Cat Question from a Non-cat Person

Updated on July 03, 2007
P. asks from Allen, TX
34 answers

Hi everyone
My daughter is begging for a pet. She's 3 1/2. She wants a cat. Personally I am a dog person and know nothing about cats. We do not currently have a dog though. What is a good cat breed for a non-cat person? Are there any that are actually loving rather than aloof? Any that don't shed? Won't they destroy my furniture? Won't the litter box be stinky and unsanitary? Where do you get a kitten? Thanks in advance and please pardon my ignorance. I just prefer dogs! But this is what she wants. Should I try to get her to wait until she is older? Is she too young for a pet like this? She has a rather large guinea pig that she is very gentle with. But of course a guinea is not a very interactive pet. :-)

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N.N.

answers from Dallas on

Definitley get a boy cat. Through my personal expereince they are so much more playful and loving. I have had serveral cats (and dogs) over the years and my male cats are so much more fun than the females. I was never a cat person either. They just seem to find me! But they are easy and lovable pets. Good luck!

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V.M.

answers from Austin on

I'll second the ragdoll cat! My mom was not a cat person, lived in an apartment at the time and felt bad about getting a dog considering her living arrangements. However, she missed the companionship of a pet. After doing extensive research, she came across the Ragdoll. Her cat does have very doglike mannerisms and a wonderful personality (she has many of the personality traits described earlier).
Best of luck!

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N.K.

answers from Dallas on

You came to the right place!! Cats are great. No bathing,independent and if you get a kitten they are extremely loveable. We have 9 of them. This is a great tool for teaching responsibility. Litter boxes are a non-issue IF you maintain them. Cats are easily trained to a box. I have a friend who has a people oriented kitten that loves attention and he is looking for a home for it. The kitten is already box trained and loves to play. I am in a bit of a rush today BUT if you want more info on cats or this kitten let me know. N.

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H.D.

answers from Dallas on

Big Tip: I am not sure if anyone else mentioned this but one thing to do when choosing a cat is to let the cat choose you (or your daughter in this situation). If the cat chooses you, you will have a great companion. If you are lucky and your daughter chooses one she has to have, it may be a good match.
You can find free kittens in the paper all the time. Just make sure they look like they have been taken good care of.

I have always had cats since I was very young also. Raised around cats and dogs. My grandparents are the biggest cat lovers. My grandfather hates dogs.

H. D.

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D.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Pam, you have gotten so many responses, but I wanted to add that we have little box with a cover with a filter in the top of it. We keep it in the laundry room. Also, we use the litter plastic bags...it's like a trash bag, but it fits the litter box. You pull it out just like a bag of trash in your kitchen. My mother is not a cat person, and when she visits she always comments how my house doesn't smell like I have a cat! My Simba is 10 y/o and he great around our kids. To train them as kittens, just scratch their hind legs in the litter box as soon as you bring them home. And don't change the location of the box once you train them. Good luck!

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K.A.

answers from Dallas on

I know many people have recommended going to a shelter or Petco, but I would NOT recommend this. With cats, it is a total crapshoot regarding the demeanor of the cat. I bought my daughter a cat 6 months ago (she is 6), and did a tremendous amount of research on breeds. I wanted a small cat that did not shed and was very social. I finally settled on the burmese breed, and Bella is by far and away the best pet we have ever had. She has all of the personality of a smart and loving dog, but without the hassle and headache. There is maintenance required with the litter box, but if you change it regularly, it is not bad. We loved Bella so much, that we just bought her a companion (another female) 2 weeks ago - from the same breeder. They are very tolerant of the children and start purring the moment you pick them up. We got Bella declawed as soon as our vet would perform the surgery (18 weeks). I would recommend a female cat, because they are less likely to "mark their territory" on furniture, curtains, etc. The local breeder I found is in Rockwall (www.burmesecats.net). The cats were pricy, but well worth it considering animals live for up to 15 years (I did not want to take any chances on getting an aloof cat that didn't love my kids). If you have any other questions, please let me know.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

i grew up with cats my whole life... my whole family are cat people... hahaha a cat is a big responsibility for a 3 1/2 year old, so youd be the one taking care of the kitty, shed be the one lovimg it. im not too sure what the best breed is. however i do strongly suggest declawing if you want to save your furniture. b/c no matter how much you get onto a cat for scatching at your furniture, they still do it. even once they are declawed, they make the same movement on the furniture as if they were scratching, just no claws. :) a cat is a good thing for kids b/c they have all this love to give and kitty as a great place to put it. a good place to find them is at local shelter. and they make litter that dont really smell too bad, but you have to keeep it clean, b/c a cat will go ther places in the house if their litter box is full

if you have any questions, just message me

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L.G.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, check out www.petfinder.com
just plug in your preferences, a violla, a huge list will come up. Most of these animals have been fostered so you will be able to find out if any are suitable for your needs. These are all rescue animals. This is how we found our newest family member "cassidy" A big 'ole mutt, that has decided my 3 1/2 yr old daughter is hers! they are inseparable. Good luck

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would suggest adopting an older, declawed cat from a shelter or somewhere like Petsmart or Petco. Kittens have little teeth and claws that are very sharp. If you go to Petsmart or Petco they have descriptions of the cats and whether or not they would be good around children. I have 2 adult cats that are great around my 8 month old. I've had cats all my life and find they are very low maintenance compared to dogs. You don't need to give them baths and you can leave them all day or for several days as long as there is plenty of food and water. Yes the litter box can be stinky, but if you use scoopable cat litter and scoop it every couple of days it doesn't stink. You can get one with a cover on it to keep most of the litter in the box and off the floor and keep you daughter out of it. I would rather scoop a cat box than scoop doggy poo out of my yard. Good luck!

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B.C.

answers from Dallas on

I love cats and dogs for that matter i have three. When i got my daughter a cat we went to the local Spca and got a one yr old cat. He was still young and he was fully box trained which is good. With Kittens you have to train them yuck i hate that part so i skip it. if you get a kitty door to the garage and keep the box out there then you dont have to worry about the smell or your daughter getting into it, depending on her age. Cats are awesome. they have the best attitudes. Go to a place where she can go in with the cats to interact with them that is what i did and right away this cat just took to my daughter. He turned out to be a very cool, laid back cat. That is my advice hope it helps
B.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

A total dog person myself, I have had some pretty awesome cats also. I would suggest the cat be declawed (younger is better because they're not as heavy and can heal faster); that would protect the furniture. The litter box: I know from experience that it is worth the money to buy better kitty litter than the cheap stuff. The cheap stuff has less carbon so it will stink more, and you'd have to change the box out more often so it's not cheaper in the long run, anyway. Something like fresh step that clumps is the best/easiest to maintain. Cats can actually be very loving, though in my experience they like to be the ones to initiate "cuddle time". All animals (even dogs) shed, but if that's an issue you'd prefer a short haired cat. Cats can also be very playful and fun; you just have to make sure your daughter knows to be gentle because they're smaller. Things like pulling the tail could cause infection in the joint, stuff like that. Maintenance is actually very low compared to dogs (even though I like big dogs better), as well. More independant, less accidents, less need to work on training.

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Pam,
We have 4 cats, and I can tell you. Cats are like people, they all have different personalities. But my most loving of the 4 are my 2 orange tabbies. These are common cats, you can probably get one at your local animal shelter. I know there is a shelter on Briery, in Irving. Tigger is very affectionate. Even though some people will disagree, our cats are inside, and we opted to have their front claws de-clawed to avoid ruining our expensive furntiure, and also spayed and neutered to avoid any additions to the family. As with all animals, there is a little maintenance involved. If this is an outside cat, I would not de-claw. Also, litter boxes must be changed frequently. But if this is for a small child, you can get a short haired cat, with very little maintenance, and tabbies are very loving. I have a white long haired Maine Coon cat, and she is very anti-social and does not like to be bothered. You can usually tell the personality when you go to the shelters. There is always several beggging to go home with you. Good luck.

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

I have a Shih Tze mixed with a Opsa Lopasa and she is the best dog I have ever owned. The gal that breed her is expecting more in July I think. She purrs like a cat. She has hair instead of fur but babys like to pull it. She loves children. My day care kids leave and she cries. She is the most loving of animals. I would not trade her for the world. I got her for my granddaughter but because I was the one that has done all the work, bathe, wash, feed she follows me everywhere. She knows I stay up late so will go to sleep on the floor of my granddaughter until I go to bed then comes in to my room to finish sleeping. They are just like a new born baby. Up all night until she got used to being here. She also peed every where and pooped and it has taken about a year and once in awhile she will go, but is finally trained. We took her to obience class at PetSmart and that helped a lot. We have taught her tricks and there is no end to what we could probably teach her. So let me know if you would like one. G. W. ###-###-####

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

i'm not a cat person either, but my aunt's cat just had kittnes- 5 of them! They are so cute! She was an indoor cat that got out and got pregnant.
We are dog people too so i'm not much help, just wanted to let you know there are some adorable kittens for sale in North Arlington!
-S.

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P.S.

answers from Dallas on

I have a free long haired black almost 8 week kitten that needs his first set of shots, but otherwise he is free.

The neighborhood stray had 6 in our backyard and we have one left without a home. They have been inside for the last three weeks. They are box trained and have been around my two balls of energy, kids that is. This little guy is quite tame, though he does have energy to play and likes to romp a few times a day. He will hiss if someone comes he doesnt like/know, but as soon as you pick them up, kids included, he sits pretty in your lap. He has never bit any of us, except to teeth like all kittens do. When he was little little about three weeks old, he would come and climb up our clothes to our shoulder and just sit there. We would love to share :)

I came from a cat house, Mom has 5 inside all the time, sometimes 6 when my sister visits and brings her "baby". I have been around cats my whole life. Moms house does not smell of cat. Yes, the box does have to be changed at least every other day, but you never have to worry about them leaving a mess in the house. Just show them the box and they are there. Mom actually uses an old diaper pail to store the used liter until trash day. Moms cats, ranging between 1 year and 14 years, really enjoy anything with catnip. It really does work to keep them active.

Let us know if you would like to meet our little guy, he really could use a forever home :)

P.
[email protected]____.com

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H.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hello,
I have been a cat person all of my life. All of my experiences with cats have been wonderful. I unfortunatley have to give away my cats b/c we have discovered my son is allergic to them. We have had the cats for about 2 1/2 years and at first he didn't seem to be bothered by them, but over time his breathing had gotten worse, he was chronically congested. He has been away from them for little over a week now and he is much much better. So with that said, it might be a good idea to get her around some cats and see if she has any reaction. According to our doctor 75 % of people are allergic to cats. But on the upnote, if none of you are allergic, cats are wonderful. We used to live in FL, and our cats were hurricane rescued. Some fireman had found a cat with a liter of kittens during hurricane clean up. A shelter took them in, and we got 2 of the kittens a brother and sister. The shelter had already spayed/neutered them and microchiped them. I didn't pay a dime for them! We didn't want to deal with their claws so we got them de-clawed all four paws when they were around 3-4 monthes old. They are the sweetest ever. They both wait on you to get home and look out the window at you when your leaving. One of them is extrememely out-going. Wants to be with people all the time, greets strangers at the door like a dog, lets the kids pull his tale, the other is a little more shy. Another thing to consider, they are always happier in pairs! Good luck.

H.

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N.O.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Pam,
You sound like you've already gotten some great advice so far but I've noticed no one has mentioned http://petfinder.com.
You can go to that site and search for your local shelter and they provide you with a good amount of info about the kittens/cats.

I was exactly like you until I had kids. I prefered dogs over cats when I was growing up and probably because my own Mother had to do all the work with the dogs. Now being on my own, I love having cats since they are so low maintenance.
And, YES there are very friendly cats out there that would do great with your daughter.
We got our 1st kitty when my daughter was almost 3 and the cat just LOVES her! Now, I'm up to 3 kitties and they all seem to love my now 5 yr old daughter more than anyone in the house! : )
Children just have a thing with animal's and I think every little girl should have their own kitty. : )

We adopted 1 from the animal shelter that came neutered and declawed and was only $25....not to mention he's a pure bred Siamese and just beautiful.
Our other 2 came from http://craigslist.com and that's another site you might want to try.
You can find a kitten that has been raised with kids or family and those seem to always be more tame and loving.
I'm not too sure of any that don't actually shed but short hairs tend to not shed as much as long haired.

As far as your furniture goes, if you don't happen to get a kitty that's declawed, I've seen some scratch posts at Wal-Mart, Petsmart and Target that are priced pretty good and your kitty will most likely stick to that other than your couch.
I've never had a problem with my cat whos not declawed.....but he's also a very layed back cat.
I make sure to scoop the litter once a day which is not bad at all since it takes up approx 1-2 minutes of my time.
Like another Mom said, much better to scoop some litter than scoop dog poo in your back yard and that's very true.

I would go ahead and get your daughter one....it's great letting children be raised with animals and I'm sure once you pick out your special kitty for your family, it will grow on you very fast and you'll know you've made the right decision!

Good Luck in your search for a kitty!

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

Ok, here's a reply from a non-cat person who is the not so proud owner of one now! lol My son had asked for one forever so Santa brought a 6 month old kitten who is now a cat. Here's what we've been through so far and what I've learned from my on the job training with one. Cat litter boxes do smell. When I'm not working and home every day it isn't so bad b/c I can take care of it constantly. The cat is not declawed and he scratches up everything except his scratching post. Cats do not like foil so my dining room table chair legs are currently wrapped in foil and he won't touch them anymore but it's ugly. Now he scraches on our fish tank and the door panels and furniture. I can't wrap the whole house in foil! lol Just waiting until we have the money to get him declawed. However, if there's a chance they will ever be outside, it's not a good idea to do that. We live in the country with a lot of dogs, coyotes, etc. so he never goes outside. Also, from speaking with various vets when deciding to get male/female, short hair/long hair, etc. the best advice I got was to get a male and have him fixed while he is still young. Then he won't spray in the house. So far this has worked for us - he has never sprayed in the house. What I learned that was surprising (I had heard this before) was that a long hair actually sheds less than a short hair and from what I can tell it's true. When he does shed which is not much, it's usually in a small clump that you can easily see and pick up. My son holds him constantly and there's not cat hair on his shirt from it like I've always experienced when holding them. That's not to say they won't shed at all, just not nearly as bad. Sounds weird but it seems to be true. I know I sound negative so I'll say this,,,,,we've grown to love the pain-in-the-you know what and I wouldn't take away the happiness and joy my son gets from him for anything in the world (but it's tempting!) :-) Good luck!

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A.L.

answers from Dallas on

I have had more luck with male cats being more loving and female cats being more aloof. Long haired cats shed a lot more than short haired cats, but I do not know of one that does not shed (they do have a breed of hairless cats, but they are the ugliest things you would ever see). To keep them from destroying funiture you have to have them declawed and spayed/nuetured. Most rescue adoptions include the cost of the spay/nuetuer through a local vet. The litter box will not stink or be unsanitary as long as you scoop it daily and completely change the litter out at least once a week. To get a kitten check with the local humane society or call your local Petsmart or Petco (every couple of weekends they have a rescue center in selling cats and dogs). My kids (4 and almost one have had not problem with our cat, but ours has been around since before they came along. Kittens are adaptable and love to play, but in playing they do scratch a good deal (until they are declawed). They do not do it malicously, but in playing.

Good Luck!

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P.W.

answers from Dallas on

If you are looking for a very interactive, loving and almost "dog" like cat, consider the Ragdoll. This is a pedigreed cat and very obviously NOT your average alley cat. I used to breed them and still own 1 myself. My son, who is now 12 was raised with all the babies we had. They love to be toted around, come when called, are very clean and typically don't shed much. I have yet to find one that has the bad habit of scratching on furniture, jumping on cabinets, and are very easy to litter train. I keep plenty of cat toys, and scratching poles or cardboard box scratchers around so mine don't develop those habits. These can be a pretty big investment, but if you are looking for a lifelong kitten/cat to love your daughter and everyone in the house, this would be my choice. Research the breed online, you will be amazed! Not only that, they are beautiful. Good luck Kitty shopping, you won't be disappointed in this breed. ~P.

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Pam! My son is a little over 1 year old and I just got him a kitten as well. It was the best purchase I've made in awhile! My son and the cat are BEST friends. They play hide and seek,chase,and peek a boo. I hear him laughing as he plays with the cat. The cat is now 5 months old and has yet to use his claws. Still, I trim them once a week with clippers.
I did plenty of research before deciding on the right breed and I went with a bengal. I found a breeder here in Texas. They do not shed,are very very intelligent,LOVE water, and play fetch! They are the closest to a dog you can get,without having to deal with walking them. You an even walk them on a leash.
The kitten(we call him MEOW as per my son) and my son are partners in crime and love to get into trouble together. The other day one of them opened the fridge and I found both of them on the floor in front of the open fridge with cracked eggs and yolk all over the place! And lately, my son has taken to dumping the poor cat into the toilet so I have to keep all the bathroom doors closed. The good thing is that the cat loves it. He is so patient and sweet with my son that I just burst with joy.
bengals are not aloof and like to be around people. They like to be right in the action. I highly recommend this breed of cat for a child but be sure to go through a reputable breeder. Teri at jujukats.com is a very good breeder and has wonderful kittens!
As far as the litter box, just clean it once evry 2-3 days and it shouldnt get stinky. be sure not to feed the cat canned food as that is what makes their poop smell REALLY bad. Keep the box somewhere secluded like the laundry room but leave the door slightly ajar so that the cat can use it when he needs. And be sure to neuter or spay the cat by 5 months so that you don't have any accidents!
My furniture is still in good condition. I bought a cat tree and scratch post for the cat and he knows these are his toys and only places to "scratch"...anytime he jumps on the counter or on the furniture, I spray him with the water bottle. He's pretty much trained by now!

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W.M.

answers from Dallas on

First let me say I am a cat person and have been around them all my life. But my experience of adopting here in Texas has not been a good one! I adopted our first cat at a petco in dallas and we were told he was a farrow cat (live under houses or porches) and that he did have ringworm which they said he no longer had. Well needless to say my daughter came up with a round spot on her face which indeed was ringworm. Has to be covered and medicated until gone, others can get it. 2nd cat also adopted from a petco in Lewisville also a farrow cat also told he had ringworm but over it, low and be hold my son got a round spot on hi forehead. So if you adopt and they tell you they ever had ringworm don't take the cat more than likely they still have it. To get rid of ringworm can cost a ton of money. My cats had to be locked in a room away from everyone for 2 months, I had to clean my whole house and spray the whole house and everything the cat touched with bleach water, I also had to take the cats to the vet once a week to be dipped in some stuff that smelled like rotten eggs. My cats also not declawed which you have to sign a paper saying you won't do it because it is a horrible experience for them, have destroyed my $2500 leather furniture and also have destroyed our carpet from clawing at it when the doors to rooms are closed. We did give one to a friend of ours because we are considering moving and I think it would be to hard on the cat we gave her. Which I now know is true since I drove hiom 20 minutes to her house and he cried the whole time in the car and used the restroom on himself. Being in a car can be very stressful on them they aren't like dogs in that way. We still have our cat Max and he is a orange and white tabby cat and is very loving but he has destroyed alot of stuff. I have consider declawing although I signed the paper but I have also consider those claw caps too. Your daughter is not to young for one. The litter box can smell but you just have to scoop everyday and one cat smells less than two!! I don't mean to sound negative but I wanted to make sure you heard from a bad experience from those adopt a pet places. Just be careful.

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

I am a cat person and recommend getting an older one from Petco/Petsmart like the other mom suggested. You can find one that is declawed and shorthair and that will minimize the fur and scratching. Also, since they are older, they might tend to be more tolerant of little hands (not my cat though, who is 13 and a total B! haha). When you go in, try to find some that are good with kids and are lap cats. That is a good sign of how lovable they are.
My hubby installed a kitty door in the door leading to the garage. We keep her litter box and food out there and it's been WONDERFUL. She also has an escape path if she's had too much of the little girl!

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P.O.

answers from Dallas on

Pam,

You've already gotten lot's of good advice. There's just a couple of things I would add.

Scratching on Furniture: It's a training issue. You have to start when they are kittens. Get it a scratching post and you a water gun. Whenever the kitten tries to scratch on anything other than the scratching post, squirt it gently with the water gun (will surprise the kitten and it will not like it) and then pick up the kitten and take it to the scratching post and rub it's front paws in a scratching motion on the post. Yes, it's a lot of work for a few weeks, but it's well worth it in the end.

Litterbox: There are two options here that make litter box maintenance more pleasant. I've used both and have liked each. The less expensive, but more time consuming method is to get a Litter Locker (http://www.petmate.com/Catalog.plx?ID=1600). It's kinda like a Diaper Genie for the cat. You scoop the box and put the contents into the litter locker and turn the handle. The contents and smell are locked away inside. If you scoop every morning, you will find tha you have no cat box smell. I used one for years and people would comment that there was no smell in my tiny apartment. The second, more expensive option (and I'm not sure it's that much less hassle, frankly) is an automatic litterbox. There are several varieties (I've got a Littermaid). It scoops the box every time the cat goes in the box, but the receptacle must be emptied or changed every other day or so. Honestly, I think the litter locker way works better (I got the automatic one when I had my daughter thinking it would be easier, and it is, but cleaning the receptacle is not as easy as it should be).

Personality: Like all animals some personality is inherent but some is made by the environment in which the animal grows up. Some varieties of cats are more prone to being "lap" animals than others, but if you hold and love on the kitten from day one, it will like it. One thing that I do know is that if you hold and play with a kitten's paws from the beginning, then you will be able to hold their paws as an adult cat, but if you don't, they will never like having their paws touched.

I like dogs and cats (had both as a child) but had only cats as an adult as I traveled a lot with my work and couldn't see leaving a dog alone for days at a time (cats are much more independent that way... they do miss you - and let you know about it - but they are much better alone than dogs are). We now have two dogs and a cat, so please feel free to ask me any additional you have.

Oh, and I don't think your daughter is too young for a cat. My daughter is 19mo and loves the cat. The only thing is, she won't be able to do the maintenane required, so that will be up to you.

Hope that helps.

P.

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A.W.

answers from Knoxville on

Pam-

I've got 4 cats. I am a dog person...but I don't have the time to devote to training, and we like to be out and about. A dog would be miserable with our schedule. Our kitties do just fine.

I have one 'dog' cat, Harry. He comes when you call him. If you look at him, he purrs. He loves to be touched, and will even let you rub his belly. He's a big old orange tomcat, no pedigree, just from a shelter. Our other goofball, George, is a tabby, and he has character galore. He loves to be pet, too, and he knows when he's done something he's not supposed to because he'll immediately roll over on his back when he sees me coming. He'll also jump from the floor to my arms when I pat my chest (cats can be trained, they just have to want to be).

Litterboxes do not have to be stinky. Scoop them once a day. Use litter box liners, or disinfect the pan every month. And use cat box deoderizer (keeps the smell away, and makes the clumps not stick to the pan.)

Declawing is, IMO, an incredibly awful procedure and I would never subject my cats to it (and I'm not a tree-hugging, granola-eating type). Do some research on what they do to 'de-claw', and it's pretty gruesome. Anyway, my cats have all their claws, and I use Soft Paws (www.softpaws.com). They're little nail caps that fit over the nail, so that when they do their natural cat stuff, they won't scratch anything up. Scratching isn't about sharpening the claws as much as marking territory and stretching.

We got out first cat when my son was 5 and my daughter 2. I think your daughter is at a fine age. And I would really recommend heading out to shelters to meet some cats rather than buy a pedigreed cat. There are so, so, so many stray cats out there. George came in off the street, and all the rest of my cats were shelter rescues. YOu can tell a cat's personality right away in a shelter; they don't hide anything while sitting in a little cage. Harry purred at me through the bars; our first cat jumped right up in my son's lap when we brought him to the little 'meeting room' (he is quite a lap cat). Plus you'd be saving a life, and that's a great lesson for your little one.

Good luck (from a reformed dog lover).

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Pam,
I am a very BIG cat lover! We currently have 5. My parents got me my first kitten when I was 1 year old and I had her for 14 years. She slept at the foot of my bed every night until she died. Being a female cat she was probably exceptionally lovable. Male cats are generally much more affectionate and cuddly. Calico and Siamese cats would not be a good choice. They are generally not very people friendly. Some do bond with one person and stay close to that one particular person. We have two male tabby cats, one orange (like Morris) and one grey and white. They are both very affectionate. My grey and white is always near me when I'm in the house. Just make sure that you get them spayed, whether male or female. Male cats will spray to mark territory and females come into heat and can be annoying. If you are worried about them tearing up furniture, you can have them de-clawed if they are going to be exclusivly in the house. A good scratching post will help save your furniture also. Cat boxes are not fun, but they do have some really good ones: like the litter maid that is self cleaning and enclosed. If you use a liner and good cat litter; with everyday scooping they stay fairly odor free! As far as shedding...yes they do. You can brush them regulary or we have occasionaly vacumed them (they didn't really enjoy this) There are hairless cats (but personally I think the are ugly) and who wants to cuddle with a hairless kitty? Stay away from cats with white/or light fur...it does show up on everything especially black clothing! My first cat was a short hair black cat and we didn't have much problems with her fur getting everywhere.
Good Luck! Hope this helps.
C.

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Y.F.

answers from Austin on

Pam, all cats are aloof, BUT all cats are loving! You have to live with one to understand one. They are wonderful pets for kids but be careful with the scratching. And get ready for shedding and having cat hair all over your house. I love cats and plan to get one again when my daughter is older (she's only 20 months now). Just know that you will have to deal with: cat hair, kitty litter and scratching. I don't advocate declawing and I don't think domestic cats should be outside. Good luck!

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V.S.

answers from Dallas on

My cat is having kittens in a month. You could have one if you want! She is the most lovable cat. She is gray with a white toes and a white belly. She is a manx mix so she has no tail, it sounds silly but it's adorable. She looks like she has a bunnytail. Her breed is talkative and likes to jump up on things but she is the best cat I've had and I've had alot of cats in my life.
e-mail me [email protected]____.com

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T.G.

answers from Dallas on

Cats are wonderful. There are downsides to owning a cat (litterbox), but also a lot of upsides. I have a cat, Luci, whom I love...she is so sweet and funny. But, I don't recommend getting one until you read up on "Cat Scratch Fever" - because it is a real sickness children get if they accidentally get scratched by a cat. My son had it and it was a nightmare. 104-105 fever for a week straight. Every two hours alternating between tylenol and motrin (setting alarm clock to get up every two hours in the middle of the night) and a couple of lukewarm baths in the middle of the night, also. This was years and years ago with my oldest son. Maybe they have new medicines that can help. At the time I was told there really wasn't anything they could do. Just tylenol and motrin and baths if the fever gets too high. It was very scary. I don't know what age you can be and not be affected by it. I'm just sending this message so that you can do the research before you actually get a cat.

I love my cat. She is the sweetest and funniest companion. But, I just wanted you to be aware of the danger.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Pam! I don't know if you are wanting to spend money or if you just want a tabby cat. If you want a good, loving, hypoallergenic cat a Russian Blue is the way to go. They are beautiful cats, grey with green eyes. They don't shed. My husband is allergic to cats and he had no problems with her. As far as litter box, they have those that are "self cleaning". I'm not sure how they work but my aunt has one and you can smell it. You should clean it daily though, otherwise very stinky!! Hope you find what you're looking for.

A.

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M.O.

answers from Dallas on

Maine Coon or Ragdoll Siamese are my personal favorites. They are extremely loveable and want to be with you all the time. You should be able to locate a local Maine Coon rescue group via the internet. To ensure that your furniture stays intact you will need to have any of the cats declawed. The Maine Coon does shed; however, the Ragdoll is shorter hair and may not shed as bad. The litter box is always my pet peave. I hate stepping on litter and that is why we have chosen not to have another cat right now. Our Maine Coon passed away several years ago after living to a sweet old age of 19 years. I also have a toddler that I am sure would dig into the litter box if she found it. Yuck! Weigh the pros and cons of course. They sure are sweet to cuddle with!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

Any cat from the shelter would do - there are hundreds. A domestic short hair will not shed as much as a long hair, but they all shed. Yes, kittens will destroy furniture. If you adopt an older cat that has been declawed, then your furniture will be safe. Yes, a litter box is stinky and not all cats even use a litter box, but there are better litter brands out there and if you clean the box once a day it won't be an issue. 3 1/2 is very young for anything that can bite her when annoyed, but if she is very gentle, then your DD might do just fine. There are no straight answers here. It just depands on your daughter and the cat you end up with.

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

I think 3.5 is a bit early to take on the responsibility - just my opinion. On the cat question a fixed male cat is more likely to be sweet and kind. Females are more aloof and see to not care. You might consider getting an already grown cat from the pound - that way you will be exposed to its temperment right off. Whereas getting a kitten you don't always know how it's going to turn out. If you are purely going to have an indoor cat - get it declawed and then it can't destroy your furniture. However if you are going to let it roam outside then you prolly want to let it keeps it's claws for defense. Good Luck with whatever you do.

LP

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

I would speak to some rescue groups. Perhaps an adult cat who is not a kitten would be more to your liking. If the cat/kitten is declawed, they cannot destroy furniture. Almost all dogs and all cats shed. There are some hairless cat breeds, however they are very expensive and come with their own set of health issues sometimes. Aloofness depends on the individual cat, just like some dogs are more friendly than others. Just a plain 'domestic short hair' cat would be fine. No need to get a purebred cat unless you want a certain type of cat. You will be the main caretaker of the cat, I'm sure you already know that since she has a guinea pig. If you are not too keen on getting a cat, I would not get one. They are much easier to take care of than dogs however. Dog and cat feces are both stinky and unsanitary - you just have to make sure the yard is scooped/litterbox is cleaned daily. If you have anymore questions, let me know. -JM

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