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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Sable - ~Love you- Always~

Ride the Wild- Wind
Purred: Thu Oct 2, '08 11:42am PST 
Yes to what Desert said. Millions of non pedigree cats are euthanized in shelters every year for lack of homes. frown
Rescuing is great!


Fluff butt
Purred: Thu Oct 2, '08 5:05pm PST 
There is nothing wrong with wanting a purebred kitten. That's like telling someone they shouldn't have their own children because there are many available to be adopted/fostered.

Edited by author Thu Oct 2, '08 5:06pm PST


Mush Mush

Purred: Fri Oct 3, '08 5:30am PST 
I just think Desert & Sable are trying to encourage rescuing-which is a great thing! There's absolutely nothing wrong with kitties and cats from a shelter. Majority are healthy and do not have behavioral issues-it's just that stupid people originally adopted them & gave them up for stupid reasons. And, don't think a pet from a shelter is broken if they've had more than 1 home. A few are broken though-very shy and sad-looking or expressionless faces--this is most likely because of abuse, repeated abuse and or neglect and abandonment. But some need some more or even a lot more time to come around than others--require very understanding, patient owners that will truly love & care for them forever. Most of the time that pet was just unfortunately being matched with the wrong people (personality of pet & owner personality didn't compliment one another for whatever reasons-unconcerned shelter staff, uneducated owners and shelter staff) and/or met more stupid people-got adopted by them and were given up for more stupid reasons. However, pedigreed cats are beautiful-many are just as sweet--however certain breeds have genetic or breed-specific health issues you will need to be aware of. Also you'll need to find a CFA or TICA breeder-so you'll know it's pretty much reputable.

Adopting senior pets-anywhere from 7 and up are very mellow but also very affectionate. And Mush who's 12 -- still loves playing just like a kitten from time to time with chasing her toy mice and running around with her ball toys.

A kitten takes a lot of time, patience and understanding to litter box train and teaching scratching post skills--and teaching other skills like not jumping too high or not jumping on certain objects, not biting on wires-(although you can buy plastic cord covers for this problem, you still want to instill certain appropriate behaviors in them) Most shelters and breeders will "highly" recommend that if you're adopting a kitten and don't already have another cat, kitten, dog or puppy in the household--that you adopt 2. And some will not adopt 1 to you, unless you agree to adopt both. And 2 kittens although cute-can be even more overwhelming than one.

You should try to find an older (1 yr-6 yr old) or senior(7 yrs and Up) adult cat who has already been declawed. Most do not have behavior problems caused by declawing--such as excessive biting and poor litter box habits. But some do. But you can ask shelter staff if the declawed adult cat you want has those problems or you can decide to just foster the cat before adopting. And even those cats that do--can be rehabilitated--if you have a lot of patience, understanding. I feel for a 1st time owner- you may want to look at female cats first --just because you won't ever have to worry about them not being fully fixed. On a rare occassion a female cat with a botched up spaying surgery --even though she's spayed--her body will still go through the motions of being in heat---except there will be no period. She'll meow a lot and may even loudly meow ,will rub her butt on things, and will be extra cuddly with you---but that's all. Males even when neutered can still spray the house with urine--- but this only happens because he wasn't neutered at a young age-so although he won't be able to impregnate, he's not fully fixed either. If males are neutered at a later age than usual ( which I think the appropriate age would be anywhere from 8 weeks-1 yr old) they will still tend to spray their urine to claim territory--although not as much as a male cat who was never neutered at all. But please don't let that deter you from adopting a sweet male kitty-at the shelter they really don't have any previous records a lot of the time--so couldn't tell you exactly when at what age the animal was spayed or neutered-and neither could a vet, but they can tell you if they are spayed / neutered or not at all because the vet can determine that. You can always opt to foster-which is a temporary agreement & decide to adopt that kitty or foster/adopt a different one, afterwards.

Many older & senior cats are mellow, still "can spunk it up" like a kitten sometimes when playing, and are very affectionate. How many kittens will actually curl up in your lap purring for you? Rarely none. Most senior kitties- unlike the public perception that they're sick, ARE NOT SICK & UNHEALTHY. Many are murdered thru "euthanasia" just because of their age, shelter wants to make room for kittens-who always get homes in a quick amount of time anyways-so I don't understand that; and again, public perception is that they're unhealthy-so nobody adopts senior cats. I understand maybe you feel like even if the senior cat is healthy-You may not want to go through experiencing the senior issues-such as eventually getting sick & dying so soon-(another myth perpetuated by the public, which makes people look past senior pets!)but you may not experience those senior issues as quick as you might think,--many indoor cats do live up to 22 yrs old. And even kittens will eventually grow old some day and you will have to then deal with senior issues at some point!

Having 2 cats is not much at all an extra problem. Not much extra work. Sifting litter boxes every day or every other day, changing it once a week or every 2 weeks--depending on how often you sift and what type of litter you use, and what type of litter boxes you'll have (automatic or regular)--you may be able to get away with completely changing it once or twice a month. You should as the rule goes have 1 litter box per cat plus one more-so 3 litter boxes for 2 cats.

However, I live in a tiny studio apartment and I have only 2 litter boxes for 2 cats-and my cats have never had an accident! Well, that's because my place is small. If you're place is bigger than a 1 bedroom apartment or a house- you might want to put a 3rd litter box in a bedroom and for a house - you may want to place a litter box by the staircase , in the basement and in any extra bathroom. But, I say see how 2 boxes will work first if you decide on 2 cats! I buy pet food in bulk -20 LB bag of dry-that was a year ago & I'm almost half out only now. I buy 40-50 cans of wet food every 4-6 months. Sabrina shares Mush's wet food. So 1 can of food-feed 3x -4x a day for Mush, but Sabrina always winds up eating some! I also try to buy the tall cans of canned food. I buy premium quality wet & dry food. I get good deals from petfooddirect.com with offers like 15%-22% off anything for sale. Onlynaturalpet.com and Waggintails.com are also good sites. I buy litter every 4-6 months. Go to the vets 3x a year, Mush needs to go for physicals 2x a year-cause she's a senior (although healthy), Sabrina-needs 1x a year physicals; and the vet usually charges for a complete physical with 2 types of blood tests, urine test, fecal test, x-rays- about $286.00- BUT I Live in NYC-and although that seems steep that's pretty reasonable around here. So it's 286 X 3 per year = $858.00 per year plus $30 for a roundtrip cab-ride, my cats do not do well on public transportation & get sick. So 30 x 3= really more like $948.00 per year. Starting to save more now since signing up with petassure which saves 25% off cost of my vet visits.

I have CareCredit for major issues-like surgery and it is a lifesaver! I have pet insurance for Sabrina and I am in the process of looking at 2 pet insurance companies for Mush.

Good luck and please feel free to ask me or anyone else here questions about any concerns you may have. happy dance

Edited by author Fri Oct 3, '08 5:40am PST


Member Since
Purred: Fri Oct 3, '08 11:43am PST 
Thanks so much Mush Mush. I'm not against getting a shelter cat and I'm really still trying to sort things out. I've been really busy at work so I haven't been able to do much research lately, so I'm still going to need time before I make my decision. One major factor is the whole declawing thing. I hope I can talk to my landlord this weekend (or next weekend depending on what's going on) and see if he's okay with soft claws and scratching post. If he says no, I'll have to just get a shelter cat, which again I don't mind. I would probably get an adult declawed purebred mix.

Sable - ~Love you- Always~

Ride the Wild- Wind
Purred: Fri Oct 3, '08 4:01pm PST 
Atrus: I can understand wanting a purebred dog, since dog breeds have very distinct personalities because they were created to do specific tasks, but there's really no difference between a purebred cat and mix breed cat in terms of personality. Cats are unique, and each cat has its own personality. There are some very beautiful cats in shelters, that may not be pedigreed, but can have ragdoll coloring, siamese coloring, persian-length fur, etc!

Guest; Maybe print out some stuff from Softpaws and Softclaws' websites, to show your landlord, so he can see that they are alternatives to declawing. dancing


Queen of the- Quilt
Purred: Fri Oct 3, '08 5:11pm PST 
Hi Guest,

We have four cats, two from a rescue organization and two from our local Humane Society. Two are front paw declawed and two have claws. I agree with the previous posting that with proper training with scratching posts and trimming of nails declawing is not necessary. Our little boy loves to paw and knead at my quilt. If I make sure I trim his nails, he doesn't even leave a snag. The other cat with claws does go after the corner of my mattress at night, but she knows she is not supposed to. One firm "no" stops her. Just like with dogs (I grew up with dogs, including the world's orneriest sheltie, a generally sweet breed), each cat will exhibit it's own personality, though the cat can be taught to know what it should and shouldn't do. That's why I agree that a visit to a shelter and talking with the workers and volunteers will allow you to get to know the personality of the cat.

If you are very interested in a particular breed, you can still look for an adult cat through rescue organizations or a breeder. Some breeders help re-home cats, work with pure breed rescue organizations, or adopt out adult cats of their own. If you need to know the personality of the cat, an adult cat is the way to go - we've adopted both adults and kittens.

One more point on the declawing issue. One of our declawed cats has some problems with pain in a paw that was declawed. Our vet is not certain if the declawing caused the problem as she was not the vet who did it, but it saddens me to think that these problems might have been avoided. If a declawed cat is a must, adopt one that already is declawed. Another cat won't have to suffer, and one who already has can get a home, all the while your landlord's rules are still met. It's a win-win situation.


I'm Mommy's- favorite- gotta love me!
Purred: Sat Oct 4, '08 4:27pm PST 
I disagree with the idea that cat breeds do not have different personalities unlike dogs. Persians, Himalayans and Ragdolls are known to be very mellow, relaxed lap cats. I have had rescued domestic shorthair/unknown breed cats all my life until June of 2007 when I got my first Persian. There is no comparison to the personalities and attitudes of my babies. Friends who don't even like cats end up with one of mine in their lap when they come to visit. My last cats Stormy and Nikita were wonderful friendly cats but they were not at all like the family I have now. There are often purebred cats looking for homes in shelters as well. If their owner passes away or somebody's child becomes allergic, they need rescuing too.

Edited by author Sat Oct 4, '08 4:37pm PST



RIP old buddy
Purred: Sun Oct 5, '08 3:07am PST 
Hi-I wanted to tell you , to answer, that Meowma doesn't know if I'm a typical Snowshoe, but I do fit the breed description that says I am a lot like a Siamese in that I am curious and love to play, but I am a bit more laid back, without as much talking or being quite as activeas most Meezy kitties Meowma has seen. I do love interactive play with the laser pointer, little cat toys that Meowma plays 'baseball' with me, or a dangling shoestring or tape measure, . When Meowma is relaxing I do calm down.

Member Since
Purred: Sun Oct 5, '08 3:52pm PST 
Thanks guys. I wasn't able to get with my landlord this weekend, but I should be able to next week. I was looking at the purebred La-Perm? They're supposedly poodle-cats? I know that they're a pretty rare new breed but do any of you guys have any info?

Linus- (Dreamboat- #72a)

So many toys, so- little time.
Purred: Sun Oct 5, '08 7:17pm PST 

http://www.cfa.org/breeds/profiles/lap erm.html

Check out these links for more info on LaPerms. They are a very interesting, beautiful, but RARE breed of cat. Even a "pet quality" kitten will be pretty expensive. Also, be aware that most reputable breeder will NOT allow de-clawing - there's usually a no de-clawing clause in their sales contract. Talk to your landlord about your plans and see if he/she is receptive to alternatives such as Soft Paws nail caps, sticky paws double sided tape (for furniture), and providing acceptible scratching options (a post or cardboard scratcher) and training the cat to use it. You may have to offer to pay an additional pet security deposit.


Th is link is on a European Burmese breeder's site, but has some great info on choosing a kitten and breeder. Another great question to ask a breeder is if they show their cats. Reputable breeders do show their cats (even if only occasionally) to make sure their cats meet the written breed standard.

Good luck finding the perfect kitty!

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