When you are ready to adopt a Refuge cat, its best to leave preconceived ideas aside and come with an open mind and an open heart. Adopting a cat means opening your home to a living creature with its own needs, emotions and fears. It means sharing the road together. The best adoptions are when people feel touched by one of the Refuge cats and fall in love, often with a cat that isn't anything like the one they had in mind. And it's these people who write or call us afterwards to say thanks and let us know how the cat they adopted is marvelous and gives them so much joy. These are cats that chose their "people" and not the opposite. Cats can be quite sensitive to your emotions. As well, we know our cats very well since they all live in foster homes.
Adult or kitten?
Many people want little kittens around two months old. But at this age, it is much too soon to separate a kitten from its mother. It needs several more weeks with her as she still has many things to teach it. There is also the risk that kittens separated too early from their mother can develop behavioral problems.
You also have to realize that a kitten in the house is not necessarily a picnic. It's true that they are adorable when you see them in their cage, but you may change your mind when that kitten decides to play at 3 in the morning, nibbling your toes or when he overturns your plants and climbs your curtains. A kitten, like a child, needs to be educated and it can take several months before they are old enough to understand what they can and cannot do. During that time, you need a lot of patience so think seriously before adopting a young kitten. Virtually all cats like to be cuddled and petted but, as they grow up, their personalities can change and they may not stay like that. Certain kittens become quite independent as they grow up and they may prefer to interact with you in other ways than snuggling.
A young cat, between 6 months and 1 year, provides an interesting option. While they are still very active, the may be less likely to get into mischief and they are of an age to understand what we except of them.
It is surprising how many people do not want to consider adopting an adult cat, especially since this prejudice is completely unfounded. While its true that an adult cat can take more time to adapt to a new environment than a kitten, with a bit of patience, this adaptation can go very well. An adult cat is already grown up and calmer but that doesn't mean it won't want to play. A young adult is still full of energy and the advantage of adopting an adult is that these cat, which have often been abandoned or led a difficult life, are highly appreciative and know how to show it. Since cats can live for 16 or 17 years and even more, adopting a cat who is already 2 or 3 will still give you a companion for many long years. Another advantage is that we know the personalities of these grown up cats and they are not likely to change much over time.
Which one to choose: male or female? Long hair or short?
Here again, people have preconceived notions. Cats which have not been sterilized are more aggressive and often won't tolerate other cats, but two females or two males which have been sterilized can get along very well together. It depends on their personality. To be sure, dominant cats, either male or female, are less tolerant of other cats but they may adapt very well to a cat that is quieter and more docile. It's truly a question of personality and not sex. Cats, like humans get along well with some people and not so well with others. Some people claim males are more affectionate and others say the opposite. Again, it's more a question of personality than sex.
If you want a cat, you have to understand that whether it has long or short hair, it is going to shed. The loss of hair depends on the season, the cat's diet, its emotional state as well as genetics. If you opt for a long-haired cat, you will have to brush it regularly.
But at the end of the day, what is most important is a good tug on the heartstrings. You need to "click" with the cat that you are going to take home and we often hear on adoption days "I think I have just fallen in love".