“ Do you like cats? „
Cats are distinctly different in personality to dogs. They have the air of independence and are definitely not "owned" in the way other animals are. I always thought of myself as more of a dog person until we bought our first home and was adopted by a cat. He quite literally just moved in. We have loved and lost and currently have 3 ginger toms.
Our 'boys' are definitely family cats, often each child has one on their beds, and which cat is where varies from night to night. They sense when a child is ill, our youngest child was sick last weekend and had all three in her room which was quite amusing. Over the years they have been dressed up, pushed around the garden in tractors / push chairs, and taught tricks (unsuccessfully) all without being concerned and mutual enjoyment obvious. I strongly believe if animals are brought in a loving family environment they become incredibly tolerant of children. Ours will cuddle up on knees / lie in our arms and fall asleep and generally are full of love and affection.
Most cats seem to sell in ads for £40 ish and our oldest boy cost around that, we were given our 2 younger ones by someone who knew they'd get a good home, as we hadn't actively been looking to extend our brood.
We feed our boys wet food (tinned) and dry (biscuits). We tend to leave dry food out all the time and feed first thing in a morning, and whenever asked thereafter. I would say each cat averages a tin of food a day. They also enjoy any left over meat.
Fleas / Worms
We had a problem with fleas last year but generally we stay on top by using flea collars and spot on type treatments. I also use a flea comb frequently.
I also worm them frequently as they do eat the local wildlife so more at risk of worms than less predatory cats.
All our boys are neutered and was around £40 each however you can get vouchers towards this if on benefits (we weren't eligible). Costs slightly more for females.
Vaccinations are yearly and quite expensive, it costs me well over a £100 for all 3 each year
We have a cat flap and they come in and out as they please. The downside being all our boys are very predatory and bring home quite a lot of dead mice and birds (which they eat) so its not unusual to find innards etc on the carpet. I spent 30 minutes catching a live mouse that had been let go this week which I was able to release back into the garden. Some owners might find this side of cats distressing however although its not nice, I think at least they are eating them which seems more natural than just killing and leaving carcasses everywhere.
I can't image life without our boys and make a fantastic pet whilst being independent in many ways. Therefore I am scoring 5 out of 5.
Excuse me, Mr. dooyoo, but I must strongly protest at the gross injustice of your title. Whether this be a mere typographical error, or something more pernicious (such as political correctness, or propaganda through language - oh please don't tell me you haven't read Chomsky...), I cannot be certain. But of one thing I most defintely AM certain - you homo sapiens do not own us. Such a notion is simply laughable.
While you are all hauling your unshapely, hairless forms out of bed, we are settling down for our fourth nap of the morning. And while you slog your way through a day of spreadsheets, and tube stations, and middle managers called Nigel and lunches of disappointing, soggy sandwiches, we have free roam of your streets and sofas and kitchen surfaces. If you are still clinging onto the antiquated idea that you are the dominant life form on the planet, then there is little hope for you. I will try to elaborate though - please do try to keep up.
Evolution is a funny thing - its twists and channels have somehow thrown us together (with us very much on top, do not forget that). Although you may have invented the wheel (yawn), and moveable type and the combustion engine, this has all been in vain - credit where it's due though, you get a bonus point for string and the laser pointer - as none of these things has saved you any labour at all. You don't need opposable thumbs to win; retractable claws, darling, lead to seven day weekends.
Did you know that 80% of the content of your 'internet' is dedicated to us, and we cost you $47 billion dollars in lost revenue every fiscal year from your worker drones gawping at our antics on youtube? And if you are alarmed at my diction, then it pains me to turn traitor to my kind for a moment. While we may be portrayed as ungrammatical 'LOLcats', incapable of correct syntax or pluralisation, I must confess that this is just one more tool in our box to keep you all under our spell. Even when we are hamming it up, it is shocking that our comments are more gramatically correct than those thumped into the comments section below the videos by those club-fingered apes. Any species that thinks it sits at the top of the evolutionary tree and thinks that 'a lot' is a single world is fooling nobody. I'm still amazed that you can operate the tin openers for lunch time. Speaking of which, it is time for my Whiskas. I'll be back whenever it pleases me.
Now, where was I. Ah yes- my personal abode comes with two monkeys - one male, and one female (I think, you all look so alike to me). I have them well trained. They open the food on my command, and brush my fur when I cannot bring myself to do so. Occasionally they buy presents for me, although they are largely useless. Why on earth would I want a scratching post, when the house is so delightfully fitted with the most pickable carpets and exquisite velvet sofas with which to sharpen ones claws?! Honestly, they must walk around with their eyes shut.
For some reason they also think that it is acceptable for them to sleep in my bed. I am mostly willing to tolerate this though, as they generate enough warmth to justify their presence. However, if I want the place to myself I find coughing up a hairball usually does the trick. The bigger of the two monkeys seems to find this particularly distressing. The other one can usually be ousted by several swipes to the face. My research has shown that the optimum time to do this is at 5:30 am. Once they had the temerity to shut me out of my own bedroom. Imagine that! After several hours of pretending to be on heat (perish the thought of procreating with any of the local toms round here, they are so uncouth and riddled with lice), they relented and the siege was over, and I reclaimed the space between the pillows as my own once more.
Run along, my litter tray isn't going to clean itself, you know. And tell me, who cleans yours for you? Still think we're top of the evolutionary ladder, do we? Good. It is important to know ones station. Anyway, I tire of this. I have some serious sleeping to do so that I have enough energy for my main nap this afternoon.
My partner never had a pet growing up. I've said for as long as I've known him (eight years) what an injustice this is - every kid should get the opportunity to have a pet to care for growing up, right? It teaches responsibility and often provides a loyal companion as children grow into teens and feel that the rest of the world 'just doesn't understand' Yes, I'm drawing on my own experience here. I was a bit of an angsty teenager.
Anyway, when one of our flatmates who was allergic to cats moved out we decided we would get a little kitty of our own. Looking back now, we probably should have gone to a cat rescue shelter, but we ended up getting from a gumtree ad instead. Our little black bundle of fluff is called Okami (though more regularly answers to the name 'cat' thanks to our flatmate!) He is a rather dinky British Shorthair, and is about a year and a half old.
Okami is cheeky - often hiding my hair ties, pouncing on my leg as I walk around, sitting on top of our living room door and refusing to come down and swiping at my hand to let me know not to pester him when I'm getting too affectionate. He can be downright rude - waking us up meowing loudly at 5am, scratching on doors (our landlord will NOT be impressed) and urinating in the bathtub. His vet bills can be costly - especially when the vet concluded that our cat was stressed and gave him shots, a special diet and a Feliway plug in to release 'happy' phermones! My cat has absolutely no reason to be stressed, all he does is sleep, eat and play, but we paid the bill and thanked him all the while wondering if we'd been shafted.
Okami is a VERY talkative cat. I grew up having lots of cats, and none of them blether like he does. Most of the time it's just because he wants to talk, but when he's hungry BOY do we know it. He also has the capacity to be very loving and affectionate. If we say 'kisses' to him, and he's in the right mood we get a headbutt from him - apparently with cats this is a good sign! He can also be unintentionally very funny and cute (this is true of ALL cats)
He is a pro at finding the sunniest, warmest spot in the house. He knows just the right time to sit on my lap - just when I'm about to get up - so he can shout at me for the inconvenience I've caused him. He think's he's part dog and will play fetch and chase his tail. He is the best cat in the world...when he's asleep! And I wouldn't change him - annoying traits and all.
It's worth noting that cats do have different personalities. While I have an affectionate, cheeky, noisy cat you might find yourself falling in love with an altogether more independent, smart, lazy cat. It's important to get to know your cat. It's very rewarding discovering their individual characters and habits.
Practically owning a cat doesn't need to be expensive, unless your cat is particularly prone to illness and needs lots of trips to the vet. I spend about £12 per month on food, and about £10 on cat litter. We buy him the occasional toy and pet insurance can cost about £8 per month. These are worthwhile expenses.
You do need to be able to fit a cat into your lifestyle. In my opinion a particularly noisy, busy home where there are always lots of different visitors is not particularly suitable for a cat and can cause them undue stress. While cats are more independent, they do still need affection and time with their owners so if you don't spend a lot of time at home, again a cat may be unsuitable. Either that or get two cats, so at least they have some company when you are not home. A bored cat can become badly behaved!
If you think a cat will suit your home I wouldn't hesitate in recommending one. They are fantastic companions, who aren't too high maintenance. There are downsides - litter trays, vet bills, fleas, scratches, cost of food and cat toys, etc but the great times are fantastic. A cat purr is my favourite noise ever. If Okami is happy so am I.
Mr Niff & I recently moved to a great garden flat in a 'burb of Bath. Finally we could get a wee pushkins-meow! We are both huge cat fans, and had talked about it loads of times, the only reason we didn't already have a cat was because we both felt it was unfair to shut him up in a tiny top floor flat on a really busy road.
So, essentially the decision to get a cat was already made, it was just circumstance that had prevented it. Next on the list was, what? where? when?
There are many breeds of cat out there, we've both had experience of moggys. A few years ago I actually fostered cats for Cats Protection and I had met a few different breeds; Norwegian Forest (huge & gentle), Maine Coon (beautiful, but he was very sad when he lived with me, he was grieving for his family) Persian (snot ridden but exceedingly sweet), Russian Blue (affectionate & confident) and Siamese (mad, elegant and driven). Frankly breeding wasn't too important to me, but there is something to be said for pedigree animals... they do have common traits and if you have a strong idea of the type of cat you want then go for it. My personal favourites are Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest. I like a big cat who wants to interact with me. I am also obsessed with paws. These boys have big paws. However, the thought of paying £500 for a pedigree animal when there are plenty of cats out there does not sit well with me. I'd have to be happy with whatever there was!
I looked online first, there's lots of adverts for free cats and kittens, I checked out Gumtree for my area - the few people I contacted though were a bit flaky and since neither of us drive we were confined to being very local - not ideal when your cat can go out as he pleases, he may well wonder back to his last home. So to the rescue (literally) was Bath Cats and Dogs Home.
Immediately! Up we went! The home actually has profile for their cats online so we checked this out first... obviously you can't just order one so we made our way to the home...
Bath Cats and Dogs Home...
Is heartbreaking. I walked around the dogs first, poor little buggers. They totally deserve better from us. How dare we bring these animals into the world without properly making sure they have a loving home for life. Yes, peoples circumstances change and a good dog will always have a home, but there are many damaged animals out there (our fault) who end up institutionalised and will never feel safe enough to curl up in front of the own fire. Rant over. Next was the cat pods... yes pods, most of the cats have a small outside enclosure, along with a pod in which is their bed for us to peer at them. In all honesty, I had seen our cat-to-be online and loved his stripy face instantly... I just had to convince Mr Niff. Fortunately, Mr Niff is as much of a sucker as I am for massive paws... and there he was, all asleep, with his paws in the air... Greyfriars!
The cats and dogs home have procedures... you chose your cat, they reserve it for you. Then they make a home visit. Uh-oh! the social worker is coming. I made cupcakes. They certainly swung it for us. The home visit was arranged for a few days later, it was completely painless. We answered questions about our experience, where the cat would sleep, checked the garden and house was suitable, made sure we knew about the financial commitment we were making. A few anxious and excited days later we got the call... we could come collect him! Yay. So 7 days after first meeting the boy we could go get him. The home charged us £63, he was de-fleed, microchipped, vaccinated and neutered while he was in, so this is a total bargain. They also provided 1 month of pet insurance.
We changed his name. Greyfriars was a bit of a mouthful, and he was found as a stray in Trowbridge... he became Grey-Bo from Trow-Bo. He is a longhaired tabby with a white bib/belly and four white, enormous paws. He was very greasy (he had stopped grooming himself)with lots of shaved bits (where he had become matted as a stray) stroking him to begin with was a bit gross. I've always said that grooming be-gets grooming, its like a self esteem issue, so we brushed and stroked him and he began to clean himself up too. He was so affectionate straight away. I think this is mostly because he was insecure and stressed about the move and us. He never hid away, but followed us around the house, begging for our attention. It was wonderful! We showed him his litter tray twice, and he hasn't made any mistakes yet! 'Cos he had only just been neutered his wee smelt awful. Really pervasive and impossible to get rid of without empting the entire litter tray. We got through a lot of litter those first few weeks. He ate well (he continues to be very greedy) but he was like a rake when he arrived (why would the home feed him more than they had to?) so I was happy to feed him plenty.
After 2 weeks he wanted out... the home recommend that you keep them in for 2-3 weeks so we felt ok letting him out. Supervised by his over anxious parents. He was great. He never went far and we could tempt him in easily by opening the fridge! It's best to let them out before feeding time so you know they'll come back soon.
After a week of going out with us and during the day when Mr Niff was here he went missing. We were devastated. This little creature had come into our lives and demanded our love, we gave it willingly (desperately?). The house was empty. We spent hours walking around calling for him. Flyered the area, and local shops/noticeboards. After five horrible days where we could think of nothing else he came back! He was filthy and smelt of engines, he was hungry and very happy to be back. No idea where he had been but happy to have him home again. That was 4 weeks ago and he has been as good as gold since.
He wakes me up at 5am to say hi (how does Mr Niff sleep through this?), I tell him to sod off and he wakes me again at 8am for breakfast. He runs to the door whenever either of us come home, or if the doorbell rings. He talks all the time, he can even say his name (sort of). He's incredibly bright and deliriously handsome. He ignores us when we call his name, unless its convenient to him. He stalks me and last night chased me to bed. He eats meat and biscuits and donuts and ham and cheese and licks the flavouring off crisps. He costs me £14 per month in insurance. His poo stinks. He has massive paws and he put them on my eyes the other day.
I love him, I love him in my life and the fun he brings with it.
There's never been any comparison as to what pet I would want. Cat or Dog? Dog wouldn't even get a look in - they are too needy and always seemed somewhat stupid to me!
I grew up with a cat and loved him to bits (his name was Jed), he was surprisingly patient considering me and my two brothers where quite young when we got him and used to do things like try and dress him up or make him lay with us or carrying him around a lot (sounds kind of like animal cruelty when you put it down in words, my mother was always following us around getting us to leave him alone). He sadly disappeared around the same time as our rabbit (a lot of animals disappear on our estate) and a few years later my mum saw him the other side of the city where she confronted the new owner to find she had brought him off someone, as they had young children that where attached to him she let it be (guess more reassuring to know than that he actually died which is what I thought at the time and just that my parents didn't have the heart to tell us!).
So years later as soon as I moved from a small flat into a small house (only gained one room but seemed like a big step to me), decided I wanted a feline companion. One of my friends knew someone that had just had kittens and I foolishly agreed to take one without even going to see them - to be honest it was a long shot and I wasn't disappointed, I received the most beautiful little fluffy black and white kitten (who remained nameless for almost a week before I settled on Saiyuri). She was so affectionate incredibly happy when I came home (I even got my mum to come around and 'cat sit' for a few hours each day just to make sure she was ok and not lonely). As she grew up she became more independent and would venture out more and more (I was so scared the first few times she spent the night out!).
A year later after hearing a friend was having kittens I decided maybe Saiyuri would like some companionship and I got a plain black short haired cat who I named mischief (it's from a set of books, can't remember the name at the moment). They hated each other from the start, Saiyuri being quite affectionate went over to meet the new arrival only to have her growl at her arch up and shake (felt so sorry for her as it must be petrifying to leave your mother but to find the new home you have entered has a huge fluffy cat must make it ten times worse. Eventually over time (and with much supervision) they learnt to tolerate each other. Mischief is incredibly clingy and constantly wants to be by your side (exactly what I despise in a dog!), but don't get me wrong I've grown to love it. She also is petrified of everyone even people that visit every few weeks she will go and hide until they leave, also won't go outside for more than half an hour on her own and never seen her leave the garden except to chase off other cats!
They do occasionally fight but that's more if I give one of them too much attention (couldn't possibly sit with both as Saiyuri sulks off if Mischief is near me), also fights happen if I don't feed them in the right order (yet again Saiyuri exercising her right as the dominant one it seems). But generally they tolerate each other and I often find them laying together or grooming each other if everyone has been out all day. So it seems it's just them fighting over our affection (which makes me feel bad).
Sorry to waffle on but wanted to explain how different a cat's personality can be each one is defiantly an individual and should be treated that way. But one aspect I have encountered in all cats is they are incredibly loving and warm and love to cuddle up on your lap and get stroked, it's a lovely feeling to feel them purring.
On the cost side of things they aren't too expensive, we spent about £10 a week on food, litter and flea drops for them (only need to use the drops every 3 months). But then of course there's vet fees and immunisations. Well worth getting them insured as well (luckily only had to take Saiyuri in once and that was when a car clipped her! She's so lucky though as she just got some bruising on her leg, some antibiotics and pain killers a day later she was eager to go out again!), but also it's worth it for ongoing illness, especially in older cats.
Would be worth looking at adopting a mature cat (although I do love how tiny and cute they are as kittens) it would be down to personal preference though, at least with an adult cat you would have some idea as to their preferences (indoor/outdoor, wet/dry food, needy/independent etc).
I have grown up with cats in my house, when I was born we had a lovely jet black cat called Licourice, she was really quite a wild thing and loved nothing better than to hunt. My mum would often open the back door to find little 'present's from her left on the mat.
Licourice then had kittens, my mum decided to keep one and give the others away to good homes. My mum picked the kitten, a long haired black one with a white spot on her chest. I was two years old at the time and I got to pick the name. Twinkle it was! My mum tried to disuade me from choosing that name for fear of being laughed out shouting it in the street but I was adament.
Twinkle was a very pretty but tough cat, she had a big personality. If I had never owned a cat I would have laughed at someone telling me their cat had personality but Twink really did. She was very funny and liked to tease dogs whilst sitting on the tops of fences out of reach and as with a lot of cats, her sleeping places were very inventive!
Twinkle lived to the ripe old age of 18, meaning I was 20 when she died, this was quite a shock as she'd always been around as far as I could remember. In her last couple of years she had quite a few problems including diabete's so mum had to inject her every day. In the end she became very frail but I was pleased she died at home with her family around her.
When I moved out aged 17, me and my friend got a cat, Jess. Jess is also long haired, black and white and half persian. She now lives at home but belongs to my sister who also lives with us as we have two dogs as well.
I think it's very easy to bring up a cat, obviously you have to consider them when booking a holiday and arrange the care for them in the way of a cattery or a neighbour / family member. Also I couldn't recommend insurance enough as Twinkle had a lot of vets bills at the end of her life and wasn't insured. You never know what's going to happen to them, however much you try to look after them. For example, Jess has a skin condition that flares up every now and again and she has to have steriod injections as her hair falls out!
Cats can be very loving pets. The male Tom cats tend to be more wild but I have known both sexes to be opposites of their sterotype so there's no telling until you get to know them.
You need to be prepared to make way for a cat in your life, whilst their company is very nice and they make great pets, you need to remember the cat could live to be 18 sometimes even 20! Also you need to consider the cost. Cat food can be expensive and there are other costs such as litter and vets bills.
Overall I would recommend a cat as a pet but be sure, if possible it would be better to rescue one as there are so many strays out there in need of a home and plenty of kittens that have been dumped in various places. A cat can be a lovely companion if you are willing to give it a home for life and give it the care it needs.
I've always been a bit of a cat person. I still live at home with my parents (and still saving for that house deposit...sigh) and ever since I can remember we have had dogs, however I think I am more into cats. We got our first cat in 1997. We named him Pickles, he was gorgeous, black and white, and so placid. Me and my younger sister used to put him in our dolls prams and dolls clothes and he would just fall asleep. A couple of years later we decided to get him a friend, and chose a lovely little ginger coloured kitten from the RSPCA. We named him Marmalade.
Pickles and Marmalade were never the best of friends, but the did occasionally fall asleep together, and sometimes we would catch Pickles cleaning Marmalade, so cute.
In 2001, Marmalade came to the door breathing heavily, it was obvious something wrong. My parents took him straight to the vets, but unfortunately he died on the way. The vets said he had been hit by a car. We were all heartbroken, and I remember crying myself to sleep for weeks afterwards.
Pickles remained the loving cat he always was. He was getting a bit older now, not so playful.
In 2005 we got a knock at the door one morning. A neighbour had found Pickles on her drive. He had been run over and not made it home.
Again, we were all devastated. At least when Marmalade died we had Pickles to cheer us up, this time we had no cats left for cuddles.
Time passed, and we did not even consider getting another cat, it just hurts too much when they die. In 2007, my boyfriend told me that a work friends cat had given birth to two kittens and he was struggling to home them. As soon as I saw the pictures I fell in love, and managed to persuade my parents to let me have one.
I named her Lexi, and she was mine. My responsibility. It was only then that I realised just how expensive cats are, with Pickles and Marmalade, my parents paid for them, they were family pets.. Food, injections, toys, vet bills. It was a bit of a shock, but looking back, worth every penny.
My boyfriend and I really babied Lexi, she was like our surrogate child. She had more toys than many babies I know, and her bed was comfier than mine. She never went very far, mostly stayed in the garden teasing our rabbit and dog.
One night, in November 2008, Lexi did not come home. I knew something was up straight away, and spent most the night outside shouting for her. The next day we posted flyers through doors, rang round vets, RSPCA etc. That afternoon we got a phone call. They had seen a cat get run over, it died at the scene. A lady across the road had taken the body in. To cut a long story short, the body was taken by the council. We managed to get her back (in a waste disposal bag ) to bury.
To say I was heartbroken is the understatement of the century. She was my baby and I miss her terribly. I still cuddle one of her teddies every single night.
I don't think I can bring myself to get another cat. People tell me we have been incredibly unlucky, losing three cats in the same way. I know what I would be like if I got another, I would not dare let it out and that would not be fair, but I do miss the company enormously. Cats are so loving, full of fun and will never judge you. I know I sound like a saddo, and I do have real life friends honestly.
Cats may be expensive, but other than that there really is nothing to it. They pretty much fend for themselves. The only downside for me is the end, nothing prepares you for it, and it is truly awful.
I never disliked cats, but I was never an animal lover in general and so never thought we would get a pet. However, in September 2008, I noticed a lovely black cat in my garden a few times. I didn't want to encourage him in but eventually noticed he was sleeping in my canoe! We took him to the vets, and around the neighbours, but we never found the owner, so we decided to let him stay with us, and christened him Puss.
Puss was a lovely addition to our family and not too expensive to own. He would come in for cuddles and regularly slept on my chest at night.
In April 2009, another cat turned up, a very small, very timid tabby cat. Again, we didn't encourage her in but she started eating Puss' food and I noticed she had quite a large belly for a small cat - lo and behold, 5 days later she gave birth to three kittens!
We named the Mum, Mumsa (we aren't very good with names!), and the kittens were called Noah, Spot and Donut.
The kittens were our absolute world and I loved them to bits. We have always been very free with our kittens, allowing them to go wherever they want and do what they want - after all, you don't "own" a cat - a cat decides where he wants to live!
Sadly, Donut died today, at 9 months old. He disappeared last night and I found him today, stuck in a tiny gap between two walls. He must have hit his head and been unable to get out, and this is why I decided to do this review as I started thinking - owning a cat is not just about feeding it - its about total love and care and I was so surprised at how sad I was when he died - as I had previously not been a fan of cats at all.
A major downside to having a cat, therefore, must be the letting go. Whether a cat dies, or just decides he wants to live somewhere else, it can be very hard to let go, as they become a huge part of your family.
Another downside is the cost! Pet insurance, medical bills, food, drink, litter, de-fleaing.... the list is endless!
The food in itself, for 5 cats was costing us a fortune! Of course, there was no need for us to keep all of the cats, but it kind of just happened!
The de-fleaing, costs a fortune, the vets bills mount up and even the simple things such as litter digs in to your finances!
However, even though the financial cost, and the sadness when they go, is awful, the love that you can get from a cat, the fun you can have with playing with it and the joy you have from it loving and caring for you too, is definitely worthwhile!
There's always been a cat in my household ever since I was young, so it made sense for me to get a cat when I moved out of the family home. One thing to note is having a cat when you're younger is a lot different to being the sole owner of one though!
I chose a Siamese cat, just because I love their nature - they're very attentive and are great companions.
The first thing is getting the cat. I got mine when it was just 13 weeks old and I did feel a little guilty tearing it away from its family and first home. However, he settled in very quickly once I brought him home. Kittens need a lot of attention; they are very playful and can also get scared quite easily, so you need to be with them a lot at first.
Regarding the cost of owning a cat, I would say that they are quite cheap really. They do need booster vaccinations once a year, but other than that, food, litter and toys don't need to be expensive.
The best thing about having a cat though is the companionship. People say dogs are great companions, but I much prefer cats. My Siamese is always there - he follows me around the house, he sleeps next to my feet at night and just generally hangs out whenever I'm doing anything.
He can be quite time consuming though. Especially in the first couple of years, cats have a lot of energy and want to play most of the time. Also, my cat gets lonely easily, so he gets mad when I have had to go out for most of the day.
Overall though, the advantages of owning a cat far outweigh the disadvantages. They do cost money and require a lot of attention, particularly in the first 6 months to a year. However, they are always there, they love being snuggled and are just generally very nice to have in your life. If you have the time and love to give to a kitten or cat in the long term, I would definitely recommend owning one.
I have always been a dog lover. I was brought up with my parents loving and showing rottweillers and so cats were not an option in my household. My grandmother had a cat once and it scratched me when I was very small and so the idea of cats never entered my head.
That was until I bought my first house with my then boyfriend. He was the opposite to me and was a cat lover through and through. He liked dogs too but cats were his thing. And cats loved him too I saw. However when he asked for a cat I was reluctant to say the least. I hoped that he would just forget about it. We were busy with redecoarting the house and with work, I just hoped that in time he would let it go.
No such luck and it got to Christmas and his requests got stronger. His mother kindly (!) bought him a kitten starter pack for christmas however no kitten. I had been backed into a corner well and truely! There was nothing I could do but to give in, and as they say if you can't beat them join them! And so I helped him to look for a kitten. Being January at this point there weren't many kittens around much to my relief. However after making a phone call to the local vets we were told about two bengal cross kittens that were looking for a new home.
We got in the car and started the 30 mile journey there. I made it clear that if they weren't right we wouldn't take them just because he was so keen for a kitten. Yes yes, he said and off we went. We got there and were shown through to the ladys lounge were the kitten were released! and released they were! Two bundles of gorgeous, fun filled fur balls bounding across to meet us. I fell in love at once at how playful and friendly they were. They instantly took to me, both trying to perch on my lap purring manically! maybe they knew I was the one who they had to win over, I am not sure.
That day we ended up taking both kittens home in our carry case, not one. That day was a turning point for me. As I said I had never had cats before and so (unbeknown to me) I was now enrolled on the kittens training course! They may have been small but within a day I was trained as a full time maid to these two. They wanted feeding, they got it, they wanted cuddles, they got it, they wanted to play, they got it. They were so loving with us and each other. They would curl up together into a big ball to go to sleep. They were my 'children', but they knew that they were the bosses!
When my ex and I split up, he kept the house and the kittens (who were now four!) I bought another house on my own but just couldn't bear not to have a cat. I was a cat lover through and through. It took me three months to find the right cat for me and she is lovely. She has her own personality as all cats do but is so so loving and gentle and funny all at the same time. She does not smell like some people think and is absolutely beautiful.
As my other half keeps reminding me you never own a cat. Cats are way too independent to be owned, if they decide they do not want your company anymore then that's your lot. Sounds harsh but that is how a cat works it seems.
Our cat, Yoruichi, was originally my other halfs before we met and she has made it very clear that I am new, she was here first and she is boss. Not any more.
This is the only way I can ever compare a cat to a dog and that is that, just like my dog, she needs to know that I am above her in the rankings. She is learning but she still has her moments, like any woman really, where she lashes out because I misread her body language or because she just feels like it.
I have never really liked cats but I don't really have a choice other than to at least tolerate her until she realises I am not going.
I have grown up with dogs and dogs are easy, I have never had a dog nip or bite me just because it wanted to!
There is a couple of good sides to cats. I have always found dogs to be a lot more demanding of your attention but you don't realise how much until you get a cat who, even though she is a house cat, you never seem to see.
I still don't like cats and I doubt I would ever go out and get another one but I have to now look forward to a future without my dog
Humans, let me just get one thing straight! You do not own cats. Ever!
Cats are not owned, nor do we own! If you don't agree with me, don't bother reading further because you are obviously not in harmony with the Ten Universal Laws of Catdom! (Hereafter referred to as TULC)
For the first time in our glorious history I have taken it upon myself to publish some of the more basic tenets of the TULC.
Cats are not to be laughed at. We are not funny! Laughing at us will result in a term of being ignored and disdained until the affected cat has regained it's equilibrium or has destroyed a human artefact.
Cats are not to be dressed in human clothes. We do not like it and they are never fashionable anyway!
Dogs (spit!) love being dressed up and are stupid enough to let you do it. Dress them instead.
Try to understand that we do not need you to feed us. We are wild animals. We are the Lords of the Urban Jungles. We hunt!!!! Eating the daily religious offerings you put before us is an act of magnanimity to make you feel useful. Nothing else. The more expensive the offering, the happier you will be with yourselves. If you are getting above yourself we will not eat it to teach you a lesson! Nor will we eat yesterday's offering, nor will we accept offerings from dirty plates.
The dog (spit!) will. Give it to him.
Some cats, in order to vary their human's diets, will occasionally bring a mouse or bird for you. Try not to overcook them.
4. Household furnishings.
Some of you humans insist on trying to maintain smoothness and regularity in the fabrics of your fixtures and fittings. This is a complete offence to aesthetically aware cats. (Which we all are!) When we insist on pulling threads out with our talons, leave us to it. Your couches, chairs and curtains will all benefit from the sprucing down we give them. Do not be disappointed when we ignore the silly bit of rope wound round an old broom handle that you have bought at great expense from Rippingoffpetowners-R-Us. Cat Scratching post indeed!
If we wanted to pull lumps out of a silly looking thing we would use the dog. (Spit!)
In our infinite wisdom, we have discovered that stroking our fabulous selves, dramatically lowers a human's blood pressure. Subsequently, in order to keep you healthy for longer and in a fit state to care for us, we will occasionally approach you and tolerate your stroking. Remember, this is a privilege not a right! This privilege can, and will, be revoked at the cat's discretion. Attempts to pick us up, or stroke and fuss us without previous permission will be either ignored or punished. (Dependant upon our understanding of your need for disciplining.)
Dogs, (Spit!) are stupid, lollopping, brainless creatures that shamelessly crave your attention. Mither them instead.
6. Going outside and coming inside.
Cats must never be denied the right to walk wherever we want to. Closed doors are an offence to our nature.
Open doors = Happy cats!
Closed doors = Unhappy cats.
Is that simple enough for you?
Fit a cat flap. There, simple isn't it?
Dogs, (Spit!) Are big stupid lumbering things. They do not fit through cat flaps. If you see a dog trying to get through a cat flap, whack it hard with a rolled up newspaper. They like that.
You humans are a bit strange about toilets! You even expect some of us to attend nature's call, sitting in a box of little white pellets in full view of the world! Who are you trying to kid? Would you take a poo in similar circumstances? No you would not! You would all be as constipated as a dog's (Spit!) brain! We need the garden to have a patch where, ostensibly, you are growing vegetables. We understand that you have created this patch for our convenience, (Literally!) and will use it when required. Failing that, the human child's sandpit is a good second choice and have no objections to the child using it when we do not need to. (We are kind like that!)
Some of you might wonder why we don't come when called. This is simple.
a. We do not answer to anybody.(human)
b. You do not know our names.
Cats know our true names, you don't!
My true name is Imperial Dog Arse Biter the First.
Next door's cat is named Superior William Oneball! (after the dog (Spit!) got him!)
The cat across the road is called Her Highness the Precocious Mouse Snaffler.
Is it any wonder we look at you as though you are mad when you think we are called "Tiddles" or 'Fluffy' or even 'Dinkums'? It'd be enough to make a cat laugh if it wasn't so insulting! Get Real, humans!.
The dog, (Spit!) can be called what you like. 'Dumbo' is a popular name for them amongst cats!
Sleep is a very serious subject. In order to keep our place as rulers of the Animal (that includes you) Kingdom. We need at least fifteen hours of uninterupted sleep! What you fondly imagine to be your beds are actually our beds, which, for the purposes of warmth we will allow you to share. The middle section of the bed is ours by Divine Right, so don't be trying to nudge us from pole position. We have ways of making you move. And, whilst I am on the subject, if you snore, go into another room.
The dog, (Spit!) loves it when you get into his basket with him.
The fastest way to make a cat look for another symbiotic relationship is to try to bathe them. It's simple. You put me in the bath, I will abandon you, but first I will inflict some grievous injury upon you to teach you some manners.
Cats groom themselves! We take pride in the acts of contortion we use to get to bits of our body that need attention. Just because you can't do that, don't imagine we can't! Jealousy is a terrible thing!
We know how to keep clean and we know how we are supposed to smell! That does not involve smelling of 'Tiddles Peach Scented Cat Shampoo'! If I wanted to smell like a peach I would roll in the fruit bowl!
"Bath" is a swear word in polite cat society. Quite right too!
Dogs, (Spit!) love baths and want one every day, especially with lots of talcum powder afterwards!
I have taken time from my busy cat schedule to bring these rules to your attention. I hope you appreciate the time and trouble I have taken. Any queries might be addressed to me through the human I live with. (If I can be bothered to answer her!)
Imperial Dog Arse Biter the First.
I would never be without my two lil puddies, it really is so rewarding. But it isn't a decision to be taken lightly if you are thinking of getting a little furry friend and PLEASE think about it very seriously if you are thinking of getting one, particularly as a Christmas present. In fact, some rehoming centres don't rehome in the run up to Christmas as there are so many cases of the cat being a five minute wonder and being returned, or worse, just dumped in January. I used to volunteer at a rehoming centre and it was amazing how many cats were returned for this, and other reasons. People moved home and just left the cat behind, a couple bought a new leather suite and the cat was scratching it, so the cat was no longer wanted, the cat has grown up and is not a cute kitten any more etc etc.
Cats are more independent than dogs but they do need to know where home is, where there will be food and a cosy place to snuggle. Yes, you don't need to exercise them yourself but they do need to be out and you need to decide whether you will control their access or put in a cat flap. Mine have the flap so they come and go at will, but you do need to be careful if you have neighbouring cats who sometimes can get a bit too nosy and pay a visit. And, it's hard, but try and be grateful for the presents your puddie may bring you. I live in the country so mice and shrews are a common find in the hall of a morning. Mmm, thanks!
And you do need to bear in mind where you live for traffic. The majority of rehoming centres will do a 'homecheck' before you are allowed to bring your chosen cat home to check this out. If you live on a major road, you may not be allowed to take that cat, though you may be allowed to adopt another, maybe a house or elderly cat. Cats can live indoors happily, though it tends to be the ones who've known nothing else. So then you need to be prepared to change litter trays, and be their entertainment in the form of play and interaction if they don't go outside.
But they are such good company, and such a stress reliever. Mine aren't lap cats but Annie, my tabby and white is here asleep next to me on the desk now and just likes to know I'm there.
I've always got a soft spot for those who aren't quite perfect as well. One of my two cats only has 3 legs but I've had one in the past with no tail, and one who lost an eye. It might not make them the prettiest but doesn't mean they've any less love to give, and they deserve more really. Those with disabilities or ongoing medical problems and older cats can be in rehoming shelters for months if not years. And I've known people who think a 2 year old cat is too old.
So when you do toddle off to the rehoming centre, try not to look for perfection or what you think you want. The perfect cat will choose YOU, you'll just know it. When they brush up to you in that pen and just look at you and miaow 'please', that's all it takes.
So, for me, there'll be no other pet. The children love them, we love them and the cats, in their aloof, slightly superior way love us too. They know they've landed on their paws!
The world is apparently divided up into two categories; cat-person or dog-person. I always thought of myself as a dog person as I had a dog when I was growing up but never had a cat. Moving into a 2nd floor flat soon put paid to the idea of owning another dog, however I found myself leaning towards the idea of a cat. It would be a lot quieter, wouldn't need walking and as it would spend most of its day asleep it wouldn't miss me when I went to work all day. So, having settled on getting a cat, I approached Celia Hammond cat rescue centre and went through the usual processes of adopting.
I ended up adopting two cats (company for each other seeing as I'd be out a lot) and the first few months were hard work and I felt I'd made a terrible mistake. They were both approximately two years old when I got them and had come from a neglectful home owned by a proper 'crazy cat lady'. The cats were nervy, scrawny and wouldn't let me go within three feet of them. I managed to fatten them up okay, but it took six months of persistance to get them used to me even touching them. Then suddenly, one day out of the blue, one of them wandered onto my lap, sat down and fell asleep. I can't tell you how rewarding it is when something like that happens. All those months of being clawed to pieces and being hissed at was totally worth it.
We three have been together for almost three years now and we've never looked back. They still hate being picked up, but they are proper lap cats now and love company. A complete 180 turnaround from what they were when I got them.
I have to say, the massive downside to having cats (apart from the hair everywhere) is the inevitable destruction of your property. I have had furniture torn to shreds, wallpaper scratched and pulled off, drinks knocked over and poo on the carpet. You also can't turn your back on a freshly poured drink or there'll soon be a wee feline face in the glass. But the fun and company I get from them massively outweighs any of these aspects and you soon learn what they might get up to behind your back and take steps to prevent it.
I would now consider myself to be both a cat and a dog person, and I have my two bundles of fluff to thank for that.
I have been fortunate enough to own my cat for 3 years, having obtained her from the Cat's Protection League. I will readily admit that I am a 'cat person' and that I would always want to adopt a cat from a rescue home unless I myself was adopted by a stray. The older they are, the longer it can take to get them settled, but it is very rewarding.
At their most basic level, cats are relatively easy and simple to look after. You can get decent, nutritious cat food that will make your animal's coat shine at a reasonable price. Even supermarket own brands are now fortified with vitamins. Fresh water needs to be available at all times, especially if they eat cat biscuits with or instead of wet cat food.
Flea treatments are also a must, even in winter but especially so in summer. I use Frontline Combo for mine, which isn't cheap but only requires a dispersal of the product on the back of the cat's neck. Temporary measures such as sprays, powders and collars can also be used. Worming treatments are required slightly less often. You may also need to use a spray or 'flea bomb' to protect your home from flea infestation. Worming treatments are also required if you have a cat that goes outdoors, these are required slightly less often.
Even short haired cats require regular brushing in the summer moulting season, not just to prevent furballs but to prevent your entire home being covered in a thin coating of cat hair.
Cats should also be vaccinated against Feline Leukemia and Cat Flu on a yearly basis, this is obviously beneficial to the cat's health as either disease can be fatal. Also, without these vaccinations catteries will not accept your kitty and any insurance you have taken out on them will be invalidated.
Cats are generally fiercely independent animals but once you get your own and know their own strange quirks (there will no doubt be some!) and ways you will know whether or not they actively NEED your company. For example, my cat loves company and cuddles. Playing with your cat actively accelerates the bonding process and can be fun for you both. There is such a wide variety of toys available that you should experiement with several to find out whether your cat prefers things like balls or things on string that they can chase. Most cats over the age of 6 months will have an overzealous and quite entertaining reaction to items containing catnip, but it is important to moderate usage or otherwide the cat may develop a resistance to it.
Some cats may require a litter tray, particularly if they are not able or willing to go outside. I have written a separate review on this; "Cat litter and litter trays in general." Essentially they are not pleasant but they are necessary. The way to make it as easy and as un-unpleasant as possible is to keep the trays as clean as possible, use good quality antibacterial clumping cat litter and get a tray with a lid to minimise odour and general grimness in your home.
Cats are particularly vulnerable to gum disease (gingivitis) and kidney problems. The vet should be to monitor the cat's teeth at the annual vaccinations. Kidney problems can be diagnosed through a blood test which vets sometimes advise when cats reach senior age (circa 10 years old.)
It is advisable to get your cats neutered especially females as they will most likely mate with any unneutered tomcat that they come across. Male cats that are unneutered tend to be more aggressive and have a tendency to spray - that is distribute a foul hormonal scent from their behind all over your house to mark their territory.
Cats may also require having their claws clipped, especially if they have nowhere to wear them down naturally. Generally a vet will do the clipping, but it is possible to buy special clippers from some pet shops and do it yourself. I would advise to exercise caution if considering this, however because a cut too high will sever a vein that runs through the claw causing extreme agony.
Also worth noting is that cats can be quite destructive with their claws if they see fit. Carpets, banisters, wallpaper can fall victim to this and they don't always take to scratching posts. Flattening cardboard boxes and leaving it around on the floor can help.
It is also important to find a local cattery that you are happy with. Even if you don't intend to go away on holiday , it is useful to have one on standby in case of emergency. A good cattery will be more than happy for you to go and visit it beforehand and check out its facilities.
Pet insurance is also something worth considering because cats tend to get themselves in all kinds of scrapes and are more likely to develop complex illnesses as they get older. Be careful to get cover which is "whole life". Some policies will only cover treatment for the first year of diagnosis.
I hope this has been a fair and balanced review, because ultimately I wouldn't be without a cat. They have their own sweet personalities and quirks (mine has a serious sock fetish, like seriously!!). They can be endlessly loving and affectionate, and great company.