Here's how you can tell if you should b a cat owner
July 5 2002 at 1:10 PM
jammintam (no login)
I too am an apartment dweller and dogs are a no-no but 4 sum reason cats are deemed OKAY . I got a cat, had him for eternity (it seemed)and his temperment was way decent but here is how you can tell if you are willing to own a cat.
Volunteer at an "old folks home" wiping ass everyday and they are ALL losing their hair so you have to "finger comb" the hair off the furnature, clothing, shoes...EVERTHING.
Yeah after a week of that you will know if you are up to own a F&*ing cat-promise!
Cats are self-cleaning creatures. If you brush it every now and then, that reduces the shedding. I've never had to wipe a cat's ass, either!
Honestly, the amount of mess and inconvenience involved is inversely proportional to the amount you get back from a cat. When they reach their declining years, it might require a little extra effort on your part, but not a whole lot.
How can you tell if you should be a cat owner? If you understand that a cat becomes a lifelong companion, and should be treated and respected as a member of the family. No cat is "perfect," not even the purebreds, and if you're thinking you could just unload it on a shelter because you don't "feel like" taking care of it anymore, or because it got old and isn't a kitten anymore, then you should get a stuffed animal.
Really, if a cat is too much work for you, I can't imagine ANY live animal being suitable for your lifestyle.
Oh yeah, as a cat owner, you have to have your ego in check. It's not like being the Master, and having a creature acting all submissive.
It's completely the opposite. You have to be able to see the humor in the way a cat is able to train its human "owner." You should be able to laugh at the way a cat does dumb things while trying to look cool. You have to be willing to be driven slightly nuts by "cat logic" (always needing to be on the other side of the door after it's been closed; insisting on certain things being done in a certain way, etc.)
I totally agree with what you've said about commitment to loving and caring for the animal, but I must say that we cannot give the impression that cats are totally self care. I have 2 - one with very short hair and the other with medium. They BOTH get hairballs. I know- ew! ick!- but a necessary subject if we are going to discuss good cat care. The Summer heat really causes my cats to shed terribly and then, of course they ingest the hair when they bathe themselves. The resulting bouts of retching are painful to watch- and they become constipated, too! Don't be scared off, though, Todd, these problems are dealt with very easily by feeding them special food or treats that contain ingredients to deal with it. I admit, this is starting to sound like alot of work, but they are really worth it!
i got a sickly cat. at 6 months old he'd been on steroids several times for an unknown allergy. they told me it was the food. $23 every month and a half! long haired cat, but something was off in his digestive system. i STILL have to wipe his ass. ever seen a cat scoot their butt on the floor cuz they can't get it cleaned? it's the funniest damn move they can make, but also the scariest cuz you never know if it's just an itch or if something's gonna come off (like a dingleberry). he once had a fungal infection on his stomach, compounded by a bacterial infection from licking it raw. took 3 months for his hair to grow back there. i had to put the cone on his head and spray his stomach with tinactin, then give him liquid antibiotics twice daily. he caught on to that one real quick. he has always been a little overweight, then i got a kitten for him to play with and hoped he'd lose weight. nope, he's even fatter than before. 16 lbs! but he's still an agile little bastard. and he thumps on the kitten hardcore.
and the kitten! he's mean! i got two of the most difficult cats ever, i believe. parents have my fat cat's brother- he's been a gem. then they took in a stray and she's just about the best cat ever (except that natural urge to scratch). i musta just lucked out. i think the cats were a sign from God that my decision not to have children was the right one!!! either that or He's prepping me FOR having kids. <shudder>
so why do i put up with it? the same reason everyone does. when i'm sleeping and my fat cat is curled up at my feet and my kitten is purring in my ear i know i've done a good job. unconditional love is a huge motivator.
My cat doesn't shed much, doesn't get hairballs, doesn't stink, doesn't get sick, I don't need to wipe his ass or brush him, he stays clean on his own & pretty much DOES take care of himself. All I have to do is make sure he has crunchy food in his bowl and some water, and change his litterbox every once in a while.
I guess some people have bad luck with the cat they get, but mine is the easiest pet to take care of ever. I have a dog too & my dog is WAY more responsibility (take him out, bathe him, etc).
You need to get a cat and woman to care for the cat. My man does all the litter and hairball related stuff and I am reaping all the benefits. Plus one of my cats is a dog in a cat body so he's super playful and loyal to me. Just don't get long hair varieties or you'll be vacuuming every three days like me.
Todd - Cats can be really sweet and loving, but don't buy all the hype about them being clean. My cats washed a little now and then but their butts were always crispy and smelly and if they love you they always present butt so you can smell them.
Also, they do barf on things. Esp. if they get upset about a change in the household. Like those rambunctious nephews come over - the cat might barf. Most likely in the center of your bed.
But, they're better than dogs for an apartment guy. Don't get a dog ... you have to get two for it to be sane. So one cat is better, because dogs have all the drawbacks of cats plus more.
There is way more mess with dogs. Dog poop is gross, dude. No lie. Cat poop is dry - if they're healthy - and easily scoopable or just dump the whole thing of litter in a bag and be done with it. Cat pee is actually the one you gotta watch out for. My female cat used to let me know when I was screwing up by peeing on favorite pieces of clothing...that I had left on the floor. She's over that now.
I had a few parakeets in junior high and they were way messy and gross - spewing seed-shells all over and poopin', poopin', poopin'.
With anything in an aquarium, you have to clean out the thing like every couple of weeks or it starts to reek.
Cats are cool and funny and loving and full o' beans and graceful and zen-like. I've had my 2 cats for over 13 years now - since my first summer of college - and I can't imagine how I would have gotten thru the lonely, tough and boring times of my 20s with out them. Cat's rule! Those who think different are probably control freaks who can't stand an animal with a brain and a sense of itself.
My main advice to you if you get a cat...don't ever feed them wet food! It's like crack, once they get get a taste they want it ALL the time and they will dance on your head at 6am to get it! Damn you Friskies!!!