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Advice please about getting a rescue cat

Discussion in 'Personal' started by wordsworth, Jul 21, 2016.

  1. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Hi everyone, I have been toying for ages with the idea of getting a cat from a rescue shelter. I am drawn towards getting an older cat because apparently they are more settled in their ways plus it is more difficult to find homes for older cats, so I would be helping the shelter.

    I have not owned a cat (if one could ever be said to 'own' a cat) since I was a child, and I am worried that it won't work out if I get one. Please share your experiences, both positive and negative, in order to help me decide.
  2. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    my uncle and my parents have always got older rescue cats and are more than happy. they are all different though - check why they need to be rehomed. if they've been abused you'll need to treat them differently and the shelter will give you advice. if they've been homed before, they'll know more or less what to expect.
    do it!
  3. theworm123

    theworm123 Lead commenter

    What @emilystrange said, I've fostered a rescue cat once and some require very specific care and find it hard to trust humans, so they need to be handled carefully etc.

    Some cats also need someone around constantly for them or who is at home a lot. It depends on the owner and cat, it can be a bit like dating sometimes you just need to meet and see if you bond with the cat.
    kibosh and wordsworth like this.
  4. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    We have always had rescue cats and usually they have worked out OK.

    One of our current batch was unfortunately run over but she had been found beside a motorway and wandered all over in her never ending quest to reduce the rodent population.
    She would come home and greet me extravagantly. She would also play a game of "lift me over the fence" with my wife.

    The other "found down a rabbit hole as a litter of kittens" by the local vicar are still happy and healthy trying very hard to reduce the substantial wildlife population of the garden and the field next door.
    The tom is into moles and will spend hours watching a molehill, often coming back in with a fat lip. The tabby is a hunter par excellence and is too good with the birds.

    There is an issue with the various cat ailments HIV, cat flu and cat leukaemia so it is worthwhile getting the vet's advice about the charity you get the cat from. One of the local charities here is not well regarded basically because they try to do too much.
    kibosh, theworm123 and wordsworth like this.
  5. Didactylos4

    Didactylos4 Star commenter

    I can't add much to the advice but virtually all my cats have been rehomed/strays and every one of them has been a total individual to whom none of the lessons learned from their predecessors applied.

    Which made every one of them a fun and rewarding adventure
    kibosh, ilovesooty and wordsworth like this.
  6. jazzed up

    jazzed up New commenter

    We've just been to our local animal refuge today to see two adult cats that need to be homed together. The refuge gives a full profile on them - health, personality and behaviour and lots of helpful advice.
    We've previously had kittens and it's all been fine. Go and visit the rescue centre and find out about the cats they have.
    theworm123 and wordsworth like this.
  7. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Thank you everyone! I feel a bit shy about wasting the shelter's time if i say I'm just browsing... I guess the best thing is just to be open about my fears.
  8. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    My neighbour has 2 rescue cats, they hide from her in the house. She puts food down and they come out and eat it when she's not looking.
  9. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    Has your neighbour had them for long? on the rescue site it did say that you have to be patient at first with them.
  10. thistledoo

    thistledoo Senior commenter

    The rescue centre will help and give you advice. Expect some settling in problems and there may be none! I found our cat to be a scaredy-cat, extremely playful with traits such as 'mock' biting that I didn't understand! Someone taught her to chase fingers and toes...before she came to us... she also chased every fly, moth - anywhere... but we love her to bits and gradually she has become 'ours' and gives us so many laughs every day!
    Give yourself and a cat a chance - just be prepared for some ups and downs, you will both be learning!
    Good Luck! Happy days to you!
    kibosh, sabrinakat and wordsworth like this.
  11. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    TBH, they'd prefer you to browse and ask loads of questions so that you, the shelter and the cats are happy.

    My brother adopted a rescue cat who was about 8 months old, given up because the family had a newborn. Irving was a beautiful grey tabby cat with a fabulous personality. I adopted the cat when my brother did a year abroad and he was truly a great cat - very personable, very friendly but a good judge of people as well and just lovely. He died at age 12 and even now, some 15+ years later, I think about what a good cat he was.

    Good luck!
    kibosh, ilovesooty and Didactylos4 like this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Next door's cat is a rescue cat - he's lovely

    He was found wandering the streets about 15 years ago and is still very much around.
  13. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Not all rescue cats are timid or traumatised. Older cats have sometimes just belonged to older people who sadly can't look after them any more.

    I'm not sure what you mean by older. My cat died at 20ish and was inconsistently continent for the last couple of years of his life. He'd gone deaf and didn't like being outside on his own but wouldn't use litter (preferred a cushion if indoors!) so I had to take him for "walks" round the garden every morning, afternoon and evening. I still loved him a lot but I don't miss the endless washing and smell of Dettol!
    kibosh likes this.
  14. Jude Fawley

    Jude Fawley Star commenter

    Of course, what you actually want is a kitten.

    There's various kittens.

    You can have a standard kitten.

    You can have a sad kitten.

    Or a happy kitten.


    You can have Superkitten. Superkitten is a kitten with special magical powers. it's a kitten that rescues other kittens and some cats up to a certain size.

    In special circumstances Superkitten will make an exception and rescues puppies and small dogs.

    But you don't want to be pampering Superkitten. It's got a full-time job and is extremely busy with its duties.

  15. SleighBelle

    SleighBelle Occasional commenter

    We adopted our cat from the local RSPCA shelter just over a year ago- he is absolutely gorgeous. My bloke has always been a dog person but has fallen in love with our mini-tiger.

    Visit your local cat home, read up on the notes, think carefully about what your home situation is like. Do you want a cuddly cat? Is your home quiet, or do you have lots of people/ children around? Are there busy roads nearby? Do you have a cat flap? Let the staff at the shelter know these things so they can help match your family with a suitable cat. They will likely do a home visit too, once you've found a cat you'd like.

    Good luck!
    sabrinakat likes this.
  16. Eureka!

    Eureka! Lead commenter

    Ginger toms are very affectionate but will tend to bully any other cats in the house- if they can get away with it.

    If a cat shows interest in you then that might be a good indicator.

    Don't forget to keep up the flea treatment ... just spent two days solid on deinfesting dog fleas in the house :(
    kibosh likes this.
  17. Burndenpark

    Burndenpark Star commenter

    We got a rescue cat about 5 years ago- she's a total love, but can only stand so much affection before she gets fed up.

    Funny you should mention that.
    Earlier this year we found a ginger tom stray- we tried all sorts to locate his original people and to integrate him with Cat A but she snarles and spits only to be followed by him chasing her if he gets chance. We have a temporary fix, but Cat B is going to be a problem when the schools resume next year.
    He is very affectionate and sweeter than Cat A.
    I really wish they had settled together they're both lovely:(
    Eureka! likes this.
  18. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Right ho.

    I adopted an elderly cat from the CPL. She was a right grumpy old thing. They had housed her in a shed. She had a thyroid condition. She wasn't affectionate or rewarding but she had a good life and pleased herself and ultimately just conked out one day in the sunshine outside.

    Fifi Trixiebelle Latour Pom Pom. I called her.

    She was never any trouble and i remember her fondly even though it's twenty years later.
  19. annie2010

    annie2010 Occasional commenter

    We adopted a 3 year old from a Rescue Centre- he'd been a stray. They wouldn't give us a kitten at the time, as my daughters were so young.
    He was the most placid, contented pet and lived until he was 17 years old.
  20. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    My only, paltry advice is this: if you are re-homing a male cat, try and find out if, and when, he was neutered. If he was neutered too late (i.e. well after 6 months old) he may be aggressively territorial as the hormone related aggressive behaviour has been learnt and can't easily be undone. You may be wondering why this might be an issue? He will be killer cat and other cats in your neighbourhood won't be safe at all.

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