OK, some SERIOUS questions about owning cats, for Caslon or other cat lovers

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    Apr 04, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
    I actually like cats, having owned them in the past, from the time I was just a little kid. I have some wicked fun about them at Caslon's expense, but truth is I think cats are great. I also like dogs, but we can't have them here.

    But my partner objects to having a cat on 2 grounds:

    1. The litter box smell, which permeates the house. You may get used to it over time, and not realize it's there, but guests always do.

    2. Cats want to walk all over the kitchen counters, with their paws that were just in the filthy litter box. You KNOW as soon as you walk out the door they're marching up and down the counters, cause you see their prints when you return.

    My partner The Chef will not tolerate that in His Kitchen. So how do I resolve those 2 problems, so I can talk my partner into letting us get a cat? Thanks!
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    Apr 04, 2009 5:45 PM GMT
    Some cat litters are really good at neutralizing odors, there are also self cleaning litter boxes, and cats can even be taught to use the toilet. In terms of jumping on tables, and countertops you have to set that rule from the beginning. Cats aren't as social (dependent on eachother) as dogs because they're typically excellent hunters on their own, but they do live in social groups called prides which have a pecking order. Most cat owners allow their cats to be the alpha because they don't believe they can be trained otherwise. Not true. Especially if you start when the cat is a kitten, it hasn't had much time away from its mother, therefore it's never ruled the roost. That's why cats who are worked with from a young age will do a variety of things such as walk on a leash, ride well in a car. All that stuff.
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    Apr 04, 2009 6:24 PM GMT
    1) You should have one more litter box than number of cats. (I actually have two more than cats) Use a clumping litter, like Fresh Step. Clean the damn box! ....and I use xerox paper boxes for litter boxes so when the box itself gets old, I throw the whole damn thing out.

    2) You chase the cats off the counters whenever you see them up there and they learn not to go up there. Shout at them and be aggressive in your motion to chase them off and they get the message. I do the same thing for my piano. I also take the cats over to a blank spot on the wall and tell them that that is where their skins will become wall hangings if I catch them up on the counter/piano again. It makes an impression. Srsly!
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    Apr 04, 2009 7:22 PM GMT
    funny pictures of cats with captions ... srsly, they just need a box with taller sides....the idiots! ... icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2009 7:36 PM GMT
    That pic is not helping me convince my partner to get a cat.
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    Apr 04, 2009 7:44 PM GMT
    Buying and keeping a cat when I already have a goldfish tank in my lounge?
    Hmmm.
    Perhaps not!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2009 7:51 PM GMT
    cat

    I dont think you should get a cat. When you get a pet, you get the pet for life. Think of them like a child, you dont get to take them back. If he has such strong doubts, dont put the poor cat thru that.

    Get a dog...

    dog
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    Apr 04, 2009 7:57 PM GMT

    Hey Red Vespa, there are lots of products now, litter made from grain products (wheat, corn by products etc). As for keeping kitty off counters, we did the following. One plant sprayer filled with water, set on stream instead of mist, or a water pistol (get a nice Buck Roger-ish one). Put kitty on counter and let him have it. Do it again. Kitty will not be fond of counters. When we have cats, we always have more than one so they can keep each other company. Same with dogs. Usually we have three of each. It can be a little labour intensive, as we love a clean n tidy house, but the love's worth it.

    For a litter box, just buy a rough tote platic bin, usually 5-10 bucks with the snap down lid, the big one about 18 by 24 inches that's about 20-26 inches high. Cut a round hole for kitty in one end with the bottom edge of the hole about five or six inches from the tub's floor. You can put a regular sized litter tray in it or just use the bin itself as the litter box.

    In one house we cut a small opening in the bottom of the door of a spare closet and put the box in that. In another house we had a small balcony, covered, so put a cat door in the door to the balcony. The litter box was now outside! We had to screen the balcony because Mr Boris leapt from the balcony on to the steep pitched roof, ran to the peak at 11 at night and it took our 35 foot ladder ( and tired us) to get him down.

    If your BF really doesn't want a cat and will dislike it, mayhap re-think the idea. Kitty shouldn't be in a hostile home.


    hope some of the above helps!

    -Doug of meninlove
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    Apr 04, 2009 8:04 PM GMT


    Oh gosh, you know we tried baking soda and after a few vet bills were told that the high alkalinity of baking soda and our kitties licking it off their feet contributed enormously to their bladder crystals!

    Think there's anything to that?
    The vet advised we buy those plastic fridge boxes for baking soda and put it beside or on top of the little box.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 04, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    The cat litter smell depends a lot on the litter. I tried some of the eco-conscious litters, and they were all terrible at getting rid of the smell. Arm & Hammer, on the other hand, makes a litter that's very good at getting rid of the scent. I'm debating training them to use the toilet.

    As for the counters, I've not had all that much luck training my kittens to stay off of them. I tell them no and take them off every time I see them get onto the counters, but they really don't seem to care very much about the scolding. I'm told most cats are repelled by the odor of citrus, but mine aren't, so a citrus-based cleaner hasn't helped me. But wouldn't you clean a counter before putting food on it in the first place? I primarily put food on the cutting board, rather than the counter top, and I put it away when it's not in use. Seems a simple enough solution...
  • TallGWMvballe...

    Posts: 1925

    Apr 04, 2009 8:18 PM GMT
    There are really good self cleaning cat boxes... I will find the name and post again. The cat I have now, a wonderful huge, fluffy Main Coon cat goes outside in a pen I built for him and so we don't have a litter box.
    He will also use the toilet or pee in the bath tub right over the drain if the weather is too rainy outside.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Apr 04, 2009 8:18 PM GMT
    she had cats,before i came out and got divorced, i got a dog, they played chase, she left, took the cats, dog has no one to chase now
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Apr 04, 2009 8:19 PM GMT
    And, if you need a picture to help convince your partner, my little guys:

    n212494_35145640_5725.jpg
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Apr 04, 2009 8:20 PM GMT
    Actually, my vet recommended not using a spray bottle until the cat's at least a year old. Apparently, a good percentage of kittens think that being squirted in the face is fun, and you'll train them to actively do whatever you're trying to discourage.
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    Apr 04, 2009 8:21 PM GMT



    CUTE little guys!!
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    Apr 04, 2009 8:28 PM GMT



    My Tess used to love lying out in the road. Dear heavens she aged us! So, one day we caught her doing this in front of our friend's car. Our friend checked the empty street and then carefully got in the car and SAT ON THE HORN! Tess went through three of her nine lives in 3 seconds! Tess avoided the road after that, heh, when she heard a car she'd disappear into the garden.


    Tess passed on at 18 and Boris at 17 from organ ailments/cancer. I want cats again, but we'll wait til we have at least a couple of thousand in the bank for their care.

    -Doug
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    Apr 04, 2009 8:58 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidAdopt cats and don't wait.

    They need homes. icon_razz.gif

    I would likely get a shelter cat. I've gotten shelter dogs before, as well. And when I was a kid living with my parents, all of our cats were strays we took in, who often had kittens we later kept, too.

    Thanks much for the good advice I've gotten here. I'm such a softee, LOL Cats makes me want one, for all the jokes I may make. But my partner has to agree, and as some have wisely stated here, not a good idea to bring a pet into our home if both of us aren't ready to love it completely.

    Thanks guys, you are great! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2009 9:02 PM GMT
    Cat.
    Bag.
    Tape.
    Exhaust pipe.
    Tea time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 04, 2009 9:05 PM GMT
    beeker saidCat.
    Bag.
    Tape.
    Exhaust pipe.
    Tea time.

    icon_eek.gif
    That isn't funny, if I understand you correctly.
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Apr 04, 2009 9:07 PM GMT
    There are always an abundance of kittens available. Summer is the worst, as that's when most cats go into heat. Even so, back in January when I decided to get my kittens, in addition to looking at shelters I posted an ad on craigslist that I was looking for a male shorthaired kitten, preferably either an American Shorthair or a Russian Blue. I had 8 responses in 3 days, at which point I brought my little guys home and took down the ad. If that's the sort of response in the off-season, in a small city, and with restrictions on the type of kitten desired, imagine what it is at its peak.

    They've since been castrated, so will not be contributing to the problem.
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    Apr 04, 2009 9:12 PM GMT
    MSUBioNerd saidThere are always an abundance of kittens available. Summer is the worst, as that's when most cats go into heat. Even so, back in January when I decided to get my kittens, in addition to looking at shelters I posted an ad on craigslist that I was looking for a male shorthaired kitten, preferably either an American Shorthair or a Russian Blue. I had 8 responses in 3 days, at which point I brought my little guys home and took down the ad. If that's the sort of response in the off-season, in a small city, and with restrictions on the type of kitten desired, imagine what it is at its peak.

    They've since been castrated, so will not be contributing to the problem.

    I'd likely get a female cat, spayed. Even neutered male cats will sometimes mark, and that's not something we want in the house.
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    Apr 04, 2009 9:20 PM GMT
    Hmm... I had a very bad experience with an adult shelter cat. Raising up kittens to the types of behavior that you want seems like a much safer bet.

    The best ones were when the kittens and puppies were raised up together. They all get along, play together, hunt together.

    Once you have a gas chromatograph, or a vehicle ruined by mice... or notice that a kitchen drawer is loaded with mouse droppings... after you've been cooking with items from that drawer... the odor of a cat box seems much preferable. Although mine is out in the garage, and they only use it when the weather is bad.

    Also, sometimes "training" a cat has its drawbacks. One of mine is a chronic puker. (The vet says he's just greedy and lactose intolerant.) Now he knows that he's supposed to go outside to puke. So instead of little piles of puke on the floor, now I've got long trails of puke leading down the hallway toward the pet door.

    (If desperate, you could "plant" mouse droppings around the house, I suppose. I can't imagine what story you could use, if caught, however.)
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    Apr 04, 2009 9:31 PM GMT
    My two sweeties came from Cats Exclusive (http://www.catsexclusive.org) on Atlantic west of Lyons. It's a fantastic no-kill shelter. Please consider them if you decide to adopt!

    I'm also a fan of the Booda Litter Dome litter box [(url]http://www.petco.com/product/11197/Booda-Clean-Step-Litter-Boxes.aspx[/url]). It's been great. We also prefer the litter pearls (http://www.ultrapet.com/ultrapearls/ultrapearls.html) to the sandy clumping types. Less mess, and easy to tidy up with a hand vac.

    We taught them early to stay off the counters, and don't have problems. We do make sure they have lots of other places to jump and sit and play, being indoor cats. I'm a real advocate of getting two littermates. They're great company for each other, and we don't feel guilty whenever we go out for an evening or take off for a long weekend.

    p.s. Caslon, I love your lolcats! Sending them much cheezburgers!
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    Apr 04, 2009 9:46 PM GMT
    WillFTL said...I'm a real advocate of getting two littermates. They're great company for each other, and we don't feel guilty whenever we go out for an evening or take off for a long weekend.

    Other thoughts about this? Two cats rather than one? Kittens from the same litter? Both females, or male/female?

    If we got 2, I'd still favor females for not marking. Would they fight as they got older, even with being spayed?
  • MSUBioNerd

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    Apr 04, 2009 9:57 PM GMT
    I got two from the same litter. They play with each other constantly, so I feel better about the fact that I'm not always home. Getting them from the same litter drastically cuts down on the possibility that they'll get into real fights when they get older; they'll wrestle and chase each other, sure, but they'll often begin grooming each other in the process, and they're not hissing or biting hard enough for the other to yelp.

    If they're from the same litter, sex of the kittens doesn't matter so much, just be sure to get them spayed/castrated before they hit puberty. Males castrated before puberty are unlikely to ever try to mark territory, and even a single heat cycle in a female cat may lead to behavioral changes like yowling. Unaltered cats are more likely to try to escape to find a mate, and are also more aggressive towards other cats. And a male and female littermate may still end up mating with each other, so you'd have a bunch more kittens to deal with, which may have complications both because theyre inbred and because although female cats can enter heat when very young, they're not really physiologically ready to give birth until much later.

    Females can hit puberty as early as 4 month; males are more likely to take 6-7. However, castration can be done earlier than spaying, as it's much less invasive of surgery and thus doesn't need to keep the kitten unconscious as long. Consequently, the kitten doesn't need to be as large when it's done, as size is often a good indicator of how well the kitten will deal with anesthesia.

    Anecdotally, I've heard a number of people say that male cats tend to be more friendly towards humans than females are. That seems to be true from my experience; both of these kittens are far more friendly toward people than was the female cat I grew up with. But the plural of anecdote isn't data, so I don't know whether this is generally true.