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Advice for a first time cat owner?

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oobiecoo

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DH has had pet cats (mostly outdoor barn cats) before but I''ve really only had dogs (other than the couple of strays we''ve fed). We''re thinking about getting a Persian cat and I''d like any advice you could give me about caring for cats in general or about this specific breed. I''ve read a few things, including that Persians unable to clean themselves so I know I''ll need to bathe it occasionally.
 

VRBeauty

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Congrats on deciding to get a cat! I hope you'll find that a cat will enrich your life in many ways.

Unfortunately, my advice to a first-time cat owner would be to avoid a high maintenance breed like a Persian. By "high maintenance" I'm referring only to the grooming and vacuuming that will be a part of owning a cat that has a very long, very thick coat. Regular brushing will be a must to minimize loose fur in your house, and to prevent hairballs and matting. If you have your hearts set on a Persian, I know you'll whatever it takes to give that little furball a good home. If you're open on the question of breeds, I'd suggest another breed or a shelter cat... with a coat that's shorter and/or less dense.

The only other "advice" I have is that the very best cat companions I've had are the ones that picked me.

Good luck! I hope you find the perfect cat for you and your DH, and vice versa!
 

MishB

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I had a Persian cat once, she was hugely high maintenance, she hated being brushed with a passion, and would fight like crazy. I ended up having to have her shaved underneath because her fur became knotted, not a nice experience for anyone. Plus their fine hair sticks to textiles and takes a lot of getting off. Also, I prefer the personalities of other breeds like Burmese or Siamese. I don''t think I''ve ever met a Persian cat with much of a personality.

JMO..

I''ve had 2 pedigreed pure-bred cats, and now I have shelter adoptions, idealogically I just couldn''t buy a ''designer cat'' when so many animals need good homes.
 

Pandora II

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Cat bathing... I only tried it once and I have the scars to prove it!

I have a friend who breeds Persians and they are way too high maintenance for me. I also like cats with big personalities and have always had Siamese - they don''t take kindly to being left alone though, so I wouldn''t have one unless I worked from home. Two left alone together is okay if you''re not that into your household furnishings - they are really good at renovations!


I would get a short-haired rescue cat that is around 9-12 months as a first cat.
 

Loves Vintage

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May I suggest looking into Balinese cats? I adopted one quite a while ago and he was just the best, most loving sweet cat I''ve ever had! I seem to recall that you are in Texas, which is another reason why I suggest the breed. There is a Siamese rescue group (in Coppell, TX, I believe, not sure how far that is from you) and they always have Balinese cats available. Here''s a cutie in Austin, actually: Clara You wouldn''t have to deal with bathing them. Or, you might consider a ragdoll. You can search for specific breeds on www.petfinder.com. Good Luck!
 

doodle

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Yeah, I''m with the others on how high-maintenance Persians are, and they can also have a number of weird health issues with their skin, eyes, and sinuses, so I''ve always gone for breeds that required less money and work to keep up with them. We have a Maine Coon that we got from the local humane society, and he is by far the best cat we''ve ever had (and we''ve had dozens over the past 20 years!). He still has the fluffiness of a Persian, and he''s a big man, but he doesn''t shed the way a Persian does, and he requires minimal brushing to stay pretty and clean. He''s also extremely docile and is wonderful with children and other animals. Maine Coons also have some fun little quirks that other cats don''t have, like they "chirp" when they get excited. Hahaha, can you tell I''m a fan?

I highly recommend checking out your local shelter, though--most shelters even have a kind of play room where you can hang out with the animal for a while to gauge its personality. We''ve gotten a lot of really wonderful pets from the humane society over the years, and it always feels great to know that you saved your pet from having to sit around in a cage all the time. They''re also fixed already, have all their shots, and are microchipped, which is nice, too, because you can bring your pet home and start getting to know it without having to traumatize it by taking it to the vet for all that stuff right after you just brought it to a strange new place.
 

Italiahaircolor

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I had a persian kitten/cat a few years back...she was a white and smoke and she was beautiful when she was in full coat. But, I am not much of a cat person to begin with and she was a gift from an ex-boyfriend. I always adored the way a persian looked and didn''t much about the breed when I got her. She came from a breeder, and I got her too early, truth be told--she was a mere 6 weeks instead of the recommended 8...but, I was 16...what did I know? I had to rehome her before moving in my with husband because he has severe cat allergies and it wasn''t fair to him...but, she ended up with a dear friend of mine and has a very happy life.

Persians are extremely high maintenance, many of the testiments are watered down, you''ll be amazed at how hard core the care really is. She required daily brushing--two or three times per day, actually...otherwise she was a matted mess, it could be awful if it got out of control. By nature, cats don''t love being groomed, and my cat hated her stomach being brushed...so she did matt there, and it was a mess!!! She needed professional groomings--just like a dog--once a month because Persians (for whatever reason) aren''t the best at grooming themselves....so she would get flakey skin if she didn''t get professionally cleaned. Those trips were very expensive! Every spring, I would have her shaved down into a lion cut for her comfort because those coats are heavy.

I''m sure people will probably disagree, but persians aren''t the most outgoing breed. They prefer quiet time to social time. So if you''re looking for a cat thats going to be all over you with love, I''d consider another breed. I think in general if you''re new to the cat thing, you''d probably do better with a lower maintenance, more social cat. There are many wonderful purebreds but also shelters that have cats that need good homes. I''d find the **right** cat for you without putting limitations on yourself by way of breed or gender.
 

princesss

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If you're set on a Persian (though this applies to any breed, really) here's what I would suggest:

Make sure the litter box is on the same floor they usually live on (so if you have a two story house, don't put it on the second floor just to keep it out of the way).

If you're going to change their food, do it slowly. Find out what the breeder/rescue/shelter uses, buy that, and then slowly cut it with whatever food you'll be using permanently (if you're not sticking with what the breeder uses).

Have a variety of toys, and play with your kitty. They thrive on interaction, and a bored animal is a destructive animal.

Get them used to being handled early, especially their paws. Trim their claws regularly, and please consider Soft Claws and other methods of controlling scratching behaviours instead of declawing (not sure if you're leaning towards that).

The personality of a cat can change drastically from being a kitten to being a full-grown cat. Be prepared that their tastes may change.

Know what you want from a cat, and communicate that to the person you're dealing with (breeder/rescue/shelter staff). If you want a really playful cat, say so. If you want a cat that cuddles, say so. They'll have a good sense for the animal, and should be able to help you pick an animal suited to your family.

Best of luck!
 

Feralpenchant

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Persian cats are very high maintenance, but make great pets. If you have the time to devote to their coat, and don't mind the shedding, then awesome! I sure don't lol.

They have a very DENSE coat, MUCH more dense than your average domestic longhair. They can have respiratory problems because of their pushed in faces, and often can have tear duct issues. Keeping their tear ducts clean and daily brushing will help them a lot. They really are sweet cats, the main thing is to keep mats out of the coat and monitor their back end.. (Gross info incoming) They can get poo stuck in their coat around their bum and sometimes it is necessary to shave a little back there, your vet can do it for you. This helps them feel more comfortable.. But alternatively, if you check their bum every so often when you're petting it, and just clean as often as you need to, you my be able to avoid having to shave.

Good luck! Persians are the cutest kittens EVER!

Feel free to ask any questions about cats.. I have 4, and I worked at an all cat clinic for 2 years.. We had two persians come in named Alexandra Rose and Nicholas Fitzgerald. Cutest and most SPOILED cats ever!

EDIT: Unfortunately, I have to agree with everyone else that Persians will be tough if you have never owned a cat before. They are cute and tempting, but there is a price to pay! If you're set on a Persian, I wish you luck, but if you are open to new suggestions, I might be able to help you decide on a breed more suited to you. Also, there are plenty of babies in shelters that need homes!

EDIT NUMBER DOS!: I keep thinking of things to say! Persians do have a ton of hair, and when they do clean themselves, they get a lot of it in their tummy. Royal Canin has a good food that minimizes hairballs. ACTUALLY.. I just remembered that Royal Canin has breed specific diets for your major breeds with specific target problems. They have a Persian food. You can get it at PetsMart I think, I've seen it at PetCo for sure.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 4/19/2009 11:57:15 PM
Author:oobiecoo
DH has had pet cats (mostly outdoor barn cats) before but I've really only had dogs (other than the couple of strays we've fed). We're thinking about getting a Persian cat and I'd like any advice you could give me about caring for cats in general or about this specific breed. I've read a few things, including that Persians unable to clean themselves so I know I'll need to bathe it occasionally.
Hi Oobie,

I have 4 Persians and I am very experienced with the breed, so I can help hopefully!

They make wonderful pets, are very loving and sociable. The coat does take commitment and work, it is better to comb them as brushing does not really get through mats. You will need to spend a good few minutes daily grooming. Also they can need their eyes gently cleaning daily as they can run and stain at the sides of the nose. Just use boiled cooled water for this.

Never ever bath a Persian with a tangled or matted coat as you will never get the mats out!!!! I can't emphasize this enough! If you keep your persian well groomed he or she should not need a bath anyway, I rarely find mine need it.

You might want to try to keep the hair short around the rear end as sometimes this can get a little messy! But I haven't had too many problems in this area and I have had persians for years now.

I don't find mine get fur balls any more than any of my short hairs, again good grooming will keep the amount of hair they ingest down. If you get a kitten start as you mean to go on and begin grooming right from day one, this will make it much easier on both cat and owner in the future.
 

Feralpenchant

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Date: 4/20/2009 3:58:59 PM
Author: Lorelei
Date: 4/19/2009 11:57:15 PM

Author:oobiecoo

DH has had pet cats (mostly outdoor barn cats) before but I''ve really only had dogs (other than the couple of strays we''ve fed). We''re thinking about getting a Persian cat and I''d like any advice you could give me about caring for cats in general or about this specific breed. I''ve read a few things, including that Persians unable to clean themselves so I know I''ll need to bathe it occasionally.
Hi Oobie,


I have 4 Persians and I am very experienced with the breed, so I can help hopefully!


They make wonderful pets, are very loving and sociable. The coat does take commitment and work, it is better to comb them as brushing does not really get through mats. You will need to spend a good few minutes daily grooming. Also they can need their eyes gently cleaning daily as they can run and stain at the sides of the nose.


Never ever bath a Persian with a tangled or matted coat as you will never get the mats out!!!! I can''t emphasize this enough! If you keep your persian well groomed he or she should not need a bath anyway, I rarely find mine need it.


You might want to try to keep the hair short around the rear end as sometimes this can get a little messy! But I haven''t had too many problems in this area and I have had persians for years now.

Well there you go! Lorelei can help with many of your questions I''m sure! I don''t have a Persian but I have a domestic longhair and even her coat is a chore for me.
 

oobiecoo

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You ladies may have convinced me not to go with a Persian! I think it was the comment about having messy issues in the back end area... I''ve dealt with that with shihtzus and don''t think I want to with a cat. They are so precious though so I''ll still keep them as a small possibility.

My cousin had a Ragdoll and he was adorable. Since their hair is kind of long, do they have special grooming needs and hairball issues like the Persians?

Our plan is to go to a shelter or rescue. Another option I found last night are breeders who are selling their cats that are getting too old. I feel bad that the cats are unwanted since they are no longer "useful" so I might check into that a little more.
 

Feralpenchant

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Ragdolls are far less of a grooming hassle. As with all longhaired cats, they do need regular brushing, but certainly not to the extent of a Persian. I cannot even begin to express how dense a Persian's coat is lol.

Ragdoll's coat is less dense, and softer to the touch, it feels "finer" and is easier to brush. Sometimes with Persians you need special brushes because regular any old cat brushes will not even penetrate the first layer. Ragdolls = quite easier.

However, you should know that with ANY longahired cat, the possibility of back end dirtiness is always there. If longhaired cats (or any cat for that matter) becomes overweight, they cannot reach their back end to groom themselves, so it's important to feed your cat effectively.

I STRONGLY advice against "free feeding". You should be feeding your cat twice a day, but more often than that until it is ~6mos old. Cats really should eat wet food as well as dry, because cats are a "semi desert" species, they don't drink a lot. Having the water in their wet food helps them hydrate. Also, wet food is healthier and lower in carbs. More like what a wild cat would eat. It is important to start your kitten on wet food from a young age, as many cats who have been on dry food for a long time will not touch wet food. It's kind of like us eating donuts for years and them someone says we can only eat broccoli. Would you be happy? I had these issues with my older cats but my young one will eat wet food because I fed her wet food from day 1. It's becoming more widely accepted that wet food is as important, if not more important, than dry food.

If you go to a shelter, you will probably not find a purebred cat. You will mostly be dealing with domestic shorthairs and domestic medium/long hairs.


http://www.royalcanin.us/products/productdetail.aspx?ID=48 is an AWESOME food. I swear by it.
 

Pandora II

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Just to add - orientals should only have water to drink as milk seriously upsets their stomachs (they love it though and will try to steal it if they can). Ditto on the wet food and feeding twice a day rather than constant food available - some cats will just eat and eat and eat...

Siamese kittens should also stay with their mothers until around 14 weeks or they can be very neurotic - I would think this goes for a lot of the other oriental breeds. If you get an unspade female of these breeds, invest in heavy duty ear-plugs or get them on the Pill as they are super noisy when they are heat - neighbours calling the police type noisy!
 

AmberGretchen

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Ragdolls rarely require grooming, so are much lower maintenance vs. Persians.

I''m glad to hear you are reconsidering the Persian - they are SUPER high maintenance, and as the others said, not a good cat for the first-time owner. Also, Houston would be a really tough climate for a Persian if they ever went outside - they are bracycephalic, which means they have a smushed face, which makes it tough for them to breath - even more so in hot weather.

Can you tell us more about what you are looking for in a cat, personality- and looks-wise? That might help us give better advice.

Honestly, I''m skeptical of "needing" a purebred cat - there are so many homeless kitties in shelters that need homes, and so many of them have absolutely lovely temperaments and are homeless through no fault of their own. If you are set on a pure bred you might consider rescue. Contrary to popular belief there are actually a number of purebred cats in rescue, and I''m sure you could find what you are looking for if you are a little bit patient.

I agree with FeralPenchant about not free-feeding - feeding once or twice a day, a set amount on a set schedule, is best for the kitty, especially as you''ll want to spay/neuter her/him, and fixed pets have higher odds of becoming overweight (but its so important as a responsible pet owner, and totally worth it in terms of improved behavior).

For food choices, I''d recommend looking up some of the previous threads on high quality cat foods - many of the more common brands, such as Science Diet, Iams, Royal Canin, etc...are actually very poor quality and not at all good for cats - they have tons of unhealthy fillers that cats don''t need and are very bad for their health. Feeding a high quality foods is one of the best ways to cut down on vet costs over your cat''s life, and also to make sure they look and feel their best (think of it as though a human were to eat nothing but McDonald''s all the time - that''s the equivalent of feeding most of these more common brands to your cat all the time).

I''m glad you are doing your research and considering your options before getting a kitty.
 

oobiecoo

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Date: 4/20/2009 7:49:08 PM
Author: Pandora II
Just to add - orientals should only have water to drink as milk seriously upsets their stomachs (they love it though and will try to steal it if they can). Ditto on the wet food and feeding twice a day rather than constant food available - some cats will just eat and eat and eat...


Siamese kittens should also stay with their mothers until around 14 weeks or they can be very neurotic - I would think this goes for a lot of the other oriental breeds. If you get an unspade female of these breeds, invest in heavy duty ear-plugs or get them on the Pill as they are super noisy when they are heat - neighbours calling the police type noisy!

Whichever kitty we choose will definitely be spayed... we certainly don''t want any kittens OR the neighbors calling the police! haha

AmberGretchen- We are looking for a low to medium maintenance cat. One that is friendly with other animals and kids and likes to be social sometimes and not hide under a bed all day. We do NOT want it on our bed or on our kitchen counters so hopefully it won''t be too difficult to train them not to do those things.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 4/20/2009 10:16:08 PM
Author: oobiecoo


Date: 4/20/2009 7:49:08 PM
Author: Pandora II
Just to add - orientals should only have water to drink as milk seriously upsets their stomachs (they love it though and will try to steal it if they can). Ditto on the wet food and feeding twice a day rather than constant food available - some cats will just eat and eat and eat...


Siamese kittens should also stay with their mothers until around 14 weeks or they can be very neurotic - I would think this goes for a lot of the other oriental breeds. If you get an unspade female of these breeds, invest in heavy duty ear-plugs or get them on the Pill as they are super noisy when they are heat - neighbours calling the police type noisy!

Whichever kitty we choose will definitely be spayed... we certainly don't want any kittens OR the neighbors calling the police! haha

AmberGretchen- We are looking for a low to medium maintenance cat. One that is friendly with other animals and kids and likes to be social sometimes and not hide under a bed all day. We do NOT want it on our bed or on our kitchen counters so hopefully it won't be too difficult to train them not to do those things.
You might find that a bit difficult to keep kitters off your bed and countertops. Mine are pretty good but you will find they will break the rules from time to time! Cats have a mind of their own as you will discover if you haven't been owned by one before!
 

swingirl

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Date: 4/21/2009 4:23:37 AM
Author: Lorelei

You might find that a bit difficult to keep kitters off your bed and countertops. Mine are pretty good but you will find they will break the rules from time to time! Cats have a mind of their own as you will discover if you haven''t been owned by one before!
Yes!! We tried desperately to keep out kitties off the table and kitchen counters and the best we could accomplish was to get them to jump down when they heard us coming. Keeping them off the bed...hmmm.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 4/21/2009 4:36:40 AM
Author: swingirl

Date: 4/21/2009 4:23:37 AM
Author: Lorelei

You might find that a bit difficult to keep kitters off your bed and countertops. Mine are pretty good but you will find they will break the rules from time to time! Cats have a mind of their own as you will discover if you haven''t been owned by one before!
Yes!! We tried desperately to keep out kitties off the table and kitchen counters and the best we could accomplish was to get them to jump down when they heard us coming. Keeping them off the bed...hmmm.
LOL!! Same in our house!
 

Pandora II

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Date: 4/20/2009 10:16:08 PM
Author: oobiecoo
Whichever kitty we choose will definitely be spayed... we certainly don''t want any kittens OR the neighbors calling the police! haha

AmberGretchen- We are looking for a low to medium maintenance cat. One that is friendly with other animals and kids and likes to be social sometimes and not hide under a bed all day. We do NOT want it on our bed or on our kitchen counters so hopefully it won''t be too difficult to train them not to do those things.
Good Luck!

Training + Cat = Interesting Concept - which works if they are up for it. I''ve heard of people using tin foil or water sprays and having good results but neither worked on ours.

My mother has been trying to train generations of her cats to close doors behind them for years - they can open pretty much most types of door handle including the fridge but they NEVER shut them again.
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 4/20/2009 10:16:08 PM
Author: oobiecoo

AmberGretchen- We are looking for a low to medium maintenance cat. One that is friendly with other animals and kids and likes to be social sometimes and not hide under a bed all day. We do NOT want it on our bed or on our kitchen counters so hopefully it won''t be too difficult to train them not to do those things.
oobie - have you considered a rescue? It sounds like a really outgoing, laid-back rescue kitty (preferably an adult so the personality is already established) might be a really good fit for you. You can find every imaginable color/marking combo in rescue, and a lot of rescue groups have their cats in foster homes, so you can get a really accurate idea of how the kitty will be in a home setting.

In terms of keeping kitty off the bed and counters, that can be tough. Tin foil is one idea for counters, another is a product called "Sticky Paws" - its like large strips of double-sided tape. Cats hate having their paws stick to things, so if you put the sticky paws on the counter from the time you bring the kitty home, you might eventually train the cat to expect them to be there and therefore not jump on the counter.

The bed is tougher - most cat owners I know end up sleeping/snuggling with their kitties in bed. One thing you can try is shutting the cat out of the bedroom at night. To do this you will have to ignore the inevitable crying/meowing that will follow, and you have to be 100% consistent about ignoring it - if you give in even once, it will exponentially increase the time it takes for the kitty to get used to being outside the bedroom at night. It will help if kitty has a cozy spot of his/her own to go to at bed time - a cat bed with high sides, placed in a safe and secure location, can be a good option.
 

Feralpenchant

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Date: 4/20/2009 10:16:08 PM
Author: oobiecoo
Date: 4/20/2009 7:49:08 PM

Author: Pandora II

Just to add - orientals should only have water to drink as milk seriously upsets their stomachs (they love it though and will try to steal it if they can). Ditto on the wet food and feeding twice a day rather than constant food available - some cats will just eat and eat and eat...



Siamese kittens should also stay with their mothers until around 14 weeks or they can be very neurotic - I would think this goes for a lot of the other oriental breeds. If you get an unspade female of these breeds, invest in heavy duty ear-plugs or get them on the Pill as they are super noisy when they are heat - neighbours calling the police type noisy!


Whichever kitty we choose will definitely be spayed... we certainly don't want any kittens OR the neighbors calling the police! haha


AmberGretchen- We are looking for a low to medium maintenance cat. One that is friendly with other animals and kids and likes to be social sometimes and not hide under a bed all day. We do NOT want it on our bed or on our kitchen counters so hopefully it won't be too difficult to train them not to do those things.
Some cat breeds have definitive personality traits, but for the most part, cats are unique, like people. Not all human Sagittarius's are the same, just like not all Ragdolls are the same, not all Siamese are the same. They just have definitive traits.

You could have one Ragdoll that is at your feet all the time, and another that prefers to stay under the bed. You never know what you're going to get with cats.. Lol.

Let me rephrase what I said earlier, I did not mean that you cannot find rescue purebred cats. Just that in SHELTERS the picks will be slim. However, you can look up breed specific rescues through the ASPCA and get a Ragdoll or what have you from there.

To me, it sounds like you're not looking for any type of trait in particular that would lead me to suggest a certain breed to you. I think you'd be fine with a little "mutt". Any cat really would meet the criteria you've stated. But if you're looking for true low maintenance, I'd go for a shorthair.

As for training? Heh, well you can try what you want, but cats really just don't care. They do whatever they want. They might get off the counter if you shoo them off, but as soon as you're not looking, there they are again.

In my experience, (note, this is not a FACT, just my opinion because of what I've experienced) male cats tend to be more outgoing and friendly to strangers.

OH AND Ambergretchen, I was not aware that Royal Canin is in fact unhealthy! Working at a vet clinic we have tons of sponsored lunches where we learn about the foods and things. I guess we learn what they want us to learn! My cat is eating the Royal Canin indoor formula, and she's been fine on that, but would you suggest something else? What types of foods do you recommend? Organic? How do you feel about the veterinary diets? The ones prescribed for certain specific ailments/diseases, such as diets for renal failure, bladder stones, etc.. How interesting, I'll have to look up these threads..
 

AmberGretchen

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Date: 4/21/2009 2:53:00 PM
Author: Feralpenchant

OH AND Ambergretchen, I was not aware that Royal Canin is in fact unhealthy! Working at a vet clinic we have tons of sponsored lunches where we learn about the foods and things. I guess we learn what they want us to learn! My cat is eating the Royal Canin indoor formula, and she''s been fine on that, but would you suggest something else? What types of foods do you recommend? Organic? How do you feel about the veterinary diets? The ones prescribed for certain specific ailments/diseases, such as diets for renal failure, bladder stones, etc.. How interesting, I''ll have to look up these threads..
Feralpenchant - its really unfortunate, but certain brands of cat foods (especially Royal Canin, Iams, and Science Diet), sponsor veterinary nutrition classes and information, so the information that vets and vet techs, etc...get are often not as complete or objective as they might be.

There are MUCH better foods out there to feed your kitty (or doggie, for that matter). There was a long thread on this a while ago when the food recalls came out - it can be found here. Definitely worth reading through. One food not mentioned there that I am a HUGE fan of now - Nature''s Variety. Their wet food has some of the best ingredients I''ve ever seen in any brand, and my kitties love it, and are doing really well on it - the vet was super impressed with how healthy they look, and they ahve all lost weight, which is great


In terms of the prescription foods for medical issues, that''s a tougher one. There is a good thread here about foods for Omie''s kitty when she had some urinary tract issues. I think there''s a lot of room for different opinions there, because the research just isn''t very good or thorough, but that thread is a decent starting place for education.
 

doodle

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I''m laughing my butt off at everyone''s reaction to trying to train a cat--so true! We joke in my family that people train dogs, and cats train people. We''ve owned soooooo many cats over the years, and out of all of them we''ve had, my current kitty is the only one we''ve ever had who didn''t get on the kitchen counter, and he sleeps on the bed but in a little (okay, a large fluffy) ball at the foot of the bed. He''s an oddity among cats because he''s so well-behaved. I can clip his nails and brush him in under ten minutes because he just sits there and lets me do whatever I need to do. I agree with the others who said you''d do well with any low maintenance kitty regardless of breed. I''m sure you''ll find one you adore (and you better post pix, haha)!
 

Cind11

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 5, 2004
Messages
1,959
Date: 4/20/2009 10:01:17 AM
Author: Loves Vintage
May I suggest looking into Balinese cats? I adopted one quite a while ago and he was just the best, most loving sweet cat I''ve ever had! I seem to recall that you are in Texas, which is another reason why I suggest the breed. There is a Siamese rescue group (in Coppell, TX, I believe, not sure how far that is from you) and they always have Balinese cats available. Here''s a cutie in Austin, actually: Clara You wouldn''t have to deal with bathing them. Or, you might consider a ragdoll. You can search for specific breeds on www.petfinder.com. Good Luck!
We have a Balinese and he is just the sweetest cat ever. He has long, silky fur that doean''t require any maintenance. And since he is a long haired Siamese, he has an outgoing personality. I second this recommendation if you want a great long haired cat.
 

oobiecoo

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 10, 2007
Messages
2,263
Is it really nearly impossible to keep them off counters? Kitchen counters and dining table I will not tolerate. Isn''t that just... dirty???? I had a friend who had like 20 cats and dogs (I''m not even exaggerating) and they would climb on the counters and sometimes get into the meat her mom was thawing for dinner.
I don''t mind if it lays on the bed in the guest room... and I guess I don''t mind too much if it gets on our bed as well... I just don''t want it to sleep with us really.

I went to Petsmart today and looked at a couple of cats from a local shelter. One has been there a really long time and hasn''t been adopted because she''s just kind of shy. Her name is Stella and she is white with some spots. Apparently she''s gotten a little bit friendlier since arriving but I''m scared I''m going to end up with a cat who hides under the bed all day.
There was also Callie who is a little bit friendlier but SUPER skinny. They have been working with her to gain weight though.
They also had a sweet male named Tom. He was friendly but huge and looked like he could be a trouble maker. I''m not sure I want a boy and DH seems to think male cats'' urine smells stronger than the females... not sure about that though.

I know I''m being ridiculous but I can''t help but think all of these cats look too *common*. I don''t want my kitty to look like everyone else''s... which is partially why I wanted a persian initially. I''ve seen a couple of other more unique looking ones and have emailed about them but haven''t recieved any replies yet which is frustrating.

DH was ready to let me bring one home today but I''m so hesitant. What if I buy one and we end up having major problems with it when we get home? I don''t want to be stuck with a cat we aren''t compatible with and I think theres only so much we can see from playing with it at the shelter/store.
 

AmberGretchen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
7,770
oobie - any reputable shelter or rescue group will have a contract that says if it doesn''t work out, you bring the cat back to them.

One thing to consider is whether you care if the cat is friendly with everyone who comes to your house or only with you and DH? I ask because my experience (I confirmed this with the cat behavioralists at the shelter where I volunteer) that if they are treated properly (i.e. minimal commotion, gentle handling, plenty of affection), almost any cat will develop a close bond and be friendly with its owners. There are actually studies showing that the more you interact with your cat, the more it wants to interact with you.

All of that said, an independent rescue group that fosters its cats in homes will be able to give you the most complete information about a given cat''s personality.

I wouldn''t worry too much about not finding the right cat right away - it can take time, and you don''t want to rush it. Try going to the shelter, keep contacting rescue groups, you will find the right kitty. And its fine that you don''t want your kitty to look like everyone else''s - as I said, you will find the right kitty, and it will be unique-looking. The more time you spend looking, the more you''ll have a sense of what coloring/size/fur type etc...you are attracted to.

Oh, and tell your DH there is no biological reason a neutered male cat would have urine that smells different than a spayed female cat''s. If urine (or poop) smell is a concern, there are several things you can do to help with that:

1. feed a good quality food (see the threads I linked above for Feralpenchant)
2. get odor-absorbing litter (we''ve had good luck with a mix of feline pine and crystal litter)
3. get a pet water fountain so your cat drinks as much water as possible - the more dilute the urine, the less smelly
 

Feralpenchant

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
427
You may get a cat that doesn't even WANT to be on your counters.. or WANT to be on your bed. But you won't know til you get one!


If you want a different looking cat, get a tortoiseshell. Very interesting coloring, they're fairly common, they're always female (same rules as calico, if it's a male, it's infertile.. a genetic misfire..), you can find them in longhair and shorthair varieties, and torties are usually very outgoing and fiesty. That's not a hard and fast fact, but I have never met a tortie that didn't have a fiery personality or liked to hide. Just my opinion again
I love torties. That's the next color I want.

Good lord. I need to stop talking about cats like they're handbags. I HAVE FOUR ALREADYY!!!


"DH was ready to let me bring one home today but I'm so hesitant. What if I buy one and we end up having major problems with it when we get home? I don't want to be stuck with a cat we aren't compatible with and I think theres only so much we can see from playing with it at the shelter/store."

I understand your concerns here but I also think that if you really want a cat you're going to have to accept that you just will never be able to get a cat to do what you want it to do. As I said earlier, cat's just don't care. If you get a cat that is on the counters all the time, then address that accordingly. If you get a shy cat, then work with her to help her adapt to her environment.

A shy cat in the store will probably be a shy cat at home. An outgoing cat at the store will probably be shy when you take it home. They're not like dogs, they don't just bounce into any old situation and adapt perfectly. Spending time with it will bring out it's true colors. If you have MAJOR problems, I'm sure they would take the cat back, if it's from a shelter, sometimes they will do that if it doesn't work out.

Also, what AmberGretchen said, it is only tomcats (un-neutered cats) whose urine smells strong and unpleasant. Neutered males do not have that problem.

"Cats and women will do whatever they please, and dogs and men will just have to get over it."
 
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