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Cat People (Catman)
Nails3Jesus0
I need to pick the brains of all the people of the feline persuation on the site. I'm thinking of getting a cat. It's just me and my corals in my house now (been that way for a while now). As much as I love my corals, fish and inverts, the house just seems too empty with just me in it. I think a cat would be a perfect roommate. I'm looking for some advise on breeds that would fit, well, me, I guess.
To start with, I'd like some advise on breeds that may tend to be more social and friendly. A breed that tends to be more open to human companionship than others. What I don't want is a breed that tends to be more skitish, teritorial, anti-social, etc.
I never grew up with cats (we had Labs), but I'm not completly ignorant in feline behavior, I know that it won't be a Lab in feline form. But right now I'm just looking at breeds that catch my eye, not really knowing what the breed tends to be like or if it's geneticly predisposed to health problems or not. Some of the breeds that have caught my eye are the Chartreux, Scottish Fold, Russian Blue, Persians (seem like a lot of work), Korat.
Any advice would be appreciated. I plan on building a "catwalk" that lines the inside of my entire house out of 1X6 cedar planks. I want it to line the entire inside perimeter of the house where the walls meet the bottom of the vaulted celings. What ever cat I decide to go with will have plenty of mental stimulation, as it WILL be strictly an indoor cat. My coral tank will not be a problem with any cat as the top will be lined with eggcrate plastic to keep any paws and claws out.
Please feel free to tell me words of wisdom, advise, do's and don'ts or paticular breeds to steer clear from, etc.
 
catman
Congratulations on your desire to add a cat to your household.

I have never had a purebred cat, always rescuing strays. Of the breeds you mentioned, I've always been fond of the Russian Blue. Persians are indeed a lot of work, as they shed a lot. It's difficult for me to recommend one by temperament, as they vary so much from cat to cat ('breedism'?). For example, I had a Siamese, which are reputed to be standoffish and prickly, but mine was the sweetest, most affectionate cat I have ever shared company with (I won't say "owned", as it is more the other way round). Some Siamese resemble the stereotype, however.

Be forewarned that if you go to a lot of trouble constructing something for the cat's pleasure, it will likely totally ignore it. That is their way of establishing dominance. You can't be pushy with them; they will have it their own way. They aren't eager to please. But that is one of the things I like about them. They are intelligent about matters which they care about, and will figure things out if you give them the opportunity. (But do show them the litter box!)

I recommend that you get more than one cat, so that they will have companionship of their own kind. Besides, the interaction between them is fascinating.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
jayon
Nails3Jesus0 wrote:
I need to pick the brains of all the people of the feline persuation on the site. I'm thinking of getting a cat. It's just me and my corals in my house now (been that way for a while now). As much as I love my corals, fish and inverts, the house just seems too empty with just me in it. I think a cat would be a perfect roommate. I'm looking for some advise on breeds that would fit, well, me, I guess.
To start with, I'd like some advise on breeds that may tend to be more social and friendly. A breed that tends to be more open to human companionship than others. What I don't want is a breed that tends to be more skitish, teritorial, anti-social, etc.
I never grew up with cats (we had Labs), but I'm not completly ignorant in feline behavior, I know that it won't be a Lab in feline form. But right now I'm just looking at breeds that catch my eye, not really knowing what the breed tends to be like or if it's geneticly predisposed to health problems or not. Some of the breeds that have caught my eye are the Chartreux, Scottish Fold, Russian Blue, Persians (seem like a lot of work), Korat.
Any advice would be appreciated. I plan on building a "catwalk" that lines the inside of my entire house out of 1X6 cedar planks. I want it to line the entire inside perimeter of the house where the walls meet the bottom of the vaulted celings. What ever cat I decide to go with will have plenty of mental stimulation, as it WILL be strictly an indoor cat. My coral tank will not be a problem with any cat as the top will be lined with eggcrate plastic to keep any paws and claws out.
Please feel free to tell me words of wisdom, advise, do's and don'ts or paticular breeds to steer clear from, etc.


Why do I forsee some interesting stories with this 'catwalk' assuming your cat will use it (which it sounds like it would). It just sounds like you are setting yourself up to be pounced on.
 
Nails3Jesus0
catman wrote:
Be forewarned that if you go to a lot of trouble constructing something for the cat's pleasure, it will likely totally ignore it. That is their way of establishing dominance.


I was actually thinking of building it before introducing the cat. Do you think that would make a difference? I already have an 8 foot, multi level cat tree.
 
Bob of QF
I will echo the Russian Blue recommendation. A very close friend is on her 2nd one (both rescues).

I, myself, will likely try for one whenever one of my current crop takes that final litterbox....

That being said, I wholeheartedly recommend grey tabbys. (they look sort of like grey tiger-striped cats). I've had a mix, and a more pure tabby, and both of these are extremely people-friendly. I sometimes call Galileo "baby" because as soon as ANYONE picks him up, he begins to purr, and you can hold him any old way-- even on his back like a baby. He'll be purring the whole time.

I'm told the orange tabbys are just as people-oriented. A very popular breed, too.

Siamese are cool, though: they are definitely "smarter", and very vocal (usually). My previous cat to the current two, was 1/2 white siamese 1/2 grey tabby, and had a vocabulary of 50 or so different and distinct meows. Was pretty cool, too; he could actually communicate a great deal regarding his needs.

My current grey tabby is vocal, but only has a single "all purpose" meow; he literally uses the same vocalization for everything. Smile Sometimes I've not a clue what he wants, so I just usually pick him up, then. If that wasn't it? He'll squirm back down...


.......

Kittens or adults?

If you're going for a rescue cat, say one that's 9mo or a year (or older), then you will have a much easier time of litter training, feeding, etc.

But, kittens are totally cute; they're a shitload of work, but oh sooooo adorable. These can be rescue, too. (see a trend, here? <heh> )

....

As for your cat-walk? I think it's totally cool. One caveat, though: if you opt for a kitten, he may just injure himself on it. Kittens often over-estimate their abilities, and a high walkway may just get him into an injurious fall. Or he may not.

Most cats are quite curious, and if physically able, I imagine will explore the catwalk.

Especially if you sprinkle some dried catnip here and there for them to discover... <grin> Amazing what you can do with that stuff, persuading a cat-wise.
Edited by Bob of QF on 12/07/2008 17:10
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Nails3Jesus0
Thanks Bob. I'm not sure about the kitten/adult thing. My natural reaction is to say kitten, because of my lifetime of experience with dogs, I would introduce a new Lab at 7 weeks of age to me by living and sleeping with me (let the jokes begin), that way it "bonds" to me. But I'm not sure that is so important with cats (?). The rescue idea sounds totally cool and the right thing to do.
About your Tabbies, Bob, I'm curious, in my research so far I havn't seen Tabby listed as a breed, but rather a discription, of sorts, of the cats coloration within certin breeds (American Shortail, etc.) Could you explain what is meant by Tabby? I'm a bet confused by this.
I'm really psyched about the catwalk thing, to tell you the truth. My house's floorplan just fits in perfect for what I want to do. It has a wide open floorplan, the living room, kitchen and dining room are all, esentially, one room, with tall valulted ceilings that would accomodate a very long, multi-level catwalk with sloping elevation changes wth about 20 corners. With what I have in mind, it just screams kitty paradise. It's esentially one long, continious shelf that follows the wall/roofline around every corner and gable elevation change.
I'm a big "project" kind of guy, if you couldn't tell.
 
Bob of QF
That project sounds totally cool, too.

I'm not even remotely a "cat fancier" and all I know is what other's have said; you're probabily correct, it's not a "breed" as such, but a type of cat. I suppose the subtle difference is important to someone, but not me... <eyeroll>

I have a very strong aversion to cat shows, dog shows, purebreeds and such. To me, it's akin to animal abuse: the animal's sole purpose to be alive, is to fit some sort of arbitrary "ideal". To me, that's as gruesome as having a kid just because you think the kid will win a beauty contest... but that's my not-at-all humble opinion.

Thus, what I think of as "grey tabby" is those extremely common variety of cat that vaguely looks like a grey striped tiger, short-ish hair. White or cream underbelly.

..........

Cats do not need the "kitten bonding" thing nearly so much as dogs seem to. Any cat can be won over, with patience, attention and most importantly: food. (just like dogs, now that I think of it).

Cats can be solitary (my previous cat refused to have any other cat but himself...sadly, had to return a 2nd cat because of this). Other cats can be more sociable (my current two do get along well enough, and I think having them both stimulates each into a healthier life).

Kittens are even more work than puppies, I think, but that may be my memories playing tricks.

Puppies are serious "want-to-please" animals, whereas kittens are listed under the definition "curious". They literally get (or try to) into everything. They can jump amazing distences, I've seen a '3oz' kitten jump 4-5 feet from the ground to the top of the refrigerator. They are strong for their size, stronger (relatively) than a puppy is size-for-size.

And kittens will often eat everything they can put into their mouths. Most times, no problem, they happily puke up whatever does not agree with them. Of course, they do this out in the middle of the room, so as to not mess up the paths at the edges... their paths, not yours. Grin

Thus, if you have lots of stuff in your home that a kitten might eat or mess up or get into or destroy, you may want an older, more settled cat, say 9months or a year old.

But, if you've the time, and don't mind feeding 3 times a day, watching for those accidental "where's the damn litter box, dammit--can't hold it, crap, this rug'll do" a kitten sometimes does, and kitten-proofing your house up to 5 feet off the floor?

Not to mention, securing all your kitchen cabinets (especially chemical storage, like dish powder (poison), drain cleaner, bleaches, etc), willing to frequently replace kitten-destroyed toilet paper rolls/paper towels/kleenex boxes, don't mind scratches on EVERYTHING, go for the kitten.

They are soooooo cute. Did I mention this?

And a kitten is IMO easier to make friends with than an older cat.

As for me? I'm too old, I've done my share of kitten raising, so my next batch of cats will be young adults, just like the current pair. (And, I'm gone alot, and the older cats don't mind, a kitten gets lonely more easily, too.)

I know! Get two kittens, preferably from the same litter, and let'em grow up together... tons of entertainment, with kitten wrestling matches, kitten-stalking kitten events, and kittens pouncing on his sleeping littermate..... loads of fun!

*sigh*

Sometimes I wish I had a human kid, so I could get a pair or three kittens, and let'em all grow up together.... Smile
Edited by Bob of QF on 12/07/2008 19:24
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Nails3Jesus0
I kinda want to find a cat like this:

i91.photobucket.com/albums/k287/nail3jesus0/JabbatheCat.jpg

Jabba the Catt- "You have been a good smuggler, but now you're Bantha fodder."
Edited by Nails3Jesus0 on 12/08/2008 02:25
 
catman
N3J0: I don't think it matters whether or not you build the catwalk before you get the cat. The cat will either like it or he won't...I'm thinking he will as long as he has a route to get up to it. If he doesn't like it, you can put a big electric train setup up there.

If cats don't know each other before they are placed together, it will take a wekk or two for them to sort things out between them, but they will usually get along after a time. I've had multiple cats for 40 years, and they have always gotten along fairly well after the introductory period of hissing and unpleasantries (with occasional disagreements). Be aware that cats may sound like they are eviscerating one another while not even in physical contact!

I don't agree that show cats are mistreated. They are bred for it and seem to enjoy it; after all, they are pampered like no others (except mine), being quite valuable, and most of their human companions seem to have genuine affection for them (and vice versa).
Edited by catman on 12/07/2008 20:40
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
schmoo
Nails-I know at least at the cat rescue place around the corner from my home, you can adopt cats that have been together their entire lives. In fact, they're quite hard to place because most people want just one cat, but it's incredibly unkind to separate cats that have been one anothers companion for a long time and they try not to do it if possible.

If you are absolutely positive your cat will be an indoor cat, please consider adopting a cat that has been declawed as they cannot safely be outdoors and not everyone is intelligent enough to realize that when they adopt. They think about their furniture, rather than the fact that the cat is helpless when outdoors and cannot escape into a tree to get away from danger with no claws.

Now, if you adopt a cat that has not been declawed, don't laugh, but there are caps you can have put on their claw tips, that prevents them from getting the tips of all their toes amputated, which is what happens when a cat is declawed. (I won't say more as I'm a bit of a trial to my near and dear on this-I adopted cats from my MIL that were declawed but I refuse to ever have it done to any animal I own, it would be considered horrific if you did it to a human.

Catman, it has taken Zoe and Yoda a bit of time, but last night they were quite cuddly-they curled up together on the husbands lap last night for TV watching and they were entwined at the bottom of our bed when I got up this morning-however, that might have been due to the fact that it was 10 degrees outside and our house has old drafty windows!:yes: Whatever the reason, the kitties are used to each other and actually enjoy each others company now, and I'm glad they each have another cat to play with. Zoe would have been content to be an only cat, I think, but it does her good to have a feline companion.
 
schmoo
My cats would LOVE your catwalk think, Nails! They could get away from the 11 year old boy!
 
Hypatia
Nails - outside of having sibling Siamese once, I've never had purebred cats, and I've had cats nearly all my life.

I prefer adopting them from either an animal shelter, or a family looking for a good home for one (or two), etc. I also prefer letting the cat/kitten choose me, if possible (if there's more than one cat/kitten available). There's just something about them approaching me (you), with a paw extended, their eyes meeting yours, and maybe a 'meow' or two that lets you know it's a good match that really does it.

I think your catwalk sounds fantabulous. Though it may take a little while to get used to the new surroundings, I think it is something any cat would really go for - especially since most of them love heights and are so nosy.

One word of caution about the catwalk though - especially if you adopt cat/s that are declawed and the catwalk is considerably high up - think about the fact that the cat could slip and fall, so traction could figure in.

Kittens may be a little more 'work' than a full grown cat, but my cat is four years old and still plays like a kitten. I've seen many full grown cats that are the same way, so you might keep that in mind when trying to decide between the two.

If I had my druthers I'd adopt cats in pairs, close in age. Our Maggie is a single cat, but that's only because we only had room and finances for one when we adopted her.

I'm excited for you that you're getting a feline companion - I think you'll be very glad you did.

 
Hypatia
Maggie would love a catwalk, I'm sure. But boy, would we ever have to look out! She'd be lying in wait like nobody's business!

lol!

Can we say 'pounce'?

:lol:

 
catman
Schmoo: Cats get a lot more peaceful when the weather turns cold and they can cuddle for warmth!

I prefer rescuing cats from the street or the animal shelter. One knows that purebreds for sale won't be euthanized. The cats you save from the shelter, in my experience, seem terribly grateful, as if they know what's in store otherwise. Of course they don't, but they are happy to get out of those cages.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Nails3Jesus0
schmoo wrote:
If you are absolutely positive your cat will be an indoor cat, please consider adopting a cat that has been declawed as they cannot safely be outdoors and not everyone is intelligent enough to realize that when they adopt.


Yeah, I'm sure it will be an indoor cat. I'm not sure if anyone remembers the episode I had a few years back when the (then) wife's cat got into some ethylene glycol in the neighborhood. That was one expensive treatment.
 
Nails3Jesus0
Hypatia wrote:
Nails - outside of having sibling Siamese once, I've never had purebred cats, and I've had cats nearly all my life.


Hypatia, you know, I don't know what I was thinking with the breed thing. I'm not a animal show type, and any ol' cat would do as long we get along. I think my family experience with high breed, papered field-trialing Labs was just kicking in. Refex action so to speak.

One thing that I know will bother me about adopting or rescuing a cat is that when I go to the shelter, it will kill me to just come out with one cat. I have a rough time in those kind of places when I know what is in store for all the animals that don't get adopted.
One thing I will NEVER do is buy an animal at a large petstore because of puppy and kitten mills that many of them buy from.
Edited by Nails3Jesus0 on 12/08/2008 08:32
 
Bob of QF
Nails3Jesus0 wrote:
Hypatia wrote:
Nails - outside of having sibling Siamese once, I've never had purebred cats, and I've had cats nearly all my life.


Hypatia, you know, I don't know what I was thinking with the breed thing. I'm not a animal show type, and any ol' cat would do as long we get along. I think my family experience with high breed, papered field-trialing Labs was just kicking in. Refex action so to speak.

One thing that I know will bother me about adopting or rescuing a cat is that when I go to the shelter, it will kill me to just come out with one cat. I have a rough time in those kind of places when I know what is in store for all the animals that don't get adopted.
One thing I will NEVER do is buy an animal at a large petstore because of puppy and kitten mills that many of them buy from.



Be sure to take a friend, then, when visiting the pet rescue places.....for, you know, strength of character and stuff.

"no, you cannot possibly take them all home"
"but they look so cute!"
"you don't have room!"
"just the 5 then"
"need I remind you, that you came here for only ONE?"
"mmmmm"
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
jayon
schmoo wrote:...
Catman, it has taken Zoe and Yoda a bit of time, but last night they were quite cuddly-they curled up together on the husbands lap last night for TV watching and they were entwined at the bottom of our bed when I got up this morning-however, that might have been due to the fact that it was 10 degrees outside and our house has old drafty windows!:yes: Whatever the reason, the kitties are used to each other and actually enjoy each others company now, and I'm glad they each have another cat to play with. Zoe would have been content to be an only cat, I think, but it does her good to have a feline companion.


Oh, I miss my Yoda. She was the sweatest kitty. She was clumsy as hell, so she was mostly an indoor cat. I taught her a lot of stuff in the short time I knew her. Just wish I taught her more about traffic. Meow and my other cats at the time knew all about that. Meow would sit at the corner all damned day and study the cars going back and forth as though there were some pattern for him to memorize. He never had a problem with getting accross the road. Gatinha, Natiche, Free Willie, Yellow, Morbid, Opossum... I miss all my kitties.
 
catman
Traffic is always a danger for cats. I had a cat for five years whom I was sure knew to stay out of the way of it, but he ended up being hit and killed. He was a big orange tabby named Harley. I still miss him after 30+ years.

N3J0: I have the same problem going to an animal shelter. I hate being in that position of feeling as though I am deciding who lives and who dies, like an extermination camp commandant. Still, if you can't take them all, at least you can take one (or two, or three...)
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
schmoo
Oh that's right! You had a Yoda kitty too-I wouldn't have used the name but he came with it, he's really not a Yoda type cat. We usually call him Dingus or Bungle Nuts.

There are pics around here somewhere of our kitties-we had to have kitties when we finally got back to the US. Zoe is decidedly my husbands cat-she is Evercat, she has her bed on his desk and guards him while he plays EQ2. Yoda is mine-he's a scaredy cat! LOL! He's a sweet little boy though and he sleeps on me at night. He waits until I'm in bed with my book and comes purring and flopping and snuggling and trying to get his head scrudged.
 
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