How To Choose A New Cat - A Few Good Cat Stories
Gorgeous Himalyan Male Cat
Fang Liked to Play
Based on Looks?
Most people fall in love with a cat first, based on their looks. Let's face it, as human beings, we are attracted to beauty. It is great if you can have a cat you love, who is also beautiful to you.
But I will warn against adopting a cat solely based on their looks.
It's possible that a gorgeous kitty, has some behavioral issues, or a personality that doesn't fit well with you or your household.
So even though it is natural to first seek out a good looking cat, I urge you to look beneath the outer beauty, and search for the inner beauty.
The cat in this photo is gorgeous. He is a cat that I fostered, and ultimately placed in a forever home. When I first brought him home from the shelter, he displayed a lot of aggressive behavior, including scratching, hissing and warning bites. I had a feeling based on all of his behaviors, that he was scared, and possibly mis-treated in the past. I thought, and hoped, that he just needed a little time.
It took about 2 weeks of interaction with this Himalyan, before he really started to trust me. Once he did trust me, there was no more 'real' scratching or hissing. He did, however, continue to bite, though in a playful way, and continue to scratch when playing rough. This kitty liked to play rough. So he wasn't a good fit for a household with small children, or even with people that didn't appreciate his rough nature.
He also wasn't a lap cat, or super friendly all the time. He was mostly aloof, staying to himself, but loved to be petted, and he was fine with being picked up and carried around.
So, if someone wanted a very loving, friendly cat that would greet them when they got home, and sit in their lap, this wasn't the kitty for them. I ended up finding the perfect fit. Someone that loved cats, loved to play rough and "wrestle" with the cat, and also didn't feel the need to have the cat in his lap all the time.
In all of my time at a rescue, the most frequent reason for a cat being returned is personality. So keep in mind that in addition to the cats looks, you should also make sure their personality is a good fit.
Playful Kitten Jake
Another Photo of Jake
Based on Playfulness?
If you think that all kittens are playful, you'd be almost right. Some kittens are more playful than others. For the shier ones, sometimes it takes a lot to bring them out of their shell. Occasionally, I've run across kittens that just don't care much for playing. At least not near as much as some others.
So if you have children and you're looking for a playful kitty, it's great to look for a playful one. Keep in mind that the kitty may not remain playful forever. Some cats lose their playfulness as they get older, while other cats remain playful for most of their life.
If you are thinking about adopting a young kitten because you want a playful kitty, keep in mind that cats that appear full grown, may only be a year or two old and are still extremely playful. So give adults a chance too!
And if you were thinking of adopting based on looks, you probably would pass right over a kitten like Jake here. In the 2nd photo you can see how gangly he looked. He was the most gangly looking kitten I ever fostered! LOL! But I thought he was adorable with his big ears. And he had such personality! He loved to play, to snuggle, to run and jump, chase anything that moved, and just seemed happy and joyful all the time.
If you like playful, be sure to mention that when adopting so you can be matched up with the right kitty.
Peaches. Gorgeous Cat
Peaches. Right Foot Missing
Based on Special Need?
Some people are drawn to cats with special needs. There are so many reasons why this might be the case. All I can say is, we're lucky that those people exist, so that every kitty finds the perfect home.
Peaches is just one example of a cat that some people might pass up. Although beautiful, something happened in her past which necessitated the removal of her right hind leg. When we rescued this girl from the shelter, the foot was already removed and fully healed.
Peaches got around quite well, in spite of her missing foot. She had a little trouble balancing on windowsills, but managed most of the time. She also couldn't scratch her right ear, since cat's use their hind foot for that. So when she got an itch and was trying to scratch her ear, I scratched it for her.
Our rescue has rescued other cats with special needs, some quite a bit worse than Peaches. One case was a cat that someone had caught on fire and had 3rd degree burns. The vet fixed him up pretty well, but the cat was left scarred and mostly unable to use his hind legs. He scooted around on them like they were skis. This guy was adopted by one of our fosters who was willing to tend to his burns, which sometimes were opened up from the cat scratching.
Want a Cat That Will Nap With You?
Based on Personality?
I truly believe that the best way to choose a cat, is based on their personality. And it's a really wonderful thing when a kitty chooses you.
Take the time to get to know a cat before choosing to adopt. Ask the foster as many questions as you can. It's best if you have at least some traits in mind that you like. Here are some things to consider. Do you prefer:
- Super friendly and outgoing to everyone VS a shier cat that only likes one person, you
- Very outgoing and lively cat VS a mellow cat
- Lap cat VS more independent/less needy cat
- Cat that likes to wrestle with your hands and play rough VS gentle cat
- Cat that enjoys being held VS cat that doesn't care for it
- A cat that will follow you around? A cat that greets you at the door?
- A cat that's playful, to be a companion for your child(ren)?
A foster will be able to share a lot of the cat's personality traits and quirks. Are they a good fit for you? For your family?