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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I did a bad thing today and went to check out the city shelter even though I can't adopt until February 10. But it was my birthday and I don't have a lot of friends here and I thought some kitty therapy would be nice :)

Anyway, most of the shelter workers were friendly but couldn't tell me anything really about the cats :/ I saw this gorgeous part siamese boy who was absolutely the sweetest thing inside his cage. And I don't mean rubbing up against the glass to get my attention, I stood there with his cage door open and gave him a good loving for a long while. Anyway, I took him to the cat play room provided and put him down, and he seemed more interested in checking out the room than me and was also a little skittish. Is this normal b/c he might not be used to that room and the smell of the other cats? Which behavior should I trust? This also happened with two other cats but he was the one I spent the most time with. Should I go back and try to visit him again?
 

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Yes, being skittish in an unknown room is normal, and yes see if you can visit more often. Most of our cats at our shelter are strays so we also have no history. This is tough for me, too. I volunteer at a city shelter and we have a big fellow, Dash, that loves to play. He is sweet and affectionate but suddenly turned on me with claws and teeth on Monday after about 20 minutes. Scared the **** out of me. Luckily I had gloves in my bag but he meant to tear me up. I don't know if it was a response to me putting him back in the cage or what. It was scary and I will think twice before interacting with him again.

I would spend more time with your fellow. In a neutral room he should settle down more quickly next time - maybe even try to engage in play or cuddling with him. Try to see if you can spend 1/2 hour there with him. Be sure and ask for recommendations from the staff. Best wishes.
 

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YES!!!! Visit him as many times as you need to... to make sure he's the one!! I wouldn't wait....if he's the one fill out adoption papers asap to make sure he's yours :).

And in my experience some cats did that with me too...sniffing the room instead of interacting with me....but they didn't do it the whole time...because I couldn't wait so I would go to them try and pet, try and pick them up, play with toys....marshall was the cutest when he played...only because he's basically a dorky lil boy and spazzes out like a 3 month old kitten. He really is a Marshall :)

Good luck!
 

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A cat will almost always investigate new surroundings before new person (although they'll keep one eye on said person the whole time). What I typically do is just sit there until I become part of the investigation.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
 

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I'm not familiar with how the shelters work, but did you let them know that you are interested in him to keep him "safe" until the 10th? Maybe still okay to adopt out if someone else is interested but if his days are numbered and they knew there was a chance for a home could they make sure that he will still be there?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not familiar with how the shelters work, but did you let them know that you are interested in him to keep him "safe" until the 10th? Maybe still okay to adopt out if someone else is interested but if his days are numbered and they knew there was a chance for a home could they make sure that he will still be there?
Hmmm that's definitely a good idea to check! He may not be the one yet, but I'd like to spend more time with him and another one I saw. The shelter workers were able to tell me he'd already been there a month so I'm not sure if that's good or bad. I'm actually terrible at making decisions /sigh Most of the cats have been surrendered for "animal attributes" but that's terribly vague and doesn't even tell me if they were a stray or not or what the bad behavior might have been to cause the owner to surrender it.

But it's good to know this is normal behavior (as I suspected). Hopefully if I visit a few times he'll warm up to me outside his cage.

A cat will almost always investigate new surroundings before new person (although they'll keep one eye on said person the whole time). What I typically do is just sit there until I become part of the investigation.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Thank you! Actually none of the cats I took into the play room seemed to keep an eye on me, just wanted to check out the room...although perhaps they were sneaky about it :) I did try to play with him a little bit (their wand toy wasn't very good) and he seemed totally disinterested. I should probably spend a little more time there though :)
 

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I wouldn't read a lot into this behavior, either. Lacey was keen on curling up in my lap from the moment they put her on the floor at the shelter. I have lived with a year of my sweet lap cat nipping me for no reason. Not sure if you want to go through that.

My Zipper was scared to death in the get acquainted room but turned in to the sweetest cat imaginable - she was my granddaughters choice, definitely NOT mine and now I can't imagine life without her having been in it. Unless the cat is totally feral, you really can't be sure how he/she will react in a long term home setting. Animal attributes is very vague - unfairly so. It can mean litter box issues (which I hope you have learned from this forum almost all can be solved with good practices on your part), can mean nipping, love biting, snoring, growling; almost anything really.

Does the cat make eye contact with you? Is it sweet in the cage or colony room? Can the caretakers tell you ANYTHING about the cat(s) at all? These are all key, but don't put too much stock in any one thing. We have cats at our shelter that have "awesome" or "so sweet", or "perfect" written on the cage but I know that these cats are not suitable for most homes.

I guess I'm saying you will need a healthy dose of faith, a pinch of respect for the differences and the wisdom to know that there is no such thing as the perfect cat, but she/he could be perfect in your home with you given time. I always go with the cat that plays on my mind overnight - use your gut, don't second guess too much.
 

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Thanks for the advice :)

I went to visit him today and spend more time with him. In his cage, with the door open, he was very loving and outgoing - I couldn't even take a picture of him because he kept nudging my hand! He's been there over a month so I think this has kind of become a safe place for him. I stayed with him there for about 15-20 minutes. He didn't seem to mind being picked up and I took him into the get acquainted room. As soon as I put him on the floor, it was easy to tell he was scared. He wasn't skittish or aggressive, and he didn't run, but the whole time we were in the room, he wouldn't stand up straight but instead moved around in a crouched position. He was a bit jumpy too. He mostly ignored me and then he laid down against the wall. I stayed with him for a another 15-20 minutes, waiting him out, petting him a bit. He did open up the tiniest bit and eventually settled against my leg (to be fair it was a small room and my leg was the softest thing). I then saw him open up a tiny bit more and for a fraction I saw a glimpse of the cat he was in his cage. As soon as I put him back in his cage he resumed his sweet behavior. This cat confuses me! Knowing that your cat was very scared in the get acquainted room, Marcia, gives me hope, but I'm afraid of choosing a cat that hides from me all the time or becomes violent. I guess with cats though it's generally a tossup, huh?
 

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This Siamese cat seems to be behaving normally under the conditions. When he gets home and becomes familiar with his new surroundings, he will quickly bond and you will have a friend for life.
 

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This cat confuses me! Knowing that your cat was very scared in the get acquainted room, Marcia, gives me hope, but I'm afraid of choosing a cat that hides from me all the time or becomes violent. I guess with cats though it's generally a tossup, huh?
The true personality of the cat is in the cage, BUT it will take a lot of time and patience to draw him out of that fear once you get home. Do you have small children, lots of noise and upheaval going on at home? Probably not the right cat for your home. If you are alone, or living with a quiet SO or roommate, then a slow transition would be great and he would be your special baby in a bit of time....but it would take some time. Siamese can very much be one person/couple cats and not keen on strangers.

A transition small room upon arriving home for a few days, a larger space to explore after that (like the upstairs or bedroom wing), etc. Personally, I like challenges like this. The bonding becomes very deep once the fear is replaced with love and yummies. I don't think aggression is in his nature or you would have seen it by now. If you feel a connection with him and he to you then things will be just fine, but keep in mind that changes might be hard for him in the future (frequent moves, new babies, a lot of house guests, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The true personality of the cat is in the cage, BUT it will take a lot of time and patience to draw him out of that fear once you get home. Do you have small children, lots of noise and upheaval going on at home? Probably not the right cat for your home. If you are alone, or living with a quiet SO or roommate, then a slow transition would be great and he would be your special baby in a bit of time....but it would take some time. Siamese can very much be one person/couple cats and not keen on strangers.

A transition small room upon arriving home for a few days, a larger space to explore after that (like the upstairs or bedroom wing), etc. Personally, I like challenges like this. The bonding becomes very deep once the fear is replaced with love and yummies. I don't think aggression is in his nature or you would have seen it by now. If you feel a connection with him and he to you then things will be just fine, but keep in mind that changes might be hard for him in the future (frequent moves, new babies, a lot of house guests, etc.).
It's just me! And I'm a pretty quiet person. With the way my apartment is set up, it would be hard to isolate him, but I plan to set up a "safety corner" in my bedroom with a litter box, bed, and food. It's a pretty small apartment and while I'm at work he could explore without threat. I learned today that he was owner surrendered but they couldn't tell me why. Since he hasn't displayed any signs of aggression at all and doesn't have a "needs to be the only cat in the household" label, I'm thinking any issues are probably not aggression-based, but I'm still not sure if I should get him with such uncertainty about other behaviors. But I'm also kind of falling for him! He was a little more open today in the play room. I finally got a good picture today:
2014-02-01 13.34.26.jpg
I know he's probably not full siamese, but his face shape is very siamese looking and he has the trademark blue eyes with reddish tinted pupils, and his coat coloring is reminiscent of a lynx/tabby point
 

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Oh, he is a cutie! He is warming up to you already! You probably don't need to set up a safe room since it's only you. He'll probably hide under the bed for awhile anyways and you are right, he'll explore when you are asleep or away. One night soon you will feel bump, bump and he will curl up with you and your heart will melt and he will start purring because you are chosen as "his" person.

Don't fret about the unknowns. We all have secrets and he sounds like a sweetie already. The "only cat in the household" moniker could have been related to other cats and improper introductions. VERY common mistake with cat owners - including me years ago!

Have names started popping into your head yet???
 

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Have names started popping into your head yet???
No, I haven't thought of any good names yet! I'm a huge tv buff so I'll probably come up with something as an homage one of my favorite characters :) Since I can't adopt him until the 10th (I'll be out of town the last half of this week), my mom told me on the phone today that if he's still there, then it's meant to be. I hope it is! (I was assured by the shelter people today that they don't euthanize any cats in the adoption room so at least if he is gone I can know that he got a home)
 

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looks like a meezer tabby with white cross, them blue eyes will get you every time.. his looks are kinda familar except for having normal feet!!!
 

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When I first got my cat he walked around the whole house skittishly, didn't even care to give me a look or sniff. Sometimes we have other cats visit our porch, and he sniffs around like something bad happened. I guess new smells intrigue cats and they have to get used to them :D
 

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You are exactly right, Tank. They are primarily concerned with the safety of their surroundings. Coco walked the downstairs rooms for about 2 hours before she convinced herself that were no dangers there, then settled in to a chair for a nap. My Sam took days to settle in.
 
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