how do you know when you’re ready for a cat?

Me and my other half are considering getting a cat. My other half has never had a pet, and emailed me today with several pressing concerns. I thought I’d share these (and my responses) with you, below.

Are there automated machines for feeding/eating?
Apparently, yes there are things that you can fill up for like a week and then they open once a day or something, so that they get fed whilst you’re away. this is stupid though. the benefit of a cat (rather than a dog) is that they will go out and find their own food and drink if they need it. so if they get lost, you forget to feed them etc, they will fend for themselves. this isn’t a good plan for the longterm though.

Do they get physically sick often e.g. you mentioned vomiting
Only if they’ve eaten something that disagrees with them. Like a toad. Or a hat. This doesn’t happen often. If they do feel sick, they eat grass to make them throw up and get rid of what is making them ill. This will happen outside. They may vomit inside on occasion, and this tends to be in easy to clean places. Like on your bed.

Do their personalities change e.g. do they go from friendly to aloof on a permanent basis
I don’t think so! But when they are adults they don’t play as much as when they are kittens. If they have a total personality change there’s probably something wrong with them, like an illness. Or like when you have two cats and one of them dies, the other one gets sad.

Do they suffer from mental health issues?
Probably, but it’s never happened to a cat I know. Lack of opposable thumbs means they are unlikely to become an axe murderer though.

Is the scratching ever fatal?
If they first dip their paws in poison, yes. However they are unlikely to be able to get the child-friendly lid off the poison (see opposable thumb comment above)

Where would they sleep?
If you’re annoying me, in the bed, with you on the sofa. But otherwise in their basket, on the sofa, on the floor, in a box, in the sink… see: http://www.buzzfeed.com/paws/awkward-cat-sleeping-positions

Who would they like more and would this create problems?
I think it’s likely they will play one off against the other until they are the ones ruling the household. Probably best to avoid these cats: http://www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com/cgi-bin/seigmiaow.pl

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