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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
My fiancee and I are now very keen on getting a cat together. My fiancee grew up with farm cats kept as family pets which she was very fond of. I grew up with a dog and many exotic smaller pets (lizards, snakes, mice etc) so am not very used to cats.
We are both very keen on starting with a kitten, she's at home during the day so can devote loads of time to it. We also agreed it'd be a house cat.
Where we are a little divided is that she loves any kind of cat and tends to favour cats that are regular moggies (white, black, ginger mixes) whereas I really like exotic animals and wild animals and like the idea of something like a bengal, ocicat, savannah cat etc.
We're both concerned that if we had a pedigree cat then aside from the purchase cost there could be suseptibility to health problems which might be costly and we really worry the 'wild' looking pedigrees are timid and can't be handled etc.
She really wants a cat that she can play with, cuddle, pick up etc like the ones she had when she was younger.
I really fancy one like a grey Bengal with rosettes and blue eyes or the 'Whiskas' advert cat, grey tabby with black stripes.
Can anyone advise on a cat that would meet both our interests? We desperately want to avoid having a timid cat if we can...
 

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You could go have a look at a shelter. They sometimes have 'exotics'. I have 2 petigreed cats and I didn't pay for either of them. Petfinder.com can also lead you to pedigrees and exotics that are up for adoption.

If you get a kitten you'll have a lot to do with it's personality. If you treat it well it won't be timid, you could even end up with those of us in the group who's cats are extremely social.

Animal Planet has a breedfinder that I've posted here in the past if you're really interested in a purebreed. I'll let you search my old posts for it.


Okay, here it is

http://animal.discovery.com/breedselect ... elector.do
 

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I very much recommend TWO if you are getting kittens. Kittens need to play ROUGH and if they don't have a companion for that, you'll be elected. It's a mistake to get one kitten. Look for 2 kittens who are already friends (shelters will have plenty to choose from). And be sure to get them spayed/neutered ASAP if they aren't already when you adopt them!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Many thanks for your replies. I'm in the UK by the way, sorry. I'm not sure if those links would be applicable in my case? I'll certainly check out shelters though :)
Good suggestion about the two kittens thing too...
 

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One link just tells you about breed characteristics, Actually, put in the characteristics you're looking for and find a breed, from the traditional breeds. Some Brits on the forum will tell you what their petfinder equivelent is.

Someone will be along shortly to tell you about Bengals. Right Rae?

I don't know if anyone here has experience with Savannahs.
 

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I don't have personal experience, but I knew someone who had a Savannah. I would NOT recommend getting one of these. For inexperienced cat owners they can be a handful. They can be HUGE, they are very playful and high energy, and climb all over everything. They used to feed the cat live fish from the bathtub and it would get all wet fishing in there like a wild cat! These cats have Serval ancestors, which gives them their beauty, but also wild nature.

My only advice is to just start looking. Go look at shelters and turn in applications. The best way is to just go meet the kittens, and you're bound to find one you both like- both personality and looks. Don't buy a pure breed, because there are so many cats that need homes in shelter, and they are MUCH cheaper.

Some random kitten advice: handle them a lot, so they get used to being picked up. Take them on drives when they are young, to the pet-store, to a friend's house.... you can socialize kittens just like you would puppies and these cats tend to grow up more well adjusted and social. Handle every paw, every toe, every day until you are comfortable enough to trim the nails. Get into a grooming routine when young and they will be much easier as adults! You can even teach a kitten to let you brush their teeth!
 

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I agree about getting two kittens, if that's a possibility for you. They'll wear each other out! Also, if you're at all interested in watching animals and animal behavior, two cats are more than twice as interesting as one cat because you can watch them interact. (I'll never in a million years understand cat politics, but I get endless entertainment out of trying to guess the rules!)

This all depends on the two cats getting along, but if you get two kittens the same age (especially two littermates) I doubt you'll have problems.

I'm not going to say DON'T get a bengal, savannah, etc, but my impression is they might not be the best cats for the first-time owner. I'd suggest just going to the shelter and see what reaches out and grabs your heart. :)

Some cats will be more timid than others by nature but any kitten you get should turn out to be an affectionate housecat. I'll warn you that not all affectionate cats like to be picked up and cuddled, though! Stormy is a very bold and affectionate cat who loves anyone that will pet her... but picking her up? No thanks!
 

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Bengals are beautiful, active, inquisitive, very interactive with their humans kind of cats. They will love interactive play and will enjoy being patted. But I suspect that they're not really lap cats. So you need to do some research about that. As far as health and temperament...you need to choose a good breeder who breeds to bring out the best qualities. There's a sticky about choosing breeders at the top of the breeding forum. If you're truly interested in getting a bengal (or other breed based on a wild cat), then you need to really research them carefully to understand what the best practices are, so you can choose a good breeder.

The thing about adopting a kitten from a shelter is that you really have no idea what you're getting in terms of personality. You can help your cat be more outgoing based on your interaction with them, but your influence is limited. For example, Kobi hates to be picked up and held, yet he loved it as a kitten, now he'll just lay on my legs when I have the recliner raised. Holly loves to be held and snuggled, but won't sit on my lap...she has to be in my arms. Maggie will tolerate being held for about 2 minutes, she won't sit in my lap, but she'll lay across my ankles. My point is...if you (or your gf) want a specific personality trait, you need to adopt a teenager or adult cat that already exhibits that trait.

Oh...and the one cat...two cat debate is really about personal opinion. There is no real evidence that going one way or the other is the best. So do what is best for you, the cat will adapt.
 

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Just check out the cats in a shelter. That'll put a stop to any difficult analysis. Once you walk into a shelter you won't walk out without a cat.

Shelter...time to go click on the donations page.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Many thanks for the advice everyone. I quite like grey and black tabbies or spotted grey and black kittens. Sounds abit shallow I know!
Tabbies confuse me a bit as are they pedigrees as such or a variant of markings?

I like the idea of a cat that looks like a tiger or leopard or something but exhibits the personality traits that my gf favours to keep her side of the deal!
I like the one that's pictured at the top of this forum...

I did really fancy the snow leopard type Bengals with the blue eyes but like has been said, the temperament is likely to be less likely like a lapcat in those kinds of wildcats.

The kitten thing is more to be able to train it etc from an early age and as a couple to have a feeling of 'raising' something together in some sense to prepare maybe for children in later life!

I hope we are able to find a kitten that does become very tame and handleable and will try our best to encourage it to be that way. We have considered cats in shelters for the temperament already being known but still favour the idea of starting with a kitten really...
 

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Tabby is a coat pattern not a breed. For example; my Holly's breed is Maine Coon, her coat pattern is 'classic tabby'. Classic tabby is the big swirly pattern that you see in the kitten at the top of the forum. Mackerel tabby is the tiger stripe pattern (and more prevalent of the two). And then there are some mixtures/variants of the two.

Shelters have kittens too...you don't have to buy a purebreed to get a kitten...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That's great, many thanks. I do like the appearance of the mackerel style tabbies and might give a few local shelters a call.
 
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