It’s very difficult to walk away from the cat with ‘special needs’ because there is always the worry ‘What if I don’t adopt him?’ or ‘Who would want such a cat?’ I totally understand the quandary as I have even succumbed to this emotional decision myself and adopted a scaredy-cat. However, over the years I have spoken to literally hundreds of cat owners who have adopted an animal under these circumstances and suffered the consequences. There is always a feeling that love conquers all and kindness will reap rewards no matter how emotionally damaged the cat may be. Sadly, love is rarely if ever enough and a lifetime of stress-related illness, traumatic vet visits and disappointment usually ensues.
+ How to choose it?
If, though, you genuinely want nothing back from this cat (i.e., no cuddles and no emotional feedback) and you have incredible patience, then you may be the right owner for a nervous cat just don’t expect undying gratitude or affection any time soon.
My advice with my sensible head on would be to choose a cat that, when observed in its cage, would have a score nearer ‘1’ on the Cat-Stress-Score scale described above and then you are more likely to have an emotionally robust creature that can cope with life’s ups and downs. Always ask the eatery assistant to remove the cat from the cage and if possible allow you to have time in an area away from the pen where you can interact under slightly more normal conditions. Some larger rescue centres have rooms for this purpose that are laid out like a sitting room at home to give prospective owners the chance to see the cat behaving in a domestic setting. Unfortunately not all centres are so well equipped and you may only get the chance to hold them in a cramped environment with the other cats looking on.