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Some words of encouragement for new cat owners

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
When you read through this forum, you'll find a lot of people who are having problems, big and small, with their kittens or cats. Sometimes behavioral, sometimes health, sometimes "mystery" problems.

It's very easy to conclude that felines are not good pets, or are big problems in small packages.

It would be interesting to see how many healthy, happy, well-behaved, loving cats we have. It would undoubtedly be a big majority of the cats in the population. Like children, new kittens are more prone to little health problems, and like senior citizens, old cats would be much more likely to develop serious problems and pass away.

But most would be like Punkin and Sterling, two really great cats. Both had the typical Upper Respiratory Infection when we got them from the shelter. Yes, by the time we had them a couple of weeks, what with the adoption fee, neutering, and treatment of the URI, we were into them for about $200 each. But since then, other than regular vaccinations, food, and litter, they are trouble-free and great company.

There's nothing like a purring cat sitting on your lap to reduce your stress (actually proven to reduce blood pressure!), and playing a few minutes each day with animals who have paws like lightning and enough imagination to turn any string or bottle cap into elusive prey will melt off a lot of weariness.

It's true that cats don't live as long as we do, but even that is good; they remind us that we, too, have a finite time on this earth, and we need to accomplish what good we can while we can.

And some of the good we can do is to provide a home for these little furry people.
post #2 of 10
I think you make very good points.

My parents were big cat lovers and we always had a house full (an I do mean "full") of Siamese all the time I was growing up and I had 2 Siamese for most of my adult life. I don't recall any of the cats we had when I was young being sick until old age and the 2 I had as an adult lived to be 18 and 22 yr old without ever being sick until geriatric illnesses.

From this I got the idea that cats rarely got sick and when they did, it was because of "old age".

It wasn't until I found this site, after starting to collect my current gang, that I realized how many feline illnesses there are. And it scares me sometimes. I find I go to the vet with "false alarms" far more than I ever did with my Meezers.

Quote:
It would be interesting to see how many healthy, happy, well-behaved, loving cats we have. It would, undoubtedly be a big majority of the cats in the population.
Maybe you should start a poll?
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Maybe. But I could mention right off, I have 2 healthy cats. Before that I had 3 others with my wife who were pretty healthy, although 1 died young at 6 years of age from an unexplained neurological problem. My bother has 3 indoors cats and 5 outdoor cats (he lives in our cabin in the woods in Arkansas), all of whom are quite healthy, although 2 of the indoor cats are approaching 15 years old. One of the outdoor cats had a run-in with something and came home with a crooked neck, but she recovered and has a litter of kittens on the back porch right now.

But I have seen my share of indoor/outdoor cats die young when I was growing up, since my mother didn't believe in vets or in having the cat indoors at night.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Maybe. But I could mention right off, I have 2 healthy cats. Before that I had 3 others with my wife who were pretty healthy, although 1 died young at 6 years of age from an unexplained neurological problem. My bother has 3 indoors cats and 5 outdoor cats (he lives in our cabin in the woods in Arkansas, all of whom are quite healthy, although 2 of the indoor cats are approaching 15 years old. One of the outdoor cats had a run-in with something and came home with a crooked neck, but she recovered and has a litter of kittens on the back porch right now.

But I have seen my share of indoor/outdoor cats die young when I was growing up, since my mother didn't believe in vets or in having the cat indoors at night.
I have only recently learned that Meezers (the breed I have had most of my life) are more robust and long lived than most breeds.
post #5 of 10
What a great topic! Sammie is my first kitty and I have had the pleasure of sharing my home with her for just a little over a year. I too never realized the potential illnesses, but she brings so much happiness to me that I will deal with what comes our way the best way I can.

For now, thank God, knock wood, etc., she is devoted, loving, entertaining and my wonderful companion. And very healthy and happy.
post #6 of 10
It's been amazing over the last year to see a couple of neglected strays turn into happy, playful house cats. When Baby first came, she was scared of everything, didn't play, and spent her waking hours begging for food--which she needed, as she was very skinny at barely 7 pounds. And Tiny was a little shadow, hiding whenever he could, scared to be touched, lashing out with claws and teeth when anything startled, annoyed, or frightened him.

Now Baby is confident and playful, and she only acts as though she's starving when it's time for a meal. Tiny has learned to like being petted, and over the last three months he began to stand, then sit, then lie on my lap. Three days ago, he fell asleep in my lap for the first time. They went from being frightened of each other to chasing each other and sniffing noses. Tiny doesn't bite or scratch anymore--he's fully redirected all that energy to the stuffed, catnip-scented socks I give him; and he's more confident and less afraid now.

Both of them went from skinny, parasite-ridden things to strong young cats with beautiful fur and lots of energy. Adopting strays is really rewarding... you get to know each other; the cat learns to trust again; you see him blossom ever so slowly into an individual with a definite personality.
post #7 of 10
My hubby and I had a cat, Kiki, who lived to be about 18. She passed with kidney failure. The 2 we have now are very, very active 13 week old kitties. I have sooo many puncture wounds on my legs and arms. I know this faze is going to pass though.

When we had Kiki, we were irresponsible and let her breed and have several litters. It was when she was about 8-10 and her final litter was born over several days, stillborn and deformed, that we finally had her spayed. the fur on her tummy took about 3 yrs to grow back in.

Rusty and Dusty are going to vet for their spay as soon as they are old enough. We have already put the money aside for this.

As for my kitties being sick.. I never really did have any sick kitties growing up except for one little girl. My mom had taken her to the vet to be spayed even though we thought she was pregnant. She looked to be pregnant and the vet thought so too when he looked at her. Well, when he opened her up, she was NOT pregnant! She had peritonitis that had destroyed most of her stomach and liver. The vet called my mom at work with the news. He could either fix her and send her home, or have her PTS. Mom chose the latter since she would be in horrible pain. It was the best thing for her and she greeted my Kiki later on over the rainbow bridge.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
It's been amazing over the last year to see a couple of neglected strays turn into happy, playful house cats. When Baby first came, she was scared of everything, didn't play, and spent her waking hours begging for food--which she needed, as she was very skinny at barely 7 pounds. And Tiny was a little shadow, hiding whenever he could, scared to be touched, lashing out with claws and teeth when anything startled, annoyed, or frightened him.

Now Baby is confident and playful, and she only acts as though she's starving when it's time for a meal. Tiny has learned to like being petted, and over the last three months he began to stand, then sit, then lie on my lap. Three days ago, he fell asleep in my lap for the first time. They went from being frightened of each other to chasing each other and sniffing noses. Tiny doesn't bite or scratch anymore--he's fully redirected all that energy to the stuffed, catnip-scented socks I give him; and he's more confident and less afraid now.

Both of them went from skinny, parasite-ridden things to strong young cats with beautiful fur and lots of energy. Adopting strays is really rewarding... you get to know each other; the cat learns to trust again; you see him blossom ever so slowly into an individual with a definite personality.
I remember when you took them in and why. Mega kudos to you.
post #9 of 10
when i was about 4, a ginger and white cat appeared in the rafters of our garage. the poor thing was skinny and dirty and mum spent a lot of time and effort feeding the cat and gaining it's trust. imagine how happy she was when the cat began responding to her and allowing her to stroke it. the decision was made to keep this cat who was gaining weight swiftly. pretty sure that the cat was pregnant, mum took it to the vet.

'when are the kittens due?' she asked excitedly

'it would be a blooming miracle if he produces any!' came the amused reply!

muffy went on to live more than 10 years with us until some stupid idiot ran him over right outside our house.

2 years later a ginger and white cat appeared in the garden... i know, sounds familiar! my best buddy fluffy was introduced by tula, mum's aby x, and lived a long and healthy life with us for the next 15 years.

my point here is that sometimes we don't even have to look for our feline friends, they find us! mum and dad did have another cat try to adopt them, a big tabby boy, but sadly he fought with fluffy so they found him a home with friends of theirs.

mum and dad now have skip, an aby x, who i took (long story) from an ex boyfriend who didn't want him. he is my dad's baby. has both my parents wrapped around his little paw! (can see where i get it from)

i couldn't get by without my cats and dogs. i firmly believe it is the only time in your life you get truly unconditional love.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tab View Post
my point here is that sometimes we don't even have to look for our feline friends, they find us! mum and dad did have another cat try to adopt them, a big tabby boy, but sadly he fought with fluffy so they found him a home with friends of theirs.
so true! i currently have 5, but only intentionally acquired 2... the other 3 are either foundlings or rescues. all are also currently healthy.
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