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Thinking about getting a cat...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone! So I've been thinking about getting a cat lately. I grew up w/ dogs and I still love dogs, but I stayed at a friend's place for a couple months and his two cats won me over. I do have a few questions/concerns about getting one though. Any advice would be much appreciated.

1) Firstly, I live in a tiny studio apartment. Does anyone have experience living w/ cats in a similar situation? I almost feel bad that the cat would be confined to this small space for X number of yrs. Anyone I know who has a cat either has another cat to play w/ it, or they have a large enough place for the cat to do some exploring. I just don't want my cat to be bored to tears when I'm gone 8 hrs a day.

2) Would an older cat have difficulty adjusting to a new owner? I know each cat is different, I'm just speaking generally. I image, like any animal, kittens would be much easier to bond with.

3) Any opinions on the Soft Claws/Paws products?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 13
I am so excited for you! I am a 'dog person' too but due to where I live, a cat just fits my life better at the moment.

1) A cat would be fine in a studio, they don't need a ton of space like a dog does. There are many types of litterboxes that are great for smaller spaces. I like the Booda dome (it's a covered round box) because it fits in places that most boxes don't fit, yet it's large enough for my cat.

2) This depends on your lifestyle, but I recommend adopting an older cat over a kitten. Kittens are cute and you can watch them grow up, but they grow up very quickly. They are more playful, require more attention and watching over, and can keep you up all night. Since you live in a studio apartment, the sleep thing is likely going to be an issue. Kittens go crazy at night and just want to play. Kittens are more expensive. When you adopt the kitten, they won't have all the shots they need (they'll just be up-to-date on them), and depending on how young and whether the rescue place does early-age-neutering/spaying, they won't be neutered/spayed yet either. So your adoption fee will cover less and will be higher (most adoption centers charge more for kittens). With an adult, they will likely be done with shots and will already be spayed/neutered, and may even be microchipped. All that stuff really adds up. Also, a cat would do better on its own whereas a kitten would do better with a littermate or another kitten the same age. So if you want just one cat, I'd go with an adult. Both are great options, those are just some things to think about. If you want a snuggly cat or a playful cat or a lap cat, tell the adoption center and they can help show you cats that fit the personality you are looking for.

3) Soft Paws are great, but I really don't find them necessary. Before I brought home Chloe (Mattie is front declawed by her previous owner), I bought a bunch of Soft Paws expecting scratching to be a huge issue. It isn't. I have 1 scratcher that she uses (I don't like the way most look, this is a flat one by TrendyCat, I also like the Bootsie's Combo flat scratcher (I think it's made by Smart Cat). I tilt it on its side so she can use it vertically. She only uses that. I've seen her scratch the couch sometimes but I pick her up and move her to her scratcher and now that's all she uses. I trim her claws about once every 2 weeks (it's so much easier than I expected, have your vet show you how to do it or just do a google search). I still have the Soft Paws, I just haven't used them yet. You might not need them, you might need them only while 'training' your cat to scratch on her scratching post/mat/whatever you get (the kitty will need something to scratch on). You can also use Soft Paws all the time, I just imagine that would be expensive.
post #3 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundayheel View Post
2) Would an older cat have difficulty adjusting to a new owner? I know each cat is different, I'm just speaking generally. I image, like any animal, kittens would be much easier to bond with.

I'm not sure about the others, but I adopted Hennessy at 1 year old and he took to our home instantly. Now, every animal is different, but I really think rescued kitties know they've been rescued and want to love you for it.

post #4 of 13
I would definitely go to a shelter or a pound near you! They have a lot of cats that need a home and often adult cats do not get adopted and end up being put to sleep. It's terrible to think of that! And older cat above 1 year would be the best option for your situation. They wouldn't have the energy level of a kitten and sometimes the older cats enjoy their solitude. If you go to a shelter they will have a pretty dang good idea about which kitties are happy by themselves. Cats live for a very long time so don't feel like you are missing much by getting an older cat. Most often they live to be over 16 when they are indoor cats.

I haven't had a whole lot of luck with soft paws, but I only tried them on Enzo...... he really hated them and chewed/riped them all off within a week! But there are a lot of people on here that soft paws have worked wonderfully for them!

Hope this helps you! Just post if you have any other questions and I hope you find the kitty of your dreams!

Let us know how it goes!!!!!!
post #5 of 13
[quote=sundayheel;2098914]
1) Cats will be happy practically wherever you go as long as they're happy and you're happy. Just make sure you get a good litter box and litter or else you'll be smelling it everytime he/she goes.

2) Kittens are very energetic and will keep you up for the first couple of nights. You can train them out of their bad habits a lot easier when they're young, in my opinion. Older cats are a bit more calm and cuddly though.

3) A friend of mine uses Soft Paws and it definitely saves the furniture.
post #6 of 13
RE adopting older cats - I only adopt cats over the age of 10, and the majority have settled really well - Molly, my 15yo (she was 13 when I adopted her) went from being on the verge of dying to loving life within 2 weeks, and the cat we thought had weeks/months left has had 2 good years, Zia is 17 and has been here 2 months, she settled in very well, to the point I thought the rescue had lied about her, they said she was iffy with people but was 100% with me from the minute we got here!! Rolo is at least 10, and is the most affectionate cat ever, you can hardly get anything done with him around!! I have had the odd foster that has taken a while to get used to me, but the bulk are fine, and the majority of them have been over hte age of 1 (out of 42, only 8 have been kittens).
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnzoLeya View Post
I would definitely go to a shelter or a pound near you! They have a lot of cats that need a home and often adult cats do not get adopted and end up being put to sleep.
Very good point!

http://www.petfinder.com is an excellent way to find your new baby. That's how I found my 2 cats.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundayheel View Post
1) Firstly, I live in a tiny studio apartment. Does anyone have experience living w/ cats in a similar situation? I almost feel bad that the cat would be confined to this small space for X number of yrs. Anyone I know who has a cat either has another cat to play w/ it, or they have a large enough place for the cat to do some exploring. I just don't want my cat to be bored to tears when I'm gone 8 hrs a day.
I don't see that as a problem as long as you try to look at the space from a cat's point of view and allow them to use it vertically. Cats like to climb so
cat trees, book shelves etc can all be utilised by them to give more space. If you have a window, placing a cat tree or something nearby will allow the cat to look out of the window. Maybe place a bird feeder outside for him to watch I have 2 cats in a small one bedroom apartment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sundayheel View Post
2) Would an older cat have difficulty adjusting to a new owner? I know each cat is different, I'm just speaking generally. I image, like any animal, kittens would be much easier to bond with.
Adults bond just as well with a new owner, and if you're new to cats an adult would probably be better anyway. Kittens can be very manic and cause a lot of havoc, esp in a small space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sundayheel View Post
3) Any opinions on the Soft Claws/Paws products?
A lot of people seem to have success with these, but I wouldn't assume you will need them. Anything that inhibits a cat's natural scratching action is best avoided, imo, unless really necessary. With regular claw trimming and the provision of lots of things to scratch, you will probably not have a problem.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for the feedback, everyone! Sakura, I'll definitely be looking into the Booda dome; finding a space-conscious litterbox was also a concern of mine. I've been on the fence regarding kittens vs. cats, but I'm definitely going for a cat now because of the excellent points made here. I've only really ever played with a kitten once, and I assumed its extreme hyperness was the exception and not the rule. ;p I'll put the Soft Paws on the backburner in favor of a scratching post/whatever and get it only if scratching becomes a big deal.

Thanks again for the great feedback, all! I'm thinking I'll let the holiday madness pass before I make this thing happen. And when it does, there'll be pics to show for it!
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sundayheel View Post
Wow, thanks for the feedback, everyone! Sakura, I'll definitely be looking into the Booda dome; finding a space-conscious litterbox was also a concern of mine. I've been on the fence regarding kittens vs. cats, but I'm definitely going for a cat now because of the excellent points made here. I've only really ever played with a kitten once, and I assumed its extreme hyperness was the exception and not the rule. ;p I'll put the Soft Paws on the backburner in favor of a scratching post/whatever and get it only if scratching becomes a big deal.

Thanks again for the great feedback, all! I'm thinking I'll let the holiday madness pass before I make this thing happen. And when it does, there'll be pics to show for it!
Yay! I can't wait to see pictures.

The Booda Dome is great and comes in neat colors. One thing to keep in mind with covered boxes is that even though you may not smell anything, the cat will. You have to be more diligent about keeping a covered box clean than you would with an open box.

I am glad you are going to get an adult cat instead of a kitten, it sounds like a better fit for your lifestyle and living situation.

Also, there are a lot of cats in shelters/rescue groups that have already been declawed by their previous owners and need a home. If you give one of those cats a home, you might not even need to worry about the scratching at all. When I adopted Matilda, she was declawed (previous owner). I was worried about behavior issues (because that is common with declawed cats) but so far she seems normal. She is a bit grumpy and non-playful but I don't know if that has anything to do with her being declawed.
post #11 of 13
When I first moved out onto my own I adopted two cats and I lived in an efficiancy apartment! (no bedroom, just living room, small kitchen, closet and bathroom) My cats loved it and were fine in the small envvironment! When I got a larger place it was weird because then they just found their favorite rooms and stayed in there anyway!

Im glad you decided on an adult, you're probably saving a Cats' Life!!
post #12 of 13
Cats really don't need a lot of space. If you have a good treehouse you can "add" plenty of vertical space and its good exercise. Most cats will adjust fine to a new owner - may take a few days to a few weeks.

I would recommend a cat around a year old, unless you will have a lot of time for kitten play. If adopting a kitten, its better to adopt 2 cause they are full of energy and need more attention.

Decide if you want a long or shorthair and how much time/patience you have for grooming. Longhairs will need to be groomed daily or at least 2-3 times a week to keep mats/tangles from forming.

Nothing wrong with picking out certain colors or sex. Some people prefer males over females (I do ) And my fav colors are red or red/white tabbies or calicos. Visit a local cat show to see both shelter adoptees and purebred cats. You might want a certain purebred and can get a "retired" cat that's older and more settled.

Good luck in choosing a companion and post pics of your new arrival whenever that may be
post #13 of 13
I really like the look of Katwalks, if you've got limited floor space then these would help any young active cat to feel that they have exploring to do! They don't take up any floor space at all, some cat trees have quite a large footprint. Cats do like to sit high up and watch what's going on below.
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