intimidating ) will be 5 years old.

Greg and arnold are both very affectionate to my wife and me. But I am arnolds favorite and my wife is gregs favorite. These boys have tremendously enriched our lives, and we have also greatly improved theirs. We recently fenced a 1500 sq foot enclosure (no roof) and are currently landscaping it to be cat friendly, with trees for birds for the cats to watch, hostas, lillys and ferns for them to hide under and hunt and perches for them to survey their "kingdom". And of course their kitty litter is cleaned every day.

Greg and Arnold impressing our dinner guests!



TCS Member
Top Cat
Nov 18, 2017
I picked mine off petfinder. I wanted a kitten for my first cat and I wanted a calico ideally. I was browsing the petfinder from the tnr my mom's friend volunteers for and they had one four month calico who was shy and looking for a quiet home and a patient person.

So when I met her (she was in a foster home, not a shelter), she was very shaky and I don't think she chose me, per se. But I was approved for the adoption, and I have become her human. And I'm glad I took a chance on the shy one.


Snowshoe Servant
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Sep 6, 2016
Southern California
Link, I saw a picture and fell in love. Fury, found in box and never left us. Rocket, dropped on my doorstep.

Link was the only one where I was actively looking for a cat. I probably went to four or five different shelters and rescues. Met with a dozen cats and foster parents. None of the cats or kittens felt just right. They were cute and lovely but there wasn't a connection. I had actually given up when Links photo crossed my path. Due to circumstances there was no greeting or meeting, just here's your new kitten. But I like to think it was faith.

I'd caution to not push a connection. If the right cat isn't there then don't take one just to take one. My rainbow cat was from a shelter. My Mom apparently went to the shelter weekly for three months without telling anyone. When she found the right cat she put a hold on him (he was actually in the lost cat section so the shelter doesn't allow adoptions for a week, she put her name on the list of interested if available) and brought each of our family members in one at a time. All of us gravitated towards the same cat and he was perfect for us. I loved him dearly and still miss him eleven years after he passed.


TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Apr 13, 2017
I went to a local no kill shelter and told them what kind of cat I was looking for. The lady showed me a few cats I had seen online, but I didn’t click with them. She then took me to a room where the cats had to be in cages because of special dietary needs. She wanted to show me this cat who was a little shy but sweet if given some time. She asked me to sit on the floor while she took him out. I did. He came to me straight away, rubbed against my leg a couple of times and jumped on my lap, settled there and started to purr straight away. The lady was really shocked as he had never done that before and had always shown as a shy scaredy kitty. I fell in love there and then and took him home. He was the BEST cat ever. Unfortunately, he was also sick with chronic issues that the shelter only partially shared with me (whether they knew the extent of it then or not, I will never know).
What I would recommend for you to do is to ask to see the cat’s medical records and go trough them very thoroughly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Now don’t get me wrong. Huxley was an amazing cat. I never regretted adopting him, and I miss him everyday, but I am getting ready to adopt again, and I do not want to go through this again. So unless you are prepared to deal with all of the medical costs (or want to adopt a cat with special needs) make sure to ask the shelter to only show healthy cats.


TCS Member
Super Cat
Mar 10, 2018
I started searching for a cat or two to adopt around December of 2017. I knew I was going to be moving soon and having had to put down my baby Willow in August, I figured it was time to adopt again once I got my new place.
I found Maisie first. She drew me in because she looked so adorably grumpy. This was one of her adoption photos:

I wanted to visit her, so I did and I was told that she had been in foster care for 2 years because she is very skittish and shy. When I visited her she let me approach her but when I tried touching her she moved to a much higher perch on the cat tree. She had been visited by many other people but her aloofness was off putting to all potential adopters. I wanted her though because she reminded me of myself. I was a selective mute as a child and a lot of people had given up on me ever speaking in school, but one very special school psychologist took a chance on me and I was speaking in school by the end of that year. I ended up using a lot of similar techniques on Maisie that the psychologist used on me.
I chose Remy because he was at the same foster location as Maisie and the rescue wanted Maisie be adopted with a more socialized cat that she knew. There were a few options while I was there, but Remy was the friendliest one and I figured if I was going to have one cat that didn't like to cuddle, I did want one that would be willing to cuddle.
It's been 6 months since I adopted them and Maisie has adjusted very well. She lets me pet her, she sometimes will sleep by me and she loves playing with the laser pointer. Remy is a brat but he is like my little buddy. He does enjoy cuddling too.


TCS Member
Super Cat
Nov 22, 2017
I only chose one cat. Ginger, from a local P.A.W.S. group that brings rescues to the local Pet Smart for adoption. She looked as if she were half Abyssinian, about half of her coat was the typical ruddy colour. And all of her fur was tipped. And the runt of the litter. Never more than 5 lbs. I adopted her as an adult. Some kind soul had rescued her off the street, pregnant. The rescuer kept her until all the kittens had been placed, then she was up for adoption. She was the most affectionate cat I have ever had. Half the time, she thought I was her kitten, then the rest of the time, she seemed to think she was my kitten.

Every other ca=t I have had has been a rescue. From off the street or from a neighbor who no longer wanted a cat. She was a pure bred Himalayan. A very sweet, beautiful cat.

If time permit, I think like to have a put bred Abyssinian.


TCS Member
Adult Cat
Jan 20, 2018
I'd been planning to adopt my first cat/pet for a while, even getting some supplies ready. I'd been occasionally looing at SICSA and Humana Society lists of adoptables. I knew I wanted an adult between 4-7 years old, gender didn't matter. And, I was deliberately looking at the ones listed as 'shy' or 'needs to be an only pet' because I am single, lived alone, and didn't feel I was up to kitten-antics.

I found Melody on the Humane Society's page. She was staying at their satellite shelter--Meowza--inside a local mall and had been there several months. I FB mssg'd them to ask a few questions and then went to meet her.

They have a bonding room. To be honest, she was only interested in the treats and would only come as close as she needed to. The volunteer said they thought she'd 'been there too long'. You could see the hopelessness in her eyes--just existing. But, I felt we'd be a good match because I like routine and order. She was noted as anxious and not liking lots of changes.

I had to wait until the next day to take her home; there were only volunteers at Meowza that day and it took someone 'official' to ok the adoption. They put a hold on her for me. I came in the next day, having made ready as much as possible at home. After the paperwork was done, I was handed a box that kept moving around and crying all the way home.

I got her inside to a closet with a pet door that I'd installed, figuring it to be a hiding place for her to start her new life. But, when I opened the box, she popped right out and headed up the stairs to investigate everything. [Only time I allowed the kitchen counter to her without scolding.] She checked the place out and then planted herself on rug by the door to the small deck--which has a birdfeeder.

She will always be an anxious cat. I will always be an anxious person. But, now that she is fully familiar with her home, she is much more relaxed. She gets her snuggles on the bed, pretty much at the same time each day. She mostly sleeps on the bed with me. I think we have been very good for each other.


TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Apr 1, 2018
I'm lucky that my city has a cat cafe. I'd been there several times (it's actually my favorite place to take first dates! If they're weird around the cats we're not usually a good fit) and after coming to grips with the reality that my dog was adjusting poorly to my new studio apartment/grad school schedule combination, I was finally thinking about adopting a cat (don't worry, I'd never abandon the dog; she's living back with my mom where she lived for years before I moved and is happier there).

I was so excited! I'd loved cats since I was little but had never had one of my own; I'd always "borrowed" the neighborhood outdoor cats as a child. This was my chance to fulfill a dream that was almost two decades old. There was a calico cat I'd really clicked with at the cafe, and I was hoping that she'd still be available when I was ready to adopt.

She wasn't. I tried not to be too disappointed, and watched the kitty live cam that the cafe always had going, trying to get a look at the cats and figure out which one I wanted. By the time I was ready to turn in my adoption paperwork and pick one out, I had a few favorites in mind.

I didn't really click with any of those cats, it turned out. They were good cats, but not overly interested in me. Luckily for me, there were a few other cats I hadn't seen on the cam that the staff recommended to me. These cats were shy, and spent most of the day hiding in the litterbox room, but they were very sweet. One of those cats had a little nubby tail and a purr like a motorboat. No matter how many times I made the rounds of the cats, I came back to her.

She wasn't what I'd expected (I'd been wanting a black, orange, or tortoiseshell cat and she's a light brown tabby), but once I signed the paperwork I was sure I'd made the right choice, especially after the shy little kitty crept out of the litter room and braved the rest of the cat cafe to approach me.

Ironically, once I got her home, she was anything but shy. Now that she's the queen of her own castle, she's loud, energetic, and demanding, but I love her even more for it. Now when I visit the cafe, I show them pictures of the latest trouble Amelia has gotten herself into, and they all laugh about how we all thought she was a quiet, docile kitty.


TCS Member
Top Cat
Dec 28, 2017
London, England
I always knew from the outset that I wanted to adopt rather than buy from a breeder. There are so many cats from all sorts of unfortunate circumstances that are in need of good homes.
I started by checking the websites of a few of the main shelters here in the UK such as the RSPCA and Cats Protection Agency, though it wasn't until a friend recommended Celia Hammond to me that I found Toffee and Fudge. Celia Hammond was a popular model back in the 1960s here in the UK, and sometime in the mid 1970s she used to campaign against the use of real fur coats, which then lead into a passion for cats. She initially started by trapping feral cats, neutering them and then returning them back to the wild and carried on doing so until the first shelter was built, IIRC in the late 1980s/early 1990s. As I adopted Toffee and Fudge just out of kitten season, the few kittens that were in the shelter went quickly and I remember considering a couple of kittens from different litters before I saw the boys and they stole my heart - as soon as I saw Toffee and Fudge's photo on the website, I knew that they were the two that I wanted - feelings that were only reinforced when I met them at the shelter! Toffee and Fudge were semi-ferals initially but now they have been socialised into affectionate and outgoing lap cats; something that I never thought would happen - socialising them is one of the things about myself that I'm most proud of :)

Katie M

TCS Member
Top Cat
Jun 1, 2017
Kingwood, WV
Charlie was found outside by a woman who couldn't keep him. I said I'd take him, sight unseen :)

Selene was from a shelter. I had been advised to watch how the cats interacted both with me and each other, so I sat in the cat room for a while, observing. One very cute tabby had no interest in me, and was actively trying to get away from the others. There was also a gorgeous dilute tortie-who kept starting fights. My attention kept returning to a grey tabby kitten who, when she wasn't playing with the others, was getting in my lap. Finally, I picked her up and she laid her head on my shoulder. When she started purring, it was like she was saying "You finally came. What took you?" :)


TCS Member
Adult Cat
Jun 17, 2018
Nanning, China
It was pretty stressful to move from Europe to China, leaving everything familiar behind. I soon discovered a pet shop near our apartment here and really enjoyed going there playing with and petting the cats - that really lightened my mood when things got hard.

After a couple of months my husband and I decided that we are kinda settled in and that we should bring a kitten home. I initially wanted a girl, but when we went there to see the litter, the kittens were pretty shy and hesitated to move away from their mom - all but Marx. He straight up came to us, sniffing and bumping me with his little paw. I fell in love on the spot and we brought him home the next day.


TCS Member
Young Cat
Jun 11, 2018
North Carolina
I didn't pick my cats. My mom did, actually. My cat of 21 years passed in January and I waited until May to look at cats again. Mom really wanted a single black cat, I wanted someone who was large and snuggly. She pointed out two black kittens to me and that weekend we visited them at the shelter.

We had two questions: do they purr and will they stay soft?

The poor shelter staff was probably horrified, but we left and by the end of the day we had names picked out (Finn and Sasha), a kitten room set up, and cash for the adoption fee.

I was in such need of a furry friends I would've taken a stuffed animal if you had put it in my hands. I never saw or looked at any cats besides these two and they're definitely not the cats I had in mind. That being said, I haven't looked back or had a single regret. They're the two sweetest cats I've seen- no biting, scratching, and they ask for food by rolling on their backs and purring.

Here are some shots of my perfect boys.


TCS Member
Adult Cat
Jun 8, 2018
I moved into my apartment last winter, during a really trying period in my life. I was so happy to leave my old place behind but wasn't expecting much from the move. When I started moving some stuff from my old apartment to the new one, I saw a little gray cat spying on me but didn't think much of it.

After I'd settled in I thought it would be nice to make friends with her, and left her a pile of treats by my front door. The next day they had all been eaten. The week after, she showed up at my door purring up a storm and rubbing her face all over my slippers. The first time I bent down to pet her she bit the heck out of me and let me pet her a little, and I was totally smitten.

I saw her again a couple weeks later, and literally ran into my house to grab the tub of treats. She started coming over regularly after that for food and pets over the holidays, which was wonderful. Then on New Year's morning I spotted her perched by my front door. When I opened it, she sauntered in like she owned the place and immediately jumped into my lap and started purring and kneading. I'd never owned a cat before and this was the first time I'd experienced anything like that - my heart just burst. I fell completely in love.

She belonged to my landlord, who lived next door and didn't do much other than feed and water her and let her out all day. Smo slept in a room adjacent to my bedroom though, and I was told that every morning she would wait anxiously by her door to be let out, then run to my front door. Eventually she started coming over so often my neighbor asked if I wanted to keep her.

It was just magic. She was exactly what I needed at that point in my life, and I'm so happy she chose me. I can't even describe how much I love her.


Mo(w)gli's can opener
Staff Member
Feb 13, 2003
Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
Mowgli chose me.

I really wasn't planning on getting a cat right then. Our last cat had died of heart disease 8 days before, so I took his food to the local shelter (where I now work, BTW) and asked whether I could play with the kitties. They knew me to some extent from my taking shelter residents to the vet's and kept steering me towards black cats in single cat rooms, i.e., cats that didn't get along with other cats. They don't have enough single rooms and had way too many black cats. Mowgli was all over me, so I got sent home to get my carrier. :lol: My husband wasn't expecting a new cat at all, because we'd agreed to wait a few months and get two Norwegian Forest kittens from a breeder. Why I don't know, as all our pets had been from shelters or rescues. Mowgli wrapped him around his little toe, too, and made himself at home immediately.

The oddest thing is that we later learned he'd been a feral kitten and was very shy with strangers. We simply weren't strangers to him.


TCS Member
Super Cat
Jan 25, 2018
I'm really enjoying all of these happy stories! Thanks for sharing, everyone.

I have two to add. I adopted Gwen my second year of grad school, right after I moved out of university housing, where pets weren't allowed. I knew I didn't have time for a dog, but wanted a pet. Having grown up with a mean cat, I was really nervous about it, but decided to take a leap of faith. I answered an ad on Craigslist, and went to see a litter of kittens rescued by a TNR group. There were five little gray and white kittens who all looked very similar, and I was totally unsure of how to choose one. But one of the little girls was smarter than the others, and while the rest of them were fighting to play with the big end of the cat dancer, Gwen simply ran over to the opposite side and took possession of it. I was impressed, but still unsure. When I went to leave, still agonizing over the decision, she crawled into my handbag. So that sealed the deal. She was an amazing cat-- smart, empathetic, and so strongly bonded to her humans. She was also grumpy and imperious, and absolutely certain that she ran the household. I couldn't have been happier to spend over 15 years trying to please her majesty.

We (my husband was on the scene at this point) adopted Juniper shortly after Gwen died, and while it felt too soon in some ways, it also felt like we'd been without a cat for ages after about a week of a quiet apartment with no cat to greet us when we arrived home. Since the holidays were coming up and I'd have a significant amount of time off work, it seemed like a good time to consider another cat. We went to big cat adoption event with cats from lots of rescues, thinking that we'd get a kitten and wanting one that had all of Gwen's good qualities (smart, able to bond well with humans) but didn't remind us too much of her. After taking a couple of leisurely hours meeting all of the cats, there was one little gray kitty who I kept coming back to. She had amazing sad, expressive eyes and seemed playful and perceptive. The rescue had taken her out of a kill shelter where she'd been languishing for weeks, and was apparently on the danger list. I couldn't imagine why, and the thought of leaving without her made me sad, so we filled out an application, figuring that they'd check us out and maybe we'd have a cat in a week or so. But it was the last day of the event, and no one else had shown any interest in her, so they made a few calls and sent her home with us (since the other alternative was to place her back in the shelter since their fosters were full). She's been a joy ever since, although it took a lot of time and patience to bond with her, since she's a skittish cat. Now, though, she's a sweet little snugglebug, and we adore her.


TCS Member
Adult Cat
Sep 20, 2017
Syracuse, NY
My Windy was chosen for me by my Mother's friend, Joe. He had several kittens and several cats at his home and needed to rehome a few. From the moment I saw her I fell in love. She is the sweetest girl I could ever ask for. All she asks for is some pettings and a high perch.
I chose Theo at a local SPCA. I came in looking for black kittens and there he was with his two siblings. He was the lively one in the bunch and boy, does he ever prove that he still is! They get along pretty well, but Theo LOVES to play "fight". Windy doesn't care too much for that game. Here's a picture of both of them: IMG_2018-08-03_11-11-44.JPG