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Need Cat Advice

lulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
2,328
I know there are a lot of cat lovers here and I need some advice. Four years ago we had three cats-Ivan and Bunny, male and female littermates who really didn't like each other. (Ivan was the cranky one). We also had Margaret who was about the same age. Margaret never interacted with the other cats-she's a people-only cat. When we had to put Bunny down we adopted Winston from the shelter as a kitten. He and Ivan immediately got on like a house on fire but they would give Margaret grief by chasing her.

Margaret is 15 now and has had some health issues. We recently put Ivan down as he had bladder cancer. Winston is 4 and very playful and he seems lonely without his Ivan. He's still chasing Margaret and I'm thinking he needs a playmate. All the articles I read say to adopt a kitten, but which sex? So before I go to the shelter does anyone have an opinion?

By the way, that's Winston in my avatar. He is extremely lovey and attached to me.
 

Matata

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 10, 2003
Messages
7,364
I've been told by countless veterinarians & cat breeders over the years that it is more difficult integrating female cats into a home where there is an existing adult female. In my personal experience I've found that to be true. So I think you're best bet is to get a male kitten.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
11,879
i agree that a male cat/kitten will be easier to incorporate. i think it is a great thing you're doing making sure there is an active playmate for Winston so that Margaret can ease into her old age more gracefully.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Ditto! I've always had female cats that are people-only and male cats that love having another male cat to roughhouse with. Often they play too hard for the girl kitties and irritate them. Four groups of cats like that since I was a kid, same pattern.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Male kitten definitely. They are just more easy going.
 

lulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
2,328
Thanks Matata, MZ, LGK, and Gypsy. My gut feeling agrees that I should go with a boy. It'll be a couple weeks before I have the time to devote to the entire process, but at least I can start looking at boy kitties on Petfinder.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Feel free to post you general urban area. I love searching on petfinder but have a hard time not adopting everything in sight.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Gypsy|1316581130|3021949 said:
Feel free to post you general urban area. I love searching on petfinder but have a hard time not adopting everything in sight.
I know right? Both my recent adoptees were listed on PF, though I was mostly looking at one specific shelter's kitties.

When I adopted Bug I went to the home of a kitty-foster-mom. She had a *kitten room*. :love: :love: There were three little ginger boys who climbed into my purse, one classic tabby who scaled my skirt and one little one who kept chewing on my pearl pendant (I let him). My BFF, who was with, sat down on the floor and was instantly covered in a kitten blanket. I really don't know how I resisted and only came home with the one!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I know LGK. Even when I narrow my criteria to what I *would* want...there's too many. I look for cat/male/adult and special needs as long as it's not something my other's can catch. And then I purposely ignore the breed cats (siamese, etc.) and go for the homely looking ones.

We got Shelia (MIL's dog) and I got Merlin from PF. He wasn't homely but he'd been adopted and returned to a kill shelter (who thankfully had the sense to follow back the chip registration to original owner-- the foster) and then rescued back to his original foster (who was overburdened but couldn't let him be put down). So he was 'special needs' by default. Or rather his poor foster mom was.

When I contacted her she was an absolute doll. I didn't ask if he was a bully or not... and she didn't mention it (but I don't know that he was with her... he was raised in her house since kittenhood with resident cats so it is very likely he wasn't top cat there), but she told me everything else about him. And then she met me at the vet and we had him looked over and made the transfer.

I've been to kitten rooms before it's impossible not to get charmed. I'm more of an older cat (9 months to 5 years) adopter though. I like to know their personalities.
 

cookies

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
706
I had male cats and female cats in the past, but only one cat at a time. My experience is that the male kittens/cats were more playful and easy-going, and that the female ones were picky and mean. This is just my experience though.
 

Novel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
1,199
I agree about getting a male kitten. If you can find out anything about the cat foster network in your area, it could be a huge help in finding the right kitty. That is how we got both of our current cats, and how we fostered for a while. I'd call a shelter near you and ask if they work with any foster organizations. Good luck and share pictures!
 

lulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
2,328
Thanks guys. I adopted Winston from the Blue Water animal shelter in Clyde, MI. We're up in the tip of the MI thumb and Clyde is about an hour away, but there are very few resources up here and I saw him on Petfinder and he was looking up at the camera and my heart melted.

He was so well socialized by the staff that I think I'd go back there. Living in the middle of nowhere you'd think a stray would find us but it's never happened in the six years we've been here. No kittens or young guys currently posted on the board at the vet either.

We also have Louie, a 94 pound labbie who is completely indifferent to the cats. Winston has been trying so hard to be buds with him since Ivan died and Louie won't give him the time of day.
 

LAJennifer

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
2,020
Matata|1316569226|3021803 said:
I've been told by countless veterinarians & cat breeders over the years that it is more difficult integrating female cats into a home where there is an existing adult female. In my personal experience I've found that to be true. So I think you're best bet is to get a male kitten.
This.

Good luck with your new kitty - whichever you choose. I think Winston would appreciate a playmate.
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
Gypsy|1316590950|3022003 said:
I know LGK. Even when I narrow my criteria to what I *would* want...there's too many. I look for cat/male/adult and special needs as long as it's not something my other's can catch. And then I purposely ignore the breed cats (siamese, etc.) and go for the homely looking ones.

We got Shelia (MIL's dog) and I got Merlin from PF. He wasn't homely but he'd been adopted and returned to a kill shelter (who thankfully had the sense to follow back the chip registration to original owner-- the foster) and then rescued back to his original foster (who was overburdened but couldn't let him be put down). So he was 'special needs' by default. Or rather his poor foster mom was.

When I contacted her she was an absolute doll. I didn't ask if he was a bully or not... and she didn't mention it (but I don't know that he was with her... he was raised in her house since kittenhood with resident cats so it is very likely he wasn't top cat there), but she told me everything else about him. And then she met me at the vet and we had him looked over and made the transfer.

I've been to kitten rooms before it's impossible not to get charmed. I'm more of an older cat (9 months to 5 years) adopter though. I like to know their personalities.
I know, me too usually. It has been amazing to have a wee one again, though. I talked to the foster mom who had Dex when I was looking for a buddy for him, and she was adamant that he would do best with a kitten- and she was totally right. He is dominant but insecure and I'm pretty sure he'd bully the crap out of a full grown cat of either gender. A kitten? Well, he's pretty sure he gave birth to his kitten, and adores him. I do worry about the personality thing, but I figured- frankly it was more important that Dex get a companion he loved rather than me get a cat who's personality was sweet, y'know? And sometimes you can't tell anyway- Dex sure acted sweet and charming at the shelter, and... bless his prickly little heart, he's not really, he just wanted ouuuuuut! (Actually, he's done way, way better this week- he even jumped on DH's lap and purred!)

Anyway. /Threadjack! I can babble about the felines endlessly. That was my reasoning for getting specifically a male cat, and a kitten- it definitely helped my inclined-to-bully (young) adult male accept the newbie.

Lulu, if any of the people at the shelter remember Winston, ask them what kitten they'd recommend. That's what I did with my prickly monster Dex, asked his original shelter folks that question. The kitten they picked was a perfect choice- pointy Mr. Dexter needed a very laid back, patient and non-dominant buddy. They knew Dex's quirks pretty well even some months later.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
LGK, I totally agree that some cats need kittens as mates so they'll except them. When we just had Duncan we found Frodo in the backyard and he was 6 weeks old. And they took to each other (after a few wave fests) like white on rice-- and I wouldn't have put Duncan with ANY cat he'd see as competition at that point. He was only 2 years old himself and he was ADAMANT he was staying top cat. And then Hally was about to be put down at 7 months. SO we took her... but Duncan just ignored her completely since she's female. But with my hoard now, I couldn't do a kitten he'd get slaughtered. Merlin was 9 months but at 12 pounds he was and is a monster in size so that helped. He's up to 14 pounds now. And he sits on the others. PITA.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Oh. My. Blessed. God.

Blue Water is like ... WOW. Inundated with CUTENESS! I'm DYING. LOOKIT THESE FURBALLS!

http://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelter_id=MI18&sort=pet.Identifier

Peter (of Peter, Paula and Mary) is just TO DIE FOR. Adjusted to small dogs and will likely be okay with yours Lula once he gets used to him. Crap I want the little green eyed bug. http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20752771

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20753315 Orangey goodness at 4 months!

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20752887 LITTLE TROUBLEMAKERS! White cats that look like my Merlin as a kitten. SO bleeping cute! Argh!

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20880721 Frick and Frack! Love their names! I love orange and white kitties.

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20428128 TREVOR with a MUSTACHE! I adore black and white kitties. Have two of my own. How cute is this guy!

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20753388 Blade is GORGEOUS. And at 6 months, right near the age where most people won't think he's cute anymore... their loss!

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20880743 SHORT KINKY TAILS. Plus one is a black and white! OMG. I'm dying. WANT ONE SO BAD.

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/20071223 And finally... most likely to be adopted by me... the all black Nick. All black kitties have such a hard time finding a home. And his sisters have already been adopted. Cute widdle guy!
 

lulu

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2003
Messages
2,328
There are a lot of cute ones,Gypsy. But I have to get past the next 2 weekends since we're going to be out of town. I know this sounds nutty, but do you think they'd let me bring Winston to meet some kittens? I'll have to call them.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
lulu|1316664420|3022661 said:
There are a lot of cute ones,Gypsy. But I have to get past the next 2 weekends since we're going to be out of town. I know this sounds nutty, but do you think they'd let me bring Winston to meet some kittens? I'll have to call them.
Probably not with cats. One there's disease and two there's the fact that cats don't do well out of their regular environments so if you brought Winston out he'd be freaking anyway, and that's a poor way to introduce two animals.

But they might let you try out a kitten and bring him back if it doesn't work out, although it usually takes 2-3 weeks to know if cats will get along for sure.
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
I like the ones who are fostered personally because USUALLY their foster parents will have a much better idea of personality than just the shelter staff. I'd call about Peter and see if they will hold him for you if you like him and if they think the personalities might be a fit. He's the only one that's immediately dog friendly. Though any young cat without bad dog experiences will adjust-- Frodo, Hally and Noel all adapted fine.
 
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