Sunday, November 20, 2011

Which cat or kitten to choose?

I'm always getting inquiries from people who want to adopt a special type of cat or kitten. I get lots of calls asking for particular breeds such as Siamese or Maine Coon cat. Those two breeds seem to be the most popular, I rarely get calls for Persians or any of the other breeds. Most of the cats we take in are your average domestic short hair mixed breed cats.

Most people seem to want to choose a cat by color. There's one woman who's called often to check back with me to see if I have a long hair orange male kitten. I've had a lot of calls for all white cats. Another called saying she wanted a pair of Seal Point, apple head, male, Siamese kittens, from the same litter. Sorry, but that's a tough order to fill.

I've had adopters want to adopt a certain color because their last cat was the same color. Some who have had a cat for a very long time and it dies, want a new cat exactly like the old cat. Some want something completely different. The reasons are so varied, but I ask so I can try to match cats to those who want them.

Since I post the adoptable cats and kittens on Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet, everyone has the chance to see a photo and read a brief description. I do try to describe the cats and kittens and let people know who's cuddly and who prefers to be left alone. Also which cats should be adopted in a single cat home, that's important.

Last week a mom and two children stopped over to choose a kitten to adopt. This family had adopted a kitten from me two and a half years ago and thought it was time to adopt another. The mom said they didn't want a black and white cat because that's what the other cat is. They wanted  a different color. They liked the tortie/white females they saw on

They thought they had their mind made up based on photos they saw online After they arrived and played with the cats and kittens for a while, they had a difficult decision to make about which kitten they wanted the most. The mom fell in love with a cute  black and white kitten who purred in her ear. The son wanted to take home our senior cat, Lily, who is our own permanant resident with skin issues and not for adoption. The daughter sat on the couch with around five purring kittens piled on top of her, totally undecided on which one she loved the most. Every time a different kitten climbed on her, she loved that one too.

 I reminded the mom that she didn't want another black and white cat, which we laughed about several times as the little black and white kitten and his tuxedo sibling snuggled in the moms arms, wooing her with all their charm.

This family was here almost two hours, trying to decide which kitten they wanted to take home. While they were here, all their original ideas of age, sex, color, were tossed aside. They only wanted a cuddly, lovable cat or kitten, nothing else seemed to matter. If the son could have taken home any cat, it would have been Lily, our oldest cat in the house. He wanted to stay here and play with her all day. The mom and daughter would have taken home at least five different cats!

The finally chose one, Rose, one of the tortie sisters, who's around 6 months old and has had some health issues. Great choice. Rose is the perfect lap cat, they'll be happy with her.

Fall adoptions

Now that it's fall, adoptions are starting to pick up again. Summertime is usually a slow time for adoptions. People are busy in the summer, going on vacations, children are shuffled between parents and grandparents, just not enough time to consider adopting a new cat.
Another reason is that in the summer there is an over abundance of kittens. Every spring thousands of unwanted kittens are born around here. Every day the paper is loaded with ads for free kittens. The shelters and other rescues are packed to the rafters with kittens. There are just too many out there to choose from. All the youngest kittens are usually offered for free in the paper, that lowers the odds that someone will adopt from a rescue or shelter that asks for an adoption fee.
When kitten season is over and the youngest kittens are taken, we start getting calls from people who couldn't find homes for their free kittens. That's the time we start filling up with older kittens and momma cats that nobody wants. Many of them are sick, starved, crawling with fleas, worms and who knows what. We take them in, clean them up and start looking for homes.
In the fall, we have a large assortment of great older kittens and young adults ready for their new homes. After being here a while, the kittens are used to being held and played with and much more cuddly than when they are young. They're friendly, happy, and very affectionate. This is the best time to find a new cat or kitten.