Post # 1
So we’ve been married and living together for a while now and we’ve been thinking a lot lately about the prospect of adopting a furry friend to give some love to.
We love my parents’ dog and sometimes get to watch her but we’re concerned about our unpredictable work schedules and how that would affect being able to take the dog out (and don’t think we could afford a dog walker since we’re also saving for a house).
So that got us thinking about a cat since they’re apparently good to be inside all day… but here’s the thing: we pretty much have zero experience with cats and are a bit nervous about that.
Aside from giving it oodles of TLC, we’re wondering about the expenses and maintenance/duties associated with having a cat.
Bees with cat experience, can you enlighten us?
– What sorts of necessities aside from food, litter box and toys will a cat need?
– I’m also concerned about the furniture – do cats often scratch at furniture? Will we need to buy a scratching post to prevent this? (On that note, how do you effectively discipline/correct behaviours for cats?)
– What about vaccinations/checkups? How often and how expensive are those?
– Any other important things to note?
Feel free to answer any or all of those questions, or just comment about your experience(s) with having a cat!
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
@lorelai: i will probably be in the minority, but I strongly dislike cats. They scratch everything and I would not like a cat unless it was declawed all over, which apparently is very inhumane. also, the spit furballs and the sound or “meowing” irks me to no end. They need shots just as often as puppies do if I’m not mistaken..
Post # 4
Each Worth 1000 words 🙂 We adopted this little love bug almost 2 years ago 🙂
Post # 5
@lorelai: Cats are relatively low maintence. If you’re going to get a kitten, they will probably scratch at your furniture, but you can redirect that if you provide scratching posts and things.
Really, cats don’t even need toys. Just use some string laying around. My cat will play with any kind of long hanging thing like sweatshirt strings, pens, etc. (when he feels like it.) He just needs his litter box scooped every day (he’s a big boy…most normal cats could go every couple of days) and just needs his food. He also likes catnip but you can get a bag of that for like 3 bucks and it lasts a long time.
I’m not 100% sure on vaccinations and stuff, but my cat doesn’t go to the vet more than 1 time a year…and that’s only when we have concerns.
Post # 6
@lorelai: Its been a few years since I’ve had a cat, but I do know you can train them to not scratch the furniture. You just have to be on top of when he/she tries to scratch the couch/whatever and redirect to the scratching post.
Cats are good pets because they don’t need a lot of anything. They decide when they want attention or not.. for the most part. I’ve had them where they were more doglike, and some weren’t.
Good luck on finding a furbaby.. I couldn’t imagine my life without my pup!
Post # 7
We spend around $200 every 1.5 years on routine vet bills for each of our two cats. They get all of their standard shots (which are cheaper than dog shots, typically) and also get their teeth cleaned.
We also spend around $100/month for two cats on food, litter, and other accessories (e.g. scratching post–we get a new small one approximately every three months). This is higher than it needs to be because we buy fancy litter (living in a small NYC apartment, no cat pee smell is a priority) and fancy food, because one of our cats has health problems.
We do not do flea or any other kind of prevention, because they are indoor only, which I would strongly recommend.
One of our cats scratches some of the furniture, one does not. It doesn’t bother me too much–usually I’ll pop a throw blanket over the scratches if I notice him doing it. We also don’t have nice things. 🙂
You will need to clip kitty’s nails regularly. You may also want to occasionally wipe kitty down (they make cat shampoo wipes) or give him a bath. They do groom themselves, but then can get a bit smelly after a while.
And here’s a couple of silly cat pictures for you!
Post # 8
Cats will scratch furniture if you don’t have enough cat scrathers properly placed for the cat. They love the corregated cardboard cat scratchers. Make sure you get a few and not just one. Sometimes poeple get a cat and have no scratchers for them and then get upset when the cat scratches the furniture. Cats NEED to scratch and they love it so make sure to get them appropriate places to scratch. Spray the cat with water if they scratch something they are not supposed to and put treats on their scratchers so they associate scratching them with treats.
Post # 9
@lorelai: No real advice because I haven’t had a cat in a long time, but just wanted to chime in and say YAY to you guys maybe getting a furbaby 🙂
Post # 10
We probably spend around $1,500 a year on my cat between vet bills (once a year for check-up and shots), pet insurance, food, treats, toys, cat sitting etc.
When we go away, my sister comes in and feeds him once a day, or we hire a cat sitter to come in and feed and play with him once a day.
Cats are definitely lower maintenance IMO. I like dogs, but living in an apartment and having one just isn’t practical.. and walking a dog in winter is not something I’d want to do.
My cat doesn’t scratch the furniture… he’s really good that way. He does like to mark his territory, though.. not by peeing (he’s neutered so less likely to happen), but he does this thing with his paw where he like brushes against stuff. Not a big deal.. more annoying than anything. He likes his giant cat tree and uses it for scratching.
We trim his claws once every couple of weeks… no biggie. My cat is a long-haired one so he is a bit higher maintenance… he gets mats sometimes so we have an electric shaver thingy that removes them quickly and painlessly (like the vet recommended), and he needs to be brushed often. He gets the occasional bath since after a while he does smell because it is harder for a long haired cat to clean himself. We also trim his “bikini” area with the shaver to avoid cling-ons LOL. So if you want to avoid all that, maybe a short haired cat is best for you.
Post # 11
Cats are very low maintenance. I would get a cardboard scratcher for every room you have in the house and run plenty of catnip on them. When they start scratching in the wrong spot, sprinkle them with water. I have two cats and 3 large litter boxes…so I don’t have to clean them every day and it works fine. I also have two feeders for solid food and two water feeders wich I fill approx every 2-3 weeks. They are very loving creatures. The hardest thing for me is to cut their nails…..it is not hard but I am lazy when it comes to doing it. They love hair bands and little fake mice. Just make sure you are watching them when they are playing with anything they might ingest…like the hairbands, ribbon, etc. They love blankets and warm pads. My cats are very loving and I am soooo happy to have them. They bring me joy and peace every day. Definitely unconditional love…worth every penny and effort you may spend on them.
Post # 12
I have a scratching post for my cats. I trained them when they were young by correcting their incorrect scratching behavior, by taking them to the post, and moving their arms back and forth, so they got the idea.
My cats require expensive prescription food I can only buy at the vet, so that is something I have to budget for. But my expences are pretty tight due to my health problems, so might not be as big a deal to someone who is able to work full time.
They can get sick, and that can be pricey. I recommend getting the cat health insurance if you can afford it.
With that said, I think adopting a pet from an animal shelter can be a very rewarding experience. Furry friends can be a defiante plus to your life.
Post # 13
Oh, and spray bottles/ squirt guns were great ways to correct bad cat behavior!
Post # 14
My fiancee wanted a cat so I let him get a cat… and it’s been the absolute WORST experience, I swear everyday it’s almost breaking up our relationship. So my advice is : DO NOT DO IT!! We adopted it young and somehow she only grew attatched to him, not me. It’s been a couple years and my fiancee now leaves town on business often and that cat has got SEVERE detatchment disorder 🙁 she tears everything up (my postage stamp collection, really?!), tears down curtains, and even pooped on my bed! When the fiancee comes back she’s a total sweetheart and does nothing bad. It’s fcking ridiculous and drives me crazy.
Cats are a-holes, they’re going to do what they want, whenever they want, and you are just a pawn in their world.
Post # 15
@lorelai: Cats are awesome loving pets. A few things:
- Get at least 2 cats. Even in a smal apartment, 2 cats should be fine. They really like to have the company, especially if you are out of the house for 8-10 hours a day.
- Cats wont scratch your furniture if you train them properly and have many kinds of surfaces for them to scratch on–cardboard, sisal, carpet. Also have some horizontal (flat on the floor) and some vertical. I find most stand alone vertical scratching posts topple over too easily, so invest in a cat condo.
- DONT EVER GIVE THEM STRING!!! ALways supervise cats with strings. Cats will eat them and they get stuck in their intestine and either need a very expensive operation (like $3000-$5000) or they die. My neighbor lost their young kitten because it got into some string.
- Like most animals, cats can be trained, but you have to be consistant. WHen they are kittens and they do something you dont want, hiss then say NO! Their Mama hisses to tell them they are doing something wrong. So you are pairing the hiss they know with the word NO. Be consistant with the word NO. Dont say STOP or DONT sometimes and NO other times. Cats arent like dogs, so they arent as eagar to please, but they arent dumb. They also dont like loud noises, so us that to your advantage. We trained our cats not to jump up on counters or table tops by first catching them jump up-shout NO very loudly. Then pick them up, hold them near the counter/table, hit the table loudly while saying NO, NO, NO. Do that a few times and they get the hint.
- Be prepared to buy lots of cat toys to find the kind your cat likes. The only one that every single cat Ive had loves to death is called the Cat Dancer. But I have so many othe kinds of toys, one will like, but not the other. Then after spending hundreds of $ on toys, they will play for hours with a crumpled up piece of paper and a paper bag LOL
- Get at least one litter box per cat. Some say, one litter box per cat + one (so 2 cats, 3 boxes). I really like the Tidy Cat Breeze system. There is no urine smell, they dont track the littler everywhere. The only down side is that there is a poop smell. But if you scoop every day, it shouldnt be too bad.
Post # 16
Great advice already.
Scratching posts are a MUST. Cats don’t actually need their claws trimmed unless there is a problem, though many people do it for various reasons and it doesn’t hurt the cat if done correctly. It’s good to have at least one post with a softer and rougher texture (a lot of posts have a rough bottom base and softer post), or a couple different kinds of posts/scratchers. Cats claws grow in layers and the scratching lets them shed the layer that is starting to loosen and also to wear down the tips (keeping them the right length) and keep them sharp (which obviously may not be what YOU want).
We just have one post with the rough base and softer post. I don’t cut my cat’s claws, but I do check them regularly to make sure they look healthy, aren’t getting to long etc. Honestly if either of those things happened I’d take him to the vet, over grown claws can be a sign of a osteoarthritis though mostly in older cats.
There’s also a product called Soft Claws (think that’s the name) that are little things you glue on the points of the claws so they don’t have to be cut but the cat can’t claw furniture or you. I have not used them but have seen several bees recommend them and my cousin has used them for a while now (at least a year, probably more).
Also: cats are awesome! 🙂