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Thinking about a cat, but I have some questions.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm currently a student, and I would really like to have a pet. I move pretty often, and generally live in small places. I had a dog growing up, and was always a dog person, but I figure a cat might be best, as it doesn't have the time and space requirements that a dog would. I do have a few questions though..

Is there a chance that my cat will grow up to "hate" me? I have heard of this happening, is it possible? I'd naturally want my cat to be attached to me (like a dog would) and not run and hide so i was wondering if it could be true.. When I'm at the SPCA is there any way to identify the personality of the kittens?

Also, how big of a problem is the peeing? I know that accidents happen, but do some cats grow up to be non chalant pee anywhere-ers?

I guess peeing is a secondary issue, I just want to know if anyone has a cat that hates them..

post #2 of 17
If you adopt a kitten, you need to make sure you have the time to bond with it, introduce it to its new home room by room, show it where the litter tray is and how to use it, where youve put the food bowls, any breakables close to kitten height need to be moved. I assume with puppies you do the whole bonding thing, but it is free to run around the backyard and pee wherever it likes. Kittens need to be trained if they are from a new litter, and not older. If you adopt an older kitty who has already been house broken, that may be better for you. You still need the bonding time and to show him/her where the tray is. I would suggest you keep them as indoors, but if you cannot do this, make some sort of enclosure/run outside if you can, so that they wont get into any harm while you are at school and also wont go stir crazy in the house alone.

It may be a good idea to ask friends/relatives about their experiences as cat owners, also visit shelters and ask the volunteers there what you need to know.
post #3 of 17
First make sure that YOU want a cat. If you take your time with the cat and love it and are not mean to it then you will not need to worry about it hating you. The only reason I have ever know a cat to hate someone is because they were unkind to it. Dragoriana had some good ideas on bonding.
As for the peeing outside the box, I would not stress about it. Most cats do not have a problem with this. If there ever is a problem then it is usually because they have a urinary tract infection or some other health problem. Make sure if you adopt a male cat that he is neutered. Un-neutered males will have problems with spraying.
As for how to pick the right cat, it really comes down to if you feel a connection with the cat. When you go to the shelter take your time and interact with the cats. I spend a minimal of 30 min. with the cat that I am feeling most drawn to adopt. That way I can really get a feel from the cat of how it reacts to me. If you spend the time with them , you can easily see if a cat is hyper, playful, cuddly or whatever else.
I would suggest your looking at a young cat but not a kitten. The reason I suggest this is that kittens take extra time and are in need of more training (how to use the litter box and such).
Hope all my babble helps. Good luck!
post #4 of 17
I agree to what the other two have already said. Cats aren't going to hate you unless they are treated badly. One thing to watch out for is an adult cat who was abused. There is a good chance that cat could always be a hider and rather be alone. Go to a shelter when you know for sure if you want a cat and see if you bond with a kitten. They attach to their human very quickly and will be loyal for always!

Peeing is not an issue I would worry about. Cats are very clean and don't just pee anywhere like a dog does if it's angry or can't hold it. As long as you have a clean litterbox your cat will use it.
post #5 of 17
I just wanted to add that I hope you have money to take care of a cat. So many people want cats (or dogs) but then don't want to pay for vet care. I have spent thousands on my cats but it was a sacrifice I was willing to take.
post #6 of 17
Make sure you can afford a kitty.

I suggest adopting an adult. While kittens are cute, they aren't at 1 am when they attack your feet, 2 am when they attack your feet, 3 am when they attack your feet, 4am when they attack your feet, & 5 am when they attack your face. Kittens do best in pairs. And they're expensive. There is NO WAY anyone can guarantee the purr-sonlity of a kitten. And adult, the purr-sonlity is formed. And not all adults are "reject cats" that someone didn't want. Many are stuck with unworthy owners....

Declawing increases chances of a cat being a sprayer. And a biter. Cats can spray when they have UTIs(it is painful to urinate). Not all males spray, not all female spray, etc. And spaying/neutering....that decreases chances of spraying.
post #7 of 17
Generally speaking, if you adopt a kitten and spend a LOT of time with it, it will be very attached to you. Our kittens love us both (Except when bathed!
) but since I'm home the most, they tend to be more attached to me than my husband.
As for the litter problems, since we adopted ours from Petsmart/Last Chance Society, they were already litter trained. If they haven't been neutered/spayed already, it's advisable that you get it done before they become mature and sexually active. Especially males, they tend to spray to mark their territory but getting neutered solves the problem most of the time.
As for choosing a cat, ask yourself if you really want to spend 20 minutes of your morning with a sticky roller to get the fur off your clothes. Also, we didn't choose our kitten Tiger, he chose us. Some cats are like that. While at the shelter, they'll spot a particular person and fuss so much to get the person's attention in hopes they'll take them home. It's quite interesting on how smart they are.
And for a cat hating you... well, unless you give him/her a bath everyday, make it wear silly pink clothes like Paris Hilton's dog and/or shave it, you're good. All they need is food, water, a litter box, a good vet and LOVE!!!
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
I agree to what the other two have already said. Cats aren't going to hate you unless they are treated badly. One thing to watch out for is an adult cat who was abused. There is a good chance that cat could always be a hider and rather be alone. Go to a shelter when you know for sure if you want a cat and see if you bond with a kitten. They attach to their human very quickly and will be loyal for always!
I would have to disagree with that. My sister had adopted a cat from Petsmart that was notoriously known as the 'mean kitty'. She's a long haired calico or tortoise shell mix with the most amazing green eyes. Anyways, it took a while but my sister was able to get her from hiding and hissing under the bed 24/7 to being the most talkative, stranger friendly, fearless and loving little thing in the world! She's quite comical too. Scratch the base of her tail and she'll rear up her behind and do some weird rotating tumble roll on the floor, get back up and beg for more!

So, to summarize that, you can't judge a cat by it's cover. Some cats can turn around to the opposite side of the personality spectrum and surprise you with their perks and quirks.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey thanks a lot guys

I was wondering how long before the kitten might be safe to fly with? I'm flying home at christmas (only a 1-2 hour flight), but I just want to make sure the kitten won't be scared to death when it comes.
post #10 of 17
Good answers in this thread.
See which cat you are attracted to the most, the cat you seem to share a bond with the most. Make time to spend a little time at the shelter to get to know them.
I don't think that many cats hate their owners, my cat adores her owners, the dogs, and anyone else that visits. She is extremely outgoing and trusting by nature.
Also, if you are going to get a kitten most people suggest getting two. It is really helpful to a kitten.
But due to small space issues and going to school and wondering if your cat will like you I would suggest getting an adult cat. As what you see is what you get. You will have a better idea of what the cat is like as an adult, if the cat is outgoing chances are better that it will remain that way. You also get to by pass the kitten stage, which can be trying for some new cat owners with crazy crazy kittens clawing their face at night Kittens have a lot of energy which is another reason why it is good to get two.
My cat has moved several times, never even kind of phases her. All cats are different though.

People ship kittens and cats to new owners. I think it would depend on the temperament of the cat, but don't medicate the kitten or cat and carry the kitten or cat on as a carry on so you can stay right by him or her.
post #11 of 17
As a person in a REALLY similar situation I know kind of what you're going to experience.
If you've never had a cat, I don't know that it would be the best idea. As a student, you have to be gone a lot, which WILL lead to: 'peeing problems', attention issues and possibly relationship problems as the cat gets older! I am lucky enough to live with several roommates and their pets, who are all affectionate and give my kitten lots of attention when I have to be a class/work. So if you are in a similar situation, it could be OK.

Another good compromise, maybe go to a shelter and get to know some older cats there. Spend some time and see if any cats take a liking to you
Older cats STILL need good attention, but definitely less than a kitten would.
post #12 of 17
I would also suggest a semi older cat, maybe 1 or 2 years? Kittens are darn cute and are always the first ones to get adopted but they can be darn annoying! And with you being gone during the day an older cat would be fine just to lounge around the house, just make sure to give it lots of toys to play with. Ours have a scratching post and a few balls a few mice toys and a ropey chasey thingy attached to a chair so they can play with it when no one is at home. Also when you get home make sure to sit down and have lots of lovey time with the cat! Also why not wait and get it when you are going to be home for a while, like winter break or fall break or something like that when you will have extra bonding time!
Peeing isnt usually a problem, but it can be. If you get an older cat that is declawed it could happen. Joey has problems with the litter box and we think it is because he was declawed but we have him on medicine for behavior and it has worked great so far! But Chablis who is also declawed has never once had an accident! So its hard to say if it will happen or not!

Good luck finding the perfect baby!
post #13 of 17
Kittens instead of being afraid of you or hiding, I think you have the exact opposite to worry about. They won't leave you alone! I hope you have a separate bedroom to sleep in if you get a kitten, because they'll be trying to play with you when you're dead tired and sleeping.

They also like to jump on your desk, get in your face when you're trying to do work, try to help with your work by knocking your mouse off the table, running off with it, trampling all over your keyboard, spilling your tea onto your lap, etc etc.

Peeing you usually don't have to worry about. Just show them the litter box once, and that's usually all it takes. If they do pee somewhere where they shouldn't, it's time to see the vet.

Flying if you start them early usually no problem. Older cats might freak out. My cat loves car rides, so naturally he likes the plane too.
post #14 of 17
I like all of the answers given in this thread. Just make sure you share pics of your new kitty with us we love seeing pics. And I would suggest for me personally I donot leave rope toys down they are supervised toys only. One of my friends had a cat get caught in a rope toy luckily they were home and could cut him loose. I hope to see your pics of a new kitty soon. I really haven't any advice because everyone here gave such good advice.
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey guys thanks a lot for the help, it's much appreciated. Do you think a few frequent moves will stress the cat out? I'm flying home for 2 weeks in december, then into a new place (same city) in January, but i'll be moving again in april, and september (every four months), if the cat gets used to moving while young, will this be an issue?

Thanks again
post #16 of 17
Cats who are used to traveling and moving around will have no problem with a plane ride. (it's not recommended to use any kind of sedative on the cat)

I would really think hard about this before getting a kitten. I want to stress to you that if you get a single kitten there is a chance your cat will become stir crazy. I have a single kitten right now and I spend over an hour playing with him every day.

My friend had a single kitten and because she couldn't spend much time with it, it went absolutely stir crazy. It started attacking her without provocation and destroying whatever he could get his paws on. He really was a tiny terror, through no fault of his own.

If you get a kitten, you'll need to get TWO. Or you need to be able to spend a great deal of time playing with your baby when you get home.

BUT if you get an older cat, maybe one who dislikes other cats and likes having it's human all to itself....then I think you will have a match made in heaven.
post #17 of 17
First of all, welcome to TCS.

Before getting a kitty, you should be asking yourself 3 things:
1. Do I have enough time to play with it everyday?
2. Will I have enough space in the places I'll be living?
3. Do I have enough money to give it a happy and healthy life?
If you answer no to any of these, I think you should wait and get a cat later on in life.
As far as peeing goes, for the most part, cats will naturally use the litter box. The litter feels nice to them. If there is an accident, just as a question in the behavior forum and you will get lots of great advice.
For flying, it might take a little while for the cat to get used to it but sooner or later it won't be a problem at all.

Also I suggest that you have your cat spayed/neutered. And please don't get your cat declawed. I'm training to be a vet and in my opinion, it is on of the most gruesome and inhumane procedures that can be done to a cat. If you need any more help just ask.

P.S. Why do you move every 4 months? (if it's not too personal a question)
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