Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Should I Get a Kitten(s)?

Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2CWhen's KoFRegistered User regular
edited July 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
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.

Thanks!

EDIT: This will be a strictly indoor cat.

Folken Fanel on

Posts

  • The LandoStanderThe LandoStander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    My wife and I adopted our cat Apollo (he was previously named Polo) almost 4 years ago, since then we've added a black pug to the mix.

    Firstly, the cost:
    Spoiler:

    Next, Kitten or not:
    Spoiler:

    Food:
    Spoiler:

    Litter:
    Spoiler:

    Travel:
    Spoiler:

    Declawing:
    Spoiler:

    Cats are great companions and my advice is of course by no means the beginning and end. Check out a book about cat breeds from the library. K.I.S.S. Cat Care is a book my wife got when we got Apollo and it's been helpful a few times. Talk to friends about good local vets (expensive doesn't always equal better) and hop on Petfinder.com to see what's available in your area. Again, I'd urge you to consider adopting an adult cat from a shelter or another owner (sometimes people will ask that you pay them $50 for adopting the cat. This is because companies will actually 'adopt' cats and other pets with the intent of just using them in tests, which is sad). Lastly, I suppose I'll share what I think is easily Apollo's best picture. (The first pic is a little wide, sorry).
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

    Maybe someday, they'll see a hero's just a man. Who knows he's free.
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited July 2009
    You should not get a cat. Cat's shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time anymore than a dog. And don't get two just so it's not lonely. If you're not going to be around to give it the attention it needs then don't get one, much less more than one. Why get a pet you're barely ever going to see when you already have one?



    Oh and declawing is terribly cruel and inhumane and for people who really don't care for training, proper trimming or capping, essentially the most lazy of owners. If you can't have a cat with claws then don't get one.

  • Folken FanelFolken Fanel J.2C When's KoFRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    How long is considered too long? I mean I don't have to study on campus all day, I can just come home to study and make other adjustments.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited July 2009
    People often get cats thinking that it's fine to be gone 11, 12 hours a day no problem because they go to the bathroom in a box. That's crazy. People often confuse the fact that they don't have a bond with their cat because they're never with it with the cat being 'independent'. If you're going to be gone on a long day once in a while that's fine.

  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    You should not get a cat. Cat's shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time anymore than a dog. And don't get two just so it's not lonely. If you're not going to be around to give it the attention it needs then don't get one, much less more than one. Why get a pet you're barely ever going to see when you already have one?

    Oh and declawing is terribly cruel and inhumane and for people who really don't care for training, proper trimming or capping, essentially the most lazy of owners. If you can't have a cat with claws then don't get one.

    One flip side to these arguments, at least where I live, is that many shelters are destroying animals regularly due to lack of space and funding, a situation that's only likely to get worse, and the shelter life doesn't necessarily provide animals with as much attention as they might like, either.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Orogogus wrote: »
    You should not get a cat. Cat's shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time anymore than a dog. And don't get two just so it's not lonely. If you're not going to be around to give it the attention it needs then don't get one, much less more than one. Why get a pet you're barely ever going to see when you already have one?

    Oh and declawing is terribly cruel and inhumane and for people who really don't care for training, proper trimming or capping, essentially the most lazy of owners. If you can't have a cat with claws then don't get one.

    One flip side to these arguments, at least where I live, is that many shelters are destroying animals regularly due to lack of space and funding, a situation that's only likely to get worse, and the shelter life doesn't necessarily provide animals with as much attention as they might like, either.

    There's also a reason most shelters ask how often you'll be away from home. They don't adopt to people who aren't going to see the animal more than a couple hours a day.

  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Orogogus wrote: »
    You should not get a cat. Cat's shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time anymore than a dog. And don't get two just so it's not lonely. If you're not going to be around to give it the attention it needs then don't get one, much less more than one. Why get a pet you're barely ever going to see when you already have one?

    Oh and declawing is terribly cruel and inhumane and for people who really don't care for training, proper trimming or capping, essentially the most lazy of owners. If you can't have a cat with claws then don't get one.

    One flip side to these arguments, at least where I live, is that many shelters are destroying animals regularly due to lack of space and funding, a situation that's only likely to get worse, and the shelter life doesn't necessarily provide animals with as much attention as they might like, either.

    There's also a reason most shelters ask how often you'll be away from home. They don't adopt to people who aren't going to see the animal more than a couple hours a day.

    The no-kill shelters near me are like this, and they're animal relocation centers more than anything else. In the shelters where the time limit to euthanization is going down in response to budget cuts, they are much less choosy.

  • The LandoStanderThe LandoStander Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I would say that for an average work day, a cat does just fine by itself. If your absence pushes past 48 hours there's a problem, but a night away from your place of residence is hardly cruelty, especially considering it is air conditioned/heated (hopefully) and is stocked with food and water (assuming you are responsible).

    My cat doesn't eat a compulsively so he can just have food set out throughout the day. I've found he goes through about 2/3 of a cup each day and he's actually surprisingly healthy for a nearly decade old cat, at about 9 pounds, our vet is always surprised he's got all day access to food.

    Peoples' definition of cruelty differs quite a bit. As of the present however no laws that I'm aware of exist in regards to having your cat declawed. It isn't advisable to take their back claws, but my cat came that way. My sister's cat has her back claws but for the front she had the laser procedure. She was cranky for a day, had to use special litter for a week and was back to being her usual talky little self craving affection after a night's rest.

    You have to decide in the end what to do. I think an adult cat and your determination to not be away all day should be acceptable. I think most cat owners work, after all someone has to keep the kitty fed, so the idea of never leaving your cat alone is a bit absurd. Also, get a sticker for your window/door to alert firemen and emergency workers to your cat's presence in the case of a fire etc.

    Maybe someday, they'll see a hero's just a man. Who knows he's free.
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited July 2009
    Shelters won't adopt out to people who say they will declaw for a reason. It's on par with saying you won't fix it or it will be an outdoor cat in terms of being a surefire way to get your application rejected. There is no reason to get your cat declawed other than you don't feel like trimming, capping or training.

    The stance of the MSPCA.

    The stance of the ASPCA.

    And the Wiki article which outlines how it is actually banned in many parts of the world as cruelty and in some US locations as well.

  • RhinoRhino Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Couple things:

    I ussually suggest if you are going to get one, get two. It's not that much more work; but they won't get as lonely and in my experience, seem happier. Getting two from the same litter is ideal (since they are already 'bonded' and close with each other).

    Also call around and find a vet in your area. Ask how much it'll be for shots, spading/neturing and anything else you might want (de-clawing?) or anything you might not know about. Cats can be expensive! Make sure you know costs. While your at it, goto walmart and look around at prices on cat food, litter, pans, etc. Make sure you are ready for the cost. Some vets also offer "Pet Insurance" which might be worth it depending on your sisuation.

    Declawing: Read up on this. Many people make arguments that it's inhumane. I personally don't do it.

    > What are the best things to feed it? How vast is the difference in quality for cat foods?


    Look at the ingredients. Cats are meat eaters. They eat meat. Look for food that lists some sort of meat (chicken, fish, etc) as the first most ingredients. A lot of cheap cat food uses fillers like corn or rice. Cat's don't eat corn and rice in the wild, they eat meat.

    Also watch out for "meat by-product" for the first ingredient. Make sure it's meat; not meat by-product.

    93mb4.jpg
  • Aurora BorealisAurora Borealis Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I think you should get a grown-up cat. The reason every cat thread says to get two is that kittens can keep each other occupied when you are not there. But an adult cat is more likely to be fine all by her onesies, in fact a lot of cats prefer not to share.
    Kittens need more supervision, and yes you can train them more specifically but it can be a lot of work. But an adult cat in a new territory can be pretty capable of learning what is and isn't acceptable.
    I think a nice mellow older cat would suit you nicely. When you go to the shelter or whatever, they'll probably be able to tell you "oh, this cat is very sweet and likes to just chill" or "oh, this cat has a big personality". And you can tell a lot by how they react to you. I picked out mine because she snuggled right up to me. It was like magic.
    Also some personalities run with the breed. Orange tabbies, for example, are often very personable and calm. A purebred Siamese, not so much.
    My cat usually travels with me, but not always. If I'm gone for more than two days I have somebody check on her. Just get a trusted friend to stop by your house and look after the animals. My friends usually welcome a chance to hang out with my cat for an hour, it's not a big deal. She's mad at me when I get home, and demands extra attention for the next week, but she doesn't starve or get depressed or anything.

  • EntriechEntriech Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    You already have a pet, you're on a small budget, and you say you're more of a dog person. I'm not sure that adding a cat or two to that equation is the wisest thing to do.

    Gamecenter/Gamertag/Steam ID/PSN: Entriech
    Guild Wars 2: Entriech.3507 | Scythe Gearsnap, Phlork, Irenic
Sign In or Register to comment.