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Discussion Starter #1
I have practically no hands-on cat experience and was hoping you could provide me with some been there done that feedback!

Ex is getting DS#2 a cat (or kitten)…but the cat (or kitten) will be residing in MY home so I’m doing the research and have final say in the age as well as where the cat (or kitten) is purchased while he’s footing the bill for the initial purchase. If the cat (or kitten) ends up being free Ex is still giving me a max. of $150 because there will be other costs.

So I’ve narrowed it down to:

1) Getting a young free kitten from someone in the neighborhood (strangers)…no shots (not sure of cost of kitten wellness visit at the vet) and certainly not spayed/ neutered (kitten spay/ neutering $393.51)

2) Getting a kitten (under 1 year) from our local humane society ($205) which includes shots and spay/ neutering.

3) Getting an adult cat by answering an ad in the paper…this cat could be free or could have a cost and it could be spayed/neutered already but if not spaying is $453.53 and neutering is $288.07, plus the cost of shots.

4) Getting a cat (over 1 year) from our local humane society ($150) which includes shots and spay/ neutering.

I will not own a pet that is not “fixed” and I would want to do it as soon as safely possible.

Clearly I have very different $ costs between the above options. Also, what about any issues that each age range has and potential behavioral issues?

Talk to me peeps! I’m desperate for feedback from people that have traveled down this road before!!!!
 

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First of all you can always check with a local vet to see if they have any cats (kittens) that need a home. They may even know other people who need a home for their pet.

Kittens will cost more as far as initial shots and getting it spayed/neutered. My vet gives county certificates to reduce the cost of spay/neutering if the pet comes from a shelter.

I only took in one full grown cat. She was the best and had the most personallity of all the cats I have owned. I usually get kittens. Two kittens at the time since they tend to keep each other company and out of trouble. But kittens can be more of a handful since you have to keep an eye on them and train them as far as what they can do. Mine basically know the words, no, out, and treats. So they know the closets and bathroom are off limits and will come out of them if I say out.

Many times the shelters or rescues can tell you the personality of a cat before you purchase one. When you first bring home the cat make a safe area for them like a room where they can get used to the smells and you can close the door so they have some quiet time while adjusting. Make sure to place the litter box in a quiet area so they are comfortable using it. Also make sure to find out what type of food they are used to eating. You can change it later on but you really don't want the cat having trouble getting used to everything plus getting used to new food.

You also want to know if you want clawed or front declawed cat. Many times you can get front declawed cats. I know it is a sore subject but it is something to think about. If you go for claws make sure you have good tall scratching posts for the cat to use. Otherwise you will not enjoy your cat as much as you want. My vet said it was one of the main reasons people get rid of their cat.

All in all my cats keep me company and make me laugh at times.

I tend to treat them more like dogs so they tend to act more like dogs. During treat time I tell them to sit. They sit and patiently wait as they take turns eating treats. One cat I even would walk on a leash and on occasion would let her sit in the front seat of the cat. She had her leash on. It was funny seeing peoples reactions because she would stand on the arm rest and look out the window while I was driving. She had the most personality out of all of them plus she was really smart. I would say naps and she would jump on the bed and go to sleep with me. I would say donut and she would go nuts waiting for a small piece of donut. Saying walks would make her scream and run to the front door. Saying ball would mean I would throw a small ball and she would run and retreive it.

Let us know what you decide to do. If you get a cat make sure to ask if it uses the litter box. So many times people get rid of their cat because it doesn't. Usually it is because of a bladder infection that the cat does not use the litter box.
 

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Sure is expensive to adopt a pet there. Here's the shelter we got Riley & Daisy from. I've only adopted a kitten from our shelter and they're a handful when little but also lots of fun. Your kids are old enough to behave around pets and help with the play and care of whatever age you get. The older ones are often more mellow and be sure to ask many questions about the particular cat you are interested in. They all have such different personalities and where one cat tolerates handling and small children, another will not. Some like dogs others so not. Wherever you get your pet I commend you for being insistant on it being fixed. Bravo and have fun, cats are something special indeed. :paw:
 
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I definitely recommend #4 of your options, and not just because of the lower price tag. :)

Most importantly, with cats, it's nearly impossible to know what kind of personality a kitten will grow up to have. All kittens are cute, and most are cuddly, but they can still grow up to be aloof and standoffish. However, if you adopt an adult (1 year plus), then you can see what you are getting by spending a bit of time with the cat.

If the humane society/animal shelter will let you (and I strongly believe they should) hang out with potential adoptees and see who approaches you and sits in your lap. That's the adult cat that you want to consider.

Another thing to think about (but I understand if this isn't a priority), is that kittens have no trouble getting adopted (that cute factor) but adult cats have an (unjustifiably) harder time.

Good luck with your decision and enjoy your new cat. One more bit of advice: check out your area for discount clinics (here, they are called V.I.P. and show up weekly at local pet supply stores) for low cost vaccinations and other treatments, for the future.

Kara
 

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as a cat owner I recommend a dog.

If you already have cats you know exactly what I am talking about. Dogs love you from day 1 unconditionally, cats are pretty sure you are their servents or prison guards, one or the other.

I had a couple of full grown cats that just took up with us and I have had a couple of kittens. We too got them fixed as quickly as possible. All had their own personalities and problems to overcome and I would consider neither better than the other.

I recommend a shelter animal or one that will be going there. Just seems silly to let an animal die when you are looking to give one a good home.

Good luck and let us know the stories, I am sure they will be awesome.
 

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I definitely recommend #4 of your options, and not just because of the lower price tag. :)

Most importantly, with cats, it's nearly impossible to know what kind of personality a kitten will grow up to have. All kittens are cute, and most are cuddly, but they can still grow up to be aloof and standoffish. However, if you adopt an adult (1 year plus), then you can see what you are getting by spending a bit of time with the cat.

If the humane society/animal shelter will let you (and I strongly believe they should) hang out with potential adoptees and see who approaches you and sits in your lap. That's the adult cat that you want to consider.

Another thing to think about (but I understand if this isn't a priority), is that kittens have no trouble getting adopted (that cute factor) but adult cats have an (unjustifiably) harder time.

Good luck with your decision and enjoy your new cat. One more bit of advice: check out your area for discount clinics (here, they are called V.I.P. and show up weekly at local pet supply stores) for low cost vaccinations and other treatments, for the future.

Kara
ITA. Check with your Shelter too to see if local vets offer discounted prices for vacc's if you adopt a shelter cat. Here some do. It can't hurt to ask.
 
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I agree with an older shelter cat. I've had extremely good luck with adult shelter pets. You pretty much know what you're getting and they are so thankful for a home...they bond pretty quickly. Another thing with shelter animals.....do a walk through and see which cat responds to your daughter....let the pet pick her!
 

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I also agree with an older shelter cat. There are some truly wonderful cats to be found that way. I too think one of the most important things is that you can get a better feel for the personality of the cat. If the cat has been fostered with someone you will be able to get even more information.

Cats have extremely different personalities and getting an adult cat, you will have a better chance of getting a good match. But then, I've rarely met a cat, of any personality, that I didn't end up loving.

As for the claw issue, if the cat will be allowed outside, don't get a declawed cat. He/she will need those claws in the big outside world.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the feedback!

I'm glad to see that an adult cat from the local shelter (no kill BTW) is what the majority are recommending...it's what I was leaning towards from the beginning! I just think a cat is a better fit with my family...we're a small unit but we're very busy and kind of loud and out there hahaha! We’ll def have to make sure that we look at a cat that isn't shy but not prone to being high-strung in a busy environment either. With a baby kitten I'd be worried that we wouldn’t provide enough training time to the little one. I know there will be some training with an adult cat (us training it and it training us) but for the most part training has already been done.
 

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those prices you have for spay/neuter are insane? i had my cat neutered by a regular vet last spring and it was hundred bucks...check your numbers please.

i vote for older cat.

my cats are tremendous companions, always at my side. if i move to another location, they move too.
 

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those prices you have for spay/neuter are insane? i had my cat neutered by a regular vet last spring and it was hundred bucks...check your numbers please.

i vote for older cat.

my cats are tremendous companions, always at my side. if i move to another location, they move too.
LOL! No need to check my numbers since I just got them yesterday...think about it my local shelter charges $205 for a stray kitten or $150 for a stray cat (you don't want to know what they charge for puppies or dogs)! Seriously though I called quite a few vets in my area and they were all around the same price give or take (spays are overnight stays and an adult cats reproductive organs require a bit more). Now if I get them spayed/neutered through the city run spay/neuter clinic it would be cheaper but there are things that I would need to consider...there is a clear difference in the medical treatment/ care of animals that have surgery at a private vet office/ hospital vs the city program (different meds and more of an assembly line production with no standard overnight stay for females etc...). And then the biggest thing for me is the waiting list...I do not want to wait months to get an appointment. DO NOT GET ME WRONG THE CITY RUN SPAY/ NEUTER CLINIC PROVIDES PROPER MEDICAL SERVICES IT'S JUST LESS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO CUT THINGS IN ORDER TO OFFER THESE PROCEDURES FOR LESS THAN THE PRICE OF PRIVATE FACILITIES (same thing with human health care right?).
 

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I just adopted an older kitten/near cat from Petsmart. The cats here have spent time at foster homes, and the moms/dads are quite informative about the animal. Also. they have an area where you and the cat can get to know each other, and decide if you're a good fit. They also have toys available to help you figure out just how playful the kitty is. My cat was $65, included all shots and was already neutered.
 

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I haven't read all of the other comments, but IMHO I would adopt an adult from the shelter.

Reasons:

1. adults don't tend to get adopted as quickly as kittens, therefore, may be euthanized more quickly

2. adult cats will appreciate you.

3. adult cats will cost less with initial vet expenses.

4. adult cats typically won't climb up your curtains or scratch up your sofa.

5. you will already know an adult cats personality. what you see is what you get. :D

that's all I can think of at the moment....
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I just adopted an older kitten/near cat from Petsmart. The cats here have spent time at foster homes, and the moms/dads are quite informative about the animal. Also. they have an area where you and the cat can get to know each other, and decide if you're a good fit. They also have toys available to help you figure out just how playful the kitty is. My cat was $65, included all shots and was already neutered.
Our shelter houses some cats and kittens that have already done the foster program at various Petsmarts here too (all shelter cats and dogs have to go through a foster program before being adopted). For some reason the minute a shelter pet hits a Petsmart the cost goes up another $50-$100 depending! I'm not 100% sure why that is but Petsmart kitties here would NEVER NEVER NEVER be in that price range and heck you're probably only 3-4 hours away from me!
 

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Too bad you arent closer, I have the perfect cat for you! Hes one of the lastest one that got dumped, a male, fixed and adores kids. I would give him to you free, if you promise to take care of him and love him forever.

I would also suggest an adult cat, Kittens are fun but take alot of time. Adults are fun, but still need their naps. I would also let the cat pick you if you can. You will know when you have the right one.

None of my cats have had a problem inside with claws. I have 5 inside. Our kitten, ( 19 years ago ) was trained with a squirt bottle filled with water, it only took a couple times and it stopped. Around here you cant get vets to declaw, they are trying to make it illegal. You can clip thier nails or buy nail protectors.

The prices you have sound right for around here. Right now alot of places are doing a half price sale, there are way too many of them. Good Luck!
 
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