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Need advice on cat breed for new owner

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am wanting a cat. After reading books and such, it seems I am leaning towards a Maine Coon. Then, after reading searches on this forum about Maine Coons, I'm a little worried. Maybe you could suggest some alternatives, even though I'm still enamoured (sp?) by the Maine Coons.

The reasons I like MC, is because of its size. I really don't want a cat that wants to be held on on our lap. I really like the looks of the Maine Coon and since I've heard they are dog-like, I think maybe I would really like this kind of cat. I have never owned a cat, but my cleaning lady who cleans my house and knows me well, says a cat may be what I need. I tried 2 dogs, and couldn't stand how needy they were and cleaning the poop in the yard wasn't my cup of tea. I could clean a litter box, no problem. So, a pretty independant cat, but one that will let you pet them. I have a 4 year old little boy, so I am worried he might want to hold him, and if the MC doesn't want him to, I don't want my little boy hurt.

After reading some of the searches, these are the things I'm worried about.

1. Missing the litter box (overshooting?) I want a cat so I won't have messes like with dogs to clean up.

2. Are MC very playful? That would be good at times, but when it comes to night time, I don't want a cat playing around, knocking things over, and with the MC size, I do worry about that.

3. I do keep a very clean house and have very nice furniture-so I can't tolerate any scratching of the furniture.

I am trying to be very honest here and would like your opinions. I know it sounds like I'm probably not a good candidate for a pet, but we really would like to have a pet in the house to love. I am a decorator and have people over and I just can't have my house smelling like cat urine.

I saw one poster say they climb on curtains, is that true?

I really am a very nice person, even though after reading this (and rambling) it doesn't seem like I am. I just want a cat so bad, but want to be sure.

Thanks for your time in reading!
post #2 of 9
I'm glad you are being honest. So I'll be honest with you.

Since you don't want a really playful cat (especially at nite), worrying about things being knocked over, and clawing issues; I would strongly suggest you adopt an older cat - maybe 1-3 yrs old.

They are past the "destructive" kitten stages, they are more settled down, and probably a bit more independent.

You also might want to check out shelters or breed rescue groups for maine coon cats (or types). They can evaluate the temperment and how well they get along with children.

Breeders sometimes have older males or females that are spayed/neutered and looking for good homes to retire. Perhaps that's your answer.

One thing I am concerned with is your statement regarding your furniture. I'd be a little afraid that if you adopted a cat and he/she scratched your furniture you'd either get rid of him or you'd have him declawed. Declawing is NOT the answer - and some cats will have behavior changes or stop using the litter pan because of it.

You have to learn how to trim the nails and do it on a regular basis - once or twice a week. You have to invest in one or two good scratching posts or the more long lasting tree house combos. Cats will use them to scratch instead of your furniture.

Maine coons do require routine weekly grooming with a comb to keep mats from forming. Males range from about 13-18 lbs when full grown (about 3-4 yrs old) and females a few pounds lighter.

As far as the litter pan you can buy the larger ones (or covered ones) to prevent the overshooting or smell.

Good luck in finding the right cat for you and your family.
post #3 of 9
I'd actually suggest a cat even older than that. They can still be kitten like up to two.

BTW, if you want a clean house, a longhair cat is probably not for you. First, the hair gets everywhere, and second, the long hair means they sometimes get "messy" during bathroom times. A shorthair stays cleaner. You want to find a shorthaired breed that's more relaxed (not super active like the Oriental types).

What about an Exotic?

Someone recently posted a link in this section to an Animal Planet quiz that matches your personal preferences to breeds of cats that would be good for you. When I took the quiz, it suggested American Shorthairs, Manx, British Shorthairs, and Scottish Folds, which is actually about right for my preferences. I might be getting a Manx pretty soon actually.
post #4 of 9
I agree about the Exotic. Shorthair will probably be better for you. Also I think the British Shorthair is a larger shorthaired cat if you want to go by size. I know Exotics are laid back but I am not sure about the British Shorthair. I agree you will want an older cat. Kittens are quite playful and energetic. And for the scratching the furniture trimming the nails will be a must and so will having sisal posts for your cat to scratch on.
post #5 of 9
I've heard British SH (BSH) breeders call them "doorstops"! They are very laid back when grown.

That might be the "perfect" cat for her. Exotics, I understand, do have more grooming then I realized. Their coat is short, but thicker like a persian.

BTW none of my cats like siscle posts - they like the carpetted ones
post #6 of 9
Exotic grooming is exactly the same as Persians. Just a shorter time for drying. Still the same eye, nose care, still the daily combing required.

British SH sound just right actually!
post #7 of 9
Naturally, I would suggest a Ragdoll, LOL, since I own one, and he is a great cat. My cat is about 13 pounds, and about 10 months old. He will probably get to be about 20 pounds. Now he DOES act like a kitten, but mostly just running around like crazy. He's too heavy to climb curtains at this age, and actually is a bit clumsy about jumping up to really high places. He follows me around the house, and can be found in his sheepskin bed right next to the loveseat where I usually sit, when I'm sitting there, but he doesn't really want to sit in anyone's lap. Ragdolls are USUALLY known for their docile temperament. A lot of people say their girls dress up the ragdolls in doll clothes and carry them around. That's probably particular to each cat, but more likely done with a Ragdoll. I don't think he's EVER scratched me or anyone, and as far as using a scratching post, he prefers the cardboard scratcher that's horizontal on the floor, and has NEVER scratched our furniture or gone anywhere except the litterbox. And he's medium hair, and I would say you really don't have to groom them all that much. And they look like a longhair Siamese and have blue eyes.

Either way - good luck and let us know what you decide to do!
post #8 of 9
Kim! You are so funny! You sound like me when I first got my Ragdolls, some one asked about getting one cat and I always suggest ragdolls any way
A Ragdoll is a good cat too, less grooming and big size. They like being loved but don't have to be in your lap (except my Honey, she will jump on you time after time of putting her down, some times she is a pain in the ...) I do suggest a ragdoll too, but I am biast
Good luck with your kitty search!
post #9 of 9
Hi and Welcome

I can't really add anything to the other suggestions except to agree that an older cat would probably be better for you. Kittens can be little monsters, swinging from the curtains, running around all the time and been lively at night Some adults are like that too but if you adopt a cat as an adult you'll have a good idea of temperament.

I applaud you for being honest about what you like and don't like, just bear in mind that while most cats are fine with litter box issues etc most of the time, you do need to be prepared for possible problems. Any cat might start weeing outside the litter box (either due to a urinary tract infection or as a behavioural thing) or scratch the furniture. Could you cope with that? Cats are like kids in that when we take them on we know that it won't always be plain sailing and that they will sometimes make a mess, but we do it anyway. Things such as scratching can be dealt with (most cats can be successfully trained to use a scratching post but sometimes it can take a lot of effort) but you say you couldn't tolerate furniture scratching - what would you do if you got a cat who scratched your furniture? Or peed on your bed? Sometimes cats get digestive upsets just like people so you may go to the litter box one day and find it full of diarrheoa - could you cope with that? And cats can be great vomiters... I'm not trying to put you off just trying to make sure that you've looked at it from all angles and feel confident that you're prepared to deal with all aspects of cat ownership.

Originally Posted by ibuckymom View Post
I have a 4 year old little boy, so I am worried he might want to hold him, and if the MC doesn't want him to, I don't want my little boy hurt.
That will be up to you to teach your little boy not to do anything to the cat that might cause it to hurt him
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