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So I'm making the move toward getting a cat in my life. But I didn't think it would be so hard!

In my town there's only 3 main shelters/rescues so I visited them. One of them doesn't have many cats (they have way more dogs) but their cats look healthy and well taken care of. They had this one tabby gray 8+ week old but I can't say he was overly interested in me. He was definitely active though but I'm not sure what kind of personality he'll develop into.

The other place, well they have a cat house with probably 40 or more cats. There were cats everywhere - I had to seriously watch my step! I noticed that a lot of theirs looked like they had health problems - they were rescued. Several of them took an interest in me including the 3-legged one and a tuxedo who had a weird looking eye. There were so many cats that I found it hard to remember which one was which.

The 3rd place was the official city pound. There were a couple there who were extra friendly to me plus they're raising a couple litters of kittens who aren't quite ready to adopt yet. There weren't really a huge number of cats there. They have a lot of cats who don't live at the shelter but with foster families so I can't see all of those. I did meet one foster at a pet store and she had a ginger with some white who was around 7mo. He was probably the best one I'd seen to date.

I had some general idea of what I was looking for (young, male, short hair) but beyond that its hard to choose. Maybe I'm too picky, who knows. I've heard people say to let the cat choose you. But how do you know? If its just a matter of which one gives me head bumps or tries to climb me, well many of them do that.

And something I noticed when looking at the litters: huge variation in color. Is it really normal for a litter of kittens to have such a wide variety, almost looking like they had 2 different fathers? Is the color variety pretty much a random thing?
 

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Yes, litters can have more than one dad, so color variation is normal.

Kittens are *very active* for a long time (couple years?) so you might consider getting an older cat. They're harder to adopt out because "kittens are so cute" but they are often much more sensible and already used to people and houses.

Maybe a cat that an old person had to turn in because the person was too old/sick to care for the pet.... what a heartbreak that must be for cat and person.
 

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The difference in appearance within a litter is normal to give two examples.

Sera came from a litter of 5 kittens.

1. 1 Black (who I adopted and named Tsuki poor girl passed away)
2. 1 Tuxedo
3. 2 Brown tabbies (Sera and her "twin")
4. 1 Brown tabby and white that looked like the mother.

Vincent came from a litter of 4

1. 1 Orange and White
2. 1 Black and white (Vincent)
3. 2 grey and white (think they were tabbies)
4. The mother was a calico

As for picking I know it's hard how it went for me was like this...

1. With Sera she just wanted to play with me lol and she was just so cute it was hard to resist haha.
2. Tsuki well I adopted her because I thought she needed her sister poor girl was so shy (sickness).
3. Vincent well when I met him he was only 6 weeks old and still had blue eyes. But when I held him he pressed his little head into my chest and just purred up a storm as I pet him. Eventually he put his head in my jacket and went to sleep it was so cute.

When I went to a shelter and tried to adopt the one I wanted was because she kept coming to the front of the cage trying to get my attention while her siblings and every other kitten in the room ignored me. It didn't work out though so I ended up going elsewhere and getting Vincent.

It's kind of an instinct thing I guess so it's really hard to explain so all I do is write up my own experiences. All three ended up being extremely attached to me (Sera sleeps right by me in my bed, sleeps in my lap, etc) and Vincent/Tsuki both have/had a habit of "cleaning" me. I've picked all of my pets but Tsuki based on that strong initial reaction and all three times (2 cats 1 dog) it's worked out well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I liked the young one with the foster mom. Although only 7 months he wasn't hyper. I think I might call the lady - she lives nearby and would be helpful in answering questions as I get started. The thing about foster homes is there could be many nice adoptable cats out there but I'd never know it.

Another visit to the city shelter may be in order for this weekend....
 

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The thing about foster homes is there could be many nice adoptable cats out there but I'd never know it.
Does the shelter have a website? Many do, with a picture of the cat and a brief description of their temperament. If so, perhaps you could narrow down your search of cats (some of which might be in foster homes) and then visit some in person? If you haven't absolutely fallen in love with one yet, I would keep looking. I'm of the view that, when you find the right one, you'll know it.
 

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Even when they're young kittens--you can see a cat's general demeanor if you pay close attention. When we picked out our kitten Tootsie, we knew we wanted a sweet, cuddly kitten. We interacted with all of the kittens in the litter. The boys pushed us away with their little paws and were nervous. Tootsie, on the other hand, was like a pile of mush in our arms and was extremely chill (in general... of course she had her crazy kitten moments! haha). Her demeanor remains true to this day, and she will be 2 in July.

For my boyfriend and I, we always wanted "cat-dogs". The kind of cats you can give belly rubs, respond to their name, go on walks, etc. So an important thing for us was getting a kitten/cat that wasn't sensitive to their belly and was chill when being handled. When you interact with cats you're interested in, do certain things to them to see how they react (depending on the type of cat you want). Rub their belly, touch their paws, pet them for awhile, pick them up and hold them, etc. This gives you a pretty good idea of their temperament and how much they'll tolerate.

Good luck! I'm a strong believer that when you meet the one, you'll know. :D Cats have a way of picking their people!
 

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Also, a great place to see cats/kittens in foster/rescue situations is Petfinder.com! There are so many rescues that don't have store fronts you can visit. They operate with fosters.
 

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I just got my little guy last Monday. Over the winter we had decided we were ready and started watching the shelters. We weren't in a hurry, and we decided to wait until something felt right. Last Monday I called about a pair of kittens. They told me about them (abandoned by their mother, 4 weeks old) and I was instantly in love. My little guy's sis was adopted before we could snatch them both, but he's already the light of my life.

There were several times over the past few months we made considerations, but we always decided to wait. Then when Taco came along, we just knew it had to be him.
 

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I foster kittens for a local rescue and we have 4 cats. I can say with complete confidence that cars will definitely pick you. When it happens it's very clear to me...but the adopters don't always know, or end up choosing a different kitten because they like the color better.

If you really want one to pick you then you need to go to a shelter or foster home with a few cats and spend some time there. In that house with 40 cats it'd be very tough, because they'll all vie for your attention and no one cat will be able to stand out...unless you start volunteering and are there a LOT.

You sit down in one spot, play with and interact with the cats, and wait. When a cat or kitten picks you most are really obvious. They'll keep coming back over and over, wander off and come back. They might settle and sleep in your lap, or they might grab you with a paw, but they'll actively seek out your interaction and presence.

To be honest though, you'll be able to form just as strong of a bond with any cat you feel drawn to. Go for a visit, and just wander around. See which cats you want to go back to see over and over.

If you're up for a bit if a challenge ask the volunteers or staff which kitties are shy, have been there a long time, or are really out of their element at the shelter. Shy kitties can seem angry or aggressive, or just sad or scared, but if our got patience most will come around once they're in a calmer home. Talk to the staff about what you'd like in a kitty, then listen to what they recommend and spend time with this cats.
 

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Emily was an abandoned seven month old female and woke me up one morning crying for food. She adopted me and is my first cat. I don't know if I could chose a cat for adoption from a shelter with a room full of cats. I would wonder about the cats that I had not picked.
 

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For my boyfriend and I, we always wanted "cat-dogs".
That's the type of cat I'd like too! So I went back to the shelter and saw this cat/kitten pair that was mama and daughter. While mama cat stayed in her box watching, the kitten (6mo maybe) sniffed me, did a head rub, then tried to climb me. She climbed up to my shoulder (no fear!) and laid down & made herself comfy around my neck - it felt like a warm scarf! I guess that counts as choosing me! :D But I really wanted a male. They told me that they think I would like the one that they have living at a Petsmart and I should go visit him.

I've also been scanning the pet section of Craigslist but there was never anything interesting. Far more dogs than cats.
 

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Is there a reason you're specifically looking for a male? I know some people have a preference, but IME (fostering, pet sitting, my own pets) there's really no difference. It's all down to individual personality.
 

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That's the type of cat I'd like too! So I went back to the shelter and saw this cat/kitten pair that was mama and daughter. While mama cat stayed in her box watching, the kitten (6mo maybe) sniffed me, did a head rub, then tried to climb me. She climbed up to my shoulder (no fear!)
there was your sign, go get her!:mrgreen:

also, 2 kittens are really easier than 1, imo. they need a little playmate and they are so fun to watch!
 
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