(Closed) i want a kitty… maybe.

posted 7 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee

Aw, this is so cute.  I love that you are taking the time to really think it through.  I don’t know much about fostering, but I have read that it’s not a great way to find your next pet.  Someone else can probably speak more as to why.  I’m not sure myself.

You’ll want to make sure you can afford a cat.  This means toys, vet care, quality food (do some research on food – it’s not all great!), litter, etc.  Petsitters or boarding when you’re away.  Pet insurance is a good idea – we got it for our cat, and it’s about $20 per month for him and they pay 80% of “emergency” type bills. 

As far as practicing… What if you cat sit for a friend?  Honestly, if you love cats, they are quite simple to take care of.  They only need to eat twice a day, don’t require walking, and just need some looking in on when you’re away.  Plus love, playtime and all that good stuff πŸ™‚  I read that cats only need about 15-20 minutes of play time per day.

It sounds like you know it’s a lifetime commitment, which is awesome!  Just make sure you’re ready – if you’ll have a need to move, you’ll need to find a place where the cat will be welcome to live as well.  I’d recommend adopting from a no kill shelter.  Maybe a cat or kitten who’s been in foster care awhile already would be best so they know his personality and can speak to his litter box habits, etc.  Rescues want to get cats good homes, so they will be upfront about any issues.  Plus, if for some reason it doesn’t work out, most of them insist you return the cat to them.  Don’t adopt off Craigslist – you have no history on the animal, and you don’t know if the person is telling you the truth.  Often times, the animal is being given up BECAUSE of issues like that. 

I hope this helps!  I love my little cat – he is the best and has brought a lot of joy into my life.  Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

πŸ™‚

Post # 4
Member
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Pets are BIG responsibilities.  I grew up with dogs, and was afraid of cats, but Fiance and I recently adopted a cat (about 4 months ago).  First off, the supplies, and adoption fees can have you shelling out around $200-$300 right off the bat.  Many adoption places require you to get a vet checkup within 7 days of adopting, and that can be around $40-$50 (but for new clients, some places have coupons online!) For our cat’s annuals shots, it’ll be around $120.  Not to mention if he should get sick, or something. 

So, it’s expensive.  Get prepared for that. 

As for cat behavior, it really depends on the individual cat.  Ours wasn’t declawed and we always assumed we would get whatever cat we had declawed, but then we found out that it is literally an AMPUTATION at the first knuckle.  Can you imagine someone amputating your fingers at the first knuckle?! It’s also illegal in some states (so check legalities).  I know that some cats have adverse reactions after getting declawed as well.  That seems to be when they start spraying pee all over stuff, etc. 

You can always go up to Petco/Petsmart on an adoption day and talk to the ladies/men there.  They know a LOT.  We started out doing that since I was afraid of cats (we didnt want to get a dog, since we don’t have a fence yet and though it’d be inhumane to have him on a leash outside).  It took a couple weeks of going up there and playing with the kitties on Saturdays.  We weren’t going to get one until our wedding in July, but our cat literally PICKED us.  the minute we let him out of his cage, he ran to my lap and stayed there for about 15 minutes and then proceeded to FI’s lap.  We couldn’t resist him after that. 

We got really lucky because Henry is a blessing.  He’s really easy going, not declawed, but only scratches on his assigned areas, already litter box trained, and talks a LOT (we wanted a social kitty).  I mean, you say HI to him and he’s yapping for 2-3 minutes afterward.  We lucked out because we really haven’t had any issues with him, other than he loves to eat ribbon and puke it up. 

If you adopt from petco/petsmart, the ladies there usually know which cats are good with dogs, and which ones to stay away from.  Otherwise, it’s pretty much a guessing game.  If you get a dog while cat is still young, they should be fine. 

I’m pretty sure they won’t let you foster, only because of the reasons you stated above, that you don’t know what having a cat entails.

 

My biggest suggestion is going up to adoption days and getting to know the kitties, and talking to the helpers for quite a few weeks before you adopt!!!

 

Edit: 

I forgot to add that you’re pretty much a rockstar for looking into the details before adopting a pet.  My biggest gripe in life is ignorant people who own pets!  Animal abuse comes in many forms! 

 

Post # 5
Member
141 posts
Blushing bee

@M.Ruder: Ah, my cat is a Henry too!!! He just came in to tell me my husband is home, haha…

And ditto on the no declawing – forgot that one.

I just signed up to volunteer with our local shelter, so I hope to be one of those knowledgable people helping get cats adopted soon!

Post # 6
Member
1328 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@tarlonda: hahaha what a coincidence!  He WAS named Basil when we adopted him, but BLECH that doesn’t roll of the tongue well! 

Here’s some kitteh love to sway any potential owners!

 

 

Sorry =)  I really love showing him off.  He turns 2 on Sunday! 

 

OH!  Also, many (if not most) require you to keep the cat indoors at all times.  They can express all the reasons, but it’s crucial to kitty’s safety =)

Post # 7
Bee
6473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia

We have one cat, Oscar, who was three this month. We adopted him at about three months old and he’s been our baby ever since! He’s indoors-only, he’s always been perfectly litter trained, and he was desexed at six months old. DEFINITELY GET THEM DONE. 

I’d never had a cat before, and I learned a lot. We had to kitty-proof our flat, blocking up holes/wires he could get lost in. We had to move things up higher on shelves so he wouldn’t knock them down. I assumed he wouldn’t scratch furniture, but he DID. Only on our bed. Funnily enough, he outgrew that (thank goodness) and now will scratch reliably on his sper tall scratchy pole. But just beware – some cats are different to others, so you never know what you’re going to get!

I think that’s really the basics of it all. I am ITCHING to get another one, but we’ve already snuck Oscar in (he’s not supposed to be here) and we’ll have to wait a good 12 months until we get a house, before we make any more decisions.

Post # 8
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee

Do it!!!! Cats are really low maintenance and are such a joy to have in an apartment if you live alone. My suggestions would be to first, go to either petco/petsmart or a animal shelter and just spend time with the cats or kittens. Play with them and hold them and you will get a feel of their personality. You’ll probably find one who just seems to fit with you. Next, their daily maintenance is really easy. Just feed twice a day, scoop the box once a day, pet them and play with them as often as you can while you’re at home. That’s pretty much it! They are so low maintenance and sweet. I just can’t imagine life without my baby!

Post # 11
Bee
6473 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia

Our litter box isn’t too bad – it’s only ONE cat using it, and he’s pretty good. We clean it with degradable litter and it doesn’t smell at all, provided that you clean it out regularly! πŸ™‚

Oscar DOES meow, quite a lot. He’s a big chatterbox, and he’s very verbal. Sometimes he will cry at night, but that’s something I’ve grown used to. I get up most nights at 3am for a few minutes to top up his food, have a play and make him feel better. (I’m indulging it at the moment, because I need to keep him quiet in the apartment – when we move into a bigger place, he’ll be ignored during the night!)

Post # 12
Member
10714 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’d say go for it get a kitty! I had someone give me a kitty a few years ago and wasn’t sure I could handle it either but really it’s just a cuddle buddy she’s so sweet and the most work she causes is cleaning the litter box and feeding her. So easy =) I don’t know what I’d do without her (she even sleeps with us at night or when I’m sad).

It’s a great 1st pet cause they are super easy to handle!

I’m moving into a house within the next 2 years and we plan to get a dog too… I figure they will most likely just stay away from each other. =)

Post # 13
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee

@sugarcube:

Litter boxes really don’t smell as long as you scoop at least once a day and change out all the litter at least once a week. That’s what I do, and along with a Bath and body works wallflower my apartment always smells fresh. Also- I’ve been a lifelong cat owner and never had one that cried all night. Mine sleeps with me in fact, and cuddles up next to me until we wake up in the morning. If he ever does whine when I’m trying to sleep in, I just put him in the living area and shut the door to my bedroom but this isn’t usually a problem.

Additionally- most of the problems you hear about when a cat pees/poops outside it’s box is the owners fault. If you don’t clean the box enough the cat will pee or poop outside it because he thinks its too smelly and dirty to go in there.

If you think you might be interested in getting a cat, they are super adaptable to your life. All they need is some daily love and affection and they are so easy to live with. A younger kitten will require more attention, but now that my cat is about a year old he just hangs out with me on the couch or sleeps when I’m gone so it’s perfect.

Post # 14
Member
336 posts
Helper bee

@sugarcube: Cats are really clean. If they are accustomed to using a litterbox (and they will be in a shelter/foster environment) you really shouldn’t have to worry about urinating/defecating outside the litterbox.(Unless it’s a male cat and intact..then probably 95% of them spray. It’s gross. Or if there is any kind of medical issue.) But like PPs said, the adoption/rescue people know of issues like these beforehand, and talking to them frequently can help you find the best match and get a lot of great info. And there are some great litters that are good at containing odor, and different styles of litterboxes so you will have to look and see what is the best fit for you and the cat. Some cats are really picky though. 

I’ve also never had a cat who cried all night. I can occasionally hear my two girls thumping around the house in the middle of the night but usually they are cuddled up somewhere sleeping. They are pretty lazy and self sufficient, just some food and a clean litterbox, and love on their terms and they’re happy kitties. πŸ™‚

Post # 15
Member
949 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@sugarcube:

Like others have said, I think it’s awesome that you’re taking the time to think this through so well. Let me see if I can shed a little light. As for the training, my opinion is that cats aren’t really so hard to train as some people make it seem. Since you’ve had a dog in the past, have you ever noticed how some people with “stubborn” dogs are pretty inconsistent about training or giving negative feedback for bad behavior? I think it’s much the same with cats. If you don’t tell them when they act up, they will certainly keep doing it.

A litter box only smells as bad as you let it. Maybe, as a PP said, see if you can cat sit for a friend some time to get a sense. If you really hate it, clean it out once a day and it won’t ever get really bad!

As for “test driving”, this isn’t quite on the scale you want, but a most shelters are very insistent that you spend some good time with a cat at the shelter, and you can probably get a good sense of a particular cat’s temperament from that. If it scratches you and you tell it “no!” and it doesn’t look contrite, maybe that cat is not going to be a good fit! You might even consider getting a cat, not a kitten, who’s box trained and a little more calm. People at pet stores and shelters can also tell you something about the temperament about the cats they have. Good luck!

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