|Purred: Fri Oct 3, '08 5:30am PST |
I just think Desert & Sable are trying to encourage rescuing-which is a great thing! There's absolutely nothing wrong with kitties and cats from a shelter. Majority are healthy and do not have behavioral issues-it's just that stupid people originally adopted them & gave them up for stupid reasons. And, don't think a pet from a shelter is broken if they've had more than 1 home. A few are broken though-very shy and sad-looking or expressionless faces--this is most likely because of abuse, repeated abuse and or neglect and abandonment. But some need some more or even a lot more time to come around than others--require very understanding, patient owners that will truly love & care for them forever. Most of the time that pet was just unfortunately being matched with the wrong people (personality of pet & owner personality didn't compliment one another for whatever reasons-unconcerned shelter staff, uneducated owners and shelter staff) and/or met more stupid people-got adopted by them and were given up for more stupid reasons. However, pedigreed cats are beautiful-many are just as sweet--however certain breeds have genetic or breed-specific health issues you will need to be aware of. Also you'll need to find a CFA or TICA breeder-so you'll know it's pretty much reputable.
Adopting senior pets-anywhere from 7 and up are very mellow but also very affectionate. And Mush who's 12 -- still loves playing just like a kitten from time to time with chasing her toy mice and running around with her ball toys.
A kitten takes a lot of time, patience and understanding to litter box train and teaching scratching post skills--and teaching other skills like not jumping too high or not jumping on certain objects, not biting on wires-(although you can buy plastic cord covers for this problem, you still want to instill certain appropriate behaviors in them) Most shelters and breeders will "highly" recommend that if you're adopting a kitten and don't already have another cat, kitten, dog or puppy in the household--that you adopt 2. And some will not adopt 1 to you, unless you agree to adopt both. And 2 kittens although cute-can be even more overwhelming than one.
You should try to find an older (1 yr-6 yr old) or senior(7 yrs and Up) adult cat who has already been declawed. Most do not have behavior problems caused by declawing--such as excessive biting and poor litter box habits. But some do. But you can ask shelter staff if the declawed adult cat you want has those problems or you can decide to just foster the cat before adopting. And even those cats that do--can be rehabilitated--if you have a lot of patience, understanding. I feel for a 1st time owner- you may want to look at female cats first --just because you won't ever have to worry about them not being fully fixed. On a rare occassion a female cat with a botched up spaying surgery --even though she's spayed--her body will still go through the motions of being in heat---except there will be no period. She'll meow a lot and may even loudly meow ,will rub her butt on things, and will be extra cuddly with you---but that's all. Males even when neutered can still spray the house with urine--- but this only happens because he wasn't neutered at a young age-so although he won't be able to impregnate, he's not fully fixed either. If males are neutered at a later age than usual ( which I think the appropriate age would be anywhere from 8 weeks-1 yr old) they will still tend to spray their urine to claim territory--although not as much as a male cat who was never neutered at all. But please don't let that deter you from adopting a sweet male kitty-at the shelter they really don't have any previous records a lot of the time--so couldn't tell you exactly when at what age the animal was spayed or neutered-and neither could a vet, but they can tell you if they are spayed / neutered or not at all because the vet can determine that. You can always opt to foster-which is a temporary agreement & decide to adopt that kitty or foster/adopt a different one, afterwards.
Many older & senior cats are mellow, still "can spunk it up" like a kitten sometimes when playing, and are very affectionate. How many kittens will actually curl up in your lap purring for you? Rarely none. Most senior kitties- unlike the public perception that they're sick, ARE NOT SICK & UNHEALTHY. Many are murdered thru "euthanasia" just because of their age, shelter wants to make room for kittens-who always get homes in a quick amount of time anyways-so I don't understand that; and again, public perception is that they're unhealthy-so nobody adopts senior cats. I understand maybe you feel like even if the senior cat is healthy-You may not want to go through experiencing the senior issues-such as eventually getting sick & dying so soon-(another myth perpetuated by the public, which makes people look past senior pets!)but you may not experience those senior issues as quick as you might think,--many indoor cats do live up to 22 yrs old. And even kittens will eventually grow old some day and you will have to then deal with senior issues at some point!
Having 2 cats is not much at all an extra problem. Not much extra work. Sifting litter boxes every day or every other day, changing it once a week or every 2 weeks--depending on how often you sift and what type of litter you use, and what type of litter boxes you'll have (automatic or regular)--you may be able to get away with completely changing it once or twice a month. You should as the rule goes have 1 litter box per cat plus one more-so 3 litter boxes for 2 cats.
However, I live in a tiny studio apartment and I have only 2 litter boxes for 2 cats-and my cats have never had an accident! Well, that's because my place is small. If you're place is bigger than a 1 bedroom apartment or a house- you might want to put a 3rd litter box in a bedroom and for a house - you may want to place a litter box by the staircase , in the basement and in any extra bathroom. But, I say see how 2 boxes will work first if you decide on 2 cats! I buy pet food in bulk -20 LB bag of dry-that was a year ago & I'm almost half out only now. I buy 40-50 cans of wet food every 4-6 months. Sabrina shares Mush's wet food. So 1 can of food-feed 3x -4x a day for Mush, but Sabrina always winds up eating some! I also try to buy the tall cans of canned food. I buy premium quality wet & dry food. I get good deals from petfooddirect.com with offers like 15%-22% off anything for sale. Onlynaturalpet.com and Waggintails.com are also good sites. I buy litter every 4-6 months. Go to the vets 3x a year, Mush needs to go for physicals 2x a year-cause she's a senior (although healthy), Sabrina-needs 1x a year physicals; and the vet usually charges for a complete physical with 2 types of blood tests, urine test, fecal test, x-rays- about $286.00- BUT I Live in NYC-and although that seems steep that's pretty reasonable around here. So it's 286 X 3 per year = $858.00 per year plus $30 for a roundtrip cab-ride, my cats do not do well on public transportation & get sick. So 30 x 3= really more like $948.00 per year. Starting to save more now since signing up with petassure which saves 25% off cost of my vet visits.
I have CareCredit for major issues-like surgery and it is a lifesaver! I have pet insurance for Sabrina and I am in the process of looking at 2 pet insurance companies for Mush.
Good luck and please feel free to ask me or anyone else here questions about any concerns you may have.
Edited by author Fri Oct 3, '08 5:40am PST
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