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I'm pretty sure I want to get a cat

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,941
1
0
I just moved to a new city a month ago, and I really want to get a cat, I think. I read this thread and poked around online, so I have an idea of what I'm getting into.

Here are some questions I have:

1) I'm planning on getting my cat from the local rescue league. I'm leaning towards an older cat (not a kitten). Some that are listed on the rescue league website are 4 to 5 years old already, others are 3 - 8 months. What age range should I look in? Are older cats generally more independent (ie - less affectionate?)

2) My roommate has a dog. She's a wonderful golden mutt. Are there any considerations I should have before buying a cat because of this or are there any steps I should take so the dog and cat will get along?

3) Although we're a bit broke, we do have a few nice pieces of furniture. Any tips for protecting the furniture?

4) Any tips where to buy cat supplies in Canada (Montreal specifically?)

5) Any thoughts on male / female?

Thanks guys,

Beau
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,502
214
106
Just a note..we've always had excellent luck getting awesome cats by picking the ones that are trying to climb through the cage door to see you. Don't pick the shy one in the corner. :)
 

caivoma

Senior member
Sep 3, 2004
957
0
0
3) you can buy a scratch post or try to clip the cat toe nail (be careful not to hurt it by clipping into his tendon)
 

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,941
1
0
Originally posted by: caivoma
3) you can buy a scratch post or try to clip the cat toe nail (be careful not to hurt it by clipping into his tendon)
Oh, I remember seeing a product that were little plastic boots that heatshrank onto a cat's claws. Do those work? Are they considered cruel? Will I care that much (assuming I can convince him / her to use a post)?
 

IronWing

No Lifer
Jul 20, 2001
62,415
15,709
136
Older cats are fine. They are a lot easier to deal with than kittens. Kittens are really dumb and suicide seems to be their main goal in life.

When bringing the cat and dog together for the first time you need to make it clear to the dog that the cat is not prey and not a toy. If the dog understands that you value the cat things usually work out. Ideally the dog will be a bit intimidated by the cat. It is better if the dog doesn't realize it can kill the cat anytime it wants to.

How to keep the cat from trashing the furniture? If you figure that one out, you can score a Nobel.

Get good quality cat food (Iams, Science Diet, Pro-Plan, Eukanuba).

When you first bring the cat home, show it where the litter box is and where a water bowl is. Don't get too worried if the cat spends the first day or so under/behind the bed, sofa, etc. Eventually you may need to drag it out or bribe it into coming out. Fish is the usual bribe.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,420
2,265
126
If its not a lot of area you can put foil on the scratchable parts of the furniture for a bit to discourage scratching
 

Mo0o

Lifer
Jul 31, 2001
24,227
1
76
i also heard doublesided tape works well for detering cats from scratching
 

Rowboat

Senior member
May 25, 2007
200
0
0
The petsmart here sells a roll of "anti scratch" tape. It's really just double sided packing tape, worked wonders getting our cat to stop messing with the couch. But she is a weird cat who would not scratch anywhere but this one corner so it didn't take much to stop her.
 

MrColin

Platinum Member
May 21, 2003
2,403
3
81
Try to get some history on the cat with regard to whether it has lived with dogs or not, it will be more comfortable with the dog if it has. Usually there won't be any info like that though. I'd go for the 2 or 3 year old male cat, but they do have distinct personalities. If there is a really cool cat there who seems personable get that one regardless of age or sex. Look at the cat's butt, I'm not joking, you want one that keeps its butt clean, sometimes they get so fat that they can't clean themselves. Male cats are generally more outgoing and affectionate. The downside is that they can be more territorial which leads to spraying (extra stinky piss here and there, you'll never get rid of the smell). They are less likely to spray if they get neutered as kittens. Sexually mature unneutered tomcats (male cats) get wide faces and big puffy cheeks, they can be very cool pets, smell his cage to see if he is a sprayer. The other downside is that they are susceptible to urinary tract blockage, this can kill them in less than a day or two and if they get it once they are likely to get it again. Your furniture is going to get destroyed unless there is a better scratching alternative nearby, they really like to use cheap wicker furniture for scratching, consider getting a few sacrificial pieces of that and praise them when they use it.

Also, test the dog bring it somewhere there are cats. If he lunges at the cats and ignores you while obsessing on the cat(s), you might want to hold off on getting one.
 

BeauJangles

Lifer
Aug 26, 2001
13,941
1
0
Originally posted by: Capt Caveman
Do you know how your roommates dog acts around cats?
I'm pretty sure she has no problem with them, but of course I'm planning on consulting him before showing up with any new additions to our apartment.
 

brxndxn

Diamond Member
Apr 3, 2001
8,475
0
76
I'd get a male cat.. Our male cat is totally awesome. He actively follows us around the house and is more affectionate than a sentimental gay widower.

We had a female cat for a while.. She was loud, obnoxious, and generally annoyed the hell out of me.

Here's our cat's myspace page:

http://www.myspace.com/lucianthecat
 

DrPizza

Administrator Elite Member Goat Whisperer
Administrator
Mar 5, 2001
49,606
162
111
www.slatebrookfarm.com
I'd prefer a female cat simply because of males spraying.
And, I'd make sure she was spayed. (Getting a new cat here in a couple weeks, hopefully it's old enough soon, friggin chipmunks are eating my barn.)
 

So

Lifer
Jul 2, 2001
25,914
3
81
Originally posted by: MrColin
Try to get some history on the cat with regard to whether it has lived with dogs or not, it will be more comfortable with the dog if it has. Usually there won't be any info like that though. I'd go for the 2 or 3 year old male cat, but they do have distinct personalities. If there is a really cool cat there who seems personable get that one regardless of age or sex. Look at the cat's butt, I'm not joking, you want one that keeps its butt clean, sometimes they get so fat that they can't clean themselves. Male cats are generally more outgoing and affectionate. The downside is that they can be more territorial which leads to spraying (extra stinky piss here and there, you'll never get rid of the smell). They are less likely to spray if they get neutered as kittens. Sexually mature unneutered tomcats (male cats) get wide faces and big puffy cheeks, they can be very cool pets, smell his cage to see if he is a sprayer. The other downside is that they are susceptible to urinary tract blockage, this can kill them in less than a day or two and if they get it once they are likely to get it again. Your furniture is going to get destroyed unless there is a better scratching alternative nearby, they really like to use cheap wicker furniture for scratching, consider getting a few sacrificial pieces of that and praise them when they use it.

Also, test the dog bring it somewhere there are cats. If he lunges at the cats and ignores you while obsessing on the cat(s), you might want to hold off on getting one.
Everything MrColin has to say is 100% correct, but the bolded statement is most important. While I think male cats tend to be more outgoing on average, the difference from cat to cat is bigger than the difference between genders. When I adopted my cat (just over a month ago) I did as suggested and got a cat that immediately interacted with me. I ended up with a female cat, and although she is a bit more skittish than the male cat we had when I was a kid, she is still very outgoing -- when I brought her home, she did have a period where she hid under the bed periodically, but she never stayed there for the whole time. I opened the carrier and she excitedly went about exploring my room (where we kept her for the first few days, to get acquainted).

So in summary, pick a cat that you 'connect' with, and ask the people who work there what they think. If you get them to speak candidly, they'll tell you which cats are nuts and which ones are really friendly, then visit with each potential candidate. One of my criteria was that I needed to be able to hold the cat. Any cat that griped a lot when I picked it up was out.

Just a few ruminations. Good luck, and post a pics thread when you get your cat.
 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
Don't waste money on fancy cat toys. A crumpled piece of junk mail will work fine. Got a cheap laser pointer? A cat will go nuts chasing the dot. They might get frustrated after awhile though, since they'll never catch it. :)

Originally posted by: DonVito
Definitely go for a male. In my experience they are almost always more laid-back and affectionate than females.
Been the opposite with me. :) My male cat was pretty typical as far as cat stereotypes go - laid around waiting to be fed, at least for awhile. As he got older, he started pestering for food. My female cat though, she's now 15 years old, but still as friendly and active as a kitten.
Neither of them cared for being held, but as soon as they'd be put back down, it was right back to rubbing contently against your leg. They just prefer being down on the floor, I guess.

Concerning being outgoing, both of them would run and hide under the bed if anyone would come to the door who they weren't entirely familiar with. UPS guy pulls down the driveway? They're gone. Doorbell rings while the cats are asleep? They wake up in a hurry and hide.
 

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