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To get a cat or not to get a cat?

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Old 11-27-2006, 01:20 PM   #1
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The cat discussion will be coming up with DH and I soon. Before our wedding, we discussed the possibility of getting a cat. I love animals in general. My greatest joy of our honeymoon was visiting both an aquarium and a zoo (ok and spending time with DH).

I really love dogs. Where we live, we can't have a dog. We can have a cat though. I had a cat when I was young as well as dogs and DH's parents have dogs and cats. I've been eyeing the local humane society's website with all the cute kitties and I am torn. Do I get one? Do I not? I need a voice of reason and DH wouldn't be a voice of reason if he thought I really wanted one.

Any advice? Only thing I can really think of is DH and I really don't deal with bodily functions very well. Hair balls and poo and what not would be unpleasant but we'd do what we needed to do.
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:30 PM   #2
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I can't be a voice of reason. I LOVE my cat! If I end up growing old alone ... I'll be that weird lady on the news with 23 of the darned things!
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:59 PM   #3
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Get a cat!!!! I LOVE cats -- and how I deal with the hairballs is I keep my cat's hair REALLY short (the hairball medicine/treats never worked with him) -- and he came to me declawed - so he doesn't claw up my furniture. And if you get an older cat, they are much more likely to always use their litter boxes. I got my cat when he was 5 -- and now he's 12. I got him free out of the paper -- neutered and declawed. And when I lose him, I'm going to get another full-grown cat. Kittens are messy and they jump and claw -- they are cute and everything -- but they can be a hassle. I've never liked having kittens.
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Old 11-27-2006, 02:09 PM   #4
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I love cats as well! My thought about animals? They are a huge commitment! Do you have the proper time to spend with the cat? Do you have someone to "cat-sit" if you decide to go away for a weekend?

My mom's cat loves attention and when she started to have to travel for work the cat started to act out, ripping her house to shreds, and then refusing to eat. Now my mom has to make sure someone can care for her cat when she's away, and has recently started taking her when she's coming to visit my brother or me.

I would say just make sure you have the time otherwise it's not really fair to the animal.

-Aimee

Afterthought - wow, sorry I am such a downer.. I just really believe that it's not right to have an animal if you don't have the time for it..
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:00 PM   #5
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Hey, Nelie, congratulations on your wedding!

Don't feel bad about what you wrote, Aimee. I volunteered, then worked for a shelter for a long time, and what you say is true. So many people gave up their cats because they "didn't have time" for them. Animals are a major commitment and expense.

In addition to food, there are vet bills, pet sitting expenses if you travel, and play and grooming items. So having enough money is a must. Cleaning a litterbox isn't that bad, but must be done daily and the litter changed frequently for the cat's sake as well as the smell issue. And cats do throw up hairballs--and in the most inconvenient places. Unless declawed (and I recommend adopting an already declawed cat rather than taking a kitten and having that done--I've seen the surgery and it's horrible) or trained (as if you can train a cat!), some cats will scratch furniture. I have three cats, and one uses a scratching post, one uses a cardboard thing on the floor, and one prefers my cloth furniture (none of them go for my leather furniture) and the rug.

Not trying to discourage you, by the way. Just trying to give you some idea of what's involved with being a pet owner.

I, too, like the idea of adopting an adult or teen cat. With an adult cat, you already know their personality. With a kitten, what you see is not necessarily what you get when they are older.

Good luck with your decision! If you decide to get a cat, please post a photo.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:46 PM   #6
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Aimee, That is the reason I haven't had a pet up to this point! It killed me when I moved out of my parents place and no longer had a dog around. I've been petless for 8 years or so and really I still used to visit the dog regularly up until 5 years ago when I moved out of state. (Ok I was visiting my dog but my parents happened to be there as well but if you talk to them, I was visiting them primarily and the dog(s) secondarily).

My new in laws have cats and dogs and they live close by. They would be willing take care of a pet for a short period of time if we had to go out of town.

I am definitely looking for pros and cons so I don't mind bringing up the aspects of having a pet alone. Both DH and I work, 8-10 hours per day although one of us is not at home about 6-7 hours per day. I go to work earlier, come home earlier and DH goes to work later, comes home later.
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:19 PM   #7
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We've always had cats and dogs in our family.

My dd and I have always had 2 cats (they play together or fight together ). When the older one had to be put down at age 18, my dd was begging for a kitten.

Yup, we did animal rescue which did the shots and neutering. I still had to have him declawed (that was traumatic for me) but he's been so wonderful. Our other cat looks at him with disdain when he pounces by, but when he sleeps, he's curled up next to her .

Good luck with your choice!
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:22 PM   #8
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If I wanted a pet with minimal "maintenance", I would get TWO cats from the Humane Society. They will keep each other company while you are both at work. They adapt easily to being inside. You don't have to walk them, and they will be fine on their own for periods of time (no "rushing home to take the dog for a pee" for you!).
BUT, remember that these are living creatures. They need you. They need your company, love and attention. They need you to do the right thing for them. They aren't an accessory nor a showpiece (I'm not saying that is what you think, I'm saying this as a general principle!)
So, IF you can commit the time and energy to cleaning a litter box, giving your time and energy to interact with them regularly and meaningfully, caring for their health, and making sure that they are as happy as possible, for the next 20 years (!hopefully), then now is the time and cats are the pet for you. If you aren't sure about how much you can offer them, now isn't the right time.
Just a thought!
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:30 PM   #9
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I can't really give you an objective opinion. I came home from the in-laws with two four week old kittens. Earl (Gray) and (Black) Jack vote YES!
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:51 PM   #10
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My mom has 7 cats. I believe that is legally a herd.... Hairballs aren't that big a deal. My vet told me to put a dab of pure vaseline on their front paw evry couple of months. They lick it off and the hairballs just slide right through them.
I could not bear to have a cat declawed. My vet says that even when they are totally under sedatives during the surgery, they still scream. Plus, they are so prone to infections in their paws for a while afterwards. I have found that enough toys and regular nail trimmings keep the little darlings in check.
Congrats on the wedding!!
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:57 PM   #11
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Regarding the cat box -- I was at my son's house earlier today and was shocked by how dirty the litter box was However, I only knew because I looked in and saw it. There was absolutely NO smell in the house at all. I'd have never known he had a cat, if he wasn't all over me when I came in the door, lol. He uses the kind you scoop and flush. Fresh Step.
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Old 11-27-2006, 07:58 PM   #12
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I have 2 cats... I am NOT a cat person (I married a cat person). My cats are my darling babies!!! I love my cats, but I don't generally like cats.
My cats are great because they are both very loving, their personalities are fun to watch - they are pure entertainment. For the most part, they are clean, easy to litter box train, and we have few problems with hairballs as they are both shorthaired cats (between the 2 of them, we have a nasty hairball on the floor about once a month).
The cons about cats are that they get into EVERYTHING unless you close a door or lock up your stuff. My cats have been trying to eat my brand new fiber optic christmas tree for the past few days - and darnit, they know better!!!
I can say, though, that nothing feels better or more rewarding than coming home and having one or both of my girls crawl into my lap and cuddle with me, purring. My cats love me - actually they like me more than they like my husband!!
I think if you can afford the expense of a cat, have lots of love and affection to give, and don't mind taking care of a litter box, then you should go for it.

as an afterthought - we found our first cat as a stray, and got our second cat as a companion for the first. We both leave the house around 6am and either I come home around 1 or no one gets home until 5pm... the cats have always been fine for that length of time (I might mention that they are left home alone with my 4 birds as well, and they do fine).
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Old 11-28-2006, 02:02 PM   #13
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Having had both cats and dogs, I find that dealing with cats' bodily functions is generally less icky than with dogs.

However, I would recommend getting two kittens and keeping them indoors only. Having two will help them adjust more quickly and they can keep each other company when you and DH are away. Cats generally like to sleep in bed with you, and keeping them indoors prevents helps prevent them from picking up parasites and dirt. If you're squeamish, there aren't many things nastier than finding your beloved pet has been shedding tapeworm segments in your bed.
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