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So, You Want To Buy a Cat?

By mcgrew in Culture
Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 01:19:52 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

If you have mice, or are lonely, or want a pet for other reasons, or are a Korean cook, or want to piss off your neighbor's dog, or want to punish your furniture, or for any other reason might want to acquire or may be tricked into the acquisition of a cat, then this article is for you. If you already have one, and especially if you haven't had it long, you might want to read it as well. The article, not the cat.

And if you hate cats and want to laugh at the sissies who have them, well read on.

Why in the hell would anybody want a damned cat?

First, for the same reasons as a dog. No, not the same reasons as a dog wants a cat, but the same reasons for wanting to own a dog- they are loving and trusting. Unlike dogs, they make you earn their love and trust.

But you'll never get their respect. Of course, you won't get a dog's respect, either.

Don't expect your new cat to do tricks. Cats are hard to teach. Most are too smart to play that game, so if you want to teach a cat to roll over and play dead, get a really stupid cat.

Where should you get a cat? At a pet store?

Hell no! Whatever you do, do not get a cat at a pet store. By the time you buy your ridiculously expensive cat, it will be insane from being kept in a tiny cage in strange surroundings all of its life. A pet store is the last place to get a cat.

The best cats are feral cats; alley cats that wander onto your property and into your life. These cats know hardship, and understand what you are doing for them.

If a stray seems well fed, it's someone's pet. He's just pretending to be a stray for some extra food and attention. After all, it is an animal, and a mammal at that.

My former sister in law told of a cat who "ran off," just disappeared. They assumed it was dead, run over by a truck or something.

Lo and behold, six months later it was back, having traded his balls for a flea collar! He had befriended a human, and paid with the highest price a tomcat can pay.

Look, people are begging to give kittens away all the time. Take one, they're cute. Just don't take a male.

What does one cost?

Don't pay for a cat! They breed like rabbits; people can't give enough away and wiill resort to infanticide to rid themselves of the extra feline populations.

If you have to give someone money, go to the animal shelter.

There are costs associated with ownership, of course- food and cat litter come to mind. If one falls out of a tree and breaks his leg, then you need a vet.

What kind of cat should I get?

I would personally recommend against one like Illusionist Roy Horn had, unless of course you have an antelope infestation in your basement.

Just get a cat. Breed doesn't matter. Cats are all individuals. No two are alike. Find one that likes you, and one you like.

However, do not, I repeat DO NOT get a male. Males "mark their territory" by pissing all over everything you own. Male cats should not be let inside the house.

Unless, of course, you are Korean, and even then it is strongly advised not to let live ones in.

Try to get one whose mother was a mouser; in fact, the momma cat will determine what all the kittens are like, if you allow the kittens to stay with the mother long enough. The momma cat will teach the little cats to hunt, to use the litter box, where to sharpen their claws.

Again, pay close attention to the momma cat. She may also teach them where they can get away with shitting on the floor, how to get doors open, where the Purina Cat Chow is stored, where that Purina Human Chow is stored, and what the dog's social security number is.

Shy away from ones that glow in the dark, especially in Washington state.

OK, ok, how do I tell a male from a female?

Lift the tail and look just beneath its asshole ("arsehole" for our British readers). You can tell if it's a female. If it isn't, it's not.

What should I feed it?

The cheapest cat food you can buy.

But I love my cat!

Cats love Beluga Caviar. Can you afford it? Look- it's a cat. Buy it cat food. It can only know the joys you show it. Jade it in kittenhood and you will regret it.

However, if you are looking for cat longevity, the oldest recorded cat died at 36 years old, and was fed eggs, bacon, and coffee.

What about a litter box?

Buy one, and clean it once a day per cat. And never forget- you don't own the cat, the cat owns you.

What if I'm allergic to cats?

Er, avoid them? ...but if you must have one, and you have the money, you can get shots from your doctor.

I have a question that isn't answered, or I want to troll, or flame, and I'm just so confused any more and I really don't know what to...

Now calm down! The discussion starts here, with your question!


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Cats are best...
o Compared to dogs 25%
o At mousing 10%
o When you pet them 27%
o served with rice 36%

Votes: 98
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by mcgrew

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So, You Want To Buy a Cat? | 213 comments (153 topical, 60 editorial, 4 hidden)
couple things (3.00 / 6) (#5)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Dec 01, 2003 at 09:07:14 PM EST

My friend's web comic on cats: Whiskerville

What should you feed it? Depends on age (very young kittens have strict dietary needs) and also on their appetite. Cats can be very particular. Somewhere in between Beluga Caviar and dried toast is a whole range of food options. I prefer Iams which is kind of high end, but I found that cats I raised on Iams have better coats and fewer problems. Then again, I could be imagining it.

Something that also is a must is this: get to know your local vet, especially with kittens. Keep their shots up to date. Also, over the course of their lives, you are responsible for their lives, so don't ignore things like round worms or fleas. (Interestingly, roundworm eggs are found in fleas which, when eaten by cats, causes the worm eggs to hatch. But I digress.) Cats can be plagued by a number of parasite ailments, even if they are indoor cats. Pay careful attention, survey their stool when you clean the litter box, and be concerned if they seem overly lethargic or sneeze a lot.

It's theorized that cats hallucinate because they sleep too much. Ever seen a cat that just at this moment must run away? Who knows what they saw. And if having a psycho kitten isn't enough, get them hooked on catnip and make their favorite area into an opium den. Fun for the whole family.

I drank what?

My cat eats just about anything... (2.25 / 4) (#26)
by gordonjcp on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 05:31:53 AM EST

... or at least he used to. I can't have pets where I stay at the moment, so he lives at my Mum's house, where she feeds him really expensive catfood and then complains because he eats nothing else.

When he lived at the farm he basically ate dry catfood (the &pound20 for 25kg sacks of fairly reasonably good stuff) and whatever little squeaky things he could catch (which turned out to be anything smaller than a fairly large adult collie dog). It seems that he found that nearly anything is squeaky if you jump on it enough.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
As a cat (2.35 / 17) (#6)
by Henrietta Pussycat on Mon Dec 01, 2003 at 09:25:36 PM EST

I remind you that your purpose on this planet is to give us better than the cheapest cat food. Shitting on the floor, meowing at 4 in the morning and scratching up your furniture is our way of communicating this to you. You must treat us as the the superior beings we are.

Humans are so dense. If we were a bit bigger we'd hunt your asses instead and be done with you.

Fluffy owns news AND K5
I believe Ogden Nash said it best: (2.20 / 10) (#10)
by Greener on Mon Dec 01, 2003 at 09:43:45 PM EST

The trouble with a kitten is that
Eventually it becomes a cat.

Breeds do matter (2.70 / 10) (#12)
by Edvisors on Mon Dec 01, 2003 at 09:59:34 PM EST

Gender and breed matter quite a bit. I have a Chartreux female cat, and it's been the best experience of my life. Gender matters for cleanliness to a degree but most especially when it comes to allergens. Female cats have a certain amount of allergen in their saliva. Male cats have the same allergen but at four times the concentration, which means that you may trigger an allergic reaction in yourself or your friends/families/co-workers/hated enemies.

There are a number of breeds when it comes to cats - while not as varied as dogs, cats do still have specializations, and those specializations can influence temperament. I have a Chartreux, which was bred by French monks to hunt mice. As a result, my cat is a very fast runner, has very strong forearms, and a very thick tail to better manage balance for tall jumps. She's also skittish and not as social as, say, a tabby, but that's okay.

Each cat has its own personality and traits, but the overall features also matter.

Christopher S. Penn
CTO, Edvisors Network

The best experience of your life? (1.12 / 8) (#32)
by fn0rd on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 09:57:30 AM EST

You are aware of the female gender of your own species, right?

Alternatively: You are aware of other members of your gender and species, right?

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

Hi there. (none / 3) (#44)
by sllort on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 01:29:25 PM EST

Something I've never understood is how people who claim to love animals can spend so much time & money paying for and controlling the breeding of lines of cats while strays are gassed daily in the pound.


I'm not an animal rights fanatic by any means, but can you explain this to me? I've always figured it was an outlet for people who decided that a master race of humans was too ambitious, so cats would have to do...
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Absolutely they do (none / 3) (#155)
by fury on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 12:02:05 PM EST

I'm allergic to most cats, so when I got my Russian Blue, I did it because it's one of the few breeds I'm not allergic to. Also, their temperament is disposed towards quietness, inquisitiveness, and being fine at home alone for reasonable periods. Cat breeds are like dog breeds. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you get a cat suited for the environment your house and lifestyle provide. Seriously. Oh, and hear hear on the declawing thing. It's de-fingering, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Don't do it to anything you love.
Kevin Fox - fury.com
[ Parent ]
"Dogs have masters. Cats have *staff*." (2.90 / 30) (#16)
by Peahippo on Mon Dec 01, 2003 at 10:59:22 PM EST

This article is filled with balderdash that just begs to be countered. So here I go.

There are 4 kinds of animal people in the world:
  1. Cat people. They love cats ... the mewing miaows, the clawed furniture, the slinky stalkings.
  2. Dog people. They love dogs ... the woofing barks, the chewed sticks, the dumb puppy looks.
  3. Farm people. They love all kinds of animals, dogs, cats, sheep, porcupines ... but are apt to raise them for food.
  4. City people. They love delicate trinkets, clothes, fine food ... and dogs and cats just don't mix with this kind of lifestyle.
You are one of these types of people. It isn't an intelligence test, son, just look at the list and decide which one you are. Go ahead; I'll wait.

There. Done yet? Good. Now, if you're anything but item #1 (a cat person), then stop reading this thread and go off and do something else ... you're not a cat person and nothing said here would interest you.

Once you determine that you're a cat person, and are willing to serve as a the wait staff for the lord or lady of the house, then we can go on to other topics.

The expense of a cat is irrelevent. I paid $20 each for my 2 cats, and had I known at the time, I would have paid $200 each. A cat is cheap enough overall for the joy it can bring to you. Yes, men, every night I go home and pet TWO PUSSIES until they purr contentedly. I'm a real stud.

Compared to dog food, and the innate size difference between the average dog and cat, a cat is cheaper to feed. If you make even 2-sigma under the average income, you're not going to notice the cost of feeding 1 or 2 cats.

Cats are prone to urinary-tract problems that can easily become severe, causing the cat great pain, and ultimately leading to an agonizing death as the multiply-scarred tract simply swells shut one day in the final bout. The cause of this is simple, although you won't find a vet telling you this since he doesn't want to get sued by the pet food industry. The cause is highly processed, dry food like Purina Cat Chow. The cheaper and more preserved the food, the more like candy it is, and we all know that eating 3-square meals a day of candy will kill you in short order. The IAMS brand of cat food is the least you should buy, given (1) their processing is sensitive to the "ash" content that causes urinary problems in cat, and (2) they are cheapest of the specific-formulas for cats ... but even with that, dry and wet food should be presented to the cat, as well as other, Human foods. For those, baby food is cheap, a good resealable supplement, and has such simple ingredients that if your cat doesn't like "turkey & rice dinner" you'll know soon enough.

Remember, a cat is a carnivore and most people force them to eat what is effectively "dry cereal". You'll note that the more % of food is dry, the more water the cat will drink. That's not a good sign. Moderate the impact of the pervasive but not-very-healthy dry food with other things. What dry food is good for is trace nutrients, like taurine, but exclusive feeding will kill your cat in time.

For purists, or for people who are treating their own cats for urinary problems developed from diet, they use a method of duplicating what the cat would eat if it were wild: a mouse. A mouse can be built from meat, ground-up bone meal, and grain (to duplicate what a real mouse would have in its digestive system at the time a cat kills it). This is the best thing for a cat, but requires the most attention. (Since you will be wait staff for the kitty anyway, you may as well give it a try.)

The article is spot on about how to obtain a cat. Pet stores have nothing for you; avoid them unless you have a personal contact. I've seen cats primarily and satisfactorily obtained from the street and from litters. Street cats come in time to enjoy your nice treatment of them, and litter kittens are yours to mold. I have also seen very good results (i.e. cats with very good temperament) in obtaining a cat from a breeder, but that is quite costly. The world is awash in excess cats; don't be afraid to go get some.

A word about cats. Cats, like dogs, need attention. (Dogs need a LOT, but cats still need a noticable amount.) If you are single, then with 1 cat you will be leaving it alone for too much of the time. Cats sleep a good portion of the day and night, but not that much. Singles or busy couples, when obtaining a cat, should instead obtain two. They will keep each other company. Just make sure they're compatible, unless you like coming home to a post-apocalyptic world every night.

The male/female cat thing is not as terrible as the author makes it sound. Cats must be spayed/neutered. I didn't believe that until I saw all the effects of not spaying my 2 females. In the natural state, a bitch cat in heat is soon enough countered by a tom cat ... and the heat passes. In the absence of this biological satisfaction, your cat will on average start to go insane. To let nature takes it course, means the cat drops a litter or more a year, which is also unacceptable. The way we keep cats demands that we spay/neuter them.

Since this is necessary, then that will also take care of the male urine-spraying problem. The key is to neuter the male cat early enough, combined with a lack of foreign cat piss (or his own, if he has taken to squatting out of the litterbox) where he can smell it on things. Male cat spraying is half a habit that once picked up, is hard to break them of. Just neuter the little fucker early, and make sure he always has a scrupulously clean litterbox in the first 6 months.

And ... NO, a single male owning cats is NOT prima facie evidence of ultimate gayness. It is, however, clear and present evidence that he likes PUSSY.

One minor nit for an otherwise stellar post (none / 0) (#21)
by Kasreyn on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 12:13:41 AM EST

a whole (un-fixed) female cat is called a Queen. All bitches are either dogs or humans. :-P

Your list of 4 types is brilliant, where did you get it? Or is it your creation? :-)

As for the male spraying, my extended family has owned dozens of male cats. Never once have I seen one "spray" outside a litter box. If they had, they would have tasted boot.

btw, ROFLMAO at a few of the lines, esp. "post-apocalyptic world". Very true. ^_^

The thing to remember about ALL domesticated pets is that these are animals which exist in an environment drastically different from the one they were adapted for, and are forced to exist in more-or-less a constant dependant kittenhood / puppyhood on humans (don't believe me? Ever see a grown dog go belly-up to its master? That is a puppy instinct, grown dogs in the wild never display it except to save their ass from a severe beating by a MUCH more alpha dog). Thus, you have to make some allowances for them behaving bizarrely; they're not living natural lives.


cat person

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Ho-hum. (3.00 / 9) (#25)
by i on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 04:00:48 AM EST

Ever see a grown dog go belly-up to its master? That is a puppy instinct, grown dogs in the wild never display it except to save their ass from a severe beating by a MUCH more alpha dog

That's more or less what happens, at least in some cases. Your dog thinks you're an alpha dog.

Be aware that in their natural environment dogs (well, wolves) compete with each other for the alpha status. If you don't establish your dominance early and strongly, your dog may try to compete with you. If it's a Rottweiler, it may actually win.

and we have a contradicton according to our assumptions and the factor theorem

[ Parent ]

Why dogs aren't wolves (3.00 / 5) (#112)
by dcheesi on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 01:51:53 PM EST

don't believe me? Ever see a grown dog go belly-up to its master? That is a puppy instinct, grown dogs in the wild never display it except to save their ass from a severe beating by a MUCH more alpha dog

That's not just an environmental thing; there's breeding involved as well. There's evidence that domesticated dogs never undergo the personality changes that accompany full adulthood in wolves or other wild animals.

There was one case where some furriers attempted to domesticate foxes by selective breeding. They simply chose the most docile animals to breed, while still treating them as livestock (with all that that implies in the fur industry...). Within a few generations, the offspring had lost all traces of adult behavior, in favor of a permanent, "friendly" adolescence.

[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 3) (#153)
by TheDon on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:54:51 AM EST

Wild dogs and wolves do display this in the wild for many reasons, including the one you mention. It's also known that domestic dogs that are allowed to live with other dogs in a pack revert to their natural behaviour, soon exhibiting very little need for human contact. If you've ever seen dogs at a dog park you'll quickly realize how unimportant we are when alternative canine companionship is available.

You might enjoy the book, The Hidden Life of Dogs.

"That is a puppy instinct, grown dogs in the wild never display it except to save their ass from a severe beating by a MUCH more alpha dog)."


Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

Consider submittng this as diary/article when/if (2.20 / 5) (#30)
by cbraga on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 08:42:08 AM EST

the parent gets dumped. It's much more insightful, anyway.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
[ Parent ]
Agreed [nt] (none / 1) (#111)
by causticmtl on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 01:40:16 PM EST

[ Parent ]
cat food bad? (none / 1) (#50)
by lilnobody on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 02:24:18 PM EST

As a cat person who long ago gave up giving wet food for the endless stream of very wet poop that ends up in the litter box, can you cite somewhere that defines the problem of dry cat food?

The baby food is a good idea too, I'd never thought of that. It's probably 1/4th the price of wet cat food, which is ridiculously priced. Maybe I'll start paying a bit more attention to my kitty's food.

really, any sort of site about cat nutrition in general would be nice.


[ Parent ]

Foods, Vets and Corporations in Context (2.60 / 5) (#75)
by Peahippo on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 12:26:56 AM EST

Since we cat staff -- like dog masters -- are facing an established industry that is reluctant to tell us that it grinds up dead and diseased dogs and cats for inclusion in the "scrumptious" food it provides, it is natural to see yourself in some ignorance about criticism about the effects of processed pet foods. I didn't suspect it until I began reading quite a bit more ... prompted by the profoundly hellish sight of my cats in pain. And then it became obvious.

There's a book on my shelf that was so, outstandingly good from my other library readings that I went out and bought it to own it:

"The New Natural Cat" by Anitra Frazier

The problems of dry cat food are enumerated in such revolutionary literature. Such things are also available on the web with some determined Googling.

I'm sure there are many conscientious vets out there, but like too many Human physicians, they are sensitive to being destroyed by established industry and hence aren't really our friends. I'm much more radical; I refuse to see a vet ever again, such is my Luciferic anger. But to advise others, I can say that when your vet speaks, you have to take into account that (1) they are small and the pet food industry is very large, and (2) if they tell you how to feed your cat to keep it healthy, you will just go away while they still have to face their monthly bills. Human physicians on average are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the pharmaceutical industry ... no question. You should hold your vet in at least the same suspicion.

To be blunt, if the vet has to see you a couple of times a year to "cure" your cat's UI, over telling you to stop feeding your cat the dry food that it is so obviously sensitive to ... well, they are probably going to side with their alleged skills and wallets. They collect another eighty bucks from you, and they avoid any risk of a "slander against an industry" lawsuit that Oprah (for example) faced.

It is easy to see how we got here. We have trusted corporations for so long, that to be so summarily and directly betrayed across many of society's sectors is so daunting that it becomes a matter of faith against the face of proof. Our food industries are very willing to kill us, since any death from their mechanations is a statistic, and statistics are like bombs ... the bomber hits a switch and down it falls, ho hum, back to base ... it's a remotely managed and highly impersonal affair. It's We The People who are left with the bodies.

Fast food is rising in the public consciousness for it's processed state and the resutling negative impact upon our health (keeping firmly in mind that fast food can be fit into a healthy diet, just not to the extent that McDonald's stockholders want it to), but it's an uphill battle.

If anyone claims to love their pets, they will at least run through the list of ingredients in the bags of stuff they buy to feed their little dears. From that, it's a voyage of sickening discovery that falls under the aegis of tough love. You have to be tough upon yourself to express your love for your animals.

[ Parent ]
P.E.T.A. (none / 1) (#66)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 08:01:32 PM EST

People Eating Tasty Animals. I guess I'm a #3, but some animals are food, some animals are useful in other ways.

I never claimed to be a cat person.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Thanks for an excellent post.... (none / 1) (#154)
by ishark on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:58:58 AM EST

.....submerged in a sea of trolls/bullshit. Someone said that contrary to other pets, cats always give rise to extreme reactions, either good or bad, looks like it's true here as well. I should probably add something about the obtaining cats from a breeder, but I don't want to feed the trolls.

[ Parent ]
Fake mouse? Why not just buy real mice? (2.75 / 4) (#173)
by DGolden on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 10:41:23 PM EST

You can buy live mice in bulk, afaik, for LD50 tests and crap like that, not to mention reptile feeding, come to think of it.  I don't know how much they cost, but I bet it's not as much as some of that "premium" cat food crap.  

Or, if they started asking what you needed with all those mice, and you weren't comfortable with just saying "feeding them to my cat" (why not? snake owners presumably do it all the time...), you could raise them yourself in a large box.  Feed the mice on whatever's handy (grain is good - I suspect you'll get some skanky smelly disease bags of mice with kitchen scraps, though mice will eat most things), feed the mice to the cat.  Just don't get too emotionally attached to the mice.

Yes, this is a spectacularly bad-taste post.

Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]

weird (2.70 / 10) (#20)
by Work on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 12:08:40 AM EST

I never had an issue with male cats pissing all over the place, but the one time a roommate I had owned a female cat, that damn thing pissed everywhere.

And when it started going into heat...lord it wouldnt shut up and sounded like a dying child.

Horney cats (none / 0) (#64)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:51:42 PM EST

are noisy cats. Yes. Both males and females. I think the males are louder.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Additional notes for cat owners. (2.80 / 15) (#33)
by sllort on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 10:01:10 AM EST

Don't declaw your cats. This is like having your fingers cut off at the second joint - you can still eat your food, but all the other humans will laugh and kick your ass. If you can't keep a cat with claws, don't fucking get one. Also it's expensive.

Don't use "clumping litter". It's made of clay that expands in, well, cat urine, which means it gets all up in their hoo-ha and then expands and plugs it. This leads to angry, infected, urine-filled cats that either whine for a week and then die messily or require expensive vet visits to get unplugged. Don't believe me?


Oh by the way the shit can hurt you too.

I'd like this article more if it went out of its way to insult and berate owners of expensive "purebred" cats that are so inbred they don't know how to lick themselves anymore, but this will suffice.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

Purebreds (none / 0) (#61)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:45:06 PM EST

I'd like this article more if it went out of its way to insult and berate owners of expensive "purebred" cats that are so inbred they don't know how to lick themselves anymore

Isn't that like "going out of your way" to insult stupid people?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

ps- (none / 3) (#62)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:47:09 PM EST

Thanks for the litter info.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Toxoplasmosis (none / 2) (#73)
by Tyler Durden on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 10:29:12 PM EST

The cat feces can be a source of Toxoplasmosis. It's a parasite and kitty turds are not the only way to get it. The CDC estimates that 60 million Americans are infected, but have no symptoms. The major concern is for pregnant women, who can pass the parasite on to their babies.

Jesus Christ, EVERYONE is a troll here at k5, even the editors, even rusty! -- LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Toxoplasmosis behavioural modification. (none / 2) (#172)
by DGolden on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 10:18:49 PM EST

Not the only major concern anymore, as the tabloids latched onto recently in Britain:

It's now suspected that toxoplasmosis is one of those nasty behaviour-modifying parasites you see on a nature channel only it works on humans. It gets into the human brain and changes people's personalities.

It was initially found that when it got into rat brains it changed rats to be less afraid of cats, probably so that the parasiste could rat-cat-rat spread more easily.

Then some scientists decided to study human psychological changes as a result of toxoplasma infection.

Oh boy. Not good.

Affects males and females in different ways, but apparently changes their behaviour alarmingly. Don't be deceived by some of the politically correct descriptions of the effect on female behaviour - if you're a guy who wants a one-night-stand, then go for an outgoing woman with a pet cat. But beware you might find yourself turning into an agressive, scruffy loner as the parasite infects your brain.

Yeah, the british tabloids do tend to blow things out of all proportion. But the scientific evidence is quite convincing.
Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]

Not just that... (none / 3) (#91)
by skyknight on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 06:31:58 AM EST

but being declawed makes it more difficult to walk. To give a human a similar hassle you'd probably have to cut off their big toes.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
Male cats (2.42 / 7) (#35)
by fraise on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 10:10:46 AM EST

They won't spray their stinky pee if they've been neutered. Neutering male cats also significantly decreases their urge to roam and fight.

Um...really? (none / 0) (#147)
by djkitsch on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:04:32 AM EST

I think not! Our cat was neutered at about 10 weeks and he still pisses everywhere whenever he's nervous (ie. moving house, recent vet's visit etc).

Have you any idea how long it takes to wash cat urine out of foam sofa cushions?

sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
[ Parent ]
Not the same thing (none / 0) (#152)
by fraise on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:29:48 AM EST

I was talking about spraying, which is not the same thing as peeing. If you've ever had an adult male cat tag your house/apartment, you'll know the difference between normal cat pee and spray-pee. Male cats don't spray until they're about a year old, in general - if neutered before a year old, it effectively curbs their desire to mark territory.

It's normal for a young cat to pee everywhere if it's nervous. Act calm around him, that will help - and don't get mad at him, that will only make it worse. If you catch him peeing in the wrong place just pick him up and put him in his litter immediately afterwards. It has to be done immediately otherwise the connection doesn't hold. Apologies if you already know that :)

[ Parent ]
yup, I know (none / 0) (#180)
by djkitsch on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 10:57:58 AM EST

I did know that (thanks for the advice offered, though).

I know spraying pee is not the same as normal pee, but it still smells foul, and lingers for weeks. He's actually about 3 years old, and calmness doesn't make the slightest difference - we just have to keep an eye on him for a week or so before he stops.

sig:- (wit >= sarcasm)
[ Parent ]
cat nervousness (none / 0) (#202)
by Shpongle Spore on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 05:24:24 PM EST

There are pheremone-based products you can buy to help keep cats calm. I've seen them in pet stores, but I can't say if they word or not.
I wish I was in Austin, at the Chili Parlor bar,
drinking 'Mad Dog' margaritas and not caring where you are
[ Parent ]
Get a cat that's old enough to crap by itself (1.33 / 9) (#38)
by My Other Account Is A Hulver on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 11:10:24 AM EST

This is not a troll.  You have been warned.

I believe drduck is a genuine account, and I don't delete him because I'm a hypocrite. - rusty
If it's weaned (none / 0) (#60)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:41:07 PM EST

It will certainly be old enough to shit. But good advice at any rate.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I H8 Cats (1.13 / 23) (#42)
by thelizman on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 01:19:30 PM EST

They are detestable, obstinate, conceited animals.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Left yourself open to this one. (1.42 / 7) (#45)
by whazat on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 01:31:42 PM EST

Should suit you well then.

[ Parent ]
Just like guys. (1.20 / 10) (#47)
by shestek on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 01:43:03 PM EST

[ Parent ]
sounds like you, sunshine (1.20 / 5) (#78)
by kjb on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 02:11:28 AM EST

Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

myths (2.35 / 14) (#46)
by etherdeath on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 01:34:00 PM EST

they are loving and trusting. Unlike dogs, they make you earn their love and trust.

this is a myth.  a myth perpetuated only because many cats are bitchy.  cats that are bithy don't give their love or trust to anyone - they just learn to put up with the people that are around them the most - their owners.  they let themselves be petted, and you can tell its taking a lot of concentration on behalf of the cat not to lunge for its owner's throat.

  i just got 2 kittens and it took about 5 minutes before they trusted me, about 15 minutes before they wanted to sleep in my lap.  while i was driving, no less, after i put them in a small box, and after they got out of that box.  the momma cat took about 6 hours to warm up to me and roll over on it stomatch, wanting to play.

But you'll never get their respect. Of course, you won't get a dog's respect, either

i get respect from dogs and cats.  my friend's 90 lb dog, for instance.  they have a hard time getting it to do what they say, and they've trained it to respond to commands and gestures.  i 've seen the dog maybe 4 times in a year, and it listens to me more than it does them.  It did take awhile (over a day) to gain its trust when I first met this dog, unlike the kittens sleeping on my lap as I type.  they seem to have given me their respect.  they sit at attention whenever i enter the room they're in.

There are all different personalities for cats and dogs.  The only real difference between cats and dogs is killer instinct.  Some dogs won't tear an animal that's 100th its weight to shreds, but it's near impossible for a cat to resist the urge to do the same, no matter what breed or ubringing.  If you were shrunk to 100th your size, I'd like to see what that hard to earn trust and love gets you when you're running for dear life across the kitchen floor.

Cats are killers, true (none / 1) (#59)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:32:46 PM EST

Just ask Roy.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

If you want respect, (none / 3) (#110)
by causticmtl on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 01:25:03 PM EST

buy a cell phone. Haven't you seen the commercials?

[ Parent ]
cats have no conscience (none / 2) (#198)
by tgibbs on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 03:33:51 PM EST

A conscience is something that social animals have. Dogs are pack beasts, so they have a sense of guilt. A dog owner will know when they walk in the door if their dog is feeling guilty about something. Cats have no sense of guilt, only consequences. A cat will do whatever it wants if it thinks it can get away with it, and will never feel an ounce of guilt. The "cat that ate the canary" isn't feeling guilty; it's feeling smug, because it got what it wanted. That's not a reason not to have a cat (I have always had at least one) but you should know what you are dealing with.

[ Parent ]
winston churchill said something to the effect of (2.50 / 18) (#49)
by circletimessquare on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 02:21:11 PM EST

what is the perfect pet? the pig


a dog looks at you like you are god, always groveling in perpetual submission

a cat looks at you like you are scum, always looking down on you in perpetual superiority

and a pig? a pig looks at you right dead in the eye and it is obvious that it considers you it's equal

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

he was a bit bit pig like himself. (2.40 / 5) (#53)
by noogie on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 04:21:23 PM EST

no disrespect mr c.

[ Parent ]
Important information about purebred cats. (2.21 / 14) (#55)
by sllort on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 05:37:10 PM EST

Purebred cats are cats with an internationally certified lineage, much like purebred dogs. They are meticuously documented, controlled, and bred, often for the purpose of competition:


There are courses for study of feline genetics at major universities:


And even competitions to find the most perfectly formed cat of the purest blood:


Why all this focus on good breeding, racial purity, and genetics? And on second thought, why exactly are the terms of purebred cat farms so strict? They never sell fertile offspring, they charge close to a thousand dollars a kitten, and they won't even quote you a price until they've investigated you. Take a look through the conditions of any breeder list if you don't believe me. What do they want to investigate? A lot of things, but mainly they want to talk to you on the phone. They want to investigate your breeding.

They want to make sure you're a purebred white.

Many famous white supremacists were purebred enthusiasts. Take a look at this picture of the author of the infamous Turner Diaries, Dr. William Pierce - posing with his purebred cat! Anyone who believe in eugenics and the Master Race theory but can't play around with it like Hitler did is pretty much consigned to playing God with animals - for now. The idea of "purebred" animals is commonplace in the literature of these fanatics:

"The natural, purebred wolf rejects the half-breed in favor of what is natural, instinctual."

Feel free to use Google to wade through it, but I've probably served the purpose of this comment, which is to warn people away from those neo-nazi purebred cat wackos.
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

I wonder what they mean (none / 0) (#58)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:30:00 PM EST

by "purebred". It's a house cat. I've never seen a thousand dollar cat, or anyone foolish enough to buy one.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Oh they'll be happy to tell you what they mean (none / 0) (#107)
by sllort on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 11:54:12 AM EST

Google for F1, F2, F3 and F4 bengal cats. Or read this FAQ:


Q. What does a Bengal cost?

A. A pet kitten costs from approximately $650 to $800. These prices are on average. Bengals sold as pets are the most inexpensive, and top show quality Bengals are the most expensive, which can cost about $2000. In some countries or catteries, prices may be much higher than this. Our Bengal's will average $700 for dynamite kitten pet quality Bengals. Our recent litters have been fantastic and demand does not decrease and our price has been stable at $800.

Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Congrats.... (none / 2) (#178)
by ishark on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 06:45:29 AM EST

....on the troll, it's well done, I rated you (0) - my very first one, but as a troll it's a (3) no doubt.

[ Parent ]
Nothing wrong with male cats (2.93 / 16) (#56)
by Blarney on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:13:58 PM EST

However, do not, I repeat DO NOT get a male. Males "mark their territory" by pissing all over everything you own. Male cats should not be let inside the house.

A male that is neutered young won't piss all over the house. Furthermore, I know someone who had two full tomcats that didn't piss all over the place either (although they did defecate in piles of laundry, which was often blamed on the senile old family dog anyway).

My cat is a neutered male, and he's alright. The thing is that male cats can be much larger than female cats - mine is bigger than some dogs, big enough to seriously hurt someone who mistreats him (he has given previous owners many bad scars and, in one case, a trip to the ER to get stitched up. the moral - if you own a large male cat, be NICE to him and be careful not to grab him without warning when he's fighting another critter, don't kick him around, and feed him EVERY day). He is restrained with me, although he does play rough to the degree where I am sometimes forced to wrestle him down until he calms down - he may be a 20 pound animal, but he's stronger than you'd expect.

Another thing about male cats is that they are often needier of affection than the stereotypical aloof cat (usually female). My cat uses his limited intelligence to get attention, extra food, and walks. He'll perch on a shelf and slowly push things to the edge until I come over there - or make noise with the telephone - opening doors if necessary - he's got a whole repetoire of annoyances. Despite his old age of 9 years, he still learns new tricks - lately he has mastered standing on his hind legs and tapping my shoulder in a convincingly humanoid manner when I sit in front of the computer ignoring him - his large size helps him, he has no trouble reaching that high.

Most people prefer female cats, but the males are good pets also. In general, they're larger, more affectionate, and mischievous. A large male shorthair cat is much more doglike than you may expect.

You're right (none / 2) (#57)
by mcgrew on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 07:27:10 PM EST

I should have mentioned that there are eight cats in my house, five males.

The biggest tom here is the biggest pussy, at least among them. I've had battles with all of them- even the smaller cats can be dangerous, or at least painful and scar producing.

The evil X collected all these critters (in cahoots with the youngest daughter), and now they belong to the daughter, as mom flew the coop.

The most ferocious cat I know is a medium to small female a friend owns. I'd rather go against the biggest tom than this little animal!

9 isn't old, he's just into late middle age. With luck and good care he'll live to be fifteen easy, and many make it to 20 and beyond.

"Killer," the biggest male (named by a six year old neighbor who abandoned him when they moved) can even do a doglike trick- when I point my finger at him and say "bang" he lays down and plays dead.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Oh, man... (none / 1) (#79)
by joto on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 02:21:12 AM EST

The evil X collected all these critters (in cahoots with the youngest daughter), and now they belong to the daughter, as mom flew the coop.


[ Parent ]

Small cats are often worse (none / 2) (#90)
by gordonjcp on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 06:27:45 AM EST

Although big tomcats can do a hell of a lot more damage (big paws with big claws, very muscular, big sharp teeth), they tend to be a lot less inclined to do so. They will playfight very gently with little kittens, even if the kittens are biting absolute fuck out of them. Small female cats can and will rip lumps out of you at the slightest provocation.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
The funny thing... (none / 0) (#132)
by Two Thumbs Fresh on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 09:40:44 PM EST

I wish I knew all this about pissing everywhere before I got a male cat. Of course, I've found out, and he's getting neutered soon, but the doc claims that he should be unneutered until Christmas. Febreeze is my friend.

"Friendship is like an ointment, when you've been stung by fifty bees."-Brak
[ Parent ]
Cat piss doesn't come out easy (none / 3) (#160)
by PhoTwenny on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 02:17:11 PM EST

My wife and I have 5 cats: 1 female, 4 males, all indoor cats (and yes, that's too many, especially considering we have a dog!).

One of our cats has issues with cleanliness. If the litterboxes aren't scooped often, he'll find alternative places. One of his favorite spots at my old house was the thick shag carpet at the bottom of the stairs. I eventually found a way to keep him away from there, but the urine smell never went away.

I tried febreeze. I tried a steam vac. I tried Nature's Miracle. I had it professionally cleaned. But the smell would not go away. Eventually, I pulled up the carpet and the pad. The urine had soaked into the foundation below. I washed the foundation with bleach. That covered it up pretty well, but my wife still smelled it.

This wasn't the territorial spraying, as he was neutered (at the shelter I got him from) at 8 weeks, so he never sprayed. It was just a bad habit, made worse by my neglect of the litter boxes (I would clean them every few days, not daily). The cat didn't like going in a dirty box, so he'd go elsewhere.

Be sure to keep the litter boxes clean.

[ Parent ]

how young? (none / 0) (#138)
by bolthole on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 02:47:18 AM EST

we have a cat. he was neutered relatively "young".
didnt stop him from peeing all over our bed, about 2 months after he was neutered.
he STILL pees on things. and gets into lots of fights. and...

well, he may be neutered, but I dont think he actually KNOWS he's neutered.
someone aughtta tell him.
anyone speak cat?

[ Parent ]

Before puberty (none / 0) (#157)
by Valdrax on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 12:59:47 PM EST

Male cats begin marking territory at the onset of puberty.  If you get them neutered as kittens, you'll never have a problem with it.  Ask a vet to be absolutely sure, though.  We've owned two male indoor cats that we've never had a problem with spraying.

Now my poor, senile, 17 years old, female cat pees all over everything if we don't keep an eye on her.

[ Parent ]

when, though (none / 0) (#161)
by bolthole on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 02:26:42 PM EST

you didnt exactly answer the question, though.

Whenabouts is "the onset of puberty"?

[ Parent ]

Onset of puberty (none / 0) (#207)
by Valdrax on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 01:25:43 PM EST

Sorry about that (and the lateness of this reply).  Eight or nine months old is the onset of puberty in cats.  Most vets advise neutering cats at sixth to seven months or even earlier.  If you catch them before they start learning to spray, they won't ever do it.

[ Parent ]
My housemate got a male cat (none / 1) (#156)
by Hillman on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 12:21:48 PM EST

Since august. He was about a month old. I'm moving out at the end of the month, so do you know when the cat will start to piss all over her stuff? Because if it's soon, i'll start moving my stuff out.

[ Parent ]
Cats suck!! (1.12 / 16) (#71)
by truth versus death on Tue Dec 02, 2003 at 09:27:50 PM EST

Kill all cats!!

Except for the furry, cute kind. And the cuddly-wuddly kind. I like those.

Anyone ever see that Monty Python skit...

"any erection implies consent"-fae
[ Trim your Bush ]
I heard a hilarious story once. (1.03 / 28) (#77)
by fae on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 01:15:19 AM EST

Okay, this family had a really gimped up cat, and they decided to put it out of its misery. So, they whacked it on the head with a shovel and put it in their truck, and headed off to the dump. On the way the cat woke up and they pulled over and whacked it again. I can't remember how the next part goes. Either it actually died that time or it found its way back to their house a couple weeks later.

Either way, it's comedy gold!

-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity

troll or not (1.33 / 9) (#80)
by fleece on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 02:50:58 AM EST

you are a cunt

I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
he's not a cunt... (none / 3) (#151)
by TheDon on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:20:14 AM EST

and it wasn't a cat. The gimped cat is him, only ever since the shovel incident he thinks he's a cat.

Amazing that he survived it all.


Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

for all i know (none / 0) (#210)
by fleece on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 04:22:45 AM EST

you're also or a cunt... or worse still, some kind of troll

I feel like some drunken crazed lunatic trying to outguess a cat ~ Louis Winthorpe III
[ Parent ]
Dog food (1.72 / 11) (#82)
by joto on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 02:55:49 AM EST

Dog food is much cheaper than cat food. It's almost the same, except for a few nutricients that cats need more of than dogs (I think I've heard phosphor, but I'm not sure if that's correct). A little bit of dog food won't hurt them much, and it certainly keeps your budget down, as tinned cat food is actually quite expensive compared with dog food.

I don't think cats will eat dog food. (none / 0) (#103)
by cbraga on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 10:49:32 AM EST

Dogs, OTOH, love cat food.

ESC[78;89;13p ESC[110;121;13p
[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#105)
by Yosho on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 11:14:04 AM EST

Of my five cats, two will eat dog food.  They normally stick to their cat food, though.  I think it just differs from cat to cat.

I do have a dog, though, and she loves eating the cat food, so we keep it up where she can't reach it (but the cats can).

[ Parent ]

Most dogs will eat anything. /nt (none / 2) (#127)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 05:52:06 PM EST

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Enough dog food will kill a cat. (none / 1) (#175)
by joebagodonuts on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:44:17 PM EST

Our cat went through a phase where he only ate the dog food. When it started we figured "so what?". He ended up losing a bunch of weight. The vet told us that dog food doesn't have enough protein (among other things) for cats.

[ Parent ]
Koreans... (2.75 / 8) (#83)
by BJH on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 03:25:07 AM EST

...don't eat cats. They do, however, eat dogs.

Mainland Chinese people, especially in the southern regions, do eat cats though. Perhaps you were thinking of them?

Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

Civet Cats. (none / 0) (#84)
by Akshay on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 03:31:14 AM EST

Many blame the SARS epidemic on the sale of civet cat meat in Guandong and HK.

[ Parent ]
civet cats aren't really cats [nt] (none / 1) (#99)
by reklaw on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 08:50:15 AM EST

[ Parent ]
What are they then? (nt) (none / 0) (#108)
by Akshay on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 12:29:35 PM EST

[ Parent ]
civets. (none / 2) (#114)
by garlic on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 02:48:13 PM EST

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Ah. (nt) (none / 0) (#136)
by Akshay on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 02:13:27 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Now THAT was funny (none / 0) (#150)
by TheDon on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:17:23 AM EST

From a peripheral read, the discussion was not only contained in the headers but is funny as hell!


Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

Huh. (none / 2) (#85)
by holofernes on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 04:23:38 AM EST

My family are from that area, and I've never heard of that in my life. I was very mystified when people asked me "do they really eat cats?". Dog meat is common, though becoming much less so.

[ Parent ]
hmmm (none / 0) (#86)
by livus on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 04:33:37 AM EST

yeah I wondered what was with the weird racist bits. The Koreans I know all eat beef, same as me.

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
True or not, the stereotype is there (none / 0) (#126)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 05:51:05 PM EST

Thais eat dogs as well, but not cats, as they think cats are evil. I know Chinese people eats cats, but the Koreans have the stereotype, and thus get the butt end of the joke.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Re: food (2.91 / 12) (#92)
by skyknight on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 06:35:18 AM EST

Something important to note is that it is a good idea to make hard kibble be a regular component of the diet, unless you plan on brushing your cat's teeth. Chewing on the kibble acts as a semi-natural way to remove plaque. If you just feed your cat tins of "meat", then their teeth will rot post-haste. Also, if you consistently feed your cat stuff that is too nice, you'll never get him/her to eat kibble again, thus nullifying this route for dental health.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
Not so good... (none / 1) (#96)
by BruTeQ on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 07:39:55 AM EST

Dry cat food ain't so good on the teeth as all that. The best thing for a cat's teeth is some raw chicken bones, still with meat attached. Cleans 'em up a treat.

PS -- if you're feeding ANY PET dry food, give lots of water in a bowl. Try eating four or five slices of week old bread, and see how you feel.

[ Parent ]

Chicken bones (none / 3) (#124)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 05:47:23 PM EST

should not be fed to cats or dogs, as the bones splinter and often kill the animals. Pork and beef bones are fine, though.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Re: Chicken bones (3.00 / 4) (#141)
by Arcadio on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 09:47:08 AM EST

Cooked chicken bones should not be fed to cats or dogs, because they will splinter.

Uncooked chicken bones are just fine. Cats in the wild eat birds all the time without running into bone splintering related problems.

[ Parent ]
I need more cofee... (1.10 / 10) (#100)
by WWWWolf on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 09:23:30 AM EST

<humor type="slashdot" k5:ranking="stoooopid" >

That will be US$699, and that's just the kernel.


-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

learn how to spell "coffee", man. [nt] (none / 0) (#183)
by vyruss on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 12:37:33 AM EST

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

[ Parent ]
Do your government a favor and don't buy a cat. (1.60 / 10) (#109)
by pb on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 01:19:39 PM EST

It has recently come to my attention that the local animal control in some regions actually charges people for the privilege of owning a cat. This would imply that cat ownership places some extra burden on the state, and it is in fact more financially beneficial to them if you let the cats run free and breed in the wild, where they can then contract and spread rabies, as God intended them to do.

Therefore, I urge you all to do you, your cats, and your government a favor by not harboring these furry menaces, not subjecting them to privacy invading licensing and tagging schemes, and letting them enjoy their God-given freedom to ravage the countryside, as the local animal control offices originally intended them to do.

Thank you.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

Well, of course (none / 0) (#121)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 05:35:01 PM EST

Have to keep those damned robins and sparrows and finches under control.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Hate pets (1.50 / 12) (#113)
by arvindn on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 02:38:57 PM EST

I come from a culture with a significantly different (i.e, negative) attitude to pets. I guess I live up to the stereotype :) AFAICT the only reason people would want one is that they're doing so badly in relationships with other people that they have to turn to animals for comfort. And I really can't imagine how they put up with feeding them and cleaning their shit and everything. And why do people who make a fuss about hygeine not mind cats roaming about the house? And I think one would have to be pretty dumb to feel good by teaching animals to do "clever" things, like a dog retreiving a ball or something like that.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I know its skewed due to my conditioning or whatever, but anyway just an alternate viewpoint for you to think about :)

So you think your vocabulary's good?

Interesting perspective (2.60 / 5) (#120)
by mcgrew on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 05:34:17 PM EST

Where are you from?

People didn't use to have "pets", their animals were all useful. Dogs to herd sheep and cattle and bark away wolves, cats to keep the rodent population down, horses to pull wagons, mules to pull plows, etc. Thailand's culture was built using elephants- now THERE'S and expensive pet to feed!

Now we mostly have electromechanical devices to take their places... but we have, over the last 10k years, become one with many of the other animals who helped shape our culture- and without these animals, particularly the larger ones, our civilization (if you can call it that) would not be what it is today..

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Apples and oranges (none / 2) (#134)
by arvindn on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 12:25:00 AM EST

My granddad used to have cows about 10 years back, which he milked. But the cows didn't live in the house. Nor did the horses and mules your talked about. So most of the things I was saying don't apply here.

I don't know about people "becoming one with" their animals. People don't socialize with animals they use for labor. In that sense pets are indeed a modern phenomenon, not having historical precedent.

I'm from India, BTW.

So you think your vocabulary's good?
[ Parent ]

Russian cats (none / 2) (#145)
by bugmaster on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 10:57:09 AM EST

I had no idea that Indian culture was so anti-pet (uh... is that a word ?), but it makes sense, given their socioeconomic situation.

In Russia's traditional (i.e., ancient) culture, cats do live in the home, and they do have a significant role to fill -- they eat the mice (and rats, if your cat is the feline equivalent of the Terminator). Without the cat, the house would be overrun in a manner of weeks, and all the food supplies would be destroyed, leading to starvation. The cat could also keep the rats away from the baby's crib -- yes, Russian rats used to be powerful enough, and desperate enough, to seriously injure or kill a child. Naturally, cats were not neutered, because eunuchs do not make good hunters.

Of course, now we have all these "electromechanical devices", not to mention rat poison, so the cat's role is fairly ornamental. Still, in Russia at least, cats are seen as members of the family (sort of), possibly due to their historic role as protectors of the hearth. Neutering cats is still seen as a distasteful (if not immoral) practice -- after all, would you neuter your best friend ? Basically, Russians (in general) treat their cats as ensouled beings, worthy of respect, in contrast with Americans, who see them as more of an entertainment device. However, the popular American "crazy cat lady" image is rarely seen in Russia; when there's barely enough food to feed the family, having 12 cats is simply not a realistic goal.

Anyway, just my two cents.
[ Parent ]

I guess I love Russians (none / 1) (#149)
by TheDon on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:15:09 AM EST

Thanks for sharing that!


Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

Cats, before they were "pets" (none / 1) (#166)
by DLWormwood on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 05:09:11 PM EST

In that sense pets are indeed a modern phenomenon, not having historical precedent.

Weren't cats highly prized, even worshiped, in Ancient Egypt? They were even mummified and buried like royalty.
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
[ Parent ]

Electromechanical devices (none / 1) (#146)
by bugmaster on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:01:19 AM EST

Ok, now I have to know. What "electromechanical devices" do you use to replace cats ? All I can think of is some sort of an Aibo -- but an Aibo made by the U.S. military, not Sony. Jagged, rugged, and camouflage-colored, carrying a full payload of stunners, small arms, and mini-Hellfire missiles, emitting a high-pitched whine and narrating a constant status report in a severe monotone: "::target sighted:: ::class: household mice:: ::threat assessment: minimal:: ::proceeding to engage::"

I think I know what I want for Christmas.
[ Parent ]

Mice chasers (none / 0) (#186)
by mcgrew on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:53:03 PM EST

Emit a loud noise that humans can't hear, but to a mouse sounds like a mouse being tortured. Also, not only electromechanical, but chemicals such a D-con.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

What do cats want? (2.16 / 6) (#131)
by whazat on Wed Dec 03, 2003 at 09:31:14 PM EST

A new cat is miaowing, what does it want? Well this is the tricky bit. The cat normally doesn't know what it wants, either that or it doesn't want anything and is just yanking your chain. So the answer is to take that cat around and try giving it random things such as an open door way or a saucer of milk (as long as it is lactose tolerant). Eventually you will find what it wants or the cat will get tired of playing with its pitiful servant.

new sig (1.00 / 6) (#142)
by Eight Star on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 09:54:22 AM EST

Bwahahahahahaha! (none / 1) (#148)
by TheDon on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:11:38 AM EST

It actually was funnier the 2nd time around as your sig!


Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche
[ Parent ]

Don't get free kittens (2.25 / 8) (#143)
by unDees on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 10:13:51 AM EST

Adopt from your local shelter or rescue organization instead. And get the damn cat spayed/neutered right away (any rescue worth its salt will already have done this, and the good ones will get it done cheaper than you could have).

The trouble with giving away free kittens is that there are actually folks with nothing better to do with their time than pick up free kittens for the purpose of selling them to testing labs. (So, those of you who are giving away free kittens should either charge a small fee or, if you have no soul, sell 'em into misery yourself and cut out the middlemen.)

Your account balance is $0.02; to continue receiving our quality opinions, please remit payment as soon as possible.

My cats (none / 2) (#144)
by mike3k on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 10:39:03 AM EST

I have two neutered males, and I didn't buy either one.

I got my first (now 4 years old) when a co-worker was giving away a litter of kittens she found in her back yard. Cody was a little over a month old when I got him and was very tiny. He was always a little monster, always exploring & getting into mischief. No place is safe from him. He loves to climb on desks & counters and start knocking things off. I had to have him declawed because he not only scratched me, but he loved to scratch the walls at night (I'm sure you can imagine what it sounded like).

I always thought I'd only have one cat, since Cody didn't seem to like other cats, but a few months ago I found a stray. He was very tiny and lived on snakes, lizards, and mice he caught and killed. He was completely wild at first and didn't let anyone touch him. If I tried to get too close, he would scratch me. After I started feeding him (and so did several of my neighbors), he started following me around and rubbing against my leg, but he still wouldn't let me pet him. The people here named him Midnight & we all thought he was still a kitten since he was so tiny. I finally got him to stay with me, and I took him to the vet and had him neutered. The vet said he's at least a year old. Since I've had him, he more than doubled in size and he's now extremely affectionate. As soon as I sit down he jumps on my lap and starts purring.

Midnight & Cody fought a lot at first and they still fight occasionally. Neither of them spray, but Cody has started pooping on the floor instead of the litterbox.

Pooping on the floor. (none / 2) (#158)
by actmodern on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 01:53:01 PM EST

Cat's will want to cover up their feces if there is a dominant cat in their territory. My cat will always use the litter and act very guilty when I scoop up his feces to throw away.

BTW you're a monster for declawing your cat. You could have just trained Cody on a scratching board. My cat, Alex, is slowly learning.

LilDebbie challenge: produce the water sports scene from bable or stfu. It does not exist.
[ Parent ]

Cats don't need their claws (none / 0) (#162)
by ShadowNode on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 03:22:50 PM EST

Unless you let them roam outside, but if you live in a city, that's even worse than declawing them.

[ Parent ]
You don't need your nails either (none / 1) (#163)
by omrib on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 03:57:57 PM EST

Next time use a knife to peel that orange. I've booked your declawing for December 10 at 11:00am.

Oh, and we offer a combined circumcision for a reduced price (special offer - for Christmas). You don't really need that little piece of skin.

If we have some time left we can get rid of your eyebrows as well - you don't need them, and it's just one more thing that can drop into your soup, so we use special wax to remove it (you only pay for the left eyebrow and we give the right for free).

See you at 11.

[ Parent ]

Those things don't have any drawbacks (none / 1) (#168)
by ShadowNode on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 07:55:30 PM EST

My nails don't have a tendancy to rip up door jams, and cats don't need to peel oranges.

If I ever do start uncontrollibly clawing things, I suppose I would have that taken care of.

[ Parent ]
In that case (none / 0) (#177)
by omrib on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 05:14:07 AM EST

You don't need a car - you can walk. And cars are much worse than claws. They kill, they pollute, they make evil people rich and most other people lazy and fat.

You think clawing through furniture is the worst thing that's happening on this planet?

If you can't live with a cat, nobody's forcing you to. Would you take an elephant home and chop his legs and trunk because he's too big to fit and he ruins the furniture?

[ Parent ]

I don't have a car, for those reasons (none / 0) (#212)
by ShadowNode on Fri Dec 12, 2003 at 12:29:46 AM EST

And my cat is perfectly happy without her claws, and womb for that matter.

[ Parent ]
Declawing (none / 0) (#204)
by mstefan on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 10:31:59 PM EST

By the way, declawing is not the same as a human having just their fingernails removed. Think about having each of your fingers amputated at the first joint. That's what declawing is.

I'd never even consider that for my cat.

[ Parent ]

Multiple cats and litter boxes (none / 1) (#195)
by John Asscroft on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 11:55:37 AM EST

The general rule is one box for each cat, plus a spare. So if you have two cats, you should have three litter boxes. They'll each claim a litter box, then fight over whose litter box the third one is.

Sure, this takes a lot of space, but would you rather have one of the cats poop on the floor because the other cat has claimed the one and only litter box as his own?

We must destroy freedom to save it from the terrorists who want to destroy freedom. Else the terrorists have won.
[ Parent ]

The reason you can't train cats (1.50 / 8) (#159)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 02:00:16 PM EST

They just aren't as smart as dogs.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
Pigs are smarter than dogs or cats (none / 2) (#187)
by mcgrew on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 01:53:44 PM EST

Pigs are tasty, too.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

The Cat Kit (none / 3) (#164)
by fjnagy on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 04:25:07 PM EST

I live alone. A pair of friends(?)/co-workers have been suggesting that I get a cat for companionship. B and A both have cats. I was raised in the country and had cats and dogs but now live alone in an apartment so was hesitant. May 5th, B and A showed up at my door with a cat kit. Cat food, feeding disk, water disk, scratching post, litter box, litter, cat food, a cat toy or two and ... a cat. B had come on a stray cat - or vice versa - that she fed and then came right into the house when she went to check on it. They were semi-prepared to sawzall a liitle door in my door if I were not home and shove the cat in. So I acquired Pixel, a small, scrawny, short-haired dark tiger. What no one knew at this time was that Pixel, the cat kit, came pregnant! I suspected as much when she put on wieght suspiciously quick but this was verified when I took Pixel to the vet to get her shots. No shots at that time but Pixel was in good, if quite pregnant, health. On the evening of June 5th, Pixel gave birth. By morning I had Pixel and 6 kittens. Time has marched on. In August, Pixel and the kitten all went and got their shots (well, the first of 3 sets for the kittens) and later than month Pixel had The Operation. I have susequently found alternate homes for 3 of the kittens (no charge) and find myself with 4 cats now. There is Pixel, the mother, who is now a bit tubby. Pixel has always been a very affectionate and friendly cat. I suspect this is a result of her past and think she was a house cat who was put out or got out and never got back and is happy to have a warm home and food and someone to love her. I also have one female kitten and two males. All have now had The Operation at 5 and 1/2 months of age to make sure the males never got the spraying habit. Natasha is a small, all-black short-hair female who is fascinated by running water and will jump on my hips and climb my shirt back to sit on my shoulder to see what I'm doing when I'm washing dishes or working at the counter. Tigger is a large, short-hair male who looks a lot like his mother but was 10lbs at 5.5 months! Tigger got his name because he is a bit more standoffish than the others but he is changing. Lastly is Fuzzy. He got his name from his long hair but he is also a dark tiger striped. Fuzzy is very affectionate and curious. If they called for volunteers for the "Curiourity Killed the Cat" prize, his paw would be the first up! Its a toss-up as to whether I will have to rescue Natasha or Fuzzy first from the toilet (fall in nad have the lid slam down on top of them). So my apartment is covered with cat toys (I find old ones everyday), cat beds and scratching posts/cat trees/houses. The companionship is good.

mancats don't piss on the floor (1.20 / 5) (#165)
by golrien on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 04:34:14 PM EST

not if every time you catch them, you rub their noses in the nice puddle and then throw them outside very hard. Maybe pour water on them too. And also cut their balls off. Sounds nasty, but.. well, it is nasty, but it's better than having them piss on the floor

Toxoplasmosis. (none / 1) (#169)
by Apuleius on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 09:35:21 PM EST

Google it, baby.

There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Obligatory (2.80 / 5) (#170)
by drsmithy on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 09:37:47 PM EST

Cat bathing as a martial art.

Advantages of better cat food (2.60 / 5) (#171)
by drm on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 09:43:46 PM EST

There are significant advantages to buying more expensive cat food like Iams or Science diet. The most significant is that they contain fewer fillers than cheap food, which decreases the amount of waste in the litter box. Also, they tend to produce waste that is substantially less smelly - another huge advantage.

Also, since the cat consumes less food by weight per month, the monthly food costs are not actually increased by much.

I have no idea whether more expensive food is better for the cat; I've had multiple cats live to age 20 on Friskies.

Disciplining a stray cat (2.71 / 7) (#174)
by schlouse on Thu Dec 04, 2003 at 11:30:30 PM EST

I adopted a stray cat after it sat on my porch for several months and convinced me that it would die without food (I'm such a sucker). Finally I gave in and fed it, and since that fateful day, it's stuck with me, whether I like it or not. I'm slightly allergic to cats, so I kept it outside until my allergies started to fade off, at which point it began colonizing my apartment.

It was quite a large amount of work to get the cat into what I consider to be pet material. When it first started coming in to my apartment, it had accumulated a lot of bad habits that needed to be broken. Cats really hate water and loud noises, so my discipline system for it revolved around them.

Often cats will subtly let you know that they are going to do something naughty before they do it. The key is to identify it and let it know that you know what it's up to ("You'd better not..."). If the cat keeps going, it gets a loud "NO!". Anything beyond this and the punishment shifts to a water-based one. Over time they will learn to identify this progression and (usually) back down.

There are several effective levels of water-based punishment. Any violence against humans automatically and immediately warrants a water-based punishment:

  • If the cat intentionally scratches a person, it gets thrown into the shower, and a cup of cold water is dumped onto its head from above. A relatively mild punishment.

  • If the cat intentionally bites a person (no blood drawn), it goes into the tub. I turn on the water, and block the drain. The cat has to stand there with its feet in cold water.

  • If the cat draws blood with a bite, it gets the thing it hates the most: a full cold shower for several minutes.

The way to do it is to grab them in one swoop by the scruff of the neck and hold them up in the air away from you. Otherwise, you're going to get scratched. There's a reason why the mother cat carries her kittens around this way.

After about 3 cold shower punishments, my cat stopped biting hard. After about 10 each of the mild bites and scratching punishments, it stopped scratching and biting altogether. At this point, when it's being bad, I can very lightly grasp the back of its neck and it remembers that it's one step away from a trip to the shower, and that usually inspires it to start behaving.

Once the fear of the shower is ingrained into your cat, you can use it to get it to stop clawing in the wrong places as well. Simply go through the normal progressions and then throw it into the shower, but don't use any water on it. Let it out in a minute or two. If it persists, you have to back it up with a cup or two of water or it will lose its deterrent effect.

After any water-based punishment, you should consider yourselves even with the cat, and you have to return to being loving. You cannot hold a grudge against it in the slightest. Except for the first few times, after a couple of minues my cat is very repentant and wants me to pet her again. I have to let her know that I still love her.

Anyways, now my cat is a real sweetheart. It's much more cuddly than it used to be and no longer snaps on people without warning. It no longer bites my girlfriend if she pets it in the wrong place. It no longer attacks my feet for fun in the middle of the night.

Mark S.

Water (none / 1) (#188)
by mcgrew on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 02:06:55 PM EST

A squirt gun is an excellent way to teach cats what "no" means

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

'Cold shower for several minutes'?! (none / 0) (#203)
by Goggs on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 06:15:35 PM EST

I'm not a vet, but couldn't the cat get hypothermia or something?

-----== This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
[ Parent ]

At least it feels (none / 0) (#213)
by schlouse on Fri Dec 19, 2003 at 03:26:01 PM EST

like several minutes while the little bastard is thrashing around in there. Probably more like 30 seconds though. :-)

Mark S.

[ Parent ]

Simpler than that... (none / 0) (#205)
by gordonjcp on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 07:56:51 AM EST

If the cat bites you, you bite it back harder. That's how they learn from other cats.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
Hey man... (2.25 / 4) (#176)
by ShiftyStoner on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 01:15:37 AM EST

 Male cats aren't bad. I got as far as they mark their territory then quit reading, stupid article.
 I've had about 3 cats, all male. I don't much like female pets, I'd prefer piss over blood. None of my cats pissed in my house. In fact they learned to go outside quicker than most dogs I've had. I teach them the same way as I dogs. If they piss or shit in the house, I grab them, put there nose almost in it. Then give them a smack on the ass, just enough to sting, and throw them outside. If I'm especially irritated about were they chose to piss/shit I'll jam their face in it. I suppose the same would work for a litter box. I personally don't believe in keeping animals locked indoors. I really hate it when people make their houses into prisons. Declawing them pisses me off to no end. If you need an animal that stays indoors get yourself some fish, or a reptile.
 The only cat that took a while to learn was one that lived with my aunt until she died. At her place it pissed wherever it felt like. It was a little older. I also kept it in my house for the first 3 days, I was making sure to get it to like me so it didn't run away.
 People have a problem with teaching cats tricks because they don't respond well to punishment. They're to different from people, so most don't understand them. If your going to teach a cat a trick, you have to use rewards. You also have to know how to get the cat to understand what you want it to do. They can't feel like your forcing them to do the trick. I personally don't waste the time with teaching cats.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
aye (none / 1) (#184)
by hypno on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 04:36:40 AM EST

Too right - but the way we trained our male cat to piss and shit outside is when he was a kitten we had a litter box, which we gradually moved outside, then got rid of eventually. Now no matter what he will never mess in the inside of the house.

Shame on people who keep their pets prisoner inside the house, too.

[ Parent ]

Neutered males don't mark territory (none / 1) (#194)
by John Asscroft on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 11:52:47 AM EST

At least, not if you neuter them early enough. I've never had any of my neutered males mark territory. Just ask Al Gore if he marks territory, and he'll tell you he doesn't. See? Case proved!

We must destroy freedom to save it from the terrorists who want to destroy freedom. Else the terrorists have won.
[ Parent ]

Food (none / 1) (#179)
by repvblic on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 08:26:29 AM EST

What should I feed it?
The cheapest cat food you can buy.

As the owner of entirely too many cats over the years, I would suggest people buy the most expensive cat food they can comfortably afford. Sure, Meow Mix is on sale at SuperMegaMart, but I've noticed the cheaper the food, the more likely cats are to either puke because of it, fart, or if you're really unlucky -- both.

Not that buying expensive cat food will stop them from vomitting occasionally anyway.
"It's no use being brilliant, unless it improves the situation."

Cat bashing? o.O (none / 3) (#181)
by A synx on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:37:36 AM EST

Oh I suppose there are perfectly valid reasons for people to not like cats.  Most of them were not here however.  At any rate...

Unlike dogs, they make you earn their love and trust.

Oh boy, you have to feed them once a day to earn their love and trust.  What a challenge!  :)  Seriously, there isn't much else I do for my cats besides this, love and trust, and they're all over me at times.

Don't expect your new cat to do tricks.

True.  If you want your pet to do tricks, get a domestic rat.  Cats will make up their own tricks, but unless their favorite food is involved they won't give you much effort.

The best cats are feral cats; alley cats that wander onto your property and into your life.

I don't know about this one.  Oddly enough, I've had the same experience.  I think pet store cats aren't weaned right or something, and maybe it is those small cages.  Depends on the cat really, and the town.  Back alleys aren't exactly the most nurturing environments either.

Don't pay for a cat! They breed like rabbits;

Well being primary consumers, rabbits do a much better job at breeding, but you have to give randy cats an A for effort.  ;)

paid with the highest price a tomcat can pay.

Oh come now.  That kind of attitude is the reason there are too many cats.

However, do not, I repeat DO NOT get a male. Males "mark their territory" by pissing all over everything you own.

Sounds like you've had a bad experience?  o.O  No, of the 2 males and one female in our house, it's definitely the female who pisses all over everythi ng we hold dear.  (Senility and incontinence is not pretty...)  The one male is a perfect gentleman.  The other just spots things every now and again, swift retribution and newspapers chasing him all the way outside.  Now claw sharpening, that is something you have to worry about.

Lift the tail and look just beneath its asshole ("arsehole" for our British readers). You can tell if it's a female. If it isn't, it's not.

Almost.  You can tell if it's a <u>male</u>.  If it isn't, it's not.  And tail lifting tips: if you make 'em happy and scratch down their back to right above their tail, it usually pops up all on its own.  Grabbing a cat's tail is a good way to receive some very colorful commemorative scars.

The cheapest cat food you can buy.

I repeat, incontinence is never pretty.  Cats are also very good at throwing up I might add.  But yeah, for the most part if you start them on the cheap stuff, they'll love it to the end, and still manage to enjoy your fresh roasted chicken.

Dogs are nice, all friendly and stuff.  They take a lot more abuse in terms of petting too, and love to sniff and lick your face (amongst other places c.c).  My main qualm with dogs is they bark.  They bark loud.  You can get a Siamese cat, and wonder at their ability to keep you up at night with their caterwauling that sounds amazingly similar to a squalling infant, but dogs can hurt your ears.  I mean, try standing in the same room with a barking dog, see if you can hear correctly afterwards.  While tendancy to bark varies with the dog, generally they can't be taught to bark more or less once they've got their rhythm.  So unless you enjoy heavy metal concerts, or work on an airport strip, watch out for barking dogs.

Oh also if you have a small yard, don't get a big dog.  Please.  The article writer says cats go crazy in small cages, but working at a veterinary office I have seen the suffering of dogs in small spaces to be infinitely greater.  Cats can chill, dogs can't.  Well most dogs can't.  The really stupid dogs don't seem to mind.  :)


fun cat trick (none / 1) (#182)
by senjiro on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 02:39:38 PM EST

This is a real crowd pleaser, and despite what you may think, causes no damage to the cat. Here's what you do:

1. Get a long sock, or a towel, or some other piece of cloth long enough to tie around your cat.

2. Tie said piece of cloth around your cat's torso, right behind the ribcage.Do not tie it too tight, just enough to keep it on the cat.

3. Enjoy the show as your cat, now deprived of it's ability to balance, stumbles about the room like a drunken frat boy.

DO not do this for long periods of time, or often. The cat will eventually catch on and just lay down.

it is by will alone that i set my mind in motion
Better cat trick (none / 0) (#192)
by clambake on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 04:44:23 AM EST

Get a helium baloon and tie it loosly around the the cat's waist (not collar or neck in case it gets caught in it). Enjoy hours of fun as the cat searches for the damn thing, tries to run away from it, and ends up finally figures out it needs to look up.

[ Parent ]
Cats (none / 1) (#185)
by Wulfius on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 07:37:40 AM EST

Dogs have owners. Cats have staff.

"We must believe in free will, we have no choice."
http://wulfspawprints.blogspot.com/ - Not a journal dammit!
i want a free persian cat (none / 2) (#189)
by treat on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 06:13:17 PM EST

Persian cats are way cuter than other cats. But they cost extra money, usually many hundreds of dollars. I see no reason for one type of cat to cost more than another type. Where can I get a cheap Persian cat?

Suggestion (none / 1) (#190)
by skim123 on Sat Dec 06, 2003 at 08:46:53 PM EST

Find two Persian cats, one male and one female. Stick them in a room for a few months and you'll have plenty of free Persian cats!

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

[ Parent ]
....or (none / 1) (#191)
by knawsey on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 04:01:28 AM EST

you could rush down to Persia and get one straight from the source of all things Persian. I don't advise staying after you get your cat though, Persia is kind of hostile this time of year....

[ Parent ]
Persians are stupid (none / 1) (#193)
by John Asscroft on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 11:48:22 AM EST

They're way overbred to the point that their brains have turned to mush, and their smushed-in faces result in sinus infections and other nasal problems. If you really want a long-hair cat, but want one without the problems of a Persian, get a Ragdoll or a Maine Coon Cat or a Norwegian Forest Cat or one of a number of other long-hair cats that don't ooze brains out their smushed-in noses every time they sneeze.
We must destroy freedom to save it from the terrorists who want to destroy freedom. Else the terrorists have won.
[ Parent ]
Buy the breed you want (none / 1) (#196)
by tgibbs on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 03:21:41 PM EST

Breeds do differ. Some are quiet, some are noisy. Some are affectionate, some are aloof. Some cats, such as siamese cats, have very quirky personalities, which you may either like or loathe. If you get a kitten of a breed you like, there is a good chance that you'll like it when it grows up to be a cat. Don't worry about what it costs for a purebred. The real cost of a cat is not the up-front cost, or even the day to day cost of food and litter--it's what you are willing to pay once it has wormed its way into your affection and it gets sick. You may have got that stray for free, but before you know it you'll be handing over hundreds of dollars to a vet. So if you are willing to undertake the substantial expense of a cat, pay a little bit more and get the kind you want. If you want a fancy breed, buy it from a private breeder not a pet shop. But don't accept a pig in a poke. Play with the kittens and take the one that appeals to you. But don't take the runt (the smallest, cutest in the litter) unless you are prepared to pay even more in vet bills.

spraying (none / 2) (#199)
by elpgrrrl on Sun Dec 07, 2003 at 11:45:09 PM EST

ferral cats are great.

the first cat we adopted was found when she was locked in our garage by accident one afternoon. we all came to a good understanding that she could come inside and eat/sleep/drink/poop in a box/go outside to mouse.

soon afterwards, the newly named Inkspot Katzenburg was neutered.

now we have another cat by the name of Pumpkin Pie NoTail who used to reside at the city's animal shelter. she and ms. katzenburg have not arrived at an agreement and they only tolerate one another. to this end, ms. katzenburg sprays doors and walls. go figure.

and the 3rd and 4th [n/t] (none / 1) (#200)
by cobain on Mon Dec 08, 2003 at 07:47:32 AM EST

Cat (none / 2) (#201)
by Cackmobile on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 09:57:12 AM EST

Don't get a purebred. Like purebred dogs they have genetic defects from inbreeding and have massive health problems. Mongrels are the way to go. My first cat was thrown over the back fence from a park behind us. It was a great cat. I prefer the male cats as they are more playfull etc. My current cat doesn't know he is a cat but thinks he is human. He is massive but a big softy. I love dogs as well but would only ever get one if I had a big property. Cats are good for people like me as they tend to look after themselves. and they are less smelly. ALso you don't know the power of a cat until you try to give it a bath. Many scars from that.

wrt food... (none / 1) (#206)
by sirReal on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 09:44:27 AM EST

There aren't really such things as "cat food" "dog food" or "human food." We're all mammals, and we have very similar nutritional requirements - different proportions of the same contents. Again, the only type of food for all these animals is food. Anything different, such as ground up beef/lamb/pork/???, dehydrated and mixed with wheat and hydrogenated oils, isn't "cat food" or "dog food" ... it's "barely food." Here's a suggestion: Just give your pets what you eat. If you eat well, you'll see them thrive on it. If you don't, well, you should anyway; your pet will start to look ragged long before you do, so consider it analogous to a canary in a mine. For some, feeding an animal can be just what is necessary to start eating something nutritious, rather than six packets of ramen and a stack of vitamins.

sample recipe: stir-fried veggies (peppers, onions, carrots, snow peas, etc), brown rice and tofu or, if you need flesh, salmon or chicken.

I'd love to watch you... (none / 0) (#209)
by Blarney on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 12:59:07 AM EST

You know, I think I'd pay to see you struggling with your kitty cat, trying to shove stir-fried vegetables into its mouth.

[ Parent ]
Mine eats them. (none / 0) (#211)
by gordonjcp on Thu Dec 11, 2003 at 11:57:50 AM EST

That said, he eats anything vaguely squashy that doesn't move. If it is moving then he jumps up and down on it until it's not moving, by then it's pretty squashy too.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
MY CAT HATES ME... (none / 0) (#208)
by astroboysoup on Wed Dec 10, 2003 at 06:45:30 PM EST

Well not long ago i recieved a cat from a unwanted litter. The cat is cross bred between a whole bunch of different breeds resulting in one ugly cat. Luckly it still is a cat and not a cat-dog or a man-cat. Anyway, I've tried to befriend the beat but with little or not result what so ever. The best thing I can do is not feed it. Thats when it comes crying to me for attention. But at all other times it hates me.!!!

So, You Want To Buy a Cat? | 213 comments (153 topical, 60 editorial, 4 hidden)
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