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We got our first cat from the shelter and we will be going this weekend to look for another cat. We are going to be much pickier this time as we are looking for a cat that we like but that we also think will get on ok with our existing cat.<br><br>
I have read many websites about what to look for in a cat when adopting from a shelter and I think we have a good feel for how a cat might warm up in the safety of a home, but I'm a little bit uncertain what to look for in terms of getting on with our existing cat - and none of the books or websites seem to address this.<br><br>
Are there specific traits one can sense in a shelter cat that would indicate how they get on with an existing cat? I have read we should be looking for a younger cat (we're aiming for 1-3 years, our Tomás is about 4), and that a female may be best. We will try to get a cat that has been fostered out or at least introduced to other cats in the context of the shelter so they have some idea of how s/he gets on with other cats, but I worry about how the cat will get on specifically with our boy.<br><br>
Tom's a pretty laid back cat - lately he has been having more and more energy since he has been losing weight. He loves to sit near us but not on our laps, and will sometimes sleep with us and sometimes do his own thing. He loves his cat bed (I have never had a cat who loves a cat bed before! He will sleep anywhere his bed is.), and loves to play with straws and chase things we dangle for him. He also really likes to go for walks outside on his harness. He is a very independent kitty for the most part - he loves to have people around, but on his terms. He doesn't really like to be held but will put up with it for short stretches of time. He is often curious about visitors to our home and LOVES my boyfriend's parents and a friend of ours who works in the meat department at whole foods (he will just sit and drool on his shoes, it's cute) but again likes it on his terms - he will hide under the bed if he feels overwhelmed by too many people. Given all of this, are there specific traits to look for in a shelter cat?<br><br>
Also, we take our cat for walks or let him play outside on our patio/grassy area on a harness and would like to do the same with the new cat - is it appropriate to bring a harness with us to the shelter to try on the cat and see if s/he is amenable, or is that just mean to a poor traumatised shelter kitty and we should wait until we bring him/her home and introduce the cat to our place/other cat and then gradually introduce the harness?
 

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I've been obsessed for a few months (ever since we put our beloved cat to sleep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ) looking for the 3rd perfect cat. DH did it 10 years ago by walking into a shelter, picking out the prettiest cat, and that was that (she was fabulous-- the one we pts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ) . . .and by responding to an ad in the paper for free cats (he picked another wonderful cat who keeps me great company). Me, I obsess with looking at the descriptions on the sites at rescue places and STILL don't know. I was told that you'll never really know until you bring them home.<br><br>
The only advice I know to give you is the intro period-- I've heard that if you take it slowly, it can help matters a lot. I am no cat expert, so my knowledge ends there!
 

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We've got five and, honestly, male/female doesn't seem to have anything to do with how they act with each other. If it were me, I'd choose the one who made my heart melt and made me laugh, all at the same time. That's how I've always chosen my pets. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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You never know. It takes some cats time to get used to a new environment & other animals. Pick one you feel a connection with, & then you will be more patient with possible conflict, is my best advice.<br><br>
I've had cats go crazy from being harnessed, I wouldn't try it on an animal under that much stress already.
 
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