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Old 06.06.2015, 23:48
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Thinking about getting a cat

Hi all,

first post here, so hope I chose appropriate place for my question. I was thinking of getting a cat but still have some doubts if I would be able to accomodate him/her properly, as I travel quite a bit and the little one would have to stay at home by him/her-self quite a bit or I would need to get some 'cat day care' if that's even an option so here would be my few questions - thanks in advance for all your answers:

1. Best place to get a cat (I am considering 2 options: 'regular' cat or british blue).

For options 'regular' I know I could possibly get a cat from a farm or a shelter - involves less cost, but these cats I assume would need to have access to the 'outside world', which living in a reasonably small flat on first floor I don't think I could provide. Would a cat like that feel good spending most time at home?

For option 'british blue' - I was considering either getting a cat here (anyone with with an idea wich sort of money I would need to prepare ?) or importing one from Poland (where I am originally from). If I import one from Poland - I need to involve someone from the family to take care for the little one until we get him/her a passport and the cat is sterilised.

Happy for all your suggestions

2. Before I get a cat - what are things I should consider which probably I did not (with no experience owning a pet before)
- which items to purchase before the cat arrives home?
- which things you bought thinking they will be usefull and they never were?
- teaching a cat to pee into the 'sand' - any advice/useful links?
- teaching a cat not to jump on drapers (is it really even an issue?)

3. Once the cat is there - how long could I live him/her at home without 'human interaction'. As in - if I travel for 1/2/3 nights - how to best handle that? Any suggestions in terms of 'animal hotels' in Arth (Goldau) and what sort of prices should one be aware of?

4. Cats and pregnancy. Not yet an issue, but planning ahead - what do I need to consider (heard some rumors, not sure how much of that is an issue). Any comments on toxoplasmosis?

Sorry for long post but I need to make sure I would be making the right decision and providing appropriate place for a little kitten.
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Old 07.06.2015, 01:10
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

A 5th option is to get a boy friend.

1. you don't have to pay any medical bills
2. you can cuddle up to him at night
3. you usually won't have to dispose of his droppings
4. probably no damage to your furniture
5. no hotel bills to pay when you are travelling
6. occasional free evening dinners
7. mild exercise every night as required
8. no hairs left around on the carpets and sofa
9. when you get bored, tell him to go away
10. he won't get pregnant

There are probably many more advantages, I am sure you can find some.
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Old 07.06.2015, 01:15
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

I guess I should add then I am married to a woman

Probably if I asked some hints regarding a dog the stereotyp would have hinted something different in the first place :P
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Old 07.06.2015, 01:21
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

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For options 'regular' I know I could possibly get a cat from a farm or a shelter - involves less cost, but these cats I assume would need to have access to the 'outside world', which living in a reasonably small flat on first floor I don't think I could provide. Would a cat like that feel good spending most time at home?
Just so that you know:

Not all rescue cats are outdoor cats. In the Switzerland-wide database of homeless animals you can filter for 'Wohnungstier' to look for those who have been assessed as happy to live as indoor cats.

http://www.tierdatenbank.ch/cms/tier...unschtier.html

I'm not a cat person, so I'll leave the rest of your questions to someone who is.


All the best to you and your future feline friend.
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:23
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

Firstly I would say, well done you. You've clearly given this a lot of thought - more than most seem to - and your intelligent, insightful questions show to me that you will be a great cat owner, or rather, slave ;-).

Personally I would never recommend buying a cat, but to get one from a shelter. Chances are it will already be neutered (the best thing for a happy cat) and inoculated. If you choose wisely (ask the shelter people) it will likely also be house-trained to use a litter box.

There are a lot of house-cats in Switzerland it seems, and although I personally don't like the idea, if the shelter cat has come from a home where they didn't go out, they will probably be happy inside.

Training not to climb the drapes - rather more tricky to anticipate whether it's a climber or not until you get it (mine never did that), but a "tree" might dissuade it from other places to scratch and climb. (Google "cat tree")

What to buy before you get it home - litter tray and litter, scoop to clean it out, food bowls and food, a "tree" and a couple of toys with catnip in them. Also, I've heard good things about "Feliway" - it's a thing you plug into an electrical socket to make the cat feel at home. The shelter may be able to advise on the particular animal's favourite things. Most cats are happy chasing a piece of string, a laser pointer light, a scrunched up ball of newspaper! When you first get it home, put all that stuff in one room and sit in there with the cat for an hour or so, let it investigate all over, before letting it go into the rest of the apartment - and don't leave any windows open - cats are mini-Houdinis. If you have a balcony, you can put up a cat net (ask your landlord first) so that the cat can have outdoor access without escaping.

What I bought that was useless - a cat bed (he would sleep anywhere but, though other cats do use them). Many cat toys. He wouldn't play with them with me, but apparently would when the cat sitter was there - showing off. A water bowl - he much preferred drinking out of the water glass I kept by the bed, until eventually I put a water glass on the floor especially for him. All these things are dependent on the cat, you won't find out until you've spent the money ;-). Oh, and a cat toothbrush and toothpaste was the stupidest thing I ever bought - I got it out of the bag when I got home, we looked at each other and I put it straight in the bin. His expression read "you're having a laugh, aren't you, you're not getting anywhere near me with that thing".

Most important point, when you're away: the very best thing you could do for a cat, especially a housecat, is to get two. And get advice from the shelter on which two get on well together - siblings would be ideal. They will keep each other company and be fine for 48 hours (maybe a day longer) without humans. And it's no more difficult looking after two than one. You can buy an automatic cat feeder to keep the food fresh and stop them eating it all in one go. For a week or two, you can get a cat-sitter to come in once or twice a day - professionals are expensive, but your cats will not be upset by being removed from their home environment, and the professional will know what to do if anything is wrong. Having said that, a cat-owning neighbour or friend would too. For longer trips, probably best to put them in a cat hotel (I don't' know any in your area).

All cats have different personalities, so hopefully some others will reply here and give you plenty of advice for you to choose from.

Last edited by planetali; 07.06.2015 at 11:25. Reason: PS Don't be alarmed if the cats yowl for the first couple of days after getting them home, they'll settle.
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:46
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

Just think, a Cat might be a lifetime thing. Our old Mog called Sofie, left us after 21 years.


'av a great Sunday y'all
GREG
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Old 07.06.2015, 12:03
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

If you travel a lot and your wife is out all day every day my advice is not to get a pet much as you may want one. Especially if they're going to be indoors all day. In my mind it's not fair to expect them to be on their own for hours on end and the boredom that may result could lead to things like scratching the drapes, etc.

If your wife isn't interested in caring for a pet (which from your posts sounds like she is) then definitely don't get a pet. The poor animal won't know what's going on if it's being shuffled from a flat to a kennel to a flat every few weeks because you're the sole carer. It's not fair to expect it to put up with this, sorry.
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Old 07.06.2015, 12:47
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

One more thing, re-reading your post I see you describe your apartment as "small" - I believe the Swiss are strict on animal adoption and the shelter would visit your apartment to assess before allowing you to adopt. Buying a cat would get around that, but that would not be in the best interests of the cats. If I were you, I would visit the shelter and ask them first before deciding.
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Old 07.06.2015, 15:06
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

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If your wife isn't interested in caring for a pet (which from your posts sounds like she is) then definitely don't get a pet. The poor animal won't know what's going on if it's being shuffled from a flat to a kennel to a flat every few weeks because you're the sole carer. It's not fair to expect it to put up with this, sorry.
Not sure where you got that from I am just the driving force behind. This is by no means an indicator she would not be interested in caring for the cat. She was raised in a home with a red-hair persian cat and she adored all about him.

We do work both though therefore I need to make sure the decision is right.

@ Planetali: By small flat I mean some 64m2 (small by Swiss standards, not by Polish Thanks also for all your hints. When I was a kid my grandma used to have a great grey-hair persian which is/was my favorite pet of all time. The 'long hair everywhere' factor is the only thing putting me away from thinking about the same type of cat.

Cats are loners but they also do enjoy some company from time to time. I get that. The only question here is if the car is by himself/with a sibling would it not be too lonely. I'm usually out 8am-7pm. Wife - similar.
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Old 07.06.2015, 15:19
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

I took a peek at the Tierdatabank filtering on 'Wohnungstier', cats who can be homed as indoor cats.

Among the indoor cats there are several bonded pairs who need to be rehomed together.

Adopting a bonded pair would seem ideal for your situation.
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Old 07.06.2015, 16:12
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

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I took a peek at the Tierdatabank...
Get thee behind me Satan. I spend half my life studiously forgetting that place exists. Especially since I fear I won't be able to have another cat when I lose my 2
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Old 07.06.2015, 17:38
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

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Get thee behind me Satan. I spend half my life studiously forgetting that place exists. Especially since I fear I won't be able to have another cat when I lose my 2
That's why there is now a Heffalump curled up on my sofa.

I wasn't looking, had sworn off adding to the family. But one night I couldn't sleep and thought fiddling about online would beat counting sheep.

Enter at your own risk.

---

Tierdatenbank is a wonderful service, kudos to the folks who set it up and maintain it.

Solar_pi, if you think adoption might be the right road for you, do take a look.
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Old 07.06.2015, 17:57
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

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Not sure where you got that from I am just the driving force behind. This is by no means an indicator she would not be interested in caring for the cat. She was raised in a home with a red-hair persian cat and she adored all about him.

We do work both though therefore I need to make sure the decision is right.

I'm usually out 8am-7pm. Wife - similar.
Because the first post made it sound as if you were on your own and would need daily pet care and other was talking about using a cat hotel. If your wife is home every day then I can't see the need for either.

But I still say consider carefully if you're both out at work for that length of time. I did work similar times, once leaving for work around 6am and not getting home until 6.30/7pm and much as I would have loved a cat I knew it wasn't fair to leave it alone all day indoors or outside when I'd just acquired it. A few years later when we did have cats I left for work around 7.30am and got home around 6pm (hubby was working away from home all week so he wasn't around either), but I was able to let the cats out into the garden during the day so they weren't stuck in the house all the time. The difference was that the first time there was no way I could be at home to help a cat get used to living with me. The second time the cats were already well established at our home and so they didn't have any anxieties about me not being there when I did start working again.

I'll also give you an example of something that happened when I missed getting one of the cats outside before I left for work. I came home to find both my neighbours standing in my driveway wondering what to do because our burglar alarm was going off. It had only just started so they hadn't called the police. I went in and then started opening the doors off the hallway. When I tried to open the dining room door it jammed. I managed to get it open a bit further and out came one of the cats who'd been in there all day. She must have curled up on one of the dining room chairs under the table and I didn't notice that she wasn't outside before I left. She'd finally decided to move and the motion sensor picked her up and set the alarm off. She'd made a right mess of the carpet with her scratching, but luckily I was able to tuck it back in under the carpet runner without having to have the whole piece replaced. I was also lucky that she didn't decide she needed to use the toilet!

You need to make time for any new pet to get used to you and your house. When we got our last two they were rescues and very nervous and frightened 5 month olds. I limited them to one room only during the day and I was with them all the time. Even so it took a while for them to gain confidence enough to explore and come and get to know me. For my OH who was working away from home during the week it took much, much longer because he simply wasn't a familiar presence, but someone who only appeared for a couple of days at a time before disappearing again. Now obviously a mature cat/s may behave very differently, but if you do decide to go ahead think of how you can best help your new friends get used to you and do talk to the shelter staff about your situation so they can help you choose the best match.
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Old 07.06.2015, 18:49
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

If you get a cat, put him a chair at each window you have, they like to see what is going on in the outside world and it keeps them busy and as sane as possible. I have one cat and I find it is enough, at least no hierarchy problems and less litter (no putting it in the compost!)
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Old 07.06.2015, 18:53
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

Some good advice here already, but I'll chime in as a nearly life-long cat owner. Sorry this might get a little long , but here are my thoughts:

- Get a pair of kitties from the shelter. There's no need to go to the expense of a named breed unless you plan to have show cats (imo).

- Consider your home layout, your current furniture, potential allergies, and of course the amount of time you and your spouse have for animals. Let me know if you want me to delve into more detail.

- Most cats that are old enough to adopt, and particularly those from the shelter, will have been taught to use the box. Ask the shelter what litter they use, as the cats will be accustomed to it.

- Cats like to climb and to be on top of things. If you provide a cat tree, they will not climb the drapes (usually). I did have one cat, she liked to sit on top of the valances and watch things. She jumped onto a bookcase near the drapes, and then clawed her way the last foot or so on the drapes until she was on top. She had a tree too, but liked the curtains better.

- Although many people think cats are aloof and solitary, they do like the company of their people. My cats were indoor-only (big city), and were left inside by themselves from about 07:30 until about 18:30 on weekdays when I was at work. Sometimes it was a bit longer, but I'd say they were never alone longer than 14-15 hours, and certainly not every day.

- I am not a fan of boarding cats. Unlike dogs they are not pack animals and are not fans of being placed with others. In fact I'd argue it's traumatic for them. I feel it's best/least disruptive to keep them at home, and have a pet sitter or house sitter. Of course it's hard to find your perfect sitter, so good luck!

- None of my friends with cats had any (toxoplasmosis) issues. According to our family vet in the U.S., if you've been around cats for any length of time, you've probably been exposed and have the antibody in your blood already. You can have your blood checked by a doctor, and you can have the cat(s) tested as well. If you're still worried, just be sure that someone else scoops the box during pregnancy.

HTH

Last edited by 3Wishes; 08.06.2015 at 16:27. Reason: forgot a word
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Old 07.06.2015, 20:59
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

Great job on planning and thinking ahead. It sounds like you and wife both love cats and I would give any cat a great home.

It's true you shouldn't take a cat that was living outside and put them inside.

Adopting is always a great option but if you want a specific breed, it can be difficult to find at shelters in Switzerland. Also you have to tell the shelter it will be an indoor only cat.

I adopted a Persian cat from someone off of anniblis who needed to rehome him due to allergies. I too love Persians and the breed is specially good for the indoors as they are very quiet apartment friendly cats. I thought one cat would be fine, but after a year and a half I decided he needed a friend. I've only had my new kitten for one week and I can tell he is already so happy. And honestly I don't think Persians shed any more than short hair cats. What is more important is the diet, if eating a healthy diet they shed less.

As far as items to buy, go slow. In the beginning just a littler box, scratching post and cat tree or something to climb if you can.

Best of luck to you, cats can bring so much happiness to a home. And while I love dogs, cats are so much easier to care for.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 07.06.2015 at 21:08. Reason: Advertising component removed
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Old 08.06.2015, 04:46
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

I urge you to consider waiting until you are done getting pregnant and having your baby(s)! Some cats respond very badly to new babies in the house or don't tolerate the abuse young kids inflict on cats and can become very stressed and vicious. Or start peeing everywhere because of stress about the change. This happened with us and we had to rehome one cat and it did not work out well :-( I would say bring a kitten or two into your home when you already have at least one child over age 2 when they can be gentle. The child will enjoy the often and the kitten will become used to being around young kids.

Also we are strong believers in keeping cats indoors because they kill so many birds! I know it's not as much fun for the cat but as long as you make time to play with them and give them some ways to get exercise and stimulation, they do fine. Our cat likes to sit inside the open window (we have screens) and sniff the scents and watch the bugs etc. You can also get a harness to take your cat outside but it's not really their nature to be leashed. However some adapt quite well to this and it can work.
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Old 08.06.2015, 09:56
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

Regarding the pregnancy thing, I have no experience so can't comment. But I did see a fascinating programme about cats on the BBC recently, Cat Watch. One of the cat researchers had a baby and had some brilliant advice on what to do before bringing the baby home. You might find it in here, it's a companion ebook to the programme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/arti...eractive-ebook

Also, I remember now, having had cats in my home all my life, I only discovered I was mildly allergic (itchy eyes, running nose) when I went away to university and came home to the cats at my parents house. It subsided fairly quickly.
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Old 08.06.2015, 10:10
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

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If you travel a lot and your wife is out all day every day my advice is not to get a pet much as you may want one. Especially if they're going to be indoors all day. In my mind it's not fair to expect them to be on their own for hours on end and the boredom that may result could lead to things like scratching the drapes, etc.

If your wife isn't interested in caring for a pet (which from your posts sounds like she is) then definitely don't get a pet. The poor animal won't know what's going on if it's being shuffled from a flat to a kennel to a flat every few weeks because you're the sole carer. It's not fair to expect it to put up with this, sorry.
I agree 100%

Too much time alone.

Just saying.

.
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Old 08.06.2015, 10:12
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Re: Thinking about getting a cat

Oh and my brother-in-law is a vetinarian and his advice is dont do it.

Just saying.
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