Some help and advice on adoption please

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Some help and advice on adoption please

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Ago 31, 2013, 12:18 pm

Hello everyone,

Would appreciate some pre-cat adoption advice please.

My feline companion until January this year was the gorgeously fluffy Sabre who sadly succumbed to renal failure at the age of 20, she came to me as a 12 week-old kitten. I've taken some time to mourn and now I'm ready to adopt, and have arrange a home visit with my local shelter - Celia Hammond for any London based readers - and I will ask them the same questions, but would love to hear what you all think, as it all helps to boost my confidence.

I'm open to having more than one cat, but having been so used to a single cat household, she really didn't like other cats and would hang half-in and half-out of the catflap and swear at next door's lovely little cat.

Also, bearing in mind, if all goes to plan - they'll recommend the cat(s) I'll meet - I'll be adopting adult cat(s) any advice on acclimatisation, would Feliway help, how long should I keep them in before I let them out - on the basis that they'll be neutered, chipped and their jabs will be up-to-date and will be cats used to a garden - and any other thoughts.

I promise to post photos of the adoptee(s) when they arrive, but any thoughts/experiences on the whole adoption thing would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Ago 31, 2013, 12:55 pm

If you decide to have two cats, try to adopt a pair that's already bonded. Although I've had decent luck adopting separately (they either ignored each other, in one case, or, in another, enjoyed each other's company), it is a crap shoot if they're not already familiar with each other.

If you do adopt separately, put the newcomer in a separate room that you can close off, with food and litter, and allow the cats to get acquainted through the door until you feel comfortable having them together. When they first get together, supervise them! And make sure they each get plenty of attention. Don't spend so much time with the newbie that the first cat feels ignored.

No advice on letting them out, as my cats are indoor cats.

Ago 31, 2013, 1:07 pm

Thank you, the plan is that if I go for two I would go for an already bonded pair, otherwise I'll go for a cat that needs to the be sole cat of the household. Although as I'm yet to meet any cats who knows what I'll come home with especially as I'll want to adopt every cat in the shelter, particularly if there's one that toothless, one eyed and three-legged with three weeks to live!

Ago 31, 2013, 1:10 pm

who knows what I'll come home with

You'll come home with the cat(s) that adopt you! All mine have let me know when I went to the shelter that they were the ones choosing me, despite what I might have thought.

Ago 31, 2013, 1:55 pm

>4 lilithcat: ditto! My last adoption experience was just like that.

Editado: Ago 31, 2013, 3:33 pm

In my experience, two cats are happier than one, especially for cases like mine where the cats are often alone during the day. My current cats are 95% indoor - only allowed out when I'm around to supervise them :), but previous indoor/outdoor cats have been the same. I don't recall how long we kept the last lot of indoor/outdoor cats in before trusting them to go out and come back.

I've always gone for kittens adopted at more-or-less the same time, so no problems with getting them used to each other. However, our shelter keeps adult cats in multi-cat rooms (unless they're too stressed by that, which some are) and under those circumstances I'd adopt two cats from the same room, since they're already used to each other, if not bonded, or two adult cats who have been in multi-cat rooms. Would introduce them at the shelter (they also have "get to know you" rooms).

All the best in finding your new friend(s), and I look forward to pictures!

Ago 31, 2013, 4:50 pm

First off, sorry for your loss and good job raising her to 20 years. That's old for a cat.

I use the Feliway diffuser. It works very subtly. I never notice when it's working, but when the boys start fighting and I check the diffuser - it's always out. I should just change it on a regular basis, but I never remember.

One or two is up to you. Do you want him/her to bond with you or are you fine getting a pair bonded to each other? If you can save 2 lives instead of one, great.

Mine are indoor only, so I can't help you there.

Best of luck!

Ago 31, 2013, 6:08 pm

All of my cats have had access to the outdoors. 3 weeks indoors seems to be enough to establish whatever it is that allows cats to find their way home.

Ago 31, 2013, 10:53 pm

Thank you for adopting from the shelter and sorry about Sabre. Twenty years is a long time. I know you will do well and your new cat(s) will be so lucky to have you.


Editado: Set 2, 2013, 10:59 pm

Set 3, 2013, 5:37 pm

Thank you all, it helps set my mind at ease. I'll let you all know how I get on.

Set 3, 2013, 8:36 pm

Thanks Riley (#10), You made my day :-)

Set 3, 2013, 8:44 pm

That video is MARVELOUS!!! (10)

Set 8, 2013, 9:30 pm

suitable1 that video is awesome:)
Thanks for sharing:)

Editado: Set 12, 2013, 3:45 pm

Meant to say that that video sums up why I think I'm ready for a cat - although I always have awesome Saturday night. Am just waiting for the home visit tomorrow and then I have the horrid task of choosing cat(s) - horrid because I will want to take them all home!

In the meantime I thought you might like a photo of herself at the peak of her catliness, aged 10, as a thank you for all the help.

Set 15, 2013, 4:22 pm

Success, I am now a three cat household - not sure how that happened - two young black and white cats, who are currently hanging out in the bathroom, no photos as yet, but you can check them out here:;

as Simon and Angie, now Marlowe and Lyly, about a third of the way down the page.

I've also taken on a long term foster with thyroid issues, Jackie Chan, he's close to the bottom of the page and his eye is in much better shape now - he's about 12 and is currently snoozing on the chair next to me. Will post photos of all three once they get settled. Thank you for all the help and advice.

Set 15, 2013, 4:37 pm

Kinda like potato chips!

Set 15, 2013, 5:23 pm


Set 15, 2013, 6:57 pm

Yay! I am thinking of getting a pair as well... Maybe in a few more weeks. Love the black and white cats!

Set 15, 2013, 10:26 pm

Look at that nose! And the beauty mark! What a beautiful pair. Do they have white paws? I bet they have white paws. (I have a bit of a paw fetish - LOL.)

Congratulations! And good for you for fostering JC.

Set 15, 2013, 10:49 pm

They're lovely!

Set 15, 2013, 11:10 pm

Congratulations! So glad they've found a good home!

Set 16, 2013, 7:07 am

Well riverwillow, did you choose them, or did they choose you :-)

You don't have to answer that.

It's obvious!

Set 16, 2013, 8:23 am

Well I do have to answer that as Jackie Chan definitely chose me, Marlowe and Lyly had been at both Celia Hammond Centres since January first with their brothers and sisters and then alone in a cage for several months, they're only a couple of years old and were frankly too depressed to choose. They now are each squashed into a separate and unappealing corner of the bathroom missing their cage, it will take some time and patience before they realise that they did indeed choose me and that I'm not going to eat them!

Editado: Set 16, 2013, 8:25 am

Needless to say we're showering at friends until the two cats settle. Jackie Chan has already taken up residence on the bed!

Set 16, 2013, 8:51 am

I've also taken on a long term foster

Yeh sure riverwillow... :-) "Jackie Chan has already taken up residence on the bed!"

Talk to me in 5 years time!

Set 16, 2013, 10:06 am

He's not going anywhere, so I do really hope that as he's an 'elderly cat' with issues that he's still here in five years time! The foster bit means that they will continue to provide the care for anything connected with his thyroid issues, but I'm responsible for everything else.

Out 6, 2013, 3:58 pm

>27 riverwillow: Good for you! There are just not enough people around who are willing to take on older cats with health issues, even with simple issues. Thank you!

Out 7, 2013, 1:21 pm

>28 LMHTWB: Thank you, having had an older cat with health issues - renal problems in her case - it really isn't a hardship and I do wish more people would do this as older cat are so rewarding.

I do have some difficult news, we had to have to work done on the house and somehow Marlowe decided that the accommodation was unsuitable and managed to escape, we still haven't worked out how and why, of the three cats he was the least curious and adventurous, but then cats do have bad impulse control so he may have just seen a gap and decided to go for it. We've leafleted the neighbours and asked them to check their gardens and sheds, but he hasn't been found yet. As he got out on the garden side - we live in the middle of a terrace - is microchipped and the weather has been mild I'm still hopeful that he will turn up soon - I really shouldn't have named him after a dramatist who was clearly trouble with a capital T even by early modern standards.

His sister, Lyly, doesn't seem to be missing him at all and is doing so well that I'm suspicious that she may have had a hand in his disappearance. Here's a recent pic:

and is making a bid for top cat status, but Jackie Chan has other ideas. He's now really settled in and is putting on weight, the CHAT vets wanted to operate and take out the enlarged thyroid last week, but I've asked them to wait for a few weeks. Another recent pic

Apart from the sadness about Marlowe - I can't stop kicking myself about it - I'm really glad that we did this as these are great cats.

Out 7, 2013, 1:41 pm

29: So sorry to hear about Marlowe and I hope you find him soon! I have had my strictly indoor kitties escape numerous times and always feel so guilty. Now that my wonderful Belle is dead (and sorely missed) it does not happen anymore. She used to be able to open our back door which does not latch properly and can be nudged open by a persistent paw if the human has forgotten to lock the deadbolt. Once it was open Belle would just want to go outside, roll in the grass and come back in - but Buzz would go adventuring and scare us all. However he is not able or interested in opening it himself.

Out 7, 2013, 8:31 pm

Are you sure Marlowe is really out? When I had work done last year, one cat managed to get inside the wall - luckily I found him BEFORE the wall was closed. The other one climbed inside the recliner to hide. Years ago when I moved, my little cat managed to get inside the kitchen cabinet and hide BEHIND the dishwasher.

Watch the other cats - if he's around, they'll rat him out eventually.

Out 8, 2013, 4:32 pm

31: We're really sure, the work being done was superficial, plumbing and, surprise surprise, new bookcases, but the back door was constantly being opened by the plumber and he admits that he left a window open and unattended for a short while. Additionally two friends have come round and helped us to search and check cupboards - Sabre was the past mistress of hiding in plain sight, but over 20 years we got to know her tricks. There have been a couple of unconfirmed sightings, but I'm hopeful that when Lyly starts to go out, if he's still around this may flush him out.

30: I'm sorry about Belle, she sounds like an absolutely wonderful cat.

Jun 9, 2014, 2:03 pm

Hello everyone, I hope that riverwillow eventually found her cat. I have a question and this seemed like a good place for it: I got a kitten from the Humane Society last week. We introduced him to our other cats over the last several days, he gets along with them fine, particularly our 3 year old male, who grooms him and seems very fond of him already. He was playing and jumping around, but in the last 48 hours he has become really quiet and nonplayful. He is still eating and is not showing signs of distress or pain (except he purrs all the time). But he is not running around, he now creeps, and sleeps most of the time. It is really weird.

Jun 11, 2014, 2:48 pm

Update 6/11: Took Apollo in to the vet. He has some sort of upper respiratory thing and they hope my older cats won't get it as they have more developed immune systems.

They gave him fluids in his scruff, a vitamin B12 shot, an antibiotic and tried to take a stool sample (not entirely successful). He is more lively than when I wrote 33 two days ago, but has lost weight and since he was only 3 pounds to begin with that's not good. He seems like he will come through this fine but I don't imagine he was very happy about the morning's events.

Jun 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

>34 anna_in_pdx: - I hope Apollo feels better soon! Don't hesitate to take him back to the vet if he isn't improving. It doesn't sound like he has a lot of reserves. Keep us posted, and please put up a picture when you can. (I love seeing people's cat and kitten pictures)

Jun 12, 2014, 6:49 am

>34 anna_in_pdx: I am hoping the shots will help Apollo overcome the respiratory infection quickly so that he gets back to doing what kitten's do best, mischief, mayhem and generally annoying the other cats.

As you asked, we haven't found Marlowe, although there is a black and white fluffy cat that seems to be hanging around, but I've not been able to see his face close up to see if he's got Marlowe's markings, he does seem to be the right shape and size, and, if it is him, is doing well. So, for the moment, I'm still keeping his insurance going just in case. I'll let you know if there's any news.

In the meantime Jackie Chan and Lyly have both settled in nicely. They don't snuggle, but they play and fight and Jackie Chan, being an ex-stray and an old hand, seems to take care of Lyly when they're out in the gardens. They spend a lot of time snoozing on my bed, but are getting to go outside - although the cat flap training is not going well, as I write its duck taped open as each time we try and lower it they refuse to use it, very loudly! Will upload some new photos when I'm not supposed to be working.

Jun 12, 2014, 1:58 pm

Oh I hope that cat is Marlowe and you manage to re-tame him! That would be a great ending to the story. Glad the other two are doing well.

Apollo is more sprightly today. I am hoping he will soon be back to his normal spastic kitten self.

Jun 13, 2014, 5:16 am

Glad to hear that he's improving, let us know how he gets on.