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November 1, 2005 3:23 PM   Subscribe

KittyFilter: Puss in an apartment -- Bad idea, or workable option?

My girlfriend and I have recently bought a two-bedroom apartment in a building which allows pets. I've always had cats, but have always lived in a house so our cats have typically been indoor+outdoor cats -- usually in at night, but wandering free during the day. Consequently, I have little experience with cats who've only ever been indoor animals, and this leads me to a handful of questions:
(1) Are 'inside' cats different from 'outside' cats personality-wise?
(2) My partner and I both work full-time. Is kitty going to get bored cooped up inside all day alone?
(3) If (2 == true), would getting two kittens at the same time help? Or just make things worse (two bored animals == progressively less couch?)
(4) Things to do, lessons learnt, breeds* to acquire/avoid?

*Note: All of our previous cats have been from the RSPCA, either abandoned cats or kittens. It is likely this kitty will be the same, unless there's a compelling reason otherwise. Also: preference given to bossy cats, with whom one can hold a conversation
posted by coriolisdave to Pets & Animals (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
(1) I think the variation among cat personalities outweighs any indoor/outdoor trends.
(2) Depends on the cat. Usually cats find ways to entertain themselves. How destructive that is, depends on the cat.
(3) Possibly. Kittens about the same age are more likely to like each other as adults IME. On the other hand, it depends a lot on the cat.
(4) Longhaired cat fur is harder to clean up.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:27 PM on November 1, 2005


I've had cats in apartments for years, and I've had exclusively indoor cats for 20 years. As long as you provide them with something to do (a kitty condo is a great idea), get them exercised if they don't do it themselves (laser pointers or cat dancers are great), and watch their food intake, cats are great indoor/apartment pets (and if you really want to let them out, you can always build a cat run for them on the balcony). I would probably get two if they're already bonded to each other - getting two cats who don't already know each other can sometimes leave you with two cats who hate the sight of each other and certainly aren't benefitting each other much (I've had quite a few cats who didn't like each other, but if the only reason you're considering getting two is so that they'll be company for each other, you want ones who already like each other for best results, if you see what I mean).

If you're going the shelter route (good for you), it might be an idea to talk to the staff, find out when the cat socialization volunteers are there and visit then so you can talk to them - they should have a good idea of the various personalities of the cats who are there. I've had Siamese and Abyssinians (as well as your basic moggy Domestic cats), and those two in particular are very dog-like cats in terms of how they bond and interact with people (the Abys would actually play fetch). That said, the most human-interactive, smartest and most communicative cat I ever owned was a Russian Blue mix rescued cat, he was the coolest cat ever. And the second coolest cat was a run of the mill black Domestic Shorthair from the shelter. As with dogs, breed will give you some idea of personality, but individuals will definitely vary quite a bit. Good luck with your kitty search!
posted by biscotti at 3:34 PM on November 1, 2005


I have an indoor cat, a Russian Blue. She's never been an outdoor cat and doesn't really seem that interested in going out, either, although since I've moved to an apartment with a balcony I've started letting her out there occasionally under supervision. She'll go out for ten or fifteen minutes and then come back in.

Personality-wise I've noticed that outdoor cats may be a wee bit more agressive than indoor ones, but the individual differences in cat personality probably overwhelm that. Mine's generally quiet and sweet-tempered.

My cat seems very Zen. When I'm home she does a lot of laying around just being, and I have no reason to believe she's not doing the same thing when I'm gone. When she needs exercise she gets up and plays with her toys (she's picky about these, but I've found a stuffed mouse on an elastic cord that dangles off the top of a door that she loves) and she plays whether I'm there or not. She's happy to see me when I come home, but doesn't seem neurotic or anything about being alone. Actually I thought about getting her some company, but she hates other animals. Actually she even hisses at stuffed animals. Live ones, she simply won't tolerate.
posted by kindall at 3:54 PM on November 1, 2005


I can't tell you if an outside cat is different from an inside cat, because all of my cats have been of the indoors variety. They have been fine left alone all day, most cats are pretty independent. Anecdotally, I have found that male cats seem to be a bit more needy and female a bit more standoffish, but this has only been my experience and not a scientific study or anything. An older cat might be the most calm in a smaller area and alone during the day, but I don't think that's any reason to narrow down the field to older cats exclusively. My cat's 17 though, and frankly she rarely leaves my bedroom, let alone shows any interest in going outside. As far as bossy cats with whom you can hold a conversation - Siamese! They looove to talk.
posted by amro at 4:17 PM on November 1, 2005


I have a 10-year-old "animal rescue" cat and a 1-year-old "found on the street cat." They are exclusively indoor cats living in the city. The 10-year old cat has always been quite mellow, while the younger one is rambunctous and mischievous. It took awhile for the older cat to accept the younger one, but they have now become great playmates. They have their after-breakfast and after-dinner "run-and-tumble" derbies like clockwork each day.

When on their own, they often entertain themselves with their favorite toys.

In going the two-cat route, biscotti suggestion is a good one. Two cats who have bonded (or, likely to bond because they are roughly the same age) will likely be great companions.
posted by ericb at 4:19 PM on November 1, 2005


Most vets and cat experts agree that indoor cats live longer, healthier lives. I've known many apartment cats, and only a very few of them have ever been "problem" cats. How much of this is the cat and how much is the human? Heck, I don't know.

If you are considering a pair of kittens, you should be sure to get littermates.

As far as breeds, Russian Blue is a good choice, friendly and laid back. Siamese personality all depends on the breeder. Although they are friendly and make great indoor cats, I am not sure an apartment is a good place for a Ragdoll, just because they grow to be rather large. Specifically avoid breeds like the Bengal that are extremely active. If you really want to know more about various cat breeds (including what to look for in a breeder and kitten) try this index.
posted by ilsa at 4:29 PM on November 1, 2005


Thanks for the feedback so far folks - much appreciated. Another question I should've included, though -- assuming I get a kitten (or two), what's the best way to introduce it to its new household? Should we both take a couple of days (a week? two?) off work specifically for kitten bonding, or just kinda get one on the way home from work on a Friday, and carry on as normal and assume kitty will find its own niche?

And only cos I love sharing this photo, this is the most talkative (and nosy - seconds prior to this shot she was inside the kayak) kitty I've had, a random mog from the pound.
posted by coriolisdave at 4:51 PM on November 1, 2005


If you want two cats, you should strongly consider getting littermates - they are by far the best playmates for each other. Most pounds regularly get entire litters so this shouldn't be too difficult to manage.

I think the clue to getting a cat that is bossy or likes to talk is to spend lots of time at the pound visiting with the cats. Let the cat pick you ! Mine did, and I'm certain she chose better than I could have :)
posted by AuntLisa at 4:53 PM on November 1, 2005


In our experience:
(1) Don't know. Never had an "outside" cat.

(2) Yes. We'd get an earful every night as soon as we set foot in our apartment. If I had to guess, his constant, loud meowing upon our arrival would be translated to, "WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN? I'VE BEEN ALONE IN HERE ALL DAY! PET ME! FEED ME! PLAY WITH ME!" Fortunately for us, his apparent boredom never lead to destructive habits.

(3) Definitely. We weren't sure if we could handle two, but our little guy was just getting too lonely. We got a female, and the two of them have a blast together -- always playing and grooming with each other.

(4) We got Rascal when he was about 10 months old. Had him six months, then got Priscilla when she was 10-12 months old. We experienced no awful introduction period when Priscilla came.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:55 PM on November 1, 2005


Oh, and Rascal is a tabby and Priscilla is a calico, if it matters.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:56 PM on November 1, 2005


Okay - sorry to get all preachy here... but:

1) No such thing that I'm aware of as an inside cat versus an outside cat unless the cat is already a cat (i.e. not a kitten)... I will talk more on this (and preach a bit) later.

2) Kitties get lonely, yes. Not nearly so much as dogs though.

3) Yes - I got 2 cats at the same time.. kittens actually... they're the best of friends. They certainly show me they miss me when I've been gone a while, but they keep each other company and play a lot.

4) Forget about breeds. They cost asstons of money and there's no real benefit. Shelters have PLENTY of kittens, of all colors and shapes and sizes, and they're usually free. Do the right thing and adopt from a shelter.


Now - here comes the preaching. Please be aware: I make fun of people who like PETA, I am not some uber bleeding heart animal protection activist.

That said: Before I got my kittens, I thought that neutering and declawing was just "what you do" when you get cats. Well, I decided to read a little bit on declawing before paying a lot of money for this procedure. what I found out was shocking. You haven't mentioned declawing in your post - so I'm not assuming you are going to do it -- but just FYI:

Declawing is seriously a SICKENING mutilation. It's a terrible, terrible thing, and it is absolutely morally wrong to do. It is not some magical procedure where they make it so kitty kitty doesn't grow sharp pointy bits anymore. It's actually chopping off the top of their fingers.

Doing this for one's own convenience is morally wrong. If you're thinking to yourself "but the cat will ruin my furniture!" -- then don't get a cat. There is no line in the constitution or the bible giving americans the right to have a pet that doesn't mess up their furniture.

My cats have their claws, as a result of my research. As it turns out, declawing is illegal in many european countries. Why it is practiced so commonly and is just an "expected" thing you do when you get a cat here is beyond me.


So - I wish you the best of luck on your hunt for a kitty (or two, which works great for me in my apartment). I hope that if and when you get the kitty or kittens, you will not be declawing them.
posted by twiggy at 5:30 PM on November 1, 2005


Ah, lucky I'm Australian then ;)
In all seriousness, I've never had a declawed cat. Have trimmed their claws from time to time when they've become a bit too prickle-happy, though. Also, desexing is going to happen. In fact, RSPCA only supplies sexless kittens, AFAIK.
posted by coriolisdave at 5:36 PM on November 1, 2005


Just want to add - although I mentioned Siamese as a talkative breed, I was absolutely not advocating purchasing a cat from a breeder. (I volunteer at an animal shelter!) Doesn't look like you plan to get a cat from a breeder anyway, but just wanted to be clear. One of my childhood cats was half Siamese, but by no means a purebred!
posted by amro at 5:55 PM on November 1, 2005


Lots of great advice here.

I've had two cats for 3 years now, a torti, and a freakishly large tabby. When I first got them I lived in a one bedroom apartment, and I have them now in a two bedroom apartment. Having cats in an apartment has not be a problem for me, and I don't think it will be for you.

I'm not sure if there is a difference between indoor and outdoor cats, but Brandy was born feral, and has adjusted to indoor life quite nicely. Indoor cats tend to live longer.

I echo the advice that you should get two cats. That way they can play with each other when you and your partner are out at work. Plus, one for each hand to pet! My cats aren't litter mates, but they were fostered together and are close in age, and they get along great. Another bonus in having two cats, they can clean each other, chase each other, and they each have a sparring partner.

My lessons learned:

* Self-cleaning litterboxes (the kind with the mechanical rake) suck. Worse than suck. I've had two, and all they have been are noisy, non-working, cat poop launchers.
* Keep the lid closed on the toilet.
* Cats are lactose intolerant.
* Buy a laser pointer.
* Don't feed them human food. My vet said "If it tastes good to you, it's bad for them."
* Paper bags and empty cardboard boxes are more fun for my cats than that $20 cat toy.
posted by Fat Guy at 6:26 PM on November 1, 2005


So many good answers have been provided regarding the first three questions that I will not bother with those. In regards to your fourth question, you may want to just get a mixed breed from your local RSPCA. Mixed breeds tend towards better health. If you're looking for specific personality traits, they look for a pure bred cat. However, know that they often have health issues which may be more than you bargained for.

In my experience, Persians are very picky about their litter boxes and may be prone to peeing out of the box. Some consider the long hair to be a pain to clean up. I find it easy to pick up a clump of long hair instead of fighting short hair everywhere. Persians tend toward being fond of just one person and allof towards others.

Burmese are friendly and affectionate. They are highly talkative. Ok, so that's an understatement. Mine never shuts up and if you get on the phone she increases her volume. Burmese are the cat version of a dog and can be taught to play fetch.

My mixed breed is moderately talkative, highly attentive and very loving. She's not much into play time, but is a champ at warming a lap. Your widest variety of personalities will be found in mixed breeds.

As a side note, many indoor cats are prone to dandruff and excess shedding. Regular brushing will help stimulate their skin to produce more oil and shed less. Even short haired cats benefit from this.
posted by onhazier at 6:30 PM on November 1, 2005


As almost everyone has mentioned, it depends on the cat.

My sister brought an adult stray home to her apartment. He looked around for a minute, then flopped down and went to sleep. She never had a problem with him going from being an outdoor cat to an indoor cat.

I really believe that some pound puppies and kitties know they are at the pound and just appreciate you taking them home.
posted by clh at 6:31 PM on November 1, 2005


what's the best way to introduce it to its new household?

The first thing you should do (and a friend who is a vet clued me in on this) is to enter the apartment and place the kitten in a clean and filled litter box -- that way he/she will know where it is and his/her exploration of the apartment will start from there. Having done this twice, I have never had an kitty/cat bathrrom problems. BTW - my two cats share a litter box and have no problem with it. Be sure to keep it clean. Be sure to "kitty-proof" parts of your apartment. Believe me, tiny kittens can squeeze into the most amazing small spaces and might end-up doing themselves harm. Be prepared for the kitten to "squirrel away" in private places (under beds, etc.) particularly in the first few days. Be careful when opening closet doors, file cabinet drawers and the like. They can "spirit" themselves in there. I have spent long bits of time in the past locating a cat or two hidden inside bundles of clothes or file cabinets.

I concur about not declawing. Buy a claw trimmer and carefully trim them on regular intervals. Learn to accept that some furniture, etc. may get clawed. Early on introduce the kitten to a scratching pad. A spray bottle spritzing water at a misbehaving kitten does wonders to "condition" him/her.

Good luck!
posted by ericb at 6:45 PM on November 1, 2005


I grew up in Britain and always had cats, my family let them come and go as they pleased and it worked well. When I moved to the US I missed having cats but letting them out wasn't an option, and I thought it was probably kinder not to have cats at all. Keeping them in seemed awful.

But now I have two cats (sisters from a rescue) in a big two bed apartment and it works great. They do tend to destroy the furniture, but more because they're on it all day than because they're bored I think. Declawing is not an option, but Softpaws (glue-on nail tips) are. I think they get a little bored, and miss us when we're out or away - my wife is away this week and they've been fighting more than usual and demanding extra affection. I think a single cat might be miserable, mine interact all the time. It may also have helped that they were pretty young (10 months) when we got them, I don't know.

The worst thing for me has been the litter box. I never had to deal with that before and it grosses me out, I worry that the apartment smells of it. Finding a good litter (Swheat Scoop) and cleaning it a lot have helped minimize the hassle. I also feel like I have to vacuum A LOT.

I feel better about keeping them in I think because they're rescue cats. Maybe it's irrational, but I feel like their alternative to a big apartment was a little pen in a shelter, or being put down, and that makes me feel better. Also, the shelter made us sign to say that we wouldn't let them out, so that kind of took it out of my hands.
posted by crabintheocean at 6:56 PM on November 1, 2005


1) Human food isn't bad for cats if it's cat-appropriate food. Vets like to say things like this because a) they don't spend much time on nutrition in vet school because there's a whole lot else to cover and b) people tend to overfeed their pets and most don't seem to realize that if you feed extra calories in one area you need to reduce calories elsewhere so it's expedient for vets to just say "don't feed people food". I believe very strongly in varied diets, as long as you're careful to maintain caloric intake at appropriate levels, and to ensure that the bulk of the diet is balanced (i.e. high quality commercial diet unless you've done your homework and are doing a balanced home-prepared diet). Vets who on the one hand recommend things like Science Diet or Iams, and on the other hand tell you not to feed people food are vets who haven't done much research into nutrition. Dandruff and excess shedding are very often related to poor-quality diet, feeding a high quality diet like Felidae, Innova or Wellness will often alleviate issues like this (as well as provide for better general nutrition).

2) Mixed breeds aren't intrinsically healthier than purebreds.

3) Agreement about declawing - get them accustomed to regular nail trims at an early age with lots of treats and praise.
posted by biscotti at 6:57 PM on November 1, 2005


Mixed breeds aren't intrinsically healthier than purebreds.

Yeah, at least with a purebred you know whether their parents have had any major health problems. There's such a thing as hybrid vigor and there are some breeds that are so inbred that they have characteristic health problems, but a good breeder keeps on top of that. Six of one, half dozen of the other. One good thing about a cat from a breeder is that you can predict their personality somewhat better because that is inherited partly from the animal's parents. If you don't know who the parents are, you have no way to tell.

I got my cat from the Humane Society. I said she's a Russian Blue but that's because that's the breed she looks like. She may well not be purebred, there's no way at all to tell. The Humane Society wouldn't classify her beyond "domestic shorthair." I highly recommend it even though the one in Michigan where I got Maggie was a real pain -- I had to drive up three days in a row before they'd finally let me take her home, and it wasn't a short trip either.

BTW, getting a cat from the Humane Society is one way to have a declawed cat without having to subject a cat to this arguably cruel surgery. There are always declawed cats available for adoption, and as far as I can reckon, there's nothing at all wrong with adopting one. The fact that the cat's original owners declawed it should not doom it to never live with humans again. Of course, declawed cats should be indoor-only pets and you should be very careful mixing them with cats that still have their claws.

If you do pick up "free kittens" offered from somewhere, which is a bit chancy, I've been advised never to pick the runt of the litter, as they are far more likely to have health problems than their more hardy littermates.

Self-cleaning litterboxes (the kind with the mechanical rake) suck.

The main problem with them in my experience (I have used the LitterMaid) is that they break, often inexplicably. I have not had trouble with them getting stuck or launching waste across the room. These sorts of problems typically mean that you've got too much litter in it. (There's a line on the side of the box that says "Fill to here" and it's way too high.) My last one, which just broke down last month, lasted nearly two years, which is a record. My two previous ones lasted about a year each. However, I have found that while they work, they are a godsend. Even after they stop working, it is still more convenient to rake the litter by hand into the little compartment and empty that once a week than it is to put the waste into a baggie every time you scoop. Still, I may not bother with a new LitterMaid at this point because they cost so much and break down so easily.
posted by kindall at 10:31 PM on November 1, 2005


When my boyfriend took in a stray (smart little guy was hanging around outside the restaurant where my boyf works) we were all prepared to slowly introducte him to the apartment and we expected him to hide under the bed and all those things we'd heard, but honestly Tempura was never scared and adjusted very quickly.

Definitely concur on kittyproofing. Don't put it off and think that you can keepy kitty out of a problematic area/room. It wont work, he'll dart in when you open the door or leap over the barrier or whatever.

Also concur on declawing. Don't do it. 'Nuff said.

I thought litterboxes were a little gross at first but you just have to find a good clumping litter and clean it daily. I thought Arm & Hammer was the best, I think the baking soda definitely helps absorb the odor.

Have fun!
posted by radioamy at 12:39 AM on November 2, 2005


The counterargument to the argument against declawing is that it is not by any reasonable measure significantly more selfish to want a cat plus unclawed furniture than it is to want a cat in the first place. I mean, you are getting an animal that has already been altered through centuries of human meddling from its natural state, and you are obtaining it, if you are honest with yourself, solely for your own pleasure. What's a little more customization, really?

Geez. Even animal-lovers will encourage you to cut the nuts off of male cats. To "control the pet population." It's not enough to give 'em a vasectomy though, their sex organs must apparently be entirely removed even though castration is a pretty damn extreme method of birth control. Well, it has a few "side benefits" -- it makes them calmer and stops them from spraying -- and these side benefits no doubt play their part in making castration (which we call by the euphemism "neutering" so our testicles, if we are so equipped, don't retract involuntarily each time we talk about it) the "humane" surgery for tomcats. Seems like pretty radical surgery to stop cats from peeing on your walls, doesn't it, when they could probably come up with some other solution for the birth control angle? And spaying for females is the same: they remove the whole plumbing system to keep the animal from going into heat and attracting toms and annoying its owner. Otherwise they'd just use kitty IUDs or something. Both spaying and neutering are pretty much as radical as declawing, if you look at it objectively.

(Speaking only for myself, if I was offered a choice of having either my fingertips or my balls cut off, I'd probably opt to give up the fingertips, especially if I was going to live a life of luxury in which I wouldn't actually need them. Balls, though -- you never know when you might need them, even if you think you never will. Right guys?)

The surgery is made to sound far more traumatic than it actually is; my parents did actually have their cat declawed after they got her a couple years ago and she's fine. It's done under anesthesia and if it's done at all competently, the cat will be walking normally, if a bit gingerly, not too long afterward and forget about it entirely a couple weeks after the bandages are off. A declawed cat is not going to suffer from PTSD flashbacks or anything.

I'm not advocating having your cat declawed. Actually, I have mixed feelings about it myself, so I was a little dismayed, but not really surprised, to find out that having their cat declawed was one of my dad's conditions for having a cat in the house. Still, the animal has brought a lot of happiness to them, particularly my mother, and the cat seems perfectly happy despite the "ghastly mutilation" it has "suffered."

So if you do, after due consideration, decide to have your cat declawed, you shouldn't let anyone make you feel guilty about it. In the grand scheme, it is an animal, it belongs to you, and you will decide what is best for it. If you decide that you want it to continue living with you even though it has a tendency to scratch at the furniture, and that the best way to achieve coexistence is by declawing it, well, that's not much different from the decision you made when you got it in the first place, except you didn't know for sure then that you were going to have the scratching issue.

If you instead decide you could never ever do something so cruel to your cuddly wudlly moggie, then that's fine too. There's nothing wrong with making a decision like that based on gut-level reaction. What's wrong is when people try to turn their personal revulsion into a moral imperative, as though a reasonable person could not possibly feel any differently, and try to run guilt trips on people who have made a different decision from theirs.

As I said above, of course, you can do an end-run around the whole issue by adopting a cat that is already declawed. They need love too! That is to say, equivalently, that a declawed cat will make you just as happy as one that has its claws.
posted by kindall at 2:34 AM on November 2, 2005


To "control the pet population." It's not enough to give 'em a vasectomy though, their sex organs must apparently be entirely removed even though castration is a pretty damn extreme method of birth control. Well, it has a few "side benefits" -- it makes them calmer and stops them from spraying -- and these side benefits no doubt play their part in making castration (which we call by the euphemism "neutering" so our testicles, if we are so equipped, don't retract involuntarily each time we talk about it) the "humane" surgery for tomcats. Seems like pretty radical surgery to stop cats from peeing on your walls, doesn't it, when they could probably come up with some other solution for the birth control angle? And spaying for females is the same: they remove the whole plumbing system to keep the animal from going into heat and attracting toms and annoying its owner. Otherwise they'd just use kitty IUDs or something. Both spaying and neutering are pretty much as radical as declawing, if you look at it objectively.


Except that both have added health benefits for the animals (eliminated or greatly reduced chances for certain cancers and infections), unlike declawing. And neutering in particular is very minor surgery in cats - it's normally done under short-acting injectable anaesthetic and you rarely even need to put stitches in. It also has psychological benefits, and the animals don't have the same emotional attachment to their naughty bits as people do. I'm no radical "FIX YOUR PET" person, I have no problem with people keeping intact animals (my own dog is intact) as long as they can manage them responsibly, but desexing is not really as equivalent to declawing as you're implying.

Declawing, on the other paw, is taking the last joints of the toes off, it's painful (until you have seen a cat propping itself up in a corner of its cage to avoid having to put its front feet on the floor because of the pain, you likely don't appreciate this, most cats have at least a day of fairly extreme discomfort after being declawed - by contrast, most cats barely even seem to notice being spayed or neutered), it has no health benefits, and I find it appalling that people do it routinely along with desexing without even waiting to see if clawing is going to be a problem. I'll be clear: it's far from the worst thing you can do to a cat, and in cases where the owner has tried to train the cat to claw appropriately, has provided enticing and appropriate clawables, if it's a choice between surrendering the animal or declawing it, declawing is probably a better choice. But it's not really comparable to desexing in the way you're implying, it has a much more profound effect on the cat's physical and psychological wellbeing than desexing does (declawed cats tend to be much faster to bite, and they often have gait and other movement abnormalities).
posted by biscotti at 6:10 AM on November 2, 2005


(1) Are 'inside' cats different from 'outside' cats personality-wise?
I've found outside cats can be a bit more stand-offish than indoor cats.

(2) My partner and I both work full-time. Is kitty going to get bored cooped up inside all day alone?
(3) If (2 == true), would getting two kittens at the same time help? Or just make things worse (two bored animals == progressively less couch?)

For the most part, I've had multiple cats (two and three). Two kitties are best for keeping themselves (and you!) entertained.

(4) Things to do, lessons learnt, breeds* to acquire/avoid?
- I've only had mixed breeds.
- I had always thought females were more stand-offish than males. Wrong! My Abigail is the cuddliest of cuddle bunnies. I guess it's something you can chalk up to the personality of the individual cat.
- Yes, paper bags and empty cardboard boxes are the bestest of cat toys. Also bits of rope can be fun too. Just make sure it's not too narrow gauge-wise. A meter long rope is a good length. They are evil snakes to be pounced upon and killed.
- Good quality food is a must. Nutro is awesome. Poop stink is minimal and there's not nearly as much poop as there is with cheaper brands.
- I use clumping litter and de-chunk it daily. Add new litter as necessary. My cats like it fairly deep. A lot of people say to use a litter box per cat. My current pair are fine using the same box (this is a good thing because I don't have room for two boxes).

Should we both take a couple of days (a week? two?) off work specifically for kitten bonding, or just kinda get one on the way home from work on a Friday, and carry on as normal and assume kitty will find its own niche?
Getting the kitties on a Friday should be fine. I've never taken off time to help acclimate a kitten. They seem to settle in quickly.
posted by deborah at 11:18 AM on November 2, 2005


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