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Can you talk to me about adopting?(23 Posts)
I think we're ready to get a cat. The DC desperately want a pet and having searched my heart and conscience I've decided there is no way I can cope with a dog. I grew up with a cat and am definitely open to the idea of having one, but having thought I could go to CP or RSPCA and look at a roomful of cats and pick one out it doesn't seem to work like that around here.
I contacted CP and told them roughly what we're looking for and our home situation, etc, and they pointed me towards one cat who is local and needs a home, but having met him I'm really not sure. He's very friendly and sweet and incredibly tolerant of attention - from humans and other cats - but his foster carer describes him as a 'bit of a pest' who won't leave her alone and I think that would annoy me as I'd quite like a chilled out puss who won't always want to sit on my lap. I'm not good with overly needy animals!
The fosterer was pretty desperate for me to take him. I'd only been there 5 mins and she said 'So do you want him?', whereas I'd have preferred to have some choices. AIBU or is this just how it works?
How old are your children and what type of a location do you live in? Getting a cat is not really like going to a 'cat supermarket' where you can pick and choose from a room full, especially if you have young children. Not all cats are suitable to live with children (at our rescue we get quite a few surrendered to us because they have become so stressed living in homes with small kids). And there may be additional considerations for example, if you live near a busy road, you need a streetwise cat.
Obviously you shouldn't adopt the cat you met if you don't feel he is the right fit for your family, but it may be they don't have other child-friendly cats at the moment.
Have you contacted smaller local rescues in your area? You may need to wait for a suitable cat to come along.
Don’t feel you have to take the cat you saw. Fosterer are keen to get cats adopted because there will be a waiting list of cats needing to come in to care. She may also have seen that the cat seemed particularly taken with you and thought it was mutual, fosterers tend to be people who find it difficult to imagine not loving any cat at first sight . However that doesn’t mean it’s not important to find the right home, otherwise they risk the cat coming back. Talk to whoever set you up with the visit and say that that doesn’t seem like the right cat, they won’t mind, explain you want a more independent cat. You won’t be blacklisted and a suitable cat will come up, especially since you’re interested in an adult cat rather than a kitten and, I hope, you’re not fussed about colour or sex. Equally that cat’s doting owner is somewhere out there.
Take a look on Catchat to find other rescues in your area, some do have shelters where you can “browse”.
Many shelters arrange a home visit to check that your home is suitable before allowing you to adopt one of their cats. They check things like how many hours you are out of the house during the day, who will look after the cat when you are on holiday, whether you have a cat flap etc.
With that type of cat, I wonder if he would be good with another cat as company.
Biggie is this way. When we adopted him we also adopted a female cat, Jeannette. Jeannette got out at one point and Biggie got very lonely. He is a very affectionate cat in the first place, but can be fobbed off and is usually pretty good about that. When Jeannette left he became insufferable. We ended up adopting Jayda to keep him company. Jeannette did return, but at the time Hubby did not want three cats. My parents were looking for a cat to keep their cat company and agreed to take her in. Now she loves my mum
If you come across another needy cat you might see if they get on with other animals. Having a friend may reduce the need for constant attention.
This cat is really friendly, so I don't think he was particularly taken with me - I think he's like that with everyone! I don't really want two - I'd like a friendly, but independent cat who will be happy to be an only. The fosterer has 11 cats living with her and she did say that there are more waiting, so yes, I think she's keen to see this one move on to his 'forever home'. I understand about home visits. We've already been approved by the RSPCA, but I know CP or whoever will want to do their own check and that's fine.
I guess I'm looking for that 'Yes!' feeling when I meet the right one and I didn't get that today. As this will be a new member of our household I feel that that's important. Our DC are 8 & 11 and they're both used to pets (their GPs all have cats/dogs).
Getting a cat is not really like going to a 'cat supermarket' where you can pick and choose from a room full, especially if you have young children.
And yes, I understand that. I guess I'd hoped to have a few choices though - like maybe 3 or 4 who might suit us - rather than just being directed towards one and then feeling a bit put on the spot!
With our first cats we went to a wonderful rescue. The cats were all in pens. They advised us which may suit us then took us round to meet those cats. And our cats chose us. It was brilliant.
Our second pair came from a foster home. I found sitting there trying to decide about just that pair was odd.
Maybe a different charity? Good luck.
Most people would love it if their cat was more of a lap cat so just because the fosterer thinks he's a pest I think he sounds lovely and would make a perfect first pet
Having two cats is soo much better than one!
Thing is, I'm a student so I'm home a lot and I really don't want a cat that's pestering me to sit on my lap all day. The kids would love it when they're at home, but me, not so much.
It's absolutely fine to wait for the Yes! moment. I've seen it from the fosterer's point of view when a cat and adopter find each other and it is amazing. I had one grumpy, rather elderly cat, who barely gave me the time of day, literally do a double take when her adopter (another rather elderly lady) came into the room. The cat went straight over to her, on to her knee, and it was love at first sight for them both. Equally, sometimes it is clear the cat does not like the person, I had one absolutely adorable big male cat walk straight up to a potential adopter, bite his hand and walk away (they were not great adopters anyway, had weird colour preferences and an unrealistic idea of how they would integrate the cat into their lives).
I agree that a clingy cat can be too much, by the way, not everyone wants a cat on their knee every time they sit down.
I have a very clingy cat. I love her to bits but she can be a bit much! Especially at 4 am when she wants attention.
Try local/smaller rescues, we got ours from a local rescue and they were lovely. The lady had a lot of fosters in her house but didn't pressure us at all. I also like to support the smaller ones because they get so little funding and are run by lovely people.
We did take the first 2 we met because there were adorable and we had an instant connection. 7 years later and they are almost permanently attached to me and dh!
You won't get a 'room full of cats' to choose from though, it just doesn't work like that.
CP foster in homes so less of the pick one type thing. Worth hanging on, befriend the homing person and tell them what you're after
I was slightly mad and picked the first one because "he's black and he's got health issues and I'm so sad for him", I wasn't particularly drawn to him
Black cat turned out not to have health issues strolled out the carrier and went "you my human? This my home? Good"
He's spent the past 4 years gazing adoringly at me
Whereabouts are you? We have rehoming centres locally where cats are in pens, you go and visit them, read up about them, see if they like you and take it from there.there might be something similar near where you live.
It's fine to wait if you're not sure. There are lots of charities out there looking for homes for cats. CP vary depending on your location in that they have branches where cats are fostered in people's homes and adoption centres where they have several cats in pens under one roof. They do operate differently in the adoption process. I think the RSPCA are similar.
I have been Cat Browsing too. The set up where they are in pens ( like the Battersea cats) looks heartbreaking
Seeing a cat in someones home gives you a better indication of how they react to things like visitors , dogs, the TV, the washing machine .
The pens set up where people walk along looking at them , there will always be the overlooked ones , old, bit rough looking, black cats .
Cat Supermarket sums it up, like they're all shouting "Pick Me , Pick Me" .
You cannot assess their reactions.
I know when our previous cat went on holiday (very well respected cattery) they had rows of pens and the cats were allowed out (individually) to roam about in the enclosure , but she was very introverted by it all .
I volunteer in an adoption centre and we have a reasonably high turnover of cats so they often aren't in the pens very long meaning homing is often quicker than in a foster environment. Charities struggle to find fosterers. I think any environment where a cat is awaiting a permanent home is a bit weird.
I have to say the pens at Battersea are weird. It kind of look like the design was put first, the cats second. CP have a centre in Mitcham where the pens are fab. It may not look much to us humans but each pen has it's own air so less germs, they can't see or hear other cats (not so good for the minority who do like other cats) and is vey tranquil but in a very functional industrial estate building.
Take your time, don't feel pressured. We adopted our first cats last autumn and feel with hindsight we were totally rushed. We have two beautiful cats that we adore but they are far too scared of us all even though they have made great progress. They're just not suitable for a family but we weren't really told just how nervous they were. We definitely would have waited.
Thanks everyone for your views. I do feel pressured and I feel this is an important decision that shouldn't be rushed. If we get a young adult cat s/he could be with us for 15 years. I don't want someone saying 'So do you want him?' after 5 mins. It's enough to make me want to run a mile. It's like marrying the first guy you date and having to make that decision within 5 mins of meeting him!
HappyHammy I'm in Hertfordshire. There seem to be quite a few adoption centres listed around here, but they don't have a centralised rehoming centre. The cats are all over the place, fostered out, which makes it all a bit of an ordeal to visit. Not that I'm in a hurry - I'm prepared to wait until Mr or Miss Right comes along.
Theres the wood green centre in royston.
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