Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Should I get a cat?
February 13, 2012 2:27 PM   Subscribe

OK, so I'm pretty much settled into my studio apartment and am still thinking about moving eventually (so that I'm closer to public transit), but I'm going to take my time and wait until I find another apartment that meets all of my criteria. One such criteria is that they allow cats. I would turn down an apt in a nice location if they didn't allow cats. Now my current apartment allows cats, and I'm really seriously thinking about getting a sweet kitty companion. I'm a big time cat person, and I had planned to get a cat this year.

I'm just not sure if I should. I wouldn't move to a place that didn't allow them, so in a way it makes sense to go ahead and get what I want. I live alone, and sometimes it can be lonely. I crave the presence of another being to hug and love and take care of. Right now, I've been raising oyster mushrooms and it's going to be hard for me to harvest and eat them because I've grown attached to them watching them grow. But my mushrooms are the only other living thing besides me in my apartment!

I travel on occasion, but usually not for longer than a week and I have family nearby who could drop in every few days if I had a cat. I don't have any trips coming up for several months, though, so now seems to be the perfect time. I do realize that having a cat would limit my ability to move around as freely, but I see it also as a first step toward my ultimate goal of finding a husband and having kids. Since I live alone, I'm only taking care of my needs. I need to learn to live for others besides myself and to be more generous of my time, and I feel that a pet is a good first step. If I get a cat, I'd be committed to taking care of him/her for the long term, and I will be able financially support him/her.

I'm just uncertain if I should wait until I find a new place closer to public transit before getting a cat, or if I should just go ahead and get one now, since I'd be getting one anyway after I moved. What would you do? I know that getting a cat would make it harder to move, but like I said before, I would turn down a place that didn't allow them.
posted by starpoint to Pets & Animals (22 answers total)
Edit to add: Just to clarify, I'm not in a rush to move either, I'm taking my time to find a new place.
posted by starpoint at 2:29 PM on February 13, 2012

Get the cat! Moving with a cat isn't so very difficult that you should avoid getting a cat because you might, at some point down the line, move.
posted by needs more cowbell at 2:33 PM on February 13, 2012

Just get one (or two!). You will be glad you did. Speaking from experience, if you wait you'll wonder why you waited so long.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:35 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

get the cat(s). i moved my two from CO to CA (with planes and shots and vet visits and one freaking out and the other scared in cargo and my seatmate being allergic and having to be moved and oy, that was the SUCK), and even with that hell, i wouldn't trade them for the world. local moving is nothing.
posted by koroshiya at 2:48 PM on February 13, 2012

If you're 110% committed to only living in places that allow cats, then get the cat (or 2!) already. Moving's not that big a deal -- worst (expensive) case, you can take then to be boarded in a fancy cat hotel for moving day. (I only did that once. The other times they just get locked in the bathroom. I move a lot, with 3 cats. It's not a big deal.)
posted by cgg at 2:57 PM on February 13, 2012

Get a cat. There's no real reason not to -- it's not really that hard to move with cats (especially if you have nearby family who would keep them for the day of the move). Plus, it's really lovely to have things excited that you came home from work that the cat food dish refiller has returned.
posted by jeather at 3:12 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

dude, just get the cat. you sound like you really want one, and you've already decided that you won't be moving into a place (when you do move) that won't allow cats…so just get it.
posted by violetk at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2012

Get the cat. It's harder to find an apartment, yes, but not /that/ hard-most no-pet places are really thinking of dogs. Many allow small pets/cats, especially if you talk to them about the situation.

A pet is a great first step-and actually, a cat is perfect in terms of travelling-you can have someone look in on them, and if you do find yourself not wanting to leave them, you can take them with you fairly easily.
posted by corb at 3:22 PM on February 13, 2012

Definitely get a cat. I was in your situation and was nervous about moving in the near future, but I figure that plenty of people move with cats all the time, so it's not the end of the world.
posted by sperose at 4:21 PM on February 13, 2012

Two would be even better, as they'll keep each other (and you) entertained. There are a number of resources for new kitty caretakers on mefi.
posted by bookdragoness at 4:49 PM on February 13, 2012

Yeah, the moving thing isn't really an issue for any sane number of cats.
posted by wierdo at 4:55 PM on February 13, 2012

Hello! I'm in a similar boat as you: just settled into a studio apt, thinking about moving, want to start a family someday. My solution was to join a local foster care group and the past month has been delightful. The group takes care of vet costs and takes the cats back temporarily if I go on a vacation. I don't have a car and my group will even take the cats to adoption fairs for me.

If you are someone that can withstand the bittersweetness of your foster animals being adopted out, I highly recommend this path. Perhaps the experience could help you decide whether to become a full-time cat owner or not.

(This is my first post to Metafilter! I signed up just to comment. Here are pics of my foster cats Gigi and Mitzie.)
posted by beekept at 5:14 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

When you find yourself feeling attached to the fungus, it's past time to get a cat. As said above, two would probably be even better, and getting two at once bypasses the stress of introducing one to another later on. Having two cats would be a much better situation for the animals when you have to travel, with a minimal amount of additional work.
posted by Corvid at 5:18 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I moved twice with both my cats, moving with cats is not that big of a deal. Get two cats, they can keep each other company when you are not around. Besides, you can't pet fungus.
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:43 PM on February 13, 2012

A studio apartment? Is it really big enough for kitty to be happy for a year? I agree that fostering sounds like a better option for you right now.
posted by unannihilated at 6:00 PM on February 13, 2012

Did you see the pics of beekept's kitties? How could you resist? The temp adoption idea is nifty too.
posted by mightshould at 6:03 PM on February 13, 2012

I live in a studio with my 2 cats. In fact, I've lived in three different places since I moved for grad school and have managed to live in all of them with my cats. I'm planning to move soon and will simply find a place that allows my cats. I have found that many places are cat friendly(I've been lucky in that some don't even require a pet deposit) but don't allow dogs.
posted by fromageball at 6:03 PM on February 13, 2012

Get the kitteh!
Get the kitteh!

And then name the kitteh Fungus.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:43 PM on February 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Get the cat . . .then follow BlueHorses advice as that may be the best cat name ever, and also then you can eat your mushrooms.
posted by wwax at 7:55 PM on February 13, 2012

Get the cat but get him or her from a shelter. Two is always four times as much fun as one.
posted by Ferrari328 at 6:20 AM on February 14, 2012

A cat is the perfect cure for the singleton apartment blues. They will introduce vital elements of chaos, shared experience, affection, negotiation, and wonder. (Confession: I secretly love moving with a cat. The cat won't love it (change! gah!), despite the joys of multiple scattered open boxes; but tending to their needs makes me feel braver, and turns the tedious enterprise into more of an adventure.)

So obviously, yes, you should get a cat. You seem like you might be someone who likes to consider all the angles before making a commitment. If so, note that acquiring a cat can also be done in various states of courtship.

Our preferred style of cat acquisition is to do lots of research on the temperament of the cat in question. No-kill shelters tend to be the best at this. Have a look at their cats-for-adoption list (on their website or on Petfinder). Talk to multiple staff/volunteers/fosterers to get different, affectionate-yet-dispassionate angles on likely candidates. Meet your potential new cat(s), and see if the chemistry works. Go home, think about it, show your friends pictures.

Ask the shelter how they feel about a 6-week trial period, where you do the paperwork and pay up front, but can still return the cat with no hard feelings if the relationship doesn't gel. They'll be especially amenable to this for cats who've been at the shelter a while (which does NOT mean the cat is undesirable). Given your travel schedule, you might consider a pair of cats, perhaps a pair who are already bonded. Last time I trawled Petfinder it listed quite a few cats local shelter were really really hoping wouldn't have to be separated from their respective buddies.

If you get two cats you can't call them both FUNGUS. OYSTER could be a fun name to holler.

If you're unsure what cat temperament suits yours, start here.
posted by feral_goldfish at 3:04 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for all of your great answers, I really appreciate them. Sorry I'm just now responding, it was a busy week! I am going to go ahead and get a cat then, but I'll start with either a foster-with-intent-to-adopt or a trial period, as was suggested.

And beekept, aww that's so cool that you signed up just to comment :) Welcome to Ask MetaFilter :)
posted by starpoint at 7:46 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older Why are black bars moving from...   |  Introducing a very stupid and ... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.