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Discussion Starter #1
As the title suggests, I thank you for this wonderful resource. I'm a 22 year-old service member in the Navy. I love the military and I love animals, insects, and other natural life forms as well. In order to fulfill my 3-post requirement, I will post my current dilemma in this post, and respond here as well to reduce spam. Here it goes;

The girlfriend and I are looking to adopt a cat. I'm a life-lover to the fullest degree (I can't even witness her killing insects :( they're so determined!). She loves animals as well. Initially, I wanted a dog.
However, we're both stationed in Hawaii, active duty. There's some caveats;

  • Our apartment is very small, maybe 350 square feet. We live in a small little complex, not friendly for pets to be outside.
  • We're both active duty service members - that means a lot of moving, possibly from one point of the world to the next every 6 months to 3 years.
  • I'm a shift worker, she herself is a day worker. There are often times neither of us is home. this is relative to the age of the cat
  • Training, neither of us know how to train a kitten up to be house-ready, and our apartment complex is STRICT with pets. I wouldn't want to lose my deposit.
I recently lost my cat at nearly 20 years old, and it'll be hard to replace him but I want nothing less. He had numerous diseases and my mom kept him alive almost unfairly long. she's a nurse, hand fed / IV all day / insulin shots / 24-7 monitoring

I know some of these questions seem obvious, but circumstantially they're relevant. I don't have enough knowledge about cats to bring one into our home confidently. I want to know it will be in the best place it can be, and I want to be able to take care of it. It will have to move at least 2-3 times in the next 7 years. Again, I know it may seem like I am over-thinking, but we're climbing our 20's and have NO intention of having children, this is our supplement. The advice I'm looking for is

  • Best age of cat to adopt in our circumstances
  • Cat breed possibly?
  • Best place to adopt
Thanks for your time!
 

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Welcome!

You're right, kittens are hard work. I would suggest adopting an adult cat who is labelled as having to be an "only" cat. They are hard to find homes for because many people have, or want to have, more than one cat. Single cats are great, they bond with their humans and have a special relationship. Go to a shelter, tell the staff your circumstances and what kind of cat you're looking for. They're usually in tune with the different personalities of the cats there.

I'm sorry for your recent loss.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Great! Thank you for your condolence and advice. I would love to provide a home for a cat who's having a "hard" time finding one! I suppose I'll start with our local SPCA and move from there. :)
 

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Welcome! And thank you for serving our Country.
My concern is that you will be moving often and the hassle of getting pets out of and into different counties. The quarantine can be months.

What about fostering for the shelter? You can have the fun of a cat or kitten, but not have to worry about moving. My experience has been that the shelters near the bases are usually full and would love to have fosters.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Fostering for the shelter may not be a bad idea. The only issue is, I'm a solitary, reclusive person. So my pets are my life, them and my job. I couldn't bare seeing them off every time I got attached.

I think I will be getting stationed in the US on a 4-year billet, so the pet should be able to have a stable 4-year home before moving again. We just don't know what to do when we get it, because she will be staying in Hawaii for a year and a half once I leave before she moves back with me. So we'll be apart for 2 years, who gets the cat! I'll be going to a very busy command, so we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks! I suppose you simply learn to get used to it and adapt. :) I have a cat back home, but she's 15 and I don't want to fly her around the world when she's never really moved much before.
 

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Go to a shelter, tell the staff your circumstances and what kind of cat you're looking for. They're usually in tune with the different personalities of the cats there.
This is what I did when I got my first cat, and I can't say enough how helpful that was. I also agree about getting an older, only cat for this situation. My only other suggestion is getting a cat who seems more "confident" and easy going so the upcoming moves may be less stressful for you and the cat. I think all cats need time to adjust to a new place, but one that is less fearful/cautious might have an easier time making adjustments to frequent moves.
 

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Hey man we just moved to oahu. I'm stationed on hickam. We just adopted a 3 month old kitten today from the spca. Let me know if you have any questions I just joined the site too..ohyeah and I'm a first time cat owner.
 

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To echo what Marie said, I can vouch for the experience of adopting a "must be an only cat" from a shelter. My Murphy was a "must be an only," and he's the most lovable, sweet kitty you'd ever want to meet. At first I wondered if they've been labeled as only's because they're aggressive or hard to get along with, but it's quite the opposite -- he loves people and wants all the attention to himself!

Another thought, if your quarters are very strict about pets, is to adopt a cat who's already been declawed. No one here recommends declawing, and in fact most think it's absolutely inhumane to the cat, but if they're already declawed, there's no reason you wouldn't adopt them either. Again, Murphy was declawed when we adopted him, and at age 6, having had him for 4 years, there hasn't been a single negative symptom of him having been declawed.
 
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