How do you know if you'd be a good family for a cat?
Cats can be pretty easy-going really. A "good family" really really varies according to the individual cat. As long as you're willing to put in the time and effort and care (which since you have a dog I'm assuming you are already accustomed to!) then you should be fine.We'd rescue from an organization--are cats fostered like dogs are or is that not a concern when adopting a cat?
Yes, many organizations have cats fostered in homes. In that situation they tend to know more about the behavior of the cat and be able to give you a better idea of how they'd act at your house.What should we consider when deciding whether to get a kitten or an adult?
Well one thing to consider is how much you're willing to deal with. Kittens are little psychopaths. They like to run around like mad, climb things, get into EVERYTHING. Think puppy, but smaller, with sharper claws, and nothing is "too high" for them. Now some people love dealing with kittens... me personally I prefer getting cats who are a little older and past the "crazies". One of ours was about 2 when we got him, one was about 1 (and he's still crazy, unfortunately.
). You can consider getting an older cat as well... cats can live 15-20 years if kept healthy, so even a cat who is 7 or 8 will have many more years left! Senior cats are so hard to place, and they can be the BIGGEST sweethearts. Also to take into consideration is how rough your kid and dog may be.... with our large shepherd we didn't want a small kitten that could get easily hurt.What about spraying and using the couch as a scratching post?!
We don't get many sprayers at the sanctuary I work... I don't think it happens all that often. Best route is to make sure the cat is spayed or neutered. Other than that... if there's an accident you thoroughly clean the area with an enzyme cleaner that removes all trace of the urine. Scratching.... make sure the cat has scratching posts around the house. I find the cats absolutely LOVE the corrugated cardboard scratching pads (you can get them in any pet store). They're cheap and the cats LOVE them. I leave them around. If the cat starts to scratch somewhere it shouldn't, like your couch, put a scratching post right next to it and redirect the cat onto it every time he misbehaves.How do I keep our dog from eating cat poop?
If you figure that one out, please let me know. We use a baby gate to keep the dogs out of that room.