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Should I get a kitty?

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.

  
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Beatrix- Kiddo

Insane but- loveable.
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 22, '08 10:36am PST 
I've been thinking about adopting a cat or kitten, and was hoping for some advice. Here are my concerns:

My dog. Henry is a 20-pound poodle mix, and has lived with a kitten before - my last roommate had a kitten, and he and Henry were great friends, and played all the time (their play was fairly rough, so that's something to consider, too). I also think Henry would respond better to a cat as a housemate than another dog, based on his personality - he tends to be anxious and gets depressed when I'm gone or not paying enough attention to him. Adding a cat that would play with him and be his friend would be perfect and even good for him, and, as Henry tends to be very curious (in a completely non-aggressive way) with cats, the cat would have to put up with a lot of sniffing and having Henry follow him or her around, especially at first. So a cat that doesn't do well with dogs would be a bad match for us.

Dog door. This is my big concern at the moment, actually. I just had a dog door installed in my bedroom, which leads out onto a porch that is VERY well secured for my dog - there's four-foot fencing around the inside, the porch is raised off the ground, and the door to it is locked inside and out. But for a cat, I think getting off the porch wouldn't be so hard. I think a kitten would have a hard time opening the dog door on his or her own, but an older cat probably could. There are lots of cats that roam our neighborhood, but I don't feel that it would be safe or responsible to allow my cat to roam like that.

I'll be living in this house for at least the next few months, and then will be graduating from grad school and hopefully getting a job somewhere. My pets will definitely move with me, so that's not an issue. I'm also home a lot until at least May, as I only have classes one day a week and work only very occasional days, which is why I thought now might be a good time to add a second pet.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'd love to be able to give a home to a cat or kitten that needs it, but want to make sure that I do it right.
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Beatrix- Kiddo

Insane but- loveable.
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 22, '08 10:38am PST 
Just a note: I'm posting this as Beatrix, but she actually lives with my parents (and as much as I would love to steal her away, they adore her). Henry (my dog) is currently the only animal in my household.
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Benny Grunch

Will Meow for- Treats!!!
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 22, '08 11:10am PST 
Is there a Cat Rescue or No Kill Shelter near you? This is a good place to start looking, and you could give a deserving cat a good home. They would have information on if the cat is good with dogs, etc.

Also, on the left hand side of the CATSTER page is a area for "Adoptions", where CATSTER members post cats available for adoption. Might be another place to check. On each page it is noted if the cat is good with dog, children, etc. There should be someone near enought to where you live so that you could meet the cat and determine if it would be a good fit.

Good luck, and keep us posted.hug
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Greta (now- in kitty- heaven)

I am the QUEEN- OF THE HOUSE!
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 22, '08 5:37pm PST 
Beatrix, my mama knows just what you mean! My mama wanted to take one of my gamma's (my mama's mama) kitties too.... and gamma has even offered one of them to her but because gamma can sometimes be sarcastic, she doesn't know if she means it or not. Mama eventually decided taking one from her wouldn't be a good idea, because her kitties and I don't get along, and they'd miss their mama! Mama told gamma she would never take any of her kitties from her unless she became unable to care for them.

Hopefully you can find a nice furbaby in need of a home at a shelter! Mama says to consider giving a young adult cat a home, because everyone wants kittens. Just a thought.

Miss Greta the Great

Edited by author Fri Feb 22, '08 5:41pm PST

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Diego

I'm bringing- sexy back
 
 
Purred: Fri Feb 22, '08 6:48pm PST 
Another great thing about finding a kitty at the shelter is that many of them have been exposed to dogs before and won't be quite as scared. At the shelter my mom volunteers at, a lot of kittens are fostered at homes with dogs. Their paperwork reflects that they are ok with dogs. A LOT of older kitties are great with dogs too.

As for the doggie door, does your dog wear a collar? They make a door that works with a sensor you put on your dogs collar. The door only opens when the sensor is near.

I hope this helps.
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Sheriff Piso

hello green- eyes!
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 23, '08 9:01am PST 
I just adopted Piso, he is four years old and lived with dogs before. He has meshed well into our house, even with a cattle dog that is obsessed with small running animals.
Cats need about 4 weeks at a new home to recognize it as their own, during which time s/he stays inside only. Since you are home a lot could you just lock the dog-door for those weeks and just let the pup out the old fashioned way. Then when the month is up you can gradually introduce the outside to the cat. An adult, who has been outside before will transition better and probably love the doggie door. Just make sure to get her/him all the shots needed.
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Beatrix- Kiddo

Insane but- loveable.
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 23, '08 12:50pm PST 
Thanks for all the input! I'm still thinking about it, but I'm pretty sure this I'd like to go ahead and adopt. I'm giving it until Tuesday so I can thoroughly think it through and get prepared, and since Monday is my busy day, if I wait until Tuesday I can devote most of the week to finding and settling in the right cat (or kitten - I'm keeping myself wide open on age as I look and just concentrating on finding the best fit for me and Henry).

I'm not 100% sure about the dog door situation yet, but you guys have offered some good suggestions, and I'm planning on keeping Henry and the cat separate when I'm gone for awhile anyway, so I can just close the cat away from the dog door unless he/she's being supervised.

Anyway, thanks again for the input, and I'll be sure and let you guys know if/when I find the right cat big grin
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Athena (In- Memory)

Purrs and Love- to Mom and- Toulouse

moderator
 
 
Purred: Sat Feb 23, '08 4:40pm PST 
Ask the shelter you are going to if you can bring Henry along to see if he is friendly with the cat (and visa versa) you are interested in. Or maybe plan on making more than one trip to look at the cats and take Henry on a later visit. We had a cat at our shelter that hated cats but loved all the dogs that came through . . . go figure . . .shrug

Greta (now- in kitty- heaven)

I am the QUEEN- OF THE HOUSE!
 
 
Purred: Sun Feb 24, '08 4:52pm PST 
Excellent idea Athena! In fact if I decide I want a new bro or sis, mama plans on bringing me to the shelter to help her and I make the best choice.


Greta the Great
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Beatrix- Kiddo

Insane but- loveable.
 
 
Purred: Mon Feb 25, '08 8:16pm PST 
Thanks again for all the great input! I think I've actually decided to foster for a local rescue for now - it'll give me a chance to see how Henry does with another animal in the house and decide if it'll be a good idea long term, I'll get to help animals in need, and, as an added bonus, I might even find the right cat (or dog) to add to my little family. I'm a little nervous about it, but I'm hoping it'll be a good experience for both me and Henry, and now is the perfect time for me to do it, since I'm living in a house owned by my family (so no pet restrictions!) and am home quite a bit.

I'd love to hear from others who have fostered - please feel free to p-mail me with your experiences. Thanks again!
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