Should I keep this cat?
April 15, 2013 12:18 PM   Subscribe

I impulsively adopted a Maine Coon mix over the weekend. Now I'm realizing this may have been a stupid thing to do given I have a Persian and am already drowning in cat fur. Should I return him before I get too attached?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the cat- he is a love. But I'm realizing that an OCD person such as myself who is already going crazy trying to keep cat fur under control with just one longhair cat probably shouldn't had adopted another one. I adopted him from a no-kill shelter and am on a two-week trial foster period, and he is so pretty he's likely to get adopted out within a day if I return him.

I run a roomba every single day but all my laundry and everything is still covered in cat fur all the time, I'm basically running through lint rollers endlessly. I had wanted to get a shorthaired companion for my Persian but ended up impulsively falling in love with and adopting this lil guy without thinking about how crazy double the longhair would drive me and am now filled with doubt. Any success stories of having two longhair cats or is it sort of a "just live with it" kind of thing? I think I'm too OCD for this; getting the Persian was also impulsive as I'd wanted a shorthair exotic but fell in love with that little guy instead....
posted by raw sugar to Pets & Animals (28 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Short haired cats shed, too, but in a different way. I previously had two long-haired cats and got used to finding clumps of their fur everywhere. Then I got a short-haired cat - yay, no hair clumps! - but his fur seems to fall out more consistently all over my clothing (and furniture, et cetera), rather than in clumpy bursts on the carpet. And worse, brushing a short-haired cat seems to make the shedding worse, whereas it does improve the situation when you brush a long-haired cat.

Moral of the story: A fur-covered life is a cost of doing business as a cat owner, no matter what type you have.
posted by something something at 12:22 PM on April 15, 2013 [8 favorites]

I personally think that we do not choose animals, they choose us. What I did choose was a Dyson when I adopted my 4th cat. I vacuum every other day. And I live with a lot of cat hair.
That kitteh is a sweetie. Do what you think is best for yourself, but in the grand scheme of things, cat hair is nothing next to a pile of warm purring when I am feeling really shitty.
posted by oflinkey at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [7 favorites]

Also: I am always consumed with doubts when I adopt a new animal, and I am the cattiest cat person in the land. I think your second-guessing is normal. Give it a few days.
posted by something something at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

Do you have a Furminator?

We have a Maine Coon and had a late-great Norwegian Forest Cat, both incredibly hairriffic, and frequent combings with the Furminator plus a pre-summer shave-down to get that winter coat gone are the best defense.

And Maine Coons generally loooove to be brushed, because they love to be petted and handled and to have attention paid to them and ours will nudge a brush over to you if it looks like you're not doing anything important and meow at you until you comb him.
posted by padraigin at 12:23 PM on April 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

Shorthairs shed just as much, let me tell you. If you're debating between shorthair vs. longhair rather than no second cat vs. this second cat, don't think that shorthair will save you any lint-rolling. (I have two shorthairs and a whole load of fur-covered blankets in the wash just this minute because, god, the fur, it is everywhere.)
posted by restless_nomad at 12:24 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

Came in to suggest brushing, too. My cat adores it and it's nice bonding time with your beautimous new kitteh.
posted by sister nunchaku of love and mercy at 12:25 PM on April 15, 2013

I also own these.
posted by oflinkey at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2013

If your Persian and the new kitty get along, I say roll with it. My Eartha LOVES her Furminator, so nth on that suggestion.

I've resigned myself to having a depost of fur and scrached up upholstered furniture. I've decided that we went from Cottage to Shabby Chic.

I pretty much dote on my cats and if they're happy, I'm happy.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:26 PM on April 15, 2013

A cat that gets along with your current cat is a treasure.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:29 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm trying not to threadsit but wanted to pop in to say, thank you something something as I've been feeling a lot of guilt over the doubt :( And also, the new kitty is still sequestered away in a safe room and has not met my current cat (had been planning to do it slowly, I've just been scent transferring) so I have no idea yet if they'll get along, which will factor into deciding to keep him as well
posted by raw sugar at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2013

Spring may also be the worst of it as far as shedding is concerned, so if you get through this (Furminator in hand) it'll probably get easier to manage.
posted by holgate at 12:32 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Nthing what has been said re shorthairs and shedding. However. If you are looking for permission to return this cat, consider it granted. He will no doubt find a wonderful home in no time, as you say. It was an impulse. If you are having second thoughts- don't let guilt foist you into a future of antagonizing over fur piles day in and day out.
posted by ista at 12:42 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Another lint-rolling, Roomba-programming, shorthair-owning Mefite coming to say I AM ON YOUR FACEBOOK COVETING YOUR CARPETS because frankly they're a lot cleaner than mine.

The key to choosing cats is personality, really. Your Mr. Maine-Coon probably hasn't revealed his too clearly yet, due to inevitable Shock of the New. What do the shelter folks say about his temperament, and how does it mesh with what you're looking for in a furry companion?
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:50 PM on April 15, 2013

I'll trade you my shed-a-riffic shorthair Calico for that gorgeous baby. I also reside with a Himalayan, fwiw, and I find it easier to deal with her little puffy clumps of shedded fur than the more coarse, short hairs that stick to my clothes no matter how many times I lint roll.
posted by carolinecrane at 1:11 PM on April 15, 2013

I just want to say that the whole 2 week trial experience thing exists is exactly for this, and to give yourself the full two weeks to decide if you are the cat is a good fit for you. Decide not to decide until the end of the stay, to let yourself fully feel the pros and cons.

Realizing that you aren't the best person right now to care for that specific cat and giving him back to someone else who can (and perhaps finding yourself a cat that's more suitable at this time for you and your current cat!) is also an act of love.
posted by anitanita at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you are really going to be bugged by the cat hair, then send the cat back. Gorgeous Maine Coons are pretty much crack for cat people. He won't be homeless long.

OTOH, if you want another cat, but just not this cat, then perhaps you should reconsider. If he's a big ol' love ball and gets along with your existing cat, then you have really hit the jackpot.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:19 PM on April 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have dogs, not cats, but find that long hair is easier to deal with than short because it can be Furminatored. Short hair is hopeless.
posted by walla at 1:32 PM on April 15, 2013

Keep the cat, get a Dyson, ditch the lint rollers. The Dyson Animal line has attachments specifically for pet hair, and ours works very well. We have three short-haired kitties, and a weekly vacuuming of their favorite haunts (mostly the living room and library furniture and carpets) is sufficient.
posted by tully_monster at 1:38 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

We have a similar cleaning process to yours, and both our cats are American shorthairs. Hair happens. It's spring. This is a sacrifice I make to have cats.

The above vacuum advice is very good, though I would also recommend Miele. We do a pretty good job, and the house is largely hairless, but every great once in a while, I find myself walking to the subway covered in hair and I have to go back home.

BTW, I'm about a year and a half into my latest cat set and—confession time!—I kinda hated one of them for the first couple weeks. Maybe for a month! Or two! Meep. Now I want to run home and be with her every day. I'm going to do that right now!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:48 PM on April 15, 2013

Also: rarely ever is it a stupid thing to adopt another cat. I impulsively adopted my little calico about six years ago when my husband was away (I sent him videos of her and he (reluctantly) gave his consent. As I drove home with her in her new carrier, I thought, "Three cats! What have I gotten myself into?" She has turned out to be the most adorable, talkative kitty ever, and would like nothing better than to be surgically attached to me. It was the right decision. You can go wrong with dogs for all kinds of reasons, but you can rarely go wrong with cats.
posted by tully_monster at 1:55 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I recently bought This weird vaccuum with my two long hair cats, it's super small and portable, and I've been whirring around picking up the long haired clumps every day. it's been kind of great. though, my laundry has always been covered with cat hair. costco has very good prices on 6 packs of sticky rollers.

what a cute cat!

hilarious/annoyingly, my second cat had pretty short hair when I got him (I was convinced he was just going to be a bit fluffy) and then over the next year he grew into a full long haired cat.
posted by euphoria066 at 2:37 PM on April 15, 2013

Long cat hair is obvious and relatively straightforward to deal with. Short cat hair is sneaky. It gets into freaking everything in ways that longer hairs can only hope and dream to. I still periodically find white cat hairs from my boyfriend's room-mate's cat, and she lived with him two houses ago, in like 2006, and never even went anywhere near my stuff.
posted by Jilder at 3:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

Maine Coons are really delightful, even though they can look daunting. Mine is nine months old and this is her first spring. She has a lot of fine, fine fur in her undercoat and it comes off only slowly. She does love brushing, though, and the morning Coat Care she shares with the dog keeps what little she's been shedding in one easy-to-clean place.
posted by jet_silver at 6:39 PM on April 15, 2013

my first thought (said the girl who has her beloved Norwegian Forest Cat tattooed on her forearm) was, "what do you want to define your life: your OCD tendencies or a lovely young cat who will bring you years of joy?"

seems obvious to me. YMMV.
posted by hollisimo at 8:12 PM on April 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Zoom-Groom is outstandingly good at getting the undercoat out and cats seems to really like it as well.
posted by Ferrari328 at 6:23 AM on April 16, 2013

My Mom was traditionally anti-cat her entire life until I brought home a kitten abandoned at my place of work back in 1980. He was a domestic shorthair and eventually became her baby, even though she constantly griped about the house being covered in fur. Then we found an abandoned cat wandering our neighborhood, he looked so pitiful that we finally took him in and at his first vet appointment (for shots and washing, etc) the vet announced that this was most likely a Maine Coon. His fur hadn't looked that long and fluffy when he was homeless and filthy...Mom moaned the entire car ride home about "I'm already sweeping and vacuuming all the time (an exaggeration, of course)...." But Squeaky, the Maine Coon, used every trick in his cunning feline mind to seduce Mom. He was cuddly and lovable and just loooved to be brushed, so him stretching out in Mom's lap every evening and rolling and rotating just so, so that Mom could brush his belly, under his neck, his back, his hind legs, etc. There wasn't an appreciable increase in rogue cat fur fluffs on the floor and furniture that we could tell; presumably the regular brushing helped.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:42 PM on April 16, 2013

I wanted to thank everyone for their really kind comments, and update that I've decided to take the cat back. I realized the fur thing was a MacGuffin... I had actually adopted another cat from this same shelter that attacked me as soon as I got home and opened the carrier in the safe room (despite being sweet at the shelter, she turned out to be feral- I went to the emergency room and she went back to the shelter) and ended up with this little boy because the vet who runs the shelter felt so bad she let me have first pick of a bunch of cats being rescued from a kill-shelter. Now that the kitty is letting me pet him, he nips me every time I go in there and although he hasn't broken skin yet, it's been triggering some PTSD from the attack. I will be returning him to go to his best possible forever home and taking a break before adding another cat to my household- probably a small kitten.
posted by raw sugar at 5:38 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

I feel like cheering! Not that you are taking the cat back but that you figured out what was really going on and then did the right thing for everyone. Happy ending (until you are ready to write the next chapter in your personal book of "Cats Who Have Shared My Life" )
posted by metahawk at 3:39 PM on August 9, 2013

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