Thinking of getting a cat - questions - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking of getting a cat - questions


So I've been thinking of getting a cat for the soothing/therapeutic effect they can have. I've never had cats or dogs before, except 6 years ago, when I had a kitten for 4 days. That did not go very well, I think mostly because I've chosen a kitten that was way too young. He was following me around everywhere. He'd sit and cry in front of the bathroom door when I was in the bathroom. Going to work and leaving him for hours alone was really sad. Also, he had diarrhea, and whenever I came back home, the first thing I had to do was clean up kitty diarrhea. The smell was horrible. After 4 days I realized that the kitten wasn't a good idea. So I placed an ad, got a call within a few hours, and a few minutes after that, some people came to pick him up (adopted him).

This time around, I hope I won't make the same mistake again if I end up getting a cat. I would get an older kitten or a fully grown cat. My major concerns are not having a good place for the litter box, and having bad smells in my apartment. My home is quite small, and obviously I wouldn't want the litter anywhere near where I sleep or eat. I don't have a spare room where I could keep it. So the most logical choice would be the bathroom, but that's a pretty small space too. It would have to go right next to the toilet bowl. So my questions for cat owners are:

1. Is a windowless bathroom a good choice for the cat litter box? Would the cat be willing to go into a relatively dark room for that? I usually keep my bathroom door ajar, rather than fully open. And what about times when I have to use the bathroom and close the door; can cats "hold it in" for like half an hour or so? lol

2. How much do cat litter boxes really smell? I've heard cat owners say that they don't smell at all if cleaned frequently, but I have a hard time believing that.

3. Is cat diarrhea common? Did your cat ever have uncontrollable bowel movements?

4. Would a kitten or cat really be OK with being home alone most of the time? I live alone and am away from home at least 9 hours every day. I also don't plan on letting the cat into my bedroom.

5. Is there anything else I need to know about having a cat beforehand?

Thanks for any replies.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 02:12 PM
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1. yes, i have one and it works just fine, cats can see in the dark. i often close the door for a while and there's never an issue, your cat would scratch on the door otherwise.

2. they don't if you get a closed one and clean it every day.

3. no

4. honestly i don't think so, especially if you're gone for that long and would restrict the cat from coming to your bedroom to cuddle or sleep close to you.
also if you go on vacation or anything, you'd have to figure out what to do with the cat.

5. you'll have to clean more often cause of the amount of hair.
once you get a cat it takes a while for them to get used to you and new environment. i'd actually recommend a kitten because you have time to teach them stuff and discipline them somewhat. doing that with an adult cat is much more difficult.
the cat i have now used to live with my grandma but i've been taking care of her since grandma died. so i got the cat when she was 2yrs old already and honestly it's impossible to change her behavior.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 03:47 PM
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1 They shouldn't have a problem with a windowless bathroom. And they can hold it while you're using the bathroom
2. The litter box won't really smell like anything but cat litter. You might want to try different brands to see what scent is the best. But as long as you clean it once a day it shouldn't be a problem.
3. Nope it's not that common
4. If you're going away to work each day they should be okay as long as you give them plenty of attention when you're home. They can get clingy and they really like routine so a lazy cat might be better than a high maintenance one.
5. They all have different personalities and attention needs so often there should be a description of the cats temperament for adoptees to consider. Since the litter box is a concern for you also it's important to clean everyday because cats can get urine problems.

Good luck to you and your future feline friend!

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 04:25 PM
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1. I don't think it should be a problem. Cats can hold it when they need to.

2. I don't have an issue with the smell (and I keep mine in my bedroom ). I scoop once a day. I also replace all the litter and scrub the litter box down every two weeks.

4. If the kitty has diarrhea, it needs to see a vet. My cat will occasionally exit the litter box too quickly so that some poop ends up outside of the box, but it doesn't happen very often.

5. My cat doesn't have any issues with being away from me during the day. He has plenty of windows and cat toys to keep him occupied. I always spend some time before work and after work playing with him, so you might want to reserve some time for that. I'm not really sure why you'd keep your cat out of your bedroom, though.

6. There are different types of litter boxes. If you're concerned about the smell, you could try experimenting with different types. My cat uses a top-entry litter box. I know he prefers an open box, but I don't like the litter being spread everywhere.

Also, like @Musicfan69 said, cats can have urinary issues. Mine developed crystals in January. I didn't realize anything was wrong until I saw him going back and forth from the litter box for 30 minutes straight. I had to take him to the emergency vet. It turns out he doesn't like drinking water. Now he eats all wet food with added water, and even though he has a water bowl, he never touches it.

All of the other cats I've known have been fed dry food without any issues, but it's something to be aware of. I never bothered to monitor my cat's litter box until he got sick. I should have seen that he wasn't peeing that much.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 09:54 PM
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1. Is a windowless bathroom a good choice for the cat litter box? Would the cat be willing to go into a relatively dark room for that? I usually keep my bathroom door ajar, rather than fully open. And what about times when I have to use the bathroom and close the door; can cats "hold it in" for like half an hour or so? lol

Yes, that would work fine. Cats can hold it in for a quite a long while. When I took my previous cat on the plane from Japan to California with a stopover in Korea, she held it in the entire time. The only time she couldn't hold it in was when I was gone for the weekend and my stupid roommate used my bathroom (he had his own bathroom) and shut the door after he was done. The litter-box was in the bathroom!! So she peed on my futon.

Once you have a cat...let me tell you...you will stop caring and will be happy to use the toilet while your cat uses his litter-box.



2. How much do cat litter boxes really smell? I've heard cat owners say that they don't smell at all if cleaned frequently, but I have a hard time believing that.

To tell you the truth...you most likely will get used to the smell and stop noticing it. So when you come home you won't notice but your friends might. You need to scoop the poop and piss spots out once a day and once every 2 weeks you need to throw out all the litter, scrub the litter box, and put in new fresh litter.

3. Is cat diarrhea common? Did your cat ever have uncontrollable bowel movements?

Not very common. Cats do puke up hairballs fairly frequently. A couple times a month.

One time my cat was constipated I think and the turd only came out half-way. I found out when I saw her walking in the oddest position I have ever seen. Walking with her front paws and dragging her butt on the carpet....she was trying to get the turd out. A different cat had urine crystals and I discovered this when he started peeing in random places in the house including on a pillow.


4. Would a kitten or cat really be OK with being home alone most of the time? I live alone and am away from home at least 9 hours every day. I also don't plan on letting the cat into my bedroom.

They will be okay but you need to make your place stimulating for them. Get a big cat tree for them and be sure they have a good spot in the window to watch birds and squirrels outside. They need some form of entertainment. You will most likely not be able to keep the cat out of the bedroom and you will likely change your mind too. You will WANT to sleep with your cat. And if you don't open that door for them, they will whine and meow and scratch at the door for hours on end until you relent. Cats absolutely HATE shut doors.

They will also jump on tables, counters, etc. There is no stopping them, they like to be up high and love jumping on things.


5. Is there anything else I need to know about having a cat beforehand?

As mentioned by others, there will be cat hair everywhere. So forget about wearing black inside the house. Doesn't matter how much you brush them, they are hairy beasts. Depending on the cat you will be woken up at odd hours by their noises...meowing for food, meowing because they want to go outside, meowing because they are antsy for whatever reason.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-01-2019, 10:18 PM
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. As for keeping the cat entertained, I don't have anything close to windows that it could jump on to watch out from, so I guess I'd have to invest in some sort of furniture for that purpose. The only thing near my windows is my kitchen counter, which spans about 2m wide and is up against the wall with the windows. The stove is also in there, and I have a microwave on the counter. I just measured it - the counter is 85cm tall. Would the cat jump on my kitchen counter? I don't have a door in my kitchen so there's no way of making it off limits. I suppose I could get used to the cat sleeping in my bed, but I definitely don't want it on my kitchen counter, lol.

As for times when I'm gone on vacation, I think I'd probably check the cat into a cat hotel or something. I don't have anybody close who lives near me and I wouldn't want to burden someone with caring for the cat.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:51 PM
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I used to have a cat. Got it as a 2 months old kitty.

I think the previous answers cover pretty much what you asked.

I just want to add that cats also fall sick and it can become very expensive. I was lucky with my cat because he only had a single serious health issue, but it costed over 500 euros to treat the problem.

And sometimes I will treat the "small problems" myself, so I saved some money so too.

Also, if you take a male cat, you will have to get him castrated otherwise he will pee everywhere from time to time to mark "his territory".


A picture of my cat when he was about 2 months old:



A picture when he was about 10 years old:


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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies. As for keeping the cat entertained, I don't have anything close to windows that it could jump on to watch out from, so I guess I'd have to invest in some sort of furniture for that purpose. The only thing near my windows is my kitchen counter, which spans about 2m wide and is up against the wall with the windows. The stove is also in there, and I have a microwave on the counter. I just measured it - the counter is 85cm tall. Would the cat jump on my kitchen counter? I don't have a door in my kitchen so there's no way of making it off limits. I suppose I could get used to the cat sleeping in my bed, but I definitely don't want it on my kitchen counter, lol.

As for times when I'm gone on vacation, I think I'd probably check the cat into a cat hotel or something. I don't have anybody close who lives near me and I wouldn't want to burden someone with caring for the cat.
XD you can bet the cat would. Even my "fat" cat will jump that high at age 12 years

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 12:59 PM
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1. I don't think it should be a problem. Cats can hold it when they need to.

2. I don't have an issue with the smell (and I keep mine in my bedroom ). I scoop once a day. I also replace all the litter and scrub the litter box down every two weeks.

4. If the kitty has diarrhea, it needs to see a vet. My cat will occasionally exit the litter box too quickly so that some poop ends up outside of the box, but it doesn't happen very often.

5. My cat doesn't have any issues with being away from me during the day. He has plenty of windows and cat toys to keep him occupied. I always spend some time before work and after work playing with him, so you might want to reserve some time for that. I'm not really sure why you'd keep your cat out of your bedroom, though.

6. There are different types of litter boxes. If you're concerned about the smell, you could try experimenting with different types. My cat uses a top-entry litter box. I know he prefers an open box, but I don't like the litter being spread everywhere.

Also, like @Musicfan69 said, cats can have urinary issues. Mine developed crystals in January. I didn't realize anything was wrong until I saw him going back and forth from the litter box for 30 minutes straight. I had to take him to the emergency vet. It turns out he doesn't like drinking water. Now he eats all wet food with added water, and even though he has a water bowl, he never touches it.

All of the other cats I've known have been fed dry food without any issues, but it's something to be aware of. I never bothered to monitor my cat's litter box until he got sick. I should have seen that he wasn't peeing that much.
Most cats only drink from "moving" water. My cat also never drank from a bowl. I bought him
a water fountain for cats and he has been drinking regularly ever since. He simply needs to get near the fountain and a sensor activates the pump. So he can drink whenever he is thirsty.

"Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the antichrist." ~ Our Lady of La Salette
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 01:00 PM
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One thing about cats is that they're not dogs. Obviously. But I mean, really. If you're used to dogs, cats can take some getting used to. Like sometimes when you're petting your cat and your cat seems happy and content and gentle, your cat will suddenly just turn and look you in the eye and bite you and/or claw you. Hard. It's not a gentle love nip like when a dog is being playful.

This caught me off guard more than a couple of times last time I had a cat. I don't remember my first cat doing that. But yeah. That happens with cats and apparently, it's normal cat behavior. Just kind of something left over from them not being 100% tame. I was like "What the hell was that?" I thought I did something wrong. Apparently all it was was I pet him for too long and even though he liked it, it eventually caused him to flip out because you can pet your cat too much and it's more attention than they can stand.

/WYSD
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 01:59 PM
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Have you thought about getting a robotic cat litter box. It basically flushes the poo away into a compartment where you can't smell it.


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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-02-2019, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for the replies. As for keeping the cat entertained, I don't have anything close to windows that it could jump on to watch out from, so I guess I'd have to invest in some sort of furniture for that purpose. The only thing near my windows is my kitchen counter, which spans about 2m wide and is up against the wall with the windows. The stove is also in there, and I have a microwave on the counter. I just measured it - the counter is 85cm tall. Would the cat jump on my kitchen counter? I don't have a door in my kitchen so there's no way of making it off limits. I suppose I could get used to the cat sleeping in my bed, but I definitely don't want it on my kitchen counter, lol.

As for times when I'm gone on vacation, I think I'd probably check the cat into a cat hotel or something. I don't have anybody close who lives near me and I wouldn't want to burden someone with caring for the cat.
It depends. My cat only jumps on one of my kitchen counters. The others have stuff on them, so I think he stays off of them because there isn't enough room to land properly. In my old apartment, he never jumped on them at all.

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Most cats only drink from "moving" water. My cat also never drank from a bowl. I bought him
a water fountain for cats and he has been drinking regularly ever since. He simply needs to get near the fountain and a sensor activates the pump. So he can drink whenever he is thirsty.
Interesting. I've heard of water fountains, but I've never seriously considered getting him one because I don't like the idea of having all that moving water around when he's home alone during the day. I figure he'll just play with it and I'll come home to a soaked carpet.

I've never seen one that's motion activated, though. Do you have a link? I'd be more comfortable with something like that.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:35 AM
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Interesting. I've heard of water fountains, but I've never seriously considered getting him one because I don't like the idea of having all that moving water around when he's home alone during the day. I figure he'll just play with it and I'll come home to a soaked carpet.

I've never seen one that's motion activated, though. Do you have a link? I'd be more comfortable with something like that.
My cat never played with the water of the fountain. He only gets near it to drink and than leaves. And cats in general don't like to get wet so I really don't think you need to worry about that.

I will put the link here for a fountain with a sensor. The sensor might be a little to sensitive and activate when the cat or you walk even over a meter from the fountain. To "fix" that you can simply put one or two layers of transparent tape on the sensor.

https://www.amazon.de/Jnwayb-Katzenb...gateway&sr=8-7

I am happy I bought him that because I know he sometimes was thirsty but couldn't find "potable water" to drink.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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A picture when he was about 10 years old:

Pretty. I like black cats.

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Originally Posted by WillYouStopDave View Post
Like sometimes when you're petting your cat and your cat seems happy and content and gentle, your cat will suddenly just turn and look you in the eye and bite you and/or claw you. Hard. It's not a gentle love nip like when a dog is being playful.
I used to fearlessly approach any cat I saw and pet it. And then one time, I was petting a cat that seemed affectionate, when it suddenly turned around and bit me. I wasn't even petting it long. Finally, I understand why some people think cats are evil, lol

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Have you thought about getting a robotic cat litter box. It basically flushes the poo away into a compartment where you can't smell it.
I don't know, those are too big for my apartment and I've read mixed reviews about them.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 03:32 PM
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Pretty. I like black cats.

Thanks, I will let my cat know you find him pretty. I'm sure he will be flattered

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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 04:01 PM
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My cat never played with the water of the fountain. He only gets near it to drink and than leaves. And cats in general don't like to get wet so I really don't think you need to worry about that.

I will put the link here for a fountain with a sensor. The sensor might be a little to sensitive and activate when the cat or you walk even over a meter from the fountain. To "fix" that you can simply put one or two layers of transparent tape on the sensor.

https://www.amazon.de/Jnwayb-Katzenb...gateway&sr=8-7

I am happy I bought him that because I know he sometimes was thirsty but couldn't find "potable water" to drink.
All cats are different. I left the sink dripping yesterday. He dipped his paws in the water and splashed it around. He does things like that. I don't think water bothers him that much. He has really soft, water resistant fur. Water will literally sit on his fur without soaking in. He's probably some kind of Maine Coon mix.

Thanks for the link He should drink more water. He's fine now, but I worry about what would happen if something happened to me and someone else had to take care of him for a while.

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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will let my cat know you find him pretty. I'm sure he will be flattered
Is this cat past or present? You said you "used" to have a cat, now I'm confused, lol

-----------------------

Another potential problem came to me. I have some cables that are in easy to reach places (from the computer and TV), and am worried a cat would chew on them. I don't want to come home and find my cat electrocuted. I've read that you can spray things on cables to make them off-putting to cats, but am not sure how effective that is, nor how common of a problem this is...
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 01:08 PM
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Is this cat past or present? You said you "used" to have a cat, now I'm confused, lol

-----------------------

Another potential problem came to me. I have some cables that are in easy to reach places (from the computer and TV), and am worried a cat would chew on them. I don't want to come home and find my cat electrocuted. I've read that you can spray things on cables to make them off-putting to cats, but am not sure how effective that is, nor how common of a problem this is...
The cat no longer lives with me. I don't want the cat to stay alone from morning 8 o'clock till evening 19 o'clock while I am at work. So the cat is staying at my mother's home.

Well, my cat never chewed on any cable. And I don't think most cats would do something like that. What might happen, is the cat destroying your sofa and other similar furniture. My cat totally jagged my mother's sofa. Buying a scratch tree might help.

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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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^Hmm did the cat show signs of unhappiness? That's how long my cat be alone every day, if I got one :/ Destroying furniture is not a problem, my couch is old anyway.
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