Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Jan 18, 2015
When I first moved into my new apartment, I knew there was room for one more companion. Thing seemed so quiet, and who doesn't seek a little controlled (or not so controlled) chaos every now and then? That's when I started visiting Sven.
Sven is a shelter cat, and was six months old when I adopted him. First and foremost, it's important to realize the circumstances of shelter adoption. Regardless of how caring, clean and comfortable the shelter is, the cats are not receiving ideal treatment. Many of these cats are very old, incurably sick, ill-tempered or formally abused. However, many are not. Thoroughly check the cat's background before considering an adoption, and, more importantly, reflect on your level of commitment.
Sven immediately stood out to me as young, energetic, playful, affectionate and beautiful, with a gray-and-black tabby coat floating over a white fur base. He had black nose--a defining feature of his litter. Although I had considered adopting his much shier, mild-mannered sister, I ultimately knew I wanted a bit of a firecracker. The shelter owners explained to me that, much to my surprise, many kittens are returned or abandoned due to their playfulness or rebellion. It's important to recognize the impact of personality.
Now, as I mentioned, shelters can be disease-ridden. Sven's was no exception, and he contracted "cat herpes" before I adopted him. After doing extensive research and checking up on him, I decided to look past this, but I encourage anyone about to adopt to consult a vet about any illnesses. His health has not been compromised by it, but the side effects may resurface eventually.
Sven is a joy. He is personable, affectionate, cuddly, playful and a big troublemaker. Of course, his furry little soul means well, but it does require a level of patience and some common sense. I've learned the hard way not to place fragile items on counters, leave doors and drawers open, or put anything on the floor that I don't want destroyed. There are no real discipline problems.
This cat has a huge appetite and is very vocal when hungry, which is helpful. I use Iams dry food and Fancy Feast wet food, but have found that wet food does give him bouts of "cat acne," which you want to avoid. I take precautionary measures by cleaning his stainless steel bowls regularly, but the wet food on his face does give him an infection. I've tried topical treatment, but the best solution has been to stick to a predominantly dry food regime.
Kittens are excellent pets, but do require more attention and care than some may think. Before you adopt (which I suggest) a younger cat, be sure to consider personality and health. These are two huge variables that differ drastically from cat to cat.