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littlemissy
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:09 AM
So... I've always been a dog person. Grew up with the most phenomenal GSD.

Fiancee and I have a house together and he grew up with cats. You can see where this is going. The problem is... cats have always scared me. Maybe not scared, but make me uncomfortable? They just strike me as so unpredictable. I always worry they will attack/scratch/claw me.
I'm also not excited about the prospect of cat hair in the house, or a cat on my kitchen counters (and then cooking).

I would really love to be more comfortable with having a cat, so all you cat people... CONVINCE ME!

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:22 AM
First in line with Cat Agit-Prop!

If I may do some demographic profiling: Your best bet is to get a big neutered male slacker. They are mellow and honest. Sans balls, they have no agenda other than total hedonism.

Otherwise, pick an adult-- a 2-year-old cat is a "what you see is what you get" animal. Males and females can be equally great.

Let DH pick out out a "starter cat." Also, shelters are good at matching up people and cats. Remember, too, that cats there are in "battle conditions" if the cat is quiet and affectionate in those circumstances, they'll be great at home.

When you get home, know that you can get away with being a little passive with your cat until you learn to read him/her. A cat who comes to you for attention is always safe. Let DH teach you about petting them on the soft under belly. This is the one time a cat might suddenly decide it's too much.

A cat who is getting riled up responds well to the "time out" you'd give to a kid. Kitteh isn't behaving as you'd like? Withdraw attention. Cat will chill out and come back when he/she is ready.

You will find your way.

ETA: The other good thing about cats is that they can stand being treated "badly" in a way that a kid or a dog would not. You can pet 'em when you want, leave 'em and go to work when you want and no damage is done.

littlemissy
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:38 AM
GREAT advice, thanks mvp!

TBRedHead
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:40 AM
Ok, so....

Yep can't do it. Own 3 dogs myself. (one is a GSD x acd mix, I joined the GSD club finally!)

I had 2 AMAZING cats dumped at my house, they were the most amazing cats of my adult life. Never went to the bathroom indoors, politely stayed on their own areas, loving and didn't claw, we're fairly self sufficient but loving.

Otherwise, I agree with a large, neutered male.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:44 AM
Oh, and you want a short haired cat if you have fur issues.

Event4Life
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:58 AM
Yes, get a short haired cat if you have fur issues and train it to stay off the furniture. Even our short haired kitty sheds all over the chair he always lies on. Alternatively put a blanket over a chair you don't use much and the kitty will soon figure out where 'his' spot is. Cats like anything soft. Definitely get an older kitty, and see if you can find one thats already been declawed. I could personally never declaw a cat because its cruel but one of ours was done before we got him :(, and what is done is done. If you have a safe backyard kitty can be indoor/outdoor which will also reduce the fur and litterbox situation.

Peggy
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:20 AM
Some cats are more dog-like than others. I've been told that this is not unusual with tuxedo males. Our barn cat fits this demographic.

Blugal
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:23 AM
Agree with the above - be firm in your requirements when picking out a cat. You can train them to stay off the counters, furniture, or even certain floors of the house... most of the time (they know when you aren't home)!

Alagirl
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:45 AM
just wipe the counters down before you start cooking, don't leave anything out.


I am in the 'orange Tabby' camp though...get a male...:winkgrin:
talkative and friendly.

I have 3 kitties right now...they are no longer kittens but you still wish you had a video camera on them 24/7!

and only my spechul kitty stil makes the nicknacks fly when she has her moments (no puzzles in this house...:rolleyes: tried that, got it 75% done, then kitty jumped on the table....)

as mentioned, you can do with cats what you can't do with kids and dogs without punishment...


but expect them to 'help' you read...news papers, magazines, books, websites...

Riverotter
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:44 AM
Go down to the pound and get the biggest, ugliest, oldest tom cat they have there.
You'll be a convert for life.

If you MUST get a kitten - and I wouldn't bother - be sure to get one from someone who knows how to raise them. By which I don't necessarily mean a breeder. Just someone who understands the raising of cats (you already know socializing of puppies is important, this is even more true for kittens) Which will mean that the youngest kitten you'll get will be 10-12 weeks old.
Really great cats are raised by their mothers. There is no substitute for that(says she who has fostered/rescued MANY ready-to-pop momma cats, and therefor raised umpteen kittens who have grown into either dog substitutes or purry scarfs)

This can be hard to find, though your shelter may have someone who does this for them when the need arises (mine does:rolleyes: ), which is why I really, really recommend plan A, a large, unwanted gnarly old tom.

Oh, and - very important! - when a dog rolls over in front of you, he wants you to rub his belly.
When a cat rolls over in front of you, he's telling you that he's trusting you to NOT touch his vulnerable spots. Don't betray him by rubbing his belly! Smile and blink at him, and look away, and he'll know you understand and his trust was well placed.

Other then that, pet a cat as he presents himself to you. If you're scratching his ears, and he rolls his head around - he's not doing it in the feels so good I must squirm dog way, so don't follow his ear with your hand. He is inviting you to rub him here, yeah, right there, under the chin, a little lower...
Having the proper knack to it will win you a pal for life.

See? Cats are predictable with behavior patterns and social rules. Just like dogs. And horses. And just like you wouldn't treat a horse like a dog, or vice-versa, and expect a happy critter and good relationship, cats are the same. A dog is not a horse, and a cat is not a dog, but they are all wonderful in themselves, and you can enjoy them all, so long as you enjoy them for what they are.

2DogsFarm
Mar. 30, 2013, 07:55 AM
Lowest maintenance pet EVER.

I have gone on 10-day trips and left my housecats to themselves.
Plenty of dry kibbles and sufficient water and they are Good To Go.
Add a spare throwaway litterbox and returning home may be a bit odiferous, but easily fixed.
Of course, every cat I've owned (in over 40 years) has made it clear on my return that they were abandoned! but all is forgiven as soon as the canned food hit the bowl.

I was a dog person too - had no cats as a kid since an Aunt was terrified of them.
Then my first landlord - at age 19 - did not permit dogs.
So....a trip to the local shelter and I was converted.

The only drawback is the hair.
Cathair is velcro - stick to everything with a vengeance!
I tell guests not to wear black and go from there.

VTMorgan06
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:08 AM
Oh, and - very important! - when a dog rolls over in front of you, he wants you to rub his belly.
When a cat rolls over in front of you, he's telling you that he's trusting you to NOT touch his vulnerable spots. Don't betray him by rubbing his belly! Smile and blink at him, and look away, and he'll know you understand and his trust was well placed.


My kitty frequently rolls onto his back and offers up his tummy for a nice rub. He purrs loudly and kneads the air with his paws. He certainly seems to enjoy it!

I became a cat convert when I moved to a dog free condo. A friend found a cat abandoned in a dumpster, and he turned out to be the best cat. I was hesitant of cats before him, but he's so gentle and quiet.

FWIW, my cat is a bob tail, and he NEVER jumps on anything! Never gets up on the counters or tables, and my vet suspected that he has less balance than the average cat without his tail.

Windsor1
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:27 AM
I have gone on 10-day trips and left my housecats to themselves.
Plenty of dry kibbles and sufficient water and they are Good To Go.
Add a spare throwaway litterbox and returning home may be a bit odiferous, but easily fixed.

It is a great advantage to cat owners that their owners can go out of town for a weekend and leave the kitties to their own devices. I do not think this is cool for 10-day trips. That is a long time, $hit does happen, and that drinking water must've gotten pretty nasty after the first week -- or less. The cat that looked healthy when you stepped out the door can get sick and depending on the illness, I imagine could die after many days without treatment.

Sorry. I just felt the need to go on record there. Apologies if you in fact had someone looking in on them, but I didn't really get that from your post.

Petstorejunkie
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:29 AM
I'd recommend you read some books on cat body language. One book that seems to help most newbies is What is my Cat Thinking?
Get an adult. Seriously. Because then you know EXACTLY what you're getting. You can't mould kittens like you can puppies. If you try they tend to turn out like tiny alien demons.
Males tend to be more cuddly and dog like.

And FWIW my mother is convinced (like dead serious) that cats are aliens walking among us.

cnigh
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:21 AM
Another vote an orange male tabby. For some reason they really are the most loveable. My guy will sit on his haunches, grab your hand with his front paws, pull it to his head and pet himself.

We also teach our cats by snapping our fingers. As kittens a little snap near them is enough to send them running. Later on it works great keeping them off counters and tables.

There are dog like cats out there. They come when called, play fetch, will go for walks, use the yard instead of a litterbox and are happy to curl up on the couch with you.

Skeezix
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:31 AM
My husband was you when we got married, which is why for the first 17 years we only had dogs. Then my daughter and her cat had to move in with us temporarily. Daughter found new place, Chester stayed with us permanently at husband's request :)

We now have two kitties.

nasalberry
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:33 AM
If you do choose a kitten, know that how they are treated when young, will influence what kind of adults they will be.
For example: Hands are to be used for picking up & handling, petting, grooming, cuddling, scritches. Always gentle. Same with feet/toes. They should NEVER be used as the prey "getcha/getme" toy. Use a string or cat toy for that, or when kitty is an adult, your hands will likely still be the prey, but with sharper more powerful claws and teeth.
Get kittens used to having claws trimmed. Get them when they're sleepy, put on lap on their back and trim the tips with fingernail clippers. Don't cut into the pink.
Best to get them used to a fine-toothed slicker brush when they're young. It's like a great big momma-cat tongue!

A squirt bottle for training to stay off of things.

bird4416
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:43 AM
I've had many cats over the years. The friendliest by far, were the orange tabby males. I have/had 4 of them and they are/were all snuggle bugs. The most current orange tabby addition is a feral that showed up on my porch. After a couple of weeks, he tamed down enough to be touched. I took him to be neutered and now he is the sweetest boy.

If possible, go to the pound or shelter and adopt. Shelter workers are great at assessing cat personality and if they have an orange male, that's your answer.

2DogsFarm
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:47 AM
Sorry. I just felt the need to go on record there. Apologies if you in fact had someone looking in on them, but I didn't really get that from your post.

No need to apologize.
Water was in a gallon-sized recirculating waterer and farmsitter looked in a couple times while I was gone and was provided with vet's number in case something looked NQR.
Aside from the Return Anxiety no cat has ever suffered from my absence.

Windsor1
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:54 AM
No need to apologize.
Water was in a gallon-sized recirculating waterer and farmsitter looked in a couple times while I was gone and was provided with vet's number in case something looked NQR.
Aside from the Return Anxiety no cat has ever suffered from my absence.

That's cool. And to your point about the low-maintenance aspect, I have often wondered how cats got so closely associated with lonely single women, when dogs are sooooooo much more emotionally needy! Don't get me wrong, I love dogs, but if I were really looking to fill my personal emotional vacuum, I'd get a dog, not a cat. :)

With that said, my cat is very affectionate and very sweet, but generally not to the point of being burdensome.

siegi b.
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:12 AM
Get a Maine Coon cat - they think they're dogs and act accordingly. Very much a one-person animal, too. Once you've had a Maine Coon you can't go back... :-)

GotGait
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:36 AM
My relatives have less than stellar kitties so I'm not super fond of them, however our two black barn cats are awesome. I've also never met a bad tuxedo cat.

Texarkana
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:04 AM
First in line with Cat Agit-Prop!

If I may do some demographic profiling: Your best bet is to get a big neutered male slacker. They are mellow and honest. Sans balls, they have no agenda other than total hedonism.

Otherwise, pick an adult-- a 2-year-old cat is a "what you see is what you get" animal. Males and females can be equally great.



Totally agree with this! DH is not much of an indoor animal person, but I finally convinced him a few years ago to go to the shelter and "look."

After interacting with a few, we decided on a ~5 year old male neutered cat.

Now I've had cats my whole life, but this guy takes the cake. He has been the most wonderful cat! He is the first cat I have gotten as an adult (not a kitten). Totally "what you see is what you get"-- we had very few surprises when we got him home, besides the fact that he quickly turned into the best cat I have ever owned. Kittens are adorable, but sometimes they grow up into little hellions. ;)

RuBee
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:06 AM
The worst thing about cats is the bird-killing if you let them out. Our tuxedo male is affectionate and calm. He follows us to bus stop, on walks. I've figured out a way to tell him to stay home, and it works, but involves some strange body language from me.

bambam
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:26 AM
I am and always have been a dog person. My lifestyle, however, does not lend itself to a dog right now. Because I couldn't (or shouldn't) get a dog but really missed having animals in the house, I decided to get a cat. I was lucky because someone I knew had kittens and could vet their personalities for me. They assured me the kitties I was getting were not the stand-offish type and they were right. I got a pair of male orange tabby brothers and I LOVE them. One of them is basically a dog in a cat suit. I am so glad I got them. I wish I had clothes that did not have orange hair on them but oh well- they are worth it :) It is all about picking the correct cat personality for you

littlemissy
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:28 AM
COTHers are great! I've really appreciated your thoughts.

I forgot to mention 1 thing that complicates matters. DH LOVES 'playful' cats. You know the kind that 'wrestle', swat at you and play with you. The kind that SCARE THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME!

Maybe I should just go pick one out myself and surprise him one night :D

Texarkana
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:48 AM
COTHers are great! I've really appreciated your thoughts.

I forgot to mention 1 thing that complicates matters. DH LOVES 'playful' cats. You know the kind that 'wrestle', swat at you and play with you. The kind that SCARE THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME!

Maybe I should just go pick one out myself and surprise him one night :D

My cat is VERY playful but very gentle about it. He loves toys on wands-- he'll carry them around the house by the wand and drop them at your feet. Not all of them are going to swat and sneak attack you!

Beethoven
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:12 PM
Cat are the best. I love my dog I have now, but I am a cat person for sure! They are just awesome animals.

I like males better than females. They tend to be more cuddly and playful. Females tend to be the standoffish cat lots of people think cats as being.

That being said I have 2 females and 1 male right now at home. My one female is the typical independent cat that will come to you for pets, but in general just keeps to herself. My other female is my shadow and is always where I am. She isn't super cuddly but always sits on the same furniture I am. My male is an orange tabby and he is just awesome. He is totally a catdog. He loves when people come over and greets them at the door. He is loud and obnoxious when he wants something but will cuddle all day and night with you. He is just the best. All my cats have their claws and will play with me but not use their claws. They know not to hurt me.

In st kitts, I am currently fostering a older ex-tom cat. OMG what a personality and so needy. He is literally my shadow. I don't go anywhere in the house without him. He is very talkative and extremely demanding. He was caught about 7 weeks ago and neutered about 5 weeks ago. You would of never known he was feral. He adapted so quickly to living inside and I think he loves it. He loves my dog and my dog doesn't necessarily feel the same way, but tolerates him. I am pretty sure he thinks he is a dog which is good. He is FIV + so has a much highly probability of living with a dog for the rest of his life than another cat.

Anyways, cats are the best! Hands down! I love my dog, but am not a dog person. They go outside and get dirty and stinky etc etc. Cat stay inside and stay clean. Clean the litter box everyday or every other day and your house won't smell at all.

As someone else said, do get a spray bottle for telling the cat where they can and can't be. Most seem to respect it. My foster is still learning the off limit areas aka the counters, but the spray bottle is increasing his learning curve. He also had to learn that my dinner was not his.

alabama
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:47 PM
You can train them to stay off the counters, furniture, or even certain floors of the house... most of the time (they know when you aren't home)!
My cat growing up wasn't "allowed" on my mother's bed.The bed, however, got wonderful afternoon sun. Chimmy would curl up on that bed until she heard mom's car drive up after work. It always made me laugh!

OP, I've had tons of cats, most of them indoor kitties. None of them have been the hide and attack-for-no-reason kind. I have had/do have cats that I can rough house with - hand like a claw hoovering above their heads make them know it's time to PLAY HARD! I can control that - play hard, play medium, start when I want, stop when I want. When I'm done, they are done.

I only have one cat that will bite me without a whole lot of provocation. I think she has extra sensitive skin. I have to pet her a certain way or she gets way over stimulated. She also has 28 toes and moles so I think she's just a freak of kitty nature. I find her hysterical! I don't really think you will end up with one of those unless you go looking for a freak. I knew she was crazy when I took her in. :)

Kittens can be a little daunting to the non-cat person but they are so cute it really evens out. They will chase your toes when you're sleeping, though. :)

I've had cats of all colors and can't say that I have a color that seemed calmer to me than the others. I have had two b/w tux kitties that seemed to think they were dogs. One female, now deceased, LOVED to play fetch. My current outdoor tux guy follows me to the barn every night to feed. He is full grown (and huge) and still chases his tail. So cute!

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:50 PM
COTHers are great! I've really appreciated your thoughts.

I forgot to mention 1 thing that complicates matters. DH LOVES 'playful' cats. You know the kind that 'wrestle', swat at you and play with you. The kind that SCARE THE DAYLIGHTS OUT OF ME!

Maybe I should just go pick one out myself and surprise him one night :D

Oh. Then you need His & Hers cats.

Siblings might have what you guys want in very different personalities. And some shelters with Kitty Condos put unrelated cats together who get along, so you could get a pre-adjusted package deal there. Most cats will find a way to get along if you end up getting them separately. A difference in age can help you. Let DH get a PITA kitten type while you pick out your kind, "roll with the punches" type separately.

I would Not give DH carte blanche to pick out your first cat if he gravitates to the killahs. Those aren't "starter cats" and it will slow down your learning to read and trust a cat. it also doesn't help if he takes *any* cat and keeps it riled up each time it sees a person.

Two cats. Problem solved.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 12:55 PM
I like males better than females. They tend to be more cuddly and playful. Females tend to be the standoffish cat lots of people think cats as being.


Let me explain.

Female cats are like mares. They are adults who run their own calenders, file their own tax returns and the like. Their love is given and deep, loyal and purposeful when you get it-- not like the neutered big tom who likes anyone who likes him without checking any ID.

And I have known a couple of male, neutered tuxedo cats who were the sponges of society. Yes, they liked you.... but only because you were the best current deal. They wanted what they wanted and would pleasantly get it.

sk_pacer
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:28 PM
Avoid orientals for the most part as they are high energy cats - Da Bad Goils rip around the house several times a day for up to half an hour at a time and they are not even full oriental, just Siamese mixed with moggies. Even the older ones get rather silly at times.

Probably best bet would be an older neutered male moggie that appeals to you.

Beethoven
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:27 PM
Let me explain.

Female cats are like mares. They are adults who run their own calenders, file their own tax returns and the like. Their love is given and deep, loyal and purposeful when you get it-- not like the neutered big tom who likes anyone who likes him without checking any ID.

And I have known a couple of male, neutered tuxedo cats who were the sponges of society. Yes, they liked you.... but only because you were the best current deal. They wanted what they wanted and would pleasantly get it.


Good description!

SillyHorse
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:29 PM
So... I've always been a dog person. Grew up with the most phenomenal GSD...I'm also not excited about the prospect of cat hair in the house.
Wait -- you've lived with a GSD and are worried about cat hair? :lol:

Oh, and - very important! - when a dog rolls over in front of you, he wants you to rub his belly.
When a cat rolls over in front of you, he's telling you that he's trusting you to NOT touch his vulnerable spots. Don't betray him by rubbing his belly! Smile and blink at him, and look away, and he'll know you understand and his trust was well placed.
Uh, no. I suppose there are cats that don't like having their bellies rubbed, but I have yet to meet one.

mvp
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:36 PM
Uh, no. I suppose there are cats that don't like having their bellies rubbed, but I have yet to meet one.

There *are* cats who like this, but put those animals in the same category of the person who likes to be the "bottom" in sex. You don't walk into that relationship with a huge power differential willy nilly. The cat has to *decide* to let you pet his/her belly. And they had the concept of a "safe word" well before we invented it.

littleum
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:54 PM
Could have been my husband 15 years ago. He is now a devoted cat person. He loves that they require very little hour-to-hour minding, are very devoted and sweet, can be left unattended during the day, and so on.

Get an older cat, with an established personality. Like getting a horse suitable for a novice, get a cat that is very passive, relaxed, loves people, etc. I would also suggest staying away from oriental type breeds, as they can be prone to anxiety behaviors if they're not managed properly.

Shorthair is probably best to start with since managing a long hair requies a little learning.

Kittens are tempting but kittens and young kitties require teaching, and can be a BIG handful. You can say to a rescue "I want an older cat, with NO bad habits, very passive and cuddly" and they will rumage through their fosters and find one. You can also specify whatever else you like: good with kids, dogs, other cats, indoor only, declawed, spayed, whatever. It actually is JUST like buying your first horse. You make a list of what you want (or don't want) and go shopping.

Cats can often live 15+ years, so don't be afraid of getting one that is 3-4.

I strongly suggest going through a reputable RESCUE, and NOT the local shelter. Rescues will frequently have already had a cat in a foster-home situation, where they will be able to tell you what the cat is like in an actual HOME situation. And if you get it into a home situation where things go south, a good rescue will be a lot more inclined to help you work through it OR take the pet back (without blacklisting you)

NBChoice
Mar. 30, 2013, 04:20 PM
If these don't make you want a kitty then I don't know what will. :love-struck:

http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/NBChoice/greyson_zpsdb6ecf3a.jpg

http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/NBChoice/greyson2_zpsfcb82339.jpg

http://i1117.photobucket.com/albums/k584/NBChoice/cuppy_zpsbf44dcfd.jpg

You could always declaw the kitty if you are not going to let them be outside. Then you won't have to worry about getting scratched. Although I agree with people who said to get an older cat. Less surprises. My dark grey kitty is like a dog. He follows me around, he plays with me gently, he cuddles with me, sleeps on the bed with me every night, he's just a big old sweetie. The last picture was my boyfriend's cat that I got him for his birthday a couple years ago. She is gone now, but she was also a sweetie.

Cammie
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:04 PM
You could always declaw the kitty if you are not going to let them be outside. Then you won't have to worry about getting scratched.

PLEASE do not take this advice. It's beyond cruel to declaw a cat, and it can cause many behavioral and anxiety issues. Take away a cat's ability to defend itself with its claws, and it will turn to biting instead. NOT the direction you want to go in. Many declawed cats will also have litter box problems from the residual pain of the amputations.

hunt_jumpfl
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:19 PM
Get a Maine Coon cat - they think they're dogs and act accordingly. Very much a one-person animal, too. Once you've had a Maine Coon you can't go back... :-)

This... in an older orange neutered male :D I'm on my second and even non-cat people have found both to be really cool animals. My current one is around 13 and is very playful, social, and acts more like a dog than a cat half the time. He loves water and will sit, stay, laydown, and come on command if I work with him on a semi-regular basis.

NBChoice
Mar. 30, 2013, 08:56 PM
PLEASE do not take this advice. It's beyond cruel to declaw a cat, and it can cause many behavioral and anxiety issues. Take away a cat's ability to defend itself with its claws, and it will turn to biting instead. NOT the direction you want to go in. Many declawed cats will also have litter box problems from the residual pain of the amputations.

Oh I've never heard of that. None of our cats have behavioral/anxiety/biting/litter box problems. All ours are exactly the same as before. But I assume it's possible.

Hunter Mom
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:11 PM
If I may do some demographic profiling: Your best bet is to get a big neutered male slacker. They are mellow and honest. Sans balls, they have no agenda other than total hedonism.


Snort!

cnvh
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:17 PM
Ditto on the Maine Coon. Mine is currently trying to overtake my laptop keyboard as I type, lol-- he truly believes he is a dog, I think; he waltzes around the house and our dogs like he is just one of the pack, and he started doing this within 24 hours of coming into our home. When my parents (and their dogs) come to visit, the MC cat swirls himself around my parents' not-exactly-cat-friendly pitt mix, oblivious to the warning signs. :eek: He really and truly believes he's "just one of the guys."

And he's the first cat I've ever had who comes when he's called-- ALWAYS. Doesn't matter if he's napping in his favorite sunny spot two floors away-- call him, and "WHRRRRR," he comes running.

Rackonteur
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:18 PM
Pretty much what MVP said (haven't had time yet to read all the responses). I have lived with kittehs for years.

Just to add to the tummy-rubbing advice MVP gives--and to quote T.S. Eliot--A CAT IS NOT A DOG. When you rub their tummies they do not go all slack and goofy and wiggle a hind leg. They ATTACK. Maybe in play, maybe in seriousness, but a tummy rub triggers a different response from a cat than from a dog. Sure, some will just lie there and purr. Some toms will walk up to you, curl down, roll over onto their backs and ask for a tummy rub. But be warned. Be very warned. :)

Big_Grey_hunter
Mar. 30, 2013, 09:59 PM
Ignore the "xyz colored cat's are the most laid back!!!!!" suggestions. I have met/owned quirky cats of every color and gender. My big male orange tabby is a cool cat IF you know cats and can read cat body language well, but he's quick to bite/scratch if you misread.

Cats are amazing IF you appreciate them for what they are. They aren't dogs. Even the most dog-like cats are still cats. Read a good book on cat behavior and don't compare them to a dog, anymore than you should judge a horse by how dog-like it is. Learn to love how easily offended they get, their 'hard-to-get' routines, need for control, wacky play routines, love of boxes, and amazing ability to lose bones when they sleep. Learn to read their behavior and figure out just how each cat wants to be pet, whether it's a rub on the cheeks or a rough tousling. You can't love a cat until you appreciate all that they are and realize you don't control them, they control you.

jen-s
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:22 PM
Oh I've never heard of that. None of our cats have behavioral/anxiety/biting/litter box problems. All ours are exactly the same as before. But I assume it's possible.

In that case, you have been very, very lucky. Many cats go through major behavioral changes after being declawed.

I've always had cats. Currently have 3 if you count the senior who my mom stole. Girls can be a lot like mares. Boys often are very gelding-like. But there are exceptions.

I'd recommend you find a local cat rescue and talk with them. They'll be able to match you with a pair that will suit you and hubby both. I'm an adoption counselor for a group in NC. PM me if you have questions.

Blondie22
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:49 PM
I got my first cat last year for the same reasons as some have stated - less maintenance than a dog! I have always thought I was a "dog person" but since getting this cat, I feel I may have been converted!

I got my guy from the local shelter. All the cats were in a large "cattery" outside for the day. Nothing really caught my eye until I saw the huge, fat, hairy one sleeping in the corner. I'll take him! He is amazing. He is my shadow, wants to be cuddled all the time, sleeps in my bed (on top of me most nights!), purrs a lot and makes really funny noises when he feels like it. He will give a little claw if you pet his belly in a way that he doesn't like, but once I figured that out we've been all good!

I agree with everyone else who said to get an older, large male. This cat is so low maintenance but so rewarding.....plus the older guys generally take longer to be adopted!!

IdahoRider
Mar. 30, 2013, 10:53 PM
So... I've always been a dog person. Grew up with the most phenomenal GSD.

I'm also not excited about the prospect of cat hair in the house, or a cat on my kitchen counters (and then cooking).

I live with both cats and a GSD. I can honestly say that if you lived happily with the GSD, despite all the shedding they do, you'll be okay with the shedding a cat does.

I have never lived with an animal that sheds like a GSD. My Pug comes a close second, but the GSD is still the world's shedding champion. German Shedder Dogs.
Sheilah

Covergirl15
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:43 AM
I'm honestly more of a cat person than a dog person, but we have 2 cats (and my family has always had at least 2 since I was born) and 1 dog. And the cats are just so easy! You can pet them when you want, but they aren't constantly in your face. And agree with those about the blanket on the furniture. We buy baby blankets (though they love my mom's old cashmere throws too ;) ) and they know to lay on them and will wait to lay down til we put one out for them. Also, their idea of entertainment is to go out in the garage and "explore." And honestly, they are super loving. Mine sleeps with me every night, and follows me around in the mornings. She would never bite me, and if she has had enough and I ignore her warnings to stop petting her, she gives me a little nip and then feels bad and licks me repeatedly afterward. We also have a large male cat (he is fixed), but while he has his amazingly sweet moments, he can also be a tad more unpredictable than our wonderful female. :)

vacation1
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:21 AM
You might try reading some of the (many) cat-filled memoirs out there, to get some insight into how people feel about their cats, and some cat behavior books to see how they differ from dogs (which is, apparently, a lot) Most of my favorites are a bit older, but you can find more recent ones too. Some examples:

Amber - Gladys Taber (older, a bit on the spiritual side, about an Abyssinian; Taber was also a dog person who raised setters and spaniels)

Cats In the Belfry - Doreen Tovey (British, lovely illustrations, also features horses and donkeys, about Siamese; Tovey wrote several books on similar themes)

Personally, I think a female cat would be a better bet than a big, neutered male. In my experience, the girls are gentler in general - maybe more single-minded, but more responsive. Of the cats I've known who would be aggressive, most were boys. Some were very personable, friendly boys, but if they wanted "DOWN" from your arms, for example, they wouldn't hesitate to rabbit kick or bite. And I've known two very, very neurotic orange boys, so I don't put much stock in the whole "big, lazy orange male" thing.

mvp
Mar. 31, 2013, 01:45 AM
FYI: A cat is trainable, but you have to bring your adult self to their adult self at the negotiating table. Usually, you give any negative corrections (punishments) slowly, not fast. You look the bugger in the eye, tell him no and when he says "Yeah, yeah, I heard you... let me get back to my life," you keep kitteh there for a minute and let him know that you were serious.... that he/she *will* be inconvenienced if the behavior is repeated.

Hitting a cat doesn't do it. They claim scaredy-cat victimhood and start googling lawyers. And they remember only to watch out for you, not avoid the bad behavior.

Also, you need time for any cat training projects. You have to make the wrong thing hard consistently before they do the math and figure out that life is just easier all the time if they do it your way.

The wiggy ones can be taught to tolerate and then even like things like being held, being pet on the belly and all if you do it slowly. You always hold the cat or keep your hand on the belly until the cat gives up and relaxes. A cat gives the impression that he can remain unhappy for a long, long time. You need to wait longer than he does.

thatmoody
Mar. 31, 2013, 02:36 PM
My daughter taught our lovely grey mutt girl to walk on a leash, and to sit and leap on command, but she is iffy about the being held part. She much prefers to be down and walking on her own. NO belly rubs, please, and she allows petting on her own terms (although she comes up and lays on my chest every morning for as long as I'll let her). I've ALWAYS been a dog person, but Sneekers has delighted me since we found her in the manure pile at our barn (which, btw, is MILES out in the woods - I have NO idea how she got out there - she looks nothing like our two barn neuters). She was only 6 weeks old, tiny, and so thin that you could feel every tiny rib, but she sure is beautiful now!

http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/521469_10101913945145432_1445613810_n.jpg

Pocket Pony
Mar. 31, 2013, 03:01 PM
I am a cat convert. I've always been allergic to cats, as is my dad, so we could never have them when I was growing up. Fast-forward to meeting Mr. PoPo who had the fluffiest cat I had ever seen! My allergies were really bad with her in the beginning, but I seemed to just get over them eventually. When we moved to the country and I got my own first cat, I got a kitten - Little Man. He was a great little guy, but as an indoor/outdoor cat, he disappeared one night (probably a coyote). Since then we've gotten more cats and we always foster kittens for the shelter every year.

At out highest count we had 5 cats, but Mr. PoPo's originally fluffy cat, Iggy, died last year. SHE was a bitch. She demanded to be petted - she enacted the head-butting technique - yet when she'd had enough she'd bite you. We always had to warn guests to not be deceived by her beauty and apparent sweetness because she'd turn on you in a second.

We now have 3 males and 1 female. I love them all. The are so different and so interesting. The two tabbies are "mine" - Stripey Cat who follows me everywhere and loves doing yoga with me; and Puck, the former feral cat it took me months to get to come out of the closet and even look at me. Now he rolls over for belly rubs and will talk to me, but isn't a very cuddly cat. The tuxedo is Mr. PoPo's - Monkey Beans is quite chatty and goofy and he wants attention only when he wants it . . . which is usually in the middle of the night while sleeping on my head and kneading my face with his claws. The female is Athena. She is weird. She is just weird. But funny and cool and is sitting on the back of the couch at my right shoulder and snoring - loudly!

Yes, cats are not dogs. Mostly they don't come when called (except Stripey Cat does), they don't want to be petted all the time (except when they want to be petted all the time, which is usually when you're reading), they don't follow anyone's rules but their own. They are fun and playful and cute and silly and warm and cuddly and independent and ignore you and demand breakfast and sleep on your head and bring snakes into the house and play the piano and sit in the window and chatter at birds and all sorts of wonderful things.

My advice in getting a cat is to keep it separated from the dog for at least a week, if not two. Give the cat its own room with food, water, litter box. Visit it multiple times a day and just hang out and read with no expectations. Let it hear the goings-on of your household and learn what your schedule is. Let the dog sniff under the door and the cat get used to the dog's smell and sounds. Then when you're ready to let the cat out, lock up the dog so the cat can roam around the house and get the lay of the land without the dog being there. Do this maybe once a day for a week so the cat can have "house time" and then back in the room safe-away-from-dog time. Eventually you can introduce them for short periods of time and then extend it so they can be together whenever.

I will say, with Mr. PoPo's bitchy Iggy, it took FOUR YEARS for her and one of my dogs (also since deceased) to get along. We have a cat-sized cut-out in our bedroom door so the cats can come and go into the rest of the house as they please but the dogs (big) cannot go into the bedroom and bother the cats. This has been a great system for us.

Good luck! Cats are awesome and you will love them!

thatmoody
Mar. 31, 2013, 05:13 PM
For those who don't think cats and dogs get along...

Of course they weren't so sure at first. We used the "behind the door for weeks" method to introduce them. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10101736843044462&l=4309532699969873825

LarkspurCO
Mar. 31, 2013, 05:19 PM
Be advised: Dogs eat cat shit.

:disgust:

Pocket Pony
Mar. 31, 2013, 05:33 PM
For those who don't think cats and dogs get along...

Of course they weren't so sure at first. We used the "behind the door for weeks" method to introduce them. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10101736843044462&l=4309532699969873825

Love that video!

And of all the animal crap I've ever dealt with, cat shit is by far the most disgusting!

thatmoody
Mar. 31, 2013, 07:08 PM
It is, and I gotta admit, I've seen Hellboy come in a time or two with a litter mustache, and run the other way! Using scented litter (which I'm normally against) seems to help, but I've rigged the litterboxes now by putting them on a table on the porch so he can't get at them.

Candle
Mar. 31, 2013, 11:18 PM
Soft paws are an excellent alternative to declawing. They are silicone caps that are super glued over the nail. I used them for years and had no more claws in me or the furniture. I did use real superglue instead of the glue in the package

mvp
Apr. 1, 2013, 01:33 AM
Be advised: Dogs eat cat shit.

:disgust:



And of all the animal crap I've ever dealt with, cat shit is by far the most disgusting!


Yes..... but that would be irrelevant unless you thought the cat shit-eating animal was superior to the cat shitting animal.

vineyridge
Apr. 1, 2013, 01:56 AM
My currenthouse cat has been mine since kittenhood. She was a dumpee. She's a very good mouser, too, and always announces her kills. She'll take holding as long as I can stand it.

She has ME trained, not the opposite. She's very, very loving, obnoxiously loving, when she's hungry but has her own life the rest of the time. She also likes to sleep on my chest, curled under my neck. She knows her name and comes when she's called. She's outdoors/indoors, drinks out of the dogs' water bowl, and poops outside only.

She's trained many a dog as well.

My barn cat isn't as good at training dogs. He's a purr monster who will take all the petting that I can give him, but he does not like to be held at all. I'm the only person who can touch him.