Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Feb 06, 2016
Cats can be some of the best pets to own. Short-haired cats are great because they shed very little, and the ones I've owned have always been very independent. Cats, like people, have unique personalities. Their playing, eating, and sleeping habits will vary between cats. Age and upbringing can play a large role in a cat's personality as well.
Cat's tend to have independent personalities. Short-haired kitties seem to have no trouble grooming themselves and are less prone to shedding. Also, while I've known many people to be allergic to cats, some of them have never had negative reactions to mine simply because of my cats' fur type. My one-year old cat, Twilight, has black fur which would be more visible after being shed. I very seldom find black hairs around my apartment. Likewise, I've never had this problem with the two other short-haired cats I've owned growing up.
Twilight is very independent as well as playful. I got her for free from a stranger on Craigslist, and she appeared to be a normal, playful kitten, not shy or afraid of people. I'm assuming she lived a happy few months at her old home, but upbringing doesn't necessarily affect a cat's personality.
My old jet-black cat, Binky, was a very timid and easily frightened kitten from birth. She would run away at the sight of people, and crawl into cupboards just to hide. Eight years later though, she is a lazy fat cat who sits around my mother's house.She is also now totally attention-loving and is no longer afraid of other people. Personalities and habits can be different for cats, but all that you can really do is just love them and work with them over time. All Binky needed was time to see that her environment wasn't scary. Like Twilight, she was always very independent , and never needed much attending to.
My current cat is still young and is gradually eating through more cat food as she gets older. A three-pound sack of food would last her a month up until a few months ago. She now currently eats almost two sacks each month and is very small and petite. Some cats get larger and require more food as they grow while some smaller ones (regardless of age) just don't ever have a large appetite.
Playing and social habits can vary as well. Cats tend to be more playful when they're younger, and some lose their energy or become less playful as they age. Twilight is very easy to entertain, with her only toys being a toy mouse on a string and some balls with bells. She can lay on the ground for hours just swiping at her mouse on a string, and even likes to be tickled. Not all cats enjoy extensive interaction or playing though. Binky never cared to play much, even as a kitten. However, both her and Twilight are very affectionate and seek love and attention. Some cats just liked to be pet and cuddled in place of actual playtime, whereas some just want to be left alone altogether.
Short-haired cats have always been low-maintenance for me, as well as relatively cheap. Spaying or neutering your feline friend is about the most expensive procedure you should ever have to get for them, with fees varying between $50-$200 depending on where you go for the procedure. Checkups are fairly cheap, and as long as you keep your cats exclusively as indoor pets, they shouldn't be illness-prone. Standard generic-brand cat food usually costs between $3-$5 for three-pound bags. None of my cats have ever had many toys; just the previous ones mentioned and scratching posts.
From my experience, scratching posts have proven to be only so effective. They help reduce furniture and carpet scratching, but not entirely. Clawing is in their nature, so they'll claw on the nearest thing to them simply out of habit. They are very easy to direct, though, and all I really need to do is tell Twilight is "no!" or go "tsssk". This usually stops most of their negative behavior for the time being.
Overall, cats are pretty worthwhile pets. They have the personality traits of children, but these traits can wear off over time. They can be great company and fun to play with, especially when they're younger. They require simple tasks such as cleaning out a litter box or changing food and water. From time to time, you may have to take your cat to the vet, but they are usually pretty cheap to care for; I spend around $40 each month on treats, cat litter, and cat food. Keep in mind, I use high-quality litter and food. If you have allergies to cats but still like them, I would recommend trying a short-haired breed. They are easy to care for and they make great little companions.Being a cat owner can be a very fun and rewarding experience!