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I'm thinking of getting a cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
(I'm not sure where to post this, so sorry mods if I posted in the wrong place!)

Anyways, ever since I was little (I'm 17 now) I had a general liking for animals, especially cats.
But my parents do not like pets AT ALL, and never allowed me to have one.

But now I'm older and I'm thinking I want a cat, really bad!

However, I have no idea if it is a good idea, so would you be so kind as to help me decide weither or not I should have a cute little cat?

Here's my situation:
- My parents don't like pets, but are probably willing to deal with a cat, and quite possibly turn their somewhat hatred for cats around after experiencing their cute-ness 1on1
-We have a leather couch that cost a lot of money, how small is the chance of a cat not destroying it?
-I will be at work/school every weekday, and will probably not be home all the time, but if I do get a cat, I will spend as much time as I can with it
-I don't know for sure if I should let it be an outside cat, but if I'm not home all the time would it be smarter to do that?
-Would I have to cat-proof my house if I were to get a cat?

That's all I can think of right now, maybe something else will pop into my mind.
Thank you for your help!
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chester312 View Post
(I'm not sure where to post this, so sorry mods if I posted in the wrong place!)

Anyways, ever since I was little (I'm 17 now) I had a general liking for animals, especially cats.
But my parents do not like pets AT ALL, and never allowed me to have one.

But now I'm older and I'm thinking I want a cat, really bad!

However, I have no idea if it is a good idea, so would you be so kind as to help me decide weither or not I should have a cute little cat?

Here's my situation:
- My parents don't like pets, but are probably willing to deal with a cat, and quite possibly turn their somewhat hatred for cats around after experiencing their cute-ness 1on1
-We have a leather couch that cost a lot of money, how small is the chance of a cat not destroying it?
-I will be at work/school every weekday, and will probably not be home all the time, but if I do get a cat, I will spend as much time as I can with it
-I don't know for sure if I should let it be an outside cat, but if I'm not home all the time would it be smarter to do that?
-Would I have to cat-proof my house if I were to get a cat?

That's all I can think of right now, maybe something else will pop into my mind.
Thank you for your help!
Hi!!! First of, let me say, I am so glad you cam here before getting your kitty - I wish a lot more people would!!!
Obviously, if your parents approve, and ARE going to help you financially with the kitty, I would say........ GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!

-We have a leather couch that cost a lot of money, how small is the chance of a cat not destroying it? If you provide enough places, different surfaces for the kitty to scratch, vertical and horizontal, you can very well be safe.... I have three kitties, and they don't scratch my couch....
-I will be at work/school every weekday, and will probably not be home all the time, but if I do get a cat, I will spend as much time as I can with it
-I don't know for sure if I should let it be an outside cat, but if I'm not home all the time would it be smarter to do that? Better inside all times - safer, healthier..... just be sure to make his/her environment entertaining...
-Would I have to cat-proof my house if I were to get a cat? Somewhat... It depends... I would advise you, since you are going to school, to get an older car, like 2 yr old... This way it will be calmer... gentler... For kittens, yes, for sure... For older cats, it depends on them... My Lucky and Hope, for example, not at all.... Bugsy, on the other hand, when he is upset, and wants my attention he will pull plastic bags and start eating in front of me so.... cat proofing my house consists of either keeping him happy at all times, or no plastic bags!!!

We are here for you - do NOT shy away from asking any questions, ok? How fun and exiting!!!!! That's awesome!!!!!!!

That's all I can think of right now, maybe something else will pop into my mind.
Thank you for your help!
post #3 of 15
Hi Chester and welcome to these boards!

Here are some of my thoughts.

Considering how your parents feel about pets, I would *really* talk this over with them *before* getting a cat. Not to be critical of your parents, but if they have a "hatred" of cats now, it's going to take a lot more than just the cat's "cuteness" to convince them.

Another thing that comes to mind is that although it will be your cat, it will be living in your parents house and therefore they could impose their "cat rules" on you and force you to do something like declawing the cat so that it doesn't ruin their expensive leather couch.

I don't know how much you know about cats, but declawing does not consist of simply removing just the claw or nail of the cat, it actually amputates the cats fingertips. You see Chester, cat's claws are not only their feet, but their hands too! Imagine if your fingertips were cut off at the first joint. Sure you could still survive and manage on your own, but you wouldn't be able to grab objects like you used to and you wouldn't be able to scratch yourself. And chances are you would be in a lot of pain most of the time. It is the same thing with cats.

Claws are a natural part of a cat's anatomy and they actually walk on their toes and their back, shoulder, paw and leg joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves are naturally designed to support and distribute the cat's weight across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs.

A cat's claws are used for balance, for exercising, and for stretching the muscles in their legs, back, shoulders, and paws. They stretch these muscles by digging their claws into a surface and pulling back against their own clawhold - similar to isometric exercising for humans. This is the only way a cat can exercise, stretch and tone the muscles of its back and shoulders.

The toes help the foot meet the ground at a precise angle to keep the leg, shoulder and back muscles and joints in proper alignment. So when their toes are removed, this drastically alters the conformation of their feet and causes the feet to meet the ground at an unnatural angle that can cause back pain similar to that in humans caused by wearing improper shoes. It can also cause their muscles to become atrophied because they just can't do what they are supposed to be able to do naturally anymore without their toes, you know, their whole body balance is off also because they are in pain most of the time.

Also, cats who have been declawed develop all kinda of behavorial problems. They have been mutilated, so, naturally they become depressed, fearful, anxious. After the surgery their feet hurt so much that they don't want to use the litter box. Walking around digging around in there is just too painful so they begin to develop litter box aversion and will eliminate in other areas of the house, not a good thing!

So as you can see when a cat is amputated/declawed it is affected by this for the rest of it's life.

Also there is the cost ok keeping a cat that you need to keep in mind. Food, litter, toys etc. but more importantly vet costs. Your cat will need vaccines, it will need to be spayed or neutered and you never know when you cat will be sick and will have to go to the vets. Vet visits can be expensive and one must be prepared to handle the cost of those visits. For example, my cat Rascal was sick with diarrhea for two days. On the the 2nd day, I rushed him to the vet, who gave him a shot to calm the diarrhea down and antibiotics. That cost me $82!

Last year, my other cat Samson got really sick and nearly died, it cost me close to $2,000 to save his life.

I'm not saying that would happen to your cat, but it could. If it does, are you ready to dish out that kind of cash?

Chester, I'm not saying don't get a cat, it's obvious you have *lots* of love in your heart for one, but again if your parents really hate/dislike cats, the cat will sense it and will always be afraid, nervous, and possibly skittish around them. It will have an impact on it's personality that's for sure.

Also every single cat is bound to have "accidents". They will throw up a hairball, or they might drop a piece of poop on the carpet. This can happen if the poop sticks to their butt and falls off later as they walk around. They might get a bad reaction to their food and throw up. If you're not around to clean that up when this happens, what will your parents reaction be??

What if your parents say yes, but it has to be on a trial basis. Then what? You might be later forced to give up the cat you now love and that won't be good for you or the cat.

Maybe it might be best for you to have a cat when you can finally have a place of your own, but only you can decide that.

I hoped I helped. I'm not trying to be negative and discourage you from getting a cat, but just to make you aware of the responsibility that comes with owning a cat.
post #4 of 15
First off you must absolutely get the backing of your parents. If you and kitty are living under their roof you have to be ready to live by their rules. Once you have that you need to ask yourself a few question. First are you willing to make the lifetime commitment to your cat? What happens if you go off to college, decide to move out into your own apartment, find your soulmate who is allergic to cats, lose your only source of income? Would your parents want the cat after you have headed off to college, will they take care of it? What will you do if the apartment you have your heart set on doesn't allow animals? The reason I bring these things up is they are some of the biggest reasons people surrender their pets to shelters.

It sounds to me like you are a responsible teen, not many people would research getting a pet before actually doing it. A cat is a huge responsibility. There are regular vet bills and of course the unexpected emergency vet bills which you will need to foot. There is a lot more to it then scratching a leather couch and everyone in the household where your kitty is going to live all need to be on the same page. I say have a sit down with your parents and have a heart to heart, but you have to have the best interests of the cat in mind.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
post #5 of 15
I agree with everyone, your parents need to be one hundred percent for it. Cats are innocent living creatures that have feelings you need to consider. So learn all you can, read books, visit this website, maybe you can educate your parents and they'll change their mind.
post #6 of 15
I think you have the readiness and responsibility for getting a cat, but my main concern is your parents.

Right now you are 17, I am assuming you don't bring in a whole lot of money with still being in school and all. You need to make sure that you parents are willing to help you in the event of an emergency with your cat.

Yes cats are normally very easy and relatively inexpensive animals to maintain, they make wonderful companions if you let the right one choose you and if you have the patience it takes to bond, but in the event of emergencies (and they will happen at some point in his or her life) they can be very costly.

Mostly...I just want to make sure that you cover this with your parents and make sure that you know that they will be there for you and your new kitty.



I only say this because, my parents were not.



Also, it would be in your best interest to adopt a cat that is already spayed/neutered as that will save on one future cost. And like carolinalima said, I am sure we all think it would be in everyone's best interest to adopt an older cat. 1-2 is still relatively in the kitten stage, but has passed up enough of those undesireable urges!

As for cat proofing... You never really know besides the obvious (like chemicals and such) what your cat will be able to or even want to get into so for the first few weeks you should keep an eye on your cat and make sure to catproof those places that you don't want him to go.

Training a cat not to scratch is actually a pretty simple task. First off, if your cat is not used to having his paws handled, get him used to that so you can start trimming his nails once every couple of weeks. This will help a lot in the long run whether he scratches furnitue or people, even accidentally. Then, for the leather couch, suggest some no-scratch spray as well as two-way sticky tape or tinfoil to your parents as the citrus, tackyness, and foil are all good ways to deter cat claws.

Make sure you get all of the things you need before acquiring the animal.

At least 2 litterboxes, food and water + bowls, at least a small cat tree or scratching post, a place for him to safely hide, and lots of fun cat toys! And set everything you've gotten up into his room (ie: the place you will be confining him for a few days as he gets used to his new home.)



I hope everything works out! And if it does, congratulations on your new furbaby! And welcome to TCS.
post #7 of 15
I also have an expensive leather couch and while my foster cats don't claw at it intentionally, they have done some minor damage to it. So I put a slipcover on it. Or maybe you can get something like s-s-s-s-cat... which trains the cat not to go on or near certain things.

I agree with everyone else here... discuss all the pros AND cons of having an animal in the house... that can poop, pee or puke on the carpet or furniture, that can possibly cost a lot of money if sick. It is a lifetime committment.. a healthy 2 year old cat can easily live another 15 more years... or more...
post #8 of 15
Welcome to TCS.

Before you get a cat, you have to absolutely make sure your parents are ok with it.

If you can convince your parents to let you adopt a cat, you have to be prepared to take care of it. They are quite easy to look after, but it's still not a walk in the park. There will be some mishaps that you will have to fix.

Your couch should be ok as long as you get a scratching post, clip the cats nails, and/or get get soft paws (foam nail caps). None of my cats have ever scratched any of my furniture. They use the scratching post instead.

It's great that you will spend a lot of time with your cat, but if you are going to be away a lot, I would make sure your parents are home. If they won't be home either, it would be best if you could get 2 cats to keep each other company.

Definitely keep the cat indoors. If you want to let it out, make sure it will be in a safe place where it can't get loose.

As far as cat proofing goes, that's almost impossible. I've learned from experience that no matter how inaccessible you make something, a cat will find a way in. But if a cat is doing something you don't like or is somewhere that it shouldn't be, move the cat and firmly say NO. However, if a cat urinates/defecates somewhere other than a littler box, you shouldn't say no as the cat may think that it's bad to urinate/defecate. Generally speaking though, a cat will usually use the litter box quite well as long as it knows where it is.
post #9 of 15
i dont own a cat

i just walk down the streets looking for other peoples cats, and stroke them.

If a cat is consistently there, i will visit that street at a specific time of day
post #10 of 15
1. for the worry over the claws, try the soft paws or claws, my parents didnt want my boys either, but it was either save them from starving to death with out their mom, or they stayed, so... they lost that fight.
2. I think a healthy dose of out doors is mandatory if your not going to be home and your parents are going to ignore them, BUT try lead training, and comand training them and teaching them the boundarys, its alot of work, but its worth it, and has saved my boys lives multiple times.
3. MAYBE you should try a smaller pet first? I know for a first time pet owner cats can be really tough, Try getting a rat (BEST pets ive ever had), or some other small animal and spend time with it, make sure your truly ready too, its not fair to get a cat and ignore it.
At 17 i thought i knew it all too, im so glad my parents raised me in the pet happy family they did, but maybe you need to logically discuss with your parents your need to have something to love... cause they had you, so they can understand that
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booger View Post
2. I think a healthy dose of out doors is mandatory if your not going to be home and your parents are going to ignore them, BUT try lead training, and comand training them and teaching them the boundarys, its alot of work, but its worth it, and has saved my boys lives multiple times.
IMO - Absolutely not true, and unfortunately one myth that costs many cats lives... Especially in the city. Cats are much safer inside only - statistics are there to show.... there are many ways to enrich their inside environment to provide them with a safe, healthy and interesting life.
Also, keeping him/her inside will likely save you a LOT of $$$ in vet bills, which will play a factor when discussing the matter with your parents... Not only that, but the maintenance alone will be cheaper - i.e.: less to none need for flea meds, no parasites issues, etc. When you are 17 (and actually for everybody, really) every dime counts).
post #12 of 15
Indoor cats also are much less subject to disease and parasites.

Before you let your cat go outside, read through our "Crossing the Bridge" section.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Before you let your cat go outside, read through our "Crossing the Bridge" section.
short, to the point.... A trip to the crossing bridge session puts your cats indoors really quickly!
post #14 of 15
Hello Chester,

Make SURE your parents are ok with it. Their house, their rules. Also, if you think the claws would be a deal breaker, look into adopting a cat who was declawed by his or her previous owners. There are many cats who adjust to life with out claws- while it is never something you should do yourself, there are a lot of cats who have been declawed looking for a home. I adopted one of them myself. While one of the previous posters mentioned all the behavioral problems that come with declawing, there are many cats who move on after that point.

I also second one of the other posters on the cost. Consider getting insurance on the cat; it can cut down on costs, particularly in the case of the owner whose cat cost $2,000.

People can become cat people by falling in love with a cat. This is a great bonus- it is never a guarantee. My dad was hesitant about my mom's cat, now he picks her up and talks to her like a baby. When I got my widge, I told my mom, and I thought she told my dad. When he came into the apt and saw the litter box, he was apprehensive, but when he met widget he was sold! My dad is not the norm, however, and your results may vary. It is also important to know that I had an apartment before I had my little girl.
post #15 of 15
As a 22 y/o living with the parental units, and the person in charge of adoptions at the local humane society - your parents must be 100% OK with a kitty. Trust me, it makes everyone's life easier.

If you are worried about your furniture, adopt an adult/declawed kitty. There are so many looking for homes in shelters.

Indoor cats, generally speaking live longer than indoor/outdoor or outdoor cats. If they are declawed, they *must* be indoors only.

A kitty is a lifetime commitment of up to 20 years....what happens to kitty when you go to college?
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