How do you choose?

swampmonster

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
Messages
32
Purraise
19
When my cat, Gimli, got sick I told my husband that if I lose him I don't want another cat. I swore up and down it couldn't be possible, but I'm finding my feelings on the topic have changed since losing Gimli to his unknown illness. My original position was that I could never love a cat like I loved him, and that is the truth. We all know cat relationships are diverse and unique to each cat. It's because of this that I'm now struggling. There is a huge void in my life that he left behind.
I have two other cats. Our ginger cat, Doodle, is bonded to my husband. He's very affectionate with me and routinely demands a cuddle session in the morning, but he's joined to my husband's hip most of the time. Mo is our newest adoptee, who is rather introverted. He will only accept pets inside his cat bed, his life still revolves around eating, sleeping and staring out the window all day. I like Mo for who he is, I accept that he probably won't bond to either of us in a very emotionally attached way. He's just happy to be warm and comfortable and I'm happy with that. But, I really miss having someone deeply bonded to me.
When I was sixteen I was kicked out of school for skipping too many classes. I was to return a semester later. Because I was home more my parents would take me out on errands. One day we popped into a pet store and that's where I first met Spencer. He was destiny in a cage. I remember he meowed and reached out to touch me with his delicate paws. I was in love and somehow managed to talk my mom into adopting him. I remember taking him home, I sat in the back seat of the car next to him, and he wanted to hold my hand all the way back. When we unpacked him into my room he jumped up on the bed, put his paws on my shoulders and showered me with very stinky kisses. It was the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.
He was very emotionally intelligent, he preferred to be around me at all times. He loved to be close, often he would sleep under the covers by my chest, or he'd drape himself belly to belly, staring into my eyes and pawing gently at my face. He really was my best friend. I had never had a relationship like that before. I loved all of our cats, but I often referred to him as King of Cats because he was so different.
Spencer passed away at about 20 years old. I had Gimli by then and had moved out of my parents home (this was several years ago when Gim was about two). I was obviously very sad, but in bitter tears I lamented that Gimli was never going to be like that with me. He was hell on wheels, always getting into trouble and constantly attacking us. My husband, being the good man that he is, corrected me and told me that I wasn't being fair to Gimli. And sure enough he was right. Over the next six years Gimli developed into another emotionally intelligent cat with an extreme bond to me. I had raised him from a kitten, and he came to regard me as the end all be all. I was mother and he never let me forget it. We had endless cuddle sessions, he followed me from room to room and would lean all his weight into me, or curl his tail around my leg. He'd watch me work every day. His obsession with me would drive my husband nuts because if I left the room Gimli would wail like Chewbacca. It was awesome.
I really long for that kind of relationship again. While I'm not ready to adopt (for emotional reasons plus home renos) I'm a little confused with how to move forward when the time is right. We're strictly a rescue family, we either adopt from charities or we've rescued abandoned kittens. I've never adopted a kitten because they're always inevitably adopted so I go for adult cats who are harder to adopt out. But I feel like this time around I might benefit from a kitten because my two cats are four and eight years old, and I want to stagger their ages, plus I want a mother child bond again. I can't help but feel extremely guilty for considering a kitten though because I think about all the older cats in need of good loving homes, especially since Spencer was six years when I got him, so an older cat could love me the same. I wish we had something like a cat cafe here so I could sit and visit cats and I could get to know them. It's not the same seeing them in cages, if they've not been fostered or have a history it's harder to get a feel for them.
How do you go about adopting? Do you prefer kittens, adults, seniors? Do you think it's best to pair adult cats with a kitten or stick with mature cats together? Is this really just me and I'm overthinking it?
Thanks!
 

tarasgirl06

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Sep 19, 2006
Messages
19,204
Purraise
50,010
Location
Glendale, CATifornia
When my cat, Gimli, got sick I told my husband that if I lose him I don't want another cat. I swore up and down it couldn't be possible, but I'm finding my feelings on the topic have changed since losing Gimli to his unknown illness. My original position was that I could never love a cat like I loved him, and that is the truth. We all know cat relationships are diverse and unique to each cat. It's because of this that I'm now struggling. There is a huge void in my life that he left behind.
I have two other cats. Our ginger cat, Doodle, is bonded to my husband. He's very affectionate with me and routinely demands a cuddle session in the morning, but he's joined to my husband's hip most of the time. Mo is our newest adoptee, who is rather introverted. He will only accept pets inside his cat bed, his life still revolves around eating, sleeping and staring out the window all day. I like Mo for who he is, I accept that he probably won't bond to either of us in a very emotionally attached way. He's just happy to be warm and comfortable and I'm happy with that. But, I really miss having someone deeply bonded to me.
When I was sixteen I was kicked out of school for skipping too many classes. I was to return a semester later. Because I was home more my parents would take me out on errands. One day we popped into a pet store and that's where I first met Spencer. He was destiny in a cage. I remember he meowed and reached out to touch me with his delicate paws. I was in love and somehow managed to talk my mom into adopting him. I remember taking him home, I sat in the back seat of the car next to him, and he wanted to hold my hand all the way back. When we unpacked him into my room he jumped up on the bed, put his paws on my shoulders and showered me with very stinky kisses. It was the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.
He was very emotionally intelligent, he preferred to be around me at all times. He loved to be close, often he would sleep under the covers by my chest, or he'd drape himself belly to belly, staring into my eyes and pawing gently at my face. He really was my best friend. I had never had a relationship like that before. I loved all of our cats, but I often referred to him as King of Cats because he was so different.
Spencer passed away at about 20 years old. I had Gimli by then and had moved out of my parents home (this was several years ago when Gim was about two). I was obviously very sad, but in bitter tears I lamented that Gimli was never going to be like that with me. He was hell on wheels, always getting into trouble and constantly attacking us. My husband, being the good man that he is, corrected me and told me that I wasn't being fair to Gimli. And sure enough he was right. Over the next six years Gimli developed into another emotionally intelligent cat with an extreme bond to me. I had raised him from a kitten, and he came to regard me as the end all be all. I was mother and he never let me forget it. We had endless cuddle sessions, he followed me from room to room and would lean all his weight into me, or curl his tail around my leg. He'd watch me work every day. His obsession with me would drive my husband nuts because if I left the room Gimli would wail like Chewbacca. It was awesome.
I really long for that kind of relationship again. While I'm not ready to adopt (for emotional reasons plus home renos) I'm a little confused with how to move forward when the time is right. We're strictly a rescue family, we either adopt from charities or we've rescued abandoned kittens. I've never adopted a kitten because they're always inevitably adopted so I go for adult cats who are harder to adopt out. But I feel like this time around I might benefit from a kitten because my two cats are four and eight years old, and I want to stagger their ages, plus I want a mother child bond again. I can't help but feel extremely guilty for considering a kitten though because I think about all the older cats in need of good loving homes, especially since Spencer was six years when I got him, so an older cat could love me the same. I wish we had something like a cat cafe here so I could sit and visit cats and I could get to know them. It's not the same seeing them in cages, if they've not been fostered or have a history it's harder to get a feel for them.
How do you go about adopting? Do you prefer kittens, adults, seniors? Do you think it's best to pair adult cats with a kitten or stick with mature cats together? Is this really just me and I'm overthinking it?
Thanks!
There is no "right" or "wrong" as to gender, age, etc. Cats, like people, are individuals with unique personalities. Almost any cat will take time to adapt and fit into a family. Experts recommend two weeks for the new cat to be in his/her own room with all requirements (litterbox, soft sleeping place(s), toys, scratching surfaces, windows to look out of, perches if possible, etc.) before full integration into the family. Jackson Galaxy has excellent videos on YouTube on introducing a new cat; there is also excellent information here on the site on the subject. If you have personality traits in mind, you might start there and find out if a certain cat at your local shelter/humane society/rescue/ACC/sanctuary is known to have those traits (i.e., calm and laid back, playful and energetic, very friendly and social with multiple cats). Like you, I prefer to give mature cats a loving permanent home. Our most recently adopted are Elvis, adopted at 9 and now 14, and Sammi, adopted at 14 and left us at age 21. Suha, 17, was rescued by me as a tiny feral kitten wandering on our land in the Mojave when we lived there. She is only bonded to me and doesn't like Elvis much as he is territorial and will chase her, but it's a big enough house that they have plenty of space, and she does tolerate him as long as he doesn't chase her. I've almost always adopted from "the streets" and only once chose a cat from our local shelter. Every other time has been adopting a cat in need; I never choose based on looks, age, etc.
I hope this helps! Please keep us informed and we love pix here at TCS!
 

Neko-chan's mama

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jul 13, 2019
Messages
535
Purraise
986
Location
New Jersey
Keep in mind that this was pre pandemic, but our local shelter would let the cats out of their cages in a large central room. With our first cat adopted from there, I just Sat down on the floor and waited. Before long, I had three cats in my lap. From there, it was just deciding if we wanted the hyper 3 month old or the mellow cuddle bug. But be aware that you might go to the shelter or rescue wanting one type of cat and come home with something completely different. With Neko-chan, I went to the shelter wanting a 2 to 5 year old cat and came home with a 10week old kitten.
 

vince

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
1,447
Purraise
2,249
Location
metro Detroit
Keep in mind that this was pre pandemic, but our local shelter would let the cats out of their cages in a large central room. With our first cat adopted from there, I just Sat down on the floor and waited. Before long, I had three cats in my lap. From there, it was just deciding if we wanted the hyper 3 month old or the mellow cuddle bug. But be aware that you might go to the shelter or rescue wanting one type of cat and come home with something completely different. With Neko-chan, I went to the shelter wanting a 2 to 5 year old cat and came home with a 10week old kitten.
One of my cats came from a shelter that puts out only a few of their cats daily. You have to ask and the staff puts the cat alone in an interaction room with you. I got a good one, but I think one could make a better choice if there were more of them to interact with you and each other.

The second came from a shelter that had the big room where all the cats were. It was somewhat overwhelming, but I think you get a better idea how a prospective adoptee will interact with others.

I had the same issue with adopting. I went looking for a black cat and in both cases, came back with a brown tabby. Even the third one, which came from under my car in the driveway, is a tabby. I seem to attract tabbies.
 
Last edited:

betsygee

Just what part of meow don't you understand.
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
24,681
Purraise
11,659
Location
CA, USA
I know what you mean! We're down to two cats from our max of seven a few years ago. Part of me wants more cats, part of me is enjoying the ease of taking care of just two. Part of me wants to take in an older kitty, part of me would love to have a kitten again!

I tell myself that when the time and cat are right, I'll know. Hubby and I are helping build a kitty condo for an elder cat rescue here in town where they can house kitties they don't have fosters for. Maybe we'll see one of them and it will be 'the one.' Who knows. Cats work in mysterious ways. :)

Good luck and let us know how the Kitty Quest goes!
 

game misconduct

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
May 1, 2020
Messages
2,599
Purraise
8,328
Location
westcovina california
i only adopted once(graycie she was 5 months) she was the cat with a bad rep at the petsmart we went to. the unwanted/mean/agressive cat they thought nobody would want. i never seen any of that from her sure she growled at me on the first intro session with her but thats totally understandable here i am some stranger holding her with no trust/bond in any way ofcourse she is going to try and warn me off :lol:she had to of spooked lots of families off with kids from adopting her she was meant to be my cat quirks and all and she was really friendly with me came up to the glass soon as she seen me. so if/when its ever time to adopt again i will look for an adult or near adult cat with a bad rep and just give it the time and patience it needs to earn its trust while loving and accepting it as is.
 
Last edited:

Jem

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
4,488
Purraise
8,739
All our cats were rescued. The most recent lot, we went to one of our local shelters after losing the three cats that we had within 2 months of each other. They all passed from different conditions...it was just horrible timing. So our house just felt way too empty going from three to zero in such a short time. The shelter is a large house where all the cats roam, unless they need to be isolated for illness or to decompress. Most cats who need to be socialized go to foster homes. Some rooms are dedicated to mamas with babies, until they can be put out. So anyway, we just went there to see what they had and stayed for like 3 hours, just walking around and sitting in all the rooms waiting for the right fit. We decided on two kitties for many reasons, but a third was introduced to us by the shelter staff as they thought she would be a great fit for us. She was totally right. So.....we left with three cats that day. One was 5ish, one was 2ish and the other 11 months old at the time we adopted them. They all get along great and we couldn't be happier....well except if we could have more! :lol:
I like to interact with the cats before adopting to make sure they are a good fit for my home. Any cat will be loved and cherished by me, and I tend to gravitate to the "work in progress" ones, but all cats are different so I do like to let them decide, if that makes sense. Even the scared hissy stand offish cats will give you a hint if you are the right fit for them.
There is no right time to adopt, nor a "right amount" of time to grieve. I never try to compare one cat with another, and I also don't think of ever trying to "replace" one that I've lost. I look at adopting as a way to give a loving home to another kitty who needs me, without any expectation from them in return....and so far, I have never been disappointed with any of my furballs.
I can understand missing the bonded relationship, but I am thankful that it seems I always have at least one cuddle bug out of any group I've had. One of my current kitties is actually STILL learning how to be a "lap cat" and we've had him for over 2 years...sometimes it can take a while before they come into their own as a house cat. So what you see in the shelter is still not necessarily what you'll end up with in the end.
I hope you figure out what works best for you and wish you all the best.
 
Top