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. 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.
*friend of bar.ka
"Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"
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.
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.
Originally Posted by pinecone
I can't decide if I should saddle up the drama llama, dust off the clue bat, or get out my soapbox.
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.
Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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
send some of their smart literate deer who can read road signs up here since ours are just run of the mill dumb ones who get splatted all over creation because they won't stay in the woods
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
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.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire