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Words of advice for prospective cat owner?

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  • Jun 14th, 2019 9:08 pm
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Jan 19, 2018
364 posts
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Words of advice for prospective cat owner?

I've been wanting a cat for a long time now, specifically a British/American shorthair. I have a few questions:

1. Would the cat be more attached to me if I raised him/her since they were a kitten vs an adult cat?
2. Is it okay to leave the cat/kitten to roam the house while I'm at work during the day (full time 8 hour days)? I'm worried that they might destroy my furniture, but I was told that a scratching post would mitigate that problem (do they naturally gravitate towards scratching posts or you have to somehow teach them?)
3. I haven't decided whether to buy or adopt yet, but one barrier I have to adopting is that many require you to already have an older cat at home to guide/teach the kitten being adopted which I don't have. Are there serious downsides to having a kitten without adult cats around to teach/guide it?
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Apr 6, 2008
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1. Cats don't have much of a "long term" memory. If you develop a good relationship early on, it'll be the same when it's a kitten or a cat. Depends on personality, some will be laying on you all the time, some will ignore you. You will have little control over this assuming you treat it nicely.
2. Except for very young kittens that have issues using the litter box, this should be no problem. Cats don't usually get separation anxiety the same way dogs do and destroy things out of boredom.
3. I've adopted 6 cats in my lifetime and never heard of this. If anything it's easier with a single cat as they don't fight. My cat is by herself and hates other cats,some cats might be social and prefer (but unlikely need to) be around other cats.
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Sep 24, 2006
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Mother to 4 kitties - 2 have been with since 6/8 weeks, 1 since 5 months and 1 age 10. Everyone bonds with you - if you are nice, talk to them so kitty knows your voice, treat them nicely, treats plus a few meals - kitty will attach to you. you are mean and don't talk to them - pee on the bed or be evil. I have a 1100 sq ft apt two bedroom - they roam and honestly they don't do much in the day. Leave curtains open, if you can windows open and they do there own thing. Both kittens Alyce and Sydney - to adopt them they needed another kitty at home - bonding. The newer rescues kittens must go home with another cat in the home or dog if the cat likes dog. Tabbies are the best - zero health issues - two breeds and both issues. Good Luck
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May 22, 2005
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bobohobo2kx wrote:
Apr 25th, 2019 4:19 pm
I've been wanting a cat for a long time now, specifically a British/American shorthair. I have a few questions:

1. Would the cat be more attached to me if I raised him/her since they were a kitten vs an adult cat?
2. Is it okay to leave the cat/kitten to roam the house while I'm at work during the day (full time 8 hour days)? I'm worried that they might destroy my furniture, but I was told that a scratching post would mitigate that problem (do they naturally gravitate towards scratching posts or you have to somehow teach them?)
3. I haven't decided whether to buy or adopt yet, but one barrier I have to adopting is that many require you to already have an older cat at home to guide/teach the kitten being adopted which I don't have. Are there serious downsides to having a kitten without adult cats around to teach/guide it?
Hi there,

In August 2017, I adopted two bonded shelter kittens , approx 4 months old, from the Toronto Humane Society and I'll try to answer from my experience but all cats are different and have different personalities. Mines are common American Short haired which were given up at the shelter, not much info then that. I believe both are feline herpes positive and one of them has a mild heart murmur. Please note that all experiences may vary, I've never raised an older cat but have grown up with an older cat. I've had mixed experience with cats that belong to friends as it depends on their personality. Perhaps try to foster for a few weeks/months to see how things go.




1. Unfortunately I can't add anything useful to this as I've only had kittens and not an older cat except for the older one my parents had. Cats can be attached to anyone as long as they are comfortable in their environment. I started introducing people and dogs to mines at a young age and one of my cats is now super friendly and playful to everyone, even house guests that haven't been over for more than 30 minutes. The other is more independent but after some time (a few hours) she will approach others and once comfortable will sit nearby and allow others to pet her haha.

2. Definitely more than one scratching post or cardboard post is needed, at least one in every room. Some cats may have severe scratching issues and all you can do is trim their nails and keep places for them to scratch and stretch. Keeping them entertained and distracted with toys and boxes also helps distract them from doing things like scratching furniture, jumping on things high up, and knocking things over.

Of my two cats, One of them have seperation anxiety, when I first got them I had extended time off work and literally turtled at home with them for 2 months before starting work again. Since I have two and they are bonded, leaving them at home for extended hours hasn't been an issue. When I am at home, in the toilet with the door closed, the boy, Morgana, yowls, whines and scratches the door. He still does it when I leave the house or close them inside a room, and when I move rooms in my 800sq ft apartment, he simply must be in the same room and follows me.

I got a great tip from a fellow RFDer here (sorry I forgot their name but they have two lovely cats in their avatar), leave work hoodies, jackets and sweaters around. They love to nap on them :)

3. I fostered at first and eventually adopted, perhaps the one you were looking at were too young? I'm not sure though. Mines were about 4 months old, litter trained, but that was about it. Holding onto their collar doesn't do anything, either. The vet told me perhaps it is because they were not raised by their mother, as mother cats transport young kittens from their collar so it becomes instinct to relax.

Goodluck on your journey to find companionship, it is well worth it.
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Jul 19, 2012
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please adopt so many cats looking for good homes
cats are great companions but need veterinary care
they do shed
feed them wet and dry food
yes you can leave them alone while you work
they do NOT destroy furniture unlike dogs
if you get a kitten, be prepared for a 15-20 years commitment.
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The biggest advice I can give after having a Bombay cat for over a year is never try to apply logic or rationality to a cats behavior.
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Apr 25, 2011
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1. Would the cat be more attached to me if I raised him/her since they were a kitten vs an adult cat?
No. Kittens do not have set personalities and if anything you do not know the personality you're going to end up with whereas with an adult cat it is more of a what you see is what you get.

I have had, and known, a lot of cats. Currently I have three. One raised from a young kitten is the most anti-social cat I've ever had. One cat that I tamed from a feral-state is the best ever, he is just such a lovely, funny, playful, gentle, chatty cat. He likes to leave his toys in my slippers when I'm away. You'd never have guessed back when he was trying to delimb me! And another semi-feral cat I tamed was also a fantastic cat to me. She did not like more than two people but that's just fine... It was actually hilarious how aloof she was with everyone else. One family member would visit and she would wake up, jump off my bed and leave the house as soon any they walked in the door. I put in the time and I got the reward of spending almost two decades with her. She loved to follow me on walks and truly chose to spend her time with me as she had free run inside and outside 24/7. She lived to be somewhere over twenty years old.

All that to say that you need to create the bond with the cat, and the best bonds I've had are actually with adult cats I've tamed off the streets.
2. Is it okay to leave the cat/kitten to roam the house while I'm at work during the day (full time 8 hour days)? I'm worried that they might destroy my furniture, but I was told that a scratching post would mitigate that problem (do they naturally gravitate towards scratching posts or you have to somehow teach them?)
Don't have or expect to keep nice furniture if you own cats or animals in general. Cats will scratch your furniture. It's what they do. No amount of scratching posts will fully stop this. I have blankets on my furniture and I place very little value on their appearance. Do buy scratching posts/houses/trees/condos, have two or even three. They enrich the cats environment. One very tall one is the main thing. Cats love and feel safe in high places.

Cats will also jump on counters, eat what they find left out, or even random things such as plants which can be toxic. Make sure to no longer keep lilies or chrysanthemum around to name a few. Cats will also track litter and hair all over the place. They can chew on wires - make sure to wire proof your home. They may knock valuable things over... etc.
3. I haven't decided whether to buy or adopt yet, but one barrier I have to adopting is that many require you to already have an older cat at home to guide/teach the kitten being adopted which I don't have. Are there serious downsides to having a kitten without adult cats around to teach/guide it?
I have never heard of this requirement. Cats are very self-sufficient. An older cat may even fight with a younger cat as cats are extremely territorial amongst their own species unless they've grown up together. I have no idea what shelter you are looking at but look elsewhere, it sounds nuts. Most places are desperate to adopt out their cats. The rate of homeless cats, both in shelter and on the street, is staggering (one website with some numbers).

Please adopt. A purebred is no different than a shelter cat. Unlike dogs, they have not been selectively bred for certain characteristics that are super unique from one another. Whereas with dogs people may need one for to meet certain needs such as a retriever, tracker, lap dog, or based on coat type or energy level - because yes different breeds have hugely different requirements! ... for purebred cats it isn't like this. In my opinion it's a lost oppurtuninty for a cat to find a home.

As far as British Shorthairs go, I have met some unhealthy ones. Even a few that dropped dead from heart problems. The inbreeding doesn't do them any favors with higher rates of haemophilia, heart and urinary conditions, nor does their short nose.
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Sep 20, 2003
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Burnaby
Read abt cat behavior. books or google. My gf has a bunch of cats and also fosters. After reading up, I feel like they're easy to understand and care for.
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mc hammer wrote:
May 5th, 2019 1:49 am
Read abt cat behavior. books or google. My gf has a bunch of cats and also fosters. After reading up, I feel like they're easy to understand and care for.
Can you explain why my POS cat decides that 4am is a great time to leap from the headboard onto my face and then proceed to meow for 2 hours straight.
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Dpack22 wrote:
May 9th, 2019 2:20 pm
Can you explain why my POS cat decides that 4am is a great time to leap from the headboard onto my face and then proceed to meow for 2 hours straight.
Needs food?
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Sep 20, 2003
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Burnaby
if it's not sick, 4am is when they naturally get energy for hunting so its prolly hungry and bored. if u need to let it in ur room don't react at all till ur alarm goes off. cats need lots of repetition to learn tho. i'd just get another cat to keep each other occupied and keep them out of bedroom
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Dpack22 wrote:
May 9th, 2019 2:20 pm
Can you explain why my POS cat decides that 4am is a great time to leap from the headboard onto my face and then proceed to meow for 2 hours straight.
4am. Time to start my day.
Almost too cheap to shop through RFD
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burnt69 wrote:
May 10th, 2019 8:06 pm
Needs food?
depends on personality, mine sleeps through the night with me.
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Feb 11, 2009
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Mine wakes me up at 6am on a good day. :)
I got him a feeder so that he can snack on dry food through the night when he is hungry.
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Oct 6, 2015
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Toronto, ON
My biggest suggestion is to train your cat to use the toilet bowl. It is so much more hygienic than a litter box.

With the litter box, no matter how frequently you change / scope, there is always bacteria in the box that your cat gets in contact with every time it gets in the box, and the next moment your cat is jumping on your dinning table / counter / desk, practically spreading bacteria all over your house.

With a toilet bow, your cat never get in contact with the feces, their paws remain clean so it is not bad you are sharing the seat with them.

Plus save money on buying litter and you don't have to deal with the smell.

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