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First cat considerations

If you are wondering what is the right cat for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about purring and learning.

  


Member Since
03/14/2007
 
 
Purred: Thu Mar 29, '07 9:43am PST 
Good day everyone!
I'm seriously considering getting a cat, and by seriously I mean I've thought about it for about 7 or 8 years now. I've always had dogs, and have 2 of them now. I have a few questions about cats and kittens before I really adopt one.
1. Can all cats be trained to walk on a leash? We travel a lot and I'd like to take it with us.
2. Do cats get carsick?
3. I was seriously considering a Maine Coon because it was recommended to me as "dog-like" and because many of the breed like water. Do only Maine Coons put up with/play with water, or can that be taught in any cat?
4. Are kittens easier to raise than dogs since adult cats seem to be more independent than adult dogs?
5. Can you teach a cat to like dogs or is it inbred? My dogs are cat friendly and won't chase them even when they're off leash in the neighborhood.
6. Is there anything else I should consider before getting a cat? I'm so inexperienced in felines that I feel like there has to be a catch that I haven't considered!

Thanks in advance for your advice!
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Winter

Did I just hear- the treat jar- rattle?
 
 
Purred: Thu Mar 29, '07 11:10am PST 
Not all cats can be trained on a leash and those that do go on leashes, do not generally walk along side you like a dog. Most cats prefer to lie in the grass or sniff around, but I don't know of many people that can actaully "walk their cat" similar to a dog. An alternative is a pet stroller. Most cats love them and they fold up for easy storage. You can even buy a stroller that the carrier part detaches. (Its pretty awesome!) You'll need a cat carrier anyway so you just spend a little extra and get the stroller/carrier. I have never heard of cats getting carsick, but there are many cats who HATE the car. I suppose though, that if a cat traveled enough or traveled a lot since they were kittens then they would get used to it. Cats are not generally "taught" to like water. Kittens who are bathered early on, tend to be more tolerant of water, but genreally either they like it or they don't. I don't know much about Maine Coons specifically though so someone else will have to add their insight. In my opinion, cats are much less demanding on their humans that dogs. Kittens, however require tons of time just like puppies. they are high energy and get into EVERYTHING. As cats get older though they are much more independant. I'm not saying that you can get a cat and leave it, but you can be gone for most of the day and not have to worry about walking it or taking it out. Like dogs, they require one on one time, pets, loving, and play time, but since you already have pets then you know that. I wish I knew more about specific breeds so I could give you some suggestions about the kinds of cats that might fit your lifestyle, but all of my kitties are just your common DSH.
Hope this helps some!
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Taumbu

Move over Brad- Pitt.
 
 
Purred: Thu Mar 29, '07 11:37am PST 
I don't know if cats get car sick either but Taumbu hates being in the car and cries constantly.
Also make sure your dogs will not harm a cat. Years ago I had to find a new home for my two cats when I moved in with my then fiance, because he had a golden retriever who was fine with cats but he also had a saluki who was not. Just things to consider.
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Sophie

The Last of the- Red Hot Mommas
 
 
Purred: Fri Mar 30, '07 6:31am PST 
I don't know the answers to all of your questions, but I have a few:

Kittens are definitely easier to 'raise' than puppies, because a kitten is trained to use the litter box, clean itself, etc, by its mother. All you have to do is show it the box when it comes home and it will know what to do. Housebreaking completed.
I do think some cats will walk better on leases than others--but, as another poster said, you might want to check into the disposition of various cats.
Cats will definitely get along with dogs as long as they are exposed to them at an early enough age. And, even if a cat is older, it will learn to at least tolerate a dog. I am fostering a mother with 4 kittens currently and, once they are over 4 weeks, it is encouraged that the kittens be exposed to as many things as possible..including loud noises and dogs. When exposed young, they will not develop fear. I have even read that they should be exposed to car rides.
I also agree that the cat strollers are great ideas.
Water...again, no experience here, other than what I have read about the Maine Coon. But, most cats don't need baths except under very rare circumstances.
Cats are very trainable (tricks, etc,) also...they are extremely intelligent...but they really need incentive to WANT to do what you want them to do. They don't have the 'need to please' as much as does a dog.
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Phoebe

I'm Fusky! (I'm- furry and I'm- husky!)
 
 
Purred: Fri Mar 30, '07 6:38am PST 
There is no catch!
Mommy already posted under 'Miss Kitty's name above...
but I have to add that Mommy has always said that cats are the greatest 'high return for a low investment' (meaning of time and effort...we are just really easy to take care of!).
I love my Mommy and show it in many ways, but I also will give her time to herself when she needs it and she does not worry about me if she has to leave me alone for awhile...she knows that I will sleep or watch the birds and wait for her to come home without having to be put in a crate and without 'wrecking the place.'

You have had dogs, and it sounds like you might still have a dog. Adding a cat to the mix will not be any difficulty.
Look around Catster and you will see many cats who are best buddies with their dog 'siblings.'
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