General Question

lillycoyote's avatar

When should I get new cats?

Asked by lillycoyote (24810points) July 11th, 2009

I guess I sort of already know the answer to this one. When I’m ready. Here’s the deal. One night, almost 21 years ago I adopted two kittens: Bugsy who was about 8 weeks and Casper who was about 11 weeks. Bugsy died about three years ago at 18 and Casper died about 2 months ago at almost 21. I’m a little biased, I know, but they were about the greatest cats a person could ever want. Smart, funny, sweet, playful, mischievous, affectionate to a fault and loyal and forgiving. I miss them a lot and they can never be replaced, but this is the first time in over twenty years, and one of the few times in my life that I have been without companion animals. I figure either I will find the right cats or the right cats will find me. But I really miss having animals, particularly cats around. On the other hand, I am free of the worry and bother of having to board my animals while I travel for a few days or even longer. Anyone have any experience losing a beloved pet and dealing with getting another or others? How did you know when it was the right time? How did you found the right animal(s)?

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18 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Spend some time without having cats to care for so you can experience what it’s like. Then if you decide you want to go and adopt another cat then you’ll know you’re ready.

Jeruba's avatar

I am in the same position. Except for my college years and another very short stretch of time, I lived with cats from the age of 11 up through last September. That’s a period of many decades. The last one took a very difficult, long, lingering path out of this world, and I know we are nowhere near ready to start again. But I miss him. I still trip over his shadow on the kitchen floor. I still hear him scratch at the screen door. I still jump when I hear a cat yowl in the yard.

For a long time I said “Our next cat is going to be a dog.” But I don’t think so. We are confirmed cat people, and one day another will find its way to us.

In the meantime, it is after all a relief to have a house without a sandbox, to leave home without making special arrangements, to be able to let the steak or chicken sit safely on the dining table for a few minutes before or after a meal, and to lay a scarf or wool sweater or warm clean towels on the bed knowing nothing awful is going to happen to them.

You do already know the answer. And if you are asking, you’re not ready yet. One day you will be. And then your new pets won’t be substitutes for your dear former pets but brand new family members who are only themselves.

gottamakeart's avatar

It seems to me you’re ready for another cat now, shelters everywhere pretty much have more than they can handle, so adopting is a great option (I’ve had perfectly nice shelter cats) ..and cats tend to pick out people, the right one will probably approach you.

But us cat people already know that :)

angelic_fire_hazzard55555's avatar

about 4 years ago my mothers cat died i had known this cat my whole life and i wanted a new one because they are my favorite animals and my parents said no until one day a little kitten showed up on our door step in the middle of a snow storm and we have had the little girl since i just adore her and she wont let me go to sleep unless she is on my bed and i have pet her. i guess what i am trying to tell you is that when you are ready for a new kitty it will find you not necisarily in the way mine found me but maybe go to a few pounds or go look at some kittens im sure that if its the right cat for you it will choose you no need to choose it

wildpotato's avatar

You could always foster a kitty or two to find out if you are ready. It’s kitten season right now, and many kittens (especially the orphans) are going directly onto euthanasia lists without even stopping in the viewing room :( Maintaining the state of mind necessary to let these little guys pass out of your life is hard, but it’s worth it to save the cats. And you never know, your new best friend might find you this way.

Darwin's avatar

If you have to ask, you aren’t ready.

Jeruba's avatar

@wildpotato, what does it mean to foster a cat? Do you give them back, and when and why? What happens to them after that?

Darwin's avatar

@Jeruba – You raise and socialize a cat or a group of kittens so that it eventually can be placed for adoption with a loving family. This helps the cat become more desirable as a pet because it is used to being in a human home, and it also helps the shelters because they don’t have to provide the space and manpower to care for the animals.

Yes, you do give them back, but generally it is when there is a prospective permanent home for them. As to why, if you don’t give back all the cats you have fostered you could end up with 200 cats in one small apartment.

wildpotato's avatar

@Jeruba yup, Darwin got it. The way it works here in NYC, the AAC overflows with cats and gives as many as possible to various foster organizations (most are listed on petfinder.com), who in turn dole them out to their participating fosters. You take care of the cat, get her spayed, bring her to the vet, and post about her on craigslist and bring her to adoption events when you have time.

Jeruba's avatar

Don’t people like to raise their own kittens? I thought the older a cat got, the less likely it would be placed with an adoptive family. That’s kind of what I mean by “why?”—why does someone want to have his or her cat raised by someone else? I think I am missing something.

Darwin's avatar

The alternative would be not being able to provide care for the kittens at all, so euthanasia becomes a necessity.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, so the point is to buy them time to be adopted?

wildpotato's avatar

Yup. The ones that come into the AAC are almost always street cats or from cat “hoarders”. I generally try to foster the older ones and the sick cats, because they will almost certainly be put down before an adopter can be found. I saved an awesome 10-year old recently; he’s the smartest cat I ever met and everyone at the pound just loved him, so they kept him in the back room until a foster could squeeze him in.

Darwin's avatar

Yes, in large part, that is precisely it. It also lets the shelters stretch their dollars and workers further.

There are way too many animals available for adoption. I know people who honestly seem to believe that animals are some kind of object, so when it gets boring or inconvenient you just drop it off at a shelter.

wildpotato's avatar

@Darwin oh yeah, it’s just sick around here. People think that it’s not a big deal to move to an apartment building that won’t accept their animal, not knowing or not caring that it’s a death sentence. Or how about the dog people who say, “He just got too big for my apartment”, or “I didn’t realize that he would actually need my attention and have so much energy”.

Darwin's avatar

@wildpotato – It happens here, too. One of my neighbors has a hole in his fence so his Chihuahua keeps getting out. To fix the problem he didn’t repair the fence; instead he tied a bucket on a rope to the dog’s collar. And I currently have five dogs and seven cats, all rescues.

casheroo's avatar

I think fostering might be a great option for you. It’ll help you get adjusted and help cats that desperately need homes.
I think you might need more time. I’ve had cats all my life, and losing one is very very difficult, so I’m sorry for your loss. I have two cats with my husband and they were our first babies…I want them to live forever :(

Val123's avatar

So..hon…got cats?

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