Cats & Cost and other cat info

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by JacksonsMom, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Soooo.... I've been *sort of* kind of considering a cat maybe in the future. I am almost feeling like it'd be more realistic than another dog. But I dunno yet, it's still just a total idea.

    I definitely go through phases though. Sometimes I think I want to add another dog but then honestly, sometimes I'm very content with just Jackson. Every time I dogsit for another dog, I'm so ready for it to just be him and I again. But it could be because none of these dogs I watch are the kind of dogs I'd pick for myself, either.... so basically.... I dunno....

    But anyways, I've contemplated the idea of a cat. Never was a big cat person, but I've fallen in love with my cousin's Tonkanese kittens as well as my step-sisters cat. My biggest thing was that every cat I was ever around before was so super shy, would hide away from everyone, or not want to be picked up, or pet, etc. And it just annoyed me.

    Jackson is okay with cats, but will chase the ones at my dads house on occasion but that's because they run away and hiss from dogs even when the dogs don't do anything to them. And then of course the two other dogs over there totally egg him on. He's absolutely fine with the cats one-on-one and I really think if I got a dog-friendly kitten, he'd enjoy having a little buddy.

    So I guess my question is... are there certain breeds of cats to look into? In regards to being friendly with people and a dog? I LOVE that the Tonkanese kittens that I know will just sit on your lap and love to be held and picked up. But they paid a hefty price for them (I think $1000 a piece or something). Or do you think just going to the shelter and finding a kitten that fits my needs would be best?

    Also, I always think of cats as being cheaper in general. Is this generally the case?

    Reason I'm considering a cat vs. a dog is mainly because... I really enjoy being able to take Jackson almost everywhere that he can go and it's just sooo easy with one, plus most places I go they have other dogs too and it'd simply be too much if I had two, and vacations the hotels charge for each dog/etc.

    I always have a dogsitter in my dad, and he has already stated he wouldn't enjoy having a fourth (I've discovered every time I've dogsat over there that 4 is just TOO much for us). Besides I also live there now 3 nights a week while in school so it IS partially his decision too. And the kitten would be living at my moms house, and staying there while I'm gone. And I've always assumed a cat would be okay for a day or two by themselves, whereas obviously a dog wouldn't.

    So I think it would be some extra love, a buddy for Jackson, a cheaper way of having a second pet, and not AS much care required as a dog.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    Honestly getting a cat because they are "easier than a dog" but still cute and fuzzy is how I ended up with our cat and that was a mistake. I wanted another dog and a cat is not a dog, so even though Pi is cute and can be fun, he and I never really bonded. He and my husband are better bonded than I am with Pi.

    That being said, 1. I haaaaate litterboxes (the litter itself smells, then add pee/poo and omg.ew. and it's in my house - yuck) and 2. Pi has inappropriate elimination issues which means he can't have full run of the house and thus gets loud when he is lonely.

    Now that DH takes care of him and shares his home office with him, Pi is much more pleasant to deal with, and he's even taken to clicker training well, but I def won't be getting another cat.
     
  3. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I've met a lot of cool cats and a lot of not-so-cool cats. Breed of course probably plays a factor, but I've never met a purebred cat... my cat is just your plain old domestic shorthair from a shelter, and he is awesome, if I say so myself. :cool: He acts like a dog. Greets you at the door, wants to sit on your lap. He's not a "hide under the bed" cat which is why I never cared for cats before, because I thought they were all like that.

    He's okay with dogs... he'll play with Lucy because they're the same size, and she's not obnoxious in play. He doesn't really like Juno but it's not a big deal because they just ignore each other.

    I think cats are cheaper but maybe it's just me. We buy litter and food. That's pretty much it. Food can be expensive though depending on what you feed, for example cats shouldn't be on a 100% dry diet, but canned food is EXPENSIVE (good quality canned, that is). If my cat ate only canned food, it would cost roughly $100 a month to feed him. That's a lot for an 11lb cat lol. Raw for him is reasonably priced. So yeah... we haven't had to put a whole lot of money into our cat, and he's so low maintenance too. We have left him alone for weekends and such. We just leave out multiple bowls of food and water and he's always been fine. SUPER clingy when we get home though, which is the dog in him coming out. :p

    I think it's a viable option and yes, IMO would be easier than a second dog. I'd definitely go the shelter route though. You can easily find a cat with an awesome personality there.
     
  4. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    I think any kitten would be fine with Jackson if raised with him...but getting an adult would make it easier to find one that is affectionate with people...so it's a toss up. My cats are both super affectionate which is a breed trait (in fact many people dislike them because of how clingy and needy they are, people who are expecting an aloof cat are annoyed by them). They are also noisy (well mine aren't but the breed is supposed to be). They are Siamese (which can be found in shelters somewhat easily...though I don't think they'd adjust to shelter life well).

    With kittens it can be really hard to tell if they will be affectionate as adults, they tend to just be too busy and playful...I would go to a shelter and choose the most affectionate one you can find (not just sit in your lap affectionate, but rubbing and following you around with intense purring). Or at least that's what I'd do. My brother's ex girlfriend adopted a kitten while they were together and he was outgoing, fearless, and playful but not ended up not being affectionate at all (he'd come by and rub you occasionally but didn't cuddle or seek attention). I would have been very disappointed if it were my cat.


    Our cats might be more expensive than the dog. I feel all canned food because dry food is not good for them so it's around $100 a month for the two...depending on what brands we buy it can be more than that. Dog food is cheaper because dry food is cheaper. When I fed raw it was cheaper than canned. However the cats don't need as much "stuff"...they need litter, food, some toys (which usually don't get regularly destroyed like the dog's), scratching posts/cat trees and some grooming stuff. And as mine are indoor cats they don't need flea/tick stuff, heartworm pills, vaccines other than rabies (after kitten shots). But I don't really think they are cheaper than a small dog...between canned food and litter it adds up.


    I find kittens far easier to raise than puppies, they will scratch furniture, bite/scratch you, and maybe climb curtains and knock stuff over. for some reason that didn't bother me nearly as much as Tucker biting, using the floor as a toilet, and eating all our worldly possessions, but not everybody feels that way.


    But I agree don't get a cat as a substitute for a dog (not that that's what you are doing, just saying), they are different. I actually enjoy the affection from one of my cats(the other cats affection feels greedy...for some reason when Neko cuddles it feels like we're bonding but when Willie gives affection i just feel like I'm servicing him lol) More than from Tucker but you can't do as much with cats, I like going out with him, interactive play (playing with a cat is all for kitty, it's not cooperative play like with dogs), and training (you can train cats, I train Willie, but I just don't get as much out of it as I do with a dog). I like having both, they fill different niches.
     
  5. Dakotah

    Dakotah Kotah BEAR

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    I was never ever ever a cat person until I got Peanut. He turned 4 this past September. I got him at a pet store when he was 3 months old (yea yea I know bad me).
    He is a gray tabby, he is the healthiest, happiest, most playful cat I have ever met.
    He is my bundle of joy. He lives with my mom and it effin sucks. Bad.
    He is more of a dog to me than a cat.

    When he was 2, he moved in with my mom and has been living with a Persian ever since. Peanut does not like other cats, but tolerates Rosey (Persian).
    Before he moved in with my mom, he was raised around dogs. He thought (still thinks) he was a dog. Between the dogs my dad & I owned and the ones we fostered, Peanut knew he was a dog lol

    He can sit, stay, fetch, sit pretty, walk on a harness/leash, and knows numerous tricks.
    HE is the reason I want another cat.

    I hate litter boxes, but Peanut has never been a messy cat.

    We have never had to take him to the vet aside from typical things (neuter, regular shots, and annual check ups).

    I think if you want a cat, do your research. I probably will never get a breeder cat, I will most definitely only rescue cats. I think the kitten stage is absolutely amazing.
    When Peanut was a kitten (well he still does it now) he would help me with my homework, he was always up my butt, etc etc.
    I was sick for 3 weeks with the flu, that cat did not leave my side. If I was laying in bed or on the couch, he was there. If I went to the bathroom, he sat on the counter and sometimes in my lap lol. He was like a dog stuck in a cat body and was everything I wanted in a dog, but just in cat form.

    So what I am trying to say, some cats will be amazing. Some won't. I think Peanut is the best cat in the world. I knew when I bought him and he jumped on my shoulder and rode on my shoulder through the mall, that he would be awesome, and he was/is.

    Personally, I would say rescue. But that is just me. But if you want a breeder cat, research research research.
     
  6. *blackrose

    *blackrose "I'm kupo for kupo nuts!"

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    There are a TON of awesome cats just sitting around in shelters, so you definitely don't need to pay that hefty price tag to end up with a sociable, friendly cat. Like someone said earlier, though, adopting a young kitten is a bit of a crap shoot. If you look at older kittens, though, (say...16+ weeks) you'll have a better idea of their temperament. If you'd be okay adopting an adult cat, then you'll definitely know what you are getting in to.

    Also, if you go the adoption route, cats often don't really open up and show their true personalities until they've been at the shelter for awhile. They may also be slightly reserved in the cage (or super friendly in the cage), but when you get them out they may change. We adopt out cats for a local rescue at the clinic I work at. One of our girlies, Ezzy, has been with us for quite some time (I'm thinking at least half a year, if not longer). She's very calm and quiet in her cage and doesn't really interact with you much, but as soon as you let her out she is all cuddles and purrs and spastic play time. We had another cat that was super friendly while in the cage, but when he was out he wanted nothing to do with you.

    I enjoy having a cat around. However, I HATE cleaning out litter boxes (which is funny, because the ferrets don't bother me at all), and that is actually one of the reasons I'll doubt I'll own a cat in the foreseeable future. (Apollo is staying with Mom when I move out.)
     
  7. JustaLilBitaLuck

    JustaLilBitaLuck New Member

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    I would suggest going to a shelter/rescue and picking out a cat that fits in with you and Jackson, and hhas the personality that you want.

    As far as cost goes...my cat is definitely cheaper than my dogs by far. She eats 50% dry, 50% wet - a $10 bag of dry food lasts me about a month (I buy the 2 lb bags of Fromm, PureVita, or Earthborn), and then she goes through about $10-$15 a month in cans. I buy litter ($10 lasts about two months), and occasionally treats and toys, but that's about it, other than vet care. The dogs cost way more in food, treats, toys, chews, etc.
     
  8. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    Cats are so much easier than dogs, they are independant enough that you don't need to worry if you are home late, or busy one day for a walk. They can also be incredibly affectionate, both of mine have been around dogs all their lives and really, they are just like mini dogs! I honestly used to be a dog person, but I think I am swaying.

    I have two, and they don't cost anything near like what the dogs do, and there's pretty much no stress with them at all. Mine eat a pouch of wet a day (100g) and about 50g of dry food. A bag of dry lasts me AGES. They obviously get wormed as well, and flea/tick preventative (as mine have the option of going outdoors).

    A rescue or shelter kitten/cat is just as good as any other, and if you get a kitten, it can grow up to Jackson and accept him easier than an adult would (unless it has previously lived with dogs).
     
  9. Equinox

    Equinox Active Member

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    Brittany, have we been reading each other's mind lately?!? I literally JUST posted yesterday on Facebook to a few friends, rambling about looking into getting a cat this coming Fall. I have two cats at home, but have never actually actively looked for one. The two we have just... happened. Very much on whim, no planning whatsoever. Actually seeking out a type/breed of cat and asking around about them is just not something I ever thought I would do...

    until recently, when I came to terms with the fact that no, I will not be getting a new dog anytime soon. My puppy fever is slowly being transferred to "get a new pet" fever. :eek:

    Cats are nowhere near as exhausting as German Shepherd puppies, the breeds I have been looking into are lazy, low maintenance, human-oriented lap cats. I love my drivey, intense dogs, but I have always said that a pushy, highly inquisitive cat is a troublesome cat. The new family kitten only affirmed that, though I love her to pieces.

    That alone makes it glaringly clear that I would never be able to replace the need and want for a dog with a cat. It's a very different desire for me, I look for different things in dogs and in cats. My dog is my partner in crime and the one I do everything with... I want a cat to be the pet content to be idly petted and cuddled, and just simply loved on. Polar opposites. Two very different animals for different purposes, and but both of which I want in my life.

    I am a bit conflicted going with the breeder route for a cat, but after living with the two family cats, I've realized that it is hard for me to not be choosy if that option is available to me. My basic idea is that... if I can get a cat more inclined to be everything I wanted in one, why not? :p Plus, cat rescues are often just as batshit crazy as dog rescues.
     
  10. Barb04

    Barb04 Love my pets Staff Member

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    I'm partial to Maine Coon cats. We had 3 of them but are now down to 1. He's so affectionate, wants to sit on your lap, and loves being with the dogs.

    The one I have now I got at Petsmart. He was 6 years old when the owner was too old and going into a nursing home so the family turned him in. We've had him for over 5 years now.

    Cats don't eat that much and we don't mind the litter box. We keep it clean.
     
  11. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

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    I've grown up a dog person, and have never owned cats until June Bug. Some things I have learned, both from owning June Bug and from talking to customers at work:

    - Many, MANY cats have inappropriate elimination issues. Often it's just behavioural - stress, pissed off at you, changes in the house - but it can often be due to their urine pH being off even by just a tad. Generally you have to play with their diet (dry vs. wet) to get the pH back to where it should be and it's a pain in the ass. Also cranberry supplements.

    - Cat poo and pee stinks. Bad. All the time. Even on a high-quality diet. Even on raw. (though the smell is much less potent on raw)

    - Claw maintenance is paramount, or else furniture will be wrecked. It's very very difficult to train most cats to ONLY use their posts. We're talking nail trims once or twice a week.

    That said...

    - Cats are usually super playful, and they're great fun to interact with. June Bug makes me laugh on a daily basis.

    - Most well-raised cats solicit affection a lot. June Bug is happy to be in our laps all. The. Time. Cat therapy is awesome in different ways than dog therapy.

    - Many dogs thrive in the company of a cat, and vice versa, especially when introduced properly and taught boundaries/rules. Finnegan and June Bug took a LONG time to learn how to predict each other and how each would respond to actions, and even now they **** each other off sometimes... but they adore each other. One will always actively seek out the other if they haven't seen each other in awhile. They play "tag". They share toys. They take naps together. It's very sweet. :)
     
  12. Dizzy

    Dizzy Sit! Good dog.

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    Cats are less demanding. If you're out all night they don't care.

    Cats are more allergenic. I think.

    Personally I find cats are dirtier than dogs, despite what people say. I've seen cat crap and sick in all sorts of places. At least dogs are more limited in their range lol!! I've also worked in a kennels and cattery. Dog poo is so much less..... icky.

    All personalities differ. In MY experience, pedigree cats are more demanding, be it health wise, or just plain needy or vocal. But, I've met cats who are like dogs, cats like cats, needy cats, aloof cats, funny cats, irritating cats etc etc.

    Cost is cheaper in terms of food, but emergency or illness is just as unpredictable and/or expensive. Again in MY experience our moggies have been cheaper than our pedigrees, but probably chance rather than reason.

    Rescue vs breeder is the same as any animal... depends what you want and why you want it.
     
  13. StillandSilent

    StillandSilent New Member

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    While any cat can be sweet as can be, I'm very partial to persiansd. So much so that I'll never have another cat who isn't one. They tend to be quiet and good natured, as well as very friendly.

    However, the hair is crazy! Between my own and fosters, I've had five come through my place. The fist I had to keep clipped down as he was older and had never been socialized to brushing. The second, Cheshire, requires daily brushing at least twice a day when she's in coat. The first foster required a quick brush every few days, as did the second. Kitty Ezra, who just left to go to his permenant home, needed daily brushing, but not like Lady Chesh does.
     
  14. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I'll chime in I suppose. Since I only own a cat at the moment.

    Rockefeller was not my first choice. We went there with the intentions of adopting a Siamese flamepoint mix, but an older lady adopted him first. Rock reached through the bars of the cage and put his claws into each of our pant legs, so we decided to take him to the socialization room. He was $175 because we bought a 'starter kit' type thing to help fund the shelter (they have this little store in the front of the shelter where they sell toys and clothes and things like that).
    We had to pay $25 for a 5lb bag of Royal Canin gastro formula, because he had Coccidia as a kitten and it left him pretty messed up apparently.

    Through trial and error, I found the best litters, the best foods, and the best way to keep my litterbox from smelling. People are usually amazed when they learn that we keep Rock's litterbox in our bedroom. It does not smell (unless he has been sneaking kibbles from our roommates' cat's bowl, which we will do sometimes) because he eats good food; he's on a dry kibble that I found at WalMart, a store brand, that scored 119 on the grading scale and I am pleased with it, and I supplement with raw meat/bones. Before he was switched to raw, he would often vomit a lot, his poops are horrible and stinky, and his litterbox was offensively apparent, so we had nobody come over usually. He's get runny poos all the time, and farted while doing it, it was ridiculous. I finally had enough and took him off the prescription diet crap. He was much better on raw. We found a litter that is made from corn, that helped the litterbox smell even before we switched his food. I've found that the same stuff that is 'World's Best Cat Litter' can be found much cheaper at stores if you look. A place here called Ren's sells corn cob litter in the small pet section for super cheap, and I bought my litter at Fortinos and it was ground up corn cobs as well. Low tracking too, which was nice.

    Rockefeller is great. If heart cats exist, he is my heart cat.

    Rockefeller looks identical to a Turkish Van, same markings, and exhibits many of the same behaviours. He is not afraid of water, he will even play in it if the tap is running. He won't claw or bite when bathed, either. He simply takes it. He is very talkative, particularly late at night and very early in the mornings, which is around the time I feed him. He doesn't like to eat if nobody is watching him, unless he's sneaking food from the other cat's bowl (our roommates feed Whiskas, and Rock's GI tract cannot handle it). He is terrified of the birds in the apartment. Once, the cockatiel fell on him. He has been wary of them ever since. He hates his butt being scratched, right above his tail, and that is the only time he will ever show any sort of 'aggression' towards you, and you have to be doing it for a long time before he finally decides to turn around and bite you. Though, he is weird, and will offer his rear end to you to pet. Just do not scratch.

    I'm a fan of the hybrid breeds, too. I love Chausies, Bengals, Savannahs and Safaris, even Habaris are intriguing. I am partial to Orientals and Exotic Shorthairs in particular, too.


    ETA: I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I will say again: Moisture in a cat's diet is extremely important. A cat's diet is arguably more strict than a dog's. Since they are obligate carnivores, they get most of their moisture from meat. Because of that, many cats will instinctively avoid water sources even though they are dehydrated. If your cat is lapping up tons of water and seeming like the thirst is never quenched, then you need to up the moisture content in the food. Canned food is best for cats if they aren't on raw. If I'm not doing raw, I do at least 50% wet food. Another sign to look for is if you ever see your kitty hit the litterbox, but they don't do anything. I once saw Rock go into the litterbox and squat but no pee came out. It never happened again but I was worried about crystals forming at the time.
    I love this website, and the vet who made it for bringing attention to the issue: http://www.catinfo.org/
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  15. Grab

    Grab Active Member

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    We're also Persian people. (both of ours were found as strays) We, too, will be a Persian-only family some day. (although I think we may get an Exotic...all the fun of a Persian with less hair) They just have such great personalities. Even Falafel, who is less into being held, is still a very nice cat. I can literally just haul her around on her back if I choose to.
     
  16. Tahla9999

    Tahla9999 Active Member

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    You will definitly find some great cats in a shelter. I've been volunteering at mine and that made me love cats almost as much as dogs. Cats vary in temperament, many of them love to snuggle while there were ones who just did not want to be held, only petted. Going to a shelter will make finding a cat with the best personailty for you easier.

    I've also been considering adding a cat for my next pet, rather than a dog. I want to go through a breeder route though. I, too, am not a fan of most cats because many of them are shy to anyone who isn't there owner, scardy-cats, too independent, not very playful. The cat breeds I'm interested in are more dog-like in personailty. They are the Sphnyx, Abyssinian, the Devon Rex, and a couple of others that I can't remember right now. The Sphynx cats are describe as friendly to pets and people, pretty active, and very affectionate, one of the most affectionate of all cats. Abbys are very active, pure joy of the cat world, but from what I read of them they most wouldn't fancy being cuddle or held for too long. The price for them is pretty expensive, going up to the 1000. Overall, cats are less expensive to take care of then dogs. I really want a Sphynx cat right now, but that wont be possible until much later in the future. Hopefully I'd be able to live through someone...:D

    A couple of videos...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Ha0D-iuVk
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jiZhhstVgY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSr7cjuDlfo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fklNiNmzkEw&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL60AE9806D31852A8
     
  17. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Thanks for all the great information.

    I'm not making any quick decisions, for sure. I think I'd like to spend some more time with some kittens before committing to owning one.

    I hadn't ever heard of really getting a cat from a breeder until recently, to be honest. And I must say, I am just in LOVE with the Tonkinese brothers that my cousin got. Oh and I was wrong they paid $600 for each, not $1000. Still a hefty price tag tho. lol.
     
  18. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    Oh and yes, the litter box would definitely be something that would suck. lol.
     
  19. SarahHound

    SarahHound New Member

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    You could have a cat that is allowed out for toileting :) or, there's a few self cleaning litter trays, well, to a point obviously, but they definitely make the job easier!
     
  20. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I don't think it's bad at all. Maybe it's just me. We keep ours in the laundry room and you can't smell it. I scoop it every night, but my cat doesn't really go to the bathroom very often anyway so I guess that helps. He's clean too, we do sometimes get cats at work that always manage to pee halfway out of the box.... that's when it starts to smell, when they get it anywhere but ON the litter.
     

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