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BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)

Justa Picker 21 May 01 - 05:35 PM
GUEST,tonedeaf 21 May 01 - 05:46 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 21 May 01 - 05:56 PM
Eluned 21 May 01 - 06:08 PM
catspaw49 21 May 01 - 06:10 PM
katlaughing 21 May 01 - 06:14 PM
Justa Picker 21 May 01 - 06:21 PM
GUEST 21 May 01 - 06:27 PM
Eluned 21 May 01 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,magician 21 May 01 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Magician 21 May 01 - 07:09 PM
SINSULL 21 May 01 - 07:59 PM
Midchuck 21 May 01 - 07:59 PM
SINSULL 21 May 01 - 10:23 PM
Gypsy 21 May 01 - 10:23 PM
Sorcha 21 May 01 - 10:33 PM
DougR 22 May 01 - 01:47 AM
English Jon 22 May 01 - 03:51 AM
Hollowfox 22 May 01 - 11:02 AM
MMario 22 May 01 - 11:21 AM
CET 22 May 01 - 08:35 PM
GUEST,Pete M at work 22 May 01 - 09:23 PM
Justa Picker 23 May 01 - 03:10 PM
katlaughing 23 May 01 - 03:24 PM
catspaw49 23 May 01 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Phil Cooper 23 May 01 - 03:56 PM
RichM 23 May 01 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,Pete M at work 23 May 01 - 08:54 PM
katlaughing 23 May 01 - 10:38 PM
Sorcha 23 May 01 - 10:42 PM

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Subject: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Justa Picker
Date: 21 May 01 - 05:35 PM

(Yes, I know I could do a search on the net and get all sorts of info to sift through on everything feline.)

Instead I am choosing to throw this open to the cat affectionados of this forum, for some advice, as I find myself in need.

A little bit of background. We currently have (1) indoor cat, 11 years old, female, very docile and "queen of her turf." She is consistent with the litter box. No problems there, and she's been with us all of her life. On those rare occasions when we have taken in friends' cats for several days or week when they've vacationed, ours does not take kindly to "intruders". Lots of hissing, low gutteral growls, and ears back in "attack mode", but she doesn't initiate any attacks, and she is declawed on the front paws only.

For the past week, a stray has "found us" thanks to our children falling in love with this animal and putting food out on our front porch daily. (Naturally this cat is going to keep returing to a "food source.") This cat is female, has all its claws, and does not appear to have been spayed. It appears quite healthy, has a beautiful well-groomed coat (and no tats or signs of having been in any recent fights) - which leads us to believe it is most definitely someone's treasured pet, and that it has spent a fair amount of time indoors.

The wife and I estimate given its size that it is about 2 years old. (Past the kitten stage, but not quite a full grown adult.) I have been unable to find photos of the breed it matches (and I did spend time searching on the net for this.) It is a short hair, all intermixed in black and gold (tortise?) and its eyes are gold, and the rest of its face and head is black with black whiskers. The face is a little on the round-ish side for a tabby. I don't think it's a tabby. Unfortunately I don't have a digital camera so I can't post a photo of it.

I have scoured our neighborhood and knocked on doors asking if anyone has misplaced their cat for the past week. Nothing. I also posted notices at various stores in our neighbor and have heard nothing. I've also posted a classified about it (with very minimal descriptive info, in our local neighborhood rag.) Again nothing so far.

Taking this animal to the pound is NOT an option. There's no way that something this beautiful, affectionate and, quite a "talker" is potentially going to be euthanized.

Here then is where I need some advice. We're going to give it a couple more days to see if anyone calls.

- If we keep this animal, can it be trained to use the litter box keeping in mind it seems to be an outdoor animal (having all its claws)?;

- can we "convert" it to becoming an "indoor" cat? (and if so, we will spay and have it de-clawed on the front paws only)

- will our exiting "queen" adapt to it, after say a couple of weeks, and accept it, given that they're both female?...or

- will our existing cat, get its nose so out of joint over this "intruder" that it will cause her to alter her litter box habits, to show us her disapproval?

I know every situation is different, and some of it depends on the animals' personalities, but I'd like to have a hint of what we might be in for. Also if we end up keeping it, it will go to the vet later this week for a complete check up, shots, the whole 9 yards.

Thanks kindly for permitting me this off topic BS. It's important enough to me, to want to post it and share in some good advice that I anticipate will be forthcoming from the fine folks here.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,tonedeaf
Date: 21 May 01 - 05:46 PM

I can't say exactly, but this is what we have done; we have a 6 year old tabby queen, who has been the only cat up until this year. She spent a couple of months living at my parents while we were moving, and was fighting constantly with their cat, who is a ten year old queen. Now, this winter we had two half-grown kittens come to our door on a ten-below night, so of course we invited them in. From their condition, and knowing our neighborhood, it seems likely that someone dumped them. We kept the male (absolutely gorgeous marmalade tabby) and gave the female to my parents. He was well housebroken, to my amazement. Ourr queen was very agressive to him at first, but after a couple of weeks they seemed to declare a truce, and now live peaceably, even touching noses in greeting on occaision.

Good luck with the stray, I hope it works out as well for you as it has for us. Cedar


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 21 May 01 - 05:56 PM

Cat Fancy magazine recommends keeping the new cat isolated when you introduce her (if you can have a friend bring her in when she's had her shots at the vet's and put her in her area, while you are paying lots of attention to your existing queen, then it will seem that the new kitty has just appeared). They stress the importance of not seeming to pay too much attention to the new cat right away. My significant other has five cats in a one bedroom apartment in Chicago. They have some spats still, but they all manage to stake some territory. It takes a few weeks sometimes. She has not had one in the current batch that has spraying problems. As you said, every case is different. The last cat my significant other got was also a well behaved obviously someone's pet, house cat. We think some elderly person had several and when they died, the family kicked them all out to the alley. We placed a couple of them (pretty and way too friendly to be outdoor kitties) and kept one.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Eluned
Date: 21 May 01 - 06:08 PM

Hi, I've had various cats, but never quite your situation. However, chances are that the mother raised her kittens indoors, in the proximity of a litter-box, given that she is in such good shape, and (I assume) so friendly to people. If not, if she has been trained to properly bury her business by her mother, she may take to the litter-box anyway. The proof is in the putting...heh!
In regards to your queen taking to her - there is just no telling with cats. Sometimes, even if they don't like the new family member, they become resigned in time to their presence, and reach some kind of an agreement with each other. There are bound to be fights, at least in the beginning - those are needed to establish a heirarchy.
I _would_ suggest that, if you do take the new cat into your home, you should pick a room your resident queen doesn't care for too much or at least is seldom in, and keep the new cat in that room for a while before she is given the run of the house. Keep the door to that room completely shut for at least several days, and then fix it so the door is cracked but won't swing open for at least several more days. This gives them both some time to establish territories, scope each other out ect.

just my 22c-worth
Tracy/Eluned (pick one)


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 May 01 - 06:10 PM

Hey JP......There are always going to be the occasional fights, but the worst of the hissing and posturing will be over in few weeks. Take the new one to the Vet as said and have her tested for FeLeuk, etc. and then start the introductionprocess as Phil stated.

She sounds to be basic American Shorthair, probably mixed, and known as a form of Calico called "Torties."

Outside of that my friend, I quit giving cat advice awhile back! We are down to 5 and that's still too many. My general experience has been that most cats will eventually get along..........some well, some not so well, but tolerable. Your biggest problem is that you've had a "lone cat" for a long time and they are reluctant to give in. Most will adapt to a litter box with few problems,but some will use it 9 times out of 10 only.

Good Luck!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: katlaughing
Date: 21 May 01 - 06:14 PM

It sounds like one that has been dumped, JP. I've got seven in a 954 square foot house. The MAIN thing is to have ONE MORE litter box than you have cats, to clean them out frequently and rinse them out once per week. NO, I do NOT have 8 litter boxes, so I try really hard to keep them all clean. We use what I consider to be the best litter which is called Feline Pine. It is wood pellets which break down into sawdust. No tracking and once you've scooped the poopies, you can add it to a compost heap.

I always lock a new cat into one room for awhile. They all sniff at each other under the door and eventually get to take peeks at each other. Your old lady will have her nose out of joint for awhile, BUT a good trick to that is, after a week or so, when you are ready to let them meet, put something tasty on the ears of each of them, somewhere where it is not easy for them to clean it off quickly. The vets have a tasty tube of stuff called Nutri-Cal. Anyway, the trick is, the each cat smells that, starts cleaning the other one and before ya know it they are at least on their way to becoming pals.

It is also good to make sure each cat has some spot which they know is theirs, i.e. basket, blankie, or bed. If the older cat has one, be sure to discourage the new one from trying to use it by showing it a spot that can be its.

Yes, you can train it to the box, it probably already knows how. My cats all have their claws. I moved from a 25 acre ranch with 8 cats who went in and out at will, to a house in New England where they all 8 went to being in-door cats only. Now, that's the only way I will have it, although they do get to go out in an enclosure we've put up for them.

Cats are very adaptable, they just don't want you to know it! Plus, they really do like to have another cat around to exchange licks with and snuggle when it gets blustery. Give your old one lots of reassurance that you still love her, make sure she knows the other one is going to get spayed, just like her, and it'll be fine.

Use a pop can with one or two pennies in it, with tape on the top and if they start to get in a spat, toss it towards them, not hitting them, just near them and the noise will break it up right quick.

I have one that is coloured like you've described. It's not a particular breed, that I know of, but a beautiful mix. I'll see if I can find a picture and send it to you or link it here.

Let me know if I can help in anyway,

kat...really and truly, at least that's what they say!


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Justa Picker
Date: 21 May 01 - 06:21 PM

Thanks to all so far for the great answers.

Actually 'Spaw, upon closer examination a few minutes ago, her face is black but the fur on her head and all around her neck is also the gold and black combo. (We are keeping her isolated in just one room of our house, near the litter box...so we can determine if she'll use it and take to it. She seems to be settling in. Currently sound asleep on a bed and stretched out on her back.)


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 01 - 06:27 PM

You could always just put them together in a small room, and keep the one that wins...

Or perhaps not


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Eluned
Date: 21 May 01 - 06:28 PM

I, too recommend the feline pine. It keeps down smells much better than clay!
Also, like kat says, another litter-box is a good idea. And, as well as "Nutri-cal", there is petro-malt, which some cats crave; you might want to make sure that both cats like whatever you choose.
Tracy


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,magician
Date: 21 May 01 - 07:08 PM

(1) NEVER get a cat declawed. If it should get out and get into trouble it has lost it's defence.

(2) Keep the stray in your bedroom for as long as it takes to get it used to you and and comfortable in your home.

(3) Give your lady lots of extra love and attention to reasure her that she is not being usurped.

(4) In time (you will know when) introduce them in a fairly nuetral invironment while giving both of them love and reassurance.

(5) Use seperate shit pits. (some cats are very possessive about such Things)

(5) It sounds to me that she is what in England we call a Moggie.

Hope that all comes together well.

Daffydd


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,Magician
Date: 21 May 01 - 07:09 PM

I reset my cookie but still Guest. WHY???


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 May 01 - 07:59 PM

I am getting a new kitty adjusted as of last Thursday. My three are getting used to her. Bare with the hissing and spitting. Love everyone to death. They will be fine. My eldest is eleven, then a four year old and a two year old. The new cat is just under a year.

Litter training? Just put the cat in a clean litter box and dig with her front feet. Chances are her mother has already taught her and she will know. This one did - a street stray.

Feline Leukemia is real. Don't allow the new cat near your lady friend until she has been tested!

I use clumping litter. Feces are flushed, clumps bagged and discarded. No smell. No changing boxes.

My nephew named our newest Alice. I had hoped to find a home for her and did on Saturday but it was too late. She belongs here now.

To all cat people: Kendall insists that cats other than lions are not naturally social. What do you think?


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Midchuck
Date: 21 May 01 - 07:59 PM

I think if you're going to have your clat declawed, you ought to be willing to have your fingernails pulled out with pliers, one at a time.

It's the same thing.

Granted, if you keep them inside, un-declawed, they'll wreck the furniture and walls. So what? If your furniture is that important to you, you have no business having any cats.

Just my humble opinion, of course.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 May 01 - 10:23 PM

Peter,
I often say that when people with declawed cats look in horror at my tattered furniture. There are three rules when visiting my home: 1. The cats can do no wrong. (People smile indulgently at this until a cat pees in their bed or vomits in their shoes. They squawk. And I repeat firmly: "The cats can do no wrong." 2. Do not under any circumstances use MY towels. Clean towels are provided. Leave MINE alone - the result of childhood trauma. And 3. I do not snore.
Funny how so many guests have trouble with all three rules - and these are the only rules in my home.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Gypsy
Date: 21 May 01 - 10:23 PM

We always used butter to introduce animals to each other. A copious amount on the face, and rear end. then everyone smells the same (tastes the same, too) I've never had issues with front hand declawing...if kitty gets outside, she can still climb trees. Oh yeah, for the best, odorless litter...garden soil. When we had 6 (house!) cats, we used soil, and had nary an odor


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 May 01 - 10:33 PM

JP, if she is on her back showing her tummy sound asleep, rest asuured that she is real relaxed and comfy. Cats don't do that until they feel very secure.....she'll be fine. ( as for litter box vs woodpile/carpet, be very afraid....we have a spayed "queen" that started spraying after she lived in this house for 7 years.......still don't know what her problem was, but I think she will die if she pees on my new carpet........


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: DougR
Date: 22 May 01 - 01:47 AM

I had two cats. One lived to the age of 18, and the other 19. If you are going to declaw the cat, never ever let it outside. If the cat is to be totally an indoor animal, declawing is the only sensible thing to do if you value your furniture.

I haven't replaced my cats because I can't bear to go through the trauma of losing something that I become so attached to again. But I love cats.

It's probably a Republican thing.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: English Jon
Date: 22 May 01 - 03:51 AM

Corrrr dearrrrrr, not de-clawing nooooooo.

corrrrr, not good, I fink. most catz dont skratch all that much enyway. Then again, the whole bollox fing is a bit narsty too. corrrr. shit.

English Jon's Cat __________

I must concur with the cat on this one. If it's a friendly sort of mog, you'll be fine leaving it's claws in. Anyway, de-clawed cats tend to bite more.

But anyway, go ahead and adopt it. Original cat will come round eventually, just be very, very nice to her!

Good luck,

Jon


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Hollowfox
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:02 AM

JP, it sounds to me like you have a fine tortoiseshell (aka "tortie") queen. The gold in my Tabatha's fur reminds me of the highlights in an opal. I've never met a stupid tortie; they're always a delight.
The vet check-up is very important (my tortie brought a wee patch of ringworm. we got rid of it (the fungus), eventually. I'm against de-clawing, myself. As I understand it, some bones have to be removed from the paw in the process. BTW, my furniture is not torn up.
Think of all the grumbling and swearing as a feline custom. There have been times when I gave the new cat their own litterbox, the indigineous cat would use the new box, just to teach the newcomer a lesson! An amicable status quo was usually reached soon after this.
Sorcha, if a cat pees where it shouldn't, it may be that it can't help itself. Kidney problems are a common problem in cats; very painful, but usually curable, especially if treated early.
Even if shw won't admit it, taking on an apprentice will probably do your senior cat a world of good. At the very least, she'll never die of boredom!


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: MMario
Date: 22 May 01 - 11:21 AM

I know many people de-claw their cats. My family never has, and we've never had the furniture trashed by the cats either...

okay - the fabric on the couch "pills" a bit where they knead - but the latest two have been trained only to get on the couch when the afghan is covering it. So that problem is solved.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: CET
Date: 22 May 01 - 08:35 PM

Don't declaw your cats. You can never guarantee that they won't get out and they do need their front claws to climb trees. Some cats may be able to climb with only their hind claws, but not all. Also, a cat needs its front claws to defend itself against dogs. Hind claws may do more damage, but a large part of a cat's aggression is show, and it needs front claws to do that properly. When the dog gets too close, the cat may need to give it a noseful of claws. Also, cats use as part of their territorial marking behaviour.

There are some good books available on cat behaviour that have methods for training your cat not to claw the furniture. Better still, get wooden furniture with cushions or futons. Personally, I think furniture ranks several spaces below cats in the grand scheme of things.

Don't listen to Midchuck, who said you should get your nails pulled out if you are considering declawing your cats. You obviously love cats and will be doing a CAPITAL G, CAPITAL T Good Thing by taking this one in. Declawing would be a serious mistake, however.

Good Luck

Edmund Thomas


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,Pete M at work
Date: 22 May 01 - 09:23 PM

As you say at the begining Justa, it all depends on the cats. We have three. One a tiny tortoiseshell moggie of the female persuation (Tiger) that we inherited with the house and we were told would never come inside as she was too timid - she now bosses everyone around. Two male tabbies, one black one red, that our vet describes as 'front row forwards' that we got as kittens seven years ago because we thought Tiger was getting beyond keeping the rabbit, rat and mouse population under control. Now she just nicks those brought in by the other two! All cats have to share with the dogs, we got two new puppies two and a half month ago and the cats have finaly realised that if they want their share of the fire, they've got to be prepared to share the rug, and be licked.

All of of which is a way of saying that if you are prepared to put in the effort to reassure existing family members that the new one is NOT replacing them in your affections, there is usually no problems in the long run. Plenty of howls, spitting and rushing outside saying that "I'm not coming back EVER! I'll go into the bush and starve to death and THEN you'll be sorry!" in the short term, but it all sorts itself out.

OH yes, I also agree that you should NEVER de-claw a cat.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Justa Picker
Date: 23 May 01 - 03:10 PM

Update: Decided to take the new princess to the Vet yesterday for a complete check up. (Still keeping her confined to one room in our home, with extremely limited contact of our other cat.) She's using a litter box just fine, and is spending a lot of time sleeping, no doubt from her ordeal over the past couple of weeks.)

The vet checked her out from head to toe, and drew a little blood as well for testing. Yesterday, the vet determined by her teeth that she is younger than we thought, somewhere between 9 months and a year old, and that she's in perfect health. The call today from him telling us the blood tests were negative for everything, was nice to know.

There have been absolutely no inquiries or calls from anyone concerning the disappearance of this animal, but we are still going to give it at least another week, before we have her spayed.

We've decided NOT to declaw this one, out of (what's the cat word for "humanitarian"?) reasons. We've noticed that she does not bite nor scratch, and our kids pretty much know how to handle cats, and I think I can keep her away from my guitars. We'll get her a couple of scratching posts, and trim the points on her claws from time to time so if her and the other cat do mix it up, there won't be any MASH units needed to assist.
Keeping in mind that cats can occupy a pretty large geographic area that constitutes "turf", it is conceivable that this cat is not at all from our neighborhood, and could be from 10 or more miles away which might explain why we've not been contacted, however we did place newpaper ads in the local classifieds, gone to supermarkets and put up flyers, knocked on over 100 doors in our area, and every other manner of trying to find the rightful owner, short of taking out television or radio ads.

Thanks for all the advice. It was helpful and enlightening.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 May 01 - 03:24 PM

Glad to hear it, JP!! Good for you, all! For the best cat scratching post of all CLICK HERE. It is NOT carpet, which encourages cats to use ANY carpeted/upholstered furniture and the scratch pads are replaceable. All seven of my cats prefer this scratcher to any of the others available to them. I highly recommend it.

Puir little young'un...sure glad you guys found her. As for kids and cats, my kids grew up knowing that if they got scratched it was usually their own fault and they were doing something they knew was not tolerated. It was never the cat's fault, at least very rarely. They all have cats and in fact, my 3 year old grandsons are learning the same way. Kind of like touching a hot sotve once to know that it is HOT.:-)

I am really glad you've decided against declawing her. Thanks for letting us know.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 May 01 - 03:26 PM

Good job JP....and Good Luck!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,Phil Cooper
Date: 23 May 01 - 03:56 PM

Way to go! It sounds like the new kitty was, indeed, dumped. My significant other came home one day with a 9 month old kitten that followed her to her car. She canvassed the neighborhood in Chicago where she had parked and was informed that the people that the cat belonged to had moved four days previous. She fed the cat in the bathroom for several days and found her a great home, where she is queen of the domain (there was an existing older cat and they got along fine from the start). Sisel Twine works well as a cat scratching post. (Like bailing twine if you're familiar with old farm stuff). My singing partner, Margaret, made a post from wrapping some bulk twine (real cheap) around a scrap board (free)and hanging it from a nail in the wall about two feet off the floor. Her cats love it. You can get versions from pet stores for a lot more.


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: RichM
Date: 23 May 01 - 04:55 PM

Whether or not you declaw your cats is YOUR choice.

If you value your furniture, declaw them. I don't buy the argument that declawing is cruel; if you neuter a cat, you also take some natural part away from them. 3 of our 4 cats are declawed, and they are fine. The last one is a stray-as were the others-and has kept its claws (on probation) for all of its 3 years.
However, if she were to commence shredding the furniture, that could change...


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: GUEST,Pete M at work
Date: 23 May 01 - 08:54 PM

Sounds great Justa.

On cat territory, this varies vastly depending on population density and food sources. The extremes I've heard were a few hundred square yards (Portsmouth dockyard) and about twenty square kilometers (Orongorongo valley on the East side of Wellington harbour). Of course the radius of an established territory and the distance travelled trying to find an uncontested area are not the same thing, but on balance I wouldn't have expected your new cat to have wandered far.

RichM I don't say that de-clawing a cat is cruel from any abstract conception, just from real life. If your cat never goes outside the house, and I realise some don't, they are not living naturally and it could be argued that not being able to mark and defend territory, or to kill prey species is no more unnatural. However if they are not confined totally, then all the above are essential to survival, physically and psychologically.

As to interactions with human society, I'm with Kat, if a person, child or adult, is hurt by my animals after being told the way that animals behave and interperet actions, then that's their problem for not conforming. Cats shredding furniture? No chance, the dogs have already chewed it to bits.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 May 01 - 10:38 PM

The dog takes all the blame in my house, too, Pete, including for all the shedding!:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: CATS (The Animal Kind)
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 May 01 - 10:42 PM

HAH! You want shedding? Get a Pembroke Corgi! I swear we took two pounds of of Ghillie last nite!


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Mudcat time: 26 October 4:08 AM EDT

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