Ah, a good question. We’ve found that choosing a cat is often more a matter of the heart than the head. Some people come to us with a list of characteristics they want in a new pet (short hair, not too old, etc.), and end up falling in love with someone unexpected. The most important thing to consider in a cat is its personality. Does it get along with other cats? With dogs? Is it all right being alone during the day or does it always need company? Is it a lap cat, or more of an independent soul? Luckily, at CCCC we’re familiar with every cat’s personality because we’ve lived with them, and can guide you to a good match. After all, we love the important people in our lives regardless of their looks…The best thing to do when looking for a cat is to decide on what personality traits matter most to you, and keep an open mind on everything else. True love works in mysterious ways…
A toy cat? Just kidding. The fact is, research has shown that most children under the age of 7 have significant trouble telling the difference between a small animal and a toy. Young kittens and young children can be a bad combination– for both the kitten and the child. Kittens also don’t always know what’s appropriate– biting and scratching is natural behavior for them, especially if provoked. Even the best-behaved, well-supervised children don’t always know what’s appropriate, and we’ve seen some tragic results of it. We recommend that families with children under 7 adopt a slightly older cat, or even a full-grown adult. One of the greatest benefits of adopting an adult cat is that you can be sure of its personality.
No! If you adopt a young male cat who has been neutered at two or three months of age (see below), 90% of the chance that he will be a “sprayer” has been wiped out.
The truth is, female cats spray too. If you are one of the unlucky few with a spraying cat of either sex, you should speak to your vet about what factors in the cat’s environment may be causing this behavior. Cats spray when they feel threatened or insecure, thus heightening their territorial instincts, and there may be something going on in your home that’s responsible. We’ve heard stories about cats spraying when a new baby arrives in the family, or after a move. This kind of behavior is most likely correctable. The bottom line is, if your cat was neutered and gets plenty of love and attention, your chances of having a spraying problem are very slim.
The conventional wisdom from years past is that you can’t spay or neuter a cat until it’s six months old. By this time, unfortunately, kittens can reproduce! Kittens can start reproducing as early as four months and have up to three litters a year! Early age spay/neuter sterilizes animals before they can reproduce, and that’s why it’s one of the best methods for eliminating pet overpopulation. It allows us to make sure that no cat leaves our hands before it gets “the big fix”.
In addition to reducing pet overpopulation, spay/neuter positively affects pets by decreasing aggression, reducing a male cat’s urge to spray urine and mark territory, and lowering the risk of cancer.
Are there risks? Well, studies have proven that spay/neuter does not adversely affect the physical or behavioral health of an animal. In our work, we’ve seen that 8-week old kittens recover very quickly from the operation and continue to grow and thrive.
Well, that depends on the cats. Contrary to popular belief, two male cats will not necessarily fight each other to the death. Cats that have lived on the streets and have had to defend themselves will be more aggressive once rescued and placed in a home. But male cats that have lived previously with other male cats should be more inclined to accept a new male companion.
Two males who are raised together will be attached at the hip. If you have an adult male, you should be able to bring in a male kitten without any trouble. Keep in mind, however, that there are some cats both male and female who will not tolerate any others, and need to be “only children”.
Again, it depends on the cats. Every animal is different and this has been done– quite often– with success. If you have an adult female cat and are looking to adopt another female, a kitten is your safest bet. Two female kittens raised together should be fine as well.
When bringing in a new adult cat, conventional wisdom and our experience has shown that the male/female combination is the best. We would also like to stress that when you bring any new cat into your existing situation, there is always an adjustment period. It can take minutes, hours, days, week, or months. But if you give all your animals plenty of love, nurturing, and attention, they will figure out the logistics of their relationship as only nature can. See our Welcome Home information on how to introduce a new cat into your household.