http://gamingtrend.com
October 22, 2014, 10:23:12 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Should I get a cat?  (Read 671 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Lee
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3349


View Profile
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:03:17 AM »

I keep playing with the idea of getting a cat. An adult cat from the Humane Society, not a kitten. I live in a apartment. I am unemployed, but have some income, just not much. I am at home a lot, even when school is in session, I will only be gone 4 hours a day. The major concern is my limited income. I am sure I will have to pay a pet deposit, and vet bills. Plus the required cat items such as scratching posts, litter boxes, etc. Should I get a cat?
Logged
Turtle
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9423



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2014, 10:06:30 AM »

Nope.

Even though a cat can be way less maintenance than a dog, it's still a pet that will rely on you, that includes financially.

Wait until you have a more stable job or other income source. That's what I'm doing. After my cat was killed by coyotes a few years back, I've wanted to give another cat a long and pleasant life.

Another thing is that, even though some cats are super loners, there are many cats that can be very social, and really benefit from socializing with other cats. I say managing 2 cats is about the same as 1 since they can share a large litter box.
Logged
Eco-Logic
Gaming Trend Member
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2988


Gamertag: St0ckBroker


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2014, 11:05:22 AM »

If you so get one, you should consider the Petsmart wellness plan for the first year.  It would really save you money on shots etc.
Logged

This signature is not personal, at all.  If you're not awake enough to realize our country is being taken down by an organized effort from a puppet chimp being controlled by a movement older than me.  Wake the freaking fack up.
Gratch
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 12521


GO UTES!!


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2014, 12:08:47 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on August 01, 2014, 10:06:30 AM

Even though a cat can be way less maintenance than a dog, it's still a pet that will rely on you, that includes financially.

Wait until you have a more stable job or other income source.

+1.  Cats are awesome, but they can definitely be expensive.  We adopted our new kitten (Obi Wan Catnobi) a couple months ago, and between adoption fees, neutering, shots, checkups, toys, and the entirely random dislocated back toe he somehow managed, we've spent close to $1,000 on him. 



Logged

“My next great decision is just lying in wait.
The action might turn out to be the world's most grievous mistake."
- Bad Religion, Past is Dead
Blackjack
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 10884



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2014, 12:17:36 PM »

I can only speak from my experiences with Molly (1998-2010, "hand me down" white/grey tabby from my older brother) and JJ (tuxedo cat adopted from an Animal Welfare League shelter in Aug.2011), who's doing great.  icon_smile

*Human Society may differ but Animal Welfare League facilities seem to require you be working (I think full time though perhaps part-time is OK), they check work and personal references.

I had to fill out pages of forms (including outlining my work sked and even a tentative "when would I make time to play with JJ' sked), and do a sit-down interview with an "adoption counselor" at the facility before we completed the adoption in August 2011. Why? People are constantly returning cats and dogs to shelters for so many reasons -- allergies, moving and not wanting to take the pet, pet not getting along with children in the household, expenses becoming too much for the adopter etc. Keeping the adopted cat indoor 100% of the time (for safety reasons) was another requirement you have to agree to.

*If your cat's not healthy (Molly), the vet bills can rack up quickly and if you don't have pet health insurance (I didn't, and still don't -- JJ has been much healthier, knock on wood), more serious medical care can reach human costs (thousands of dollars).

*If your cat's fond of wet food, the expenses can rack up quickly month to month. I feed JJ a wet packet, a wet can of food and some dry (to snack on) daily. I probably spend more than $80-$90 a month on his food. You can get cheaper crap food (per grocery stores) to save money but cats can be real finicky about food preferences.

My recommendation if you're "on the bubble":
-Check if a local animal rescue league or shelter provides volunteer opportunities where you can take care of cats a bit. I've seen these listed, sometimes it's just changing food/water and playing with cats that are up for adoption at a Petco or other pet store, or doing similar at a shelter. This would give you a chance to spend some time with cats without the financial commitment to worry about.

-Check for "foster care" opportunities with rescue leagues and animal shelters. If a cat's having trouble adjusting to the caged environment at a shelter type facility, they'll seek volunteers to care for the cat at their home for a certain amount of time. I'm not sure if this has a requirement that the volunteer be employed. It might give you an opportunity to care for a cat in your home for a limited period of time and see if you enjoy it. From what I've read, foster care situations can vary a lot in duration -- sometimes just days or weeks, sometimes a year or more.

-I agree with Eco --a Petsmart or Petco plan (Petco often has clinics where you can bring a pet in for discounted vaccinations w/o an exam) could be options for saving on vet care prices.

Of course I love cats, and Molly and JJ were and are like family to me.  icon_smile When I was out of work for 6 months in late 1991-spring 1992, one of my favorite things was visiting with my brother and playing with his orange tabby Serendipity.  icon_smile

As Turtle said, it's a major financial commitment and please don't go into it lightly or think, "Oh if it doesn't work out, I'll just dump the cat back at the Humane Society." (welll, the Society - probably like the Welfare League - would require you return the cat to them if it didn't work out. I just mean, they want you to be a permanent, happy owner).

The cat deserves a permanent, loving home. I'd postpone that but consider the volunteer opportunities above as a way to enjoy and take care of cats on a more limited basis until you're working again (at least part time).  icon_smile
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 12:20:06 PM by Blackjack » Logged

Playing
PC
-Wasteland 2 (post-apoc, turn-based squad strategy/RPG )
-Grim Dawn
-Gauntlet (4 player co-op dungeon arcade brawling)
ATB
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 15525


Thanks for everything, Ryan. 1979-2013


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2014, 12:44:23 PM »

No.
Logged
wonderpug
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11466


hmm...


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2014, 01:40:40 PM »

Ehhhh, I'll go the other way.  Cats only get expensive if they have health issues, but health issues aren't that common if your cat isn't that old.  If you have absolutely no way you could pull together some money if there was a surprise health issue, I'd agree with the above posters about getting an income first.  I also completely agree that you have to think of this is as a long term commitment, no returns.

Aside from vet bills, cats are cheap to maintain.  I don't think I spend more than $20/month on food and litter.   Food/water dishes and litter boxes are cheap.  Scratching posts can get ultra fancy and expensive, but my cat ignores anything nice and will only scratch the cheapo $5 cardboard ones.  Toys also get expensive, but most cats ignore that stuff and just want you to give them more cardboard boxes and pieces of string.  If you want to go all out, you could tie a string to a yardstick and your cat will think you are amazing.
Logged
leo8877
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 12762



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2014, 01:42:13 PM »

I agree with the above posters, you should think of it as a longterm and lifetime commitment.  We have 3 cats and the vet bills can get expensive as one cat has health issues.
Logged
hepcat
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9260


I'M the one that knocks! Now...burp me!


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2014, 01:55:37 PM »

It depends.  Are you an elderly spinster?
Logged

Warning:  You will see my penis. -Brian

Just remember: once a user figures out gluten noting them they're allowed to make fun of you. - Ceekay speaking in tongues.
gangeli
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 116


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2014, 02:22:30 PM »

no, you shouldn't get a cat.  you should get TWO cats.  smile

cats aren't overly expensive...unless you run into medical problems, in which case they can be.

the love and companionship is more than worth it though. 
Logged
hepcat
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 9260


I'M the one that knocks! Now...burp me!


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2014, 02:47:04 PM »

Get a few cats and create yourself a cat powered car...

Logged

Warning:  You will see my penis. -Brian

Just remember: once a user figures out gluten noting them they're allowed to make fun of you. - Ceekay speaking in tongues.
kratz
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4208



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 03:43:59 PM »

Do you want a 14 year old cat with the soul of a high level demon and the gut of a bowl of tapioca?  I will drive her to Cheyenne and slingshot her through your window!
Logged
Lee
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3349


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 05:49:01 PM »

Thanks guys. I had two cats 10 years ago, I don't remember them being that expensive, but yeah vet bills could be insane if something goes wrong. As far as money goes, I am retired military so I have a pension and I get paid to go to school, so I could handle anything that came up.

Apartment life with a cat worries me. A lot of cats like to go outside, and while I am surrounded by woods, there is a major road not far from here. My last cats hated to be inside and I couldn't open a door without one of them trying to get out.
Logged
Gratch
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 12521


GO UTES!!


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 05:52:15 PM »

Quote from: Lee on August 01, 2014, 05:49:01 PM

Apartment life with a cat worries me. A lot of cats like to go outside, and while I am surrounded by woods, there is a major road not far from here. My last cats hated to be inside and I couldn't open a door without one of them trying to get out.

I've always had indoor-only cats and never had a problem with them.  Even in an apartment.
Logged

“My next great decision is just lying in wait.
The action might turn out to be the world's most grievous mistake."
- Bad Religion, Past is Dead
Eco-Logic
Gaming Trend Member
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2988


Gamertag: St0ckBroker


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 06:24:51 PM »

Quote from: kratz on August 01, 2014, 03:43:59 PM

Do you want a 14 year old cat with the soul of a high level demon and the gut of a bowl of tapioca?  I will drive her to Cheyenne and slingshot her through your window!

Haha, almost made me choke.  Thanks Kratz.
Logged

This signature is not personal, at all.  If you're not awake enough to realize our country is being taken down by an organized effort from a puppet chimp being controlled by a movement older than me.  Wake the freaking fack up.
Ironrod
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3402



View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 10:43:52 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on August 01, 2014, 01:40:40 PM

Ehhhh, I'll go the other way.  Cats only get expensive if they have health issues, but health issues aren't that common if your cat isn't that old.  If you have absolutely no way you could pull together some money if there was a surprise health issue, I'd agree with the above posters about getting an income first.  I also completely agree that you have to think of this is as a long term commitment, no returns.

Aside from vet bills, cats are cheap to maintain.  I don't think I spend more than $20/month on food and litter.   Food/water dishes and litter boxes are cheap.  Scratching posts can get ultra fancy and expensive, but my cat ignores anything nice and will only scratch the cheapo $5 cardboard ones.  Toys also get expensive, but most cats ignore that stuff and just want you to give them more cardboard boxes and pieces of string.  If you want to go all out, you could tie a string to a yardstick and your cat will think you are amazing.

I'll second this. Vet visits typically run $200 a year for routine checkups and shots, but will balloon for an elderly cat. We're closing in on $1,000 for our 16-year-old...which means he's nearing the limit of what we agreed to spend to keep him alive. You reach a point of diminishing returns and vets will absolutely exploit someone who doesn't set limits. They're in business to make money like anybody else.

Food and litter together cost around $10 a week.

The best thing about cats is their independence. As long as his food and water towers are full, we never thought twice about leaving Iggy alone for 2 or 3 nights. Again, though, that changes when they get old. He's become clingy and needy over the past year.

IMO cats are great pets for most of their lives. I've had three that have lived 15+ years, which is pretty typical, and some can live 20+ years. The last year of life, though, gets expensive and unpleasant. Bear that in mind if you adopt an adult cat.

As Iggy's life runs out we've been debating whether we eventually want to get another cat. On one hand we've always had cats and it's hard to imagine living without one, and we own all the necessary cat paraphernalia. OTOH we're 57 years old and starting to think about retirement, ideally including some travel. If we got a kitten next year and it lived the usual 16 years, we'd be dealing with a sick and needy pet when we're 74 years old. And it would limit our mobility at a time when we'd like to migrate to warmer climes 4 months out of the year, not to mention taking week-long vacations here and there. I'm not sure I want to restrict myself like that. We've toyed with adopting an older cat that would die at a more convenient age (for us), but then we'd miss out on the fun and deep bonding of kittenhood. So we're conflicted.

All of our cats have been outdoor cats, so none of my advice pertains to indoor-only cats.
Logged

Curio City Online - Weird stuff you can buy
Curious Business - The Curio City Blog
Lee
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3349


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 11:16:05 PM »

That's the thing though, I was thinking of getting an older cat, 8-10 years old, one that's not too active and perfectly happy just hanging out. That is a concern though, that it may mean higher vet costs at it gets older.

$20 a month and $200 a year on vet bills would be well within my budget.
Logged
YellowKing
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3151



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2014, 12:32:07 AM »

Cats are great, but be warned - they are not the squeaky clean, low-maintenance creatures you may have been led to believe.

Litter pans have to be cleaned out daily or the room they're in will reek. We invested in a Litter Genie (it's a diaper genie for litter), and that has helped a great deal. Basically instead of having to throw out a bag daily, you can dump waste in the Litter Genie for a few days before taking the bag out.

Cats throw up often. Hairballs, sensitive stomachs, whatever. Prepare to clean up vomit.

Cats will destroy carpet and furniture. Yes, I know that you just need to give them plenty of scratching posts, etc. I've spent tons of money on scratching posts only to have the cats walk past them so they can shred the carpet.

I love my cats to pieces. They are sweet creatures and mine are not aloof or snobby at all. They love affection, they love hugs and petting. But like any pet they are a lot of work.
Logged
wonderpug
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 11466


hmm...


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2014, 02:11:37 AM »

Quote from: Lee on August 01, 2014, 11:16:05 PM

That's the thing though, I was thinking of getting an older cat, 8-10 years old, one that's not too active and perfectly happy just hanging out. That is a concern though, that it may mean higher vet costs at it gets older.

$20 a month and $200 a year on vet bills would be well within my budget.

You can find a younger cat with the demeanor you're looking for. When you head to the shelter, ask them about what personality you're looking for instead of just trying to judge from how you see them acting in their cages or rooms.
Logged
Ironrod
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3402



View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2014, 02:22:48 AM »

Quote from: wonderpug on August 02, 2014, 02:11:37 AM

Quote from: Lee on August 01, 2014, 11:16:05 PM

That's the thing though, I was thinking of getting an older cat, 8-10 years old, one that's not too active and perfectly happy just hanging out. That is a concern though, that it may mean higher vet costs at it gets older.

$20 a month and $200 a year on vet bills would be well within my budget.

You can find a younger cat with the demeanor you're looking for. When you head to the shelter, ask them about what personality you're looking for instead of just trying to judge from how you see them acting in their cages or rooms.

Once again I will second the pug. Cats are fully mature by age 2 and in their prime at 4 or 5. That's the age I'd recommend if you want to skip kittenhood. You could expect it to live for another 10+ years. By age 10 many of them start to develop medical problems and shelter cats don't always have great histories, so you'd be rolling the dice if you adopt a rescue cat that old (although doing so would be an act of mercy; the older they get the harder they are to place).
Logged

Curio City Online - Weird stuff you can buy
Curious Business - The Curio City Blog
dfs
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 96


View Profile
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2014, 02:49:31 AM »

Quote from: Lee on August 01, 2014, 11:16:05 PM

That's the thing though, I was thinking of getting an older cat, 8-10 years old, one that's not too active and perfectly happy just hanging out. That is a concern though, that it may mean higher vet costs at it gets older.

$20 a month and $200 a year on vet bills would be well within my budget.

I suspect the monthly expenses are a bit over $20, but $30 should cover it. Litter and food add up and you won't want to skimp on either one.

My last two cats died at 19 and 22. My current ones are healthy at 19 and 15. I'm not an evil cat owner, but I have not taken my cats to the vet till they're fighting end of life issues. $200 is a vet visit plus yearly shots if you do that. I never really have.

All mine have always been indoor cats. Some of them want out and others want nothing to do with it. My 19 year old wants out, but she'll just sit by the for till her cat brain tells her it's time to go back in. Tha 15 y/o wouldn't dream of going outside.

I can't imagine living w/o cats. I understand what ironrod is up against and that will be a tough day.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Logged
Ironrod
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3402



View Profile WWW
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2014, 03:20:12 PM »

Quote from: dfs on August 02, 2014, 02:49:31 AM

I understand what ironrod is up against and that will be a tough day.

We skipped our annual 10-day vacation this year in part because we can't leave our cat alone for that long and the person who was supposed to look in on him last year is untrustworthy. The cat is fragile and we couldn't come up with any good care options that didn't cost a fortune or involve a semi-stranger moving into our house for a week. A couple of other factors also mitigated against taking a vacation so we just went away for a weekend.

Now he's doing well physically and we're half-dreading the thought that he might still be with us next year. He was a great cat for 15 years -- simultaneously the sweetest and most independent that we've ever known. We love him until death and are not looking forward to that day. But since he developed dementia (our vet's diagnosis) a year ago he's gotten increasingly difficult to live with and keep happy. I am not willing to give up vacation again next summer and honestly don't know what we'll do if he's still alive. On one hand I hope he lives to be 20; OTOH I dread that prospect.

This is why we're having second thoughts about replacing him, even though we've lived with cats continuously for nearly 40 years. I don't want to go through this again when I'm likely to be old and fragile myself.
Logged

Curio City Online - Weird stuff you can buy
Curious Business - The Curio City Blog
MonkeyFinger
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3281



View Profile
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2014, 03:26:51 PM »

Quote from: YellowKing on August 02, 2014, 12:32:07 AM

Litter pans have to be cleaned out daily or the room they're in will reek. We invested in a Litter Genie (it's a diaper genie for litter), and that has helped a great deal. Basically instead of having to throw out a bag daily, you can dump waste in the Litter Genie for a few days before taking the bag out.

Just wanted to put in a quick plug for this. We went 8 years from losing our last cat to finding a new one and on a whim picked one of these up. It has been awesome and is highly recommended for anyone emptying a cat box.  icon_wink
Logged

-craig

PSx: MonkeyFinger
XBx: MonkeyPhinger
Harpua3
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2725


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2014, 09:39:48 AM »


Too much pussy is never enough. Tongue
Logged
MonkeyFinger
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 3281



View Profile
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2014, 01:23:14 PM »

Quote from: Harpua3 on August 05, 2014, 09:39:48 AM

Too much pussy is never enough. Tongue

Thank you, Mrs. Slocombe.  icon_wink
Logged

-craig

PSx: MonkeyFinger
XBx: MonkeyPhinger
Harpua3
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 2725


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2014, 05:28:16 PM »

All joking aside, cats are awesome but definitely can get expensive.
Logged
Crusis
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1051


Horror hack extraordinaire


View Profile WWW
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2014, 09:39:14 PM »

Logged

I get paid to write books. It's a thing. http://timothywlong.com
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.189 seconds with 77 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.089s, 2q)