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Hi to all, I´m considering the possibility of become a cat owner. I love animals ( all kind ), and although like dogs quite a lot, I have a busywork schedule and don´t think this would be compatible with having a dog at home, specially if I want it to be a happy one...

The problem is that I´ve never had a cat, never known anybody that have one. It seems (what people use to say) that a cat is an animal that basically ignores you, and just cares about being fed and being warm...

As I have said I love animals and this suggestions are difficult to believe from my point of view...But I would like your help to make me understan what I could expect from a cat, what type of relationship will I have with it...that kind of things.

Another question is the breed. I would like just to have a kitten from a rescue. There are cats that live in the street here at Madrid ( Spain ) and why buy one when you can get one for free, and save its life? Could a non-breed cat be as gentle as a ragdoll or a birman ? ( breeds that have been recomended ...)

Thanks a lot! I hope you can give me some advice...
 

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Considering becoming a new cat owner - what to expect?

Hello, and congratulations on considering a cat as a pet. I'm sure you will find one a really lovely companion. If you have look at some of the threads on this forum, you'll see all sorts of stories about cats and what little characters they are :) I'm sure you'll enjoy having one.
It's admirable to think about rescuing a new cat off the street - but as a new cat owner, I wouldn't advise it. It can be quite difficult to socialise a stray, and if its feral it takes a real expert.
Do you have any resuce centres near you that you could visit and pick one that seems to have a good personality?
BTW, I think you'll find that mixed breeds can be just as loving and friendly as pure breeds - it all depends on the cat and the kind of experiences it had in early life.
I'm sure you'll get lots of really good advice from people on this forum - we have some real experts here!
Good luck with it all :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks, still need more specifics...

Ok, what I intended to do was take a kitten ( 3 or 4 months old ) that had been rescued from streets...This is not advisable? I just thunk that being that young, it wouldn´t have any hidden trauma....Should I instead buy a breed cat?

Yet I don´t know if female do more loving cat than male?

They have told me that in the case of cats coat color could be an indicator of personality?

I need anwers,answers....

Thanks!
 

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Hi NewCat, welcome to the forum!

It looks as though you're really going to need to start from the beginning. I recommend visiting www.cats.about.com and reading all the links listed on the left hand side starting with "Your First Cat."

Getting a cat from a shelter is an excellent way to choose your first cat. But before you do that, you're going to need to decide what traits in a cat you're looking for. Is size an issue? Can you tolerate a cat that "talks" a lot? Can you tolerate training a kitten? If not, then maybe an adult would suit you better. There are a lot of issues to consider. When you're certain that you know exactly what you want, then start looking. If a non pure-bred is what's best for you, excellent. A shelter is a great place to go. You might find that a pure bred will suit you best. It's very important to do your research first. Only you know what's best for you. The last thing any of us wants is for you to get a cat and later find out that it wasn't a good match.

When you've decided what kind of cat you want, then you can start buying the supplies you'll need for your new cat. Food, food dishes, water dishes, litter, litter box, and toys are all necessities. If you get a kitten, you might also want to invest in a cat tree. They can be kind of expensive, but your kitten will have tons of energy and the cat tree will help him or her expend that energy (and keep you sane!). Have all of the cats supplies set up and ready for him before you bring him home.

A trip to the vet is in order when you get your new pet. It'll need to be tested for diseases like Feline Leukemia and FIV. I'm not sure how spaying or neutering is viewed in Spain, but in the United States, it's a must.

Some people claim to notice personality differences between the sexes, but that's not really been my experience. Each cat will have a different personality.

I think you'll find that cats are very loving pets. Mine comes running to me every day when I get home. Almost like a dog. :)

The best advice I can give you is to do research first. Lots and lots of research.

I've never heard that coat color is an indicator of personality.
 

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Hi NewCat and welcome to Cat Forum!

I was in much the same situation as yourself. I had been owned by several dogs through the years, but finally got to a point where pets were just not to be a part of my life, due to a hectic schedule. I finally got to a point where I could have a pet, but a kitty was the best choice for my current living quarters, schedule, etc. So, I started studying all I could, to learn as much about kitty care as possible. My GF has a kitty and her mother had a small cattery for several years, so I had a lot of assistance.
NewCat said:
It seems (what people use to say) that a cat is an animal that basically ignores you, and just cares about being fed and being warm...
Ahhh, beware of this mindset. Kitties will want to have their own quiet time in their own quiet spaces, but they are very loving animals, too. They do require certain things to survive, such as food and warmth, but they also require your love to thrive.
NewCat said:
But I would like your help to make me understan what I could expect from a cat, what type of relationship will I have with it...that kind of things.
Probably the first thing to understand is that cats are definitely not dogs. They rarely (if ever) will play fetch with you. There are even those days when they refuse to admit your presence when you are calling them by name. But when they decide it is time to be loved, they will seek you out and demand that you love them. On a typical evening, as I walk up the steps, Angel will usually come see who has had the insensitive audacity to disturb her sleep :wink:, stretch, yawn and go to see if I have put her dinner down for her. :lol: As the evening progresses, she will usually seek me out and demand that I scratch her neck and pet her, while she purrs like a freight train.
NewCat said:
Another question is the breed. I would like just to have a kitten from a rescue.
Good for you! There are hundreds of loveable kitties in rescues, just waiting for people like you to give them a "forever home". If there is a humane society or shelter near you, pay them a visit. Learn what their adoption requirements are. Learn what they are going to provide for the adoption fee. Ask to visit with the kitties, to see if there is a kitty there that touches your heart. (Be careful, they will ALL seem special to you! :D) Visit your local pet shop and check out the items you will need to purchase. Bowls for food and water, food, treats, litter and litter box and don't forget the TOYS! I have found a tremendous amount of information on this forum and also at http://www.littlebigcat.com Spend some time learning all that you can, before you rush out and grab the first available kitty.
NewCat said:
There are cats that live in the street here at Madrid ( Spain ) and why buy one when you can get one for free, and save its life?
I would recommend that you not start out that way. I am like you, I hate to see strays, but some strays can be feral and it really takes a person with a lot of cat wisdom to socialize a feral. It can be done, but it is usually not easy.

If there are breeds that you are specifically looking for, by all means, keep looking. I am betting that the shelters in Spain are like the shelters here and you will find many purebred kitties that have been given up. When I was ready to sdopt, I had my heart set on a Persian and I found lots of them in shelters in this geographical area.

Keep reading and keep looking and I bet you will find the furbaby that is right for you. Keep us informed, OK? Good luck in your search!

Peace,
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
WOW!! THANKS!!

THANKS A LOOOT for your responses...this clarify some things to me, but now I have more doubts...

What I want from a cat? I would like it to be gentle and loving. I really don´t care about the size ( but not a Maine Coon pls ), I live in an apartment with a big balcony, it would be a inside cat, but he could be able to spend time out in the balcony tanning its nose, ja, ja!! This mean this cat should be able to be happy indoors. Shape and look? ok, love the Birman, Persian and Ragdoll...but I will be equally happy with a gentle mixed breed cat. I just really cares about personality...

My mum has a little dog, and we are happy with the vet, so logistic, vaccinations, spraying...will not be a problem.

What really concerns me is that having a little cat from streets ( have forgotten the english word for that ), is not an option. I really would like a baby-cat, a kitten. I wonder if they have kittens in shelters? or all the cats will be grown up? I´m more afraid of the ability to reeducate already adult cats..I know a shelter,so perhaps would start from there, just to see what kind of cats they have.

I have read that you have to educate cats in other way that with dogs. Will read and read about it, ( thanks for the links). I am planning to take the kitten home this summer, when I should be able to have more free time to be with it.


You really have helped with all this issues. I will do my homework and would read through all the info I could get. Please if you feel there´s something more you can share with me...I will be grateful!!

Will keep you informed of how I´m doing!!!
 

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They often have kittens in U.S. shelters, but I don't know about Spain. I would assume that they would sometimes have kittens. I guess you could call your local shelters when you're ready to adopt and see if they have any kittens available.

When you get your kitten be prepared for many bites and scratches. Most kittens need to learn how to play properly and be gentle. Never play with a kitten with your hands. Always let them play, pounce, and chew on toys. A fishing pole toy is great for this. When your kitten learns that human hands aren't playtoys, you'll have a much gentler cat.

Please come back often and tell us how your kitten search is going. When you adopt a kitten, we would love to see pictures. :)
 

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Annissa, Mike, and Seashell covered the bases well. I'd just like to elaborate on the importance of spaying and nuetering your pet.

A female cat in heat, is not very desirable. Not only will they drive you crazy, every Tom Cat within a mile will be trying to get into your home. Unneuterred male cats (females too, but it's not as common) can and will "spray" to mark their territory around your home. I promise you won't be fond of the smell. :roll:

Also, though many people will tell you that cats are okay to go outside, I would NOT advise it. There are too many dangers out there; other cats, other animals, people, cars... you name it. I've read too many horror stories on this forum alone about people's pets just disappearing one day. Cats may seem like they want to go outside, but I can assure you that they're very content indoors.

Good luck, be sure to let us know what happens. :)
 

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Hi NewCat,

Have you checked to see how many shelters are in Madrid? Again, I can only speak from my experiences here in the U.S., but I would imagine there will be a few to choose from. Visit them all and see what they have available.

Here in the States, there are often kittens available, because there are so many pregnant strays on the streets. The kittens usually don't last long before they are adopted, however. People see a baby kitten and they are head over heels in love, whereas an adult cat might go over-looked. Puppies always go faster than adult dogs, for the same reason.

Padunk is 100% corrent in suggesting that you look into spaying/neutering. Unless somebody is looking to breed kitties, there is really no good reason to not alter a kitty. Don't buy into the myths that females should have a litter before they are spayed. It just isn't true.

Keep examining all of your options and ask questions as you need. You want to be as informed as you can be, before you bring that new kitty home for the first time.

Peace,
Mike
 

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Welcome to the forums NewCat! Hope you enjoy your stay here and perhaps your passion for cats will grow stronger each day. I used to be in the same situation as you, still deciding whether or not I want a cat or not. After doing A LOT of reading on the internet and buying books about cats, I knew that it was meant to be. Cats make great pets, I believe that you get twice as much love from them as you do from dogs, plus a lot less maintenance. I currently am still looking for the right one, I hope you choose the right kitty!
 

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My first and only cat was taken off the streets and I haven't had any trouble with her... I've heard that stray kittens adjust more easily to a domestic environment if they are adopted young... of course you will need to take them for a thorough checkup and get them cleaned and dewormed. The only thing is that young kittens have unpredictable temperaments, if you want to be sure you know what you're getting you might consider getting an older cat.

ps.I've seen many strays that are way more friendly and affectionate than my cat who was brought up in a home all her life so it's as much a matter of genetics as upbringing. the cats behind my house run away from strangers the same way my cat does
 

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Discussion Starter #12
THANKS

Thanks for all your advice and support to my decision... :D What I can tell you for sure is that I have raised succesfully lots of wild animals ( birds, falcons....) that have fallen from nests, etc when a child. So I have some experience with wild animals. That´s why it´s difficult for me to believe that an intellingent animal as a cat wouldn´t become a "friend".

I have used your links and have already read quite a lot of things on feral cats, and I think I will be able to follow that way...I´m going to look for more info on the subject, how to better "train" the kitten, etc.

If you have any link on articles that talk about how to eductae a cat it would be useful, because I´ve read is quite different from the way you educate ( or spoil ) dogs... :?:

I have already told my mum´s dog vet to give me a call if he hears that any unwanted little kitten is about of being taken to a rescue, or has been found on the street.

Another question is...How I can tell ( in the case I have to choose between several kittens ) which would be more gentle and loving? I can tell this ( aprox ) with dogs...how it works with cats?

THANKS TO ALL!!
 

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New cat, I have a little test that I run any shelter cat through before I consider adopting it. (1) pick up the cat from its shelter cage. Check for any aggressive behavior, such as climbing all over your back or even on to your head and especially, any resistance to being held. The ideal behavior is for the cat to bury its head in your arms or I have had some of them place their paws around my neck, or just to lay in your arms is also acceptable. If a cat wants to nurse your blouse or shirt that is also a good sign. (2) Caress its paws. If the cat continually resists this it is best to leave it alone that is, if you want an affectionat, sociable kitty. The best results is for the cat to not resist this form of petting. (3) Walk by other caged cats and watch for its reaction in the face of other cats. If it hisses, and spits, it would be best to leave that cat at the shelter. The best results is for the cat to be curious about other caged cats, but otherwise show no reaction. If your choice of cat passes all three of these simple shelter tests, then you more than likely have found a true and affectionate friend who is able to get along with other cats without all of the usual introduction time.

If you are going to be gone most of the day, I would consider getting 2 cats or kittens. This way, they can keep each other company during the times you are not home. A cat left alone can become lonely just like a dog, or a person for that matter.

As to what to expect in owning cat(s), many ways they are like dog, especially when you first come home from work. They will greet you at the door, but without all of the sanguine manners of a dog. There will be little or no training necessary, as cats are low maintenance pets, the only thing that will be necessary is to keep their litter box clean, otherwise they may poop outside the box. Cats do a lot of sleeping, perhaps as much as 16 hours a day especially when their human is not home. I have found that older cats (7+ years old) are less of a chore than kittens to care for. Have everything set up before you bring your kitty home and also, do not move their things around after they get accustomed to their placements. I have a multiple cat household, and after checking all of my pets with the little 3-step check-list, they all get along with each other. Cats are great pets, and will often want to "help" you with whatever you are doing. They are very lovable and affectionate, and make great household companions. All of my cats are "lap kitties", this means that they will usually curl up in your lap and sleep or want some attention while you are sitting, perhaps watching TV. Also, they are incurably curious animals and will follow you around the house while you are doing domestic chores. As far as feeding them, personally, I "free feed" all of mine. This is where you place enough dry food for their daily requirements, in a pan or bowl. You can feed them with canned food if you want, but I suggest that you do this while at home. Be sure that they have fresh water to drink. Do not feed them cows milk as this can give them diarrhea. For toys, it has been found that they like to play with a small plastic ball with a bell inside, also a cat fishing pole toy is recommended. Be sure that you provide a scratching pole for them, otherwise they may want to use furniture for this purpose. Well, this is all I can think of at the moment. Just thought I'd throw my 2-cents in. Good luck in choosing your kitty, and I know you won't be disappointed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
ok, much more clear picture!

That´s the thing I wanted to know, how to "select" ( may not be a right word ) a kitten wich will become a dear pet for me....

On one hand I would like to start visiting shelters right know, but I would like to wait till my house is fully refurbished this summer, so it´s better for me not start looking for a cat because I´m pretty sure I will have one ( or two ) on the very first visit.

Right know I want to read a lot and ask advice,I think this research could help me a lot, and I can´t be grateful enough for all your help

Thanks!!
 

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new cat, "select" is the proper word to use. You can select your kitty now, if you want, but when your house is being re-furbished this summer, just make sure that it (they) are kept away from the work area. Kitten season is now underway and will be until at least July. This is a good time to select your kitten. Kittens should be at least 8 weeks old before removing them from their mother. I forgot to mention that at night, they will probably want to sleep on your bed. I would let them do so, because of the close bond that you will make with them :). Talk to your cat in the same manner as you would another human. You'll be surprised at how much they understand. For example if I am sitting and watching TV with 4 or 5 of them on my lap, and I have to get up, all I have to say is, "cats, let me get up" and they all begin to move.. Cats are also empathetic, that is, they understand how you feel and it is very difficult to hide your emotions from them. If you are planning to leave them for a few days, they can pick that up also.
 

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NewCat,

I just wanted to extend my condolences to you and your countrymen. I hope you and your loved ones are well. If you see this, please let us know if you are ok.
 

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Hi there newcat, i dont know if this has been mentioned in anyone elses post (i expect it has) and if you are refurbishing your house, one thing is VERY important.

Scratch posts!

There really are a must for cats, esp indoor ones, they will usually dig them instead of your lovely furniture. If they are taught to dig that you will be fine. I have 5 cats, and ive baught new furniture since having them, some people have gotten thier cats declawed because they are worried they will ruin thier furniture (i dont know about spain but here declawing is illegal anyway) but it is incredibly cruel and painful to cats, and can very easily be prevented by teaching them to use thier scratch post. The first time you see the cat/kitten go to dig/sharpen its claws on something you dont want it too you need to tell it off, either shouting no and clapping, spraying with water pistol, or hitting a newspaper on the floor, all those have worked for me.

Like i said above i dont know if someone else mentioned this alrdy, if so sorry, if not now you know :)
 
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