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Yupper February 26th, 2015 02:46 AM

Hi, prospective cat owner here...
 
Hi all!

I've been thinking about getting a pet for a long time, and specifically for the last 2 years have seriously thought about getting a cat, which I think would suit my lifestyle best. I have never had cat, but had a dog when I was a child (many years ago). I feel like this is a big decision for me, so I am trying to do all the research I can beforehand before diving in the process, as well as asking advice from friends who have cats.

- I think I want a short haired cat over a long haired one. Brushing the cat once every few days or once a week is no issue at all. But I don't think I can do it daily.

- is it a bad idea for a new cat owner to get a kitten, since I would be inexperienced? I have no particular preference for a kitten or anything, just wanted to know.

- best place to adopt is from the shelters? I feel it would be best if I could provide a home to an unwanted cat. Thoughts?

- I am smoker. I try not to smoke inside of the house (except during the -20c winters....), but I am concerned this may cause issues for the cat (it's certainly no more healthy for them than it is for me....). Anything in particular I should be aware of?

Longblades February 26th, 2015 07:06 AM

You are going to be a great cat owner. :)

Most of us here support getting an animal from a shelter or rescue. Anything but a pet store or a backyard breeder. I find I cannot fully say nay to Craigslist ads since I myself put the kittens born to a stray mother in my backyard in Kijiji when I was trying to find homes for them. You might find a similar situation.

I still have the mother cat, she is lovely, friendly, gentle. But, if you are not used to cats getting an adult means YOU might have to make adjustments for the disposition already developed in an adult. Cats definitely have their own distinct personalities.

Whereas a kitten is more likely to grow with you and more able to mold into the kind of companion you want. That said I still have two of the kittens as well and they are quite different little personalities.

A rescue or shelter usually will let you visit several times and you can play with different cats and kittens to see which one you "click" with. I warn you, the danger is you'll want to take them all.

One thing I find a lot of people underestimate is the energy and attention needs of cats. They don't sleep all day. My kittens need a couple of good hard plays during the day, chasing a string around. If they don't get it one in particular is apt to wreck the house in her need to use up some of that energy.

Hope that helps a bit. Once you get a cat or kitten there are lots of experienced cat people here to help with any more questions you might have. Looking forward to seeing photos of your new companion, when you get him or her.

sugarcatmom February 26th, 2015 02:11 PM

Such great questions, Yupper! I love that you're carefully considering all the angles [I]before[/I] getting a cat, especially since cats can live into their 20s and it really is a serious commitment.

Longblades gave you some good tips. I would only add that you might want to take this opportunity to quit smoking, since cats are especially susceptible to the toxins in cigarettes (and not just from second-hand smoke, but also from the particles that come to rest on clothing and in the environment, and even on your skin). Here are some more details on that, by a vet:

[url]http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/02/04/smoke-affects-pet-health.aspx?x_cid=20150204_lead_smoke-affects-pet-health_facebookpets[/url]

Oh, one more thing: if you do decided on a kitten, never take for granted how destructive they can be! Kitten-proofing your home can be a challenge (way harder than baby-proofing) as they will get into and on top of EVERYTHING. They chew wires, they break stuff, they climb everywhere (even your bare leg), they make messes, but boy they look cute doing it.

I'm also of the opinion that kittens should be adopted in pairs (way better for them to wear each other out playing, plus cats really do like company, despite the prevailing myth that they're solitary).

And no matter what, do NOT declaw any cat. Period. Should be illegal, as it's a mutilating amputation of the tips of the cat's toes. Some vets treat it like a "want fries with that?" kind of procedure, packaging it with spay/neuters like it's no big deal. Those vets should have their license revoked.

Do come back and let us know if/when you do get a kitty. :)

Reg February 26th, 2015 10:25 PM

I definitely agree with the above postings. One thing to consider seriously is nutrition.

Nutrition is a major especially for cats for a healthy happy animal.

Enclosing a web site for you to check out. It will give you some ideas.

[url]http://feline-nutrition.org/[/url]

marko February 27th, 2015 05:56 AM

Any pet that lives in your home will be a lucky pet :goodvibes:


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