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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
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Questions from a possibly future cat parent

Hello everyone,
Hopefully this is the right subforum for this. Prepare for a long post with lotsa questions :-D

As I said in my introduction, I'm a 32 year old man, enjoying the single life, enjoying his hobbies and his friends. I enjoy meeting people and I'm totally un-shy, but I'm still an introvert: I enjoy social situations, but I need time on my own to "recharge" and I treasure my alone time.
That being said, I would love to share this alone time with a feline companion. Always loved cats.
When I was in a bad mood on vacation with my ex last year, I remember we were visiting something and a cat came up to me. I spent half an hour petting it and playing with it after which my ex said "it's amazing to see how that cat turned your crappy mood into happiness".

I've thought long about it and I know I want a cat. The question is, does a cat want to live with me? Her's my situation: I live in a moderately sized appartment but my bedroom is not separated from the rest of the appartment and except for a small patio, there is no way a cat could go outdoors so I defenitely would need an indoor cat.
I have a full time job so I'm gone from home for about 8 hours per day meaning the cat would spend a lot of time being alone. I realize having a cat costs money. I prefer not to buy any crappy food, but a decent brand.
I also know a cat needs to be played with and needs affection too and that's obviously not a problem

I sleep for about 6-7 hours per day. During the week I go to bed at around midnight-1 am and get up a 7 and during the weekends I go to bed at around 3 am and get up around 11 (yes I know I love to live during the night )
Anyways, a couple of questions:
- I plan to get a cat tower with a scratching pole to put it near a window. Ideally, I'd get a bird feeder outside too so that he can watch them from inside. My window consists of 4 narrow windows right next to each other so it doesn't have a wide field of view. Still, my windows have windowsills so it can also sit there and wathc outside either from the tower, or from there. Is that good?
- I dont need tons of sleep, but I do need those hours. Since I cant lock my bedroom door, is there a way to teach a cat to not wake me up in the middle of the night?
- Following the question above, lets say the cat really deprives me of my sleep, I've heard people in the same situation put their in the bathroom (and place another cat tower there) along with his litterbox. My bathroom also has a door leading to my patio that I could evenutally keep open but isn't that going to be frustrating for him though to be locked in a room?
- I realize cats lose hair and I know I'm gonna have to clean it up, but are there breeds that lose less?
- I have been searching info for a breed that fits my style best. Apparently, a name I keep hearing often are Russian Blues. What would you advise?
- What are some accessories, apart from the mandatory litter box, that you would advise I get to keep the cat entertained during the day? A cat tower I know, is there anything else? I plan to buy a laser pointer too then to play with him when I'm home.
- Some people say there are special food dispensers that make the cat somehow "work" to get the food which keeps him entertained. Is this a good investment?
- Other people say they hide treats all ove rtheir appartment to make the cat "search and hunt" for it. But how can a cat know there is food hidden in the place in the first place?

Of course I have plenty of other questions like what the signals are that a cat is sick or in pain, how often to feed it, what basic vaccinations to get and stuff like that but I'll ask that kind of stuff to a veterinarian

Thanks for any info you can give me.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 08:48 AM
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Hi, I am so happy to read that you are seriously investigating all possibilities of owning/saving a kitty.
I think it is not a question of: will a cat want to live with me; it is a joy to see you thinking things out...It sounds as if whichever kitty decides on you, you will be a great caregiver...Yes, caregiver because no one really 'owns' a cat...

I wanted a cat after my dad passed. My dad lived with me and I was so lonely...so you may say that Artie is my first cat.. I had others when I was younger and living at home....

You may be thinking too much. I am far from being an expert, but indoors cats are much safer and live longer than outdoor ones.

When I adopted Artie, he was 8 years old. I was working and out of the house for 10-11 hours 5 days a week. Artie was ok. I think he slept a lot..
When I came home, there he was--greeting me at the door.
He wanted hugs and love!
I had plenty of toys for him to play with. The important thing is to spend a lot of time with him when you come home. Play and cuddle with you kitty.
I used to play a bit before I left for work, also...

I put a cat tree near the window for him. I got him a large scratching post, a litter box and a litter genie (for the waste--less smell). I scoop his box 2-3 times a day.

I was into free feeding because he was/is a fussy eater. I opened a small can in the morning, he would eat part of it.. I added the rest of the can and left a plate full of dry for him also...and a couple of bowls of water. When I came home, out routine was: I washed my hands, Artie was in the kitchen rubbing up against me. I would pick him up, cuddle and then open up a new can for him....

As far as keeping him out of my bedroom---dream on!!!
I tried that! I closed my door for 4 nights--I could not get any sleep at all!
He was scratching the door, crying so loud, jumping on the door, putting his paws under the door...he did not want it closed at all..needless to say, Artie won.. He wanted to cuddle, and to be with me.....he is a lover....

Artie has been with me for 3 years now. He has found a couple other sleeping spots. One being a quilt which I keep on my couch.
I also bought a new cat tree for him as a Christmas gift. It is in front of the balcony doors. He loves it!

Yes, I have a balcony. I live on the second floor (third if you count the lobby). Artie is not allowed out there without me watching him. I do not want to take the chance that he would jump off the balcony.

As far as fur---well, it is a natural occurrence of life!
I think as long as you brush regularly, it is a bit better. It is a good bonding process also...I have to vacuum a couple times a week on the hardwood floors...and use the swiffer in between. Cat fur is a part of my life!

As far as what breed to get; I would suggest you seriously think about adopting a rescue cat. They are so much in need of homes....
I do not know if a kitten is good for you, since you will not be home much of the day. They can get into a lot of trouble while you are gone...
I wanted an adult kitty because they are trained and a bit quieter...and their personalities have already blossomed.

Think about even going to Petsmart or a shelter....they also have foster homes...Play with the kitties. Pet them...They say that some cats chose their owners....I did see that happen when I was volunteering...One kitty jumped on the lap of a little boy who wanted to adopt her! It was so heartwarming....

The only other thing I would mention is to decide on a Vet before you adopt. Take the cat to the Vet as soon as possible for an exam because you want a wellness check..also seriously think of insurance..the sooner and younger the cat is, the cheaper it is....You just want to make sure the cat is healthy..or not....and you want to see how this Vet is with you buddy....
It is good to line up a Vet...

I am sorry for the long post, I am long winded...but I wanted to share my experiences...

I am not preaching but this is what I went thru. I have a tendency to overthink things...but I knew I wanted a buddy and went forward with my heart...and found my best buddy...

Good Luck
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 11:23 AM
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It is refreshing to see someone thinking hard before running off to get a companion. I am also a night person.

I have several cats over the years. I will tell you. cats can live very nice long lives. I currently have one about to turn 20 years old and just lost his 19 year old sibling. So this is a long term commitment. If your Lucky!

A cat tree is a great thing. Cats love to bird, people, squirrel watch. several scratchers. Get a few in different positions. upright, at an angle, laying flat, ect. cats like to work ALL their muscles.

toys. mice, balls, crinkled paper.. it will be fun for you to try things to see what your potential kitty will like. to tire him/her out I recommend ordering Da Bird. This is an interactive wand type toy. Use this before dinner/bed time. Play hard before dinner, feed.. then your cat will probably groom then sleep. Great if you want them out for the night.

My cat has a bit of plague on his teeth so about to try dehydrated rabbit feet to clean his teeth. Something like this might make a nice toy/treat to hide. you won't be able to smell it. But I am sure you kitty will be able to and go looking. Or you could get one of the treat balls She could roll around to knock out treats. get creative!

I don't think you living in an apartment will be a problem for your cat. Cats adapt very well to being indoors all day. You can always leash train if your up for it.

A crate or cat carrier is a must. Make sure you put a blanket or towel in this and leave it out as a bed. I suggest a hard carrier. I am not a huge fan of the soft for safety reasons.

And microchip! If you adopt a rescue most likely he will be micro chipped when you get them.. If not. Get it done! It is worth the time, effort and cost.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Snowbat View Post

I've thought long about it and I know I want a cat. The question is, does a cat want to live with me? Her's my situation: I live in a moderately sized appartment but my bedroom is not separated from the rest of the appartment and except for a small patio, there is no way a cat could go outdoors so I defenitely would need an indoor cat. Any cat can be trained to be indoor only and most thrive that way, besides it's MUCH safer to keep kitty indoors!

I have a full time job so I'm gone from home for about 8 hours per day meaning the cat would spend a lot of time being alone. KItty won't mind one bit. She/he will probably snooze the entire time or just look out the window.

I realize having a cat costs money. I prefer not to buy any crappy food, but a decent brand. Lots of great brands to choose from and many won't bust the bank!! Petsmart brand is decent (Authority) and a crowd pleaser at my multi cat home.

I also know a cat needs to be played with and needs affection too and that's obviously not a problem Great thinking!!

I sleep for about 6-7 hours per day. During the week I go to bed at around midnight-1 am and get up a 7 and during the weekends I go to bed at around 3 am and get up around 11 (yes I know I love to live during the night ) Kitty will get used to your routine - adult cats are very adaptable.

Anyways, a couple of questions:
- I plan to get a cat tower with a scratching pole to put it near a window. Ideally, I'd get a bird feeder outside too so that he can watch them from inside. My window consists of 4 narrow windows right next to each other so it doesn't have a wide field of view. Still, my windows have windowsills so it can also sit there and wathc outside either from the tower, or from there. Is that good? That is not good - - - that is GREAT!!!

- I dont need tons of sleep, but I do need those hours. Since I cant lock my bedroom door, is there a way to teach a cat to not wake me up in the middle of the night? Adopt an adult and you will NEVER have to worry about that!

- Following the question above, lets say the cat really deprives me of my sleep, She/he won't!

I've heard people in the same situation put their in the bathroom (and place another cat tower there) along with his litterbox. My bathroom also has a door leading to my patio that I could evenutally keep open but isn't that going to be frustrating for him though to be locked in a room? I honestly don't think it will be an issue with an adult cat - cross that bridge when you come to it!

- I realize cats lose hair and I know I'm gonna have to clean it up, but are there breeds that lose less? Regular brushing helps a lot and will help you bond.

- I have been searching info for a breed that fits my style best. Apparently, a name I keep hearing often are Russian Blues. What would you advise? MY advice is don't go by breed, go by purr-sonality. visit a shelter and talk to the volunteers/caretakers there.

- What are some accessories, apart from the mandatory litter box, that you would advise I get to keep the cat entertained during the day? A cat tower I know, is there anything else? I plan to buy a laser pointer too then to play with him when I'm home. Cat toys like fuzzy mice and Da Bird.

- Some people say there are special food dispensers that make the cat somehow "work" to get the food which keeps him entertained. Is this a good investment? For some cats. Some get bored and never touch these.

- Other people say they hide treats all ove rtheir appartment to make the cat "search and hunt" for it. But how can a cat know there is food hidden in the place in the first place? Smell - but only works for some cats - again cross that bridge when you come to it.

Of course I have plenty of other questions like what the signals are that a cat is sick or in pain, how often to feed it, what basic vaccinations to get and stuff like that but I'll ask that kind of stuff to a veterinarian

Thanks for any info you can give me.
I think you are definitely on the right track. A slightly older cat like 2-5 years old would fit your lifestyle perfectly! A kitten will drive you crazy. My best advice is to visit a shelter and get to know some breeds and personalities before making a decision. Not all Russian Blues are alike just like not all brown people are alike. Find a personality that suits you and you will be well on your way to a match made in heaven. Every thing else is easy peasy. That's what we are here for!

Cat owners' prayer: "Lord help me be the person my cat thinks I am"
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 05:39 PM
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You've already received a lot of suggestions...It sounds to me that you want a cat that is laid back, shorthair, affectionate, playful. The breed that comes to my mind is an Exotic Shorthair (the shorthair version of a Persian). They have a very sweet laid back temperament, yet are playful too, but not overly active. I think any breeds that are "oriental"=Siamese as background breed, tend to be very lively, mischievous and demanding, such as Siamese, Oriental Shorthair, Russian Blue, Abyssinian/Somali, Bengal, Cornish Rex. I believe that the cat chooses its owner, and I wouldn't be swayed by color preference either. Kittens are fun, and the advantage is that you train them to your lifestyle. Older cats have the advantage that their personalities and habits are more fixed, so you know better what you're getting usually. Purebred cats, generally speaking have qualities that are more fixed, than Domestics. Here's a chart that may help.

Breed Personality Chart

Good luck in your search, you sound like a very conscientious person who has given this prospective purchase of a cat companion a lot of thought. Good luck and love to hear about your new cat.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 05:40 PM
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wow! you really ARE doing a lot of research before jumping into this. good idea.

i was thrown into being a cat slave completely out of the blue myself when my husband took in a stray. the ONLY animal i'd ever had as a kid before then was a hamster! so i knew absolutely nothing about cats. yikes! but boy did i learn fast and this forum was my main source of info actually. tons of books out there as well that you should check out from the library as well just to give yourself a lot of good background on behavior.

but you know what? one of the most important things i learned is that you just have to love your cat. they will know and love you back. you'll learn something new everyday, i'll bet. you'll learn what is "normal" for your cat and any change in behavior is when a flag goes up and then you can ask your vet or anyone on this forum for advice. every cat is unique, just like a human.

i won't address every question you have, but i will definitely recommend you spend some time with some cats at a rescue (and hopefully adopt from them!) so that you would get a better idea of how he/she might adjust to you and your apartment. you'll see if they are very active and want to play all the time and need constant attention (maybe not as good if you are gone for 8 hrs at a time) or are content enough to just cuddle with you. there will probably be history on the cat as well that will tell you if they're good about the litter box, are prone to destroying furniture, is very vocal or quiet (vocal is not good if you want your sleep!), gets along with other animals, is a picky eater, etc, etc, etc... you will learn all those things and more!!!

you will be blown away by how much information there is out there on cats, but if you love him/her, that's the most important thing!!!

good luck and i am so happy you will joing the ranks of us cat slaves!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2015, 06:22 PM
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the ONLY animal i'd ever had as a kid before then was a hamster! so i knew absolutely nothing about cats. yikes! tons of books out there as well that you should check out from the library as well just to give yourself a lot of good background on behavior.
Me too! I had hamsters and a turtle. That was it. Learned fast and a lot when the first cat adopted me.

A book I can highly recommend is Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennet





You will learn a lot with this book!!

Cat owners' prayer: "Lord help me be the person my cat thinks I am"
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-23-2015, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone.
I was overthinking it again. I tend to do that, especially with women :-D

Anyways, the descision has been made: I'm going to get a cat. I think it would be a good idea to get an adult one. I'll google for shelters in my neighborhood (I'm from Belgium) because I there are so many animals in need that would love to get a new home.

And yes I really like to do a lot of research before doing stuff like this. I know I have a very impulsive nature so for really important descisions I tend to exagerrate in then opposite direction to make sure I don't do stupid things

Ill let you know how it goes.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-27-2015, 11:04 PM
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Aww, some kitty is going to be very lucky to come home with you!

If you decide to get a cat from a shelter, someone who works there may be able to suggest which of their kitties would suit your lifestyle. As for kitty waking you up every morning, an adult kitty is far less likely to disrupt your sleep. You might also want to look for a kitty who's not talkative if you want to avoid being serenaded in the morning. Over 15 years and 3 kitties, I have never once been awakened by meowing, even when I get up 4-5 hours later on non-work days than I do on work days. I like quiet cats, so intentionally adopted non-meowers. My current cat has recently taken to waking me up (but there's a reason for it), but by tickling me with her whiskers. She comes to sniff my face (I'm quite certain she's checking to see if I'm alive, and if I am, why I'm not feeding or paying attention to her), but she'll give up and go away after a few minutes.

Playing with your kitty and giving some food before you go to bed will also increase your chances that kitty will let you sleep. Keep us posted - we're looking forward to meeting your new furry companion!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 06:04 AM
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Moggies are crepuscular, means they are most active at dawn and dusk when they'd be hunting in the wild. Unfortunately it also means kitty will be naturally running around like a mad thing (and if it's a vocal one like Izzy, meowing constantly for you to come hunt as well) at silly o'clock in the morning. Izzy stays downstairs at night, she didn't like it one bit for the first few days but once they get used to it, it's fine.

You can keep fur shedding to a minimum by investing in a wire grooming brush and giving the cat a good combing down for a few minutes each day. Iz particularly loves this, she'd have me do it all day if she had her way

Last edited by izzy's slave; 01-31-2015 at 06:08 AM.
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