Possible New Cat Owner Here Needing Guidance

This is a special section for cats needing new homes and for inspiring stories of cats that have found their furever home through Catster or through the love and energy of rescuers. This is also the place to discuss shelters, rescue organizations, rescue strategies, issues, solutions, etc. and how we can all help in this critical endeavor. Remember that we are all here for the love of cat! If you are posting about a cat that needs a new home, please put your location in the topic of your thread so those close by can find you! Make sure to check out Catster's cat adoption center!


Member Since
Purred: Sun Sep 15, '13 11:29am PST 
Hi everyone. (This might be a little long, so I apologize.)

I'm a long-time member of Dogster, as I have three dogs and have had dogs my entire life. Recently, though, I've been looking at getting a cat. I've never entirely been a cat person before, but for the last several months I've been seriously considering getting a cat. My history with cats has been varied. The first two cats I had as a small child were not the friendliest. One was more of an outside cat and not a people cat. The second was a "free" cat from a garage sale who was mean and constantly scratched me (I'm scared of cat scratches because of this). He ended up being a barn cat (we lived in the country). I had another beautiful cat when I was about 12, but my mom was not enthusiastic about him, and he "disappeared" one day. I've not tried again since.

Anyway, I went to a local shelter yesterday -- they were having a Cat Adoption Event because they are overcrowded. I thought that either I might meet a cat I liked or I would be cured of my desire.

Most of the cats were not the least bit interested in us (there were a lot of people there). There was one female Calico, though, that every time I walked near her glass-front cage would meow at me and rub her face on the glass. I asked the volunteer about her (she was a 4 year old de-clawed stray that had been there a month), and he got her out for me.

I opened my arms and instantly she strained toward me. When she was in my arms, she head butted me all over my face, and gave me what the volunteer told me were "love bites" (which surprised me). She tried to groom my 9-yr-old's hair. The person helping us told us that she may have been a momma cat at one time because she was treating us as if we were her kittens (?). We did try holding some other cats while we were there, but I didn't have the connection with any other cat the way I had with the little Calico. Had I not met her, I'd probably just have went home.

After spending some more time with her, I filled out an application to adopt her. I am supposed to hear the results on Tuesday (after she gets a vet checkup).

Now, I'm really nervous. What am I getting myself into? I know I will need litter and a box. I bought a cat tree/bed thing, a new collar, and a carrier.

I have SO MANY QUESTIONS. What else do I need? Where is the best place to put a litter box (I have little ones and have to keep the doors closed in our house to keep them out of rooms we don't want them in). Am I a crazy person? Can you train a cat like you can a dog, like to stay off counters, etc.? What's the best way to introduce her to my dogs and my children? How do I know that I made the best decision?

Again, I'm sorry this was so long. I'm looking for some advice, best places for info, and reassurance that I'm making the right decision.



I love the- foster kittens &- they love me
Purred: Sat Sep 21, '13 10:01am PST 
Welcome to the wonderful world of cats. My person helps with adoptions for Yolo County SPCA. We have a book that we give new cat owners. It has lists of supplies that you will need. We also talk to them about introducing animals. If you would like some of this information please email cats@yolospca.org and we can send you electronic copies. Good luck.


Stella- Felinis--Queen- of All Kitties!
Purred: Sat Sep 21, '13 8:45pm PST 
It's Stella. Our person once owned a sweet doggie and cats, and knows that introductions and maintaining the hierarchies is important. Every animal is different. If this kitty is a stray, she may have had some bad relations with dogs chasing her, so that may make it hard.

An important thing to think of when locating the litter pan is to keep the dogs out of the room where it is, or at least to keep them out of the pan. Dogs have a horrible fascination for the, um, products placed in the pan and will [uggh] consume them, and it is not good for them. We used a covered pan, and placed the opening angled towards the wall, so our large and rather clumsy dog could not get her face in there. However, other dogs may be more skillful.

Yes, you can train cats to keep off counters or whatever you want, although with an older cat it is harder. The cat my person had as a child was trained not even to lay on beds or furniture, although it was not much fun for her or the family, not being able to cuddle with her.

Good luck with your new kitty--hope the shelter approves your request! wave