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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Interested Adopters - what can I do?

So my mom's coworker and his wife are coming over today to look at the kittens. Being the obsessive mom that I am, I've actually made individuals folders for each of the kittens, with a personality description and general info, and printed off several articles (mostly from Dr. Jean's site ) about preparing for a kitten, bonding two cats, feeding, etc. Is there anything else I should do or tell them?

I mean, they already have a cat, but I don't know how cat knowledgable they are, you know? Are there any breeders here, like Jeanie, who can give me some info on screening new owners? I know they're just "foster mutts", so to speak, but they're my babies
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 09:31 AM
 
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One thing is make sure they only follow a vaccine protocol like Dr. Jean. I ALWAYS explain to my adopters about that.

ONLY feed Ultra Premium dry food.

Another thing is if the family will feed canned food every day...if they don't...they can forget about taking one of my kittens. I explain(as well as give Dr. Jean's article) that it is high in protein, doesn't really cause tarter...etc.

Another is how many hours the cat will be alone each day. That is a problem if it doesn't have a buddy or they are gone too much.

No kids under 10 for my kittens

Another important one is will the owner outlive the cat?
I have had older people interested in taking my kittens, but I say no.


Take Care,
Abhay
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 09:42 AM
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spacemonkey, I can't give you any advice on screening potential adopters, but I wanted to say that I think it's great that you'll provide your babies' new parents with such a wealth of information! This was extremely helpful to us when we adopted Skeeter because Jim and I had both had cats growing up, but didn't make decisions about all of the "kitten care" stuff. We were just the "playmates" not the "care takers," you know? So, I think no matter who you send your little ones home with--send the info with them. No one knows everything!
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 05:45 PM
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Some breeders ask if the kitten will be an inside cat, because of the difference in life span. I certainly did. (outdoor cats average 3-5 years, indoor cats 12-15 years, barring genetic defects or accidents). Always charge for the kitten. Many people bring children to prove that this will be a family pet, when, in actuality, they intend to sell the kitten or cat for research or snake food. Make sure they can't make a profit by doing this. Charge at least the amount of a vet's visit and first vaccines.

I would also ask the ages of the children and if they have been taught how to handle a kitten, and whether the spouse is also an animal lover. I would visit with the people for, ideally, 45 minutes to one hour. It is wise to ask the buyers to sign a contract-agreeing that the kitten will be spayed before six months, (unless it is breeding quality with a pedigree and registration papers) and that if they can no longer keep the kitten, they should call the breeder first. If two kittens are going to the same home, they will bond and should stay together, throughout their lives. Regardless of the questions asked, it's still possible to be fooled, of course. I alwsys gave the possible owners a book about Siamese cats and their cat (just a paperback) and some of the food they are currently eating, so that the food can be changed gradually. That protects the kitten from digestive upset. Discuss a proper diet, and what makes a cat food a quality food, wet, dry, or both. The book will probably explain at what age the kitten can be cut down to three meals a day, etc.

I would explain that kittens sometimes do not eat for a day or two, *and that it's possible the kitten will hide under the couch (or whatever) for a few days. It is a shock to be removed from Mother and littermates. In your case, it will be a shock to be removed from you. Ask them to call you the next day, to visit the vet within a few days, and if they don't call you, call them. You'll know if they're interested in proper care or bored with all of this. Of course, there are con-men (women), but I have met only one. That's a long story I'll tell someday. The best of luck. I know this will be very hard for you. You're probably very attached to the kittens.

* Explain that they should watch carefully for any signs of dehydration if the kittens are not drinking or eating moist food! It doesn't take long for a kitten to become dehydrated, and it's dangerous. Which reminds me! Explain that cats are very susceptible to anything toxic--an aspirin, certain plants, cleaning supplies, automotive fluids, etc. Also warn them about strings, ribbons, drapery cords, etc. Tell them about Bitter Apple so that they don't chew electrical cords, etc., unless that's covered in the book. Whew, I'm long winded! I hope this helps.




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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well, the first prospective adopters just left, and I was very pleased

They were leaning towards Anderson already, but he just sealed the deal. He totally showed off for them; while the other kittens were sleeping, he was playing, posing and all around schmoozing.

They already firmly believe in keeping a kitten indoors, and were very open to what I said about canned food and importance of diet. Like I said, I printed off several articles for them to look at, and they were interested (I also mentioned the cat forum ) They were talking about how they'd send out an announcement to family and friends about a "new addition", and promised I would get pictures and that I could even visit And they are very willing to wait until he is 12 weeks old and ready to leave home.

If only every new home was like this *fingers crossed* Already, I got someone asking at work; she has a Yorkie and a 2 year-old Lab. I'm thinking, if the Yorkie doesn't get the kitten, the Lab probably will. But I haven't formally told her "no" yet.

As to what Jeanie said:

Inside is a must, no exceptions. If they cannot agree to that, there is no way I'm letting them take a kitten. If they seem on the fence, I'll give them several articles on the matter, and hope to change their mind.

The rescue charges an adoption fee, though I'm not sure how much it is.

If the family had kids, I would want to meet them, not just hear about them. Already, kids under 5 are a no-no, but if I feel the kids are just not "cool" with the kittens, I won't go through with it. It's not worth risking a traumatized kitten. And yes, both spouses would have to be in agreement.

Ideally, their visit would be seperate from the time they pick the kitten up. I want them to be prepared at home for the new arrival, and just give them time to really mull over the decision.

If for any reason they cannot keep the kitten, they must call the rescue first. Then the cat will be placed in a loving foster home until they can be adopted (again).

Also, in an ideal world, I hope at least two of the kittens will go home together. Anderson is going to a home with a cat and a house bunny, so he won't lack for companionship.

I'm already saving up to send them home with a collar, a toy, some food, maybe a blanket. In addition to recommending this forum, I'd like to give them a book or something on kitten and cat care. Any recommendations?
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 09:44 PM
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I think you're doing an amazing job at screening possible parents to your kittens. I'm really impressed with the wealth of knowledge you're supplying them. I wish I got all that info with my shelter kitty! Nope, just a bag of iams dry food and away I went.

About the woman with the Yorkie and the Lab. Don't count her out just yet. She may be a wonderful choice. I would suggest maybe bringing the kitten to her home and seeing how the dogs reacted. My dog is very curious about the cat (and its been six months!!) but the cat is the one that isn't interested. He'll sniff a little, then walk away but only hisses now and then. I think its possible that the dogs may actually like the kitten. Who can resist a baby?

I'm not saying you shouldn't be worried about it, just keep her in mind. You never know. I'd love to have dogs and cats all living happily together one day. Its probably much easier with a kitten than a stubborn adult

Jessie

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
spacemonkey
Posted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:58 am
I know they're just "foster mutts", so to speak, but they're my babies
I have followed the rescue, birth and nuturing you have given your kittens. I think everyone who has been reading about them on the forum is attached to them. They arent "just Foster Mutts" they are precious to all of us!!!

You are doing a fantastic job with the potential adoptees. Are they willing to get them their shots and neutered? or will you have it done before they are sent home to their new families.

Dont rule out Senior citizens. Just have a plan in place in case they cant keep them because of health issue etc. Seniors need a companions most of all. They are there to be with them all day, have a warm lap to nap on and lots of time to love on them.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 10:05 PM
 
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This is lengthy but it is the information I printed out for future parents of my foster kittens. I asked a set of questions to begin with to form an idea if they were ready to adopt or not. When I decided that somebody was responsible I went through the sheets of information that each parent took a copy of.
Here are the questions I ask ..and of course I ellaborate each question accordingly to each situation

1.Are all members of the family ready to adopt?
2.For how long have you been longing to have a cat?
3.How many other pets do you have/have you had?
4.Are there any reasons you would give the cat up?
5.Are you going to keep the cat indoors or out?
6.Are you aware of the importance of
-neutering and spaying at 6 months of age
and
-not declawing the cats
7.Name and phone number with permission to call back in order to check on the kitten.
I charged $20 per kitten

Some people thought I was with the ASPCA because I asked this type of questions

The first piece of information printed out :

Kitten Needs
1. Vet visit - deworming needs to be continued (N.B. I had previously taken all kittens to the vet). They start getting vaccines at 9 weeks of age. 3 weeks after they should get boosters. It is preferable for the cats to stay indoors. Dangers like cars, dogs, wild life birds ( can kill little kittens) or even other cats or people could harm a cat fatally. If you consider your area is safe however, the cat will need extra vaccines for the outdoors.
2. Small cage, bathroom (to stay in - not the whole house or he will get lost) with : litterbox, bowl of fresh food and water 24/7. Allow to explore the rest of the house gradually under your supervision until he will get accomodated with the surroundings.

If it is a multiple cat household more litter boxes are recommneded to avoid territorial issies. Disinfect box every two weeks or less depending on the litter.

3. Scratching post - on your knees show them the motion and they will catch up on it

4. Toys like little balls, fishing poles. Do not leave strings or anything that kitten could choke on while alone.

5. Bath - once a week only until he will get proper flea, heartworm, ear mites and ticks medicine. Use baby or flea shampoo (use the latter in the following manner - dilute the size of a dime in lots of water, lather and then rinse kitty well). Head can be wiped with a well rung warm cloth in order to clean - because eyes, mouth and ears must not come in contact with soapy or plain water. When they will become of age (and weight) so they can get flea medicine they will hardly need a bath unless accidents happen (they keep themsleves pretty clean)

Clean ears with cotton balls if wax or dirt build up occur. Do not use cotton swabs unless you are confident of how far you should reach - which should be only at sight.

*Revolution is one of the best medicines to prevent cats from getting fleas, heart worm, ear mites and ticks. Avoid at all costs over the counter medicines for the parasites mentioned. Hartz is known to have caused numerous victims especially among cats. Please do not use. Discuss with your vet what is best for your kitty to use.

6. Brush once or twice a week at least. Sometimes a well rung warm cloth can be used to remove loose hair and/or dirt - it will also remind the kitty of the baths his momma used to give him/her

7. Time to adjust - if diarrhea occurs it might be because of stress (separation from his mates + different environment), change in food or worms might still be present. White rice and boiled chicken (give tiny pieces no bones) are known to bind them up. Prolonged diarrhea causes dehydration which can be very serious in a young cat. If it lingers for more than a few days and/or is accompanied by blood in stool kitty needs to see vet
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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I have 2 more sheets of lenghty and detailed information that provide future parents with help on different issues - knowledge aquired here in the cat forum. I was going to post it but I am afraid that it is too lengthy for that reason and don't want to cross the rules. Feel free to ask me if you would like to take a look in order to get more ideas. It just never seems to be enough information I can provide the future parents with ..I want all the best for my foster kitties - forever, perfect homes ..I wouldn't have it any other way.
Although I rested assured that they were going to be resposible and love the kitten truly I asked everybody that if ever the case where they didn't want them any more to bring him/her/them back to me or if I wasn't going to be around to let him at a no kill shleter. Of course, they realized this wasn't something I encouraged them to do - but only as a last resort scenario.
They have our phone number and address + e-mail can contact us at any time they need help with the kittens.

I had thirteen kitties coming from the feral colony and I treated them with the royalty that they are entitled ..and expected to find parents that would comply with that. It worked out in the end after having to turn down a few offers that would not reach our standards. Be patient and prepared - it will all turn out good in the end - your babies are precious and you will find adequate homes for them.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 11:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Dont rule out Senior citizens. Just have a plan in place in case they cant keep them because of health issue etc. Seniors need a companions most of all. They are there to be with them all day, have a warm lap to nap on and lots of time to love on them.
I WILL NOT let older people adopt my kitten at all.

1. Kittens have sharp nails and love to play. Breaking the skin on older people is NOT good.
2. There are many senior cats out there that need good homes too!
3. Some cats become very depressed after their owner dies.

Take Care,
Abhay
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