Pet Net Adoption Event & Choosing The Purr-fect Cat

 Pet Net ContributorOnce again, I’m participating in the Pet ‘Net Adoption Event 2012 running this whole week. This is the 5th anniversary event in which pet bloggers join together to promote good cat and dog care issues. But is doing something extra-special. WIN $5000 FOR YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER by clicking this Hub Link to browse all the other great blogger contributors, and enter your zip code. The winning shelter will be announced on Dec. 17. You can enter your zip code once per day, for the entire week.

3-19 leashed kitten

Teach “liberation training” and your cat can safely see the world with you!

I can hear dog folks snickering, but it’s true. You get out of a cat relationship exactly what you put into it, and cats CAN be trained! My Seren will walk on a leash, come when called, sit up…well, she expects to get PAID of course, in treats and attention. And I’m glad to pay her. To promote the whole idea, there’s even a trained Maine Coon cat (Macy) who is a hero kitty and literally “nails” the bad guy in my pet thriller LOST AND FOUND. But training takes a bit of effort.

TIME CHECK: Allow at least an hour a day for basic training—teaching the cat her name, for example. Add another two hours daily for teaching claw etiquette, the rules of the house (staying OFF countertops), and bathroom manners. Kittens and cats learn toilet techniques very quickly, and done correctly you’ll not need much clean up time for any accidents. You can find out all the must-knows about kitten care and training in my Complete Kitten Care book.  Stay tuned, it will soon be available as an audio book, too.


Skin care is vital for hairless cats and they can get sunburned, too.

Coats vary from long and thick, to short and silky, curled, fluffy, or peach-fuzz bald. As a general rule, more fur means increased coat care. However, the Sphynx (bald) cat also requires sunscreen, and extra baths to fight oily skin secretions that stain upholstery. And remember, the Persian’s glorious coat requires daily attention, while any longhaired feline quickly turns into a matted mess without lots of work.

Depending on the breed, that means combing, brushing and/or bathing on a weekly (or oftener) schedule. Remember, grooming includes ear care, eye care, teeth cleaning, and claw trims. Hairless cats still require bath time. Yes, you CAN bathe a cat but if you don’t want to attempt such things, rethink your cat choice.

TIME CHECK: For grooming claws, ears, eyes and teeth allow for at least thirty minutes a week. And for longhair cats, add another half-hour grooming time each day.

Winking Anubis

Anubis recommends mature kitties…cuz they’s wise. (Image Copr. Karyl Cunningham)

Old cats will be a known personality, already potty trained, and more predictable behaviors. You can tell immediately if she’s a lap snuggler or prefers window gazing, gets along well with kids and dogs, or fears strangers. Special needs cats that have lost a limb, are blind or deaf typically adjust readily to accommodations–such as simply not moving the furniture. Healthy adult cats can live into their late teens or early twenties so adopting older felines may offer you a decade or longer of grateful love! There are lots of easy home care tips in my Aging Cat book.

TIME CHECK: Cats of all types and ages still need healthy exercise to stay physically and emotionally balanced. Even old-fogie cats benefit from a minimum of 10-minute gentle exercise following a feather toy, for example.

Any size cat seems able to claim the lion’s share of the sofa, and demands pillow space—alternatively, sleeps on your head. Cats in multiples claim major bed space and may squabble over lap time.

TIME CHECK: Allow a minimum of thirty minutes daily ‘schmoozing’ time—that’s the nose-to-nose, cheek-rubbing, butt-scratching, sweet-purring, secret-sharing, quiet communing cat lovers do as a matter of course. The stronger the bond, the more time you spend schmoozing.
So far, our weekly cat time commitment conservatively totals 35-40 hours—multiplied by the number of cats you have. We often make do with less, and our cats suffer. Ignore Sheba and spend little time training and interacting, and you’ll end up with a cat who ignores you, has her way with the sofa, and sleeps her life away.

Therefore, my ultimate secret to obtaining the BEST cat ever: simply devote as much time to Sheba as you would for those things that matter most to you. As you teach, care for, and love her you will create the cat of your dreams!

Okay it’s your turn. How did you choose your furry wonder? What considerations were most important to you? Fur coat or color? Personality? Age? Breed? Please share in the comments and help others find the Cat-Of-Their-Dreams!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my  THRILLERS WITH BITE!


Pet Net Adoption Event & Choosing The Purr-fect Cat — 7 Comments

  1. How do I pick my critters? Ultimately, the one big thing I look for is that “spark”, that instant feeling that “this is my cat”. Same with dogs, redents, etc. I find it funny, sometimes I get that “I want to come home with you” feeling from an animal, only to find out they prefer somebody else in my family WHO THEY HADN’T MET YET. Had a dog that came home and latched right onto my dad as soon as she saw him. Had a rat who latched onto mom right away. D’you think they know? Is there some kind of scent that tells them what kind of person you are, and they can smell the other people who have been near you a lot?

    On a side note, I’ve noticed Maine Coons and similar kitties oddly do not need as much coat care as one would expect. Depends on the cat, but Anubis usually takes care of his own well enough (good thing too since lately he’s decided the brush is the enemy) – we still keep an eye out for mats. We had a calico kitty who was also very Maine coon-ish who got mats because she got to go outside sometimes during the day, but they could be pulled right out with no trouble – nothing liek I’ve ever heard about folks having to handle when dealing with Persians. I winder how much of it was personality, and how much of it was coat texture?

    • Karyl, I think you’re method is quite common. Pet savvy folks seem to attract people savvy pets–and yep, the furry ones do have definite ideas about who should be their “person.”

      Yes, one of the attractions of adopting Maine Coons is all that wonderful gorgeous fur–but that takes less intense upkeep than some of the other fully-furred felines. Persians are spectacular but do require lots of coat care.

  2. Our indoor cats have found us. Well, okay, with the first one he found us when we removed him from the mailbox we saw kids stuff him in. The second one found us to be the humans he wanted to spend the most time with and he wanted to be an indoor cat. He convinced us we didn’t need to wait until all was cat perfect to let him in.

    The last pet I chose really chose me. My childhood chihuahua that I got for my 8th birthday came out of the pack of puppies and was affectionate and interested. She is the one that later saved our lives.

    • Brenda, that’s a marvelous story, on both counts. Mailing a cat…ouch! But how fortunate you found the kitty, and terrific that Chihuahua chose you!

  3. I so enjoyed this article and it’s right on the money! Last year when I was sick and gone 3 months and came back home my cats wouldn’t have anything to do with me. It took a few months before they would warm back up to me. I don’t know if they thought I deserted, forgot them or what? And my new 7 month old kitten is jealous of the other two eight year olds if either of them get in my lap. Needless to say my new kitten sees to it that my two oldies get their daily exercise – he keeps them on the go – he likes to jump on them, bite them and wrestle with them.

    • So glad you’re back home and the kitties finally recognize you again, Patricia! The new kittens do have a way of keeping the household jumping…and pouncing…and purring. :)

  4. Most of my cats chose me in that inexplicable, “you’re mine” way. Baryshnikat was in a cage at a clinic I worked at. When I walked in he held up his front paw as if injured and got my attention right away. Ironically it was his back leg that was injured :) He and I developed an intense closeness that I still miss to this day. His last act as he left this world was to reach out and grasp my finger with his paw.

    Mewdy Blue hooked me while on the way home from his first vet visit. He and his littermates, 6 weeks old at the time, were very ill. At one point during the trip a single paw reached through the bars of the carrier door and grasped my finger. Yes, it was Mewdy Blue. How could I give him away after that?

    Usually it is something in the eyes but I’ll have to admit, the paws have something to do with it as well.