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Old 10-01-2010, 04:51 PM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 30,963
Default Cats?

Now, I can't get a pet for a while of course. But I have always wanted a cat and never could get one because my mom was allergic. I'm thinking maybe in a long while I might get a rescue cat. I know they're so overpopulated and there's no need to get a purebred cat.

But honestly I know next to nothing about cats. I've been around my friends' cats and enjoyed most of them (my favorites were absolutely my friends' maine coons). But I don't know how to take care of them or any of that. So could anyone point me to some good cat resources so I can get to reading? I have NO idea where to start.

Also just tell me the good, the bad and the ugly about cats. For all you dog lovers, do you enjoy your cats as much? Would you have another, etc?

Somehow I think Mia + a cat could be quite amusing.

Hank CA - (approx. 1 1/2 year old Spotty Dog)
Mia CGC - (6 1/2 year old Papillon)
Summer TG3 TIAD - (11 year old Papillon)
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:18 PM
mjb mjb is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,194

I love cats. I have 2 plus one my son brought home from college. I love them as much as I do my dogs. I have had cats all my life but never had a purebred.

They all have such different personalities. I know some people don't like their independence and say they're not affectionate. I have had some very affectionate cats, and one of the ones I have right now is extremely affectionate. He is more cuddly than my dog.

The spunkier, 'I'm the ruler of this house', types are equally endearing. One of my favorite cats that I've ever had, I am absolutely sure he felt he held a much loftier position in our family than any of us humans.

I can tell you that kittens, while cute, can be quite a mess. As far as housebreaking, that's easy. The only thing I've ever done is dig their paws in their litter box and keep them in an area that they can't get too far away from it for a couple of weeks, and they're good to go. The get absolutely wild, looking like they are possessed by demons, when they get into their play mode as kittens. People who have never been around kittens sometimes begin to wonder what is wrong with their sweet little kitty!!

They are easier than dogs in housebreaking and when leaving for school, work, or even a vacation.

They will not necessarily come running all excited to see you at the end of the day. Some will, but most I've had won't. I have one who is thoroughly delighted to see me when I've been gone overnight, and one who gives me the cold shoulder when I leave for overnight.

I love having the dog wag and wiggle all over in excitement that I'm home, and I understand that my cats are happy that I'm excited to see them and scratch them all over, ha ha!!
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:21 AM
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Punkygirl0101 Punkygirl0101 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: California
Posts: 4,107

I obviously love cats lol

Cats are wonderful pets. They want attention and affection on THIER terms, they want food on their terms... They end up ruling the roost, unlike with dogs who will do whatever the owner wants to please them. Cats dont care if you are pleased as long as they have thier way!

I love cats
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:43 AM
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Barb04 Barb04 is offline
Love my pets
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 27,367

Oh, definitely get a maine coon. I never wanted a cat before until I met my now husband. He had a maine coon, and I fell in love. They are so different from other cats. I really like them.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:33 PM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 8,039

I LOVE cats. I have only had two, the two I have right now, Neko and Willie, but I have been volunteering at cat shelters for about two years so I've met quite a few. Nobody in my family liked cats, some of them downright disliked them, I was indifferent, meh they're okay. Then we got Neko and everyone fell in love. My dad was the biggest suprise, he really didn't think he'd like cats (only cat he ever had liked to urinate on HIS clothes) but now adores them. I really like to talk cat (so sorry for the long post lol)

As far as temperaments go, you can really get everything. You can get a cat who is much happier doing his own thing than having anything to do with you, or you can find cats who are attention whores that want nothing more than to be all over you and follow you from room to room. Some run and hide when strangers come over, some run to greet them. Both of my cats greet me at the door. NO they don't run up and rub, they just run over to see that it's us and then commence with normal activities. Like with dogs a kitten's personality may not tell a lot about their adult personality. I definately enjoy cats as much as dogs, but they fill a different niche. You can't take them out and about of course (well for certain cats you can but usually not), structured games and training don't usually happen. So in that way they are certaintly no replacement for a dog, but they are certaintly just as good IMO.

I do like kittens though, I actually have a mild fear of adult cats (doesn't make me like them any less). At the shelter I am always very nervous of picking up an adult or touching one in the wrong place, they don't give too much of a warning when you've done soemthing wrong. However once I get to know the cat I learn which cats are cool with handling and which ones are not I am pretty comfortable with both groups. It's not important he like handling but that I know how to handle and read each cat. There have certaintly been cats at the shelter though that I know would be fine with handling once they gained my full trust and were out of that stressful shelter environment. Because I worked with both my cats as kittens they are absolutely fine with nail clipping and me touching them everywhere. You also learn to read your cat very well, each cat communicates differently, with different body language and vocalizations.

As far as general care is concerned they are pretty easy. Nail clipping when the nails start getting pointy. I usually know it's time because they start using their scratching posts more than usual and you can see and feel that they are sharper to the touch or when one of them is pawing at your face. You should do something for their teeth. What you do it up to you. Brushing and raw are the best, a totally raw diet being the better of the two (and not pre-made or ground). There are also things you can add to water, enzymatic gels, all sorts of things. It's up to you. Brushing depends on your cat's coat, my cats need no brushing, I do it when they shed heavily (like twice a year) and did it when they were kittens so they got used to it.

They need a litter box. One for one cat is fine unless your house is gigantic. Keep it clean, no cat wants to walk in a nasty litter box, they rather squat down beside it. I've never had trouble litter "training" my cats. You just keep them in a small room for the first couple of weeks with their litter box, food and water, scratching post, somewhere to sleep, and some toys. Make sure there is nothing like small area rugs on the floor and they will quickly choose the litter box to go in.

The cat will most certainly try and use furniture to scratch. I have not had any problems getting mine to learn to use the posts though. The most important and sometimes the hardest thing to do is make sure you find a post they like. If they don't like it, they are not going to use it, and they have a deep urge to scratch so they will find something they like. If you get one of the carpeted ones make sure it is TALL. Most ones you find are far to short. The cat should be able to fully stretch up when he scratches and the post should be sturdy, if it tips while they use it they are unlikely to go back. Some cats like vertical and some horizontal. If you have a cat who likes the flat cardboard ones then those are great, Neko likes those. For willie I had to make a post out of a flat piece of wodd and some fabric remnants. He didn't like cardboard or sisal and I couldn't find any carpet ones big enough (I have a cat tree made of carpet in my room but it's best if the post they use is close to the furniture they scratch). Once you find a post the cat likes you can encourage more scratching by putting catnip on it and rewarding the cat as soon as he finishes using it (I don't suggest rewarding while they are scratching as they don't get to finish). If you catch them scratching stop them (I generally take both front arms and remove them) then pick up the cat and take him to his post. Do something to entice him to scratch the post like drag a toy across it. You can also deter them from scratching furniture by spraying a citrus air freshener directly on the area they scratch (might not work for every cat though) or putting double sided tape where their paws hit when they scratch. When we get new furniture I put hand towels on the arms so that they won't scratch them (they do not understand that the no scratching rules apply to new furniture, it doesn't not generalize well) until they get used to the furniture being there and then take the towels off only when I can watcht them and be able to redirect them.

Every cat likes different toys. Most like the really cheap ones you can buy that are like little mice or crinkly balls. Some like balls of paper and ping pong balls. Some like the toys that are on a string and stick. Make sure the toys will hold up to rough play, not all toys are made well. If you buy a toy with a bell cut it off or only allow supervised play. I never leave my toys on a string out since I found one of them half way down Neko's throat. The favorites at my house are "Da Bird" and the "cat charmer" (which is the one Neko swallowed). They also just like the little toy mice, those are actually the ultimate favorite.

And now my favorite subject: Food.
Cats main diet should be wet food or raw food. Dry should either not be given or be given in small amounts. Yes, dry food contains the nutrients necassary for them to live but it is delivered in an inappropriate form (dehydrated food) with lots of carbs (which leads to obesity and diabetes). Even grain free dry foods MUST use a decent amount of carbs in order for the food to pop out of the extruder in a dry, hard kibble. Wet food does not need to do this. You'll notice that a cat does not drink as much as a dog. You can play with them super hard and they won't go get a drink afterwards. They have a very low thirst drive because, as desert animals, they are designed to get most water from their food. So most cats fed mostly dry food are in a mild, chronic state of dehydration. This can lead to very concentrated urine which can lead to the formation of crystals which can lead to UTI's and stones. Some people may disagree as plenty of cats do "fine" (though I think most cats are overweight, my vet seemed oddly estatic that Willie wasn't) on mostly or even all dry food, but to me it's not a risk worth taking.

A great book on nutrition (it has some other stuff but is mainly nutrition) is called "Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life" by Elizabeth Hodgkins.

I would definately go for a shelter cat. If you are picky (as I am) try and find one in a foster home or find some way to spend a lot of time with the cats, maybe volunteer at a cat shelter, as a volunteer I get a really good handle on the temperaments of our cats. Cats don't always show well with strangers, especially in the shelter, so the more time you can spend with the cats there, the better. You can easily find both cats and kittens in the shelter, NO problem. You can find some purebreds, mainly Maine Coons and Siamese (or ones who are obvious mixes of those). Or mixes that come in all the shapes, colors, and sizes you can imagine.
Kittens are going to be naughty, they will scratch the furniture, scratch you, try to climb the curtains, go in and on things you don't want them to, and act like complete spazzes sometimes. They will try to attack your feet and anything else that moves (like you under the covers). I still think they are easier than puppies though, by a lot. If you'd like to avoid most of that or you'd just prefer an adult for any reason you will have no problem finding a good adult cat. When you bring him home you might have to deal with some initial fear but unless you choose a cat known to be shy he should warm up quickly enough.

Some resources:
Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums

(I do not agree with the methods of feeding raw that some of these websites promote, I do not like grinding which then requires supplements unless you really have to):
Feline Nutrition
Feeding Your Cat: Know The Basis of Feline Nutrition (make sure to go to the obesity section and check out the case studies, they are shocking)
Raw Fed Cats (if you are interested in raw this is how I suggest you do it)

Lots of stuff:
(I have not read every article so it's possible there is some outlandish stuff, but I've read lots of them and they seem good)
Little Big Cat

Hope this is what you are looking for, sorry it's so long lol. If you ever want more info I'd be more than happy to help

Thank you ~Dixie's Mom~ for my awesome siggy!
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:36 PM
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PWCorgi PWCorgi is offline
Priscilla Winifred Corgi
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Twin Citay!
Posts: 14,853

If you want a cat like Mia, get a Korat. My friend has one and he is ridiculously active and hilarious and he plays fetch.

I am definitely a dog person, but I do like cats. With Ryan's allergies I am not sure if we will have any, depends on the house/apt.

Ado's Gimme Victory RL1* "Siri"
2 year old Jack Russell Terrier
Gimme Drugs Not Hugs RL1 "Frodo"
8 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:51 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
Behavior Nerd
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 4,925

I have a cat and will NOT get another, ever, unless it's a semiferal barn cat that lives outside 100%.

We got Pi as a 6mo kitten who was in foster with a coworker for 3 months beforehand. His litter was spunky, playful, and well socialized. I was looking forward to having a new animal to train, possibly for therapy work.

Unfortunately Pi had nasty tummy issues for months and appears to have de-socialized somehow due to that early isolation - he runs from anyone he doesn't know where he used to run up right away to make friends - so therapy work is out.

He's loud and persistent, often waking me up because he's hungry in the morning - he can meow for up to 45 minutes straight if he wants something and I can hear it through my bedroom door with a fan on, so there's no escaping it.

Pi has inappropriate elimination issues. He has a clean bill of health but still prefers to pee on soft surfaces, so he is not allowed access to most of our house, only DH's office. When he can't find a soft surface (he destroyed 2 papasan chairs with pee), he will pee in boxes of paperwork and on things as random as rubber doormats. We've tried litter preference testing and switched to his preferred clay clumping instead of the more eco-friendly World Best litter and he still pees inappropriately and now we get to contend with the dust clay litter creates. Feliway doesn't help either.

He can be incredibly cute and he does really like DH, but to be completely honest, the only reason we haven't rehomed him is that no one would want a cat that pees on, and thus destroys, furniture and other items!

I think the peeing issue is the toughest thing, but it's not made any easier because he's not a dog; he doesn't think like a dog, doesn't enjoy training like a dog, and he just isn't a dog.

Sorry to be such a downer but I felt it was important to share our story.
Erin, Ziva, Kestrel, Aerten, and Snipe
Always in our hearts: The Amazing Maggie Mae

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Old 10-02-2010, 04:47 PM
SizzleDog SizzleDog is offline
Lord Cynical
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 9,449

I have two cats - they had severe tummy issues until I switched them to raw.

I adore my cats, they're definitely NOT dogs but they're a lot of fun... in a different way.

Morado Dobermans... and Talla the Mexidog too! (group photo pending)
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:05 PM
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Xandra Xandra is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 3,807

Indoor or outdoor Laur?

Outdoor cats are super easy. Have a litter box in case they need it, but IME they'll never use it if they can go outdoors (and this takes 0 training). Put out some food one or twice a day. IME they sharpen their claws on wood so you don't need to worry about that... we have one of those cardboard thingies for them to use if they want. Other than that, let them in and out.

Indoor cats always seem to have more behavior and house training problems.

Cats tend to take themselves very seriously lol, they're sooo ridiculous. They have such bravado and really come off as disdainful, and then they'll do something positively retarded like run into a window or try and jump onto a wall unit and miss. After which they'll pretend that nothing happened or if it is too obvious they'll just sit there and stew with an extremely bitter, PO'd look on their face.

They will "stalk" you with wide eyes from underneath furniture... IN PLAIN SIGHT... and are then completely surprised when you look at them and wave your arms or something.

They very athletic... pound for pound way more so than a dog, and some of the stuff they do and the places they go... you really have to wonder WTH they were thinking. "Curiosity killed the cat" really is founded in reality, but so is the nine lives thing, they can shrug off some pretty epic falls.

They're funny... I mean there's a reason it's lol-CATS. If you don't think it's funny to be annoyed by a very persistent, very pompous, furry little animal, cats are probably not a good idea. That's just my experience of course. Personally I like cats just as much as dogs, more so in many cases.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:20 PM
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Grab Grab is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,370

I love my cats. I am not, however, a fan of kittens. I think it is because, working at a vet, we're always slammed with kittens. And kittens that are caged about 95% of the time are messy, awful little things.

Most of our cats have been acquired as adults. I like this as I know, for the most part (there's always that 'omg, new situation' adjustment of course) at least a hint of their personality.

I've never had a litterbox issue with our cats (including my childhood cats). With our current cats, we have the appropriate number of boxes, and three types of litter. (crystals, scooping paper litter and pellets) Everyone is happy. Our cats are strictly indoors. (I'll say that in the past we've stuck with one type of litter and our cats were equally pleased. We just like both types and it gives them a variety)

We feed grain free, as our cats are picky. They barely touch canned food.

We've decided to stick mainly with Persians (or Exotics) from now on, simply because we love their personalities. But, we have several younger cats, so we have no plans to add any cats for many years. And, both of our Persians are adopted

Our cats are not dogs, but then I don't expect them to be They're still a lot of fun to be around. And, nothing cuter than a Chow puppy playing with a giant pawed Persian Our dogs treat the cats like any other member of the family. We have a giant water dish in the kitchen and in the mornings when I fill it, there is always a herd of pets waiting around. It looks like a line of little kids at the water fountain. Today there were four of the cats in a line, then three dogs in line behind them, waiting their turns
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