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sk8pics
04-20-2010, 10:34 PM
Just seconding the good advice here to go to a shelter for the pet and an older one, or at least a young adult one rather than a puppy or a kitten, would probably be the best for your dad, given that he is older and hasn't owned a pet before. I did, too, read about some programs for senior citizens to adopt senior pets. Two of my three cats have come from the humane society, and both were very affectionate. I got them both as young adult cats and I think they were truly grateful to have a home and they were past the wild destructive kitten age. My third cat was found under the hood of a pickup truck as a kitten, and he really has been, um, let's say, high energy. :lol: He still rarely walks anywhere, instead he runs. Like a small elephant. :lol: It doesn't bother me, but a high energy animal like that could be grating for an older person.

Good luck! And let us know how it goes...

Rock2
04-20-2010, 11:37 PM
Be careful about getting dogs. It should be a mutt if anything. Most breeds that are more pure have issues (hard to train, act out, need constant stimulation, etc). In general though you can get a very large dog or like a bunny or hamster because they don't live long. Perfect in the event he doesn't grow to like the dang thing.

Or, you get the kinds of animals that don't need to be taken out at 5 am to relieve themselves and can also fend for themselves with a full dish and some water for 48 hours while you zip over to Vegas. That would be a cat. I'd go with that.

(Hard to believe I don't have kids?!!?!?!)

Japanfan
04-21-2010, 12:23 AM
In general though you can get a very large dog or like a bunny or hamster because they don't live long. Perfect in the event he doesn't grow to like the dang thing.


Not perfect at all. An older animal needs to be cared for and loved no less than a younger one. And older animals have less of a chance of being adopted if they are returned to a shelter because their owner decides they don't like them.

Anita18
04-21-2010, 12:33 AM
I have a cat and she is very little work. I scoop her litter box regularly which takes all of 2 minutes and change it completely about once a week, that takes all of 5 minutes. Her food and water bowls I just keep from being empty so I fill as needed. That might explain her rather large size. :shuffle: She was some work as a kitten, she needed a lot more attention but I would say her kitten stage still pales in comparison to any dog's puppy stage.

My boyfriend and I both want a dog but every time I am around someone elses dog, especially a puppy, I remember how thankful I am to not have one. They are NON stop and you have to constantly keep an eye on them when company is around because they will jump on their lap, try to eat their food, run off with their shoes, etc. None of this is a problem with a cat unless your cat is really social, then just maybe the cat might try to get in their lap. Even then, the cat isn't trying to jump up and down and bite their face.

Basically, a dog is so much work for someone who has never taken care of an animal, it might be a lot more work than they expect. A cat might be a better start OR perhaps adopt a dog who is a little older. This would be really nice for the dog and you would be past that puppy stage.
My mom thinks dogs are a billion times easier than kids. :lol: So if someone has had children, they could handle a dog, especially if the children are grown. But again, it depends on his activity level. Cats are very low-maintenance in comparison, especially older cats. The litter box thing isn't very hard at all, although it can be smelly. You'd have to do the same thing for a dog anyway. :lol: And some cats are aloof, some are affectionate. Some are aloof around some people but affectionate towards other people. They can be picky. :)

I think it's really important that your dad choose the pet. Even dogs will like individual people and not others at times. The kitten here normally loves everybody but she was scared to death of my best friend, which was mysterious since my friend is also petite and female and Asian like my roommate and me. :rofl: No explaining that one.

I highly recommend a shelter, especially ones that know their animals. You could ask them questions about a particular animal's personality and they could tell you. Breeders are $$$ and shelter animals are just as good as purebred ones, and they need homes.

danceronice
04-21-2010, 01:21 AM
My boyfriend and I both want a dog but every time I am around someone elses dog, especially a puppy, I remember how thankful I am to not have one. They are NON stop and you have to constantly keep an eye on them when company is around because they will jump on their lap, try to eat their food, run off with their shoes, etc. None of this is a problem with a cat unless your cat is really social, then just maybe the cat might try to get in their lap. Even then, the cat isn't trying to jump up and down and bite their face.

Conversely, cats walk wherever they want-food-prep surfaces, furniture, the bathroom counter. Dogs who jump, grab food, run off with shoes, etc. are just badly trained, not typical. And cats scratch. The only way to prevent it is declawing, and that is arguably cruel (vets will disagree) and ONLY for indoor-only cats--declawed cats outdoors are missing major survival tools.

I know some shelters will actually waive ALL fees when a senior citizen adopts a senior animal--worth checking out! I would be more leery of an older cat than an older dog, only in the sense of make SURE it is a house pet surrender/abandon, not a feral (though most shelters won't adopt those to normal homes anyway.) A feral kitten can turn into a decent pet, adult ferals may come with behaviors that you do not want. (At an adoption agency I got severely bitten by a "friendly" feral--he jumped in my lap while I was seated, and when I went to move him, he punched through my wrist. The agency was stunned when I came back and got a cat from them anyone--but not that one! He was not a bad cat, he was just not raised with people and not predictable.)

If there IS a group like that and you go for a cat, they're not a bad option--private groups that do adoptions often have more time to devote to getting to know each animal. I got one of my cats (I have three) from Merrimack River Feline Rescue. The application is a little more complicated and the fee higher (at the county shelter where I got my corgi I basically needed to have a driver's license and write the check) but they often know more about the animal. I got a six-month-old male, and while he was $175, he had all his kitten shots and had been neutered, and I got all the paperwork from his vet visits and where he came from (SPCA had seized him from a 'kitten collector.') He cost less for initial vetting than my new "free" kitten will when I have to get her spayed (she was dumped at our barn. I wasn't keeping her. Really.)

KHenry14
04-21-2010, 01:39 AM
Quick note on pet insurance. In my job I brought in pet insurance as an option for our employees, so I've looked at all the major players. The best is VPI www.petinsurance.com They have several coverage levels, including a cancer rider that you can buy. And the best part is that it's good at any Vet, there's no network.

However, they have a fair amount of restrictions and pre-existing conditions, so read the fine print.

But the most important thing to know as this insurance is great for when an animal gets hurt or sick. Dogs can be like goats and will eat anything, which obviously can make them sick. This insurance covers that. Also if your animal gets out and gets hit by a car, or gets bit by a snake, it covers that too.

Price varies alot, depending on the animal and the coverage level. Please note, they don't cover dogs older than 9 years old.

purple skates
04-21-2010, 03:42 AM
<snip>private groups that do adoptions often have more time to devote to getting to know each animal. <snip>

Not always. When we adopted the above mentioned Marilee, the Humane Society required that we bring our two dogs to meet her, as well as my son. They also did a cat test on her by taking her into a room with a couple of dog freindly cats to see how she reacted. We were required to give them our vet's information and they called them to verify that all of our animals were up to date on their vaccinations.

A few weeks after Marilee died, I found Shadow on Pet Finder. She was with a small rescue group. She and her sister were up for adoption, and they took first come, first served. We adopted Shadow, and a young family with two kids adopted her sister. This took place in less than 1/2 hour - they didn't ask for proof of vacinations or care of other pets. Unlike another small rescue that we adopted a dog from (our Humphrey), they didn't ask for a home visit.

I often wonder how Shadow's sister is faring. These were 5 month old German Shepherds with zero socialization - they lived in an outdoor run. Shadow had never seen steps, heard a door closing, or set foot inside a house. As I have learned since adopting her, Shepherds need massive amounts of socialization as well as a good amount of training. We have worked with her since we got her on these two things, but she still is afraid of strangers and growls/grumbles even when people she knows come over. If the other adoptive family didn't understand this about Shadow's sister, she may have ended up back in a shelter/rescue. :(

shiningstar
04-21-2010, 06:18 AM
Conversely, cats walk wherever they want-food-prep surfaces, furniture, the bathroom counter. Dogs who jump, grab food, run off with shoes, etc. are just badly trained, not typical. And cats scratch. The only way to prevent it is declawing, and that is arguably cruel (vets will disagree) and ONLY for indoor-only cats--declawed cats outdoors are missing major survival tools.

That's not true either. I have two very well trained cats who do not jump on counter tops and wait by the entrance to the living room until they are invited in. They know where they are allowed to claw and where they are not. Cats who do these things are just badly trained, or not trained as all. I think many cat owners just don't care if their cats jump on counters or claw furniture, or assume it comes with the territory of owning a cat.

genegri
04-21-2010, 06:35 PM
Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions! :encore:

Finally got a chance to read through everything. And now I am leaning toward a cat for dad. My reason for a dog was because it was likely more people-oriented and I thought a little walk in the park could do both of them tons of good. But I am thinking as this is his first pet, low maintainance is more important.

So a :cat: it is!

So I will talk to Dad. (my dad is the sort of person who avoids making the final decision unless he is 200% sure). He has always been a cat lover so I expect no objection.

Sounds like the easiest way to do it is just to visit a local shelter. So that's what we will do. (Is Humane society the same as a shelter? as you can see, we are pretty new to this) Anyone has any suggestions as to what to look for and what to watch out for before we set out? Any questions we need to ask the staff? Besides the obvious ones, cleanliness, friendliness, not aggressive, etc. I specially would like to know how to choose a healthy cat. I know there is no guarantee, but I will make an effort. I also would like to have the cat spayed or neutered and have all the shots done by the shelter. Is that standard, or something I have to ask? I don't mind paying a bit extra if that's what it comes to.

I don't want to decide on getting a kitten, a young adult, or an older cat, or a girl or a boy. I think we will just leave it to the right cat to choose us. Who knows, we might even come back with a dog! :dog::lol:

Neither I or dad is an impulsive buyer so I doubt we will come back with an animal on our first visit. I will probably have more questions to ask though! :D


TIA! :saint:

GarrAarghHrumph
04-21-2010, 06:53 PM
That's not true either. I have two very well trained cats who do not jump on counter tops and wait by the entrance to the living room until they are invited in. They know where they are allowed to claw and where they are not. Cats who do these things are just badly trained, or not trained as all. I think many cat owners just don't care if their cats jump on counters or claw furniture, or assume it comes with the territory of owning a cat.

Absolutely no need to declaw a cat, IMO. We trim our cat's nails - the vet can show you how - and provide him with scratching posts, as well as training. Scratching has not been an issue.

Training works. You absolutely can train a cat not to jump up on counters, if that's what you want to do.

Japanfan
04-21-2010, 11:31 PM
(Is Humane society the same as a shelter? as you can see, we are pretty new to this) Anyone has any suggestions as to what to look for and what to watch out for before we set out? Any questions we need to ask the staff? Besides the obvious ones, cleanliness, friendliness, not aggressive, etc. I specially would like to know how to choose a healthy cat. I know there is no guarantee, but I will make an effort. I also would like to have the cat spayed or neutered and have all the shots done by the shelter. Is that standard, or something I have to ask? I don't mind paying a bit extra if that's what it comes to.


The Humane Society and the SPCA are nation-wide. They have shelters for animals and adopt out pets, and are also involved in legislation and policing pertinent to animals.

There are many other shelters and rescue organizations but they tend to be location specific and tend to have a more narrow focus (i.e. just cats, just dogs, or a specific type of dog/cat breed). They are often involved in animal advocacy but don't have the legislative and enforcement power of the SPCA and the Humane Society.

You can find a cat to adopt at many shelters/rescue organizations and I would guess the prices are similar. All routinely spay and neuter pets for adoption and have their pets checked by vets. They also routinely provide the necessary shots and deworming.

I've heard that some rescue organizations can be extremely picky and difficult with regard to their adoption policies, so I'd recommend talking to a few of them about your reasons for adopting and health concerns. Then take a look at the available cats and spend some time with the ones that interest you - all places will want you to do that to ensure that you pick the cat that is right for you.

And involving your dad in the decision is necessary. Associations that adopt out animals are unlikely to adopt out a pet which is meant to be a gift to a third party because often the intended owner doesn't want the pet and it goes back to the shelter immediately or eventually.

Good luck. There are lot of cats available for adoption and needing homes - way more cats than dogs. And many cats are put to sleep because there is no way for shelters to accommodate the numbers.

Flatfoote
04-22-2010, 12:57 AM
Glad to hear you are starting off with a visit to the local shelter. Do they have a website, with pictures of adoptable animals? Our little girl Gidget first called out to me from her picture on the website. When we got there, sis wheeled Mom slowly by each kennel, and I went on ahead looking specifically for Gidget. She's a beautiful girl, and after going up an down many rows of kennels, I'd begun to assume she had already been snatched up. I finally went around the corner to find one more row of kennels, and there she was! I went back and got Mom, made her come see, and we arranged and meet/greet with Gidget to see how we took to each other. Gidget went right past me, ran over to Mom, jumped up on her lap and gave her a bunch of kisses. That sealed the deal. Mom said, "I want her." I figure she must have already known she'd snagged me by calling out to me over the Internet, so she knew she had to work on Mom to seal the deal.

The shelter needed 24 hours to process her out, so I had to wait till the next day to bring her home. We got her just in time too. As we were standing there with her filling out the paperwork, a family came in, saw her and said "is that Kash (her name while she was at the shelter). So apparantly they had come in looking for her specifically too. I was scared to death they'd give her to someone else during that 24 hour wait. But they assured me she was already taken off the adoptable list.

So really. Its all about what/who clicks at just the right time. We didn't rescue Gidget as much as she rescued us. Our last dear dog had passed just two weeks prior. And that two weeks with no dog in the house were two of the most miserable and excruciating weeks I ever endured.

MOIJTO
04-22-2010, 01:14 AM
Does he want a pet? Sometimes the best intentions can be the wrong decision.

StonewshMullet
04-22-2010, 06:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9f-6jygRJk