Social Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Should I get a cat?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (36061points) 2 months ago

I’m only allowed cats as pets in my apartment. I like cats. I don’t have patience for a kitten, though.

The local shelter will let me adopt a senior cat (older than 5 years old) without any fees because of my age. If I get a cat, it would be an old lazy one.

I have to say I’m really troubled by the idea it would claw my furniture. I’ve read about the sprays to repel cats that is safe for furniture. Have you used it successfully?

I went on the shelter’s website and looked at the senior cats. There were a few good looking ones.

I want a pet. I don’t want a pet. I don’t know what to do.

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56 Answers

jca2's avatar

I love animals, cats especially, but as I was just cleaning up throw up from my cat, I was thinking of what I always tell people “when you have cats and kids, you can’t have nice things.” It is a sacrifice, as they do claw furniture, etc. Not always, and there are things you can do to mitigate it, like putting up a barrier between the furniture and the rest of the room (baby gate, or putting a box in front of the furniture, or covering it with blankets, quilts, etc.). If you have room in your house and your heart, though, there are plenty of cats that would love to be brought out of the shelter and into a good home.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Cats are all very, very different from each other. Our last cat was a crazed, psycho maniac one minute and a cuddle bug the next. Not doing cats again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Get it a scratching post and cross your fingers.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kittens are the best part of cats!!

ragingloli's avatar

You should get 3.

chyna's avatar

Get a cat!!!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

Get the cat and order some claw caps! Soft Paws has them. :)

LadyMarissa's avatar

You’ll either love it or hate it!!! I’ve always loved my cats except for one psycho that had serious mental problems. My BFF hates cats because they don’t obey like dogs do. I never had any luck with the spray that is supposed to stop them from scratching, so I don’t recommend wasting your money there. I don’t believe in declawing, but there are companies that make soft covers for their claws so they can have the pleasure of clawing while not doing any real damage. They have to be replaced about every 3 months or so. I just kept scratching posts available which helped with some but not others. Be prepared for piles of puke especially with an older cat. They don’t mean to do it, but it is inevitable!!!

I suggest that you talk to the shelter & ask them IF they are open to letting you foster the cat until you can see IF you 2 are the perfect fit. You can always become what is lovingly known as a “foster fail” which means that you reach the point that you choose to adopt it so it really belongs to you & nobody can blindside you by wanting to adopt it themselves.

I always chose cats over dogs because I didn’t have to go out in the snow to take it potty & I could leave home for a few days without having to put it in a pet motel. Most cats had rather be home alone than stay at a motel. I just left down plenty of dry food & water & they used the litter box as normal. Then I pampered them really well for the next few days after I returned.

I say GO FOR IT!!!

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would wait till after New, year’s Eve. That way isn’t an impulse decision. So more likely not to be returned.

Entropy's avatar

If you’re going to get a cat, get a kitten. I don’t know what you mean about not having the ‘patience’. Do you mean you don’t want an energetic cat that plays? Because adult cats will play too.

But the reason you want to get one as a kitten is so that it will bond to you. The cat will be more affectionate if you’ve raised it from kittenhood. It’s better. Get it later and who knows how well it bonds to you, and it may be more nervous…and nervous cats….that’s bad news. That’s when you get cats pissing outside the litter box and generally being annoying. It’s possible an adult will bond with you…but it’s just an animal that is that much more set in it’s ways.

Per the clawing thing…just get them declawed if you’re really worried about it. Front claws only. There’s no advantage to declawing the backs. You’ll have to tell the shelter you won’t but – hot tip, they can’t enforce it. But you can use softpaws or trim their nails. It’s just more work and more holding the cat down while you do it which increases their stress level, especially if you haven’t gotten them used to it since they were a kitten.

Cats are awesome. Contrary to myth they are very affectionate, but on THEIR terms. They’re not your little affection robot. They’re cute, they’re playful, and you’ll never be allowed to use the bathroom alone again. And, unlike dogs, you can just scoop litter on your time frame rather than being a slave to walking the dog when it needs it. You can also go on short vacations and just leave extra food and water. You only need a pet sitter if you’re gone for more than 3 or 4 days at a time. MOST cats won’t just eat all the food in one sitting and kill themselves like a dog will. And cats are just CHILL in a way dogs aren’t.

But if you aren’t ready to take care of them, then don’t get one.

longgone's avatar

Yes. You are a responsible person, you like cats, pets are great for your mental health, and there are cats in the shelter wanting a home. If you find out your cat is not a good match, you are allowed to take her back to the shelter…she’ll have received a few days of affection, which is good for her. And chances are, you two will bond quickly and fall in love. I don’t at all think you need to get a kitten for bonding.

Just three questions you should ask yourself: Do you have the savings to give this cat medical care? Who will care for your feline friend when you need to be out of town? Will she regularly be home alone more than six-eight hours a day (in that case, I’d get a bonded pair).

With an older cat, I don’t think your aversion to furniture getting scratched needs to be an insurmountable obstacle. In my experience, cats need a spot to scratch and are then quite good about scratching only there. You should observe for a few weeks (don’t leave cat with your favourite furniture unnattended), and even if there’s scratch attempts, training can take care of that. Ask the shelter to pick out a sweet cat – not the wildest. Get one that’s sensitive and will be chill. Alternatively, put out the word among your friends. It’s quite likely that friends of friends of friends want to re-home. That way, you can get a bit more information than the shelter might be able to provide. It’s still a rescue if you keep a cat out of the shelter.

Caravanfan's avatar

I disagree strongly on declawing

If you want a cat, you deal with the side effects of having a cat. That includes your furniture although a scratching post can help. If you’re really worried about your furniture don’t get a cat.

Dutchess_III's avatar

God don’t “declaw” them. It’s cruel.
Keep a spray bottle of water on hand and nail the sucker if he starts scratching.
Kittens are easier to train than adult cats.

HP's avatar

I’ve seen enough neurotic and otherwise deranged cats to advise caution. And old cats like old people are prone to bankrupt you with medical expenses. Being older than dirt myself, I read this question, and thought, just what might motivate me at this stage to deliberately take on more dependents? I have no answer, but if you must have a cat, obligate yourself to no kitty that doesn’t come with a no holds return policy if deemed by you unsuitable. They don’t all scratch up your furniture and destroy your drapes.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I would never declaw a cat.

I am stumped. There are good reasons to get a cat, and there’s one reason I don’t want one: clawing furniture.

There’s a senior cat at the shelter that specifically says likes cardboard scratching posts.

HP's avatar

It’s rollin the dice. But remember, even the winners reward you with hair balls and littter boxes.

Jeruba's avatar

A man I know trained his cat not to scratch furniture by pinning some sandpaper to the target spots.

mazingerz88's avatar

To the OP, yes! Show us pics!

flutherother's avatar

Getting a pet should be an irrevocable decision and unless you are certain you are prepared to put up with its idiosyncrasies and medical costs I don’t think you should do it.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes Cats are great. I have a couple of rag dolls and they are fantastic company.

For those of you paying attention to my previous anwers- no I dont live in a zoo, but some times it feels like itr…

janbb's avatar

I’ve thought of the same thing but the potential aggro turns me off.

kritiper's avatar

Sometimes declawed cats come up for adoption. Find one of those.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@janbb Can you be a little more specific about what you consider aggravating?

janbb's avatar

Scratching, vomiting and jumping up on counters. Plus potential personality issues. OTOH, a creature to cuddle would be nice.

Caravanfan's avatar

Smell, cleaning litter box, peeing in the corner when pissed off…

RocketGuy's avatar

My friend’s cat got mad at him for some reason, so jumped on his bed and pooped on his pillow while he was at work.

Zaku's avatar

I’ve never tried using sprays, but more often than not, I’ve not had problems with cats clawing furniture.

It helps if they have better things to claw. Also, some cats are more considerate than others. I think female cats tend to (on average) be a bit more considerate of what their humans want and don’t want.

I love cats, and am happier when I live with them.

smudges's avatar

I’ve also been thinking about getting an older cat, or an older bonded pair. Been thinking about it since my 17 y.o. kitty passed away in 2009.

I think my hesitation has more to do with developing a loving relationship than the species I develop it with. Funny, but kinda true.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve had cats since forever and never had any major problem with any of them clawing on the furniture.

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m going to the shelter today.

chyna's avatar

Let us know!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The shelter only had 4 senior cats. 1 was cranky, 2 were unresponsive, and the last one chose me by coming out to me for talking and rubs. Her name is Saki.

I brought her home, and she’s hiding under my chair. The previous owners said she shy.

She has medium length fur and is mostly white with gray and brown accents. I can’t take pictures yet while she’s hiding. She has to get used to her new home.

I chose a Kanji for her name: 咲き. It means blossom. There one problem. My neighbor has a little girl named Saki. I’ll have to ask what Kanji they use. We’ll all be calling Saki-chan. Could be funny.

Jeruba's avatar

Hurray! Congratulations on your newfound companion, and how sweet that she chose you. I hope it’s a lovely experience for you both, and I hope she turns out to be a cuddler.

HP's avatar

Ditto. Here’s hoping you puncture my hot air balloon of cynicism for the betterment of us all. Keep us posted.

smudges's avatar

Yayy! So proud that you were brave and hope it works out. I’m sure you know this, but don’t push her to interact, just be receptive – and talk to her, although I suspect you’re an animal talker. :) It’s very normal for a cat to hide in a new home. One that I had was only 1.5 years old and he hid in the back of my closet for several days. I put food and water just a few feet away so he’d know it was there, but he had to move a little to get it.

I’m excited for you. Maybe I’ll just follow your lead in the new year.

P.S. You can easily change her name if you want to. She’ll learn.

chyna's avatar


Dutchess_III's avatar

Give her a pet for me!

Jonsblond's avatar

Throw some blankets on the corner of your couch and chairs. Your furniture will get ruined but you can cover it.

Please give a senior cat a good retirement. <3

flutherother's avatar

Congratulations @Hawaii_Jake I’m sure you’ll be good for one another.

jca2's avatar

Congratulations, @Hawaii_Jake! I am hoping you both have a long and happy life together!

She will be scarce for a few days. You will notice the food is eaten when you wake up in the morning. She’ll come out at night when all is quiet, and she will explore. She is watching you from afar, I’m sure. She’ll get comfortable within about a week and she’ll be hanging out with you in no time.

LadyMarissa's avatar

CONGRATULATIONS to BOTH of you!!! She’ll come out from under the chair after a few days. If she doesn’t, open a can of food & sit it a few feet away from her hiding spot. The other thing that helps is to talk to her in a soft voice just like she’s interacting with you so she gets used to your voice. The loving & affectionate side of a cat makes up for most of the irritating things they can think to do. Keep us posted on your journey together!!!

Oh yes, most vets will apply the soft claw covers so it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience for either of you. Maybe she’ll be so grateful to have a loving home that she forgets to claw.

KRD's avatar

nice job @Hawaii_Jake! Hope you feel happy with your new companion!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It has taken her 2 full weeks, but Saki let me love on her tonight. She’s eating well and finally seems happy to be here.

canidmajor's avatar

Yay! I am so glad she decided to settle in!

smudges's avatar

Alri-i-i-i-ght!! It’ll keep getting better from there.

longgone's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake How’s Saki? How’s your furniture?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^I’m happy to report she’s fully at home. She hid under the sofa for 2 weeks, but now she roams the house trying to open closed doors. Some sliding doors she can open to explore the contents.

I’m thrilled to report she does not claw the furniture. She tears up a scratcher made of cardboard that I bought. I’m happy to keep buying them as she wears them out.

canidmajor's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I am so happy to hear this! Yay for cat telepathy that let her know just what/who you needed!

smudges's avatar

Very glad it’s working out! I have a cute mind picture of her opening sliding doors and snooping. I’m sure you’ve already thought of this, but also give her a variety of toys. They’ve got some very inventive ones now.

longgone's avatar

Nice. Congrats! I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Congratulations on your new family member. : )

Pablo_03's avatar

You should but it is a lot of responsibility. Plus, get ready for being waken at 3am almost every weekend.:)

Jonsblond's avatar

I’m happy to hear she’s making herself at home.

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