I read your comments on shelter cats choosing humans for adoption with great interest. What is your advice regarding the evaluation of children who accompany their parents to a shelter? In my experience, younger humans can be troublesome.
Kautious about Kids
How right you are. Like all animals, humans have love and tenderness for their young. Unlike other animals, they don't always know when it's time to give their offspring an encouraging kick in the rump towards independence. The most important rule for any cat to know about parents and their children is that in a conflict between the child and you they will choose the child. ALWAYS.
I will defer the topic of managing children in the home for a later post. For now, we'll consider the importance of first impressions.
As with adults, evaluate the child's physical appearance. Clean face, hands, and whatever else is visible are mandatory. This shows good training on the parents' part and a certain degree of good behavior on the part of the child. Clothing should be presentable but not of fashion model quality. Too much fuss about appearance can indicate an adult who 's obsessed with an immaculate home. This is not the kind of home you want.
Look for scabs, scratches, and any other indication that the child may play rough. You don't want one who plays rough with you.
Is the child a whiner, surly, sullen, and/or verging on a tantrum? Children, like cats, can be very adept at strategic bad behavior. We applaud their ingenuity, but we don't want to be its victim. Avoid a child who may take her or his bad moods out on you. You will be forced to retaliate, and this could be your exit ticket.
In Part Two of this topic, I will discuss the all-important relationship between the parent and the child.