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Should I Keep In House?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello,
My name is Taylor and I live in rural Mid-Michigan. The other day we stopped at our neighbor's house down the road, and he told us about this cat that was dropped off at his farm. He's a really really tame, solid smokey gray cat with some white on his chest and underbelly. You can also see some slight lighter colored bars on his body, but not very prominently. He has gorgeous green eyes to top it off.

Anyway, the neighbor said that he was trying to find a home for the cat and he was almost positive that it was a house cat, because it always wanted to run into the house when he opened the door, plus, like I said, he is extremely tame. We took this cat home just planning on putting him into the garage for a few days until he settled down and then placing him in the barn with our barn cats, since we don't have any tame cats around the farm. Well...this cat is too darn cute, so he made his way to the backroom and now he's in the house! He is litter trained, that's for sure. As soon as he entered the house for the 1st time, he immediately ran around each of the rooms meowing, so I figured that he must be looking for a littler box. We don't have one, so I placed a very shallow, wide box in the garage with some floor dry. He immediately jumped right in and did #1 and #2 both. That's what makes me strongly believe he was a house cat and/or is litter trained--since he held it in that whole time when he just as easily could have went on the backroom floor.

This is honestly probably one of the tamest, friendliest cats I've ever encountered, and he follows me around the house like a dog constantly purring and hugging my legs and such. However, I have 2 problems. He's a tom cat AND he's not declawed. The claws don't seem to be an issue...even though it's only been 1 day. He does 'pulsate' his paws a bit when he's purring, but it doesn't seem destructive at all.

I have some questions that I would LOVE to have answered by someone with experience. I have never kept a cat in the house before:

Does a cat have to be neutered to be in the house?
Is a clawed cat in the house apt to be a very big issue?

Thank you VERY much in advance for your reply. It means a lot to me.
~Taylor~
post #2 of 15
First of all, congratulations on your new kitty. He sounds adorable and very sweet. And secondly, welcome to TCS!

In answer to your questions, it is always best to neuter a male cat. We really don't want him contributing to the cat overpopulation, but he will be a much better pet and you will be happier. Some cats, especially un-neutered males, have a tendency to spray urine. That is not an easy habit to break. So I would get him neutered ASAP. The vet will also make sure he has the necessary vaccinations.

If he wants to be an inside kitty, that is best. Cats live longer inside than those that are permitted to roam. Even so, I would get a collar and a name-tag with his name, your name and your phone number or cell number, just in case he does get out and someone else wants to "adopt" him.

Kitties with claws are not necessarily a problem. Just make sure he has a scratching post or board. Scratching on something rough like a post covered in rope is instinctive, and you can train him not to scratch on the furniture.
Declawing a cat makes them defenseless, and is really cruel. I wouldn't do that.

You've come to the right place for advice. There are lots of cat experts here! I'm a novice, though I've had several cats over the years. My Dusty was an outside stray that adopted us about 2 years ago, and she is the sweetest kitty I've ever had. Sometimes I think that the strays and the rescues are the most affectionate because they are so grateful to you for taking care of them.

Enjoy your new kitty, and be sure to post pictures!

Leslie
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow, that was a fast reply! Thanks so much!

That's exactly what I've heard; they tend to spray urine if they are not fixed. Right now I think he might be young, since he doesn't have a 'big wide' head when you look at him. Most toms are large and have wide heads I've noticed, but he does not. I will keep a good eye on him and if he starts to spray I will have to get him neutred. I'm not worried about neutering him because of population, since we don't have any cats in the house and he won't be in contact with any wild ones outside. So hopefully he won't spray as he matures.

I will take some pictures of him now and maybe I'll stop by later to post them for you all. Thanks again, and of course, more replies of opinions are wanted.
~Taylor~
post #4 of 15
Your cat sounds very sweet and handsome.
You do want to get him neutered before he starts spraying and it becomes a habit.
He will eventually follow the call of nature and find other cats to mate with. Neutering him will stop him from trying to get out of the house for that reason.
Good luck with him.

~Rhonda
post #5 of 15
Taylor, I just wanted to strongly ecourage you not to declaw him! If you do a seach of the forums for declawing, you'll find many reasons why not to declaw. It is a very painful & difficult process for the cat & can alter their purr-sonlity forever!

Neutering him would be a good idea. There is always that chance he will escape. Intact toms are likely to spray, as you stated, & once he starts spraying, it could be a hard habit to break. Neutering helps reduce over population problems, reduces chances of certain cancers, & spayed/enutered pets often live longer than unaltered ones! I know around here it's only $65 for a neuter, which is well worth it!

Thanks for taking this kitty in!
post #6 of 15
Quote:
I will keep a good eye on him and if he starts to spray I will have to get him neutred. I'm not worried about neutering him because of population, since we don't have any cats in the house and he won't be in contact with any wild ones outside. So hopefully he won't spray as he matures.
Taylor...Unaltered cats are also more prone to certain types of cancer than altered cats. These cancers of the reproductive organs are very rare in cats that are altered by one year of age.

I would plan to have your male neutered....because if you do not, he is almost certain to start spraying.

Katie
post #7 of 15
Hi and welcome to TCS, well Leslie has already done a great job in answering your questions So I can only but agree Your kitty does need neutering, if not he will spray and be frantic to get out of the house when those naughty girlie kits are calling

About claws, well this site is very much against declawing, its a terrible thing and very, very painful. I am sure someone can post you some links to give you more information about why cats should not de decalwed. Please dont let your vet tell you otherwise ! As Leslie has said if you provide scratching toys then your kit will be fine. You can even make your own scratching toys, cats particularly love cardborad boxes. Old bits of carpet are great as well !

Well its great to have you and cant wait to see photos we just love photos here

Enjoy the forums !!
post #8 of 15
Taylor please read this, about halfway down "The Benefits of Neutering a Male:

http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/177/S...Your-Cats.html

This can be found under "Cat Care" at the top of this page. There are lots of good articles here, including about declawing your cat - not a good idea.

Thank you for adopting this kitty. I'm sure he will be a wonderful companion!
post #9 of 15
Hi and welcome to TCS

I've had cats all my life, but they have always been female.
We just added our first male cat to the family in November.

Don't wait until he starts spraying to get him neutered, get him done ASAP.
We brought Elliott in on a Sunday night and he was neutered Wed. morning.
Elliott didn't spray but his urine had such a strong odor that it made your eyes water...after he was neutered that strong smell went away within a couple of days.

Please don't declaw him, as someone else suggested do a search here and you'll find a lot of reasons why you shouldn't declaw.

My girls already had a scratching post...Elliott went for our couch, but only twice.
The first time I clapped my hands and said "NO" as loudly and firmly as I could.
Then I took him to the scratching post and basically showed him how to use it.
He went after the couch the next day, I did the same thing over again and he's used the post ever since.

Not ever cat is going to use it on the second try, but all of our cats have been very good about it...Gracie was only shown once, Elliott twice, Lizzie about 4 or 5 times and Annabelle took a couple of weeks.
post #10 of 15
Thank you for rescuing this kitty and welcome to TCS!

This guy sounds like he's going to be a real sweet pet to keep indoors.

Get him neutered as soon as possible for all the reasons already listed - there are links to help you find low-cost spay/neuter services in my signature line if you need or would like to go that route.

As to the scratching - there are lots of things you can do. FYI - declawing is actually illegal in 23 countries around the world. In fact, even the American Veterinary Association recommends it only if it is an issue of the cat's health (a problem with the claws) or the owner's health (someone whose blood won't coagulate). It is a painful operation and is the equivalent of cutting off your toes at the first joint. Declawed cats often become "biters" to make up for the lack of claws. Additionally, they almost always develop arthritis. Cats actually walk on their toes, so declawing them (because it removes part of the toe and not just the equivalent of a toenail) distorts the way they walk. Some declawed cats are just fine - but 85% of all cats given to shelters for behavior problems are declawed cats. For the most part, it causes more problems than it solves.

And with a little bit of effort on the part of indoor-cat guardians, scratching really isn't a problem.

To get a cat to scratch "appropriately," there are lots of things you can do:

1) Provide numerous and different types of scratching posts. Some cats like to scratch vertically (a post), some like to scratch horizontally (a scratching mat or a cardboard scratcher). It's best to provide at least one of each type.

2) Cats love to scratch when they wake up. If he develops favorite places to sleep, put scratching devices next to those places.

3) To otherwise protect your furniture, consider making or purchasing a cat tree or trees. Going vertical is important to cats, and this would give him something that is "his."

4) We drape throw blankets over the back of the comfy chairs and couches and wash them weekly. They're quick and easy to remove and fold up when company comes in.... (This is more an issue of cat hair and reducing our vacuuming, but it does help protect the furniture from claws).

5) Clip his claws. Don't know if he's already used to this or not, but if not, start when he's asleep. We did one claw at a time, and we did one every day and just kept rotating until they figured out we weren't trying to kill them. He may freak a bit at first. But with treats and pets (or whatever motivates him - for our kitties it's being brushed every two claws) they can be trained to sit through it.

6) Any place he scratches that isn't appropriate, cover it with aluminum foil or a few strips of double-sided tape, or spray it with a citrus (lemon) cented air freshener. A couple weeks of any of the above should be long enough to get kitty used to scratching somewhere else.

Because you've never had an indoor cat before, keep this in mind. Any time you catch kitty doing something you don't want him to (like jumping on a kitchen counter), blow a short, sharp puff of air in his face. You can even hiss at him. Follow-up with a firm "no." (And obviously, if he was on the counter, then set him down on the floor). They learn what "no" means, and they learn by speaking to them in their own language.

One other thing you won't know because you haven't had indoor cats before - and especially in this guy's case because of what you posted - if he ever pees or poops outside the box, get him to the vet. There are cats that have behavior problems, but that is rare. It is usually a medical problem, and they're associating whatever pain/problem they're having with the litter box. It's one of the few ways they have to communicate that there is a problem.

...and ANY questions about anything, feel free to search or post in any of the TCS forums!

Oh - one last thing. The "pulsating" paws is what most cat owners refer to as "kneading." It means he is blissing out while you pet him. The cat that got us involved in rescue was an outdoor kitty that eventually started coming indoors. We didn't clip her claws - and she kneaded like a nut. She also drooled (another sign of blissing out). I had to put a blanket on my lap before letting her up for pets.

What a lucky kitty.

Laurie
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow, I'm overwhelmed with all of the responses. This is definitely one of the best cat discussion forums I've found on the net.

I did clip his toenails. They were extremely long, so now when he 'kneads' he doesn't even really catch them on the fabric or anything anymore. He didn't freak out at all, he just layed there like a good kitty and it only took me 1 minute or less (but I was careful). I figured he would give me a fuss since cats usually don't like their feet played with, but he's so mild mannered.

I've also discovered how playful he is. I truly do think he is a youngin. Maybe you can tell based on these pictures...like I said earlier, it seems that mature toms usually have a wide fluffy face, but he doesn't.









Thanks again,
~Taylor~
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorhedrich View Post
Wow, I'm overwhelmed with all of the responses. This is definitely one of the best cat discussion forums I've found on the net.
This place is why hubby and I have been rescuing cats for five years! We didn't know the first thing about cats, neither of us ever having had any. We cared for a stray (spayed) that turned up... then the family with teeny little kittens turned up in the yard... and not only did I get great advice here, but I learned enough to take the ball and run with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorhedrich
I did clip his toenails. They were extremely long, so now when he 'kneads' he doesn't even really catch them on the fabric or anything anymore. He didn't freak out at all, he just layed there like a good kitty and it only took me 1 minute or less (but I was careful). I figured he would give me a fuss since cats usually don't like their feet played with, but he's so mild mannered.
Wow - somebody loved and cared for this kitty! I wonder why he ended up being dumped! I'm so glad you took him in!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorhedrich
I've also discovered how playful he is. I truly do think he is a youngin. Maybe you can tell based on these pictures...like I said earlier, it seems that mature toms usually have a wide fluffy face, but he doesn't.
I can see a bit of a "ruff" in that first photo. But he does look young! He sure is a handsome guy!

Thanks for the pics. He just oozes personality!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorhedrich
Thanks again,
~Taylor~
We're a friendly (and pretty informed) bunch. Feel free to post updates or ask questions any time!



Laurie
post #13 of 15
Oh my, what a beautiful boy he is.
post #14 of 15
Hi I gave you advice on the other board. Glad to see you got a pic of him. Like I said before get him fixed asap. And nailcaps if your worried about him scratching furnature.
post #15 of 15
That kitty is gorgeous! He looks like my Jerome, close to his twin and I'd say he's maybe a yearling but not sure..much, much luck with him and belately, very welcome to the forums..the kitty in my sig was middle age when we got him neutered, he does have sort of a round face..jerome doesn't tho he was abt 2 yrs old when neutered (he was a stray too)
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