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lynn237

Need advice from all you cat lovers

Lyban zone 4
2 months ago

I know there are so many on here that have a cat or two so i am asking for your ideas.


my daughter is thinking of getting a cat for her family. Not a christmas present but sometime in the new year.

she is asking me many questions and i am not sure of answers so thought i would ask here.

they have one daughter of 13 and a golden doodle of 5.


1… she does not want a kitten so is wondering what approx. age would be good. the shelters seem to have young, adult and senior.


2….long haired or short haired.


3….male or female


4…..any particular breed.


5….. friendly and affectionate, but how can you tell when you see them.


i know some people will say just adopt anyone because they all need homes but the truth is she wants to make an informed choice so that all will go well.


thanks for any help







Comments (30)

  • amykath
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Lyban,

    Congrats to your daughter in gettiing a new kitty cat!

    To be on the safe side I would go with a male cat. Females are more unpredictable.

    How old is her dog? Dogs are generally (from my experience) fine with a new car. He/she might just be a bit standoffish. However, I am not familiar with the godlen doodle's personality type.

    In terms of age I would think about 1 -2 years of age would be good. I would look for a 1 year old. However, when you see the cat that is the one you gravitate towards the most, (the one that just click with) the rest of the suggestions might go out the window!

    Two of my cats have the fluffier fur that sheds a lot. One has more of a smooth coat and he does not shed nearly as much. Personally, I would get a short haired cat, just to make it easier in terms of shedding and cleaning.

    As far as -how to tell if they are freindly and affectionate, that might be tough. Maybe she will find one that shows those traits immediateyly. Sometimes, they are just scared and it takes time to warm up to someone.

    I would just go with my gut feeling and that little voice in your head. That would be my most important piece of advice!

    I have calicos but they might be mixed with some tabby. Their mom was an outdoor feral cat and super loving and friendly, so we took her in and realized she was pregant, I was there helping her with the birth of five cats. That was something! I kept two bc I could not part with either or make a decision on just one to keep. They are defintely a mix of who knows what.

    Keep us posted!!

    Amy

    Lyban zone 4 thanked amykath
  • 3katz4me
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I like short haired cats - just easier. I agree that 1-2 years old is a good age - you can tell what their personality is like by that age. I would recommend looking for one on PetFinder that's part of a foster organization. The foster family will be able to describe what the cat's personality is like and I would recommend getting one that's in a home with a dog and that gets along well with the dog. I've never thought too much about male or female - have had several of both - but now that I think about it I do think overall the males have been more laid back.

    When you check out a cat to adopt you can tell what the personality is like. Does it come up to you and rub your leg or is it skittish and afraid? Does it let you pick it up and hold it, sit on your lap, purr? Or does it squirm to get away. When I adopted one of my cats (from a shelter) when the volunteer pulled him out of his room and handed him to me, he snuggled his head right into my neck and that was all she wrote. He's been a passive, lover boy ever since. Another cat I got from a foster was nice but wouldn't stay and hang with me - she went back to her bed in another room. She is sweet but has grown up to be a little more temperamental. The latest one I got as a kitten and she was a snuggler and a big purrer. She's now about a year and a half and she loves to be held and snuggles up on my chest and purrs. She is a little more of a scaredy cat - I think because she never had to rough it as a stray. In my experience cats that were rescued as strays seem more adaptable and almost thankful to get a good home.

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  • Bestyears
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Good for her for being so thoughtful about an important decision. I have two important recommendations: (1) Find a shelter or rescue that will allow you to take her dog to the shelter and see how the two animals do with each other. They don't have to love each other, but it is somewhat common to find cats and/or dogs who don't seem to mind each other; (2) Find a shelter or rescue which will allow you to return the kitty after a week or two if it just isn't working out. This isn't the tall order it may sound like. Our local city-run shelters allows both of these. Please don't think of this as cruel to the kitty. It's no different than if you were fostering it, and any time out of a shelter is good for these animals.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Bestyears
  • cawaps
    2 months ago

    I think 1 to 3 years is good. My sister has adopted older cats (7+), and it just seems like such a short time before the tolls of old age set in.


    I have 3 cats, one medium hair (not quite long enough to qualify as long hair) and two short hair. One of the short hairs in much more plush than the other two cats, and she sheds the most of the three. I joke that I have a lion, a lioness, and a snow leopard. Her fur is built for cold winters. So if you are concerned about shedding, pay attention to both fur length and thickness. My medium hair cat has a tendency to get poop stuck in the fur of his hind end, which is gross. I don't know if that's a common problem with long haired cats, but my guess is yes.


    I don't know that it makes much difference male or female for the first cat. I have heard--and these could just be old wives tales--that orange males are nicer than orange females, and that calicos (female) tend to be less nice. I have no idea if there's any truth to that. When I got my third cat, I was advised that it would be better to add a female to my male and female pair, since there would likely be more friction having two males than two females. I don't imagine that will be an issue for your daughter for a while, if ever.


    I've always adopted from a shelter, and I never weighted the breed very heavily. Most shelter cats are mutts, with a weighting toward American shorthair or American longhair. I've got three tuxedo cats right now (that's a color, not a breed; I think the color pattern shows up in multiple breeds). Before that I had a couple marmalade males, one who was lovely and one who was socially manipulative.


    As to how you you know if they are friendly and affectionate, it isn't always obvious. Some cats that are standoffish with strangers can be very friendly and affectionate once they settle in. A cat that is friendly and affectionate on first meeting is a safe bet, but I haven't found that to be all that common (one of my cats loves everybody, but one who is very affectionate with me is not so keen on strangers). Adoption center staff should have a good sense of their cats personalities, especially if they've been there a while as is often the case with adult cats. They also might have info on which cats are know to be okay with dogs.


    Lyban zone 4 thanked cawaps
  • Olychick
    2 months ago

    I agree with getting a cat that is being fostered. They may be in a home with dogs, so you will know if the cat is used to dogs. I think you can introduce them in the household slowly, but if the cat has never been around a dog (and is not a tiny kitten) they may be too fearful to ever get comfortable. Or they might be fine. I think doodles are quite playful, so a young, playful cat would be a good fit.

    People are partial to certain breeds...I've always loved Manx cats and Siamese and have had two 1/2 Siamese Manx in my life and adored them both. I'm catless now because my grandson is allergic, but I get my kitty fixes from my friends' cats and youtube/facebook. If I were to get a cat today, based on just what I see there, I think I might really love a gray tabby. They seem to be very smart and affectionate. I'd spend some time looking at videos of different breeds and see if there are traits that appeal to her.

    Or just go on the recommendation of a rescue/foster who is in LOVE with their foster cat and highly touts their charge as the perfect cat for your daughter.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Olychick
  • laceyvail 6A, WV
    2 months ago

    Calico and tortoise cats are always female, and I think ginger cats (orange) are usually male. Male cats are generally easier going--there's a reason female cats are termed "Queens." And in my experience, ginger cats are especially easy going and sweet tempered. Too bad your daughter isn't close to me. A friend of mine fosters cats and she has a lovely, lively, and sweet tempered young ginger with faint tabby lines that she is hoping to place in a home with kids.

    Just to add, tuxedo cats and tabbies can go either way--easy going or not, but many black cats can be standoffish and unfriendly, though there certainly are exceptions.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked laceyvail 6A, WV
  • schoolhouse_gwagain
    2 months ago

    Besides the personality and age, consider the other factors i.e. they WILL shed, they will sit and lay on your furniture and throws, litter box habits, cleaning the box, smelling the box (!), choosing the best food you can afford and most of it is expensive, vet bills (shots, dental).


    That being said - I love my cats! They are great companions. I have two males and one female. I agree with the above that the neutered males are more loving and eager to please. ha The female rules the roost, but she is the inside cat and of course considers the house her territory.


    I've also had dogs at the same time as cats, never had a problem. The dogs usually were dominated by the cats! A meet and greet with your dog does seem like a good idea tho.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked schoolhouse_gwagain
  • Bunny
    2 months ago

    I love male cats, swore I'd never get another female, and then I adopted twin tuxes, male and female. I simply adore dear Bessie so that no more female thing is off the table. She turned me around.

    All my cats have been shorthairs, except Luther the Maine Coon/Norwegian Forest Cat. Omg, how I loved that cat. I think long hair is easier to clean up than short, but there is brushing involved and every spring he got a lion cut, which he loved (after the fact). I would not use length of hair as a deciding factor.

    I've had black cats and they've been sweet and cuddly.

    Orange cats I love love love. My Cosmo was the best guy ever, and a great slow dancer.

    Right now I'm head over heels in love with tuxedos. I have no choice. They are my loves.

    As for adopting a cat that needs to be integrated with existing dogs and/or cats. Most good shelters and rescue orgs have done some encounters to see what's up. They want the best outcome for adoptions. They'll say things like, good with confident cats, wants to be the only cat in the house, etc.

    My daughter has been living with me for 7 months. Her dog and my cats are fine together. She also has a black cat that came into the house with a resident male and female cat. I was somewhat apprehensive, esp. about how my male would react. They bonded instantly, most incredible. Bessie hissed and growled and pouted in another room for a day or two, and then everybody was good. We're very grateful. I suspect I could bring another cat into the house and we'd be good.

    Cats are my jam. I love dogs but I don't want one of my own.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Bunny
  • amykath
    2 months ago

    I wanted to add that the most loving and affectionate of my 3 cats is the ginger boy Henry. I see him as more like a dog than even a dog. He gazes on me with his loving eyes when I am not even looking. He also talks to me. I mean that in all kinds of meows and different sounds of meows. He is like my best friend and soul mate as far as cats go.


    I have two females and one is skiddish and the other loves any and alll attention she can get.


    Finally, one the kittens that we had to find a home for was black and super friendly and kind.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked amykath
  • palimpsest
    2 months ago

    Bombay cats, which are solid black and short haired are very affectionate and are playful more like a dog. They can be leash trained if you want. They are also vocal, sometimes loudly. But I would definitely get another Bombay when the time comes.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked palimpsest
  • Bunny
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I love brown tabbies too. Any color works for me.

    Cats are notorious for pouting and ignoring you when you've been away, but mine always rush to the door to greet me no matter how briefly I've been out of the house. I know a lot of animal lovers who, when their last pet dies, say no more. But I don't think I could live without another sentient being in the house. Saying goodbye is very very hard to do, but it can't negate the wonderful time we spent together. I never thought I could love a cat as much as Jack or Cosmo or Luther...and then along came Bessie and Zephyr.

    ETA: Zephie has had his paw and chin on my forearm the entire time I've been typing this post. "Say this...no, no, say that...tell them how cats are the masterminds of the universe!"

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Bunny
  • lascatx
    2 months ago

    Has the dog been around cats? At 5, the doodle is a full adult and probably pretty easy going, unless he has more poodle energy than golden, but the first thing to check for me is the dog, not the cat. We have a doodle and are thinking of adding a cat and are thinking that a kitten will allow the kitten to grow up with the dog already in place. That said, my 2 favorite cats ever came to us at near a year -- one from a shelter and one a feral cat who adopted me and my other cat, so I will look up to that age, I will look for a foster to adopt or situation that allows me to return the cat if I am wrong about our dog liking a feline companion. Our doodle came from a rescue and was in a foster home with cats and smaller dogs, doesn't often chase squirrels and is not really aggressive - just loud to alert us to strangers, so we think she will be fine with and even like a feline friend. The kitten will grow up knowing the dog and be more likely to accept being the tagalong/younger sibling. An older cat could be more independent or not like dogs at all and we want them to be companions to each other. So that's our thinking.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked lascatx
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    2 months ago

    I assume your cat wll be neutered when you get it. That’s a must. And make all efforts towards blessing your cat with an inside life. A long haired cat will need to be brushed frequently bit some don’t like that. Actually, ALL cats benefit from brushing.


    To keep your cat happy and healthy, you should provide a good, sturdy climbing platform with different levels and a sleeping compartment. They often include a scratching post. You should have a couple of scratching surfaces around the house, vertical and horizontal.


    Cat proof your home for your peace of mind and his safety. Mine simply doesn’t jump up on high surfaces or counters but most cats do. You don’t want him to be knocking a valuable vase or figurine to the floor.


    If you have a two story home, give him a litter pan on each floor. Paco uses one for poo and the other for pee! It’s hilarious.


    Our black cat was about a year and a half when he adopted us…..over seventeen years ago! He’s been an utter joy.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • Lyban zone 4
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I just got the chance to look at all these answers and am so pleased you all took so much time to give me your thoughts. i read them all and will go back now and re read.

    a lot of good ideas that i am sharing with my daughter.

    if anyone thinks of anything more please post.

  • blfenton
    2 months ago

    Who actually wants the cat? Cats can live until they're 15-18 (and more) years old. While they don't need walking their litter boxes need to be cleaned daily (and some cats are fussier than others as to how clean they need to be) they need to be fed and if they're lap cats they will demand constant attention.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked blfenton
  • Eileen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I'm going to second rhizo in that black cats are pretty special. Our ten year old male is a love sponge. You can do just about anything to him and he doesn't complain. We didn't intend to get a plain ole black cat but we wanted a kitten and it's all that was available. We got lucky though!

    Veterinarians at UC Davis conducted a survey of cat owners about cat behavior and black cats were found to be the most easy-going.

    Potential adopters tend to gravitate toward colorful cats, research has shown, while black cats tend to linger longer in shelters. The key, said Doty and Knepp, is finding the right personality match. Black cats, Knepp said, “seem to have the most balanced personalities, from my observations. For the most part they are very stable.”

    https://santamariatimes.com/ap/lifestyles/uc-davis-study-calico-tortoiseshell-female-cats-often-most-challenging/article_e348d51e-a761-55a2-8848-503793fe63ac.html

    We once went into a cat shelter and they had dozens of black kittens. We adopted Scoot from a foster organization though. I recommend a foster cat if you are adopting an adult.

    Both of our cats have medium-length fur, with long fur mainly on their bellies. They do require more frequent combing. They are so soft though. DH calls Scoot "Mr. Velvet".

    With cats, you get back what you put in. I don't find them aloof or unattached to their owners like some dog owners claim. It's a good sign that a cat likes people when it rolls over to have its belly scratched or rubs up against your legs. Our fussy tortie does neither and can only be safely petted along her back.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Eileen
  • nicole___
    2 months ago

    Here's a shortened version of my previous answer:

    Short haired black, male/neutered. 1.5-3 years old. This is a smart, low shedding cat.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked nicole___
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    2 months ago

    We had a male cat that we ran into trouble with as, when we moved, there was another cat in the neighborhood and he started marking his territory all over the house! Ugh! On brand new carpets! I think that behavior is much more of a problem with boys than girls. After he passed, we got 2 girls as kittens, though from different litters. They are very neat and clean, very different personalities, but they get along fine. Like any couple, they have their spats, but for the most part, it's peaceful. One is a gray tabby who follows me around like a puppy dog. The other is a tuxedo, who is a total love sponge and will take as much love as you're willing to give.


    Cats are so much easier than dogs!

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • Bunny
    2 months ago

    Scratching posts. Lots of them. It helps keep their claws off the corners of furniture. But sometimes you need extra help. I have found Sticky Paws tape to work very well to deter my cats from scratching furniture.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Bunny
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    2 months ago

    I’ll add that our vet and his staff all love Paco. He purrs the whole time during his annual wellness visit, which includes shots and blood taking. 🐈‍⬛

    Lyban zone 4 thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
    2 months ago

    RE litter: cats really do mind if the box isn't clean enough, and will find somewhere else to go if it isn't. They don't like stinky dirty litter any better than humans! She may have to experiment with different sizes and type (ie, covered vs. uncovered) to find one that the cat prefers. However, most of my cats have never been that picky with the exception that they didn't seem to like covered boxes. Yet I know people whose cats strongly prefer a covered or semi-enclosed box.

    I think that they also do not like highly scented litter. It will be smart to find out what kind of litter the cat is used to, since there are options beyond clay based. I thought "yesterday's news" paper litter would be great, but that got a no from my cat. There is a product called "Cat Attract" that can be useful to help a cat adapt to a new little box and location.

    I always took the cat to the box, set it inside, then took the paws and did a little digging motion to show that was the spot for that. Once or twice was enough.

    I've always thought that orange tabbies had the best all-around personalities. But, I have had gray tabbies, mostly black, mostly white (with a yellow tabby cap and tail), torties, longhaired with siamese markings, even a gray tuxedo - and they've all been loving and good companions.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio
  • lascatx
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I've had an all white cat (the formerly feral one), and all black cat, one I believe was a Ragdoll and one was a Maine Coon. I'm thinking new kitty will likely be black, white, grey or a combination, but personality will be more important than appearances.

    We talked about getting a cat with the vet today at Lulu's annual visit. She endorsed the plan -- as much as you can have a plan, and suggested we look into a Litter Robot. She doesn't have one but has apparently been told they are life changing and thinks she will get one atr some point.

    And yes, cats can live longer than dogs. My 15-1/2 yr old lab was one of the oldest labs the owner of the vet clinics had seen -- the tech said only one similar. Our last two cats were 19 and 20. I've had friends who had 21 and 22 year old cats.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    My rule has always been to have one more litter boxes than cats. Yes, when I had 10 cats I had 11 litter boxes. I also scooped twice a day every day. Kept problems from starting.

    (I am not the crazy cat lady, I worked in the Humane Industry and acquired sick, injured or homeless cats that probably wouldn't get adopted.)


    Cat colors are colors, not personalities. I have seen spit fire mean cats in every color and sweet, loving cats in every color.


    BTW - about 80% of Orange Tabbies are male, 20% female.

    Cat color is carried through the X chromosome. Because a female cat has two X chromosomes, they need the Orange color to come from both their mother and father; because a male cat has an X and a Y chromosome, they need only get the orange chromosome from their mom.

    Calicos/Orange and Black tortoiseshell are almost always female and male's will be sterile.

    To be Orange and Black a female cat (two X Chomosomes) gets the orange color from one parent and the black color from the other parent. For a Male to be orange and black it needs to have an extra X chromosome YXX instead of YX.


    Siamese - pointed colors are very interesting. The cat is actually the color of their points, but they have a gene that suppresses melanin production at 101 degrees (body temperature of a cat) Their extremities are cooler and so they get color only on the ears, face, tail and lower legs.


    If I were looking for a cat for a kid and did not want to get a kitten I would watch next door - seems that someone is always looking for homes for cats on next door. At the shelter we don't get to see how the cats will behave in a home, so we don't actually know if the cat will consistently use a litter box. If you or I take a cat home and find it doesn't use the litter box all the time we can take it back to the shelter. A kid is going to be heart broken if they get a cat and have to give it back. The other option is to have the cat stay at your mom's house or a siblings house for a few days to test how well it uses the litter box. While it is at the temporary home take it to the vet and have it tested for Feline Leukemia and FIV. This will protect your daughter from getting too attached in case something goes wrong.


    With multi cat households usually only one of the females will vie for your attention. In the wild there is one male cat and lots of females, but one female that is the matriarch. The matriarch is the one that gets all of the attention. When I would have a matriarch that passed away, another female that used to sit off on the sidelines would become the new matriarch and suddenly become my lap cat. My husband was apparently the lesser human - while the matriarch would take my lap as their home, two or three could hang out on my husbands lap and recliner at the same time and not get hissed at.


    The boys didn't seem to have this issue, but I only brought boys in that had been neutered early in life. I had a few when I first started in the industry that were not neutered early and sprayed - had to build an outdoor cattery attached to my garage for them. They did not get to live in the house if they sprayed.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • Bunny
    2 months ago

    The only male cat I’ve had that ever sprayed in the house was neutered as a kitten. It was a territorial thing when we adopted a female stray. Fortunately we were able to curb this behavior with Feliway. Male cats are my jam. Exception: my darling girl Bessie.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Bunny
  • Jennifer Hogan
    2 months ago

    All cats can spray - even females can be sprayers, but it is much more common in male cats that are not neutered. Neutering before they are sexually mature is the best deterrent I know.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked Jennifer Hogan
  • 3katz4me
    2 months ago

    I've never had a male cat that sprayed. I got one male as a kitten and the others when they were young adults. They were all neutered, indoor only cats with one-two feline housemates. I've always had a mix of male and female. I got one cat when she was 7 months old and she was the only one who didn't consistently use the litter box and it was a tough problem to solve. Eventually she was diagnosed with feline urological syndrome but that either wasn't present or not diagnosed at the beginning though she was tested for all kinds of things. At one point I had four litter boxes and was cleaning them four times a day because she was (and still is) so fussy about the box. Fortunately she is very receptive to praise and somehow I'd catch her using the box and praise her profusely every time I saw her in action and she finally got over the problem.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked 3katz4me
  • lascatx
    2 months ago

    The only cat I've had spray was my Maine Coon -- a female, spayed young but a bit high strung. She was the reason we went to an artificial Christmas tree. Apparently there was some critter smell in the tree or it smelled of the outdoors and my tree skirt and window treatments got hit. No other issues until we moved, and she would spray outside the litter pan -- got a covered one, still messy, and by the front window where neighbors told us the PO's dog would sit and look out. That and hairballs are my hesitations about getting a cat again -- but I think we are headed that way.

    Lyban zone 4 thanked lascatx
  • Lyban zone 4
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Well you ladies have sure given myself and daughter a lot of information.

    she is doing her homework now and plans to start her search in the new yesr.


    i hope she finds a loving cat.


    thanks again to you all.

    i will let you know the final chapter as this story unfolds.


  • Jilly
    2 months ago

    Can’t wait to see her new family member. 🥰

    I love all cats. All.

    But I have a special fondness for short-haired Tabby males.



    Lyban zone 4 thanked Jilly