help me with my cat adoption application!

So I’m planning on adopting a cat - I went to Petsmart yesterday and picked up an application for a place called Precious Pets Almost Home. I swear, their application remind me of the one I had to fill out for grad school. I’ve had a cat before, but it was back home, in Korea, so I’m not quite sure about what kind of answers they’re looking for, for some of the questions. I turn to the wisdom of the Dopers to help me out!

How much do you anticipate on spending on food, bedding, toys, and furniture yearly per cat?
(I don’t know how much food costs over here. I’m thinking $200-300 a year would be reasonable - is that too little?)

What would you do if your cat were to urinate/defecate outside the litter box?
(Actually, they are two seperate questions. I really don’t know what they want here. Give it a good talking to? “I am VERY disappointed, I’ll have you know.”)

How much do you anticipate on spending on routine vet visits/vaccinations yearly?
(Again, not sure of how expensive vet visits are around here.)

Fuck that bullshit. Go to Craig’s List.

Do you have to include the cost of the milk to get those plastic pull rings? And bedding and furniture are the same thing to a cat, aren’t they?

I dunno, really - I’m just looking for a reasonable estimate. :slight_smile:

I thought about that, but I’d really like to help out an organization that is devoted to helping unwanted cats. I suppose the application is a sign that they do care about their animals, for what it’s worth.

I’m sort of with twickster on this one…I love cats, and I appreciate that they want to give them to good homes, but give me a break! But, in answer to your questions…

I think your answer to #1 is good. That’s probably about what I spend on my one cat. I buy a medium-sized bag of food for about $10 about once a month or so. (Of course, my cat is very small, so maybe up that a little, in case the cat turns out to be a 15-pounder.) Robot Arm’s point is a good one…a lot of times, cats don’t need “cat toys.” My cat loves the milk-jug rings, too! And wadded-up aluminum foil. And we have a whole mess of cat beds…probably 4 of them scattered around the house…but she never uses them. She sleeps on our bed, and in the winter she likes to be on a folded-up blanket on the radiator.

As far as #2 goes, my cat recently started having “accidents” around the house (maybe because of the new baby? I’m not sure.) Anyway, I put the litter box close to where the accidents were happening, and moved it a little bit closer to its usual spot each day. I also made sure it was very clean all the time. That worked pretty well, and it’s non-traumatic to the cat, so that might be a good thing to say. What I think they don’t want to hear is that you won’t get rid of the cat, or do something they would consider cruel, like locking the cat up in the bathroom with the litterbox for a few days.

Not sure about #3…I’d have to look up what our vet visits cost. Maybe about $100 once a year?

We got our kitties from a local no-kill shelter and had to fill out a similar form. Answers boiled down to 1) we can afford to spend $X per year on cats, and 2) we’ll take them to a vet if there’s any medical or behavior problems. They just want to know if you’ll be a responsible owner. Be honest, and if you’re not sure about something, ask them. They’re as eager to find a good owner as you are to find a cat.

By the way, have you considered getting a pair? They will have each other to play with when you’re not home. If you get them young or if they’ve been living together at the shelter, they should get along well.

Ditto on this – I recently acquired a pair (obligatory link) of littermates – from Craig’s List – and they’re definitely less destructive than a single kitten would be. They love to play together and keep each other company. And when Zeb starts licking Jez … awwwwwwwww…

My thoughts

  1. Go to Target/Grocery store/PetsMart/vet’s office/whereever you are most likely to consistently buy pet food for your new pet and look at a package of the food you think you’d buy, and make some reasonable gueses at how much you’d feed and do some math. They aren’t looking for an exact number, they are looking for “Do you understand that even free cats cost money to feed, and are you willing to pay that cost?”

  2. Agree with others-they want to know that you are prepared for imperfect behavior on the part of your cat. Not put the cat to sleep at the first litterbox error. So clean up mess, take cat to vet (check for urinary tract infection, if appropriate or other medical issues), and work on retraining pet, are good answers.

  3. You know, you could do a lot worse than call a local vet’s office, ask if they are accepting new feline patients, and ask if they could provide you with an estimate for annual fees for a presumably healthy cat. But mostly, the people asking this question just want to know that you do plan on getting the cat vaccinated, and will take it to the vet if it needs it.

Oh, yeah, what Pleonast said applies to the litter box thing…you should say that if a cat has a consisted problem with not using the litter box, you will take them to the vet (which you should do, BTW. A lot of times they do that because they are having a urinary tract infection or some other problem.)

ETA: I see Eureka covered that…sorry!

Seriously - when I was looking for a cat one of the charities at PetSmart said “Great! We could do a home visit tomorrow if you want.” Excuse me? We have a pet problem here and you think you can saunter into my house and make sure I’m good enough for what oughta be a free kitten?

Go to the city shelter. That’s where I got my two - no application, just “Here’s my $50, thanks for the cat.”

The agency for which I volunteer doesn’t do home visits for cats – we adopt out too many – but we do for dogs. Simple reason? We need to make sure people really do have the fenced yard they say they do, and that the dog is going to get along with the other dog in the household, etc.

Maybe they wanted to make sure you weren’t going to feed the kitten to your pet python. :smiley:

Oh, I realize there are reasons to screen people - you don’t want people adopting dogs for fighting or any animal for medical testing or whatever. I’d be fine with an application - I don’t even care if you call my vet. I just think that some organizations aren’t really very interested in finding homes for as many animals as they could be. (I did expect the city shelter to be a little more diligent - I was prepared for an application on, say, how many animals had I had before, what happened to them, please sign here that you won’t get a dog to fight it, etc.)

I think they’re more looking for the absence of common wrong answers here than right answers. Some wrong answers might be “Put it outside”, have it put to sleep, or any kind of physical punishment like hitting it or rubbing its nose in the mess. Rubbing its nose in the mess is likely to be counterproductive, by the way- it makes the cat think that, since this area smells like poo, this must be the right place to go poo in future.

Here, I think they’re trying to get people to think about these expenses before they adopt a pet. “It’s too expensive” is a common excuse people give for giving up their pets. They want to make sure they don’t adopt to people who haven’t thought about the expenses of keeping a pet.

Many large pet stores, like Petsmart have adoption fairs. There is also the Shelter, the Humane society and various breed “rescue” orgs.

And there’s Petfinder:

The main cause of cats going outside the box is the owner not scooping often enough. You need to scoop daily, at least. So the answer is “scoop more often”, and “if that doesn’t work, a Vet visit for a check up”

Vet costs run around $150 1st year, then $50 every two years or so for booster shots. So tell them you have budgeted $200/yr.

I wholeheartedly agree with getting a pair. My two run around and get into mischief on each other, not my stuff. Free entertainment watching them.

The big thing I found out was I needed two litter boxes for this to work. Not any more work than one really. The bonus is twice as much lovin’ from the monsters.

I know a person who was going to adopt a cat from a Petsmart but she changed her mind because of the application process. The one thing that really turned her off is they wanted to do a credit check.

Now I don’t know if she had financial problems in the past or not but I think that is a little over the top. I can see them wanting to make sure you have the funds to feed and handle vet care but geeez. I would not give my personal credit information to PetSmart or what ever animal rescue they were connected with.

All of my dogs, three of my cats and our Guinea pig were adopted . One was a free kitten from a friend, one cat and the piggy were adopted from Petfinder, they came from the same home, the third cat was adopted from Cleveland back pages. Two dogs came from friends that could no longer care for them and one dog was adopted from Craigslist.

All are great animals. Well Beastie was a challenge but he is a great cat now. He just needed some companions to play with. He is full of energy and he was not doing well alone.

I agree with getting two kittens or a bonded pair of adults. They really do better when they have a companion to play with and snuggle with. They also do not feel alone if you are at work or out with friends.

A lot of shelters and rescue organizations have a two for one deal now due to the over population of kitten season. You can adopt two older cats for the adoption fee of only one.

Now if you have your heart set on a particular cat already then I hope it all works out. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I saw a beautiful Russian Blue the other day at Petsmart and she and I got along wonderfully. Hopefully the application was to scare the faint of heart off. If they want to run a credit check, though, I’m going to have to look elsewhere.

I’ll keep y’all updated!

Awwww, a Russian Blue! I have a Russian Blue/Korat mix (we think), and she’s just a love, and a beautiful cat.

I do the vet work for a large cat shelter. They would rather humanely euthanise a cat then place it in a home where its quality of life will be poor. I don’t know if I agree with them, but hey, they are the ones scooping litter boxes, bottle feeding, etc.

Aww, HazelNutCoffee, I’m just posting cause I see you’re in Uptown now. I used to live in Ravenswood! I went by the Borders on Broadway all the time. Once I got in an argument with a postal worker in the Uptown Post Office. Awwww…now I’m homesick.

Good luck with the kitty! I’m not much of a cat person, but for some reason I adopted a kitten last year, and he is a great buddy.