So I know there's an existing kitten thread, but I didn't want to hijack it, and many of my questions are more basic anyway. First of all, I want advice about whether or not I should get one based on my current situation, and if so, how I should go about getting one? What easily accessible resources are available to me to educate myself? More specifically...
I'm currently a grad student, so I'll be away from my 1bed/1bath apartment most of the day. I'm more of a dog person, but I'd hate to leave it alone all day. This was my mentality for getting a cat, as I hear they're not as lonely, especially if I get two.
How much money can I expect to spend on getting the kitten(s), vaccines, food, etc, etc? I make about $25k a year as a grad student so its nice to budget accordingly.
I don't know squat about breeds. Recommendations?
How hard is it to correct undesired behavior, aka scratching/clawing furnitute, chewing wires (I have wires all over my apartment), pissing/shitting on things that aren't litter boxes, etc? I'd obviously get a scratching post (they're all the same, right?) and probably a spray bottle (filled with water) to zap the fuckers if I ever catch them chewing wires. Is there ever any way to keep kittens from doing shit they aren't supposed to while I'm away?
I currently own a 4-foot long ball python. He (naturally) stays in his heating tank and never comes out, except for feeding. Besides keeping the kittens in a separate room while he feeds, what other things should I consider when introducing kittens into the environment. The tank is currently on the floor with a blanket on top of it (ball pythons don't like to feel "exposed"). How do I keep curious kittens from from fucking with the snake?
I'd prefer not to declaw. I'd like to know the pros/cons anyway.
What are the best things to feed it? How vast is the difference in quality for cat foods?
I like to go home (school in FL, home in MA) during school breaks in Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons, but my dad is allergic to cats. I'd hate to torture him whenever I go home, but I'm not sure what I'd do with cats while I was gone. I'd really like to hear some solutions to this other than leaving them with friends.
EDIT: This will be a strictly indoor cat.