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Which type of cat to get?

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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Squeakers- (Gone Too- Soon)

Furever my love
 
 
Purred: Mon Sep 29, '08 8:25pm PST 
If you live in an apartment, you should probably check to see if declawing is a must, like it is in mine frown
Breed and coat coloring aren't as important as the way you and the kitty get along, like the kitties before me said, spend some time alone with the kitty that kinda reaches out and grabs you (not litterally laugh out loud), one that is friendly and wants to spend time with you, that can be a good sign, some cats shy away from humans at shelters. although it may all change once ya get the little bugger home!
Adult cats are calmer, definitely, and males are more laid back. Kittens are cute, but they are high maintenance. Adults need good homes too, especially after they've been dumped at shelters!
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Member Since
09/23/2008
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 4:51am PST 
I think declawing is required cry . I'm gonna look for an adult male declawed ragdoll mix at petfinder.
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Mush Mush

550590
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 5:55am PST 
Cornish Rex & Devon Rex have curly coats and shed the least
The sphynx is completely hairless

Long-haired breeds that have relatively easier to care for coats than most of the other long-haired breeds are: (These long-haired breeds also shed less--compared to other long-haired breeds)
Maine Coon
Norwegian Forest Cat
Ragdoll
Ragamuffin
Siberian

Althoguh the Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat & Siberian are heftier kitties-it is actually considered "normal" & NOT over weight for these cats to reach 25 lbs as adults-but they have a bigger bone structure as well.

I suggest you tell the shelters that you'll be visiting-what you're looking for in a cat. They know the cats personalities pretty well. They don't want to make the wrong match either-they want to find an owner whose personality will compliment the cat's personality. They don't want to find the "wrong" home and cause undue stress to the cat by having an adoption that didn't work out. Although, the majority of shelters will always take the cat back at anytime-no matter how long ago the adoption was, if it wasn't able to work out. The majority of shelters also will encourage you to reach out to them before you come to that decision, if you need any behavioral advice or resources on veterinary care or if you need some recommended listings for a professional-such as cat behaviorists and feline -only veterinary practices. Most shelters want to find "permanent, furrever homes" for their cats. You might just want to foster a cat (s) in need of foster care- if you're undecided or confused about what you're looking for. And, the great part is if you do fall in love with the foster kitty-you'll have first rank to choose if you wanna keep kitty for yourself! Most shelters will pay for or reimburse you for expenses related to the care of the foster kitty while you're fostering. And, if it isn't working out with your foster kitty you can give the kitty back at any time during your fostering period as well.

There are certain breed traits such as that Siamese & Russian Blues are known to be very vocal- but my kitty (Sabrina) whom I adopted from a shelter is part Russian Blue is very quiet, hardly meows and when she does it's very low. But we weren't necessarily looking for a "meowy" cat -so it didn't matter.

What we were looking for was a mellow adult female cat that would be content being by herself through the day- because we'd be at work, and she is very content by herself- a little too much! She is not as affectionate as I had hoped for-especially when we first adopted her-she was just so very shy, she will never sit on our lap or give us nose kisses like our other kitty (Mush Mush), but she shows her affection differently than Mush, in other ways. She'll rub her face and body along side my hand or brush up against my legs-once in a while she'll go as far as rubbing her face on my face! But we just love her so much & we're so glad we're her furrever family.

Here's a site to learn a bit more on cat breeds:

http://www.catchannel.com/breeds/breed_special_1d.aspx
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Member Since
09/23/2008
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 6:51am PST 
Thanks Mush Mush I'll look into those breeds laugh out loud . And thanks for that website big grin.
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Sabrina

550584
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 6:55am PST 
You also want to make sure the cat is not fearful of dogs and that you're dog is not too aggressive or playful with any cat you decide to foster or adopt.

I support you're decision to declaw if it is really mandatory-as it seems to be. However, you may be able to talk to your landlord about the actual procedure of declawing & show him information about it, but come to a written agreement to use either softclaws or softpaws nail caps along with regular nail trimmings (1x a week with cat sized nail clippers) , and Sticky Paws for furniture & plants, and 2 scratching posts- 1 vertical & 1 horizontal-cats like to scratch in different positions. I don't know if you're willing- but you can tell you're landlord that if there is ever an issue that bad that resulted from your cat's claws--that you will pay for the damge(s). I mean, how much damage can domesticated, non-feral, cats do to an apartment??

You might even be able to clicker train your cat to not scratch certain areas & teach your cat to use a scratch post using clicker training as well. Cats are NOT un-trainable--they just take more time, patience & dedication than training a dog -that's why it's difficult to train a cat, but not impossible. The water spritzer bottles are always good for training cats to not go near or do something-but you have to make sure you use that method correctly & spray the cat or the object they are not supposed to scratch or go near; while they are in the middle of doing an unwanted behavior-spraying the cat or object after it's done the behavior will have no affect

No offense but dogs usually do more damage to an apartment more so than a cat-if they're untrained/poorly trained or have anxiety issues (which in my personal experience-I've met many poorly & untrained dogs-not saying you're one of those people-but too many people think they are actually competent to be the pack leader of a dog). A dog can chew your wall up, tear up furniture, shoes, carpets & clothing!

AND it's not just permanent removal of a claw but the claw is actually connected to part of the digit--so it would be like someone not liking the fact that you have long nails (if you did) and instead of trimming your nails they decide to cut off part of your fingers. When a cat is declawed, the procedure is called Onychectomy. What this involves is the amputation of not just the nail itself but also the amputation of the end toe joint. Painful? Sure it might be...and in some cats, the pain may last a week or many weeks (depending on the cat, the age of the cat and the size of the cat). It is true that there are SOME cats who develop behavior issues from the declawing procedure-AND EVEN THOSE CATS with enough patience, time and caring can be rehabilitated as if they never had a declawment that led to their behavior problems; BUT NOT ALL DECLAWED CATS HAVE A BEHAVIOR ISSUE. Animals are as individual in their behaviors as we are. Some may not be wanting to continue use of their litter box- but when that happens it usually is the owners fault-- not providing "safe" all natural litter or newspaper for the cat after it's declawment surgery. It is during this recovery time (about 3-6 weeks)-where there is a high risk of infection for the cat-because of it's open wounds and tiny particles (such as un-natural litter) & dust getting into the bandages. If you DO CONSIDER DECLAWING-please choose the LASER surgical method--it's less bleeding, less painful & less recovery--it is a bit more cost than the traditional method where the digit is broken off with a medieval looking tool. And please never consider a TENDONECTOMY -- another operation that prevents the use of the claws. In tendonectomy, the tendon that allows the cats nail to extend is severed so the cat isn't able to extend or retract his nails anymore. Problems with this procedure include possible joint fusion or arthritis problems. Also, the nails still need to be trimmed and since the cat can't claw to naturally trim down the nail there is the danger of the nail growing into the pad of the foot if trimming is overlooked.


http://purebredcatbreedrescue.org/claws.htm

http ://www.softclaws.com/
http://www.softclaws.net/

http://www.softp aws.com/

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_declawing_and_its_a lternatives.html

http://declaw.lisaviolet.com/declawguide.html

http://www.geocities.com/declawing/

Edited by author Tue Sep 30, '08 7:01am PST

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Philbert

Snort!
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 7:46am PST 
Its really great your asking so many questions! you just want to make sure you get the right cat for your situation and not jump into anything you'll regret later. All the breeds everyone is talking about are really great. A friend of mine had a male main coon. he was so sweet to people and his adopted brofur, but fought a lot with other neighborhood cats. he was very sweet and very beautiful brown and white patched tabby though.

Also Siberians are really great beautiful cats. they do shed just like any other long hair, but they are hypoallergenic (they don't produce the enzyme in their saliva that people are allergic to) so theyre great to have if you have a friend or family that might visit with allergies. one of my cousins has a beautiful lynx point one and he is a big beautiful mush ball. I jsut love him!

It's really nice to maybe visit your local shelter every week if you can and see new cats o check out cats that might have been there for a while. I first saw Phil on pet finder and visited him every week while i volunteered. I wasn't planning on getting him cause he had some special dietary needs, but i just feel in love with him and felt such a connection ih ad to get him and make him better. He had been there for 4 months, been returned once, and was on hold, but then taken off hold a few weeks later, I felt if i didnt get him, no one would, and now he makes me so happy I cant stand it! A good diet and some suppliments have totally made him better, although his poo is rather stinky when he first does it.

Our other cat is 100% healthy and has the "cattitude" you were asking about, which basically means she calls the shots. She likes to be pet and held sometimes and will purr and snuggle, but the second shes over it, shes really over it and will hiss and swat. She likes being around humans, but not always handled. She is a beautful sassy tuxedo cat, but Ive also met incredibly sweet tuxedos too. When we just had her, her litter box seriously didn't stink at all. we would go days without cleaning it and there was absolutly no smell. Phils has added to the smell because of his tummy problems, but we use a covered litterbox and a multicat household litter and a litter deoderizer and clean it every day and it's totally fine.

Like everyone has mentioned, and I think you have too. Pet finder is wonderful and you have the chance to seek out purebreds (I almost got a firepoint siamese from the shelter, but he found a good home when i was undecisive) and if you have a car you can travel a little while to find one. Te most important part is to get the perfect cat for you so you can have a long happy life together! All cats are different, so jsut be sure if there is a problem, the shelter is willing to take them back, so no one is miserable, and just try again.

Keep us updated! I'd love to see who you end up with!
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Member Since
09/23/2008
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 12:26pm PST 
Thanks Sabrina and Philbert!!!

Sabrina,
The rules have actually just changed I've heard because of an animal hoarder that was in the building. So the owner set a limit of only 3 animals and made declawing (along with various other things) a rule.
I've never had a cat before, but I know my dog is very destructive. I'm going to have to give him to my parents, because the owner is thinking about making a "no dogs allowed" rule. That's not set in stone yet, but that's another reason why I'm getting a new companion (a cat). I'm glad I won't have to surrender my dog to a shelter and my parents live only 20 minutes away.
After looking through some purebreds I'm thinking about getting a kitten, meaning I'm going to have to get him/her declawed. I'm really going to need info on what to do. Thank you for telling me about the horrible procedure (cutting a finger off would REALLY hurt), but I unfortuately have to get it done. You said that there were special things that had to be done to prevent behavior problems. What do I do?


Philbert,
Thanks for the info on those breeds. I like the look of the Maine Coon and Siberian a lot. It's great that Siberiand are hypo-allergenic, but the shedding would be a concern.
It's great to know that there was very little odor with only one cat, since that will probably be my situation.
I'm going to start contacting breeders and asking for more info, I'll keep you guys posted, and if anyone else has any more suggestions PLEASE tell me.
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Loki

Loki the Maine- Coon Cat
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 1:54pm PST 
Don't be surprised if most, if not all, of the breeders you contact tell you there will be a no declaw clause in the contract. This is pretty common practice.

If the LL only allows declawed cats you might be better off getting a young adult that has already been declawed. Check out some of the purebreed rescue groups such as Maine Coon Rescue, or whichever breed you have an interest in.
You will know when you meet the right cat, each cat has his or her own personality, no matter what breed and when you find that special match its it just magic! Such a bond smile
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Atrus

Fluff butt
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 5:54pm PST 
Loki is right, most if not all (reputable) breeders will not allow their cats to be declawed.

I'd advise against a purebred, unless you're prepared to spend $600-800+ on a kitten. Anything much cheaper and I can guarantee the breeder is not so excellent and you don't wanna be any part of that. Look for catteries registered with both TICA and CFA, at least, and for breeders that regularly show their cats. Also consider adopting a retired breeding cat, they may be easier for a first time cat owner.

Or go to a shelter. Really. I love my purebred but there are many ways a novice can get screwed if not careful.
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Squeakers- (Gone Too- Soon)

Furever my love
 
 
Purred: Tue Sep 30, '08 5:54pm PST 
Ooh ragdolls! Mommy wants a ragdoll one of these days. There are some places that will adopt cats and allow you to declaw, like Cause for Paws, you might want to google it. Also on Petfinder, cats that are declawed (although they may be few and far between) have a paw by their name.
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