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Old 12-07-2013, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
If my wife cuddles our dog it is happy and content. If I cuddle my cat he protests and then bites me.

My cat weighs 18 lbs. When he does not want to...he does not want to..

Cats left alone mostly appreciate the opportunity to be free of us.

You obviously have projected your personality onto your cats. Mine wants none of that BS. He appreciates me. I appreciate him. And we try to avoid annoying each other.

YOu should try it. Your cats certainly would be happier.
Well, Ivoc, that's YOUR cat. You're projecting YOUR cat's personality onto all cats. I expect that Catsmom21 knows her cats better than you do ... no need to be rude to her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
First of all, let me get this said........NO ONE LOVES THEIR CATS MORE THAN ME......NO ONE. They are a very important part of my life and I treat them exceptionally well. They are like family to me. However, they are animals and by nature are fairly independent and self reliant. They really don't care if I am at work for 12 hours and leave them alone, or if I am gone for a few days..........as long as they have lots of food, water, clean litter boxes, and a warm place to nap.

I think some people get hung up on cats (or pets in general) being these defenseless, needy little animals who constantly need our undivided attention. I grew up on a farm and we had cats and dogs who took care of themselves for the most part and who only came around at dinner time for some food.

As for the dangers some people outlined where a cat can have some medical emergency or get injured while being left unattended, what about when we are at work all day, or sleeping at night ? Do you hire a pet sitter to watch over them during those periods ? No, you don't. So my point is, as long as you provide a safe environment, put out lots and lots of food and water, and clean litter boxes, there is no sin in going away for a few days and leaving your cat at home. I feel that is a WHOLE lot less traumatic for the cat than taking them to a strange boarding facility and sticking them in a 2 x 2 foot cage where they know no one and feel they have been abandoned.

Don
Well said, Don. I love my kitties dearly but would much rather leave them alone for a couple of days (and get a friend to come over if I'll be gone longer than that) than board them.

I do worry about them when I am gone (even if it's just a 14-hour work day), but they have lots of company (each other!).
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Old 12-07-2013, 01:44 PM
 
5,876 posts, read 11,745,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
First of all, let me get this said........NO ONE LOVES THEIR CATS MORE THAN ME......NO ONE. They are a very important part of my life and I treat them exceptionally well. They are like family to me. However, they are animals and by nature are fairly independent and self reliant. They really don't care if I am at work for 12 hours and leave them alone, or if I am gone for a few days..........as long as they have lots of food, water, clean litter boxes, and a warm place to nap.

I think some people get hung up on cats (or pets in general) being these defenseless, needy little animals who constantly need our undivided attention. I grew up on a farm and we had cats and dogs who took care of themselves for the most part and who only came around at dinner time for some food.

As for the dangers some people outlined where a cat can have some medical emergency or get injured while being left unattended, what about when we are at work all day, or sleeping at night ?
Do you hire a pet sitter to watch over them during those periods ? No, you don't. So my point is, as long as you provide a safe environment, put out lots and lots of food and water, and clean litter boxes, there is no sin in going away for a few days and leaving your cat at home. I feel that is a WHOLE lot less traumatic for the cat than taking them to a strange boarding facility and sticking them in a 2 x 2 foot cage where they know no one and feel they have been abandoned.

Don
One last time, I will repeat: When a cat is left alone for days, the cat's routine is upset. When a cat's routine is upset, the cat experiences stress which can lead to unexpected illness or unusual behavior, which can lead to accidents.

Every cat is different, I speak in general terms, because while cats do differ, cats, as a whole ARE routine oriented, and a change in routine, whatever the routine may be, a change in it causes stress. if the cat's routine is to be left alone 12 hours a day 7 days a week, then that is what the cat is used to. The cat may not like it much, cats are, in general, social animals, and prefer to be around their humans and other four legged family members.

My cats receive a lot of attention from me, and their daily routine is very specific. They are not often left alone more than 6 hours at a time, in part because I have one cat who cannot go much longer than that without food, or she becomes ill, but also because that is a way of life I choose to live. If I have to unavoidably be gone longer than six hours, such as on a holiday or a planned long day hike, they do indeed become upset, it is obvious when I get home that they have missed me. 8 hours is usually my limit, but I have been gone 9 a time or two.

The original poster asked for opinions and I give mine. Cats, based on my own cats, and i include all the cats I have had over the past many years, and my considerable knowledge of cats in general, should not be left alone without a pet sitter coming in at least once every 24 hours.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:32 PM
 
5,876 posts, read 11,745,747 times
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I forgot there was something else I wanted to say about the fallacy that cats are "standoffish".

I spent awhile at the shelter today. There were about 10 kittens, all about 3 or 4 months old, and not a single one of those kittens was "standoffish". In fact they outdid themselves vying for my attention.

Then I went to the adult cat room. A couple of them were shy and turned their eyes away from me but the majority of them, like the kittens, came over to say hello and to get their share of cuddling.

Now one of my current cats is shy of visitors to my home and will go to her Safe Spot, and I have had other cats be that way too. But, that's not standoffish, that's pretty normal for a cat, to be wary of strangers. Standoffish to me, their own person, not ever.

Cats form deep attachments to their people (and other animals). They need someone checking in on them, when that person goes away.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,356,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
I don't agree with anyone who has said cats are "self sufficient" or "fine for a few days".

Tell that to the cat who developed a urinary tract blockage from all that dry food, and no one there to notice he was dying in agony. Or the cat who got a cord around his neck and hung himself, his family only left him for 24 hours. Or the cat who knocked over a crystal bowl and cut herself deeply. Or the cat who starved to death because no one noticed she got shut into a bedroom before they left. Or the cat who knocked over his water and had nothing to drink, on a dry diet, for a week. A kidney failure just waiting to happen.

When a cat is left alone, his or her routine is messed up. The cat may not act the same as she normally does, because nothing else is right. They are at MORE risk of illness and accidents when left alone for any period of time.

Perhaps cats who are used to being ignored "might not notice". However hopefully most cats are loved family members included in everything, and certainly will notice, and feel stress, and react to that stress, if their humans suddenly disappear for days.

In my opinion, it is irresponsible to leave a cat alone like that. There should be someone coming in at least once a day, to check on the cats, clean litter boxes, refresh water, and put down wet food. And play and cuddle a bit, if the cat is willing.

And no cat should be eating that much dry food.
I can't even begin to state how much I disagree with everything you have posted, and I have 3 cats and love them all dearly.

Cats are amazingly self reliant. A stray cat will survive on its own and fare far better than a stray dog, and that's a cat left out in the elements with absolutely no one taking care of it! Cats are animals, and they are not as domesticated as dogs, therefore they are more independent and have more instinctual abilities they use to survive.

When I leave my cats alone for a few days I know they will probably miss me, but they won't be lonely because there are 3 of them, they have each other for company. I have a 3 gallon water dispenser, it'll be hard for a 10 lb cat to knock that over and spill 3 gallons of water. I leave out two automatic food feeders for a combination of 6 lbs of cat food. Lasts all 3 of them a minimum of 4 days easily. I leave out 3 full size cat litter boxes, after 4 days there's still plenty of fresh spots in the boxes. I'll even leave the heat or A/C on something temperate while I'm away.

I don't understand why an all dry cat food diet is bad. I will reward my cats with canned wet food a few times a week as a treat to them, however I know many cats who have been on an all dry food diet their whole life and have lived long healthy lives.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:06 PM
 
12,973 posts, read 12,137,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
I forgot there was something else I wanted to say about the fallacy that cats are "standoffish".

I spent awhile at the shelter today. There were about 10 kittens, all about 3 or 4 months old, and not a single one of those kittens was "standoffish". In fact they outdid themselves vying for my attention.

Then I went to the adult cat room. A couple of them were shy and turned their eyes away from me but the majority of them, like the kittens, came over to say hello and to get their share of cuddling.

Now one of my current cats is shy of visitors to my home and will go to her Safe Spot, and I have had other cats be that way too. But, that's not standoffish, that's pretty normal for a cat, to be wary of strangers. Standoffish to me, their own person, not ever.

Cats form deep attachments to their people (and other animals). They need someone checking in on them, when that person goes away.
My 18 lb Samson is as friendly a cat as you will ever find. He just is not into being handled exceot under his terms. He rushes guests for a rubdown. Just don't pick him up...he does not do that gig.

You and I are not actually that far apart. Except you seem to feel that some foreigner on the turf is better than leaving them alone. Truth is in the middle. If the foreigner is acceptable it may work fine...but if the little darlings don't like foreigner it was a very bad idea.

So leave the cats as undisturbed as possible. But that may be better alone than a cat sitter.

We at least appear to agree that boarding is unlikely to work out well. Even though Samson would not mind. He likes other creatures to dominate.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:12 PM
 
5,876 posts, read 11,745,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
I can't even begin to state how much I disagree with everything you have posted, and I have 3 cats and love them all dearly.

Cats are amazingly self reliant. A stray cat will survive on its own and fare far better than a stray dog, and that's a cat left out in the elements with absolutely no one taking care of it! Cats are animals, and they are not as domesticated as dogs, therefore they are more independent and have more instinctual abilities they use to survive.

When I leave my cats alone for a few days I know they will probably miss me, but they won't be lonely because there are 3 of them, they have each other for company. I have a 3 gallon water dispenser, it'll be hard for a 10 lb cat to knock that over and spill 3 gallons of water. I leave out two automatic food feeders for a combination of 6 lbs of cat food. Lasts all 3 of them a minimum of 4 days easily. I leave out 3 full size cat litter boxes, after 4 days there's still plenty of fresh spots in the boxes. I'll even leave the heat or A/C on something temperate while I'm away.

I don't understand why an all dry cat food diet is bad. I will reward my cats with canned wet food a few times a week as a treat to them, however I know many cats who have been on an all dry food diet their whole life and have lived long healthy lives.
Long life maybe, healthy, not so much. Perhaps the appearance of health, but if you'd put them on a wet diet you'd see how much more than just "fine" they could be. A huge difference. Cats are obligate carnivores, designed to eat meat, not cereal.

Here's a good place for you to learn more about what a cat should eat. Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health.

I think the people who have lost their beloved pets to the illnesses and accidents I mentioned in an earlier post would agree with me, those are all things I have read posted in cat forums.

I find it very strange that people keep using things like stray cats surviving on their own out in the elements as an example that cats are okay left alone in a house with six pounds of dry cereal, filthy litter boxes, and no supervision for days at a time.

I don't see any correlation between the two, at all.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
6,205 posts, read 8,356,135 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
Long life maybe, healthy, not so much. Perhaps the appearance of health, but if you'd put them on a wet diet you'd see how much more than just "fine" they could be. A huge difference. Cats are obligate carnivores, designed to eat meat, not cereal.

Here's a good place for you to learn more about what a cat should eat. Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health.

I think the people who have lost their beloved pets to the illnesses and accidents I mentioned in an earlier post would agree with me, those are all things I have read posted in cat forums.

I find it very strange that people keep using things like stray cats surviving on their own out in the elements as an example that cats are okay left alone in a house with six pounds of dry cereal, filthy litter boxes, and no supervision for days at a time.

I don't see any correlation between the two, at all.
You make the cat out to be like it is a human baby that is in constant need of attention and supervision, where the truth is far from it. Cats are animals, animals survive on their own without human intervention just fine. House cats are only slightly domesticated and are very independent creatures fully capable of looking after themselves. The longest I have left my cats alone was 4 1/2 days, upon my return my cats were as bright and as cheery as the day I left them. They were obviously glad to have me back but showed no signs of deprivation of affection or health issues.

Cats are well enough on their own and are not as dependent on human care as you make them out to be. Most cats actually prefer alone time or a quiet and safe spot away from people for great lengths of time. Also, when I am away for an extended period of time they are guaranteed to get all the sleep they need since they won't have me walking throughout the house and rousing them by accident every hour or so.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:25 PM
 
5,876 posts, read 11,745,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lvoc View Post
My 18 lb Samson is as friendly a cat as you will ever find. He just is not into being handled exceot under his terms. He rushes guests for a rubdown. Just don't pick him up...he does not do that gig.

You and I are not actually that far apart. Except you seem to feel that some foreigner on the turf is better than leaving them alone. Truth is in the middle. If the foreigner is acceptable it may work fine...but if the little darlings don't like foreigner it was a very bad idea.

So leave the cats as undisturbed as possible. But that may be better alone than a cat sitter.

We at least appear to agree that boarding is unlikely to work out well. Even though Samson would not mind. He likes other creatures to dominate.
I cannot agree that any cat, no matter how shy, is better off left alone. Someone needs to be coming in to clean the litter boxes (and make sure they are being used properly, if they aren't that could be a sign of trouble) change the water and put down wet food.

Even if the cat or cats don't engage with the sitter, at least there will be a semblance of a routine, every day at the same time, someone coming in.

That cat who got shut in a bedroom and starved to death..if there'd been a pet sitter the sitter would have known by the second day that something was wrong, and gone looking for the cat. Same with the cat who blocked and died in agony. Or the one who was cut deeply.

Some cats do well with boarding. I have a friend whose cat seems to enjoy his boarding experiences. I've cat sat for him a few times, but when I couldn't do it, she boarded him in a place where each cat (or family of cats) has his own little room with a big window and a cat tree. Both times I was the one who picked him up and brought him home, and he was quite unfazed. He's possibly a rare case though.

However if something happened where I couldn't be at home, I might consider taking my cats there, rather than entrust them to a pet sitter, since one of my cats has very particular dietary needs, and none of them eat dry food, ever. I can't see finding a sitter to come four or five times a day.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:41 PM
 
5,876 posts, read 11,745,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
You make the cat out to be like it is a human baby that is in constant need of attention and supervision, where the truth is far from it. Cats are animals, animals survive on their own without human intervention just fine. House cats are only slightly domesticated and are very independent creatures fully capable of looking after themselves. The longest I have left my cats alone was 4 1/2 days, upon my return my cats were as bright and as cheery as the day I left them. They were obviously glad to have me back but showed no signs of deprivation of affection or health issues.

Cats are well enough on their own and are not as dependent on human care as you make them out to be. Most cats actually prefer alone time or a quiet and safe spot away from people for great lengths of time. Also, when I am away for an extended period of time they are guaranteed to get all the sleep they need since they won't have me walking throughout the house and rousing them by accident every hour or so.
My cats are an integral part of my life, as I am of theirs. <shrug> It's a life style choice. I guess cats that are ignored alot wouln't be as dependent on human interaction. My cats are not sleep deprived and are able to go sleep in another room if they wish. Rarely do they. When I am home, they are in the same room as I am, usually as close to me as possible, almost all the time.

Any cat, when his routine is disrupted is more likely to become ill or have an accident. A cat left alone frequently perhaps would be used to it, so not as likely. But I just can't get past the idea of a cat being forced to subsist on dry cereal and a dirty litter box for days on end. It horrifies me, frankly. Especially the dry food. The dirty litter box...eh, the cat can leave his waste in other places if it gets too bad, though being fastidious I'm sure it would cause stress for a cat to do so.

Again though, I guess it depends on what a cat is used to. My cats are used to pristine litter boxes. If a cat is used to having to make do with a soiled box, perhaps it would not be too much added stress. I just can't imagine it, myself.

My cats aren't "wild animals". They are happy, appropriately fed, well exercised, house cats used to clean litter boxes, regular meals, and lots of attention. I know them, and what they might be likley to get into if they were left alone for too long and started stressing about when I would be coming home.

I guess my mistake is in assuming other cats are living the same way.

And then there's the argument: just because they can survive it, why should they have to? To use the stray cat analogy some of you are so fond of, a cat may survive being thrown out in the street, but that doesn't mean it's okay to do it.

Last edited by catsmom21; 12-07-2013 at 11:01 PM..
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:52 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,574 posts, read 9,650,106 times
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I guess we all have different living arrangements with our furry little roommates. Ours are pretty independent and have each other for companionship. It is not unusual for us to spend 15 hours a day at our shop, which leaves them alone at home, but that is a routine we have had for years and they seem to do fine with it.

I do not see our cats as infants, who need constant monitoring. Our home is perfectly pet safe and pet comfortable, each of ours has several favorite spots where they like to nap and lounge. They have free access to the whole house and can go out to the lanai anytime they want via the pet door.

I think it is fine if you want to be the kind of pet parent who hovers over your kids constantly, but that is not our lifestyle. We have had one or several cats at a time over the past 50 years and all of them have been healthy, happy, and well cared for.


Don
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