Hi! Sounds like you live in the city. i live in San Francisco.
Personally, i grew up with dogs and other pets. It is not until i started feeding the feral kitties outside my backyard several years ago that i discovered the kitties can be so wonderful! i even volunteer and foster now!
Before i adopted my Daisy (first indoor cat), i did tons and tons of research on the internet. This website is a great avenue to start as well. i even have a kitty care folder, and my two kitties have their individual folders (medical, microchipping records, etc.)
SO, i think it really helps to do research before anything else.
Also, in my opinion, one really has to invest TIME, EMOTIONS, and yes, even MONEY in keeping a kitty. i feel that it is really a myth that cats are low maintenance. Maybe it is just me? cat questions (noob)
i just feel that the three essential ingredients must be there. Afterall, you really do not want to abandon the cat halfway, right? It is horrible for the kitty, especially after establishing some sort of connection with you.
i feel you need the following (just basics)
- litter box (1 box per cat)
- litter (the type that is non-toxic to your kitty)
- ceramic/porcelain or metal bowls - plastic absorbs odor and some kitties develop zits on the underchin using these
- metal litter scoop (again, plastic absorb odor)
- toothbrush/tooth paste
- hair brush
- toys - small ones and at least 1 interactive toy
- scratch pads or even better, a tree (especially if you live in an apartment)
- wet/dry foods
- a cat bed (if he/she likes to curl - the round type, if he/she likes to spread out when sleeping - flat type
- a small, soft kitty towel (for clean work) - i get mine from San Rio's hello kitty
- cotton wool/q-tips - cleaning around the eyes/nose
- nail clipper
- a small basin for any of the kitty wash job
- organic shampoo
- a collar with a tag (with YOUR name, address and telephone no.)
- if you intend to let your kitty out, which i doubt it as you live in an apt, apply a flea product, like advantage, once a month
Also, you need to microchip the kitty (in case she/he runs away and FOUND), bring to the vet for a yearly check up, and most importantly, GIVE LOTS OF LOVE!
i think if you have ample toys to amuse your kitty, your stuff should be not "destroyed." We have a silk carpet at home, and our babies do not make a mess.
Cats, i feel, are very independent. So, i think your kitty should be okay home alone for those hours you are at work till you return. Trust me, you WILL look forward to coming home to your kitty, it is such a pleasure to come home to your baby!
As long as the kitty is litter-trained, your carpet should be okay. If you adopt a kitty from a rescue shelter, like your local SPCA, most kittens SHOULD already be litter-trained. Adult cats tend to already know the ropes!
Cats typically live 15-20 years if all goes well. i learnt this from the internet.
Hopefully, i have helped.