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Old 01-13-2013, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello everyone,

First post here. I am considering rescuing a cat and bringing her home to my apartment. Growing up I have always had dogs and would have one now except my apartment wont allow them, only cats.

I am looking at a domestic shorthair that I developed a connection with at the shelter that is nearly 1 year old. She is a bit shy and doesn't like being held at the moment. Perfectly healthy cat, all tests negative, up to date on shots, microchip installed...etc.

Currently I am single and will be working 40-60 hours a week. I live in an 800sqft apartment in a highrise.

I have some question for the veterans of the forum.

First of all, my biggest fear is the cat getting bored when I'm not around and clawing at my new furniture and/or chewing on wires for my electronic devices. I do not wish to declaw the cat because I think it is an inhumane practice. Behavior like this is as much of a nuisance to me as it is a health risk to the cat. Is this a common problem among cats or does it rarely happen? Everyone I have asked who I know that owns cats has not experienced this problem, but I think it may be a valid concern.

Second, what are the best kinds of toys I can buy for the cat to ensure it will be thoroughly entertained when I am at work throughout the week / away on the weekends?

Third, what are the 'essentials' I must do to cat proof my apartment and ensure the cat can't get into any life threatening trouble for itself, or financially crippling trouble for me.

Finally, will the cats personality change after being away from the shelter and living with me for a while? I don't mind the fact that it is shy now but I would like the cat to open up to me a bit when it gets to know me better.

Thanks for the advice in advance! I look forward to (potentially) owning a cat in the near future.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome!

You won't know her behavior or personality until she's been with you a while. Cats really do sleep most of the time we're not home. Don't let yourself be pressured into getting a second cat unless you want another one.

And I've always tried to adopt on a Friday so I can spend the whole weekend with the new cat. She might be shy and keep to herself for a day or two, that's normal.

Cats like being up high, is there a window sill or something else she can sit on and watch the outside? If not, maybe you could get something and put it near a window.

I have two scratchers in every room. I buy the vertical ones, but then I take them out of the incline and put them flat on the floor (my girls like them better that way, they even fall asleep on them).




I also have two of these:





Also, keeping her nails trimmed will help both of you (They won't get stuck in things, like furniture, carpets, you). If you can't trim them yourself (and some cats are just too difficult), your vet's office will probably do it for a small charge.

For toys, my cats have always preferred the boxes they come in. If you put out a box or two, a paper bag (with no handle), the cardboard roll from toilet paper, etc., then watch to see how she plays, it will help you decide on toys to actually spend money on.

There's a product called Bitter Apple you can spray on cords and wires (works on most cats, but not all). Places like Home Depot also carry products that wrap around wires and cords.

To catproof your house, you should get on all fours or even lie down to see your place from her perspective. Since cats don't have shoulder blades, they can pretty much get into any space their heads will fit through (or so I've been told). My girls have gotten into places I would have bet serious money they couldn't fit into.

Here's a great site for preparing for a new cat:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/behavior/base-camp-how-to-prepare-for-your-new-cat/
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Last edited by marie73; 01-14-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Are you considering kitten or cat?? A kitten is much more demanding of time and attention then a full grown cat (which I would recommend). You can do a PetFinder search in your zipcode for adult and senior cats that are already declawed and would make absolutely wonderful pets. A senior cat sleeps about 18-20 hours a day and spends a nice portion of the awake hour gazing out the window if you are not available. THAT would be an ideal cat for your circumstances. These are loving pets that will give you companionship and she will get a loving home in return. Win win.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Once piece of advice that my friend gave to me when i was considering my first kitty and worried about scratching ( im pretty houseproud):

Chances are you will have something inadvertently scratched or broken even if you hav e scratching posts etc. and you need to reconcile that in your mind now and realize that the cat is worth it. It was the best piece of advice I got, so when my couch got scratched and she jumped all over my beautiful parsons chairs and punctured the leather I put it down to being ok with that and it was ok.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by britishvixen21 View Post
Once piece of advice that my friend gave to me when i was considering my first kitty and worried about scratching ( im pretty houseproud):

Chances are you will have something inadvertently scratched or broken even if you hav e scratching posts etc. and you need to reconcile that in your mind now and realize that the cat is worth it. It was the best piece of advice I got, so when my couch got scratched and she jumped all over my beautiful parsons chairs and punctured the leather I put it down to being ok with that and it was ok.
Great advice. I have a few tables in my house that the cats have inadvertently left claw marks on; for me, having the cats is worth a table with scratch along the edge. This isn't misidrected scratching (they use their scratching posts regularly), but just a side effect of the cats climbing and chasing each other on smooth surfaces.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I second what everyone else has said. Ritz was my first cat ever, and I ask myself, why didn't I do this sooner (I'm 5.
If your apartment has a window sill, that will be your cat's new best friend--looking outside at real time events (cars, birds, squirrels) is Ritz' favorite entertainment. If no window sill, look into buying a cat tree, the taller the better. In so far as toys go, try to get one or two that the cat can play with himself. This is one many cats like www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11031608&lmdn=Cat&f=PAD%2FpsNo tAvailInUS%2FNo.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Another thing you may want to consider is a cat tower. I am currently looking into buying one and I think it will make all the difference with my cat. Also, laser pointers are great for wearing kitty out before bed time.

The great thing about cats vs dogs is that you can leave them for hours at a time without having to worry. Like Marie said, leave out a few scratching posts. I have two for now, but neither of the cats claw at the furniture. And keeping their nails clipped really helped. I let Moosey's go for a few weeks and when she would kneed she would claw at my pillow and duvet cover, I clipped them last night (with the help of my boyfriend) and this morning she was kneeding without snagging.

Good luck and congratulations
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatMonkeys View Post
Great advice. I have a few tables in my house that the cats have inadvertently left claw marks on; for me, having the cats is worth a table with scratch along the edge. This isn't misidrected scratching (they use their scratching posts regularly), but just a side effect of the cats climbing and chasing each other on smooth surfaces.
This is so true. I've never had a cat destroy or damage anything, but I've had the thought that if that day came, I'll have to tell myself -- living things have precedence over material things.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for the advice everyone. The cat I am looking to rescue is around 1 year old. Is this too young? I liked some others but they did not create the same connection I felt with the cat I picked.

Edit: I found a picture, this is the cat:

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24052332

Last edited by MV0087; 01-14-2013 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Get a scratching post, a scratching pad, and maybe a cat tree. Also, keep your cats nails trimmed. Your cat may damage something, so just be prepared.

As far as toys go, you may have to do a bit of experimentation. Luckily they are cheap.

I live alone and work 8+ hours a day plus 40 minutes commute time. My Kitties are happy to see me at night!

Thank you for rescuing a kitty!
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