Bonding with a pet

coolmamaJanuary 2, 2007

Any time I have bought or adopted an animal,the people who work at these places always make me feel rushed.I dont feel like I get to know the animal enough before I'am being pressured to make a life descion.

Petsmart that where I live takes cats from a last chance shelter and holds them until they are adopted,which is a wonderful thing.You pay money,but what you are paying for is boarding fees,the deworming,FIV tests,and in alot of cases neutering/spaying in one pretty good price.

Yet,there is no area to be able to take the cat ut and bond with it.They assume you will just take it on how it looks.I think more people would adopt if they made it easier to bond to with the animal.

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It is the same way at our Petsmart. I think they only have so many volunteers to handle the onslaught of people wanting to adopt on weekends. The woman who runs our Petsmart adoption is like drill seargeant and I think it is probably necessary. They don't want someone sneaking off with a pet...

That said, I don't think you really bond with your pet at the time of adoption. I didn't even bond (my definition of initial bonding) with my dogs from my breeder for at least a day.

It would be nice to have more time, but even if you go to someone's home to adopt from a private litter, there really isn't a whole lot of time for you to spend making up your mind.

I feel like these days, life just seems to move faster, decisions seemed to be made quicker and we move on to the next task at hand?

If you need more time, visit a couple of times. Ask the person who runs the program to consider putting a pet on a 3 day "hold", calling you if there is another interested person and you can decide by visiting with the pet 3 times for short periods before committing? I know the paperwork at Petsmart takes at least a week to complete anyway.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 5:47AM
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I think the easiest place in the world to adopt from is one of the nearby county shelters. They give you as much time as you want with the animals in a private area and you can visit as many times as you want it would seem, walk the dog through the facility and so forth. The staff leaves you alone. Definitely not as convenient as petsmart, location-wise but the animals need help desperately as the clock is ticking.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 11:31AM
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The shelters that work with Petsmart in my area allow for a probationary period after you take the pet home. I wonder if others do as well, I wouldn't have known about this had I not asked.

I once adopted a dog from a Petsmart rescue. I remember they let me take the dog outside and walk around with it. That was what really "sold" me, I really got to see his personality.

It's too bad this option isn't avaliable in your area. :-(

With that said, I feel that the true bonding with the pet is done over the following weeks after they are brought home and trust between you two begins to develop.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 4:12PM
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My second oldest cat was the last one I got who wasn't rescued. I got her from a private home in the paper. Mother cat was there and was an indoor but for some reason not neutered , got out and nailed by a near by tom. There were six tiger kittens and they were all cuter than the other but very young. The people were nice but it was husband who said..'lets go..I'm hungry..hurry up and pick' like I was picking out a pair of socks..She will be 15 this year so it's a decision which takes a awhile. Our Petsmart has no area to be private but our Superpetz used to have a big room where you could interact with the animals and it worked out well when my daughter adopted her "Sid", who is a wonderful cat.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 1:56AM
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The Petsmart near me has a private room where you can meet and greet with the cats/dogs. I thought they all did.....They have cats from the county animal control at all times and then do dogs on special weekends. The cats are in glass cages that are permanent, not in wire crates like the dogs that are brought in.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 8:22PM
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I think I will adopt next time from a shelter then...but their hours kinda suck is all. Husband doesnt usually get home until 6pm and I think they close around then.
I just...never want a animal/cat based on looks,since I take it as a lifetime commitment,I want one whose personality matches ours.If you are only with them a few minutes,how you can really know it's right.
You know,one person can have a pet and it not really work out.Then the pet goes to someone else and it is a dream relationship.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 5:14AM
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I really wonder how much you can bond with a cat truly at either situation. At a shelter, what if the animal is scared or sad - can you really tell what it will be like in a loving home? I don't think I could tell my three cat's personalities from the short encounters there. You may be able to tell some basics of course, but cat's can be hard to predict when they are unhappy - they may be truly friendly but not appear so at all in a shelter.

I think adams has said it well: With that said, I feel that the true bonding with the pet is done over the following weeks after they are brought home and trust between you two begins to develop

I don't think from a short encounter, I could tell that my first cat would be a loving teady bear, that my second cat would be a odd flirty cat, although I could predict that my third cat would be a little more solitary - but I think that is because he was separated from the others for 12 weeks of his life when we first brought him home.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 1:49PM
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I also agree that it takes much longer than a few minutes or hours to bond with a pet. I had a golden who was bossy and contrary as a pup, and it took months for me to bond with her... For awhile, I actually didn't like her and was afraid I'd made a mistake. But by about 6 months, we were inseparable, and it broke my heart when she died.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 2:14PM
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our petsmart will let you take the pet out of the cage and play with it right there, but there is really not much space, plus the cages are right there, and how could you choose one with all those other hopeful kitty faces staring at you? our Humane society is great, in fact they always have at least one sometimes two just roaming around outside of the cages. I adopted a cat one time that they had had for 6 months outside of the cages, I thought at the time that I hoped that they would then take another cat from the cages to roam around like she did:)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:31AM
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Well,you may not be able to tell how the cat would act in a loving home,but you can tell if it likes you or not.
One time this cat clung to me for dear life and when I went to put him back he started meowing and crying. Needless to say,you can bet that cat was coming home with me that night!
If you take a cat out who is hissing at you or something,that may not be the cat you want to take home.
At my Petsmart there is never any help for those cats and yet tons of people standing around.I have almost thought of working there myself just to assist the cats.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:36AM
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Yes you are right you may not be able to tell if the animal likes you. This past summer we adopted a kitten (my DD) and when we went to the center, the woman steered us away from the cage with the little black kitten. I personally love black cats and lost one many years ago to kidney disease. I asked her why she wasn't showing him to us, was he spoken for. No, just didn't think you would like him too much. He is shy and will hide in the back of the cage when people come in. Well, yes, he hid, he was scared. We brought that cat home, despite my daughter's hesitation and worry over the first few weeks, the cat has become the most loveable, beautiful, fluffy tuxedo cat.

He is shy and won't wander thru the house when we have guests. He is not a bit afraid of the dogs or the other cats. He absolutely loves my daughter. It is as if they have an ambilical cord running from one another. When she gets home from school and he hears her voice, he comes running downstairs and sits by her side until bedtime when he sleeps sometimes on her head. Other times he just sleeps so close to her that if she moved he would be under her:)).

All I am saying is don't pass up the shy cat. You can really develop the personality of an animal with much love and affection. We spent the better part of two months reassuring this kitten, giving it all kinds of attention, playing with him. We/she really worked hard and her hard work paid off. She has learned a valuable lesson as well. Pets like people are not always what the seem upon first glance.

I think had we not taken him, he probably wouldn't have been adopted out because of the prejudice of the worker claiming he was anti-social and didn't like people....

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 7:10AM
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labmomma - a perfect example. I think that I too would go for the poor shy cat!! I know our cats are quite different around strangers than they with their family. Bo our oldest will actually hiss if someone he doesn't know picks him up - but he is the biggest teddy bear I've ever seen and a great lap cat. As you say, it takes time to build up a relationship. The shy cats or even sometimes the hissing cats can be the most affectionate ones in the long run.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:15PM
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I'm with quirky...I made a snap decision when I brought home my cats...they'd been dumped off in the arboretum parking lot near my home and an officer showed up to take them to the pound just as my gf and I had arrived to go on a hike. They seemed sweet and I didn't think they deserved euthanasia, which is probably what would have happened to them if they went to the pound. I have to say it took a few weeks to totally bond with them...just like any relationship. With that said, they are two of the most even tempered and sweet felines I have ever had the pleasure to know. I am truly lucky.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 8:34PM
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It's hard to know how the bonding will occur but you just need to go with your instincts and hope for the best. I have never returned a pet or gotten rid of one in any way even tho I am stuck with a diagreeable one I have been fostering for two years and no one wants her. She followed me home on a freezing night and I had to rescue her because she was starving but no one likes her and she causes trouble. But she likes people..just no other cats and she would not be my first choice, but then she chose me.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 2:48AM
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See,I have adopted a cat that just didnt mesh well with our family.

I have however,NEVER taken the cat back.I searched high and low to find him a happy home.And you know what? They love that cat so much now and even the cat seems happier there then he ever did here! So,it is different for everyone I think.

I wouldnt take the cat back,because I feel that it was my doing and I had to find him a home. They are sooooo happy we gave them this cat.They had him for 3 years now and cant imagine life without him.

I'm not saying I'd turn down a shy cat...but I've seen ones literally FLIP OUT when you take them out of their cages.Hissing and swatting and twisting their bodies. Doesnt sound like the kind that will be ideal for us.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 5:57PM
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Yes ours did the hissing and swatting. All false bravado. He's pure love now. He was very frightened. If you think about it, you are taken from your siblings, put into a situation you are not used to, being taken in and out of a cage, etc. It has to be a shock. I just don't think you can interpret that behavior in a kitten as a deal breaker when visiting a shelter situation.

I am so glad we took the "kitty no one would want". He is still a little skittish, but I think by the time he is a year old he will be much more relaxed. It has been a trust building process.

Glad to hear you could rehome your cat. Thankfully, that hasn't ever happened, I would be so upset.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 5:50AM
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No these werent kittens,but full grown cats,Labmomma.
Which is my concern,because alot of older cats already have a certain personality.Kittens of course,are still young enough that they can change.
My aunt adopted a (full grown) cat from Petsmart and the cat has been there a while and wont come near anyone.She is also peeing on my Aunt's carpet.So,that is why I have reservations about the grown cats that act a certain way.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 2:11AM
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coolmama - my mistake, sorry:). Agreed, older cat, different issues.

I can't even go there with the peeing in the house as you may have seen from different posts on the animal forums and the peeing cat thing, I am not a fan of peeing cats.

Unfortunately, I don't think even the maximum time possible would be telling of a cat who pees inapppropriately. Maybe there are some places that adopt with a "trial period" clause in your adoption?? I will say that I think a major reason adult cats are given up for adoption by their owners is the inappropriate peeing issue. JMHO, not any statistics, just a feeling.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 5:20AM
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The feed store I work at gives away kittens and puppies, also dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and bunnies that need homes. We let anyone return an animal within a day or two if the relationship doesn't work out. Animal control here only keeps dogs for a week, unless there are too many animals then they destroy them right away. They destroy cats right away. The cats have to be turned in by a person, they don't pick up cats. We are many animals last chance. I bond with them all.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 6:48PM
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Acorn that is nice of you that you do that. I'm sure I'd bond with them too if I was there,but in your home is another story I think.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 3:23AM
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I don't think you can bond with either a dog or a cat in the course of a few minutes or even a few hours. I think (at least with dogs, I have no idea about cats, as I'm allergic) that getting a dog outside of the shelter/Petsmart type store environment gives you a good clue about the dog's personality. But, it took probably about 2-3 months with both my dogs before I saw their true personalities, and they got totally settled in. I think the bonding process just takes time.

My terrier had some major issues when I adopted her, and she was friendly and loving at the shelter, but once she got settled in she was pretty aloof and indepedent (well and she was very food agressive, until she learned that she wasn't going hungry again). I've had her 8 years, and it's only now she's become a geriatric dog, that she's become a true cuddle bug :)

And I think almost all foster's have a honeymoon period with their owners. I have a co-worker who just adopted a rescue before Xmas, and she thought he was great the first few days. Until she realized that he wasn't really housebroken, and that barked non-stop.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2007 at 10:50PM
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I bonded with my last shelter adoption kitty immediatly. She however, didn't bond with me for a while. And then when she did, she drove me up the wall. I kept her in our spare room for the first few weeks as we had 3 other cats and two dogs in the house. And she had a a kitty cold, and couldnt be near the other cats yet anyways.

I immediatly fell in love with the fact that she had her own agenda at the shelter. She didnt care who was touching her, or cuddling her. She wanted down to play, and run. She purred the whole time though. I guess maybe I liked the fact that she DIDNT attatch to me immediatly. I wanted a cat that liked attention, but not needy. Though, I kinda botched that with too many cuddles! shes needy now. But..I I bonded with her because she wasnt very bondable, if that makes sense.

Our petsmart also has no areas for play time with the kitties. Infact, the day I picked out my black kitty, I had gone to petsmart first, and fell in love with the most adorable kitten I've probably ever seen. Fluffy and an pudgy faced. And the little thing just stared at me, kneading his little blanket and purring. Happy as can be. But no one gave me attention, or asked. I probably looked at the cat for a good half an hour before anyone even came to ask me if I was interested in the cat. And even then I only got to hold him for a minute or two.

So I went to the shelter to see if maybe this little guy had any brothers or sisters, since he had been put up in pet smart by the shelter. I was still hell bent on getting him (and maybe another!) And thats when I found my black bug eyed baby girl. Something just clicked, and I felt bad but I immediately knew she was a much better match than he would have been.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 9:29PM
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