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  #21  
Old 09-30-2012, 07:04 PM
mjb mjb is offline
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As far as your dogs getting into a covered litter box, my cats were adults when I got my dog, so we just put a gate up to the room that their litter box and food is. They can jump it, and the dog cannot.

I could probably have installed a kitty door into the door of the room that the cats could fit and the dog couldn't. The dog is bigger, but he is not enough bigger that he wouldn't have given it a good try at fitting in the door, though.

I 'think' my vet told me I could sprinkle meat tenderizer on the cat's food, and the dog would not be interested in their poo anymore??
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2012, 12:20 AM
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I'll answer this with my awesome experience of only ever owning 1 cat.

1. How do you keep a cat inside and happy? And without tearing up everything without declawing it?
Easy! Jinx is an indoor cat and he's fine. He'll go out in our fenced in backyard and sun bathe or roll around in the grass, but that's about the extent of his outdoor exposure. He does not pine to go outside. He is declawed, but only because my parents thought that was what you were "supposed" to do... you get them neutered, you get them declawed. Never had an issue with him scratching or ruining things. I think the issue comes when you try to take an outdoor cat and turn it into an indoor cat. But for cats that don't go outside, they don't know any differently so it's not a big deal for them to be kept inside.

2. Do you just... leave them loose while you're gone? You don't have to crate them or make a cage for them? I'm so worried they'll get into everything...
I suppose if you had a particularly naughty cat, you might want to confine them. Jinx is left loose. He just sleeps.

3. What do you do for outdoor time? Do you give them outdoor time?
He hangs out in the fenced in yard. It's not something that we make an effort to do with him - we just frequently leave the backdoor open so that the dogs can go in/out as they please, so occasionally Jinx will wander out there too.

4. Food- in general is a good brand of dog food going to make a good brand of cat food?
Yes.

5. Litterbox and smell- how do you keep the house from smelling? I've changed shelter litterboxes and they SMELLED bad. I don't want my house to smell like dog or cat.
Diet goes a long way. Jinx is on raw so a) he doesn't even poop that often and b) when he does poop, it doesn't smell. His poop when he was on Iams or Hills c/d was bigger and stinkier. But still not awful. Most of the cats we get at work for boarding are on some sort of Purina or grocery store brand and they have NASTY smelling litterboxes even though we clean them 2x a day. I try to clean Jinx's box once a day. I don't always succeed. It still doesn't smell.

6. Pros and cons of adopting a kitten versus adult. I almost wonder if it might be better to find an adult for adoption that has a good, easy personality.
I find kittens nuts. Personally I would rather have a puppy than a kitten lol. You can easily find an adult cat with a nice personality. And if you don't like the idea of declawing but are worried about destruction... I'd say most shelter adults are already declawed. I have met lots of super awesome adult shelter cats... if I had my own place and could adopt them, I'd be a crazy cat lady by now.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2012, 12:50 AM
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Most everything I would have said has been said but I will add...

Baby kittens I usually confine to one room when we are not home, with all their stuff.

Just cleaning the litterbox at least once a day will take care of most of the odor. Unless you have an intact male, urine takes time to get smelly (as it changes to ammonia). Cat poop is pretty stinky but diet makes a big difference and just keeping the box clean is really all you need to do IME.
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  #24  
Old 10-01-2012, 07:54 AM
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And if you don't like the idea of declawing but are worried about destruction... I'd say most shelter adults are already declawed
That must be a local thing, declawed cats are a rarity up here in the shelters. I've honestly never found the cats that destructive, the couch got scratched a little before they learned, and then they stopped. Tucker on the other hand has destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of stuff and we haven't detoothed him yet lol.
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  #25  
Old 10-03-2012, 05:11 PM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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I agree with getting two... they'll keep each other company.

My cat is indoor/outdoor, not by my choice. The problem really when you have other pets that go outside, is that it's hard to make sure the cat stays in. That's how I had to let my cat out when I moved to the US. Now 10 years later she's home 90% of the time but gets really mad if she can't go out (we tried in our apartment, after 2 months she was peeing everywhere... it stopped as soon as we let her out again).

Anyway, my point is that you'll have to make sure to be really careful when you let your dogs out. I want my next cat to be an indoor cat but I know it will be tough with the kids and all.

To keep an indoor cat happy, lots of toys, cat tree etc.

I hate changing the litterbox though. And with dogs you have to make sure it's in an area they can't reach (we have a little space behind the kitchen and put everything there with a gate with a little door for the cat). Your best bet is to clean it twice a day, pretty much (which is why it's so annoying when it's out of the way and why I hate it LOL). This way pee doesn't stay in long enough to stink. I use some natural clumping litter, can't stand the non clumping stuff.

For food I give her evo. She has kibble available all the time and gets 1/3 of a little can every evening.

Kitten vs adult - I like both.
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  #26  
Old 10-03-2012, 07:25 PM
Kilter Kilter is offline
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1. How do you keep a cat inside and happy? And without tearing up everything without declawing it?

They adjust. I think younger cats are more likely to want to get out, but if you're consistant about it not being an option, they're fine. A spray bottle by the door helps, and that works for behaviors too (spray them when they go to scratch the wrong thing).

2. Do you just... leave them loose while you're gone? You don't have to crate them or make a cage for them? I'm so worried they'll get into everything...

Yup, or in a covered xpen or smaller room, if needed.

3. What do you do for outdoor time? Do you give them outdoor time?

I've debated on making an outdoor pen for our cat but now that it's just her, and sadly don't feel the need to go all out, we won't. She does escape from time to time but comes back for food.

4. Food- in general is a good brand of dog food going to make a good brand of cat food?

Yes, but raw or canned is best, or at least some canned with water. Our cat gets fed at night, so if she's outside she comes in before bedtime, and we can limit her calories that way so she's not a bowling ball with hair.

5. Litterbox and smell- how do you keep the house from smelling? I've changed shelter litterboxes and they SMELLED bad. I don't want my house to smell like dog or cat.

We use a large rubbermaid tote, the size of a laundry basket but taller. Cut a hole in it but she just hops in over the edge anyway. And horse bedding pellets that are awesome for litter, cheap and work great. We should pick the poop out and stir it daily but have gone as far as three weeks before realizing it's not been done or changed and it's in the same room that we watch TV in. The litter just rocks and works well, even on dry food and canned food.

6. Pros and cons of adopting a kitten versus adult. I almost wonder if it might be better to find an adult for adoption that has a good, easy personality

I did not like our cat till she turned 2. It was almost a daily 'we should get rid of her' mindset, she was horrible as far as getting into things and so on. Now that she's a bit older she's nice and laid back, kinda lazy for the most part, but will catch mice (the main reason she did not get sent away). Plus there are so many unwanted cats that need homes, same as dogs that way. You'd have to just be sure it's one that isn't going to have litterbox issues, personally I'd tell any rescue that if the cat doesn't use the box, it's gone, but keep in mind we just rehomed a cat that thought beds were optional bathroom areas for his use and we had to keep all bedroom doors closed at all times, as well as all laundry and so on. Not fun with kids and an ADHD partner!
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  #27  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:34 PM
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PitBullLove PitBullLove is offline
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My cat is the love of my life. I have no idea what I am going to do when she passes away, she's 16 years old. I picked her out from the pound when I was 4, and we have been inseperable ever since. She is definetly MY cat and I am definetly HER human...

1. How do you keep a cat inside and happy? And without tearing up everything without declawing it?
In my experience, they just ARE. If you raise a kitten or get a cat that's not feral - I've never had any problems with it, besides stepping outside for a few minutes to explore, my cat has never had a problem with being an indoor cat. Neither did my RIP cat, Jack, although he liked to go outside a lot more and explore.


2. Do you just... leave them loose while you're gone? You don't have to crate them or make a cage for them? I'm so worried they'll get into everything...
They aren't like dogs. My cats never get into anything. The only problem I had with this was with my RIP cat, Jack, licking the grease off pans that were left out.

3. What do you do for outdoor time? Do you give them outdoor time?
Mine are let out when they stand by the door. Jenna will MEOW non stop until I follow her where ever she wants me to go - whether it be to the door or her food bowl. Then she comes in whenever she wants to come back in.

4. Food- in general is a good brand of dog food going to make a good brand of cat food?
Pretty much.

5. Litterbox and smell- how do you keep the house from smelling? I've changed shelter litterboxes and they SMELLED bad. I don't want my house to smell like dog or cat.
Mine never smells up the house. Animal shelter litter boxes do for whatever reason, I agree. I change mine twice a week. Different kinds of litter = different smell. Choose a kind of litter that works for you and your cat and just change it twice a week. The only time my cat poops and pees in the house is when her litter box is a little too dirty for her likin'.

6. Pros and cons of adopting a kitten versus adult. I almost wonder if it might be better to find an adult for adoption that has a good, easy personality.
Yes, PLEASE adopt. There are TONS of kittens AND adults cats in the animal shelter, as I'm sure you know. So much that they're considered vermin more than pets. Just pick one out that you click with, whether it be an adult cat or a kitten.
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  #28  
Old 10-12-2012, 07:52 PM
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I currently own 4 cats. At one point when I was doing cat rescue... I have a total of 18 cats in my house, 10 of which were kittens. My nieces and nephews call me Aunt Kitty. So... This is my advice based on my experience and opinions with all the cats I've had come through my house. Lol.


Quote:
1. How do you keep a cat inside and happy? And without tearing up everything without declawing it?
I am pretty against having outside cats, so we have made this work. WINDOWS. Cats love, love, love windows. In our old house, we had a couple windows fixed with extra large sills with cushions just so they could sit in them. They would do that almost literally all day. Also, scratching posts. It's not that difficult to get them to realize that the scratching post is the most badass thing in the house to scratch. Keep a couple around and trim their nails, and you're good to go.

Quote:
2. Do you just... leave them loose while you're gone? You don't have to crate them or make a cage for them? I'm so worried they'll get into everything...
I have always left mine loose. But yes, it's likely they can/will get into things. Mine know how to open cabinets. The solution? I don't necessarily leave things around that they can ruin. I'm pretty tidy, so that's not difficult for me. I also have 4 cats. With one, I'd say you would just have to worry about possible toilet paper massacres or knocked over knick knacks. In the house I'm at now, my cats have their own bedroom so we shut them in there... But not everyone has that luxury.

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3. What do you do for outdoor time? Do you give them outdoor time?
Nope! Lol. I'm very against having an outdoor cat. It just worries me too much and it seems dangerous for the non-working house cat. Too many horror stories. I won't do it.

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4. Food- in general is a good brand of dog food going to make a good brand of cat food?
For cats, you want wet food and the most meat you can get. I have heard AWESOME things about Innova canned. My cats are on Purina because I'm poor... So I can't give a whole lot of advice here.

Quote:
5. Litterbox and smell- how do you keep the house from smelling? I've changed shelter litterboxes and they SMELLED bad. I don't want my house to smell like dog or cat.
With one cat, it won't be an issue. I have to struggle with 4 and I keep the smell away. I have two litter boxes. I dip them twice a day. I use Arm and Hammer litter and cat litter deodorizer and my house smells just fine. If you do the same as me, with one cat, you will NEVER smell it. Lol. Also lidded litter boxes are your best bet. My litter boxes are igloo shaped and they have a little ramp tunnel that the cats climb into to get to the litter. Keeps most of the litter from their feet off of my floor.

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6. Pros and cons of adopting a kitten versus adult. I almost wonder if it might be better to find an adult for adoption that has a good, easy personality.
Basically the same as with dogs. Kittens are cute, but little terrors... You can raise them how you like, but that doesn't guarantee a personality that may fit what you want. I would go with adopting an adult... Everyone always wants a kitten and there are SO many adult cats out there that need homes that you could probably find exactly what you want in looks and personality and have it guaranteed.
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  #29  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:08 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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I am just going to second going the adult route... Especially if you are going rescue. It's very difficult, IME, to judge how a kitten will act when it gets older. If you have a 'type' of cat you like, an adult is a much safer bet.

We adopted my cat from the shelter as a 6 year old and it was awesome - we knew her personality and it only got better once she settled in at home
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  #30  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:48 PM
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I have 2 cats, both a little over a year old. I was always a "dog person" too but have become quite fond of cats since getting these two.

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1. How do you keep a cat inside and happy? And without tearing up everything without declawing it?
Toys and a scratching post are a requirement. Specifics will depend on your cat. I know some cats are happy to spend most of the day laying in sunbeams on a bed or on the floor. I have very high-energy cats, so I make sure they have a few catnip mice or other small toys (tiny tennis balls, ping pong balls, crumpled up paper, etc.) scattered about for them to bat around. They also chase each other around a lot (we actually got the second cat as a playmate for the first, because he was so high energy).

Mine also have a 7 ft tall cat tree, but like I said, they're very high energy, and love to jump and climb. Not every cat needs this (but some sort of cat tree/scratching post is nice to give them a "perch").

I also recommend clipping nails regularly, or getting nail caps if you're worried about them scratching furniture (or the dogs!) We trim our cats' nails whenever they start getting sharp. How often will depend on how much your cats use their scratching post. We have one that seems to need a trimming once a week minimum, and another that needs them every few weeks.

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2. Do you just... leave them loose while you're gone? You don't have to crate them or make a cage for them? I'm so worried they'll get into everything...
Mine just run loose in the condo, although we did close off certain rooms when they were kittens (like the computer room). There are things they will get into so you'll need to cat-proof a bit or restrict their access to different rooms when gone.

Things to watch out for are food, strings/rope/dangly things/belts, thin cords (like headphones), and anything really breakable (mine occasionally knock things over). But this will again depend on the cat. My male cat doesn't really mess with much other than food, my female cat tries to eat tissues, bathrobe belts, shoelaces, anything like that, so we have to keep lids on all our trashcans and put away clothes with ropes or belts on them. I have found giving her a tough piece of chicken jerky once a day reduces her desire to chew. I can safely leave tissue boxes out if she's had her chew for the day.

One important thing to remember with cats is, unlike dogs, things up off the ground may not be safe. They can get into all sorts of places, even cabinets. We have baby locks on all our cabinets (even the top level ones) for this reason.

Quote:
3. What do you do for outdoor time? Do you give them outdoor time?
One of my cats is actually nervous about being outdoors. The other I occasionally take out on a harness and leash, and let her chase leaves and bugs and stuff. Not often though, as she really seems pretty content inside. They do come out on the balcony with me sometimes as long as I can carefully watch them.

If you do take your cat out on a leash, I'd recommend a cat harness over a collar. Their tracheas are delicate.

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4. Food- in general is a good brand of dog food going to make a good brand of cat food?
I've found the brands I use for my cats ended up often overlapping with my dog. Moisture is key with cats since many don't drink enough water (they're descended from desert-dwelling felines), and unlike the opportunistic carnivore that is the dog, cats are obligate carnivores. High meat-based protein is super important for cats and some do very poorly on grains. I'd recommend either a grain-free canned, or raw diet (or some combination of the two). I do canned in the morning and raw at night mixed with a little canned for my cats.

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5. Litterbox and smell- how do you keep the house from smelling? I've changed shelter litterboxes and they SMELLED bad. I don't want my house to smell like dog or cat.
Change it frequently! I clean the litterboxes once a day, or every other day minimum. Also I recommend one litterbox per cat (i.e. if you have two cats, you need two litterboxes, rather than just one). A good food will make a BIG difference in the smell of their poop. Mine smelled much worse when they ate kibble for a brief period of time. I don't really notice litterbox smell much at all except when I'm right there cleaning it, and even then it's not too bad. I also use covered boxes, to keep them from kicking litter out and keep the dog out. I've also found a good brand of litter (I use World's Best) can make a difference as you end up having to do full box changes less. I do a full litter change if the box starts to smell even with daily cleanings, and this happens maybe once a month or so?

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6. Pros and cons of adopting a kitten versus adult. I almost wonder if it might be better to find an adult for adoption that has a good, easy personality.
Everyone else already covered this. Same with dogs really. I got kittens, and really enjoyed them, but boy they were a lot of work. Super hyper (although I have particularly high-energy cats, as I said), chewed everything...still less work than a puppy though, especially since most kittens seem to come already litterbox-trained. A kitten might get along with existing housemates (such as dogs) easier, but getting an adult cat that is comfortable with dogs is another good way to go. Really either is a viable option...shelters usually have ample numbers of both. If you want to get a kitten, a good time to adopt (at least in my area) seems to be the summer. Many shelters have kitten overflow at that time. Any time of year is good for adult cats.
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