To Get A Bred Cat Or Shelter Cat, That Is The Question!

Lounge By berryblondeboys Updated 1 Jan 2007 , 3:46pm by dldbrou

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berryblondeboys Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 2:56pm
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Our dearly loved kitty is dying. He's almost 13 years old and we've had him since he was 11 weeks old. He was born in my Mom's closet and was the pick of the litter. He's a beautiful grey cat with white markings, but it's his personalityh that is what makes him special. He's very social, plays fetch, follows us from room to room, is a lap cat, and greets people at the door - very doglike with all the nicieties of a cat and none of the downsides of a dog.

Well, we will want to get another cat (or two) when he passes. We need time to heal and to process his passing (right now he's on subcutaneous fluids to make him more comfortable as his kidneys are failing, last stages).

I've always had cats and most of our cats have been very social, but Nimbus is the most social of them all and we love that about him. So, I would like to get another cat that has those characteristics. There are some bred cats that have these features, plus breeders know how to handle cats to make them more "people" cats, but they cost a small fortune while there are perfectly good cats at the shelter who need homes and will only cost a small fee, but who knows their personality or how they will be once they come "home".

I'm really torn what to do!!! Spend the money to get a breed that is bred to be social, or do a good deed and rescue a kitten/young cat from a shelter... My heart is tugging me one way, my practical/ethical side is pulling me the other!

What to do?!?!?! (in like 6 months)
Melissa

21 replies
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mkolmar Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 3:25pm
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I have 2 shelter cats. One is social and one isn't. I prefer the shelter cats myself just because you are rescuing them. Good luck in what ever you decide and I hope your cat right now isn't in too much pain. Sorry this is happening.

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shelbur10 Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 3:27pm
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Melissa, I'm so sorry about your cat! Two years ago we lost a dearly loved cat to kidney failure. We have always had shelter cats. The one we lost, we got when he was nearly a year old and he was the most social, friendly cat you can imagine. Our other cat (10 yrs old) is also friendly and social to the point of being pushy, we got her as a kitten (abandoned on the side of the road at 4 wks). We've recently adopted two kittens at 6 wks. and they too have become loveable members of the family. I think with most cats, it depends on the environment they are in. I would never hesitate to get a kitten from a shelter, but I would worry about an older cat, because of the possibility that their personality has been shaped by a bad situation. Particularly if it will be around children.

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berryblondeboys Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 3:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkolmar

I have 2 shelter cats. One is social and one isn't. I prefer the shelter cats myself just because you are rescuing them. Good luck in what ever you decide and I hope your cat right now isn't in too much pain. Sorry this is happening.




I know, I feel a lot like that - you are rescuing them and there are so many unwanted cats in the world, so why got to a breeder and pay money for a cat when there are "orphans" everywhere. We got a shelter cat for our first cat, but he died 3 days later. he was a kitten and they hadn't held him long enough to discover he had distemper. He got very ill and had to be put down - it broke my heart. It was then that my mother told me the local farm cat was about to give birth and then she did give birth in my Mom's closet. She and my brothers were around them all the time and playing with them and socializing with them, so they all were very friendly and their past known. I really don't want an antisocial cat/kitten... My friend had a stray kitten she took in and he NEVER really settled down and hid most of the time even from them... no way would I want that...

Growing up our cats were one from a store (and I hated later that we bought one from a store) and one was given to us as a young adult from a family friend because she ccouldn't take care of him any more...

On the other hand, this breed is SOOOOOO sweet and everyone I've known who has had one say they are something special and I can see that they are... so tough!!!

Melissa

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m0use Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 3:52pm
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First, don't get a cat until you are ready, some of our old friends are too hard to fill the hole in our heart right off the bat. Take your time picking a cat out too.
When you go to the shelter, just sit back and watch the cats. The ones that will be social and have the most personality will come to you and stand out the most.
That's what my mom did when she got her last cat Tigger. We had to put her kitty Linus to sleep who my mom had had right before I was born. My dad took her to a shelter and she was watching the kittens. There was one bully kitten picking on all the other ones (he was a little older I guess), well Tigger waited until he decided to settle down for a nap and she started picking on him to get back at him for all the other little kitties, my mom knew that that Tigger was the kitten for her.
They say your pets pick you and not you pick the pet, I have to believe that sometimes that is truly the way it is.
Now Tigger was put down last year, she was no longer her kittenish self and she was getting sick all the time, and my mom couldn't keep up on her care, but she lived a LONG time and was a really good cat. Sometimes when my mom would cry because of her depression, Tigger would go up to her, put her paw on her arm and lick her tears away as if to say it's alright. icon_cry.gif
She even put up with my son as a toddler who insisted on trying to play with her because his dog at grandpa's house did. icon_lol.gif

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finnox Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 5:18pm
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I have to persians and I love them. The decision you have to make is whether you want to be able to pick the breed of that cat or if you dont care and any cat would do. We have had both sheltar cats and now persians. Some times with sheltar cats they have had problems in the past which will cause them to act more shy and scared as they get older. I loved all of my cats and what Mouse said is true once you are ready and you have decided what you want to do on where you have decided to get your cat see how they act whether they are good with your children as well as freindly. I love cats and whatever decision you make I am sure will be the right one. Good luck and I am sorry to hear that about your cat.

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berryblondeboys Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 5:28pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finnox

I have to persians and I love them. The decision you have to make is whether you want to be able to pick the breed of that cat or if you dont care and any cat would do. We have had both sheltar cats and now persians. Some times with sheltar cats they have had problems in the past which will cause them to act more shy and scared as they get older. I loved all of my cats and what Mouse said is true once you are ready and you have decided what you want to do on where you have decided to get your cat see how they act whether they are good with your children as well as freindly. I love cats and whatever decision you make I am sure will be the right one. Good luck and I am sorry to hear that about your cat.




Thanks! I really like Burmese cats. A close family friend had one and I fell in love with their loving personality. When we lived in Canada there was a couple who came in with a shoulder riding Burmese - they are so social!!! But if we love our farm cat, then we could love any well cared for cat, though he had to be a singleton, but we could have probably averted that disaster if we had kept him with a littermate, but at that time, DH was only willing to do one cat, now he's willing to do two! LOL

Plus, I would prefer a smaller cat this time. Nimbus is HUGE. His "ideal" weight is around 15 lbs. He's a little over 12 lbs now and he is just BONES,it's awful. usually he was about 18-19 lbs. With fluids he is acting normally, just eating little, but he's still hopping on laps, still purring and still drinking tree water, so until he feels it's time, we'll just go with the flow. It's been nice to have these last couple weeks to come to terms with his impending death with him being "normal" and not sickly acting - just eating and drinking less and getting skinny, that was the only clue something was wrong.

I still don't know what we'll decide... time will tell and I'll investigate more, but I do know we will get cats again as they are the perfect pet, imo!

Melissa

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veejaytx Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 6:14pm
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Hi Melissa, I am in the same position you are right now. My 16 year old, Rupert, also is in kidney failure, and I'm not sure how to cope. He also is still eating and drinking, all the normal activities, but he has lost weight (was only about 6 1/2 lbs to start with), he is Persian/Himalayan, beautiful white and gray with silver tips.

Sometimes he just looks so sad, and makes me so sad. Letting go is so hard to do. I wish you well, whatever you decide. Janice

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berryblondeboys Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 6:22pm
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It is so sad. Our Nimbus will eat only about 1/5 he used to and will only drink from the Christmas tree stand. He hadn't drank for 24 hours until I put up the tree, but that did the trick... We are having to give daily subcutaneous fluids to make him comfortable and just see how long he holds out. The fluids REALLY helped, and with it only costing $25 for 10 days, we really couldn't balk... DH has to poke him daily though. I'll hold him still, but can't do the actual injection... pretty funny site really with the IV bag hanging over the closet door, but it takes like 3 minutes, so I'm not complaining. Every day at this point is a gift.

Melissa

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SwampWitch Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 7:11pm
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I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. It's very difficult to lose a pet because they are members of the family.

We have three rescue cats. They are the best behaved, sweetest, and most appreciative animals you could ever know!

Purebreds will always get homes...

My suggestion is to go to your local shelter, when you are ready, and look around. Probably some kitty there will tug on your heartstrings?

Cheers, from
SwampWitch

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mbelgard Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 7:35pm
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I think part of it just depends on the individual cat. We had a litter of 2 kittens a few years ago that were born under my bed, they were both handled constantly from the day they were born but were totally different (they were 3/4 manx). The one we kept met with an accident a few months ago but he was the sweetest cat, loved to cuddle and was always lazy. The one that was given away was much more active and stuff. They got the same amount of attention.

We've been talking about getting a pixie bob one day, they're supposed to be like a dog in alot of ways and they say they get big for a cat. The cost has us hesitating though.

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Cookie_Brookie Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 7:41pm
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My BF and I have a cat that we took in as a stray kitten. I took her to the vet and she was perfectly healthy so we kept her. She is now the sweetest most gentle cat I have ever seen.

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ncdessertdiva Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 7:55pm
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All three of our cats are shelter kitties . . .and they are the best. I had to put down my old man cat, Chitter, two years ago. Within two weeks, I had Tiger, my orange tabby. Tiger is the friendliest and most loving of all of our cats. The ladies, Lucky and Little Girl, come to you on their terms. Go with your heart . . .
Leslie

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Kayakado Posted 27 Dec 2006 , 8:03pm
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I vote shelter cat or stray. I also prefer males over females.

This is a long post.
I lost my catdog on Valentine's Day after 14 years of faithful companionship and a long struggle with thyroid disease. I refer to him as a catdog since he followed me everywhere and if I sat down, he sat next to me and put his foot on my leg. If I was lying down he slept on my stomach. His passions were popsicles and yogurt. No one could eat a popsicle without fighting him off. Fish, steak and other goodies didn't temp him. You could tell him "bedtime" and he'd be in the bed waiting for you. He fetched and also carried a stuffed animal around the house.

A year later I adopted a new cat with major misgivings. He was abandoned by his former owner and left in a vacant house with a bowl of food and water, which had been empty for sometime by the time the realtor found him. She called the owner who basically said,"do what ever you want with him, I don't want him and don't care". The realtor took him to a local vet where he lived in a cage for months. The vet wanted to find a home for him. Unfortunately, the previous owner had declawed all four feet. The vet wanted a home for him where he wouldn't be at a disadvantage in a fight and would be kept indoors. He is also 3 years old, not a kitten. Also, whoever declawed him butchered his feet.

When I brought him home he walked splay footed from being in a cage for so long. After 4 months, he is getting comfortable with his new home. He is starting to follow me around. He comes when called. Finding a name to which he would respond was chore. He is now known as Bubba (his choice not mine). He has two large stuffed animals he drags around the house. He prefers to sit on the arm of the couch, but get out an afghan and he burrows underneath for a nap. He is the cat version of a Jack Russell, he is very busy and very athletic. He will play for hours.

He was severely traumatized by the abandonement and whatever else his former owner dished out, but in a few years he will be a really good cat and I am willing to wait. If I had not taken him, his chances of being put to sleep were very high.

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bluehen92 Posted 28 Dec 2006 , 12:50am
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Melissa, I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. We lost one of our dogs to liver cancer a few years ago, and it was a horrible time in our lives.

Clearly I'm a shelter/rescue person. All I can say is that approximately 15,000 dogs & cats are killed in shelters in my small state of Delaware alone each year. In a bigger state, I'm sure the numbers are larger also. I don't know about cats, but in dogs, buying a purebred from a "breeder" is no guarantee of anything. Especially temperment. Dogs from "breeders" (read: backyard breeders & puppy mills) are often inbred and have psychological problems as a result. Generally this results in them being snappy and nervous. When you adopt from a shelter or rescue, not only are you literally saving a life, you can ask questions about that particular cat. When we place a dog in a home, we work very hard to ensure that the personality of the dog will match the personality of the family. We know which of our dogs are not good with children, other dogs, or cats, and will not place them in a home where children, dogs, or cats are present. I have no first hand experience with cat rescues, but I imagine they work the same way.

When the time is right, check out http://www.petfinder.com and that will give you an idea of what shelters and rescues are in your area.

-Lisa

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mbelgard Posted 28 Dec 2006 , 1:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayakado

I vote shelter cat or stray. I also prefer males over females.




I'm glad we aren't the only ones that like male cats better, it seems like most people I know want a female. We've only had one female cat that we have been able to live with.

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berryblondeboys Posted 28 Dec 2006 , 2:28am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluehen92

Melissa, I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. We lost one of our dogs to liver cancer a few years ago, and it was a horrible time in our lives.

Clearly I'm a shelter/rescue person. All I can say is that approximately 15,000 dogs & cats are killed in shelters in my small state of Delaware alone each year. In a bigger state, I'm sure the numbers are larger also....

When the time is right, check out http://www.petfinder.com and that will give you an idea of what shelters and rescues are in your area.

-Lisa




Thanks, I had already found the petfinder site and there are like 40 cats listed within 10 miles of me and I think their listings are GREAT! Do you know how often these things are updated? I see that there are several paired cats that they won't separate because they do better together and I like that too.

I probably will opt for a shelter or perhaps a rescue of the breed I like. I know that the breeders I was looking at only breeds her cat (one breeding female only) once a year, raises them underfoot and you can come visit them from birth on... I would NEVER buy from a shady breeder. That's why I was so mad that we bought the cat in the pet store (you know, the cat that stole your heart while passing by the window syndrome). It just perpetuates the business...

Of course, I had a dog adoption go bad a couple years ago and I don't think I'll ever get a dog again. We adopted from a shelter - 4 month old puppy who "seemed" to be good. We were told she was a lab/australian shepherd mix. Well, very quickly we realized she was really a border collie and she had not been socialized to other dogs, so taking her for a walk was a NIGHTMARE. Also, she would panic if left alone in the house. She would pee and poop immediately. We did everything by the book - crated her at night, penned her in a secure room with double baby gates during the day (and even with them doubled up she could STILL jump/scramble over them!!!). We took her for a MONTH to doggie daycare to get her socialized to other dogs where they worked with her. We took her to obedience school where she excelled (bright, bright dog). but... she nipped at my 6 year olds heels if he ever used the swingset or ran AND she just couldn't handle the 8 hours we were away for the day... I even stoarted coming home midday to take care of her, but that didn't work either. We finally, after 2 months, found a home for her with a family who knew border collies (had them previously), was aware of her socialization issues, and would always have someone home with her (dad worked nights, mom worked days)... It was an expensive lesson to learn. In the shelter, you would have never known she had these issues. She didn't growl/nip when you took her food bowl, she was great with people, but other dogs and isolation? TERRIBLE...

Another question about kidney disease in cats. Our cats toxin levels are 5-6 times the normal levels and the vet said he had 1 week to 1 month left depending on how the fluid therapy went. Fluid therapy is working great, but he's probably still dropping weight and this is just a band-aid, I know, but what levels are toxic/fatal? WHen should we expect he will start shutting down? Anyone know?

Melissa

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bluehen92 Posted 28 Dec 2006 , 12:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by berryblondeboys

I had a dog adoption go bad a couple years ago and I don't think I'll ever get a dog again. We adopted from a shelter - 4 month old puppy who "seemed" to be good.




That can certainly happen since most shelters are overcrowded and the staff may not be able to spend as much time with each dog as they should. It is also hard to get a true picture of someone's personality when they're in a cage all day. Back in Feb., we pulled an Akita-Siberian mix from our local shelter. They told us he was very friendly but too high energy to be with kids (like mine) and only gave him to us because we were fostering him for a rescue. Needless to say, he is a big couch potato and he and my 4 year old are inseperable, so we decided to adopt him ourselves. I'm sorry your experience ended badly, but that shouldn't stop you from getting another dog (presuming you want one and are ready for one one day). While I will always promote shelter adoptions, to be perfectly honest, there are advantages to adopting from a rescue over a shelter. We have our foster dogs in our homes, living with us as part of the family, so we really get to know them. If someone doesn't have a lot of experience, or has other commitments (work, small kids) so they are looking more for a "plug-n-play" dog, then we won't give them someone who is special needs. We have some adopters who are very experienced and are looking specifically to help an abuse case or a senior dog, and that's great. But there are many wonderful adopters who don't have the time or ability (yet!) to do so, and that's great too.

Re: Petfinder - The listings are updated as often as possible, but each shelter/rescue is responsible for updating their own, so it's not one big update of the whole site. We have one volunteer who does that for us, and she updates our listings as soon as possible after we get a new dog in and get to know him a bit. It will vary from shelter to shelter depending on how busy the staff is.

-Lisa

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finnox Posted 28 Dec 2006 , 8:38pm
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I am more for female cats. I dont like to have to worry about a male spraying and I have even had a male after being fixed still spray. I loved all my cats but to me it seemed as if my females where more loving and play full. I guess it all depends on the person. I agree that shelters have to put down lots of cats and dogs and it would always be nice to save a life as well as being able to know how the cat is. When buying a cat from a breeder it is easy to find a baby kitten and raise them up from young and when buying from a shelter the chances are you are going to get a older cat but it all depends on what you want. My best advice to you is go look around because even some shelters are shady and are just trying to get the animals out before they have to put them down so just look around dont just jump right in.

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Lenore Posted 31 Dec 2006 , 3:37am
post #20 of 22

Shelter cat. Male cats are ALWAYS much friendlier than female cats. Also, you could never go wrong with a Tuxedo cat. Everyone I have met is one who is a 'greets you at the door' kind of cat. Mine likes to chew on my hair and pur in my ear. I am sure he is in love with me. I also have a male tabby with a very similar personality. They are both here in the study with me now.

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Zmama Posted 31 Dec 2006 , 7:57pm
post #21 of 22

There is good and bad to each animal, it is finding one that fits you. We prefer females for our family, but we like the moodiness - it's what helps them fit in icon_lol.gif

An animal in it's "teens", ie 1-2 years old, is usually ready to choose a family. It seems that that is the age they connect to their owner best. Adult cats are more prone to be loners in a new family, kittens are not sure of anything yet and can change for better or worse. Strays I have had bad luck with, period. One was so skittish she ran away when we had company two years later, and the other attacked my daughter out of jealousy when he finally became attached to me.

Either way, you have to make sure you are Alpha. That alone has saved us numerous problems with attitude. It also helped socialize our siamese, because they want to please you.

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dldbrou Posted 1 Jan 2007 , 3:46pm
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Why not get one pure bred and one shelter or rescued?

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