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Old 02-13-2019, 03:45 PM
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A lifetime dog person is considering a future cat


I've had dogs since I was a kid. Very rarely has my life been without a dog or two. But...I lost one of my dogs in August, and the other is getting older too. When I think about the future, I can't imagine being without a pet, but I do concede that a cat might fit my current lifestyle better. Having never owned one, or really been around them too much, I have some concerns, though.

1. The litter box. I'm a little weirded out by a box of poop in my home, and horrified to be one of those people who are identified as a cat owner by the smell as soon as you walk in.

2. Related: cats stand in and pee and poop in a box, and then walk on surfaces in your house with their little pee/poop/litter feet. Do you just not think about that? Especially knowing they're walking on your kitchen counters?

3. Also semi-related: getting mad and peeing on things...is that really as common as it sounds?

4. Cat owners seem nonchalant about cats' inherent murdery-ness. Do they really bite and scratch their owners as often as it seems? I guess their unpredictability makes me nervous.

I think I'd probably gravitate toward one of the "doggier" breeds, like Maine Coon, but again, we're probably talking a few years in the future. Convince me, cat owners! (Or tell me to run far away )
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:55 PM
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1. Get a good, clumping litter. I've used both Fresh Step with Febreeze and Scoopaway. No smell.
2.I keep a small rug at the entrance to the box. All the litter falls off into the rug.
All the cats in the past have never gotten up on counters or tables. The first cat seems to have instructed the second and that continued through the parade of cats over the decades.
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Old 02-13-2019, 03:59 PM
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1. Yeah, sometimes that's a bad thing. Just be sure to clean the box every now and then.

I mean CLEAN THE BOX. Dump out all of the remaining litter and throw it away. Scrub out the box, let it dry, put it back with clean litter. I recommend doing this at least every 2-3 months. You'll know when by the smell.

I like the thicker, more rubbery-plasticy boxes, not the thin hard shell boxes. I dump it out, put it in the bathtub, put a splash of bleach (not too much) in it and fill it to the brim. A half-hour or more later, I scrub it with the crappy brush, rinse it out and let it dry. That removes the germs and the nasty ammonia smell. Then it gets refilled with fresh litter.

2. Yeah, you'll likely have to vacuum/sweep more in the vicinity of the box to clean up stray litter.

I don't allow my cats to walk on the kitchen counters. Yes, sometimes it happens. But I'm not one of those people who assumes those counters are always sterile anyway.

3. No, not at all. I got rid of a previous cat (broke my heart) because it went completely nuts and was peeing everywhere and on everything, and we had a cat when I was married that did the same, but no other cat I have ever had did this. First you check for medical issues, then behavioral issues to try to stop it. Then you get rid of the cat if necessary. The one that we had when we were married allegedly never did that to the next owners, but he was an only cat there instead of one of seven.

4. You're going to have to get used to being lightly bitten and scratched on a semi-regular basis. Biting is part of play and they're generally not going to bite you full strength. You'll get used to your cat's personality and learn when you could get scratched if you do something. OTOH, shit happens. I posted a picture to my FB about three years ago shortly after I got Theo with him in the background and this huge slash across my wrist in the foreground, saying "I don't need to try to commit suicide. I have a cat."
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:02 PM
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I often chastise the cats for getting on things with their kitty poo paws, though there's never actually poop on their paws. I dunno. Don't dogs like to eat all sorts of gross things and then try to lick your face? Keep lysol wipes on hand is my advice.

For biting and scratching, I have two thoughts. First thought: get two kittens and they'll work out their antsiness tussling with each other instead of on you. Second thought: avoid using your hand to play with your cat and use a toy on a string, a stick or a laser pointer. If they try to bite while you're petting, stop and maybe even move the cat off the couch or into another room.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:04 PM
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I have always had 1 cat. I have never been bitten but have a had a few playful scratches. My cats have always had free run inside and out so litter boxes were never an issue.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:19 PM
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A lifetime dog person is considering a future cat


You're buying new shoes?
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:21 PM
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If you're worried about litter getting everywhere, a Maine Coon may not be the best breed for you. The feets fur will trap and track litter more than the short-haired breeds. There's also trackless litter, which is not perfect, but pretty damn good

If you get one as a kitten, don't play too rough with it--it'll learn to use its claws for play, and not understand they're for other things, like traction while tearing around the house at 3 in the morning. I've been very successful with the tactic of gently holding on to the paw with my thumb in the pads until the claws sheathe, and declaring "no claws!" Cats are scary smart. They'll learn.

They can be trained not to jump on the counters. But they still may ignore that training if they like drinking from the sink, or you leave something tempting up there. Or they feel like it

Finally, I've said for years, "You can have nice furniture, or you can have cats [please don't de-claw to save the furniture--it's unnecessarily cruel and risky]. You can't have both." I've made my choice, and never once regretted it. Nothing beats having a warm, purring pile of fluff on your lap. You learn how long you can hold your bladder because you can't bear to make them move.

Last edited by Swampwolf; 02-13-2019 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:37 PM
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Finally, I've said for years, "You can have nice furniture, or you can have cats [please don't de-claw to save the furniture--it's unnecessarily cruel and risky]. You can't have both." I've made my choice, and never once regretted it. Nothing beats having a warm, purring pile of fluff on your lap. You learn how long you can hold your bladder because you can't bear to make them move.
If I ruled the world, "I'm late for work on account of a cat was sleeping on my lap/feet/chest" would be a valid excuse.
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Old 02-13-2019, 04:39 PM
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Clumping litter. Scoop every day. Change litter fairly often. Change boxes and scrub with bleach and water. Smell should not be an issue.

An exit rug on the box can help with tracking litter, but you will need to clean around the boxes. As for countertops, you can chase them off, but it's a full time job. If your cat is an indoor cat, any germs on their paws you already have, so comfort yourself with that thought.

If you spay/neuter young enough, spraying should not be a problem. Some cats, not many, will develop peeing for spite. But it's uncommon.

Biting and scratching playfully happens. Let them know what you will not tolerate.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:13 PM
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This is very encouraging! Youíre all very good cat enablers.

I didnít think about the floofy paw issue with Maine Coons. Rats. My current dog has the floofiest paws, and theyíre a pain in the rear to keep clean (but oh so cute!).

I may be inching closer to cat ownership...

Oh, one more question. My house is small, and I donít have a utility room, and the bathroom is too narrow for a box. Am I asking for trouble putting one in a (carpeted) spare bedroom?
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:20 PM
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Oh, oh, oh. My hands up. Get a Siamese. They are really dog like in weird ways. They always alarm if they hear a car on the gravel drive. They alarm if my dogs are doing unspeakable things( their definition of bad behaviour might not match my own) They come and sit when called ( well, if they feel like it). But they do know how. My male Siamese uses the toilet bowl. The cat box thing is easy. Have more than one and clean if regularly. Good litter is essential. They clean their own feet after the box. Quite well. The scratching and biting? I never been bitten by a cat. Scratches are common. It can usually be avoided, if you're careful how you handle them. My scratches have always come from grabbing situations, were I had to grab or hold in a hurry or an emergency. I agree with the playing with only toys not fingers. Good luck. Let us know your decision, come on over to the dark side.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:30 PM
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Am I asking for trouble putting one in a (carpeted) spare bedroom?
Not at all. What else is this room used for? Just a spare bedroom?

Then put a cat tree by the window and you can use the room to close off the cat if you need to (throwing a party, having work done, etc). The cat will enjoy having some semi-private space for him/herself.

Just remember that you'll probably need to move the box, dust, vacuum and change the bedding before letting a guest use it.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:35 PM
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Oh, one more question. My house is small, and I donít have a utility room, and the bathroom is too narrow for a box. Am I asking for trouble putting one in a (carpeted) spare bedroom?
I knew someone who kept the litterbox behind a room divider in the corner of the apartment. As long as you keep the litterbox clean, it should be undetectable. Hidden from view, only you and the cat will know where it is. I'd recommend one with wooden panels, like this (but less expensive), so it doesn't get clawed up.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:46 PM
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If my life was too cramped to keep a dog I would get a pet rat. Much more adapted to apartment living than a cat, smart and trainable, affectionate, amusing.

I've had cats. I don't like them. One of the few domestic animals I have little affection for. Okay, and emus.
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:59 PM
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If my life was too cramped to keep a dog I would get a pet rat. Much more adapted to apartment living than a cat, smart and trainable, affectionate, amusing.

I've had cats. I don't like them. One of the few domestic animals I have little affection for. Okay, and emus.
Not just no, but HELL NO. I have an almost phobic aversion to anything rodent-y. It extends to things most people find adorable, like rabbits (yes, I know, not a rodent. Just rodent-y.)
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:06 PM
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Not just no, but HELL NO. I have an almost phobic aversion to anything rodent-y. It extends to things most people find adorable, like rabbits (yes, I know, not a rodent. Just rodent-y.)
I forgot, I don't like rabbits either. Dim witted little twerps who try to disembowel you with their sharp hind claws if you have to pick them up. Good marinated and stewed.

But you aren't alone, of course. There are many millions missing out on the joys of an intelligent small companion because they are squicked out by rats.

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Old 02-13-2019, 06:22 PM
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1. The litter box. I'm a little weirded out by a box of poop in my home, and horrified to be one of those people who are identified as a cat owner by the smell as soon as you walk in.
A good clumping litter with some Arm & Hammer deodorizer mixed in does wonders. No smell at all except when we clean the litter (scooped out every couple of days with a complete change once a month).
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2. Related: cats stand in and pee and poop in a box, and then walk on surfaces in your house with their little pee/poop/litter feet. Do you just not think about that? Especially knowing they're walking on your kitchen counters?
Both litter boxes here are on a rug. Keeps stray litter particles pretty much confined to the area around the boxes.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 02-13-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:42 PM
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Remember cleanliness is next to feline-ness. They will keep their body and fur impeccably clean. Oh sure, there's the odd Pigpen cat. But mostly they are clean.
My cats often give my Yorkie a cat-bath. They just cannot resist cleaning her very long fur/hair. It's possibly the only nice they do. I'm sure there's a benefit I don't know about. I expect hairballs any day now, probably on my pillow.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:47 PM
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I got my adult girl kitteh from the local shelter. Ursala has never scratched or bitten me. She does not go on the table or counters. She has never gone outside the box. Her litter box is in the spare room. I keep it on wee wee pads so the litter doesn’t scatter. I use unscented clumping litter. Box is scooped out every other day and litter dumped and box rinsed with plain hot water every week. Love my kitty girl.
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Old 02-13-2019, 08:25 PM
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:23 PM
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Tip: IMO, 2 cats are better than 1 (but 1 is still pretty great). They'll keep each other company when you're not around.

Are you not considering indoor/outdoor? It's awfully nice not to be tied to a litter box.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:28 PM
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Tip: IMO, 2 cats are better than 1 (but 1 is still pretty great). They'll keep each other company when you're not around.

Are you not considering indoor/outdoor? It's awfully nice not to be tied to a litter box.
Cats who go outdoors have an much shorter lifespan(on average).
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As evidence, indoor cats live longer than their outdoor counterparts. Cats who are kept indoors can reach the ripe old age of 17 or more years, whereas outdoor cats live an average of just two to five years. Another reason for indoor catsí longevity is that itís easier for their owners to identify health problems early, before they become life threatening.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:30 PM
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Tip: IMO, 2 cats are better than 1 (but 1 is still pretty great). They'll keep each other company when you're not around.

Are you not considering indoor/outdoor? It's awfully nice not to be tied to a litter box.
No. I donít let my dog roam the neighborhood, peeing and pooping where he wants, so why should people let cats do it? Not to mention the threat to songbirds.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:49 PM
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No. I don’t let my dog roam the neighborhood, peeing and pooping where he wants, so why should people let cats do it? Not to mention the threat to songbirds.
I'm glad you feel this way. So many people don't. I live in the middle of 90acres. Still I would never let my cats out and about. Too many hazards.

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Old 02-13-2019, 10:00 PM
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A lifetime dog person should definitely consider a Maine Coon, despite the alleged litter issue (never a problem for us).

Our adoptee (he was abandoned by the previous residents of the house we moved into in Kentucky) had an almost dog-like disposition - interested in our activities and consistently affectionate in an understated way. It was like he knew he was a cat and should demonstrate an aloof cool, but couldn't quite pull it off.

He was also excellent around dogs, easily charming or reaching a peaceful accord with our canines.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 02-13-2019 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:47 PM
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I'm going to try and give you an idea of what is different about cats, if you are used to dogs. I should add that I have always had both.

Dogs generally like to be near you. Cats may or may not like to be near you. Some are very affectionate, and some are more aloof.

Cats have periods of time that we call FRAP-attacks. Frenetic Rapid Activity Periods. During these times, they will zoom around, randomly attack anything, and make more noise than you would ever believe possible. Dogs have periods like this as puppies, but almost all of them outgrow them.

A cat's body language is different than a dog's. A wagging tail is a sign of discontent, or anger. A purr is happy. A growl is bad news for both.

Cats have different health needs. Fresh water is a must (not to say that dogs don't need this too, of course). Cats often develop kidney disease later in life, so ensuring that they always have water is important.

Cats can be very picky. About what, you ask? Yes. All the things.

Cats are very curious. Yes, about all the things.

There is something amazingly soothing about having a happy little ball of fluff sitting in your lap, or even right next to you, purring away. It lifts your spirits amazingly. My mom used to tuck our cat in next to me when I was sick as a child. I always felt better.

2 cats may be a good idea if they will spend a lot of time without a person around. They're not as social as dogs, but they are social. They also get bored. Having 2 cats, will keep them occupied. Plus, they're really cute when they cuddle.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:48 PM
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Tip: IMO, 2 cats are better than 1 (but 1 is still pretty great). They'll keep each other company when you're not around.
One cat is a Perp. Two is a Conspiracy.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:59 PM
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Cats who go outdoors have an much shorter lifespan(on average).
Quick hijack: Outdoor-only cars are not the same as indoor/outdoor cats. I've had a dozen indoor/outdoor cats. All have lived long lives. Same as every cat on my block.
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Old 02-14-2019, 03:23 AM
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It was like he knew he was a cat and should demonstrate an aloof cool, but couldn't quite pull it off.
I love this description SO MUCH.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:13 AM
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I'm glad you feel this way. So many people don't. I live in the middle of 90acres. Still I would never let my cats out and about. Too many hazards.
I don't know. I remember watching a documentary. They had some program in in London (I think) where they got rid of a bunch of feral cats. But as soon as they did, they had to deal with an increased rodent infestation.

So I think it's more of a balancing act really.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:00 AM
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One cat is a Perp. Two is a Conspiracy.
Three are a Coup D'tat. Four is a Dictatorship. Five is a Crazy Cat Person.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 02-14-2019 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 02-14-2019, 08:22 AM
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Long time cat person here. I just lost my favorite, mentioned in a couple other threads, but I'm still 100% joyful around cats. If it hurts your heart anything like it hurts mine to lose a pet, one new consideration is that cats live longer on average. One of ours is now 22 and, other than getting pilled twice a day and helped up onto things, she's a normal functional cat.

1. The litter box. I'm a little weirded out by a box of poop in my home, and horrified to be one of those people who are identified as a cat owner by the smell as soon as you walk in.
I have a closet downstairs that I vented to the outdoors with a tiny fan that takes care of this. When my favorite was sharing my bedroom every night, I had a hooded litter box with a tiny fan also vented to the outside.

2. Related: cats stand in and pee and poop in a box, and then walk on surfaces in your house with their little pee/poop/litter feet. Do you just not think about that? Especially knowing they're walking on your kitchen counters?
Dogs walk where they go, too. Cats don't step in their own waste, and usually bury it whereas I think dogs usually don't. Our cats have access to a big fenced yard, and many poop out there, always someplace discrete (not in the middle of the yard).

!!!! This point is huge: the litter box is a PLUS! You don't have to let cats out on some kind of schedule to relieve themselves. Imagine how nice it would be if your dogs could work the door to go outside, and only did it for body functions. With a cat, that's practically what it amounts to.

3. Also semi-related: getting mad and peeing on things...is that really as common as it sounds?
We currently have 7 cats, all indoor/outdoor (through a special flap door). It's been years since somebody peed somewhere other than the litter box or outdoors. I can't actually remember how many years. Ours are quite happy. I don't think they have reason to express anger at us.

4. Cat owners seem nonchalant about cats' inherent murdery-ness. Do they really bite and scratch their owners as often as it seems? I guess their unpredictability makes me nervous.
Mostly ours don't scratch or bite us. Some cats get "overstimulated" (or something) if you pet them too much and too insistently, and it can be tricky to spot the signs, but if you're conservative it's not an issue. I'm never afraid of them.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:35 AM
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Quick hijack: Outdoor-only cars are not the same as indoor/outdoor cats. I've had a dozen indoor/outdoor cats. All have lived long lives. Same as every cat on my block.
Yes, cats who are free to come and go indoors and outdoors are normal here. My mom had a cat who roamed freely outdoors in a suburban environment, and lived to over 20. Of course it depends on the area. In a busy city center it would be different.

Where I live, on a fairly quiet street, with houses with gardens, it's common to see house cats roaming about in the evening, or sitting on a fence post watching passers-by. Some of them are quite tame and friendly if you approach them properly and get to know them.
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:38 AM
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Sis and I didn't want any pets so we would be free to travel on a moment's notice, but the universe decided we needed a cat and so deposited one under our back yard shed last spring. He was so tiny I called him my little teratoma because he spent all his time adhered to my chest.

Butters weighs 17 pounds now. I just weighed him. He demands constant attention and often tries to take me down by my ankles as if I were a gazelle. I adore him.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:14 PM
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4. Cat owners seem nonchalant about cats' inherent murdery-ness. Do they really bite and scratch their owners as often as it seems? I guess their unpredictability makes me nervous.
(post shortened)

My advice to you is to pick the cat that picks YOU. Take your time. There are always kittens/cats looking for a home. You can look for a particular breed, or for a particular color, but I've found over the decades that if you pick the cat that actually likes you, likes to crawl on you, and wants to spend time with you, you won't spend the rest of your life justifying your cat's particular peccadillos. ( Ow! Oh, that's just Pusspuss. Sometimes she thinks she a mountain lion. Just ignore her. BUT I'M BLEEDING! They're just little scratches/bite marks. You'll be fine. I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW YOU HAD A CAT! Oh, she doesn't like to come out when there are strangers here. Or when there are no strangers here. Sometimes we forget we have a cat until she trys to eat us. More wine?

I have friends who's cat(s) attack guests, and family, from under the couch, in the bed, in the bathroom, leap on someone's head from the top of the refrigerator, try to trip people climbing stairs, and bite anyone who tries to pet them. Friends, and family, who have picked the cat(s) that pick them end up with a cat it's fun, and safe, to around. Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:40 PM
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This is an accurate science-based film on the difference between dogs and cats.
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:45 PM
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4. You're going to have to get used to being lightly bitten and scratched on a semi-regular basis.
I've had plenty of cats never had a cat bite or scratch me intentionally. Only kittens have really done so accidentally, maybe (can't recall an example, but it must have happened). Might have been once when a catch was jumping and missed the mark. But I also don't play with cats with my hands. Mine were prone to playing with each other (if I had more than one) or with cat toys.
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Old 02-14-2019, 01:03 PM
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My 2 Siamese. Hmmmm? Where do I begin? I researched, I studied, I chose. I paid big bucks. Bought all the accoutrement. Investigated Vets and proper feeding. I've had and fostered and taken care of cats my whole life. But these 2 were gonna be special. Turns out all that crap was unnecessary. They are just cats. Albeit bossy, needy and persnickety. They rule the roost. Me and the dogs base our lives on what these 2 have cooked up for their own amusement & entertainment, daily. I'm a slave to their whims. I couldn't be happier with the situation. It's just what I wanted. Cats own you, not the other way around. If you remember that you'll do fine.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 02-14-2019 at 01:04 PM.
  #39  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:15 PM
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A couple of things.

Regarding litter box odor. Get a covered litter box rather that an open tray type. This will reduce the airborne smell, and it will keep the cat from throwing litter all over the place like they can with an open tray. Many come with an activated charcoal filter inside that can be replaced and keeps the odor down. If you also have a dog this will help keep them out of it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cove...w=1920&bih=935

Location of litter box. Just put it in your bathroom. Cats are not stupid and in a successful cat/human relationship they believe that they are part of your family. More likely is that the see you as part of their family. They will associate the room with the place to pee and poop. It doesn't matter how clean you keep your bathroom, the cat knows that is where you are doing your deeds. You may have to put up with occasional communal pooping with your cat, it's a family thing.
  #40  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:35 PM
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A couple of things.

Regarding litter box odor. Get a covered litter box rather that an open tray type. This will reduce the airborne smell, and it will keep the cat from throwing litter all over the place like they can with an open tray. Many come with an activated charcoal filter inside that can be replaced and keeps the odor down. If you also have a dog this will help keep them out of it.

https://www.google.com/search?q=cove...w=1920&bih=935

Location of litter box. Just put it in your bathroom. Cats are not stupid and in a successful cat/human relationship they believe that they are part of your family. More likely is that the see you as part of their family. They will associate the room with the place to pee and poop. It doesn't matter how clean you keep your bathroom, the cat knows that is where you are doing your deeds. You may have to put up with occasional communal pooping with your cat, it's a family thing.
Good call on the dog. I have no idea if he'd be into "Scooby snacks" or not, but I'd rather not find out.

I'd love to put it in the bathroom, but there's literally nowhere to put it. It's very narrow, so all the floor space is walking space, and while I have long legs, I'd rather not step over it every time I have to do my business.
  #41  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:42 PM
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Good call on the dog. I have no idea if he'd be into "Scooby snacks" or not, but I'd rather not find out.

I'd love to put it in the bathroom, but there's literally nowhere to put it. It's very narrow, so all the floor space is walking space, and while I have long legs, I'd rather not step over it every time I have to do my business.
Laundry room is good too if you have one.
  #42  
Old 02-14-2019, 01:56 PM
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Laundry room is good too if you have one.
Nope, I have a laundry "alcove" that's barely big enough for me. My house is tiny and adorable, but the builders clearly didn't have litterbox placement in mind. If this happens, it'll have to be in the spare bedroom or the office, which is probably fine. Like someone said upthread, having a space of its own is probably a thing a cat would enjoy now and again. Especially with the dog bopping around.
  #43  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:50 PM
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It doesn't matter how clean you keep your bathroom, the cat knows that is where you are doing your deeds. You may have to put up with occasional communal pooping with your cat, it's a family thing.
My boy Theo comes into the bathroom when I'm sitting on the toilet and wants to play in my pants. But when he's on the box in there, he gets upset and stops his business when I come in.

OTOH, he's right there on the sink when I finish my shower and loves to rub against my head while I'm leaning down drying off my legs. (Yes, I lean down far enough for him to do that and love him up.)

And both cats have learned through experience that I DO NOT like it when they use the box and stink up the bathroom while I'm in the shower or immediately after.


Oh yes, and get used to the idea of cat hair as a condiment.
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  #44  
Old 02-14-2019, 02:57 PM
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Regarding the litter box, if you have the space this type is designed to reduce the amount of tracking (it builds up on the ramp, but I use a hand vac to remove it). The design also keeps curious dogs out, especially if you do as I do and use a bungee cord or suchlike to hold the top on.

As for type/breed, after my previous overlady of nearly 20 years had to leave us in April of 2017 I was hesitant about another one (if for no other reason than there's a non-zero chance of the poor thing being orphaned). But the universe had other ideas, and on New Years Day of 2018 I was adopted by a new overlady, a Japanese Bobtail. Which I wouldn't mention but for the fact that like many of the breed, she's actually a dog in a cat suit (that's the consensus of pretty much everyone who's spent time with her). Especially compared with her predecessor she's affectionate, playful, outgoing and vocal. Especially the last. They're not all that common, but one might be a good bridge between species.

ETA: Apologies if the pictures aren't available — this is my first attempt at using imgur.

Last edited by OttoDaFe; 02-14-2019 at 02:59 PM. Reason: Disclaimer regarding pix.
  #45  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:19 PM
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I've had dogs since I was a kid. Very rarely has my life been without a dog or two. But...I lost one of my dogs in August, and the other is getting older too. When I think about the future, I can't imagine being without a pet, but I do concede that a cat might fit my current lifestyle better. Having never owned one, or really been around them too much, I have some concerns, though.

1. The litter box. I'm a little weirded out by a box of poop in my home, and horrified to be one of those people who are identified as a cat owner by the smell as soon as you walk in.

2. Related: cats stand in and pee and poop in a box, and then walk on surfaces in your house with their little pee/poop/litter feet. Do you just not think about that? Especially knowing they're walking on your kitchen counters?

3. Also semi-related: getting mad and peeing on things...is that really as common as it sounds?

4. Cat owners seem nonchalant about cats' inherent murdery-ness. Do they really bite and scratch their owners as often as it seems? I guess their unpredictability makes me nervous.

I think I'd probably gravitate toward one of the "doggier" breeds, like Maine Coon, but again, we're probably talking a few years in the future. Convince me, cat owners! (Or tell me to run far away )
Cats can be just as affectionate as dogs, but most dont follow you around like dogs. However, Maine Coons sometimes do and we have two we raised from 1 day ld, and the often do.

Get one more box than you have cats, scoop twice a day. Dump the whole box and clean one every couple months, you will be fine.

Dogs clean their ass with their tongue.

Rarely are cats aggressive, dogs are more likely to be aggressive than cats. If you get a kitten, do NOT play rough with it, that will teach it properly.

Go to the pound, look at older, more sedate cats, and yes, maybe a maine coon. Get one that likes to lap sit. Maybe 4 yo? Or get a kitten.

No need to buy a pure bred, just get one from a rescue or the pound.
  #46  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:33 PM
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I'm in your position. I've always been a dog person. My dogs got old and died, and I'm too busy at the moment to train a new one, so we're dogless for the time being. Our cat is great though. The litter box is no issue because he goes outside. His feet are no more dirty than anyone's shoes.

My cat fights with me because I let him. He does claw and scratch and loves it. He knows nobody else will let him get away with that though. And speaking of murderyness, he brings in carcasses and sometimes living victims all the time. Okay, at least once a month. So we have to deal with wiping up blood and feathers and fur from time to time. Other than that, he's remarkably gentle and kind to people the rest of the time, even strange visitors.
  #47  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:34 PM
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...
I mean CLEAN THE BOX. Dump out all of the remaining litter and throw it away. Scrub out the box, let it dry, put it back with clean litter. I recommend doing this at least every 2-3 months. You'll know when by the smell.

I like the thicker, more rubbery-plasticy boxes, not the thin hard shell boxes. I dump it out, put it in the bathtub, put a splash of bleach (not too much) in it and fill it to the brim. A half-hour or more later, I scrub it with the crappy brush, rinse it out and let it dry. That removes the germs and the nasty ammonia smell. Then it gets refilled with fresh litter.
....
I don't allow my cats to walk on the kitchen counters. Yes, sometimes it happens. But I'm not one of those people who assumes those counters are always sterile anyway.

...

4. You're going to have to get used to being lightly bitten and scratched on a semi-regular basis. Biting is part of play and they're generally not going to bite you full strength. You'll get used to your cat's personality and learn when you could get scratched if you do something. ...
I do it out in the sun. Bleach is good, they also make special cat urine cleaners.

Same here, they usually stay off.

Train them not too and it mostly works.
  #48  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:36 PM
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If my life was too cramped to keep a dog I would get a pet rat. Much more adapted to apartment living than a cat, smart and trainable, affectionate, amusing.
.
They are, but they have a 2 year lifespan, while many of my cats lived to 18 or even 20. I cant take the sadness every two years.
  #49  
Old 02-14-2019, 04:40 PM
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I'm a cat guy, had cats at various times my whole life and prefer them over dogs.
I'm gonna go against the grain here and recommend a bird or something for you. Your worries are justified, and your space as described may not be suitable for a cat unless it's an innie/outie cat, when you take into consideration things like a litter box, the aforementioned FRAPs etc. Also, cats like to be up. Thats why they get on counters, tables into cupboards on top of or just on bookshelves etc. Some of this can be alleviated by moving shelves away from windows and putting a cat tree there instead.
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  #50  
Old 02-14-2019, 05:56 PM
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And speaking of murderyness, he brings in carcasses and sometimes living victims all the time. Okay, at least once a month. So we have to deal with wiping up blood and feathers and fur from time to time. Other than that, he's remarkably gentle and kind to people the rest of the time, even strange visitors.
If only you would learn to hunt, dammit. He tries and tries to teach you, but you just don't get it. He knows you're not stupid, so why can't you learn this?
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