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Getting kittens - a quandry...

8 replies

madcows · 04/01/2013 10:26

We're going to get a pair of kittens this year, but am in a bit of a quandry. We really want kittens that are used to children and have been handled a lot. But part of me thinks we should go to a rescue center. When we visited the local rescue center this weekend it really struck me that the cats and kittens there are hardly handled at all. (No criticism of the staff there, but they simply don't have the time.)
Has anyone got any experience that might help me make a decision?

OP posts:
DoITellTheTeacher · 04/01/2013 10:33

I got an older kitten pair (6 mths) from a rescue centre earlier in the year and they are the most affectionate cuddly cats ever - they were in a foster home as mum was abandoned when pregnant. the foster family had children and dogs so were very used to family life - it might be that you have a local rescue centre that has a similar fostering arrangement?

cozietoesie · 04/01/2013 10:35

I think they're probably handled more than you expect - once the visitors have gone. (They're not likely to be handling them much when they've got open hours with lots of people around.) There are people who post here who work in rescues and they might be able to comment.

Remember, also, that they would only be put up for rehoming once they're of an age and if they're kittens, they might not have been there very long at all and might have just arrived from a loving foster home where they were well socialized.

If you talked to the Rescue staff, and aren't convinced that they know their cats, why not try another rescue if you have one nearby. If you have a look at this site


You might find others.

Rehoming a rescue cat (kitten or older) is really a good idea at the moment. So many need homes.

issey6cats · 04/01/2013 15:51

i agree with cosie i work at haworth cat rescue and all the moms and kittens go to foster till the kittens are ten weeks old, this is so they get used to being in families with children, dogs, other cats etc, and yes on days that centers are open i can spend my whole day feeding the resis,showing people round, answering the phone, cleaning pens and sadly i dont get to cuddle the cats as much as i would like to, but there are some volunteers who just come to the center to cuddle the cats and kittens

Fluffycloudland77 · 04/01/2013 20:16

You can volunteer to be a cat cuddler? Why have sparklingbrook and I not been told?

portraitoftheartist · 04/01/2013 21:26

I couldn't be a cat cuddler, I'd have to keep bringing them home!
My cat came from a rescue home, with his sister who got run over later, and they were very friendly and loving. When you visit you will see which are sociable and which are timid.

sashh · 05/01/2013 09:48

Cats Protection.

They do have rehoming centres but the majority are fostered in family homes.

issey6cats · 05/01/2013 15:21

Fluffycloudland yes at Haworth there are people who do admin, just come to cuddle the cats, some people are good with nervous cats and concentrate on this side sitting with them getting them used to people, people who get involved with just the fundraising side, some like me who do all the stuff in the yard but i dont do computer stuff, if you have a local rescue that has pens in situ why not ask im sure they would appreciate some extra bodies even one day or half a day is a bonus for the cats and of course you get to see lots of georgous kittens, you just have to have the mindset they are not my cats and find the best home for them, didnt work in my case and i have two haworth hooligans lol

gobbin · 05/01/2013 21:00

I have a mum and her two kittens (now 5 months old) that we got from a local cat rescue (not Cat Proection).

They were described as semi-feral and had just arrived the day before. The mum was v affectionate with humans but v feisty around other cats. The kittens seemed nervous of being handled. We picked them up two weeks later once they were over 8 wks old and the rescue felt they were ready to go.

They hadn't had much handling and we had to take baby steps to get them to interact with us rather than their mum, but 3 months down the line they are fab. The little girl still hates to be picked up but all three will sit with you/on you/across you, follow,you round the house, come to,greet you, play etc whilst still being a tight family group.

We googled the lack of interaction and got over it like this-had to offer a finger tip for them to sniff (looks like a cat nose) then progressed to stroking side of their faces, then sides of the body then full body strokes. I also picked each of them up briefly before feeding them and put them down before they started struggling (about three seconds with the little girl!) and played regularly with them - chasing a pencil across my lap whilst on the floor got them used to me as an obstacle, but a safe one.

Although the little girl doesn't like being picked up she adores being stroked, especially on her tummy, so she totally trusts us. Kittens are fun. Don't let them out too soon either. Only mum goes out for now, the other two we're leaving another couple of months.

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