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do you suggest a cat?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
ok im moving into my own place in the next few months, i learned my lesson last time i had an apartment my roommate had a dog, im going to be working alot and i don't want to have an animal home destroying the place or being neglected. im looking for something a little more low maintainance sine i will be working full time, ive never owned a cat before, but I've gone to friends and had good experiences with them, and sometimes i didn't like their cats.

im just wondering if you all have suggest a cat, and what kind of breeds, i kind of prefer a smaller , short haired cat that doesnt shed a ton. my aunt has a tuxedo cat and i love its size and it's behavior.

any thoughts? thanks
post #2 of 22
If you decide on a cat, get an older one (1-3 yrs old) because kittens take a lot more work in socialization and training. If you don't have the time to train properly and are out most of the day, how will the kitten learn not to climb curtains or where to scratch?

An older cat will be more adjusted to spending time alone. It might be better to adopt 2 older cats so they have company. I'd look around for 2 cats that are used to each other. Craigslist usually has a lot of "rehoming" cats where they want to find homes for two cats that will stay together.

And if you are more concerned about your furniture, then do NOT declaw a clawed cat, but adopt one that someone else mutilated. While cats don't take as much work as a dog, they do require basic grooming and combing/brushing and nail clipping is part of that.


BTW "tuxedo" cat is NOT a breed - its a color - and really should be called a bicolor cat

I'd read up on basic cat care before you decide to adopt - a cat will be with you for 15-20 yrs so its not a short term commitment!
post #3 of 22
Cats are definitely less work than dogs! I agree, look into adopting an adult cat rather than a kitten. And, 2 are usually better than one. They can play with each other and keep each other company. Check with you local shelters and see if they have 2 cats up for adoption that already know each other and get along.

Welcome to TCS! This place is the BEST for advice! And, believe me, no question is stupid so don't hesitate to ask anything.
post #4 of 22
I would suggest an older cat as well, but I'd also suggest TWO as well as going to a shelter. The PetSmart out here by me has an adoption agency inside and plenty of time they will only adopt out siblings together, say, for example, two sisters, brother/sister, etc. I think it's very important for them to have companionship while you're at work all day.
post #5 of 22
I agree with everyone. I moved out early this year for grad school and got my own apartment and work part-time (full-time student). I originally just had Loki, but after about a month and a half, I decided that he seemed lonely and got Possum. It worked out really well for me because they bonded quickly and fabulously, but it very well could have gone the other way, too. Loki was 2 when I adopted him, and Possum was 1 1/2, and I'm so glad I got adult cats. Wonderful creatures. I don't think I would have been able to handle kittens, and it wouldn't have been fair to them since I was gone a good amount of the time.

Also, read up on cats. That's what I did, as I had never had a cat before, though I had lived with my sister's cats. If you are even considering getting the cats declawed, then just look for already declawed cats. It's a horrible procedure which no cat should have to endure. It's literally mutilation, as they cut off the first joint at the knuckle.

My sister's cat are front-declawed (they came to her that way), and they are fine, but they are two of the lucky ones. Declawed cats can have litterbox problems, may fear-bite, and can have severe pain in their feet from the procedure for the rest of ther lives. They can also develop arthritis earlier than clawed cats. My cats are clawed, and I haven't had any major problems with them scratching things.

Tricia
post #6 of 22
Erm, it really depends on the cat as far as how much maintanence. We've had both and previously our cats have been less maintanence than the dogs, however, at the moment, we have a different set of cats, and the dogs aren't here now.. and the cats are far more maintanence time-wise than the dogs were. But, part of that has to do with choices I made as far as their diet, and the number and breed of cat, so I'd still agree that cats are *usually* less work than dogs.

I think these are some things that you might want to keep in mind as far as what will affect their maintanence level:

Diet - free feeding dry food will be the lowest maintanence method, however, it can lead to obesity. Wet food on a schedule or a raw diet will require having someone to come to your house when you're out of town or gone for an extended period of time, even if that's just overnight. It's very important to stick to a feeding schedule and to make sure that they never go longer than 12 hours without food.

Breed - it could be that a normal domestic mixed breed cat will be very active, or very laid back. Depending on your cat, it will be necessary to play with them. If you have a laid back cat, this may require no more than dangling a mouse on a string from your side while you watch tv and your cat "bats" at it rather passively. Mine (but they're a high energy breed) require at least 30 minutes a night (and usually I play with them till they're laying on their sides panting lightly, which is closer to 45 minutes to an hour). On the weekends, when I'm home from work, I try to play with them more (or they're racing around the house like they're possessed). I'd suggest a mixed breed cat or a breed known for being easy going... someone else would have to advise you on that, and you may want to check the CFA website for breed descriptions.

I would agree with the above suggestions on adopting an older cat, and potentially two that need to be adopted together. A kitten's personality is rather unpredictable. An older cat will probably have his/her personality established and whomever you adopt it from will probably know if there are issues anything, and what it's personality is.
post #7 of 22
Tuxedo kitties are great!
If you don't want to be waken up with something jumping on your head and running full speed around the house at all hours, I would suggest a teenager or like others have said 1-3 yr old.
There are so many in shelters!

I personally LOVE calico's.

Good Luck with your new addition whatever that may be.
post #8 of 22
You have gotten some great advice in this thread, but I just want to go along with the "go with an older cat" idea.

I think in your situation, it's a perfect fit!!!

Good luck and keep us updated on your decision!!!
post #9 of 22
And I'm here to reinforce the "two kitties are less trouble than one" concept. They're also happier!
post #10 of 22
I'm here just to agree with what others have said about a pair of older cats. Also, I highly recommend a rescue or shelter kitty. There are so many in need of homes. None of ours came from a breeder. Good luck to you!
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
And I'm here to reinforce the "two kitties are less trouble than one" concept. They're also happier!
I also agree, & it makes you feel good to see how much they love each other.
post #12 of 22
It seems like everyone's in agreement, an older cat..well preferably a pair of older cats is probably best for your situation. I did see that alot of people were saying 1-3 year old range. I think I'd go a bit older than that, my kitty Bean is a year old and he's still a handful. He has sooo much energy, and can be a little destructive if he's not getting the attention that he needs. Some kitties even at a 1- 3 years of age are still quite energetic. So personally I'd recommend going with a cat that is 3+ years old. I just say that becuase you said you dont want to risk your furniture, a young cat is more likely to be devious and mess things up.
post #13 of 22
I strongly urge you to look at mature adult or senior cats. They often get overlooked. And pairs of kitties is always good. Cats are social creatures, having another kitty is good for them, IMO.
post #14 of 22
Another one for an older cat...

I always make MULTIPLE trips to the shelter before finding the "right one or ones"...
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaireBear View Post
It seems like everyone's in agreement, an older cat..well preferably a pair of older cats is probably best for your situation. I did see that alot of people were saying 1-3 year old range. I think I'd go a bit older than that, my kitty Bean is a year old and he's still a handful. He has sooo much energy, and can be a little destructive if he's not getting the attention that he needs. Some kitties even at a 1- 3 years of age are still quite energetic. So personally I'd recommend going with a cat that is 3+ years old. I just say that becuase you said you dont want to risk your furniture, a young cat is more likely to be devious and mess things up.
I agree. I've seen a big change in Harley in the past year (he turned 3 in april). Last year, he was still into everything, still had that kitten mentality going on...but this last year he has mellowed so much. I you want a cat that is more likely to be content to sleep in the sun while you are at work, over 3 would probably be the way to go. But, he will still have a lot of energy when you get home!
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone you have been such great help! i think in a while im going to pick up a book to research up to. so talking about getting 2 cats, should i have to worry about any trial and error with getting a pair of older cats that get along? like sharky mentioned with multiple trips.

like when i go to the shelter i imagine that they would know about the cats and if they get along and who they get along with usually?


and as for like things like a litter box? like i know when i get an older cat i would imagine they would be litter trained. but how does that work with them in a new home? do older cats just like identify the litter box and go there? or like do they need to identify a place where its at?
post #17 of 22
well, for me after reading your post. I dont think your ready for a cat, or dog.
maybe just get some fish for now
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylemmulo View Post
thanks everyone you have been such great help! i think in a while im going to pick up a book to research up to. so talking about getting 2 cats, should i have to worry about any trial and error with getting a pair of older cats that get along? like sharky mentioned with multiple trips.

like when i go to the shelter i imagine that they would know about the cats and if they get along and who they get along with usually?


and as for like things like a litter box? like i know when i get an older cat i would imagine they would be litter trained. but how does that work with them in a new home? do older cats just like identify the litter box and go there? or like do they need to identify a place where its at?
THere's a pretty good book called "how to raise a well-adjusted cat, not a sour puss" I think the author's name is Pam Johnson Bennett, but I'd have to look to be sure. It's very helpful on how to set up your house and what your cat needs from you.

I'd suggest if you get two cats, that you look for two that have always been together, and not try to get two that have just recently been put together that seem like they get along. You'll still have rivalry if you move two newly acquainted cats to a new territory. There may not be as many kitty "couples" out there as there are single cats, but they are out there, and probably in at least one of the rescues near you. It's harder to find a home for two cats at the same time than it is for one, so finding someone who wants to adopt two together is a rare gem, imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theimp98 View Post
well, for me after reading your post. I dont think your ready for a cat, or dog.
maybe just get some fish for now
I agree, in that cylemmulo needs a bit more knowledge, but if research and some reading is done, I think everything will go okay. I do think you probably want to do research, though, because you really need to determine what you can give to the cat, and then go armed with that knowledge to find your perfect match. You're going to run into trouble if you end up with the wrong kitty, I think.

It sounds like you really want to learn about it though, and the above suggested book is pretty easy to read, and very informative. It does go into animal behavior a bit, though, which is always good to know, but maybe is more than you need at the moment. It's not laden with scientific terminology and overall out of the ones I've read recently, I think it might suit your purposes.

Keep us updated! And if you decide you're going to get a kitty for sure, and need help finding agencies near you, let us know.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
well as i said its not something that would be a reality for another probably 2 months at least, so not like im going out tomorrow and buying the first cat i see :p

Its just ive never had a pet cat. as for being ready for a pet, ive had a dog for about 7 months now that ive been raising through its young years and a friend is taking over soon, and if you want a handful a little black lab is QUITE a good handful (cutest lil thing ever though) I know a good amount about raising dogs but ya cats ya im very new on.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylemmulo View Post
thanks everyone you have been such great help! i think in a while im going to pick up a book to research up to. so talking about getting 2 cats, should i have to worry about any trial and error with getting a pair of older cats that get along? like sharky mentioned with multiple trips.

like when i go to the shelter i imagine that they would know about the cats and if they get along and who they get along with usually?
At the shelter where I got mine 3 from they frequently have pairs of cats living together because they are already friends.

Quote:
and as for like things like a litter box? like i know when i get an older cat i would imagine they would be litter trained. but how does that work with them in a new home? do older cats just like identify the litter box and go there? or like do they need to identify a place where its at?
Rehoming is frequently stressful for cats so for the first few days you would confine them to a single room that has the litter box and their food and toys. Keeping them in a single room helps in not overwhelming them with the change.

Once trained by their mothers cats naturally do their business in something they can dig in, like a litter box. If you put one in the room with them they likely will use it. Find out what kind of litter they are used to and start out using that to avoid any confusion. You can change later if you want to.

Also find out what kind of food they are used to. Changing a cats diet suddenly can can digestive problems (throwing up, diarrhea).

Good luck! I hope you find 2 precious little kitties to warm your heart!
post #21 of 22
If the cats know each other and are brought home at the same time - introductions are not necessary.

I'd confine them to one room that's cleanable (bathroom) and put the litter box, food/water (keep them far apart) and the cats with some nice soft blankets in the corner for a few days and then let them explore supervised for a week or so.

When you are not there, they should be confined till everything is comfortable.

In the meantime, read up on various threads in here about cat care, etc.

The basics needed are:

Litter pan (2 if you have 2 cats)

Food, water dishes (separate food dishes for each)
Grooming supplies - combs, nail clippers

Quality cat food - Royal Canin, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul - or read in the Nutrition section about other good foods

Cat tree house - a minimum of 4 feet high - not the cheapy small ones



Also if you've never really had a pet, I'd look for a shorthair one (far less grooming involved) and a quiet, laid-back personality. If you've never had a cat, an active one (like Siamese, Oriental, Ocicat, Bengal) would NOT be a good choice for a beginner as they would think the cat is totally nutz/wild

Best thing to do: Make a list of the cat qualities you want and stick to that for when you are looking. If you do not like a lot of grooming and combing, do NOT adopt a longhair no matter how much you think its the right cat. You will start to resent the grooming and then the cat will get a lot of mats and you will have more problems. So make out the list of personality/looks you want before you start your search.

I've had shorthairs my entire life. Got a Turkish Angora cause they were less maintenance then a Persian - I am not a "grooming" type of person and after about a year or so, I rehomed him to a friend who loved longhair cats. He was supposed to be a top quality show cat, but didn't like showing. I didn't like grooming him. I'll stick to shorthair cats!
post #22 of 22
Yeah, I believe it would be fairly easy to find two kitties together. I've seen mother-son, sibling, cats brought in together because of moving, and my friend adopted two older females who became attached to one another at the shelter. You never know. The transition would be much easier on them and you because they have a companion going through the same adjustments.

I agree that confining to an area will get a kitty used to where the litter box. Cats adjust quickly and no one I know of has had a problem with them figuring it out. I've even showed my kitties where it was, and let them sniff it. They know what its for.

There's a lot of information articles posted on this site at the top of the page regarding cat care, etc. There are a lot of real knowledgeable people on this site regarding any issues they may have and good cat products and food. Feel free to ask anytime.

Congratulations on giving two kitties a good home!
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