Looking to adopt a cat
Hi everyone! I will do my best to make this a short and sweet as possible, while still getting in all my questions.
Quick background, I've worked in the animal care field for the last 6 years. I've worked as a veterinary technician, in the private animal care sector, canine rescue, and now as a shelter worker.
My personal cat ownership experience is limited to two cats that were adopted by my family when I was 8 years old. They were part of our family for 17 and 18 years respectively and passed due to bladder cancer, and small cell hepatic lymphoma respectively. They passed a year apart, 3 and 4 years ago.
My boyfriend and I currently have a beagle (8yo) and catahoula (6yo) as housemates. The catahoula has lived very successfully with cats in the past. The beagle has never lived with cats but has spent extensive time in friends homes visiting with cats (both dog savvy and otherwise) and is a friend to all living things! We are not concerned with the introduction into the home with the dogs as the cat that we will be adopting has a very good history with dogs, and our boys are so receptive to new friends. We will take is slow, with lots of positive reinforcement, plenty of space for new kitty, and lots of "down/stays" for the dogs so the new family member can feel comfortable exploring.
I have three pressing concerns:
1. what are your best litter box system recommendations? we have looked into the Tidy Cats Breeze litter system. My boyfriend has never owned a cat before and is very sensitive. The cats he has experience with lived in homes where the caretakers weren't particularly diligent and as a result the cats tracked a lot of clay litter throughout the home and the smell of ammonia what overwhelming.
2. ideal diet? I am adamant about feeding my dogs the absolute best. I'd like to provide the same level of quality to our new cat. That being said this particular cat is VERY picky, enjoys mostly dry food (less than ideal), and his wet food preferences are hard to tack down. I think he prefers salmon, and dislikes pate.. but any and all recommendations are welcome! Namely what is the best dry food you can recommend? I'm considering Farmina for neutered cats. I'll do my best to wean him onto a wet food only diet and use "crunchies" as training treats only.
3. Grooming! My childhood cats were short haired, and required very little in the way of grooming beyond nail trims and occasional brushing (more during shedding season). The cat we are considering adopting is medium hair. My boyfriend has a history of allergies to cats, but we have done some trails with different kitties and he doesn't have a reaction to the medium and longer haired cats, though does get sniffly with their shorter haired counterparts. My intention is to the feed a high quality, grain free diet, that will hopefully improve the skin and coat health and quality of our new pet, as well as provide necessary grooming. I use earth bath products for the dogs, but I'm wondering what you all can suggest/recommend for the best schedule, and ideal products to get the job done.
Just for fun! Any name suggestions for an all black, green eyed, bob tailed, medium haired, 2 year old male? We have some names we are thinking of, he doesn't have name recognition currently so we aren't worried about changing it and don't care for the name he currently has.