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Rolan Tripp DVM
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- Pet Selection-

Selecting a Cat While Visiting The Shelter
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Here are some tests to perform when selecting a cat:

1) First, walk through and simply LOOK at every cat that is available for adoption. Observe your first impression to see if you have an immediate "love at first sight" experience. Based on this first pass, determine which cats you wish to test.
2) Pay particular attention to the coat length, pattern and condition. The longer the coat, the more grooming is needed, but usually the more beautiful the cat. Many veterinarians feel that tabby cats (any color) tend to be better hunters and more loving, while calico cats are more temperamental. In general, the attraction to a particular color or pattern is personal preference.
3) Next go to each cage, and stand outside. See if the cat recognizes your presence, and how they respond. Avoid cats who are fearful. Many cats will hiss or threaten as first response, then settle down after several seconds when they realize you pose no threat. Look for a cat to approach the front of the kennel and want to be petted.
4) If the cat responds aggressively, try the "lovey eyes" test. While still standing outside the kennel, relax your body, and half close your eyes the way cats do when they are very relaxed. Talk to the pet in gentle murmurings, and avoid any "S" sounds since hissing is a threat. If the cat does respond by settling down and becoming calmer, keep this cat as a candidate.
5) Bring a cat toy like a string or something that might elicit play. Test the cat's response, and give credit to a cat that is playful. A playful cat is entertaining, and easier to exercise indoors with toys. One disadvantage is that a playful cat is more likely to knock over expensive household items.
6) For cats that are still in the running, take the cat out if allowed by the personnel. Attempt to hold the cat, and observe if the cat accepts human companionship, or simply tries to get away.
7) If the cat can be held easily, observe for purring. How quickly does the cat purr? How loud? How long? In general the more purring the better the personality.
...::::::: Copyright 2000-Present  All Rights Reserved by Rolan Tripp, DVM  and Susan Tripp, MS, Animal Behavior Network and Associates :::::::...