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Hi. Need Advice.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I could use your help, please.

My wife and I have three sons (ages 15, 11, 5) who all want a cat for a pet. Even the 15 year old is very interested in having a cat share our home. The problem is we don't know which kind of cat to get that would be best for us as well as whether we should start with a kitten or a fairly mature cat. Any suggestions for us?

Also, how easy or difficult is it to potty train a cat. I think that's the thing we fear the most is having a cat who has a lot of "accidents" on the carpet. Another concern is preventing any scratching of furniture.

Your advice would be appreciated.
post #2 of 17
Hi Porsche and Welcome to TCS!

You've come to a great place for info and advice.

To answer your question - the first thing I would advise you to do is for you and your WHOLE family to go and visit the nearest/local shelter and see if a cat picks you/your family out! The benefits of this is numerous but mainly, 1. You'll be saving a life 2. The cat would have been neutered or will be neutered 3. The cat would've already been litter trained!

However

If you have your heart set on a pedigreed cat, then I would suggest you do this:

1. Visit the local shelter first
2. Then attend the nearest cat show to check out what breeds are available and for you to have a chance to talk to the breeders themselves.

As for scratching furniture...it happens. They ARE cats after all. But, there are many options for you to avoid scratching furniture from happening - such as cat trees, scratching posts and soft paws...

Good luck and keep us posted!
post #3 of 17
Hello and welcome to TCS, its great here, theres lots of help and advice and I am sure we will be able to help you and your family with your new addition How exciting !

Well you will be able to get a kitten, young cat or adult from any of the shelters, it is a wonderful experience to feel you have helped some homeless kitty and it is also a good educational lesson for your kids.

Each age group has different benefits - an older cat will be more relaxed than a younger cat. It really depends on you and your family and how much time you have to commit.

A kitten takes up a lot of time, they are babies and want attention and like to play alot. If you get 2 kittens that are siblings or about the same age they will certainly keep each other company.

All cats are usually very good at using a litter-tray, so you shouldnt have any worries about that.

If you have scratch toys for your kit(s) then they will leave your furniture alone for most parts. You can get sprays and such like that will also help. Scratch mats & toys are the best approach.

Theres lots of other tips here under the Care Care, Cat Behaviour & Cat Health Forums, so thats a good place to start if you havent already

Well thats just about enough for the moment !

Enjoy the forums and keep us posted about what you decide to do and of course let us all know when the kit(s) arrives
post #4 of 17
I am no cat expert- but I will give you my advice. If you are worried about training them I would get a cat that is approximetly a year old. By that point they are pretty well trained. I have had kittens in the past and I think it's usually pretty easy to train them. They get the point after just a couple of times showing them where to go to the bathroom. Depending upon the cat, you may have a few accidents. But then again, if you get them a little older they should be trained already. Since your just looking for a pet and not like a show cat or anything - I would recommend going to the Humane Society and looking at their cats. They will come neutered/spayed and up to date on shots already. They will also be glad to help with any questions you may have. I have a siamese/striped mix cat and I got him when he was about 9-10 months. He was already trained and ready to go! If you do get a siamese/oriental cat- they are vocal and meow ALOT trust me I know!!
post #5 of 17
Hi and welcome to TCS!

I would recommend bringing your family to one of your local cat shelters and looking for a cat that everyone likes. The volunteers at the shelter will be able to help you figure out which type of cat would be best for your family. While kittens are often cuter, mature cats already have their personalities and are much easier to take care of since they don't have as much energy! Also, adult cats are probably already litter trained! As far as preventing scratching of furniture, there is a lot of good advice on this website with regards to scratching posts, soft claws (little plastic nail caps), etc. I wish you the best of luck in your search.
post #6 of 17
Welcome to TCS!

I agree too with visiting local shelters. You may also look around and see if anyone you know is giving away or selling a cat, that's where we got Reeses, from a friend of my wife.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Wow, I didn't even think of a cat from a shelter -- I should have. I'm all for saving animals from being euthanized.

Thank you for the great information. I have few other questions to ask, if you don't mind:

1) Are female cats better for kids or are males? Any difference?

2) How clean are cats? Our new cat would be kept primarily indoors and we want to keep her clean. How often do you bath a cat? Do you even bath a cat? How do you bath a cat?

3) What about protecting her/him from fleas and ticks?

4) I use to have a Golden Retriever. She was a very gentle dog that could be pushed around, held, and bathed without fear of ever getting your hand bitten because she got mad at you. Are cats as easy going as my dog use to be?

Thanks so much!
post #8 of 17
I don't consider myself an expert, but have had feline companions all my life so will put in my two cents worth

Male or female? If you go to a shelter, the staff there should be able to help you choose a cat that will fit your family personality-wise. Some are afraid in the shelter environment so it is difficult to tell their true personalities. I don't think it is a gender thing. Some cats or more aloof, some are cuddly. Some will have had awful experiences in the past that make them distrustful but when they learn to trust again, turn in to lovers.

I have only ever bathed one cat and that was once. Cats are very clean. Unless they have medical issues or very long hair that is prone to tangling, they should be able to groom themselves well. I know some people here bathe their cats often but I think it has to be started in kittenhood.

For fleas and ticks, I use Advantage. Place the medicine between their shoulder blades once a month and no worries about fleas at all.

Some cats will be easy going, but they aren't dogs. My Seb loves children to a point then he becomes frightened that they will hurt him and runs away. Cats are a great animal to teach children gentleness and respect for animal boundaries. Of course, there is nothing like watching a child and a cat play with string!

Many shelters have bonded pairs of young cats or older cats. If you adopted a pair the transistion to your home would be easier for them. Just an idea

I hope this helped a bit. All just my opinion. Please do share photos when you get your new friends!
post #9 of 17
1) Are female cats better for kids or are males? Any difference?

It really has more to do with personality than gender. My male is friendlier than my female, but that's just my cats.

2) How clean are cats? Our new cat would be kept primarily indoors and we want to keep her clean. How often do you bath a cat? Do you even bath a cat? How do you bath a cat?

I have only bathed one of my cats, Emily, once when she was a kitten because when we first got her from the shelter she had a flea problem so we used a special flea shampoo. Other than that my cats keep themselves very clean.

3) What about protecting her/him from fleas and ticks?

If you keep your cat indoors all the time you shouldn't have to worry about this. A lot of people think that cats should be let outside but there's really no need to as they can be just as happy indoors.

4) I use to have a Golden Retriever. She was a very gentle dog that could be pushed around, held, and bathed without fear of ever getting your hand bitten because she got mad at you. Are cats as easy going as my dog use to be?

Some are and some aren't. Here's another reason why it might be better to adopt an adult cat as their personalities are already set and it will be easier to choose one that is gentle.
post #10 of 17
Hi welcome to TCS, this is such a great site and everyone here is so nice it is also very helpful as u can see, and of course in the lounge we have fun time to time Everyones done a good job of informing you with some information

As for the questions I will add some of my 2 cents too

1) Are female cats better for kids or are males? Any difference?
It really all depends on the cat itself and their personality, with 6 cat (2 males and 4 females) they are all really different, our one male is very"wild" like and the other male Willie is just the friendliest cat u will ever met, as for the females Blue is a cuddler but shes coming into her own since she is still a kitten, same for Stormie but she isnt much of a cuddler. Bella she is VERY Very friendly and attached to me and Tessa she is just a character, she also was used for byb so she does have some trust issuees but since shes come to trust us she is very friendly!

2) How clean are cats? Our new cat would be kept primarily indoors and we want to keep her clean. How often do you bath a cat? Do you even bath a cat? How do you bath a cat?
Mine stay pretty clean themselves, I have never given any of my cats baths and they stay well cleaned and sometimes they clean each or like willie does he cleans the dogs

3) What about protecting her/him from fleas and ticks?
Usually whnever its flea season we put advantage on them,we just check them for fleas because all of our kittie are indoors except for the males which are indoor/outdoor Willie was already 3 and was an outdoor kittie and we tried to break him from that but it didnt go so well, but thye do usually never catch fleas, but when flea season comes we usually give all the animals advantage (Its easy to tell because our one dog is allergic to fleas)

4) I use to have a Golden Retriever. She was a very gentle dog that could be pushed around, held, and bathed without fear of ever getting your hand bitten because she got mad at you. Are cats as easy going as my dog use to be?
some cats are and some cats arent, it all depends on their personality!

Also for ur questions earlier
should start with a kitten or a fairly mature cat. Any suggestions for us?
Kittens are harder to understand their personalitiy and they take alot of time! Mature cats you already know what their personality is like!

Also, how easy or difficult is it to potty train a cat. I think that's the thing we fear the most is having a cat who has a lot of "accidents" on the carpet. Another concern is preventing any scratching of furniture.
All of our cats are very good on using the litterbox, when we got all of them they went to them right away!

I suggest also adopting a pair of cats/kittens. Its always better when they have a playmate to play with! Ecspecially whenever no one is home!

Well see u around the forums and good luck, ask any questions that you want !
post #11 of 17
Hi & welcome to TCS! I'm glad you're getting a ton of advice here, and I hope it has helped. In the end, the cat usually chooses you anyway!

If you have any questions as you find your way around the site,please feel free to click on my username and send me a private message. I'll be happy to help.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you to all of you for your willingness to provide us with some great information. Thank you for taking the time.

We'll be heading off soon as a family to the Humane Society to pick up our new kitty. I'll share some pictures.

Take care.
post #13 of 17
Congratulations! I can't wait to hear about who you come home with!
post #14 of 17
Hola y bienvenido a TCS!..
(Translate: Hi and Welcome to TCS!!!.....)

See you on the forums!
post #15 of 17
Welcome Porsche and wonderful family of cat-lovers-to-be

to TheCatSite and oh, have WE got advice for YOU! Run, don't walk, to your nearest Humane Society, shelter, sanctuary or rescue and adopt a sweet ADULT cat -- ANY cat is guaranteed to be sweet, unconditionally loving, and loyal, so it'll just depend on who really captures your hearts, and TWO (or more!) cats will be company for one another, sleep, play, and groom one another, and be twice (or more) as nice! Just a suggestion... Adult cats are already housetrained, and as long as you provide a roomy cat box with litter you scoop daily and keep clean, "accidents" would be few, if any. (NOTE: Excellent products now exist that completely remove "accidents" from the carpet, too! Nature's Miracle Just For Cats is our tried-and-true one, and you can get it at Petco, PetsMart, or about any other good "pet" supply store.) To prevent unwanted scratching, please buy a GOOD scratching post tall enough for your cat(s!) to comfortably stretch full-length with their claws on, and some corrugated cardboard scratching pads impregnated with catnip are also nice to have around the house. Please DO NOT EVEN THINK OF DECLAWING A CAT. Cats need their claws, and have them for very good reasons; and declawing is like removing a person's fingers at the first joint, not just removing the nails. This can cause lifelong trauma and fear, infection, and worse. It is cruel, inhumane, and entirely unnecessary. So don't declaw -- provide scratching surfaces that ARE cat-friendly!

We can't wait to see your new family member(s), and we think you have wonderful sons! REAL MEN LOVE CATS!!!
post #16 of 17
Welcome to TCS. Do you have your kitty yet?
Years ago when I got my 2 previous kittens they were 6 w/0 & 7 1/2 w/o. They both used the litter tray from day 1. My new kitten only needed 1 showing to know what the litter tray was for.
I used to bath my persian Smokey 16+ years ago because of fleas as there was not such thing as spot on flea treatments. I use revolution on Blossom it does fleas, worms, heartworm all in one.
Coco my 15 y/o torty has always had an attitude problem & I later heard that was typical of tortichelle (sp) female cats.
post #17 of 17
ON THE SUBJECT OF TORTOISESHELL CATS!

My Tarifa, who as you can see is 100% tortie, is the sweetest, friendliest of cats, and from the moment she joined our large family, she has been a friend to all cats and humans. "Attitude" does not exist with her.
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