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Cats Rule. How To Select Your New Master

Updated on April 27, 2013

Everything you should know about selecting a cat for your family

Siamese, Persian, Sphynx, Russian Blue? Long-haired, short-haired? Kitten or cat? How do you make that important decision? Here you'll find all the information you need to make the purrfect choice -- facts, pictures and links covering breeds, what to look for, where to find them, and how to take care of them after you get them home.

Making the right decision is important. After all, you're not just getting a pet, you're adding a new member to your family. A forever home for a member that should be cherished like the other members of your family.

Come back often because I'll be adding more valuable information, photos, videos and important links to all things cat. 

If you love cats and want more information about anything from behavior modification to breeds, ear mites to ticks or anything to do with cats, check out my website Everything Related To Cats for articles on all things about cats.

What's Breed Got To Do With It? - Favorite Breed?

Which Is Your Favorite Breed?

See results

Adult vs. Kitten

Age Does Make A Difference

When adopting a cat, whether to choose an adult or a kitten is a big question. Many people go for kittens because they are so cute, however, kittens are just like human babies -- you have to give them extra attention, extra care, and most importantly, extra patience.

Kittens are so energetic and vigorous that sometimes they can be destructive of your furniture and appliances. You'll need to train them to scatch on appropriate things, not your furniture.

Kittens can be nice pets for kids as they can play with each other. Having said that, I must add that you need to really watch them when they play together. Make sure that your child, if old enough, knows how to pick up or hold the cat properly -- NOT by the neck! You may laugh, but I've seen it many times.

Adult cats are usually already trained when you get them. They can also adjust easily to a new environment. Just give them enough food, shelter, and love, and they will make great pets.

Adopt a Senior Cat

"What you see is what you get!"

Why Adopt An Senior Cat - Senior Cats Make Great Pets

Shelters have find it is often hard to find new homes for senior cats because most people want to adopt a kitten.

Most of the senior cats that come into shelters are not strays, but instead they come from families that can no longer keep them. Many because their owners died or due to ill health can not keep their beloved pet.

Adopting a senior pet is rewarding because owners get to see the pet live out their life in a loving home.

In short, when you are looking for a cat, think about your lifestyle. An older cat (or dog) could be just the right addition to your family.

  1. What You See is What You Get: When you adopt older dogs or cats you usually know about any behavior challenges or health considerations before you adopt. Therefore, there should be no surprises.
  2. Previous Training: Most adult cats already know how to live in harmony with humans. In general, adult cats require less supervision and the constant care that kittens do. They are usually already litter box and scratching post trained.
  3. Matching Lifestyles: An adult cat's will usually be relatively calm and have less intense exercise needs. This makes them a perfect match for an older person; in a busy full-time working household; and make excellent companions for other animals.

Cats Like To Have A Friend

Cats Need Feline Companionship

We Come As A Pair - Take One, Take Both

Funny Cat Books For Your Library

What's Gender Got To Do With It? PART 1 -- MALES

Bad Boy Or Lover

Male Kittens In my experience fostering kittens, I've found, that most male kittens are more aggressive than females. However, that's not always true. I've had extremely calm males and playful females. To really know their personalities, you need to watch and play with them.

Adult Males The adult males are also generally more aggressive than adult females. Again, I've found many exceptions in the adult cats I've fostered or lived with.

For example: 2 of my 8 cats are males. Bruce "Kamikaze" Lee

is (pictured here), as his name says so well, is quite confrontational. He is a long-haired fat cat - weighing 18 pounds but not that long. He was neutered as a kitten, but we think his testosterone level has increased lately. He is a lover boy who loves to be held, brushed and petted, however, he likes to play with our other cats, sometimes even when they aren't in the mood.

Pictured here is Hawk (of Spencer fame) who is a very shy, calm cat. He is a large Russian Blue and weighs almost 19 pounds. Although he weighs 1 pound more than his brother, Lee, he is much longer and is definitely not a fat cat. He loves to knead me in bed at night, going back and forth between my husband and I.

All of our cats adore him. He'll walk up to another cat, bow his head in front of their faces and expects them to lick his head -- AND they DO! One night he patted me on the shoulder until I woke up. When I did, he bowed his head a couple of inches in front of my face! I woke my husband up with my laughter!

All Males Do NOT Spray, And Some Females DO My husband and I never adopted a male cat because we heard that all males spray. Well, all our cats are indoor cats and spraying was not something we wanted. However, in 2000, I fell in love with Kamikaze Lee while socializing cats at the local Humane Society and had to adopt him. He has never sprayed and neither has his brother, Hawk.

However, our alpha cat, Kira, spays the back of our 2 leather recliners. (Thank goodness those are the only places and I can clean them easily.)

We now know that we shouldn't pick a cat by gender - males or females, they all have unique personalities.

Complete Cat Care Training

All You Need To Know About Training Your Cat

Complete Cat Care Book

Designed to be the easiest-to-follow system for learning everything that you could possibly need to know about cats.

Jam-packed with information, including tons of cat pictures, litterbox training, cat behaviors (and why they do it!), fixing common cat problems such as scratching, destroying your chairs, howling, etc.

With this powerful insider information, you'll discover the best ways to care for your cat... Complete Cat Care

Don't Forget To Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

Your Cats Will Be Healthier And Happier!

Having your cat spayed or neutered will stop the overpopulation and the killing of cats. Millions of cats are killed at shelters each year due to overpopulation. Keep in mind, if your cat has 4 kittens, even if you get homes for those kittens, 4 others are killed because they could not get homes.

This wonderful animation was created by David Booth of Cabin Fever Art. Check out his site to see all his wonderful cartoons and other goodies. He also provides the weekly cartoon for Are You Polar Bear Aware?

Find Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Programs In Your Area

Here's How...

ASPCA has a special link for you to find low-cost spay/neuter programs in your community. Simply go to Low-Cost Spay Neuter Programs and enter in your zip code and you'll get a list of the programs in your area.

Outdoor Vs. Indoor-Outdoor Vs. Indoor

Where Is Your Cat Better Off?

When deciding on your cat's place keep in mind that Indoor cats live an average of 15 to 18 years. A indoor/outdoor cat an average of 7 - 9 years.

Outdoor

A cat that is only an outdoor cat will not be as safe nor as happy as one that is allowed indoor with his family. Cats need to be able to come inside at least when the weather is bad: rain, snow, high winds, or heatwave.

If the weather is not good enough for you to go out in, then it's not good enough for your cat. They cannot stand extremely cold or hot weather either.

To keep outdoor cats socialized and to ensure that they will come home, you need to bring them inside and love on them. Let them know their family members and teach them how to behave indoors.

With an all outdoor cat, it will be difficult to know when they are sick or hurt as cats usually will hide when they are not well as a survival instinct.

Indoor/Outdoor

Most people think that this gives cats the best of both worlds. There are several things to keep in mind any time a cat is allowed outdoors:

1. Cats are territorial, so they may have to protect themselves from outdoor-only or feral cats who claim the same territory.

2. They may not come home a night or two and worry the heck out of you.

3. They are exposed to other cats who may be carrying disease.

4. They may get ticks, more fleas.

5. They are exposed to raccoons and skunks that are the most common carriers of rabies.

6. They'll roll in the dirt and horse dropping (I've seen it) and then they come in and lay down on your couch or bed.

Indoor Only

All shelters and humane societies will recommend that you keep your cat indoors at all times because:

1. They live longer.

2. They are safer.

3. They aren't exposed to feral cats, raccoons, etc.

4. You can tell when they are sick faster (A) by their eating habits; (B) by their litter box (amount, frequency and consistency of urine and stools; if they drag themselves across the floor on their butts which may mean worms; if they're hiding more which usually a sick or injured cat will; their moods)

5. You know what they eat, when, IF they stop eating.

6. They can be trained to not scratch your furniture and being "house-broken" will be more adoptable if something happened to you and they needed a new home.

Here is a list of my favorite Calvin and Hobbes books. Bill Watteron's cartoon are so spectacular because they ring so true. The cartoons are not only well drawn and funny they're filled with life lessons we can all learn from. If I've missed your favorite, please add it! Purrs & bear hugs, Frankie

Kitty Drinking From Spoon - Photo

I Hope She Doesn't Make Me Drink Like This Every Day!

Facts About Declawing

Declawing Is Cruel and Painful

Declawing a cat is major surgery.

Declawing is actually 10 separate, painful amputations in which the last joint of each toe, including the bones - not just the nails - are cut out. This procedure, at it's best, makes a cat's life miserable and at it's worse, can actually kill the cat. Here's why:

1. Declawing involves general anesthesia and some cats may have an adverse reaction to the anesthetic.

2. When the surgery is over, the cat will need to relearn to walk.

3. The cat can get gangrene, which can lead to limb amputation.

4. Other possible medical problems include, permanent nerve damage, persistent pain, scar tissue formation, Sequestrum (bone chips) requiring additional surgery, and skin disorders.

5. A declawed cat will experience a weakening of her legs, shoulders, and back muscles because she used to scratch objects, which stretched all of her body. And, this will also cause a problem with her balance.

6. Some cats will stop using the litter box.

Other Problems Created

Declawed cats may have a change in personality. They may become morose, reclusive, and withdrawn or irritable, aggressive, and unpredictable. Furthermore, since claws are a cat's first line of defense, they may start to bite.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) it was reported that 33 percent of declawed cats, developed at least one behavioral problem and 80 percent had more than one medical complication.

Declawed Cats More Likely To Be Dumped

According to PETA, declawed cats are also more likely to be surrendered to shelters. So, the people put their cats through this horrible amputation ordeal, then when they can't handle the personality change THEY caused, they get rid of her.

Some Vets Will Not Declaw

Many vets will refuse to declaw a cat. They look at it as inhumane and not in the best interest of the cat. In fact, there are many countries that ban declawing. Amen!

PART 2 - Alternatives to Declawing

In my next entry, I'll cover alternatives to declawing and give you lots of resources. While you're waiting for that, check out Why Cats Scrath for articles on why cats scratch and how how to train your cat and for some great cat trees, scratching posts, and other cat things.

Adorable Orange Tabby Chewing Paw

Don't You Want One Just Like Her?

I wouldn't chew them if I had something to eat.

Cat And Dog Statistics - Facts Mentioned In "One At A Time" (the above book)

Why Get Your New Family Member At A Shelter:

Statistics On Dogs & Cats

Here are some facts from the book to consider:

Please if you are considering adding a cat or dog to your family, make sure to get them from a shelter. And, please, please, make it their "forever home". Thank you.

  • 6 to 8 million lost and unwanted animals entered animal shelters nationwide last year.
  • 3 to 4 million animals were euthanized in animal shelters last year. This means one animal is put down every 9 seconds.
  • The leading cause of death of healthy dogs and cats is Euthanasia in shelters.
  • Only 1 in 3 animals will have a "forever home" -- a home that lasts their entire lifetime.
  • 20% of animals currently in homes are adopted from shelters.
  • 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred.
  • A companion animal is lost every 30 seconds.
  • Only 2% of lost cats who enter shelters are ever reunited with their families. Only 16% of dogs are reunited with their families.
  • The length of time that most surrendered animals have been in the home before being surrendered is less than one year.

8 Reasons For Animal Birth Control

PETA's New Video

According to PETA, "Cats and dogs are being killed in animal shelters and on the streets for two reasons: Because irresponsible people, intentionally or unintentionally, neglect to sterilize their animals and because people buy animals from breeders and pet stores instead of adopting. Join our Animal Birth Control campaign to be a part of the solution to the animal overpopulation crisis. It's as easy as ABC-always adopt. Always spay and neuter."

Click to see short video: Animal Birth Control

Cat Trees For Your New Cat(s)

All cats need a cat tree and a cat bed. You'll find a wide variety of cat trees, condos, beds, perches, and other pet furniture on at Cat Trees: The Ultimate Cat Furniture For The Pampered Cat Save your cat from having to sleep on a radiator!

I Wish I had Some Place Soft To Sleep!

Who Says Cats And Dogs Don't Get Along?

Best Friends

Can Cats And Dogs Co-Exist Peacefully?

Do You Get A Cat If You Already Have A Dog Or Visa-Versa?

Many people think that it's impossible for cats and dogs to get along. However, just look at all of the wonderful pictures and stories of dogs and cats living together not just peacefully but joyfully. (See picture in section "Who Says Cats And Dogs Don't Get Along?)

By nature, both dogs and cats are predators that tend to chase things that move quickly and are smaller than them.

Environmental Influence

During the first 2 to to 3 months of an animal's life, it learns who its friends and its enemies are. Therefore, a puppy raised with cats will most likely tend to get along better with the cats. The same foes for a kitten raised with dogs.

Training

The best way to train cats and dogs to live together is to have them spend time together while you are with them. The more time animals spend with one another, the more tolerant they become of the other.

If, however, your dog has been cruel to cats in the past, it is NOT a good idea to have the two in the same household. Even if a dog chases a cat and doesn't cat it, it is still very stressful for the cat.

If you have the time and patience, the dog can be leashed with a training collar. Another person can bring the cat increasingly closer to the dog. If the dog sits still it, should be praised. If it attempts to lunge after the cat, the leash should be pulled and the dog should be told "No. Leave it!"

Another approach uses positive association. Each time the dog is in the same room as the cat, it is provided with extra attention and treats. In this way, it positively associates the cat with things that it desires - affection and tasty treats!

Feeding Time

Even cats and dogs that get along might start fighting during mealtime. Most animals are very protective of their food. In addition, they tend to be quite curious about the food the other animal is enjoying. For this reason, it is best to have separate feeding stations for cats and dogs.

It is best to place the cat's food in a high, hard to reach area. Otherwise, the dog will have a tendency to eat the cat's food. Of course, the food should still be placed in an area the cat can easily reach and eat comfortably. Cats won't generally try to eat dog food. But, in the case of a cat that does, this behavior should be discouraged as cats and dogs need different nutrients.

The best way to do this is to feed the two animals at the is to feed the two animals at the same time, but in different places.

Great Cat Books For The Cat Lover - Must Have Books For Your Library

Here's a list of books from my library. Please add any you think are excellent to share. Remember to vote for your favorites.

Great Place For Cat Supplies And Medicines

Get your Pet Meds Here - Cheaper & Faster

If you find a better price, they'll match it!

Mom, kittens taste good!

Mom, kittens taste good!
Mom, kittens taste good!

Cats Just Wanna Have Fun

What Happens To Cats When Their Curiosity Gets The Best Of Them

If you like this site, you should see my other cat site. Just, click Cats Just Wanna Have Fun

Here's an example of what you'll see:


The Hip Hop Cat OR Puff Kitty

Want to link to this page? Here's how.

WANT TO LINK TO THIS PAGE?

Here's the HTML code to copy and paste:
Cats Rule: How To Select Your New Master

Copyright

This work is covered by copyright and

can not be reprinted in any matter (physical or digital)

without prior written consent.

Copyright 2008-2012 Frankie Kangas All rights reserved.

Please take a moment and tell me what you think about this lens. Thanks!

Guest Book -- PLEASE SIGN - Let Me Know What You Think Of This Lens

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    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 5 years ago

      WOW. Mega lens, thank you

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      My current cat Sully (I have a lens for her) chose me. I wanted a black cat, & well when we were looking in the kitten room she had cleaned herself & was sticking out her tounge (which cracks me up when I see an animal doing that) So by that I say she chose us. Ans no offense to my other cats she's the best! She's all our cat. (my first one would sleep with me when I was little (he chose me too He sat near my dad's tire like take me home or run me over the middle 2 cats we got in the same year we chose) but sully is great, read about her in my lens.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Oh I do so wish that I could once again have a cat come home with me but my husband says no way. Cats are such wonderful companions and I wish that at this time of year they could all have a good home. Wishing you and yours a wonderful and peace filled holiday season. The very best of seasonal wishes.

    • profile image

      KeepsakeIdeas 5 years ago

      This is a must-read for anyone thinking about introducing a cat or kitten to their home. Thanks for all the great advice on selecting, neutering, and caring for your cat.

    • David Dove profile image

      David Dove 6 years ago

      Excellent lens, again. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      What do I think of this lens? I love it!!!!!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Had a purrfectly adorable time here this morning! Thanks for all the cat love.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 8 years ago

      very lovely, excellent points of care. Loved the videos.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      We adopted a little gray kitten who turned out to be very long haired. I think she was somewhat feral as well because she is NOT a people cat. She does keep the dogs in line though. She is the boss!

    • nekoneko profile image

      nekoneko 8 years ago

      No..dont declaw a cat..i sad,.. like in boltz ... 5 paws

    • NatureMaven profile image

      NatureMaven 8 years ago

      Another lensroll comin at ya...*****

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • Jen Maskill profile image

      Jen Maskill 8 years ago

      Great lens thank you. Stuffed full of great info and pics. Favourited and 5 *ed.

    • profile image

      Mountainside-Crochet 8 years ago

      Enjoyed your lens. The title drew me in too, Cats really are in charge & are Your Master :). I've had cats all my life, kittens, cats, male, female, 2 at a time, one who thought she was my baby's 'Watchcat' and completely adopted him; you name it. This week I'm 'cat-sitting' my neighbor's 3 cats who each have their own personality, have to be 'fed' in a certain order, and have their 'humans' completely trained to cater to them! 5 Purrs*

    • profile image

      grannysage 8 years ago

      Very nice lens. I was attracted by the title as cats really do own us. We just adopted a cat from the Humane Society and she picked us! I'm giving it a 5 and lensrolling it to White Cats Can't Jump.

    • kezan98 lm profile image

      kezan98 lm 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining the Cat Party Group, We've given you a top rating for this cat lens

    • profile image

      Kitsune64 8 years ago

      Great lens, with lots of informative (and amusing!) links. Excellent job, 5*!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 9 years ago from Massachusetts

      I never knew declawing cats was such a painful surgery or what was involved in it. Sounds bad! Top notch lens!

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      Honestly, I more a dog lover than a cat lover but this is really a nice lens.

    • suetv profile image

      suetv 9 years ago

      Love your delightful lens! We're currently only a one-cat family. In 1996 I was NOT looking for another kitten (we already had three cats) but baby Silvi "picked" me. I could not resist his plaintive cry and reaching out to me thru the kitten cage at the pet store. The one and only time I bought a kitten. All others we "rescued" cats and kittens. But I feel we also rescued Silvi cat. He has been such a special family member. No regrets.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile image

      Ellen Mitchell 9 years ago

      Cats Rule--isn't that the truth. Great lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for sharing volumes for us cat lovers!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 9 years ago from USA

      www.squidoo.com/humanesocietyfundraiser

      Hi from a new Adopt a Pet group member. I like your site very much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Thank YOU!! Just what I needed....I found your link to hook up with vets in my area for neutering!

    • profile image

      the-secret 9 years ago

      I love cats and I made a site called Cat Puzzles. You can find it here: http://www.cat-puzzles.com I have funny cat videos, cat puzzles, and much more.

      How To Hypnotize Your Cat!

    • profile image

      Janet1 9 years ago

      Even though I've had cats all my life, I still learned something from this lens. Thanks you for your love of cats and sharing your knowledge.

    • profile image

      kautagne 9 years ago

      Not much into cats, but loved all of the great info. Especially the "being allergic to your pet" section! Another 5 STAR lens, keep up the wonderful work.

    • profile image

      butcat 9 years ago

      Awesome lens!!! Thanks!

      And I liked the "We Come As A Pair - Take One, Take Both" photo -- such a cattitude in their eyes. I'd definitely take both :-)

    • Gatsby LM profile image

      Gatsby LM 9 years ago

      My mom's cat does not rule the house. But this is a very informative lens. So 5* for you. Solve Dog Behavior Problems

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 9 years ago

      5* We adopted a kitten from a shelter when I was ten. She was sick (We did not know) she died two weeks later. Dog Whisper Woman

    • profile image

      mmason 9 years ago

      Wonderful lens! 5 stars and favorited.

    • profile image

      Janet1 10 years ago

      Love this lens. 5 stars, favorited and lensrolled.

    • profile image

      dcgrrl 10 years ago

      What a wonderful lens, and I can't wait to see your others! You are an animal's best friend!

    • Karendelac profile image

      Karendelac 10 years ago

      Great lens. I'm very passionate about animals and love cats and now I know that I have a great cat.I have just completed a Bird Rescue Lens ~~ here it is ~~ http://www.squidoo.com/birdrescue/

    • makingamark profile image

      Katherine Tyrrell 10 years ago from London

      Excellent lens! If it's OK with you, I'm adding it to my All About Cats Group

    • profile image

      cabindavid 10 years ago

      Your lenses just get better all the time. You Rock!!!

    • profile image

      Philamena 10 years ago

      This is great information, Frankie - everything the new cat owner should know! 5 stars, Lensroll

    • profile image

      Janet1 10 years ago

      Excellent Frankster as is ALL your lenses.

    • profile image

      RonX 10 years ago

      Excellent. 5 stars!