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  1. #1

    Default Cats... Convince me!

    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!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
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    14,951

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    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.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    7 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2012
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    Default

    GREAT advice, thanks mvp!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2012
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    Default

    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.



  5. #5
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    Oh, and you want a short haired cat if you have fur issues.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2005
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    between the mountains and the sea, North Carolina
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    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.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
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    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.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
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    Happily in Canada
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    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)!
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  9. #9
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    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...
    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... 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...
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2009
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    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 ), 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.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    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.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverotter View Post
    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.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 8, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    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.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    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.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 5, 2007
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    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.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Mar. 19, 2004
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    Earlysville, VA
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    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.
    \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
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    Boogerville, USA
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    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.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
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    Sep. 1, 2004
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    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.
    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windsor1 View Post
    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.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009


    3 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View 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.
    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.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.



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