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Old 09-09-2009, 09:56 PM
 
698 posts, read 2,697,415 times
Reputation: 752

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Hi there,

Been away grieving and feeling sorry for myself. Not able to even read about cats.

But the sadness of losing our darling girl last Feb. is starting to fade. (Oh, except when I allow myself to remember.)

My daughters and I shop at Petco for our surviving cat's food and sometimes stop in to visit the homeless cats they keep in the back of the store and leave a donation.

Yes, they live in cages, which I feel is horrible, though these cats are better off where they are this moment then out on the streets, and they are not euthanized (unless they got sick, I'm sure.)

Well, we've seen one particular cat there several months, a lonely adult female. It struck me today just how long she has been there and made me want to adopt her.

My questions are:
What should I be concerned about?
Will she adapt to life in our home after so long in this life of confinement inside a retail store?
How has it affected her socialization skills?
How should I introduce her to our current cat, who lost her mother last Feb?
Will they fight to try establishing a dominant cat?

I'm sure they would certify her health re: things like shots, but what would I ask for to document her past and present care?

Whatever feedback you may be able to offer is most appreciated.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:08 PM
 
Location: San Diego North County
4,800 posts, read 8,310,708 times
Reputation: 3017
I'm not sure about Petco cats, but I have three shelter cats. I can't imagine my life without them. They each have their own special personalities and adapted to life with us after just a few days settling in period. They are all affectionate and sane--qualities I adore in my pets. In introducing them to each other, I just used the old "keep them separated by a door until they get used to the scent of each other" trick with all of mine. Worked like a charm.

They've even adjusted to and now completely ignore the new dog we brought home from the shelter three weeks ago. (We had her tested for cat compatibility first). She ignores them nearly as well as they ignore her.

When you adopt any animal that has once been stray, you never really know what you're going to get. However, my experience with shelter cats has shown me that most of all, they're just grateful to have a place to call home and a human to call their own.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,857 posts, read 62,217,366 times
Reputation: 19298
Ask to hold her and see how she responds to you. Mine (currently 4) have all been a little skittish at first, but soon fit into the household. Well, soon for one was about 6 months, but she just hid away and wouldn't sit out w/the others. Now she is senior statesman of the entire pet population and doesn't take any guff from anyone.

Yes, they will hsiss at each other, that's what cats do. But remember momma cats don't normally like to keep their kittens close after a few months - you had a good duo! - so your remaining one isn't going to compare this one to her mom.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:25 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,860 posts, read 33,140,984 times
Reputation: 22607
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadreamin View Post
Hi there,

Been away grieving and feeling sorry for myself. Not able to even read about cats.

But the sadness of losing our darling girl last Feb. is starting to fade. (Oh, except when I allow myself to remember.)

My daughters and I shop at Petco for our surviving cat's food and sometimes stop in to visit the homeless cats they keep in the back of the store and leave a donation.

Yes, they live in cages, which I feel is horrible, though these cats are better off where they are this moment then out on the streets, and they are not euthanized (unless they got sick, I'm sure.)

Well, we've seen one particular cat there several months, a lonely adult female. It struck me today just how long she has been there and made me want to adopt her.

My questions are:
What should I be concerned about?
Will she adapt to life in our home after so long in this life of confinement inside a retail store?
How has it affected her socialization skills?
How should I introduce her to our current cat, who lost her mother last Feb?
Will they fight to try establishing a dominant cat?

I'm sure they would certify her health re: things like shots, but what would I ask for to document her past and present care?

Whatever feedback you may be able to offer is most appreciated.
I adopted my Jimi after he had lived in a cage at the animal shelter for four months. He's retarded but I don't think there is a connection (I think he was already retarded when he went in). Anyway, he was very grateful and loving and he is a good little cat.

I'd definitely get the kitty if I were you. Poor thing.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Lemon Grove, CA USA
1,055 posts, read 3,922,789 times
Reputation: 952
I'd be worried about a kitten that spent the first four months of their life in a cage but to an adult cat that really isn't too damaging. It will be hard to be sure until the cat has spent some time in your house but I think she will be fine. As suggested ask to handle the cat to see if she seems ok to you.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Norwood, MN
1,828 posts, read 3,581,836 times
Reputation: 901
God bless you for caring!!!!!!!!!!! I would guess if you adopted her you would have a loyal, loving companion that would brighten your home and give your other cat a playmate!!!!!
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:23 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 7,737,317 times
Reputation: 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinadreamin View Post
Hi there,

What should I be concerned about?
Will she adapt to life in our home after so long in this life of confinement inside a retail store?
How has it affected her socialization skills?
How should I introduce her to our current cat, who lost her mother last Feb?
Will they fight to try establishing a dominant cat?

I'm sure they would certify her health re: things like shots, but what would I ask for to document her past and present care?
All good and valid questions.

Health-wise: make sure she's been spayed and fully vaccinated, routinely wormed and heartworm tested. She should also have/have had a FIV test.

Re her confinement in a store vs. getting a home... I think if you liken it to a person getting out of prison, that's not a bad analogy. In "prison" she's been fed, kept warm and dry and safe - maybe a modicum of attention when workers have time. Sure, a new place will be strange and a bit scary at first, but she'll get over that quickly once she realises she's "free".

The fact that your current cat's companion was her mother doesn't make any odds - the relationship would have been the same as any two cats that get along well . ALL cat introductions should follow a slow and precise plan so that it goes as smoothly as possible - i.e. swapping articles smelling of the other cat, etc. etc. There are lots of threads on this and lots of good advice. Do NOT be disheartened if they don't take to each other immediately - with some cats it just takes some time for them to sort it out.

I have never had female cats fight each other to establish dominance. Cats are not social animals - in the wild, they're usually solitary (lions being the notable exception) - so they don't have the pack or flock or herd mentality. Cats can live in a socially cohesive environment quite happily and very well, but it's a much looser hierarchy than it would be with, for example, dogs - it's more as if those that get along spend time together and those that do not or are more solitary in nature just go their own way.

I think the most important item by far is that you and your family feel you are truly ready to get a new cat. I, personally, cannot and do not ever put too much stock into how an animal in a shelter (or in this case a retail outlet) reacts. There's a huge stress factor to consider and animals will not react the same way they will once they're in a more stable, more "normal" environment.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:39 AM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 40,165,142 times
Reputation: 22141
I'm guessing she goes home with a foster at the end of the day. So, she may not be caged for as long as you think. Also, being out in the store, with all the people and noises might have just helped her and she may not be all that skittish. As mentioned, ask to hold her and start from there. Then address all the medical questions. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Just west of the Missouri River
822 posts, read 1,531,500 times
Reputation: 1350
Wink Just funnin' (kind of)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
I adopted my Jimi after he had lived in a cage at the animal shelter for four months. He's retarded but I don't think there is a connection (I think he was already retarded when he went in). Anyway, he was very grateful and loving and he is a good little cat.

I'd definitely get the kitty if I were you. Poor thing.

20yrsinBranson
I'm curious. How can you tell your cat is retarded? An IQ test? My own kitty is real good at being a cat, but he doesn't do anything I could describe as intellectual. Should I be embarrassed for him?
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:16 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,860 posts, read 33,140,984 times
Reputation: 22607
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeluvr View Post
I'm curious. How can you tell your cat is retarded? An IQ test? My own kitty is real good at being a cat, but he doesn't do anything I could describe as intellectual. Should I be embarrassed for him?
OMG if you knew him, you wouldn't have to ask. Let me give you one brief example.

We live in a mobile home and we have a looooong hallway which leads to our bathroom and bedroom. Jimi will be sitting on our kitchen table, in full view of the hallway. And he will WATCH my husband go down the hallway. 10 seconds later he "hears" something. (my husband, of course), and he will get all "puffed up" and get the "big eyes" and "long neck" and stare in the direction of the hallway with great fear and apprehension. Obviously, having forgotten what happened just moments before.

It's really kind of pathetic.

20yrsinBranson
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