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Another "what cat is best for me?" question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, I’m sure this question is asked more than you would care to see, but I do have some particular characteristics for my situation I would like to get some advice on from what looks to be an awesome community!

I’m a single male, 32 y/o, and live in a 2 bedroom house. In anticipation of at least one, but probably two cats, I have ordered the Litter Robot and a Platinum Drinkwell. Beyond that, I have picked up other things here and there, but obviously the most important part is missing – the cat(s)! I have done a bit of research and I have the following parameters to fit, but I would also like to get your input.

1)\tI’m away from home a realistic 10 hours a day (weekdays).
2)\tThe use of my whole house is not a problem.
3)\tI don’t want a young cat, but I also don’t want a hyper adult cat.
4)\tThe cat will be an indoor-cat only.
5)\tI want to find a cat already spayed/neutered and front declawed (rescue/shelter).
6)\tI don’t want to mess with a LOT of shedding. I know there will be shedding and hair, but the less the better…not so much because of my furniture or anything, but because of the clothes I regularly wear, but change out of immediately when I get home (dress pants, sport coats, sweaters, etc.).

I have time to wait for a selfish but practical match for me. I’m also within just a few hours of Kansas City, Omaha, and Des Moines, so I’m sure that I will be able to find a good fit somewhere close without having to have the cat travel too far.

I have been leaning toward an Abyssinian and/or a Bengal. I’m a bit worried on how much energy a Bengal would take, though. I’m also not sure on whether to get a male, female, or a mix.

With getting two cats, I think it would be best to get them at the same time, or at least within a few days of each other so they are reintroduced in similar situations.

Beyond that, I’m definitely not set on any specifics and any thoughts you have on a good match for me and the cat(s) would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 12
I don't know WHY you want a declawed cat, but if you really insist on it, please go to your shelter and adopt one that is already mutilated. Don't do that to another cat.

Declawed cats can have litter box problems (peeing on your bed, clothes, etc.) or try to bite more or hide more cause they lack defense). Declawing is like cutting off the first joints of your fingers.

If you change your mind about the declawing, you can learn to trim nails (its easy) or use the Soft Paws nail caps if you are worried about scratching furniture.

The shelters have many older cats. Just tell them you are looking for a shorthair that is laid back. Most breeders of purebreds have a contract that forbids declawing their kittens/cats for a very good reason!
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply, GoldenKitty45.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, text and the written word are sometimes taken the wrong way or harshly; I certainly don't mean that to be the case with my reply now.

I'm not dead-set on a declawed cat. I would also not have the declawing done to a cat who did not already have it.

The correlation drawn between declawing a cat and having the first joints of a human finger cut off is a bad biological analogy. For such an analogy to hold merit, the two compared structures must have come from a common ancestor; that is obviously not the situation in this case. The much more likely comparison of a common bird's wings to that of a bat's wings is more apt because of a shared function, but completely different ancestors. The argument about the human joint being taken off is an emotional appeal.

Yes, there are negative aspects to declawing. Yes, I have read and understood many of those negatives. Yes, there is also some evidence that declawed cats have a higher rate of non-placement from shelters. Just because a cat is declawed should not be an almost automatic death sentence for it, though.

Any pet can have problems such as you describe, as well; those problems are not limited to a declawed cat.

In a comparison with the alterations performed on cats already, the technology and the know-how for tubal ligations or vasectomies is available, yet full-on hysterectomies and castrations are routinely performed because they are "accepted" by most.

I won't go into a lot of detail, but I am involved in academe and higher education. For every scholarly and/or refereed journal article one can show in defense of their argument (whatever it is), I can show you others in defense of the opposite. Moving beyond such professional journals and articles and over into the anecdotal side of things with pet owners gets the emotions of this subject really high and moving beyond the objective. I'm not after that with this declawing statement. I just happened to include one of the parameters I was looking at in regard to the future addition of a cat or cats to my home.

Again, I am not dead-set in having a declawed cat. It may be "easier" for me to find a good match/pair of cats at the same time without having declawing as a "must" and I am open for that, too. However, I don't think it's fair to a declawed cat to be almost automatically looked over at a shelter because they are declawed.

Thanks again for this awesome forum and what looks to be a great community on here! Moving beyond the declawed cat subject, does anyone have any other thoughts or suggestions?
post #4 of 12
welcome! all i can really say is, go to your nearest shelter "as said above", & state what sort of cat your after. i would of thought they'd be able to help you with your choice, the best they can. good luck!
post #5 of 12
You might be able to find a good match using Petfinder.
post #6 of 12
Hi, welcome to TCS.
As you learn your way around the site, if you need help,
please feel free to contact me. Simply click on my user name and send a private message.
I will get back to you asap.
post #7 of 12
Welcome to TCS. I found this site a year ago and don't know what I would have done without it. Hopefully you will be able to find information that will help you (both in your search for a cat/s and after you already have said cat/s). If you have any questions about where to post topics, etc. I will be happy to help.

Before I post anything else, I must warn you that TCS is an "anti-declawing" site...meaning that the site, as a whole, takes a stance against declawing.

As to Goldenkitty's post, I think she was saying that it is fine if you want to adopt an already declawed cat from the shelter (most shelters usually have cats that are already declawed, as you can easily see by the "paw" symbol next to cats on petfinder). But that she would be against you getting a cat that has NOT been declawed and then declawing it. I agree that the correlation of the cat's first digit to a human's first digit is not completely accurate, but the procedure does involve taking off all of the first digits on the cat's front feet.

Pleae note, that by comparing declawing to spaying/neutering, you are comparing "oranges" to "apples"... Although they could be considered the same "type" of operation (removing parts of the body) they have differrent outcomes and different goals in mind when they are performed. Spaying and neutering have obvious health benefits to the animals (lower incidences of cancer, decreased occurances of getting into fights withother animals etc.), where declawing has no obvious medical benefit to the animal (unless they have, for example, a deformed claw or toe).

That said, sometimes personal experience speaks better than either research or general opinions/ beliefs...

When I was in high school, my parents elected to have our two cats declawed because they were ripping up the carpet. Said operation was done via a qualified and skilled vet on both cats (I must say that both were adults, about 5 years old at the time). After the operation, the cats experience pain, and bleeding. After about 2-3 weeks the wounds were visibly healed (i.e. no external bleeding). The two cats in question had different reactions to the procedure. The female seemed to get around OK, ocassional limp but not long-term. The male, however, limped for the rest of his life and would often stop and "shake" his front paws, especially in the cold, the only logical reason I can attribute this behavior to (as this was a correctly done procedure) is chronic, on-going pain (possibly like the "phantom limb" pain experienced by amputees). Due to their responses, I decided that I would never get any of my cats declawed because it's basically playing russian roulette on whether or not the cat will have chronic pain. I have seen cats (other than mine) with both good and bad reactions, but I err on the side of caution because I don't want to take that risk with my cats and I don't want to have to "get rid of them" if behavioral problems result from declawing.

Can I ask you why you would like (and seem to prefer, from your post) a declawed cat? Do you fear damage of your furniture or your person? Or do you not want to trim nails, etc? If you are open to a non-declawed cat, and would not declaw said cat after you adopt/purchase it, then you will greatly increase the number of animals available to you in terms of adoption.

Now I'll ask you a few questions about the other requirements you listed and some others that might be helpful.

1. Do you want a cat that is people-oriented (i.e. follows you around, seeks interaction and attention) or one that is less interested in you?

2. Do you want a cat with a "strong" personality (i.e. will come to you seeking attention or "demand" play time), or one that is more laid back (i.e. will let you pet him, but not seek attention)?

3. Do you want a short, slick coat or a short "fluffy" coat?

4. Do you want a cat that requires virtually no grooming, or grooming once a week,etc.?

5. How much time would you want to devote to playing with the cat/s? (both breeds you mentioned need a good bit of playtime)

6. When you say "hyper" what do you envision? (basically, tell me what you'd be willing to handle, energy-wise and what you would NOT want)

7. Do you have a color preference? (this is mainly for purebreds)

8. If you get two cats, would you be willing to have two different types of food, etc. if required?

9. Do you want a cat that is vocal, sometimes vocal, or known to be very quiet?

Although answering those questions will help me be more specific, what I can tell you based on your first post is this:

1.) Look for two similarly aged and active cats that are used to each other at the shelter (maybe two that were surrendered together). If you're willing to adopt declawed cats, that's great...but ask the shelter what behavioral issues, if any, they might have before taking them home. If you go this route, get them vet checked asap, as they could have underlying health conditions that the shelter didn't notice.

2.) If you want purebreds (and adults), after narrowing down your breeds, check into getting a single or pair of retired breeding cats from a breeder. Retired adults are often available, plus the breeder will know their personality in detail to help you find a match. However, if you go this route, declawing won't be an option as reputable breeders will have a no-declawing clause in their contracts.

3.) You could get a kitten (from the shelter or a breeder), but based on your requirements, a kitten would not fit your needs. They are high maintenence and high energy.

I hope this helps and please answer my questions so that I can help you narrow down your search.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for the replies!

Artgecko/Art, let me answer some of the questions you’ve asked, as well as hopefully be able to clear up a few misconceptions about me.

Before registering on here so I could post to the forums, I was a “lurker” and read quite a few of the forum posts and topics. I realized that TCS is an “anti-declawing” site. However, and I should have made this clearer, I am not in favor of having the procedure done to a cat that is not already declawed. I incorrectly assumed that when I put #5 on my parameters list and indicated (rescue/shelter) the correlation would be drawn that I was after a cat that was already declawed. Wrong. Live and learn, I guess.

The biggest reason for me wanting to get a declawed cat is because I think they get the shaft when it comes to adoptions. They often have/exhibit not only behavior problems, but physical problems as well. That doesn’t mean they are not adoptable or could not be loved by someone, but it often means that people simply pass them by. I don’t think that’s fair to them. My preference has absolutely nothing to do with any of the “myths” surrounding the usual reasons cited for getting a cat declawed, i.e., furniture damage, scratches, etc.

As to your more particular questions, I’ll answer what I can.

1)\tKind of both, really.
2)\tI think, probably ignorantly, this question is fairly similar to #1 and would probably prefer a cat that is more laid back based on your description of what that means.
3)\tNo preference.
4)\tNo preference.
5)\tThis one is tough to answer. I would have no problem playing with the cat(s), but the realistic schedule for me with them would be after work and up through going to bed.
6)\tAs far as hyper, I don’t want a cat that’s going to be jumping up and down in my office area constantly and on the desk while I’m working (I have no way to shut a door, as it is in a fairly open spot). However, I don’t think I would mind if they were doing that in another area of the house.
7)\tThe reason why I mentioned an Abyssinian and a Bengal was because I really like their looks. I like the overall look of the Abyssinian and I like the markings on the Bengals that I have seen. I also like the looks of the Egyptian Mau. I don’t have a particular color that I am after.
9)\tProbably sometimes vocal.

I am not necessarily after a purebred, and would probably prefer to go the shelter/rescue route. And as stated in my original post, I don’t really want to have to deal with a lot of hair all over the place. If that were not the case, I would love to get a Maine Coon or a Norwegian Forest Cat, but I just don’t know enough about them to be able to properly groom them, I don’t think.

Thanks so much for your time, and especially for your help! I look forward to your reply.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
One more thing to add/ask...when going with two cats, what seems to work out better as far as male and female, or female and female, or a mix of both? Or is there even an easy way to know beforehand without them interacting?
post #10 of 12
spudhusk- what you listed about wanting to adopt a declawed cat, was pretty much what I gathered from your posts, but I wasn't sure how to post that before I agree with that they sometimes do get overlooked in adoption situations... Just evaluate personality/behavior as carefully as you would a non-declawed cat when adopting.

From your responses, I'd like to suggest the British shorthair... I was looking at them too, originally, but they are a little more laid back than I'd like. they have a short coat, but it's "plush" and come in many colors. They are also "cobby" or "stocky" bodied. Even if you do not go with that "breed" per-say, generally speaking, most "coby" bodied cats that you'll find at the shelter will be less hyper/energetic than their lankier bretherin. If you need an example of a cobby body type, take a look at the BSH profile on CFA's website. The american shorthair might also be a good option..less cobby, but with an even temperment. If you're into the persian "look" (i.e. smushed nose) the exotic shorthair might be an option, but I hear that they do involve more grooming than a regular DSH. A Burmese might work for you, but they can be "pushy" and want attention (wlll follow you around, sit on your lap, etc.) they can be somewhat vocal.

Both the aby and bengal (I love the looks of those breeds too) are quite high energy (the bengal WOULD be climbing the walls, and there are numerous reports of them jumping ON TOP of open doors) so probably not what you're going for. The abys are also pretty high energy (although not that high) and pretty "pushy" when it comes to attention.

If mainly going for a shelter kitty, be aware that there are purebred rescue groups out there, some with listings all over the nation. Also, if you go on FBRL (breeders' referral list) you can find lists of "retired friends" (retired breeding/show cats) based on breed and locality.

In terms of m/f....Most say it doesn't matter. Some folks have experience that females are less likely to accept new cats and animals into the household than males, so if you're planning on adding another cat in a few years, a male might be better for you. Males are also supposed to be less "moody", but I've seen just as many females be even tempered as males.

My personal preference is for males, so right now I have a pair of male kittens (former ferals). I would not suggest getting a pair of females (due to the acceptance issues) but a m/f or m/m pair should work ok.

Interaction is a tricky one...unless born in the same litter or raised together (or have been living together with no problems) this can be hard to judge. Either go with two cats caged together at the shelter, or judge based on their reactions to each other on "neutral ground" (in a test room, etc.). Kittens usually accept one another faster, but you don't want one of those Maybe try looking into some independent rescue groups in your area...many times they foster cats in homes and they can tell you more about their individual personalities and interactions than most shelters... You should be able to find a listing on petfinder (just search for a cat in your zipcode and take a look at the organizations that come up).

Good luck! and post again if you have any more questions.
post #11 of 12
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I don't know WHY you want a declawed cat, but if you really insist on it, please go to your shelter and adopt one that is already mutilated. Don't do that to another cat.!

Hola y bienvenido a TCS, ...Catulina y Milky te saludan!!!........
(Translate: Hi and Welcome to TCS, Catulina and Milky say hello to you!!!...)

See you on the forums!
post #12 of 12
Hi and welcome to TCS! We are so glad you have joined us!

If I can help you with any questions you have about the site, please click on my username and send me a message.
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