Post # 1
Apparently we are getting a cat…….
Here is the back story: DH and I have always been at odds about animals, I love them and would have a house full if I could, he doesn’t think that animals belong in doors. We also both have pretty bad allergies. I had a cat from birth until about 14 and she really kept to herself, she was there….. I’ve also had four dogs (one passed, three live with my parents) I have always been a dog person.
DH has always maintained that I would never be allowed to have animals in the house. I thought that one day I would be able to break him. Well last night it happened. We had a mouse in the house back in May, put down all sorts of things to get rid of it, saw another one about a month ago, it did not survive, well crap we found another mouse last night and it survived our best efforts. Ugh. My husband being the sterotypical man that he is, instead of putting down more traps and deterrants needs to jump to the most radical solution possible (aside from packing up and moving) getting a cat. I’m soooo on board with this. My morning research has indicated that yes a cat will help the problem, at least serve as a fairly effective eviction notice.
Why do I want a cat (or a dog, or a horse, or a pig…..) I love animals and I would love to give one a good home. I love the company, and being able to give a second chance (we are getting a shelter cat). The fact that it will help with the mice is awesome, but I wanted a feline before we knew about this situation. (side note: we are also having a baby and I believe that all children shold grow up with animals)
That being said, I’ve spent all morning looking at adoption sites and found a kitty that I’m in love with, but I need husbands approval.
It’s been 13 years since I’ve lived with a cat, and my dad took care of her more than anything else. Can anyone give me advice. I know I need basic things like litter, litter box ,food/water dishes, toys, something to scratch…. but what else.
What can anyone tell me about bringing a kitty home?
Post # 3
When you first bring him/her home, have a room prepared with all the basic necessities, and keep him/her confined to the room for a few days.
As I’m sure you are aware, cats are instinctively territorial and it can be really stressful to change environments so quickly. Controlling the amount of space the cat has access to at first can help keep him/her from getting too overwhelmed and stressed out.
So start with one room, and slowly introduce your new furry friend to the rest of the house a little bit at the time.
I’d also recommend going to visit the cat in person first. Each cat has its own unique personality, and it would be a bit difficult to get a feel for whether or not a cat will be a good fit for you guys just over the internet.
EDIT: I also wouldn’t go overboard spending money on the toys. Get a good cat wand, but other than that nothing else is really a “necessity.” My cat has more toys than I think I had as a child, but his favorite things in the world ended up being crumpled up balls of paper, ping-pong balls, and twisted up pipe-cleaners (the fuzzy craft kind.) When you figure out what kind of stuff the cat LOVES to play with, then I’d consider actually shelling out the cash on (overpriced) cat toys.
Post # 4
@rachelmichelle: Thank you for telling me about the space. I had heard this before but had totally forgotten about it! We have a really condusive heated den that will work great for this! Please trust me I plan on visiting the kitties, I’m just getting a feel of where to go (there are many places in the city)
As silly as this is my husband is VERY insistant on having an orange cat, which I find annoying. He only wants a orange one because that is what his brother and sister have. Although he is willing to bend on tortose shell.
EDIT: I was also thinking of a toy or two, just something the cat might be able to find comforting. I’m about about to spend a lot of money. Just a cat ball or something similar.
Post # 5
Rachelmichelle has great advice. I would make sure to get the cat to a vet for a full check up if the shelter doesn’t provide it and also find out about spaying or neutering.
I wouldn’t get too many toys at once because cats have different toy preferences and they might never use some that you buy. You will probably need a brush and nail clippers. Both of those are best to start when they are young so they adjust to them.
Post # 6
@MrsSaltWaterTaffy: Yes to the check up! I’m lucky that it is required by law that the cats in shelters here have a ‘clean’ bill of health. Not that they will not adopt out cats with conditions but the shelter is legally responsible to make the potential owner aware of anything. Also legally the cats have to be spayes/neutered before they are adopted (or a promisary is signed if you are adopting a kitten)
Post # 7
Get a scratching post!! Unless you completely hate your furniture…then let ’em at it. I’ve always had cats and the ones that have claws that are inside cats have distroyed the furniture.
Definitely visit the cats in person. Heads up, I’ve never known a single tortoise shell to be nice. Main Coons are awesome and Tabby are cool too. Other than that, I don’t know much about the different breeds.
As far as toys, my cats favorite toy was aluminum foil balled up…so I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on toys right away.
Post # 8
Another thing – if you can, get an adult cat. They tend to have trouble getting adopted, more so than kittens, and they will probably already know how to hunt (unlike kittens). You could also see if the shelter can recommend former barn cats, etc, but emphasize that you’ll keep it inside all the time.
I’d also check out the shelters you look at for reputation – it’s best if you can adopt from (and therefore give your adoption fees to) a good, no-kill organization like Friends for Life.
Good luck on getting a cat!
Post # 9
My cats both adjusted very well to travelling and moving, they had free run of my parents house and beach house when we went to visit from the time they got out of the car and they were fine. If you are adopting a younger kitten giving them a smaller space first until they get used to everything would be a good idea.
Try to keep things out of the cats reach. If you get a wand type cat toy (which I really recommend, my cats love Da Bird) when not using it put it up somewhere they can’t get to so they can’t swallow the feathers or string. Another big thing some cats try to eat is hair elastics, so if you use them make sure you always keep them in a drawer. I just took 12 elastics out of a 6 month old kitten during surgery yesterday!
And if you have a mouse problem and are getting a cat, please do not use any of the rodent baits that are meant to be eaten. If your cat eats any of it, best case scenario you have a moderately expensive vet bill but you could also end up with a very expensive vet bill or a dead cat. I don’t think anyone with pets should use those products just in case your animals get into them.
Post # 10
You mention allergies. Is that known allergy to cats or other things? If it turns out that one of you is allergic to the cat what is the plan?
I’m happy that you are going to become a ‘pet’ household, but given your husband’s previous stance that has changed so suddenly, It’s worth thinking through the potential issues.
Hope that you and future kitty soften your hubby’s heart and there are more animals in your future!
Post # 11
Lucky you!!! I want a cat so badly but SO has also said no cats ever, except maybe dogs – but I want a cat. Or two. His rationale is that they’re not friendly (which is not true!) and I have allergies, which means our kids could very likely have allergies. >.< I wish you a happy adoption! 😀
Post # 12
@pixiecat: We were only using sticky traps and peppermint oil for the mice (we thought that there was only one and the situation had been rectified), the sticky traps have all been removed, so no poisions involed. Kitty shold be safe. Thanks for telling me about the hair elastics!
@zumbaista: We are 100% getting an adult cat. I’m hoping somewhere around 1-4 years, although I have no problem with an older cat either. Kitty will also be a stricktly indoor cat. We live in the heart of the city and I don’t want het running away/getting hurt/getting stolen. We also have very strict by-laws about have your cat on a leash where I’m from.
@IzzyBear: good to know about the tortise shell…. come to think of it she does look a little pompus in the photos…. I am the kind of person who will just go look at the cats and pick wichever ones sings to me (also all the adoptions require a minimum 30 minute aquaintance visit). It’s husband who is sooo obsessed with it being orange.
Post # 13
@fascinated: We aren’t too sure about the allergies, if it is really the cats or other things that are setting them off. Husband deffinitly plays it up as a huge reason why we couldn’t have pets. Acoording to a lot of what I have read is that a lot of people tend to outgrow their allergies at least to animals that they are constantly exposed to. We did talk about this and talked to his sister and parents who are willing to take the cat/foster her if things do not work out, so on that front at least there is a solid backup plan.
As for DH’s change of heart, he has been waivering on this for a while. Him and his brother and sister all have this weird competition going on in life. His sister just got a cat, his brother just got a cat, so now clearly he needs a cat. Also he is constantly playing with other people’s cats a kittens. When we are around cats he always says how much he likes them. I don’t know why he needs any other reason, but seems to need one and this is it.
Post # 14
@PoppyH: yeah, I didn’t want to scare you away from tortoise shells but we had one and she was the meanest cat I’ve ever seen. We have one now but she’s a barn cat so she’s friendly until she’s had enough and then she just hids out in the barn out of reach.
Post # 15
My cats were fierce mousers! And bird killers, squierrel killers, baby rabbit killers…
Most shelters seperate cats by temperment–indoor cats and outdoor cats, kittens, elderly, indoor, outdoor. And don’t forget the ones in their own cages! “Only pet” cats.
I think paying attention to the temperment of the cat is the most important thing! And making sure the cat is “kid friendly”.
So I’d look for an indoor-only (and you can’t make an outdoor cat an indoor cat. It will destory everything you have ever owned), kid-friendly cat. And if you can swing an only-pet cat (which are harder to adopt out), that’s great, too!
Post # 16
Scratching posts are great – my advice is to buy one that’s made with sisal rope instead of carpet, because then your kitty won’t get used to carpet being an acceptable material to scratch 🙂
Of course that advice goes right out the window if you’ve got a sisal rug (which WHY would you want that in the first place… it’s sooooo scratchy!).