As a professional in feline behavior, we can only understand your desire, welcome your initiative, and wish you a beautiful and harmonious relationship.
However, we are also well placed to know that sometimes, however beautiful and commendable the intention of adopting an adorable kitten or an adult cat is, the projection that adopters have of their new life with a cat can be far removed from. The reality… In this article, we will detail each point to be taken into consideration in the choice of your future right cat for adoption in order to put all the chances on your side to find the ideal companion, who will best adapt to your character and your lifestyle.
In search of the right cat for adoption
Many adopters choose their right cat-based mainly on aesthetic characteristics. Let’s get along well, there is nothing more logical given that culturally, today, we don’t really need the cat to hunt mice anymore and we generally want their company for the simple pleasure of admiring them, to play with them, and cuddle them. Indeed, unlike dogs which are still used in areas where their behavioral skills are of interest to humans such as hunting, guarding, or research, the cat remains a pet in the strict sense of the term.
Cat breeds are mainly based on physical characteristics such as size, color, coat length, and other purely aesthetic criteria! The first instinct of adopters is therefore to say to themselves that they are going to choose a cat of a particular breed or at least a cat of a certain color or with a certain type of coat.
This is easily understood, but we must not forget that a cat is above all an individual with a certain temperament. It often happens to us to receive questions from adopters who are surprised that their cat is not clingy, that it does not like to be hugged or that it is fearful of strangers. These people have a certain idea of ?? what a cat should be, which fits with the media portrayal of our feline friends. Unfortunately, or fortunately, not all cats are clones of the playful, cuddly, and quietly purring advertising cat in our lap. It is therefore very important to understand that by adopting a cat, you adopt a sensitive being with a character of its own and which is not very modifiable.
Which cat for which adopter?
There are as many different characters in cats as there are in humans, but to help you choose the most suitable cat for your household, we are going to talk about 3 types of feline temperament.
The reckless cat! It is a cat who is not afraid of anything, who is very curious, who has a lot of energy to spend, and who requires a lot of interactions and stimulation. It is the perfect cat for your family with children. This cat will adapt perfectly to a somewhat turbulent life full of new experiences and visits. He will accept change better than the majority of cats but beware, this kind of temperament also often implies a more independent and less disciplined character. This cat will love to climb and explore everywhere, potentially dropping things or rummaging in clothes. It is the kind of cat who will open the doors of the cupboards or the doors at all. It is, therefore, better to consider outdoor outings for this cattor to be aware that he is going to need a lot of enrichment if he is locked in an apartment.
The “in-between” cat. It is a cat at the same time curious, but cautious. A cat that welcomes novelty, but remaining on its guard. It’s a cat! He will enjoy a routine, but accept the change if it is not too brutal. He will enjoy playing and will be receptive to stimulation, but will also need his quiet time. This cat can adapt to many homes. It may be suitable for a family with children from infancy who will treat it gently and enjoy playing with it. It can also flourish with people living alone, active, and receiving visitors. He can enjoy going outside but is also perfectly content to live in an apartment with an enrichment adapted in heights, games, and interactions.
The shy cat
The shy cat. He is a cat who is very attached to his routine. He is a calm cat, often quite close to his adoptive parent (s) with whom he finds certain security. It is often a rather clingy cat and will always follow the same habits throughout the day. This does not mean that he is not at all active or that he does not need enrichment, but he is a quiet cat who is not comfortable with change or daily life. very hectic. This cat will fit very well into the home of the elderly or people with routine life and not receiving too many visitors. On the other hand, he will not be at ease with a family with unruly children or with a person who travels a lot, who receives a lot of people, and whose work schedules change often.
Opt for a purebred cat or from a shelter?
Often there are two schools. Adopters who are in love with a breed and swear by it and those who prefer alley cats! There is no better choice than another, it takes everything to make a world and there is no major behavioral difference between the two. Again, it is often a matter of aesthetic preference and sometimes also of the budget since the acquisition of a purebred cat can cost up to a few thousand dollars.
It is still important to keep in mind that depending on its physique, a cat will need more or less maintenance. Hairless cats, for example, will need a controlled and constant room temperature or suitable clothing to compensate for the lack of hair to keep them warm. Long-haired cats will require more brushing and also more cleaning, especially during the molting period. You should also be careful not to over-stimulate a Persian cat, or a cat of another breed with a flat face, during a heatwave. This morphological peculiarity, which is called brachycephalic, implies a respiratory system less developed and less efficient in cooling it than a cat with a more classic morphology.
Hybrid cat breeds like the Bengal and the Savannah stand out from other breeds and exhibit more marked behavioral differences. These cats are certainly magnificent spotted cats, but you should be aware that these cats are the result of crosses between domestic cats and feral cats. They, therefore, have a still very strong wild instinct and are very active cats and often a little unpredictable. In general, these cats are not cats to adopt when you are not already familiar with feline behavior. The Bengals and the Savannahsare cats that are often compared with racing cars! You have to know a minimum of mechanics and have the right track to do Formula 1, otherwise, you risk quickly running into disaster. Adoptions of these cats based on the sole criterion of beauty, unfortunately, lead to many problems of cohabitation with their adopter and a number of abandons.
We are very fond of pedigree cats. Our mascot Wookie shows the love our president has for Maine Coon cats. This did not prevent him from adopting alley cats as well and it is important for us to encourage future adopters to consider adopting shelter cats, so many of whom are waiting to find a home.
Shelter cats are often seen as “problem” cats. Very often, they are quite simply cats that did not fall in the good home, one adapted to their temperament, or cats that could not be kept for reasons independent of their behavior. These cats are already identified, vaccinated, sterilized, and are followed by a veterinarian, so they are in good health upon adoption.
Do not hesitate to go meet these cats! For the most part, they are adult cats whose character is already determined and young enough to share a good ten years of happiness with you.
Kitten or adult cat: which is the best cat for adoption?
The majority of adopters prefer to welcome a kitten into their home. How can we not understand them? A kitten is a cute little ball! A kitten is adorable, it’s a little awkward and very funny, it’s playful and it’s wonderful to watch it grow. And yes, it is not for nothing that the best videos relayed on the internet feature kittens!
However, a kitten is also a small ball of energy that you have to know how to channel and manage! A kitten is like a little child who plays with anything and everything, no matter how! With a kitten, you generally have to adapt your home and make it a “cat-proof” environment: pay attention to the electrical wires that cats tend to chew on if not cut, put away fragile knick-knacks that they could drop. and say goodbye to its sheer curtains which will not long resist the onslaught of the little rascal.
You should also be aware that even if there are techniques to assess a kitten’s behavior, the latest studies show that there is no guarantee that this behavior will not change over time.
Important Points Regarding kitten
Finally, remember that a kitten doesn’t stay a baby for long. Around 6 months, he has already reached his sexual majority and is not far from his adult size. Then, if your cat remains in good health and nothing happens to him, you will have about 15 years of life to share with him, so it is in his adult state that he will mainly share your daily life.
By choosing the right cat, you can be pretty sure that his temper is installed or in any case, that he is only likely to change very noticeably. Grown cats are additionally regularly calmer than kittens and need less care in the situation.
Which kitten to choose from the litter?
First of all, whether you adopt a kitten from a breeder or from a private individual, it is very important not to separate it from its mother before its 12th, or even better, its 14th week. Indeed, it is between the 5th and the 14th week that the mother will teach her kittens the codes of communication between cats, how to play and hunt, but above all how to control her emotions and not bite too hard or scratch. A kitten adopted too young can become fearful, biting, and easily anxious.
The behavior of the mother also affects the behavior of the kittens. If the mother is a fearful or aggressive cat, it is very likely to find these tendencies in her kittens. On the other hand, if the mother comes to rub shoulders with you and she is receptive to caresses and games, her kittens will follow suit and reproduce these behaviors.
Best Environment for Cat
The environment in which the kittens grow up is also of great importance. Indeed, it is in its first weeks that the kitten will desensitize itself to all its discoveries. A kitten who evolves in the home of a family that receives visitors and who also lives with a dog will be adaptable in any household, while a kitten who has grown up with a single person, in an apartment, will have more difficulty in integrating a family with unruly children for example. It is therefore important that kittens are handled and faced with all kinds of situations during their youngest age.
Does the color of my future kitten determine its character?
Certain beliefs confer differences in behavior to cats based on their color or gender. The choice of a kitten is therefore often influenced by it.
There is no proven difference in behavior related to the color of a cat’s coat. Scientific studies on the subject show that these attributes are subjective and originate from the media representation of such types of cats in popular culture. For example, in countries where Garfield, the good fat greedy ginger cat, is famous, the majority of the population thinks ginger cats are gluttonous, kind, and lazy. The black cat is demonized so few people want to adopt a black cat.
Should we take a male or female kitten?
There are indeed behavioral differences between males and females, but only related to reproductive behavior. Females exhibit periods of heat where they vocalize and roll on the ground for several days in a row while males go for urine marking. If the animals are sterilized, these behaviors disappear and there is no longer any noticeable difference in behavior between the two sexes.
Thus, the essential parameter in choosing a cat remains its temperament. As we have seen, the behavior of a kitten is very far from being fixed, but it is still possible to get an idea of ?? its future character based on a few clues. It is interesting to ask the person who offers their kittens for adoption which came out of the nest first. Which kitten seems the most adventurous and which kitten is the shyest.
You can also do the keyring test. Sit among the kittens and drop your keychain loudly. The kitten that jumps up and hides as far as possible risks being a rather fearful cat. Whoever jumps, walks away then comes back to smell the trousseau will surely be more of a cat “in-between”, curious but careful. The one who does not even jump, but who comes to smell and then play with the keychain presents all the signs of the adventurer cat. This test is not scientific and the character of the kittens can change greatly, especially depending on the environment where it is going to be adopted, but it can give an idea of the potential temperament of these kittens. Many people choose the kitten that comes to them first, thinking that the latter has “chosen” them!
How to choose the right breeder?
If your wish is to adopt a kitten of a particular breed, here are some important elements to take into account in order to choose a good kennel that offers balanced kittens.
As we have seen, the environment in which the kittens live is very important. If the kittens are still isolated in a cattery after the required sanitary period or separated from the mother before the 10th week, it is highly likely that they will have difficulty adjusting to a new home. Family farms are the best able to bring all kinds of different stimuli to kittens and to work well on their socialization. Kittens must evolve in a space with many heights, cat trees and must evolve a minimum with the breeder to discover and understand the daily life of a human.
Again, a kitten should never be separated from its mother until it is 12 weeks old. If a breeder offers you a younger or worse kitten and insists that you adopt it before that age. It is important to ask yourself serious questions about his professionalism. A conscientious breeder will offer you to stay in touch during the kitten’s adaptation period at home and will give you advice depending on the character of the kitten chosen.
The majority of breeders are members of an association. They often highlight the awards they have received during their career. This simply indicates that these breeders have had competitions with beautiful cats from their breeding and not necessarily that this breeding is of quality from a behavioral point of view. Nevertheless, a professional breeder who is not attached to any association may raise questions. You should know that the registration papers can be falsified, so in this case, do not hesitate to contact the kennel where the breeding cats come from in order to be able to confirm the professionalism of the breeder in question.
If your choice is a Bengal, a Savannah, or a Persian cat in India, it is essential to pay attention to the generation of kittens offered for adoption. Indeed, a breeder should never sell F1 or F2 kittens, that is to say, the kittens resulting from the first cross between the wild cat and the domestic cat and their first offspring. These cats still have too much wild instinct to be able to thrive in a private individual. F3 and F4 should be adopted by experienced people who have had other cats before and who are familiar with feline behavior and the peculiarities of these cats.
Adopt one or more cats?
Many adoptive parents want to accommodate two cats instead of just one to make sure they don’t get bored. If the two adopted cats are kittens from the same siblings or come from a shelter where they have already been in contact and everything is going well, it is very likely that their cohabitation will indeed bring them a positive enrichment. Indeed, it is common to see these cats playing together, grooming each other, and even sleeping on top of each other.
However, when you want to adopt a new cat to give a “new friend” to your feline companion because you think the latter is bored. You have to keep in mind that nothing guarantees agreement between the two cats. Although many cats enjoy the company of a fellow-creature because they are gifted with social skills, they are originally solitary predators. They therefore generally prefer to live alone in a home and it is better to increase the enrichment of their environment rather than impose on them a cohabitation that they have not chosen.
In the event that you still decide to adopt a new cat, it is important to take into account the character of the right cat who originally lived in the household when choosing his future companion. It is better to avoid adopting a kitten when you live with a quiet old cat who will have a hard time dealing with the playful attacks of the new one. It is also essential to manage the meeting between the two cats well to allow them to get used to each other in a progressive and positive way. Thus, if cats do not become the greatest friends in the world, they will still be able to cohabit peacefully.
As you will have understood, the main criterion to remember when choosing your right cat is to find the cat who will be able to adapt and flourish in your daily life. Although it may be tempting to fall for a very beautiful kitten with long, silky hair and unusual patterns on its coat, if its temperament does not match yours and your way of life, you will both be unhappy and it is most often this kind of situation that causes dropouts. Take the time to meet several cats or kittens, several breeders, and why not several shelters to find your rare pearl. The commitment that you are going to make is a commitment over fifteen years, which will be wonderful if you find your feline soul mate!
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