To adopt or not to adopt....that is the question

merlinsmom

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Good morning all! The time stamp on my posts are weird, its actually 8:40 am here! :) So if you follow my posts, I have 4 kittens I have been fostering in my house for the last two weeks. I have known them since almost birth, as they were born in my back yard. So I have been around them for their 2.5 month life. This is the week I'm supposed to get them to the shelter to be adopted. Its a private, no kill, that has an excellent track record and reputation, so no issue with the shelter. But I'm getting serious nerves about sending them back. I currently have 4 cats of my own. Two litter mates who are around 4.5 years old, both very bonded to me. I have two adoptees that came out of my back yard nursery. One that is about 2 who is pretty bonded to my husband but also loves me. And our baby girl who is a little over 1 who is pretty loving to everyone. The older three are boys. Dougie, who is the one bonded to my husband is a bundle of energy and a little on the playful agressive side and likes to bother my 4.5 year old Squirrel. Moose, the other 4.5 year old is the alpha in our pack. They all four get along pretty well now, but I still have to be watchful of dougie at times not being a jerk overall. He is just going to a forever teen I think. My issue is that the four kittens are pretty attached to me. I know I'm their food and love giver, so that is normal, but there are two especially that really want my attention. Actually will give up eating to be held. One is a girl and one a boy.

My husband isn't thrilled with adding two more, but is also very understanding and will love whoever I bring in. I also had two older males outside that are pretty loving and have seniority to come in first, but they have been outside now long enough that I'm not sure they would fit in my pack. I am caring for them and their mother (the kittens mom) outside. She is set to be spayed on Dec. 12. So I have a lot going on. My husband and I work FT and I commute an hour one way to work. I have an elderly father I have to look after.

I have no business adopting anymore kittens. But my heart is telling me that two more won't matter.

Talk me down folks. What should I do?
 

Timewarpcat

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Too many cats is stressful to the other ones.

1. Competition for territory
2. Competition for human attention
3. Competition for financial resources if a couple of them get sick

I only take on an extra cat if it's not adoptable. I reluctantly took in cat 4 because he bites, probably due to abuse. He's improving as time goes on, but it's a slow process.

One of my cats has started marking with pee around the house.

2 cats suddenly got permanent serious illness, so the extra cat with getting him healed up and neutered, extra food, this is stressing me financially. Also the sick cats need medication 2x a day and it's time consuming so new kitty gets less attention.

Kittens are super adoptable. I took in kittens before and it worked out, but it was really too much. My mom did too, and now she's financially stressed and lot of work with meds for 4 elderly cats. She had 5 and 1 died.
 
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merlinsmom

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Yeah, those are all considerations I have been mulling over. Luckily all my kitties are pretty healthy, but I didn't really think of them all getting sick at the same time. That would be pretty crazy. I pay for insurance on two of them. I had on all four and I decided I couldn't do that for all four. I am pretty secure financially, but I know nothing stays the same. I know my babies would make lovely pets for the right home. I just worry about who will get them. I guess if I knew who was getting them and saw updates I would feel better.
 

Timewarpcat

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I get very upset giving up kittens that I took care of. I love the cats I keep and those I put up for adoption very much. When I have been with more than about 3 cats, there were way more cat fights etc. I put up 2 elaborate cat trees from Chewy, and that helped, with more vertical territory.

I was financially secure, with a pretty good cushion, but then all the inflation, cat illnesses, and then my husband just found out he has cancer. Will have a 20% copay on chemo and he will miss some work. :( You can fall pretty fast.
 
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merlinsmom

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That's all very true. Good thoughts.
 
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merlinsmom

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On top of things I have to feed higher end food to my current cats because one of them has a seriously sensitive stomach. So they all get hills science diet dry and iams wet. Its getting extremely expensive. I just worry about my babies (especially the quiet little boy) getting into a home with tons of kids for christmas and then after christmas they are an inconvenience and go back. Yes I tend to catastrophize a bit
 

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A couple of other considerations: Are you likely to feel overextended, space-wise and energy-wise? How will you feel if a stray shows up that isn't very adoptable but for whatever reason needs an indoor home right away?

Could you explain your concerns about Christmas adoptions to whomever runs the shelter? Maybe they'll be willing to wait till after the new year, which will give you more time to think about it. Would they be willing to let you meet potential adopters? I've fostered a lot of kittens and never minded letting them go if I'd met and liked the person/people adopting them. Offer to cat-sit when the adopters travel. I've done that, too, which was fun -- but I have a dedicated cat room, so the siblings who came back for a visit didn't have any contact with my own cats.
 
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merlinsmom

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Those are good questions. Yes I would definitely feel overextended energy wise. That is true about one not being adoptable. Yes, I will talk to them when I call tomorrow. I have to make sure they have room tomorrow. If they don't then they won't go this week either way. I'm not sure if they allow the person knowing who the adopter is, but I will ask. Thanks for the thoughts. There are all kinds of people around me saying, oh just keep them! and then others saying your crazy. I like the in between thoughts here. I am ready to get my bathroom back too.
 

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You are not crazy either way. You are awesome! I have faced the same dilemma. I was dealing with a very large colony and because of a bad situation for them, I had to bring many in at once. Time, finances, energy and many factors were not on my side. I fell for every single one of them. A couple seemed to be more like soul mates but in the end I came to think about the fact that some I rescued would never get homes. What would I do if one or more got rejected? For me, that was the deciding factor. I kept those most at risk and then there were three that did not get homes and two that got adopted and then things went wrong for them. I was able to re rescue those because I had the resources to do so. Some shelters will allow you to put information in the files on the kittens with your contact info. Ask. I got some of the most wonderful notes from some adopters. That made each adoption after that so much easier for me. In some cases I have even been able to go and visit the kitties as they have grown up or gotten updates from their humans or the shelter. I did some adoptions on my own too. I used a contract that allowed me to follow up on the kitties. Years later I still get a holiday picture or a text about some of the kitties. Now, I am very glad that I let most go. I will admit that a couple of them still tug at my heart but all the spaces here are full with kitties that NEEDED me to survive. There is nothing wrong with being a “Foster failure” because we do find certain ones that just mesh with us. That said, remember that others are waiting in line. There will always be others waiting in line. I would say that you might want to just sit down and do a pros and cons list. Make out a budget too. Look at it all and then weigh the factors. That helped me when I made the decisions. Love is definitely a pro on the list but talk to the shelter too. That may ease your mind greatly. Letting any kitty leave is hard and everyone understands whichever way you go. Bravo for being there and loving these kitties. That love will put them on the best path anyone could ever provide.
 
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merlinsmom

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I tried to call the shelter today, but they haven't picked up. I know they are probably busy. I thought I had one more adopted to someone I know, but they are still talking and I may need to make a decision. I am probably more attached to two, but honestly they are all pretty close to me. But I don't want to make it hard for my other kitties. I have one of my older ones who is super attached to me. Like he doesn't like to share at all. He does pretty good with his brother and the little girl, but he and my other rescue boy just don't jell. I will post some pictures of the babies here so you can see them. They are so precious. I hope I feel better after I talk to the shelter.
 

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merlinsmom

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Just spoke to the shelter. They don't have room for them yet, so I will have more time to figure stuff out and try to get them adopted on my own. I am taking them for their second booster shot tomorrow . I'll keep you posted! Now that I know they are good with fleas and shots I may try to let them out a bit with my other cats just to see how they do. Maybe one or two at a time.
 
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merlinsmom

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Got their boosters yesterday and they are staying with me for two more weeks. Hopefully more time to get them personally adopted by someone. Unfortunately more time for them to get attached to me
 
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