Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Tips to adopt a kitten - My story about the first days with Ninoe

Hi There..... Would you mind if I would go completely off topic for once? Do you like cats? Do you need tips to adopt a kitten?

Today I want to tell you the story of my new stray cat, Ninoe. For five years, we lived in an apartment where we weren't allowed to keep pets. This year in January we moved to a new apartment, and there was no restriction against pets this time. 😊

I am a huge cat lover, but my head said no more. The voice of reason said, "you will not adopt a kitten". Nobody loves to have hair scattered all over the house, clean up vomit, clean the cat's litter box or ask family to take care of your cat when you're on a holiday. 😦

My heart argued, a house just isn't a home without a pet. Cats can be very loving. They say that stroking a cat can have a calming effect and reduce stress. Nothing better than a curled-up, purring kitty on your lap to make you feel wonderful. 😍

Both my mind and heart could have argued for a very long time if I wouldn't have decided myself. 😜

What to decide?

Ok, I suppose you know by now that the heart can be stronger than the mind, so a few weeks after we moved, the search for a new cat friend began. 😀

At first, I wasn't sure whether to adopt a kitten or a one or two-year-old. My 6-year-old granddaughter, who is also crazy about cats, would no doubt want to come over, so I would have to take that into consideration.

Picture by Seadbeady - Ninoe day 12

I didn't want my granddaughter to return home with a big scar on her face or something like that, so I decided it would be better to adopt a kitten. It wasn't as easy as we thought, because a few years ago, the rules on buying or selling pets in Belgium changed. 😬

The sale and purchase of animals are subject to several regulations

Dogs may not be traded unless they have been tagged and registered legally
All breeders must be registered and must comply with legislation
Neither cats nor dogs may be sold anywhere on the public highway
Public advertising or publicity is prohibited
Belgian pet shops may not sell cats and dogs
Anyone wishing to buy a pet cat or dog must go to an animal sanctuary or breeder. No animals can be sold to anyone under the age of 16 without the express permission of their parents or guardians.

Where would I get my kitten?

That meant I would have to either find an official breeder or go to a pet sanctuary. I asked my friend, Google, where to find a cat breeder. After a few hours of browsing, I found that most of the kittens would cost me at least 1.000 to 1.500 euros. They were no stray cats but all purebred cats, so they were more than worth it. 😁

Are you crazy? Did you really think I would do that? This time it was neither my heart nor my head, but my wallet that was against it. Besides, it felt much better to rescue a stray cat longing for her forever home. 😊

It took me a while to find my perfect match, but then I saw a picture of Marieke at Zoetjes & Snoetjes (Sweets & Sweet Faces). It seemed she had already been adopted, but they mailed me a few other kittens that needed a home. 😉

Picture by Seadbeady - Ninoe day 1

Ninoe immediately stood out for me. I had a strong feeling she would be the one for me. She was a stray cat, and they found her in a cellar behind some garbage together with her 2 little brothers, so she was not at all used to being around people. She was 4 months and a half and had been living with her foster parents for 3 weeks now. 😃

About Zoetjes & Snoetjes

Zoetjes & Snoetjes VZW was founded two years ago to offer a solution for the placement and rehoming of mostly stray cats.

Stray kittens are cared for in a homely atmosphere, which makes it easier for them to integrate into their new home after adoption.

We do not have a release policy, so the kittens often remain in shelter for a long time, but experience has taught us that shy, aggressive, FIV+, leucosis cats also have a great new future with the right approach.

Adoption conditions at Zoetjes & Snoetjes

The adopter agrees to care for the cat in a humane and responsible manner under the animal welfare and animal protection legislation of the adoptive country and thus provide sufficient exercise in accordance with breed and age. Provide sufficient good nutrition and good housing, including sufficient shelters, several comfortable resting places, levels for climbing, scratching opportunities, and clean litter boxes.

The adopter may not intentionally harm the cat. The adopter will have the cat vaccinated under the applicable regulations and, in case of the cat's illness, guarantee appropriate veterinary treatment.

The cat may not be used for commercial purposes.

Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw provides the cat with a pet passport and a chip. 
Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw registers the cat in the name of Adoptant upon adoption. In the event of a change of address, the Adopter will have the chip registration adjusted within three days at the competent (government) service and will inform Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw of his new address.

Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw states in the passport the vaccinations administered: cat disease, cat flu, supplemented with FeLV (leucose).

The adopter expressly agrees to give the cat the necessary rest after transfer so that the cat can get used to the new environment, people and animals. Adopter is aware that a cat may need a long adjustment period and will give the cat a minimum of three months adjustment time. The adopter can call on the Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw aftercare responsible for help, guidance, and parenting tips free of charge.

What if medical problems arise after adoption? These aftercare measures apply up to 1 month after the adoption.
Zoetjes en Snoetjes vzw cannot be held responsible for abnormalities or illnesses that it was not aware of at the time of the transfer.
The adopter contacts the Zoetjes en Snoetjes vzw aftercare manager by e-mail or telephone.
De Zoetjes en Snoetjes vzw aftercare manager examines which steps are necessary, possibly in consultation with the contractual veterinarian.
Zoetjes en Snoetjes vzw only pays for treatments, consultations and prescribed medication carried out by the contractual veterinarian. Payments from other veterinarians are not eligible for reimbursement, nor are they deducted off the adoption fee (see 6. and 8. of this contract).

After transfer, the Adopter is responsible for all potential damage caused to or by the cat, regardless of the cause, as well as for all expenses incurred for the cat, including (urgent and necessary) medical costs.

The adopter must take the necessary measures not to lose the cat and to avoid going missing. The cat should be kept indoors until it is sufficiently acclimatized (with an absolute minimum of 8 weeks after arrival). If the cat should nevertheless escape, this must be reported immediately to Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw and the competent government services (including the police). Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw will assist Adoptant where possible in locating the cat.

Adopter informs Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw if the cat has passed away.

If the cat can no longer stay with the Adopter, Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw will look for temporary shelter and a good new adopter. The adopter gives Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw a minimum of fourteen days after receipt of the required waiver. Until the cat is handed over, the Adopter will continue to care for the cat in accordance with this agreement. There is no refund of the deposited contribution. Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw will always take the cat back.

Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw respects your privacy. By signing this contract, the Adoptant agrees that Zoetjes & Snoetjes will process his personal data in a file that will only be used for legitimate purposes within the framework within which Zoetjes & Snoetjes vzw operates. The personal data of the Adopter will not be communicated

to third parties or commercialized unless the Adopter gives permission to do so. The adopter has the right to inspect and correct his data and will send a written request to that effect to info@zoetjesensnoetjes.be.

Picture by Seadbeady - Ninoe day 3

Day one - Meeting Ninoe

It was about 5 in the evening when we left to see if Ninoe would be a match for us. I know it's crazy but it was about an hour's drive to get to our destination. A few days ago, I had looked up where we would have to go and thought it was not that far. Ok, I admit, it was my mistake, but crazy people do crazy things. 😁

They had put Ninoe into a cat carrier to make sure she didn't go into hiding when we would come to see her. Perhaps not the best idea, because when the lady took her out, she struggled herself out of her grip and took off like lightning. 😯

It became quite a goose chase, and you could see she was terrified. I asked if I could give it a try to calm her down, and believe me or not, it worked. She allowed me to pet her, and I immediately knew she was the one. 😍

Day 2 - Into Hiding

As we woke up in the morning, we couldn't find her at first. She had gone into hiding in a small space and stayed there for a very long time. We didn't get much chance to go near her, because she didn't trust us one bit. I wouldn't trust a large hairy monster, so it's only fair that she didn't trust us hairless monsters. 😏

Ninoe growled, ears flat and rotated sideways. I got worried because she hadn't eaten since she came home with us. In the evening, she got very vocal and explored everything, very wary of every move we made. 😧

Perhaps she was looking for her cat friends or the family she had been with for 3 weeks. We tried to calm her down, but nothing helped. It was only the next day that I read it is best to ignore this. 😄

Picture by Seadbeady - Ninoe day 5

Day 3 - Carefully petting for the first time

After another very vocal night, because we left her all on her own in the Living room and kitchen, she had gone in hiding again. Just like the last morning, it took us a while to find her. This time, she was hiding beneath my keyboard on top of the seat. 😊

I sat on the ground close to her and she hissed, but I blinked my eyes several times to make her feel at ease. I gave her a few pieces of cheese crust and got to pet her. Sounds stupid, but I was quite happy with the little progress we made. 😉

When the evening came, she started looking around and calling out to her friends. Her new refuge had become the chairs underneath the table. The weird thing was that she was unapproachable over there. 😦

Day 4 - First time purring

She had been fairly loud again during the night, so my husband went to the living room to have a look. He opened the door, and she made herself look tall and hissed at him, and then ran away. 😕

When we got up in the morning, our little stray cat had found a new hideout. It took us very long to find her this time. Finally, we saw her, completely curled up underneath the blanket hanging over my keyboard. 

I carefully pushed her away onto the seat beneath the keyboard without lifting her, because I knew she would get scared if I would do that. Just like the day before, I slowly tried to put my hand underneath the blanket to reach her. She let me pet her, and even started purring. 😃

In the evening, I lured her out with some wet cat food. It took her a while to find it but she cleaned up her bowl in no time. Ninoe was a lot quieter this evening but still on the prowl, trying to find her former stray cat friends and family. 😮

Day 5 - Getting used to us

The night had passed by without too much noise, so we managed to sleep a bit more. There was no search when we got up this morning because Ninoe was back on the seat underneath the keyboard. Such a shame, because I love solving puzzles. 😏

She didn't budge from that seat until eight in the evening. We knew we weren't to disturb her too much, because she had to get used to us still, but during the day, we could lift the blanket and pet her a few times, purring included. 😍

You should see her then because she curls up into all kinds of positions, never had a cat quite like that. So darn cute to look at. This is a small video I took off her that day. 

It was Monday evening, so I went to practice with my band. I am the singer of the band, so I can get very vocal too, just like Ninoe. My hubby told me she had come out of hiding a lot more and sat on the chair right next to him. That was until he made a sudden move, of course. 😏

Picture by Seadbeady - Ninoe day 11

Day 6 - On the prowl

Next morning we found her again on the same spot beneath the keyboard. We could lift the blanket and pet her without her making too much fuss about it, as long as we didn't make any sudden movements. 😉

She also eagerly accepted the small treats we gave her. During the day, she came out of hiding a few times to explore everything again and even play with a few toys. Still, we had to be very careful not to startle her. 😊

Day 7 - The visit

Quite early in the morning, I woke up from the doorbell ringing. My hubby was already up, but I had a pretty awful night, so I was still in bed. It was our daughter and granddaughter coming for a visit. 😍

Not for us, but for the cat, of course. If it had been their choice, they would have been there the first day, but we wanted Ninoe to get used to us first. 😃

As the night before, she was hiding underneath the blanket of my keyboard. I told them both to blink with their eyes and slowly approach her, and to my surprise, she let them both pet her. It felt like a step backward though, because she stayed in hiding far longer than the previous days. 😟

Tips if you want to adopt a kitten or young stray cat

1. Try to put yourself in her shoes, picture how she would feel.  
2. Make your home cat-proof: enough hiding places, cover up things like electrical cords, medication, poisonous plants, or any other hazards.
3. If you have enough space in your home, you could leave her in a separate room for 24 hours. Knock on the door before you come in, not to scare her 
4. If you are dealing with a terrified cat, you had better prepare yourself. Perhaps wear long sleeves and gloves or other protective clothing. She might even attack you, so be ready for the worst.
5. Do not stare at the cat, because it can make your cat feel uneasy and turn away to relieve tension created by the stare. In short, avoid eye contact or otherwise blink your eyes regularly.
6. Make sure to feed her at a set time. Giving her food and treats will make her trust you.
7. Don't try to pet her if she doesn't trust you yet. 
8. You will make progress, but prepare for a step backward too. It's like trial and error, and you will soon learn what she likes, and how to gain her trust
9. Cats use body language to communicate. If you want to know more about that you can check out this link.

Hope you like my blog.....Until next time.....Have a nice day 

Renata (Seadbeady)

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  1. She looks so cute. It seemed like a process to get the kitten but I am sure it was worth it in the end. I can tell your going to give it all the love in the world!

  2. Ninoe , seems so adorable and i am amazed with the rules and regulations which cover everything. Glad that you went through all and bought Ninoe home.

  3. Wow the kitten look so sweet and glad you had a great time, thanks a lot for sharing these insights and I think they are useful to a lot of people! - Knycx Journeying

  4. Wow I would never know how lengthy it is to adopt an animal. This will be useful for a lot of folks who are looking to adopt

  5. I had a similar experience when I had my first Siamese cat Smokey in 2019. She is an adorable cat, had a few naughty months, until she reached her 12months and she started to change into a lady. It was a memorable moment raising her, and her little brother Winnie (also a Siamese cat). I love them dearly.

  6. My son has been asking me for longtime to adopt a kitty. These tips are very helpful for me. thanks.

  7. Your pet is too cute! I would love to adopt one but our condo won't allow us. Once we get a house in the future, my husband and I will definitely consider!

  8. This is very cute and I love hearing your adoption story. I adopt more dogs than cats as cats make super sick. But love hearing cute adoption storie!


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