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How I kitten? (UPDATE: Cat Get! Pics Page 2)

SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as DohaerisRegistered User, ClubPA regular
edited March 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So I had a cat when I was much younger and I loved it. It died sadly, and my sister immediately implored my mother for a dog, so we've had nothing but dogs since.

But now that I am out on my own, and my roommate who is allergic to cats is moving out in a month, I want to get my own!

I haven't done an incredible amount of research, though I know I likely want to start with a kitten, attempt to train it to use the toilet, and have one that doesn't shed quite so much hair if possible. I also apparently don't want to declaw it, do want to neuter/spade it, and potentially am willing to get two kittens so they have a playmate/friend when I'm not home.

I hear animal shelters are generally a good place, avoiding petco like the plague.

So how much am I looking at spending for this? How much will a shelter charge for shots and everything? What all do I need to buy? Will cat food be ridiculously expensive or something? Any good resources to read up on?

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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    A shelter will give you a cat that's spayed/neutered and probably up on its shots. They'll tell you this. You'll still have to take the cat to the vet within the week for a checkup (and get shots if it does need them).

    Overall adoption fees + vet visit + buying food/other stuff you're looking at around $200-300 initial expense. I do recommend getting two cats as they are generally much more happy I've found.

    High quality cat food is not THAT much more expensive but will save you a lot in vet bills in the long run. Finding a good local pet store would be the place to start there. Wellness, EVO, Orijen, and other brands you can look up online are well reviewed. Wet food is better than dry food but I understand if it's a convenience issue.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If by "train the cat to use the toilet," are you referring to an actual toilet? This is not as common as television/movies lead you to believe.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Figgy wrote: »
    If by "train the cat to use the toilet," are you referring to an actual toilet? This is not as common as television/movies lead you to believe.

    I know it's not that common, but it doesn't seem too difficult to do, at least according to this lady: http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.html

    And it'd be mega convenient.

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    If by "train the cat to use the toilet," are you referring to an actual toilet? This is not as common as television/movies lead you to believe.

    I know it's not that common, but it doesn't seem too difficult to do, at least according to this lady: http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.html

    And it'd be mega convenient.

    Just don't get your hopes up about having a cat that shits in the same toilet as you. Also, rule toilet-sword fights out of the picture.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Figgy wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Figgy wrote: »
    If by "train the cat to use the toilet," are you referring to an actual toilet? This is not as common as television/movies lead you to believe.

    I know it's not that common, but it doesn't seem too difficult to do, at least according to this lady: http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.html

    And it'd be mega convenient.

    Just don't get your hopes up about having a cat that shits in the same toilet as you. Also, rule toilet-sword fights out of the picture.

    Oh I'm not counting on it working. I'll still have a litter box and everything, but given it doesn't seem too difficult to try, may as well. I'm fully ready to have a cat and deal with a litter box the normal way if necessary.

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  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    My local shelter charges $100 each for kittens, which includes the neuter/spay, initial vaccinations and microchipping.

    I don't know if it's universal, but my local PetCo works with local shelters to adopt out cats. I think the small mall pet stores are the ones that have reputations as puppy mills and the like.

    My shelter made me promise not to let my cat outdoors, but if you do, that's another set of shots. I think those also require periodic boosters. Not sure how much it costs.

    I think the short list of what to buy is food and water bowls, food, kitty litter box(es), a scoop, kitty carrier(s) and kitty litter. A can of spray/foam carpet cleaner would be good. Get some recommendations for a vet.

    Optionals include some mats for the bowls and litter boxes (I just use newspaper around the litter box), collars and tags, brushes, cat toothbrush(es) + toothpaste, guillotine-style claw trimmers, scratching post(s). My cats really like the electric water fountains for pets, especially when they were on a dry food diet, but apparently some cats get plastic allergies? Dunno. Also, some sticky lint rollers.

    I've switched to a canned food diet for my cats, but it's a lot more expensive -- probably about $140/month for two cats (one of which is a big fat pig), instead of, like, $40. A cheap plastic bin and chip clip are handy if you're doing dry food.

    My brother toilet trained his cat, although there were some hiccups along the way. I had no luck with mine, partly because I was unwilling to throw away the old litter box and the cats would find it and poop in it even without litter in it. I basically gave up.

  • RayzeRayze Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    So I had a cat when I was much younger and I loved it. It died sadly, and my sister immediately implored my mother for a dog, so we've had nothing but dogs since.

    But now that I am out on my own, and my roommate who is allergic to cats is moving out in a month, I want to get my own!

    I haven't done an incredible amount of research, though I know I likely want to start with a kitten, attempt to train it to use the toilet, and have one that doesn't shed quite so much hair if possible. I also apparently don't want to declaw it, do want to neuter/spade it, and potentially am willing to get two kittens so they have a playmate/friend when I'm not home.

    I hear animal shelters are generally a good place, avoiding petco like the plague.

    So how much am I looking at spending for this? How much will a shelter charge for shots and everything? What all do I need to buy? Will cat food be ridiculously expensive or something? Any good resources to read up on?

    While Petco and Petsmart don't sell cats and dogs on their own, some shelters do operate out of the stores on the weekends or on a full time basis. I volunteer for a feline rescue shelter that has a small offsite location in a Petsmart store (that's where I've been volunteering off and on since 2002). Do visit shelters but don't be afraid to visit a Petco or Petsmart if a reputable shelter operates out of there

    Also be prepared for the financial burden. Castle already touched on this a little but kittens are generally more expensive than adults. At my shelter, kittens run for $200 while 1+ year olds are $125 (except for seniors and special needs cats). This includes shots, neuter/spay, microchips, and the like but if you have the money, go for it

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

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  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Depending on your local climate, you're gonna get shedding, but a domestic shorthair really isn't bad at all compared to many other animals and other types of cats. Even with shorthairs, every cat is different. Just...expect to get intimately familiar with lint brushes regardless.

    I highly recommend looking up your local rescue organizations. They usually have a pretty wide array of ages, types, and behaviors, and you're just being a good person in general. Most orgs often have weekends at Petco type stores these days where you can go and do some behavioral test drives with their rescues.

    I can't speak for cost. I have two, and I don't really notice their impact much. I usually pick up the most monstrous mid-range dry cat food back they have. You'll find that each cat is different regarding food as well. Put it this way, it's a ton cheaper than a dog, especially factoring in the rare vet visit (immunization is another thing you'll never to make a personal decision on - some people multi-vaccinate each year, some just vac for FIV and let the cat ride when they reach adulthood). I think the cat startup cost from the rescue itself was in the 75-125 range for all the shots, bells, whistles, cruise control, etc...

    Oh, and I've recently switched from standard cat litter to this "natural" sawdust stuff. It requires its own specialized litter box and scooper, but damn if it's not pretty clean and odorless (and cheaper) compared to standard clay.

  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2011
    Please adopt from the Animal Rescue League or ASPCA approved locations.

    Pretty much every shelter will sell you a cat with shots and spayed/neutered.

    Walk into their cat room and wait for one to basically come up to you and say "Hey. I'd like to be adopted, please".

    Pets pick you sometimes. :)

    Good luck!

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  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited March 2011
    I would personally not get a kitten, because they are giant assholes that get into everything, claw things to hell and are not really that great to be around for about 3 years. They do take great pictures if you can catch them with the camera though. Personally in your situation I would go looking for a bonded pair at the shelter that they wanted to home together because those 2 cats will already love each other, sleep together and be super cute. It doesn't really make a huge difference in training them to use the toilet, in my opinion. Although kittens are definitely less stuck in their ways, some cats are stubborn assholes and some aren't, regardless of age. I also hate the smell of kitten crap, they get it all over themselves too. I seemed to be bathing my cats every second week to get rid of something disgusting. Now that they are 4, I haven't had to get them even near the bath in like a year. YAY.

    However, if you really insist on 2 kittens I'm sure there's always some available.

    Stuff:

    1. The shelter will probably charge about $100 max for the cat, some are about $50 I think. It likely already has all its shots, depending on the age of the cat.

    2. You will want to set aside about $200 for basic vet care for shots per year. That is a little generous.

    3. You will need to add a couple thousand to your personal emergency fund to support a large vet bill in case the cat (a kitten more likely) eats something stupid, does something stupid, etc.

    4. If you want to feed well on a budget, get the Kirkland Costco food. If you are not so concerned, OnTheLastCastle already gave some solid brands to work with. Speaking of solid, Solid Gold offers a great wet canned food and dry as well, they are worth checking out. You need to know what the cats had at the shelter, and you have to feed that for a few weeks, gradually upping the new food. Their shit will probably stink really bad for at least 6 weeks until you get them on a really nice food and it evens out. I do recommend trying a canned wet food at least as a half can supplement per day. It will really save you in problems with urinary tract later on.

    5. Use ceramic or metal dishes, cats get acne on their chin from plastic.

    6. The trick to cats scratching stuff is providing appropriate areas for them to use. If you catch them scratching something else, you pick them up and move them to their appropriate area and scratch it some to get them interested. I have a 2000 sq ft home and about 10 cardboard horizontal or diagonal posts. I got them for like $2 each at ikea and I think $7 for the horizontal ones. Then we have 2 stand up posts and a cat house thing. Seems like a lot but they have never touched the furniture. They use every single one of them. I would put at least one per room (never mind the bathroom) and many in the living area. Most cats will hang out where you hang out a lot of the time. They will want to be in that area so there's no point putting their stuff in the basement.

    The cardboard posts are easy to put behind the couch, in useless space behind doors, etc. You barely even notice them.

    7. Don't bother buying toys, yet. You can roll a piece of paper around and it will be cute with a kitten. Kittens don't usually respond to catnip for the first while anyway, too, and lots of commercial toys use it. Beds to sleep in can be pretty pointless, too. Some cats use them but a lot don't bother and will just sleep on the couch/lap/whatever is available. My cats used one type and shunned all others, and they only use it on a wooden area in the bedroom because they don't like sleeping in the human bed.

  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I almost forgot. The one ring of cat toys: the laser pointer. Get one. Point. Profit in hilarity and cat good times.

  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    We adopted our kitty from the shelter a few years ago. I also read a lot about cat care before getting her since my last cat was also a childhood pet. It sounds like you're on the right track in understanding what you will need to put in place for your new friend(s). Keep in mind that finding the right cat for you can be important, so if possible spend some time with them before making your adoption decision.

    You didn't mention this, but one decision a cat owner needs to make is whether your cat is going to be an indoor or outdoor kitty. It's a great debate amongst cat owners (shelters tend to come down on the side of indoor only), but what it really boils down to is safety versus freedom. Either way, it's good to get your kitty a collar and tags. Other factors to consider include whether the neighborhood you live in has lots of traffic or is kitty-friendly, and whether your cat is smart enough to go outside.

  • BobCescaBobCesca Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Pet insurance has been a godsend for us. I don't know if it works the same way in the US, but I pay around £13 a month to ensure our cats (2 from the same litter we've had since they were 5 weeks old).

    When one of them had a heart murmur and needed a load of tests, the insurance paid for everything (minus the excess) and we would have been in real trouble trying to find the cash to pay for it all (over £1000 by the end of it).

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    mts wrote: »
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

    It's probably because 90% of the stuff you can buy at your normal grocery store is absolute garbage and not good for cats at all. I pay about $17 for a bag of cat food that lasts about 2 weeks between my two cats. The money you save in the long term from less vet bills is well worth it. And if you actually care about your cat, don't you want it to be happy and eating the best it can?

    That's a tiny bit over a dollar a day. If you can afford that, you really shouldn't have cats.

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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I like older cats. They are never adopted and much more settled down. My boy Torrin is now the most loving and has gained weight he lost from being nervous and scared in the shelter.

    Often times these cats are not given up for anything they did, their owners just wanted a "kitten" and then when something minor came up in their lives or they hadn't planned any farther than "omg kitten" they returned it to the shelter. Because people suck.

    Don't feel bad about getting a kitten(s), but older cats are pretty rad.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    mts wrote: »
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food
    You don't need to feed your cat pate de fois gras and caviar on saffron-infused wafers, but quality pet food *does* make a significant difference in the health and happiness of your pet, and when you actually do the math, good dry food costs about the same per month as feeding them Wal-Mart Special Kitty crap.

    A high-quality food will be composed primarily of named animal protein sources (as in, "turkey" or "salmon," not generic "meat" or "animal digest"), with no byproducts or fillers, plus small amounts of oils, supplemental ingredients like fruits and vegetables, and vitamins/minerals to ensure complete nutrition. A food like this is concentrated and highly digestible, which means your kitties will eat less of it, and poop less, too. It may seem more expensive up front, but because it's so much more nutritionally dense, a $15 3lb bag of dry food lasts my healthy, active adult cat for about five weeks. Good brands include Orijen, Innova Evo, Blue Buffalo, Wellness Core, and Go! Natural.

    Bad food, on the other hand, can actively harm your cat. It tends to be filled with cheap shit like animal byproducts (which are literally floor scrapings, entrails, feet and necks, and even euthanized pets), and fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Cats can't digest any significant amounts of grain - they're carnivores, which means all that corn pretty much goes straight through them, which means you're basically paying for your cat to shit 70% of its food directly into its litterbox. Worse, many cats actually have some degree of allergy or intolerance for grains, which can cause skin problems, diarrhea, vomiting, and even diabetes.

    So yeah, given the negligible difference in actual cost between good food and bad food, and the potential of bad food to fuck up your cat's health for the rest of its life, it is wrong to feed your cat shit.

    I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight [. . .] So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Esh wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

    It's probably because 90% of the stuff you can buy at your normal grocery store is absolute garbage and not good for cats at all. I pay about $17 for a bag of cat food that lasts about 2 weeks between my two cats. The money you save in the long term from less vet bills is well worth it. And if you actually care about your cat, don't you want it to be happy and eating the best it can?

    That's a tiny bit over a dollar a day. If you can't afford that, you really shouldn't have cats.

    This also. I spend about $1.50 per day on two cats food and they are very healthy and happy.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

    While there certainly are people that get overzealous about food choices, that's no reason to just dismiss it without even taking a look - there are very real problems with a lot of the cheap(er) foods, like too many carbs, low-quality byproducts in place of better meat sources, more chemicals, etc.

    If you really can't afford it, then that's one thing, but at least make an informed choice if you have the opportunity - and realize that the increased cost of the food may very well be made up for by fewer and less expensive vet bills, thanks to the better quality nutrition. The canned food (Wellness Core) for our cats works out to roughly $3 per day to feed both of them. Aside from what I mention below, neither of them have been to the vet for anything other than a routine checkup their entire lives (3 years and 5 years).
    Pet insurance has been a godsend for us. I don't know if it works the same way in the US, but I pay around £13 a month to ensure our cats (2 from the same litter we've had since they were 5 weeks old).

    Pet insurance is kind of like car insurance to me - if you don't have to use it, sometimes it seems like an annoying expense, but then something comes up like the $4000 urinary blockage our guy had a year & 1/2 ago...and then it is absolutely a godsend. Totally worth the $49 per month to cover our two.

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    It's definitely going to be an indoor cat. I have a few decent sized rooms for running around and I'm living downtown and there's a ton of traffic. And random homeless cats that sit on my front porch and RUN LIKE HELL when they see anyone coming.

    I did not realize that about those big pet stores! I'll absolutely scope around there. Though I think there are some shelters fairly close too, so I'll check those out.

    Pet insurance eh? Is this a thing in the US?

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  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    Esh wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

    It's probably because 90% of the stuff you can buy at your normal grocery store is absolute garbage and not good for cats at all. I pay about $17 for a bag of cat food that lasts about 2 weeks between my two cats. The money you save in the long term from less vet bills is well worth it. And if you actually care about your cat, don't you want it to be happy and eating the best it can?

    That's a tiny bit over a dollar a day. If you can't afford that, you really shouldn't have cats.

    This also. I spend about $1.50 per day on two cats food and they are very healthy and happy.

    This sounds like a very reasonable price, I see no issue with that.

    Oh, and are there any breeds or anything like that that are temperamental or crazy or something that i'd want to avoid? I mean, more than cats usually are? That'd I'd even run into in a shelter that is.

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  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Pet insurance eh? Is this a thing in the US?

    Yep - I use Pet's Best personally, and I haven't any problems for a few years. We started out with VPI when our girl was a kitten, but were really displeased with their customer service and the insanity of their benefit schedule.

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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    All cats are different personality wise, but you could watch Cats 101 for general things about each breed.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Oh, and are there any breeds or anything like that that are temperamental or crazy or something that i'd want to avoid? I mean, more than cats usually are? That'd I'd even run into in a shelter that is.

    Shelter cats will almost always be mongrels of some stripe or another, though it is certainly possible to find individuals that look and act close to a specific breed - when I was growing up, one of our Humane Society kitties was a standard tabby barn cat, but the next can't have been more than a generation or two away from a purebred Russian Blue.

    The differences in temperament aren't as pronounced with cats as they are with dogs, probably because we haven't been breeding cats as long. I know Maine Coons have a reputation for being gentle and easy-going, which is good because they're roughly the size of a small bear, while Siamese are noisy and demanding and skittish.

    A more important factor than the hypothetical breed is the coat length of the cat, though. Long-haired cats can be absolutely gorgeous, but they shed everywhere, and you need to invest a significant amount of time into brushing them to prevent their fur from matting. Cats with a very short coat, on the other hand, are much more sensitive to cold, and benefit from access to heated areas for sleeping.

    I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight [. . .] So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    maine coons are awesome, but yes, quite large. I have one that is half maine coon. Friendliest cat ever.

  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Re: food- steer clear of fish-based food. One of our guys got sick from eating "oceanfish" wet food over a long period of time. Apparently the fish they use in pet food suffers from more problems than other meat-based food. We switched to other meat flavors on the advice of our vet and he got better right away.

    One of the big health problems that cats get as they age is kidney dysfunction. This is generally because of poor water intake over a long period of time. It helps a lot to put out multiple bowls of water all around your house, especially where people spend time. We've got one in the living room, one upstairs, one in the kitchen, etc. Cats, unlike dogs, don't like to drink where they eat so placing a single bowl next to their food is not a good idea (something you'll notice if you put out a few bowls and keep them all fresh).

  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Zilo, that's smart. I hadn't thought of that. I'm trying to get my cats to drink more water. I'll put some more bowls of water around away from their food.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • KabitzyKabitzy find me in Monsbaiya Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Gonna have to second the advice to not be afraid to look at a pair of adult cats. They're generally up to date on shots, neutered/spayed, litter trained, the whole nine yards, and they're often not given a second glance as people shop for kittens, mostly. Not that adopting a kitten is bad, or anything, just a thought. Also, with an adult cat you pretty much know what you are getting personality wise. Not necessarily true with kittens! Do post pictures, regardless of whether you get a kitten or an adult cat, though.

    EDIT: I hadn't thought of that, Zilo. I think I'm going to put some extra water bowls around.

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  • MushroomStickMushroomStick Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    People don't like to hear this in the cat threads, but it needs to be said. Look over your lease, There might be a line that requires cats over a certain age to be declawed.

  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited March 2011
    It may look like they're drinking less initially since they're sampling from multiple bowls, but witness their urine production. When we started doing this with my old roommate's cat the guy started peeing twice as much (and it didn't smell as much like death).

    If you get adult cats, make sure they're tested for FIV, calcivirus, and feline leukemia. It's good advice for any adopted animal but critical for an animal that's spent a long time in a shelter.

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    People don't like to hear this in the cat threads, but it needs to be said. Look over your lease, There might be a line that requires cats over a certain age to be declawed.

    And if does, wait to get a cat. Declawing is horrible.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

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  • oncelingonceling Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Almost none of the cats in shelters are pure breeds, because real breeders accept their cats back even 10 years later if the owner doesn't want it. To have one in a shelter would mean that someone paid a bunch then let the cat run free or abandoned it on purpose to be cruel, pretty rare. Shitty backyard breeders, the type that post crap in the newspaper about "PURE BRED BENGALS" or whatever are not using good appropriate stock, so their litters are probably not pure breds or not even examples of the breed at all. These are a good chunk of the animals that end up in shelters. You might get something that looks similar but is not really pure in any sense.

    Cat breeds are getting more distinct but because they are mainly bred for visuals and not for work (unlike dogs) you get very little variation in behaviour/temperaments. People say such-and-such are more dog-like or whatever but its all tiny variation, cats are individuals and the whole spectrum of personalities appears in all breeds. Bigger cats can be terrible climbers and they eat more but that is about it!!

    The shelter should let you hang out with the cats a bit to see which are your type. I would personally go for a cat that is calm and curious. I probably wouldn't get the one pouncing on my shoe laces, cute as it is, and I wouldn't go for one that was hiding out in the back, just because it would be a better choice for an experienced owner. If you get an older cat, if you get to play with it you might be able to get a good sense if they have been trained properly not to attack hands and if they are interested in interaction. Kittens will scratch and bite you no matter what so I just mean for the older cats.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Esh wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

    It's probably because 90% of the stuff you can buy at your normal grocery store is absolute garbage and not good for cats at all. I pay about $17 for a bag of cat food that lasts about 2 weeks between my two cats. The money you save in the long term from less vet bills is well worth it. And if you actually care about your cat, don't you want it to be happy and eating the best it can?

    That's a tiny bit over a dollar a day. If you can afford that, you really shouldn't have cats.

    I agree totally, if you can't afford a quality food you can't afford a pet, but there are a lot of good economical choices out there and you can't deny that whenever someone asks about food you get 3 pages of people saying unless its first ingredient is prime angus its awful. Good rule of thumb is if you can find it in the grocery/target/walmart its probably just junk food. people automatically dismiss anything by Purina or Nutro etc because they either have varieties that are sold in grocery stores or are only very good and not extremely.

    I feed my guys a combination of Purina Proplan and Nutro max. No idea what we pay since we mix a bunch of different types into one of those big airtight containers. its hairball, weight management and urinary. They get that 2x and can of wet once a day.
    though maybe we just need a sarcasto emoticon.

    camo_sig.png
  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited March 2011
    mts wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    mts wrote: »
    and be prepared to get called the devil if you don't feed it grade AAA boutique food

    It's probably because 90% of the stuff you can buy at your normal grocery store is absolute garbage and not good for cats at all. I pay about $17 for a bag of cat food that lasts about 2 weeks between my two cats. The money you save in the long term from less vet bills is well worth it. And if you actually care about your cat, don't you want it to be happy and eating the best it can?

    That's a tiny bit over a dollar a day. If you can afford that, you really shouldn't have cats.

    I agree totally, if you can't afford a quality food you can't afford a pet, but there are a lot of good economical choices out there and you can't deny that whenever someone asks about food you get 3 pages of people saying unless its first ingredient is prime angus its awful. Good rule of thumb is if you can find it in the grocery/target/walmart its probably just junk food. people automatically dismiss anything by Purina or Nutro etc because they either have varieties that are sold in grocery stores or are only very good and not extremely.

    I feed my guys a combination of Purina Proplan and Nutro max. No idea what we pay since we mix a bunch of different types into one of those big airtight containers. its hairball, weight management and urinary. They get that 2x and can of wet once a day.
    though maybe we just need a sarcasto emoticon.

    Do you have any reason to believe cheap food is okay, or do you just want it to be? Those particular foods are okay (not great, just okay- high corn content, inclusion of wheat) and mixing in wet food is a really good idea but there are a lot worse foods sharing the shelves with them. You should know what you're buying and not just take Purina's word on it.

    The sad fact is that most cheap cat foods are terrible. You may not have an obvious problem with them for 20 years, you may make your cats sick immediately, or (much more likely) you could cause long-term damage you wouldn't notice without a necropsy. Some cat food is ridiculous, like the stuff you see advertised as "premium wet food" on TV, but that doesn't mean there's not something to the argument in favor of avoiding cheap food. A big cause of feline obesity is low-quality (high-carbohydrate) food, not to mention feline diabetes, bowel issues, and kidney disease.

  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The first 5 ingredients in the Purina Proplan Hairball Management dry food are - "Chicken, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, soy protein concentrate, poultry by-product meal". Chicken as the first ingredient is good, but the corn, rice, and soy protein are not useful for a carnivore, and "poultry by-product" is not exactly a quality ingredient either. The Nutro Max Weight Control lists - "Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Flour, Ground Whole Wheat, Rice Flour" at the start.

    It's not a matter of "unless its first ingredient is prime angus its awful", it's a matter of the food not emphasizing ingredients that are (worse than) useless to a cat. If you really don't think the better food is worth it, then so be it...but it's a big, big stretch to justify that a food full of grains and by-products is nutritionally equal to one with a bunch of non-by-product meats and minimal/no grains.

    steam_sig.png
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User
    edited March 2011
    Esh wrote: »
    People don't like to hear this in the cat threads, but it needs to be said. Look over your lease, There might be a line that requires cats over a certain age to be declawed.

    And if does, wait to get a cat. Declawing is horrible.

    Even if there is such a clause on your lease, it's worth talking to your landlord about having it removed or modified - when Pixels and I were negotiating for our place here, the lease stipulated that any cats must be declawed, but we talked the landlord into changing it to "any cats must have their claws trimmed regularly" (which we would have done anyway, because otherwise she destroys our clothes when she comes over for kitty cuddle time).

    I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight [. . .] So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as your eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2011
    So I got him!
    Spoiler:

    He's about 4 months old, used the litter box like a champ and is trying desperatly to get behind my computer/tv into the wires back there!

    Any handy tips to keep in mind raising this guy? I got him Wellness brand Kitten food, it's dry and he has two water bowls in this room alone. Got him the neat little toy/scratching post thing in the picture and i've been enjoying dangling a lanyard for him! Any tips to keep him out of the cords? Or will spraying them with this "Bitter Yuck!" stuff I got work just as well?

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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle and you're not happy, but you're funny and I'm tripping over my joyRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If he keeps trying to get back there you can cover the area around the desk in double sided tape for awhile. So if he jumps up he'll get stuck a little. It won't hurt, but they hate being stuck and he'll instantly leave the area and learn very quickly to not go there. Similarly you could briefly put it on the cords a little. The spray may work, or it might not...

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • zilozilo Registered User
    edited March 2011
    We have a thing called "SSSSCat!" or something like that, it's an aerosol bottle hooked up to a motion sensor. It keeps our cats from scratching at our bedroom door at night, going behind the entertainment center, etc. Handy to have around. We don't even use it near our bedroom anymore, we just put an old bottle of hairspray out there and they steer clear.

    You may want to try some wet food too, maybe half a kitten-sized can once in the morning and again at night. It's easier to switch flavors of wet food around, they seem to really enjoy it, plus it ups their fluid intake which is always good.

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    So I got him!
    Spoiler:

    He's about 4 months old, used the litter box like a champ and is trying desperatly to get behind my computer/tv into the wires back there!

    Any handy tips to keep in mind raising this guy? I got him Wellness brand Kitten food, it's dry and he has two water bowls in this room alone. Got him the neat little toy/scratching post thing in the picture and i've been enjoying dangling a lanyard for him! Any tips to keep him out of the cords? Or will spraying them with this "Bitter Yuck!" stuff I got work just as well?

    I suggest getting a tray of some kind to set the food and water dishes on. All of my cats have at one point gone through a "dipping my foot in the water and making a mess" phase. Followed closely by "I don't want to eat the broken pieces of food so I will push them out of the dish onto the floor" phase.

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