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Old 03-16-2013, 12:39 AM
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Default Talk to me about cats

My 6 year old really wants a cat. I've never had a pet other than fish and reptiles. Totally different type of pet. I do not know anything about cats. I'm not a big pet person, but I don't want my son to grow up without pets like I did. Talk to me about cats. Everything I need to know. I know he really wants an orange tabby cat. Tell me everything you can think of, please.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:41 AM
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Um, they're hairy, and smell, and scratch you?
(we're dog people here)
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:49 AM
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Ugh. That doesn't help me. Lol
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:01 AM
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we are cat people here they are awesome pets.....try to adopt one from your local shelter because they will come already spayed/neutered and up to date on all their shots. Try to have your son be RESPONSIBLE for feeding/water and kitty litter scooping duties.....(another advantage to adopting from a shelter is they are already potty trained).....I highly recommend to NOT declaw them, just buy a scratching type post because if they get outside (even if they are total indoor cats) they can't defend themselves without their front claws...

they are actually very good pets and they don't normally demand as much attention as a dog does and trust me I have had cats my whole life (we currently have 4) and we have had a dog ( got him at 6 weeks old) and he is now 18 months old and way more demanding than the 4 cats put together!!!!
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:05 AM
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I agree with Angie. Cats are great pets, equally as loving as a dog and more self sufficient. I have both cats and dogs and the cats are way easier.

Oh and my son's first real pet was a cat when he was 5. He is 21 now and she is 16 and they are still a great pair. He is her boy and she absolutely adores him. When he comes home she goes right to the door like a dog and loves on him.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:12 AM
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I love our cats! We just adopted a 5 month old cat from the shelter because one of our kitties got hit and killed. What I look for in a cat is one that seems playful and not scared for you to pick them up. If they act real scared then chances are they will be skittish around the house and afraid to come out. This kitten we just got was jumping and climbing and rubbing his head against the cage to get our attention. When we picked him up he wanted us to rub his head and cheeks so bad. I felt like he chose us and he has been the most sweet and loving cat with us! Of course that is not a hard and fast rule since cats all have different personalities.

But we used to have a dog and I really love dogs but I like that the cats are so independent and are ok if we leave them at home by themselves for a few days.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:12 AM
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I love cats. I grew up with them. However, for some reason, I am now allergic to them (so is DH and DS2). I still love them, I just can't be around them. But they are easy pets as far as I'm concerned. I used to have one when I worked out of the house full-time (before kids) and I just left her all day without a worry. I did have her front claws removed, but Angie is right, if you are going to let a cat out of the house, don't de-claw. Mine used to be so scared to go outside.

Now we have a puppy/dog. SO much more work! Can't leave the house without putting him in his crate and we have to keep him in just a few rooms because right now he is very destructive.

Maybe take your son to a shelter to let him hold and play with one. Make sure he isn't allergic too! Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:24 AM
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We have two cats. I actually find two cats easier than one because they entertain each other.
Cats are fairly low maintenance- food and water, and a clean litterbox, along with a few toys are really all they need.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:04 AM
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What do you all recommend, a boy or a girl? Young cat or adult cat? Any ideas along that way?
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:16 AM
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What do you all recommend, a boy or a girl? Young cat or adult cat? Any ideas along that way?
I'd say an adult cat, because there are so many that need good homes. We have 2 male cats, if you're adopting they should already be fixed, if not, that should be a first priority with a male, because they'll spray. If they're fixed, they don't, its like marking their territory.

Cats are easy, you just have to change the litter box, unless you live somewhere they can be indoor/outdoor cats. You can leave plenty of food & water down and go away for a couple days without any issues. We have a dog too, and she's much harder to deal with.

One of our cats will be 10 this summer, and our other is 7, we got them as kittens, and I love the kitten stage too, but I wish I would have adopted adults, because I hate seeing them at shelters.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:18 AM
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I grew up with cats and have had them all of my life. We have both dogs and a cat right now and the cats are definitely easier to take care of!! They are so loveable and sweet. I love how self sufficient they are too!! It seems we have always had better tempered boy cats than girls. We have always had indoor cats too so we had their front claws taken out. I plan on always having cats - my girls love them too....they get annoyed with our dogs lol!!
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:22 AM
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we are cat people here they are awesome pets.....try to adopt one from your local shelter because they will come already spayed/neutered and up to date on all their shots. Try to have your son be RESPONSIBLE for feeding/water and kitty litter scooping duties.....(another advantage to adopting from a shelter is they are already potty trained).....I highly recommend to NOT declaw them, just buy a scratching type post because if they get outside (even if they are total indoor cats) they can't defend themselves without their front claws...

they are actually very good pets and they don't normally demand as much attention as a dog does and trust me I have had cats my whole life (we currently have 4) and we have had a dog ( got him at 6 weeks old) and he is now 18 months old and way more demanding than the 4 cats put together!!!!
^^^^ Ditto all of this. We have 2 cats that we got when Cheyanne was 5 years old. They are the best companions. She loves dogs and wanted to get another when our shepherd passed back then but I just wasn't up for taking care of another dog. We go away for days at a time and just leave extra food and water and an extra litter pan and the cats are fine. They are hairy (like dogs) and even my 2 long haired cats don't shed nearly as much as my 1 dog did. I grew up with both cats and dogs but as I get older I am much more of a cat person because I don't want the upkeep of a dog.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:05 AM
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I wish I could get a cat. I'm very very allergic. Ben is allergic too, we have to be careful visiting friends houses who have cats. I am a cat person at heart, I think they're beautiful and affectionate. I think dogs are wonderful, too, but I can't see myself getting one while the kids are young... They're so high maintenance.

My one turn-off about cats is the smell of the litter box. Ugh. A few of my friends who have cats let them use a box out in a patio or sideyard which I think is a good idea... but this is Florida so the weather permits it. Try to get some good advice about keeping the box clean, and what kind of litter to use. There's nothing worse than walking into your house and having it smell like cat poop. LOL!
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:12 AM
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I have two cats and a dog. The dog is MUCH more maintenance but he is my baby and my watchdog which helps me to feel better when I'm alone at night.

We've adopted cats from shelters every time and I recommend it highly. I also felt like we picked the cats that chose us. Right now, both of them are within 10 feet from me. Now the youngest (2) just clocked the eldest (16) so he had to put her in her place.

They sleep with me, love to get petted and are so excited to see me when I get home. Both of them love the kids too.

On the litter front, scoop often. The more often you scoop it, the less of a chance for a litter smell.

The cats are self sufficient for several days all by themselves and love you all the time.

I completely recommend them as pets for your child.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:52 PM
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I asked my hubby what he can't stand about our cats and here's his response: cost $, make messes, ruin everything, get in the way, annoying.

I'm not quite sure when his attitude changed - he's the one who actually got our first cat for me as a surprise! We have 2 and they are both long hair. For any future cats - we will definitely stay away from long hair. They are more likely to get hair balls and shed. I love how low maintenance they are - and how our older cat is so patient with my 18 month old. She will let him pet her and pull on her tail. It's so sweet watching them interact

If you do get a cat that isn't declawed - make sure you have scratching posts in a variety of spots around your house. We only have a scratching post in our basement (which is finished) but our youngest kitty has been scratching on our furniture upstairs. If you have furniture that you don't want them to even touch - you can buy adhesive that sticky on both sides so their paws get stuck when trying to scratch on that furniture.

I love having kitties - couldn't imagine not having them!
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:54 PM
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I agree with scopping as often as possible, but if you only get 1 you could probably just scoop once a day and be fine. By I agree with Vanessa and Amber about going to a shelter and letting a kitty/cat pick YOU And honestly alot of times having 2 they will keep each other company and be the best of friends. Our oldest cat (almost 13) has been my DD's cat since she was 9 and he is TOTALLY HER cat....he sleeps in her room and ONLY on her bed! The other 3 cats we have are just kind of family cats and hang out wherever they can get attention!

Just because it is an adult cat doesn't mean it won't be as loving and playful as a kitten Our shelter her actually has a "cat room" where not only are some of the cats in cages, but alot of them are roaming free and you can interact with them and just kind of see their personality up close and from a distance!
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:12 PM
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We scoop daily with two cats and no one has ever been able to smell our litterboxes. we also keep them in a fairly well ventilated area so there is air circulation. I add a little baking soda to the pan weekly to help with odors too.
Our cats get brushed a few times a week with a furminator to help with the shedding, and we bathe them as needed too. Usually if they are shedding bad a good bath and then a good brushing with the furminator will get rid of a ton of the fur.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:16 PM
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I don't like them.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:45 PM
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cats come with personality and you really can't say if it is better to chose male/female, young/old. we also always had cats outdoors and/or indoors.
i'd also recommend having something to scratch on and to educate them to use it and not your furniture. we don't have high priced couches and replace them every five years or so.
usually you don't have to train a cat to go to the litter box but when they do their stuff outside the litter box usually something is wrong (oftentimes inside them either physical or psychosomatic).
we love our two sweeties. one is middle long haired (a mix of angora and the usual one) and one is short haired. the short haired has waaaaay worse hair than the middle haired. the short hairs weave themselves into every fabric and are hard to get out again.
don't think that this is always the case but you really can't tell from the start.
we have two because our tomcat is/has been a bit tricky but after we had the second one he got more relaxed.
especially when they will stay indoors it may be good to have two.
but some are especially happy when they are alone. the shelter will know.

have fun with your kitty :-)
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:49 PM
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ah and... i think in germany it is not allowed to declaw a cat without a medical reason. so i never had a declawed cat. but i wouldn't recommend having it done. they so much depend on them.
and in germany we never bathe the cats (other than the dogs) because they usually don't smell and have great fur without it. older cats can smell but most of the time this is diet and/or dental related (get them to the doc from time to time to get rid of the toothing stone).
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:02 PM
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There are different types of cat litter. We've used clay, clumping, corn, cedar, etc. The best (and most odor-free) we have used is the silica product like this one...seriously made a huge difference in our house.



Also, springtime is kitten season...shelters will be overflowing with them. And of course, there are always lots of adult kitties looking for good homes. I'd recommend going to a local shelter or rescue and spending time with their animals.
They will probably be litter-box trained if you adopt from a shelter. When you get kitty home, have the box already set up. Just place him/her in the box, scratch its paw in the litter, and kitty will get the idea.

Longer-haired cats will need more grooming...short-haired cats will need next to none.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:26 PM
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We had a cat for 14 years before he passed away a couple of years ago. We got him as a kitten. This past December we went to the shelter and adopted a cat, she is around 1 year old. I was happy to rescue from the SPCA, and she has become a great addition to our family. She was very skittish at first, and it took her a couple of weeks to come around, but now she is Amelia (my middle DD's) bff.

We use the scoopable litter, and scoop it daily. She just needs fresh water and lots of dry food, and we give her some wet food twice a day. Like someone else said, we can leave her for a day or two without issue. She doesn't eat and eat til all of her food is gone like the dogs I used to have, cats tend to just eat a bit, then go on again. I'm not saying all dogs are like that though, just the ones I had LOL

One thing to remember, kitties each have their own personalities, some are standoffish and some are cuddly, but they are a little more self sufficient than dogs (I had dogs for years as well). Good luck with your decision!
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:05 PM
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*sigh* i wish we could get my youngest a kitty i'm really allergic too.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:31 PM
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Cat person here too. I love dogs but they are SO much more work. Cats may be standoffish at times compared to a dog, but I've got 3 and none are like that. I've also never met an orange tabby who wasn't a huge suck. I say a kitten since your son is 6, or make sure the adult cat is good with kids since your son will want to maul the cat
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:42 PM
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I don't think there was a time in my life that I haven't had a cat. We've had dozens over the years. We've had indoor cats and outdoor cats and those who were free to roam in and out as the wished. We've had 1 cat at a time up to 4 cats at a time. That's my personal limit. LOL

Right now we have 3 cats. Dot, our oldest, will be 14 in May. The other two, Baby and Peep, are 3.5 years old, part of the same litter. They were born to my DD's cat who came up missing about a year later. We still miss her!

Our cats are very independent. We can fill one of those food dispensers and go out of town for a week and they are just fine when we return other than having a full litter box. They don't require the kind of supervision and care that a dog does, for sure. Dot is old, grumpy and opinionated. However, she's always been opinionated. She is the kind of cat that will look you in the face and jump up on the stove to snatch something from the skillet. I don't appreciate that part of her personality but we've learned to keep an eye on her. She is our nature lover. She is an indoor/outdoor cat who catches frogs, mice and moles. She once got sick from eating grasshoppers. She isn't exactly cuddly but will seek attention from time to time. More than anything she'll come and sit on us while we watch TV. She'll purr and all but get up and leave if we start to pet her.

Baby is super cuddly. He's our big teddy bear of a cat. He loves going outside but doesn't leave the yard. He prefers just going out on the balcony upstairs and then onto the roof. He won't step foot in the back yard. He is our alarm clock. He wakes my husband up every afternoon at 4 and wakes the kids and I up in the morning. He'll nuzzle us and lick us (ouch!) until we wake up. He has impeccable timing which really surprises us. He always knows when it's time to wake up. He spends most of his day upstairs since my DH sleeps days. He sleeps at the foot of the bed most of the day with my DH. He has taken recently to sleeping with me at nights. He chooses right against my side though instead of the foot of the bed. He loves the algae discs we feed to our bottom feeding fish and he will beg for them when it's time to feed the fish. He has our German shepherd terrified of him. He will hiss and paw at her but I doubt he'd really hurt her.

Peep is our skittish one. As a kitten she accepted and thrived with lots of loving and attention. As soon as she hit the 'teenage' stage she no longer wanted anything to do with anyone. She seemed to be afraid of us for a while even. She came out only to eat and spent the rest of the day hiding out in the play room. At first we thought she was a 'he' (I sexed them early on and could have sworn she was male, later she became so skittish that we couldn't get near her so we never looked again) and only found out different when we took them in to be fixed. We joke that the gender confusion caused the crazy behavior. Anyway, she is coming around now. She spends almost every night sleeping with my 7 year old. The craziest thing she does is lick his head. He will be sound asleep and his hair will be drenched and she will be laying there licking away at it. She's a mess! She is afraid to go outdoors and won't go out often. She enjoys being outside but will only go out if she has an easy way to get back in. In nice weather we will leave the door and screen open upstairs on the balcony for her so she can get out to get a little fresh air. Last week I propped the front door screen open and she went out for a while. If I close the screen she freaks out though. I don't know why she is so timid about the outdoors.

Peep and Baby both love our rabbits. Peep spends a lot of time either IN or ON the rabbit cage. She plays with them when they are out of their cage too. Both cats were super protective of them when they were babies. I worried about the cat climbing into the enclosure with 2 hour old baby kits. I kept goosing them out of there and finally figured mama rabbit would get them if she was worried. Next thing I knew the cats were laying in the nesting box with the babies. LOL
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:31 AM
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i'm a cat person, hubby-to-be is a dog person. dogs are big. dogs smell. they're loud. they require walks. and to go outside to use the bathroom.
cats are independent, pretty self sufficient, and relatively smell free. oh, and they're smaller and quieter. you don't have to worry about them if you go away for a weekend, cause if you leave out enough food and water, they're fine. can't do that with a dog.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:54 AM
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we have three cats and a dog. The cats are MUCH easier to care for and you will not smell cat poop if you take care of it properly. Also... I have to say if you ever even come close to thinking about declawing please research and see what they actually do to a poor cat to do that! I have never had a cat ruin anything. You absolutely CAN train cats. They can even shake and roll over and such. But declawing involves breaking every single "finger" *shudder*. We always got them as kittens, from a shelter, because I did not want to miss that cute part of their little lives. They are so funny and inquisitive!

This was our orange tabby (my hubby's fave) he was a diluted orange, so he is a soft creamy orange color
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:25 PM
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I wish I could get a cat. I'm very very allergic. Ben is allergic too, we have to be careful visiting friends houses who have cats. I am a cat person at heart, I think they're beautiful and affectionate. I think dogs are wonderful, too, but I can't see myself getting one while the kids are young... They're so high maintenance.
DS2 is so allergic that he can't go inside my brother's house because they have 3 cats. And they just don't seem to get it that we really aren't crazy about going to their house because of that. I go anyway, but I start sneezing in about 10 minutes.

But if we weren't allergic, I would definitely choose a cat over a dog. We did wait until the boys were all older to get a dog, but that just means they all have their own lives, and while they love the dog, they don't spend as much time with him as I would like. Makes me think we should have gotten one when they were younger when their lives could have revolved more around him. It would also have been a good way to teach them responsibility.

Mari - I'm anxiously waiting to see cat pics!
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:23 PM
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I love cats, and as soon as our new house is finished and we're settled, we'll be getting one (or two!). Cats are so easy, and although they have a mind of their own, and not as devoted as dogs, I've always had cats that enjoyed being petted, loved to cuddle and behaved well.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:17 PM
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My husband was an only child and his parents gave him a cat when he was 5 years old. The cat lived for 17 years and was a very close companion for him. He likes to joke that they were "brothers". Now we have 4 cats-all of them strays or rescues. They each have their different personalities, likes and dislikes. We have 3 male and 1 female. The female is an inside cats because she is so skittish outside. I did train her to wear a harness and walk on a leash so I can keep track of her-and we have a small "Cat tent" that I let her be in, while outside alone. And yes, you can train cats to do different things. Just watch what they are already good at and turn it into something they want to do to show off. One of my cats will "shake paws" for treats. One likes to catch treats when thrown through the air. Our little chubby cat responds to the question, "Are you cute?" As soon as we say that he curls his head to the side and lays down on the ground so someone can rub his belly.
I really enjoy each one of them and marvel at how fascinating they are!
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:19 AM
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I would have a cat if I weren't slightly allergic to them. We had a wonderful male cat who we adopted as an adult. He had already been declawed which made it easier in some ways for us although I know there is a lot of controversy about that. He was very friendly and was rubbing up against the door of his crate trying to meet us when we went looking for a cat - so we picked him (or I guess he picked us). Not surprisingly, he ended up being a very cuddly cat. He was also a lot of fun and loved to play -- just a great companion.

The downsides for our particular cat (I'm sure they are all different): he would kick cat litter everywhere when he was using the litter box, the cat litter was a bit smelly, and cat hair of course. His worst behavior was when we went on a long vacation and, even though we had a pet sitter come to visit him twice/day, he went into our bedroom and pooped all over our bed. I'm sure it was just anxiety that made him do it, but needless to say, we weren't pleased!

I also took care of a friend's cat for a while that was very hyper and would go into his "play mode" where he'd run around like a maniac, zig-zagging and jumping all over the place. It was very cute until he would decide to climb ME, leaving some nasty scratches.

So, as someone else mentioned, all cats are different. If I were to get another cat, I'd again look for one that was friendly, affectionate and calm from the start -- which would probably be more tolerant of kids.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:37 AM
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sczos911 sczos911 is offline
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In my 12 years of marriage, we've had 4 cats. All shelter cats. Our first was an orange tabby & he was about 1-3 years old when we got him. LOVED this cat. So mellow yet could be playful. Cat #2 was a tuxedo. He was so lovevable and playful and easy going. He unfortunately got really sick and died. He was 6 months old. We now have 2 females (sisters) that we got as kittens. These two have their quirks and are not as affectionate as my previous boys - but this is the first I've had 2. The one is my oldest DD's BFF. Oh man. It's crazy how bonded those two are. Which, I've never had my two boys bond with anyone.

I highly suggest a scratching post & our humane society actually sells them. They are rope and carpet. I do trim their nails from time to time, too. We do have an automatic feeder and they share a water bowl with the dog. I do love my cats as they are super unique.
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