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Author Topic: Secret cat  (Read 2390 times)

Offline Heimdall

Secret cat
«: February 14, 2009, 10:45:43 PM»
I'm thinking about adopting a cat over the summer, but the issue is thus: I'll be sneaking it into a no-pets-allowed on-campus apartment. I'll be staying there for--at maximum--2 or 3 years with large breaks where I go live at home. (Summers about 2-3 months and winters about 1.)

As far as I can tell from research/asking around/being in the apartments:
- There will be ample space for an older indoor cat to live comfortably.
- I'll have a roommate who's 100% okay with it.
- I've heard that lots of people keep pets, and most of the RAs (the people who inspect the rooms, etc.) don't care (not sure about this--it still seems flaky).
- The only room inspections are announced, extremely rare, and not thorough at all. They're not allowed to unlock locked doors if you're not there.
- I can afford it.
- I have a contingency plan if I get caught.
- I'm planning for the long term. (General pet owner responsibilities here.)
- I'm planning to get a neutered short-hair cat that's adult or senior in age. Possibly male, since I'd prefer male and they put out the least amount of allergen compared to spayed females and unaltered cats. It has to be mellow and quiet. Hopefully it won't mind being bathed too much.
- I'm going to adopt a cat, not buy a kitten (obviously, since I said I want an older cat).
- I have techniques for cleaning up cat messes.
- Hiding the litter box and cat carrier should be easy enough.

As far as I can tell, my main concern is about the person moving in after me. If they have SERIOUS allergies and have to be put in the hospital, I could be sued by the family for costs. I've been researching a lot of ways to minimize allergens: bathing the cat regularly, certain sprays you can use on them to help kill the allergen, vacuuming very often, and minimizing drapes, fluffy/shaggy carpets/upholstery, all that good stuff. Does anyone know if any of that works? Whether by personal experience, a friend's experience, etc? A vacuum with a HEPA filter would be best, but the cheapest the full-sized ones are is like $100, with like $50 for the handhelds. How noticeable is the difference, does anyone know? That's a lot of money to sink.

I have a couple excuses, too, though I want to avoid it.
A) I can say I go home a lot (I don't), and we have a cat there (we do), so the fur is from my clothes.
B) I work with leather a lot--tooling, cutting, etc. There's gonna be leather dust all over. I also have a few rabbit furs.

My brother said I should buy a taxidermy cat and say it's from that, but... I dunno if anyone would buy it, and it's creepy and expensive. XP

Any tips at all would appreciated. Things I've forgotten, tips for cleaning up fur and messes, etc. And before anyone snarks at me for being irresponsible, please know that I haven't decided anything yet. I desperately want a cat, but I'm not going to do anything too stupid without thinking of any consequences. Plus, it's fun to plan. =P
« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 10:47:44 PM by VORPALMUSE »

 
        

Offline Skink

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #1: February 15, 2009, 05:26:49 AM»
I'm not going to snark on you just because I know I could never live without a pet for more then a day, haha. It's understandable why you would want company. I'm rather sad that most colleges only allow fish and crap like that, I want my reptile friends to come with :(

With vacuuming, the only way you're really going to reduce allergens is if you're vacuuming every day. We have one of those expensive ass vacuums that works like a god most of the time. I have to do this in my own home (I'm terribly allergic to anything with fur.) It's not a hard thing to do in an enclosed space but there's always issues with people getting suspicious/pissy over constant vacuuming. Not to mention you might end up with a messy room mate who leaves their shit all over the floor. There is always the neat freak excuse or brushing your cat every day instead, short hair or not, then vacuuming every other to every three days.

Bathing is not a good thing. If you have a bad shampoo it can dry out the cat's skin, and I have NEVER met a cat that didn't scream and yowl every time it was forced in to a bathtub. Plus you will probably have to keep the litter box in the bathroom where the smell is easiest to hide. You don't want the cat associating the litter pan room with bad things!

You'll also have to scoop the litter box every day...and it'd be a good idea to drop a little extra dough on multicat litter, even for one cat.

Another good excuse could be the clothes and other things you brought from home are contaminated. There are ways of meeting room mates before you share room space with them (my friends all got to know their roomies through facebook for a few weeks before) and these can be provided close enough to the start of term if you call and ask. That way you can make a check list with each other to see who's bringing what...and in your case, who's allergic to what.

Really the absolute biggest worry would be litter box smell and a bored cat ruining campus owned furniture. Make sure you have lots and lots of quiet toys and a scratching post, or else it might do like some other apartment cats and get in to clawing up your bed posts, work desks and dressers, something very noticeable on room checks :(

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #2: February 15, 2009, 03:28:42 PM»
Thanks your your input! Yeah, I thought I could make it until after college to get a cat, but it doesn't look like it. I can really understand the limitations on pets, but you'd think reptiles would be allowed! Allergies to them aren't common at all, they're quiet and in a cage almost all of the time, etc. (It'd be pretty easy to hide one. ;))

I was definitely planning on vacuuming and brushing kitty as much as possible--I'll keep those numbers in mind! I don't mind daily brushings, but I'll admit I'm not happy with daily vacuuming. Though it wouldn't be so big a deal, since it'd just be my bedroom and the big connected main kitchen/livingroom/bathroom area. I'm assuming you have one of those fancy HEPA vacuums? Do you know if a regular vacuum (provided I'm still vacuuming all the damn time) would work too, if I'm thorough? They're so freaking expensive.

As for the roommate thing, I actually already know who I'm rooming with! We're good friends and we've talked at length about this, and she's HAPPY to oblige. So that's no big deal for me--it'd be impossible to do this with a roommate who isn't 100% supportive.

I'll definitely keep in mind the bathing thing. Blackie was a screamer (though he screamed 24/7) but Max was always very, very quiet. When I start more seriously looking for a cat (I've been glancing around but I haven't contacted anyone yet, since I'm still not positive) I'll ask them about that, too. But the dried-out-skin thing is something I hadn't thought of. I'll have to talk to vets and shop around to see if there are any special shampoos for this sort of thing.

I've given some consideration to the ruining of furniture and stuff--one of my reasons for wanting an older cat who's not quite as energetic and needy as a young kitten. (Though jesus god odin buddha kittens are so freaking adorable. ;_; ) Toys and a safe place to scratch are a must. Do you have any tips for convincing a cat to USE the post, though? Other than training them that other things are BAD. Our cats aren't bad about scratching, and we snap at them when they do scratch on furniture, but they NEVER EVER used the scratching post we made for them. XD And as for smell, that's true--I've gotta keep it mega clean and possibly use air fresheners and stuff, though I'm a little worried about those covering the scent so much that the cat won't know where to go. A small closet with the door half closed would be good--I could set a box on it and not worry too much. But the bathroom would be way easier... so I'm not sure.

Thanks for your input though!

Offline Kiaren

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #3: February 15, 2009, 03:58:51 PM»
I would also say to be careful if your roommate has friends come over. You don't want anyone blabbing off that you have a cat in your room x3 

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #4: February 15, 2009, 04:24:07 PM»
That's a good idea too! We share the same basic circle of friends, but I'll make sure she knows to be careful when inviting folks. :D (We're both kinda homebodies anyway. XP)

Offline Skink

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #5: February 15, 2009, 09:19:05 PM»
The best way to get a cat using a scratching post is to get it smelling like cat nip. I you rub the stuff on the scratching post, or even put it inside, the cat will rub on it and scratch it. Praise the cat for scratching there with chicken treats, scold it when it scratches anything you don't want it to scratch. If they don't seem interested in their toys, the same thing can work. Just avoid things with bells. That's a really distinctive ring and neighbors might rat you out :( You'll probably need a small scratching post to keep it hidden... if you get the cat before you leave, maybe try training it to the post before you have to go.

I don't think covering the scent will be a problem with an older cat. It might not smell like a bathroom, but cats instinctively feel the need to bury their feces, and so it would rather go in sand then on an unmovable linoleum floor or carpet. As long as its in a place where they can find it, they should go there.

Our vacuum is a Kirby. Anything that sucks on your carpet should do, really, as long as you do it often enough. I guess the last thing to fear is a cat that slips past you when you open the dorm room front door.

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #6: February 15, 2009, 09:38:47 PM»
That's a good idea, about the catnip! We never got nip for ours, so that didn't occur to me at all. I'll definitely have to get some and try it! And if I do this, I'd definitely want to get the cat before I move out, since I already know my roommate well, and I want to get it adjusted to me/my parents/etc. before we have to come home for a break.

Most cat do bury, but BOTH of ours never did.. I'm not sure why. XD

Thanks for all the tips!

Offline Adielle

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #7: February 15, 2009, 09:40:43 PM»
I've never lived in a dormitory, so I really don't know all the rules, but if your so concerned about possible cat allergies or people complaining about you having one if they would happen to find out, why not think about a reptile?  Uromastyx are very calm and friendly if you get them used to you, they don't eat a whole lot and their tanks are easy to clean (desert surroundings and a single heat lamp and maybe heat rock).  I'm not trying to say "don't get a kitty," but if it could potentially cause you many legal problems after school or even infractions while your still in school if it were found out about, I think it would be best to wait.  I do agree with Paint, its hard not to have your animals with you, hence why I doubt I could ever live in a dorm myself.  A cat, two birds and a dog right now and I'm sure our little family will grow as well.

I just think, mainly for the allergy issue and rather then having to stress yourself over it too much, get an animal, but look for one thats a bit easier to hide, doesn't make any noise (because even if the cat is quiet it still is possible it will screech or meow), doesn't have any allergens and still can be personable and keep you company.

Just a suggestion.  :)  Either way though, whether you get one or not, good luck with it all and try not to over stress yourslf about it, thats pretty much the feeling I got through your first post.  Your being smart making sure you know what percautions to take, but don't let it make you stressed.
Goodbye my Sunshine, for we are but smoke and ash...

My Gallery.

Offline La-la

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #8: February 15, 2009, 10:06:17 PM»
careful of getting into fights with your roommate, esp big ones, it may be taken out on your cat

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #9: February 15, 2009, 11:34:49 PM»
Thanks for your thoughts, Adielle. The problem is I'm also thinking for the long term. Yeah, I like reptiles, and they're WAY easy to keep hidden, but I.. just don't want one right now, and I think after a while the joy would run out. (At some point in my life I hope to have reptiles, birds, cats, dogs, and at least one horse--that's after I'm a millionaire though. XP) I'm not just aching for an animal--it's definitely a cat.

Yeah, the allergy thing is key--as anal as I sound, I'm not really getting stressed over it. It's actually fun for me to think through possible scenarios and weigh my consequences and so on.

And La-la, I'll keep that in mind too! For better or for worse, I'm awfully nonconfrontational. And my roomie is going to be a pretty good friend of mine--she's levelheaded and not tempermental or anything.

Offline Adielle

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #10: February 16, 2009, 09:05:26 AM»
Thanks for your thoughts, Adielle. The problem is I'm also thinking for the long term. Yeah, I like reptiles, and they're WAY easy to keep hidden, but I.. just don't want one right now, and I think after a while the joy would run out. (At some point in my life I hope to have reptiles, birds, cats, dogs, and at least one horse--that's after I'm a millionaire though. XP) I'm not just aching for an animal--it's definitely a cat.

Yeah, the allergy thing is key--as anal as I sound, I'm not really getting stressed over it. It's actually fun for me to think through possible scenarios and weigh my consequences and so on.

And La-la, I'll keep that in mind too! For better or for worse, I'm awfully nonconfrontational. And my roomie is going to be a pretty good friend of mine--she's levelheaded and not tempermental or anything.

Haha, no worries.  I hope all goes well when you decide to go and adopt, you definitely have to share photos with us all.  I would try to be more help, but having never lived with a cat (until moving to Australia to be with my husband) I don't have very much helpful advice.  I'm glad your not too stressed over it, I was just worried as to how your topic was presented.  I figured, if you have too many fears maybe something else would be better, but I can definitely understand your stance, 'specially if your thinking for something long term for yourself.  Hopefully all goes well.
Goodbye my Sunshine, for we are but smoke and ash...

My Gallery.

Offline Mredria

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #11: February 17, 2009, 11:22:15 AM»
I agree with Youlie. 3: Look for another place! If the kitty gets kicked out, where will it go?!
---I apologize---

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #12: February 17, 2009, 03:56:16 PM»
Quote
If the kitty gets kicked out, where will it go?!

Home! That's what I meant by saying I have a contingency plan in my OP. I wouldn't do this if I knew the cat was going back to a shelter if I got caught! I'd feel horrible, since SO MANY cats at shelters come from this kind of background. u_u So I cleared it with my folks--they're happy to watch over the cat.

The problem with living in an off-campus apartment is that I don't have a vehicle of my own. I can borrow my mom's car over weekends, or go places with friends, so getting supplies for kitty won't be hard. But getting to and from campus from an off-campus apartment would be hellish. Our parking is really expensive and it's EXTREMELY hard to find a space unless you get there way early. So I want to avoid it if possible. I can afford cat food and litter and an annual vet visit, and I can dip into my education fund if there's a horrible emergency, but I don't have the money for monthly payments for a car, insurance for said car, gas, the hefty tag of a parking permit, etc.

If I go through with this, I definitely intend on finding a spayed/neutered cat that's up to date on their shots--there are lots of them around this area, as far as I can tell.

Suspension/eviction is ..maybe an issue, but I don't know for sure. This is a legalese problem. And if anyone has thoughts on it they're very welcome, though I have an innocent way of phrasing it to an official that I'll bring up when I find the right person to ask. XP It says in the lease that if you break the apartment rules and regulations, you can be evicted. But the rules and regulations directly state that if you're caught with a pet you'll be fined, including having to pay for damages, but it doesn't say anything about eviction. So which one is "right?" Both?

Also, it's not a landlord who does inspections. They're other students, many of whom are laid back and let tons of things slide. They're very subjective about punishments, from what I've heard from other apartment-goers. I've heard that they might even say "don't worry about it, just keep it out of sight." That's absolutely not something to depend on, of course. But still, if I'm very congenial and the apartment is obviously kept very clean and practically damage free, I THINK I'd be okay. This is worth further investigation.

But yes, long story short, even if I have to get rid of the cat, it has a loving home with my folks, and I can still spend lots of time with it. We live half an hour from campus and my mom works here, so there's no problem with weekend trips, and I'd be there on breaks too.

Doubts duly noted, though! Thanks for posting too.

Offline Booker

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #13: February 17, 2009, 05:00:52 PM»
i don't have any tips for you really, but you've seemed to have planned out the most important aspects of this, you've done a good job of coming up with solutions to any bad consequences as well. i can kinda see where you're coming from; i can't imagine having no pets for so long. imo you should go ahead with it, since i've known a couple friends who snuck cats on campus. i've only ever heard of them being strict about dogs in a few places, since apparently they're more destructive. even though they 'don't allow any pets', they've seem to let cats slide.

as long as you find what you deem a suitable cat, i don't really see any problem. i think you're capable of having a cat so long as you're diligent.

Offline Cormallen

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #14: February 17, 2009, 06:13:39 PM»
If you're still worried about allergens, keep an eye out for (in order of less fur) Devon Rexes, Cornish Rexes, or Sphinxes. Their only need is a special cat shampoo to clean off excess fur oils that are naturally produced on the skin for grooming purposes.

(Yes, Sphinxes look like large nekkid rats. I like to think that they're the wrinkly old men of the cat world. ;D)
Swords: A greatsword is not a one-handed weapon. A greatsword is not fast. If it is fast, it means it's made of paper mache' and will break upon striking anything.

Randomat twirls two greatswords, one in each hand.
GM: Randomat's hands fall off.


--from the Leirune RP Guide

Offline Lovecraft

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #15: February 17, 2009, 06:50:49 PM»
if you're worried about scratching and whatnot, you could always adopt a cat that's already declawed. they're a little harder to find because declawing is horrible and barbaric, but it's worth a shot to see. that's actually how i ended up with two of my cats, their previous owners had it done to them and we were worried someone would adopt them and let them outside :I
We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight.

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #16: February 17, 2009, 07:59:52 PM»
Thank you, Gilbert~! I'm trying to be as responsible as possible. Like Youlie said, it's not just my life.

I'll keep that in mind, Cormallen! I didn't know about those first two breeds. :B Though I think any cat with short, sleek fur would be good, too. I don't think there will be any purebreds up for adoption but I'll keep my eyes open!

I think that'll be an extra, Evangeline. I'm hoping I'll find a cat who I can train to use a post, like Paint suggested, though if I find the perfect kitty and they're declawed.. so be it! It be easier though.. >.<;

Offline Mredria

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #17: February 17, 2009, 09:15:39 PM»
In my brother's apartment, if you are caught with an animal the fine you pay is to pay for new carpets. There it's 500$, but someplaces it can be 1000$ish.
---I apologize---

Offline Adielle

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #18: February 17, 2009, 09:44:07 PM»
Suspension/eviction is ..maybe an issue, but I don't know for sure. This is a legalese problem. And if anyone has thoughts on it they're very welcome, though I have an innocent way of phrasing it to an official that I'll bring up when I find the right person to ask. XP It says in the lease that if you break the apartment rules and regulations, you can be evicted. But the rules and regulations directly state that if you're caught with a pet you'll be fined, including having to pay for damages, but it doesn't say anything about eviction. So which one is "right?" Both?

I think your reading this wrong, I believe it means, you CAN be evited but if its a pets violation you also have fines and possible damages to pay on top of possible eviction.  Just be careful.  Its your choice in the end if you decide to get a cat, you obviously know what can possibly happen if its found out, so at least your somewhat prepared.
Goodbye my Sunshine, for we are but smoke and ash...

My Gallery.

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #19: February 19, 2009, 01:15:53 AM»
It turns out that I might be getting a hand-me-down car, and my folks would be willing to take care of insurance for the first year or so. SO living off campus (in a pets-allowed apartment) might actually be a viable option! It'd be a bit of a hassle, but I might be overestimating said hassle. And it might be less of a hassle than smuggling in a cat. X3 Not sure yet. It's still all up in the air, but honestly, if it's not that much more expensive.. that might be the best option. (See, I really am listening to you guys! ;P) I might also be able to find a place within biking distance--then I'd get exercise (which I desperately need) AND be able to legally own a cat. (Not sure how fun biking every day would be.. but if it's only a couple miles each way and it's not so hilly, we're good. Plus I have an unbreakable Kryptonite lock from the 80s.)

This would also give me freer reign with what kind of cat I'd adopt.

So yes, thanks for your input! I'm going to look more into this option, compare costs (factoring in emergency costs if I get caught, etc) and all that fun stuff.

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #20: February 20, 2009, 03:36:48 PM»
I think I'm a pretty good driver, and I'll be added to my folks' insurance. I did this silly "safe driving" booklet from our insurance company which will knock down the price. It won't be too horrible, but they said they'd cover it for a while, which is nice. It'd definitely be nice having a car.

Yeup, I know about the extra costs--I'll be looking around to compare the different costs and all. I've seen a couple places with the deposit and a couple with the "pet rent" and a couple with both.

I have little experience in looking for a vet. Our old one shut down, and I know of a good place where my friend takes her three cats, so I'll ask her if they're any good. I hadn't thought about pet insurance though. It'd depend on how expensive it is--thanks for the tip though. I'll look into it.

Offline Farren

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #21: February 21, 2009, 08:55:55 PM»
I'm not sure if I can offer any good advice, but I've had to hide cats in a housing apartment before... so I might be able to dredge up some advice.
If you want a cat that's quiet and is good with taking bathes, I'd suggest a ragdoll cat (real breed, look it up D: ). I have a cat that's at least part ragdoll (Not entirely sure of his ancestry, as he was found in my mechanic's parking lot), and he's quiet. It's not that he's not talkative, it's that he has nearly no voice.. he meows, and all you hear is an airy squeak. I'm actually not sure if that's a trait of the breed or just a weird querk he has.
According to the info I read on Ragdolls, they're very tolerant of taking bathes. The only problems I think would be that Ragdolls are very playfull and will play with anything. Mine likes anything that makes noise and... basically anything that moves is a toy to him. And the other problem would be that Ragdolls are known to follow their humans around like puppies, meaning that it'd prolly try to follow you out the door when you left the room. (Mine does this all the time Dx But I live in the country now, so is okay if he gets out).
I can understand not wanting to live without animals. I'd manage it if I had to, but it wouldn't be fun D:
As for vet info, I could suggest to you a few pretty good vets if you lived in my area, but as you probably don't, I'm not much help in that area at all.
Fishberries.

Offline Heimdall

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #22: May 26, 2009, 12:10:09 PM»
Thread necromancy in case anyone cares! Which is ikely no one, but... oh well. I'm still going to subject you to picture. It's good for the soul.


My newest friend, Gandalf. <3

Offline Farren

Re: Secret cat
«Reply #23: May 27, 2009, 02:14:50 PM»
Hey, necromancy is my job *mocksadface*

Cute cat, though. I like the collar o_O

I just found some kittens in my chicken coop yesterday. So I have the same access cuteness, but minus a collar and times 5.
Fishberries.