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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 03:34 PM
Original message
Gentle cat breeds? No biters...
Hey y'all, one of my close friends sent me a long sad email this afternoon, he and his partner had rescued a tuxedo cat 3 wks ago from SPCA, but he had to take him back today. Seems S. was viciously attacking his partner, and also attacked my friend. Biting and drawing blood, on their legs, etc. My friend would have put up with it, but his partner was very anxiety-ridden over this and insisted that they give S. up. My friend is heart-broken, he said they tried everything, and I am sure they did, (they are both 50ish professor-types and not ones to jump into this lightly.)

I promised him that I would come on this group and ask which cat breeds are known for docileness and gentleness. They both are thinking that a kitten might be a better choice since they can socialize it.

Please, no judgements, my friend is heartbroken enough, just let me know if you can recommend a certain breed that I can pass along. Thanks a million. 48%er
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've heard Scottish Folds are mellow.
Absynnians are gentle.
"Abys are gentle and affectionate, with soft voices (though they will scream for food or attention). They are very active, agile cats who need space to run, jump and climb. They are very intelligent, trainable and loyal."


Maine Coone's as well.
"Breeders say the Maine Coon is an extremely affectionate cat without being over demanding. They will constantly want to play and have a gentle nature often called by breeders the gentle giant."


Good luck.


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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Thanks everyone...
I will pass along the suggestions so far to my friend. He was really bummed about having to take back the cat.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. Abyssinians are NOT Gentle
Edited on Sun Mar-20-05 07:23 AM by demnan
I was swatted by mine last night for touching her foot. Lily can be rather unpredictable plus she's older and the Abby backend has problems when the cat is older.

In general, I think that Orientals are somewhat fiesty, but my Siamese is much less so than my Abby. Pad Thai is one of the gentlest cats I've ever had. I can do anything to him.

The mellowest cats, of course, are regular cats that you get as kittens and raise with love. I think males are more mellow than females, at least mine have been.

There is something wrong with an animal who bites and scratches all the time. Breed has nothing to do with it. The cat has mental problems.

Suggest to your friend that they adopt two young male cats of the same litter. That way they can take out all their fiestiness on each other and just come to them when they get sleepy and affectionate.

(Edited to take out space Pad Thai added)
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kaitykaity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. I defer to your experience on the matter,
having none myself. My Mina's a mutt who loves me
and bosses me around horribly. That's all I know.

I just went hunting for breeds that said "gentle"
in the personality profile is all.

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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 08:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yes, I wondered aloud why he was surrendered to SPCA
in the first place. Maybe the cat had behavioral issues all along? I wondered if he might have been abused? To me cats are like kids, and that age-old poem 'Children Learn What They Live.' "If children live with hostility, they learn to fight."

People get 'real wise' to not telling the SPCA that a cat is a biter or aggressive because that is usually an death sentence, and they'd rather ease their conscience by just giving the cat up. (I was told by a local SPCA that if a cat bites it will not be out-placed because then the SPCA could be held liable. Cat is most likely just euthanized.) Makes me sick to my stomach, but it's the cold hard fact. Which is why all cats should be spayed or neutered to stop the unnecessary breeding! Lest we have to waste the ones that no one would adopt.



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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #12
21. I agree
about getting two boys; in general, male cats are more affectionate than female cats (there are exceptions to that rule, of course). Also, I've always found that two were "easier' than one.

I also agree about oriental breeds; I suggested against Asian and Middle Eastern breeds in an earlier post because of their high level of intelligence and energy-plus, they can be rather "opinionated". another breed to avoid (that often ends up at the SPCA) is the Bengal. They're beautiful cats, but some of them can be unusually aggressive. The Asian Leopard cat-like many smaller wild cats-is more aggressive than many of the larger species (like lions) and some Bengals are actually 3/4 leopard cat!
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legally blonde Donating Member (747 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
31. I agree with you, demnan
You should definitely get two male kitties from the same litter. They will play and keep each other company during the day and then mellow out with you at night.
My first kitty Manilla was a total handful (very playful and sometimes too rough) before I got my second kitty Morty. Both are extremely happy and Manilla has mellowed out considerably.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. All of the forest cats are VERY gentle
Edited on Fri Mar-18-05 04:13 PM by Lorien
Maine Coons, Norwegian and Siberian forest cats are easygoing and naturally gentle. Persians and Russian blues also tend to be pretty laid back (Persians don't have enough personality for me, personally, but other people enjoy their extremely "catlike' nature). Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are exceptionally tolerant cats. I would avoid Middle Eastern and Asian breeds if aggression is a concern; they tend to be highly intelligent and full of personality, but they also have a higher energy level and demand more from their owners. Frustrated cats can sometimes play too rough (I won't let my Turkish Angora play with children, but any kid can play with my Maine Coon. All of the cat scratches I've gotten in the past two years came from Puck)!

If they want to be certain of a breed and their temperaments, have them check out purebred rescue sites and breeder sites. Often breeders will offer older cats for $75-$125 (by older, I mean over 1 year).

"gimme them fingers"!


"I'm a lover, not a fighter"


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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 12:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. Lorien, I think your cats may be among the luckiest anywhere
They certainly hit the feline lotto jackpot when they found their way to your house. :thumbsup:
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
3. Himalayan
I got one as an adult from the Humane Association. He was four years old, neglected and a little depressed.

Adopting an adult cat is harder than adopting a kitten. They've already gotten used to one primate, and it takes a great deal of effort for them to adapt to another.

It took about 3 months, but I could almost see the switch trip. He's become the most loving old teddy bear of a cat I've ever known. I had a great deal of patience with him, because I'd rehabbed feral cats in the past to the point of being adoptable.

The breed is not terribly vocal (he was around for weeks before I ever heard his meow) or hyper. Their temperament is the Persian temperament, very mellow, go with the flow, good hearted slob cats.

They are high maintenance, as their coats need daily brushing in spring and summer, and at least every other day brushing in cold weather. They can develop mats in seconds.

Kittens can be socialized a lot easier, but are often harder on drapes and upholstered furniture. Adult cats have generally been taught a few manners, and recognize "NO!" and "GET DOWN!"

I hope this has been helpful.

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Mallifica Donating Member (203 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-18-05 09:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. I was going to suggest
grey, russian blue-types, until mine just bit the shit out of me. oh well -

I think mixes can be okay too though, but I do think a kitten may be a better idea.
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Maine Coons
Edited on Sat Mar-19-05 06:20 PM by Coastie for Truth
They are big, friendly, furry cats. My cat is a Maine Coon "mix" - we got her from Maine Coon Rescue.

<>

Don't be turned off by the judgemental glare -- she's a baby doll.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. She's a beauty
yeah, MC's can look pretty fierce (here's my guy's Catster link: http://www.catster.com/?100240 ) but they are one of the most gentle cat breeds around. Generally I think it's safe to say that if the cat is HUGE and hairy, it'll probably be a real lamb (Ragdolls, Ragamuffins, Siberians and Norwegian forest cats are big babies too).
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Only problem - as lovable as they are - NOT DAINTY
when they jump up into the bed while you are sleeping -- you know it.

And when they "daintily" go behind knick-knacks on the shelf - they are not dainty.

But Maine Coons get along with everybody (even our beagle)
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Well, true; having one jump on you
tends to leave a mark. However, my little Turkish Angora Puck is the feline wrecking ball in my family. Gravity fascinates her. :-(
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. heh-heh, Sebastian is huge and short-hairy
and he is a lamb. He is the most sweet, docile cat I have ever met...the Daemon has a bit more fiestiness in him. But then, he is also 9 yrs. younger than Mr. S. I got both of them as kittens, and both are incredibly sweet, so I guess they picked up on my energy. :)
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. The Deamon looks like he's up to something
he's got a secret and he's not telling anyone! ;-)
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
8. my "mutt" cats are all exceptionally gentle, and very adapted
to humans...but they were born in this house and we acclimated them from the get go.

I would recommend acquiring a pair of kittens (littermates) from a home in which they were handled by humans from birth, where the adult cats are sweet and docile. Kittens have a ton of energy for about a year then they settle down quite a bit, so if they are willing to put up with the circus while the kittens grow out of their teens, then breed will not make much of a difference.

My sweetest gentlest cat ever was a calico we rescued as a baby. I also had a huge black tabby who adopted me when he was about 8 weeks old, maybe..he was a real sweetie too.


Siamese are temperamental and very smart, but a Siamese mix of some kind could do very nicely. My mixed Siamese is a very laid back and well mannered gentleman.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 10:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
17. ditto in this household too, my cats are plain old tabbies
The older one is a dark brown tabby cat who we got at about 2 months old (from a pet store, it was our first cat and we were pretty dumb about pet store ethics in 1991). But I think he was a local kitten that they took in, there were about 3-4 of them available, and he was the friendliest of the litter, most curious. He is a total love bug to this day, almost 14 yrs. later.

My youngest was an SPCA special, a flea-bitten, scrawny little orange tabby, who locked eyes with me in June 2000 as I entered the cattery on my journey to 'second cat land.' He took one look at me, let out a plaintive meow and I was smitten. We brought him home, bathed him in Ivory to rid the fleas, and the rest is history. He has been an absolute gem for 5 yrs. I adore both of my mutts too!
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Princess Turandot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-19-05 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. Russian Blues are exceptional cats..
they are very 'mature' cats who love to greet & socialize with new humans. They never raise a claw or try to nip me even when I am doing something which they do not like, such as clipping their claws.
(My black & brown boys have been known to try to chomp my chin when I'm clipping their claws.) They are not at all destructive. They also have a reputation for being hypo-allergenic. I don't know the technical reason for that, but I have a friend who is very allergic to cats who had absolutely no reaction to them.

They are pretty cute too!

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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. Awww, they are SO gorgeous. I know he had talked
awhile back about getting a Russian Blue, I will pass this along to him. He really wanted a cat for so long, I feel badly that things worked out the way they did for him. Good thing is though, my friend is willing to try again, and I think with some time his partner will be too, evidently he bore the brunt of the aggressive behavior, cat bit him more than K.!
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legally blonde Donating Member (747 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-20-05 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
19. I think that my new kitty
Edited on Sun Mar-20-05 02:40 PM by legally blonde
is a ragdoll (or at least part ragdoll--he was a stray so I'm not sure) and he's extremely gentle and affectionate.

http://www.iuploads.com >
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-05 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. Aw, what a cutie, he looks very sweet.
I told my friend not to give up, this may have just been a fluke incident. There are many lonely cats out there who would be grateful to share a home with two guys who would spoil him/her rotten! And return love ten-fold to them....
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Exactly
They should go to a reputable shelter and try to adopt - or a fostering agency. When someone fosters a cat they can tell you if the cat has certain personality traits.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
37. Let the cat chose you
sometimes a cat that is outgoing with some people is reserved with others, and vice versa. My late kitty Peewee was terrified of most everyone but totally devoted to me. ET awful was told that his female kitty wasn't very friendly by the shelter, but she turned out to be a love bug. Trust your instincts; I never intended to buy Oberon, I intended to adopt-but Obie "just felt" like the right match for Miro-and he is! Our gut instinct is often the right one.
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Kashka-Kat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
23. some shelters/ rescue groups are more forthcoming than others with
info about the cat & its personality so that may be an alternative for you-- shop around. It sounds like that aspca may have not interacted w/ the cat hardly at all if they didn't know it was a biter.

Some cats are sensitive and bite when they get overstimulated by being petted too long--dealing w/ that is simple, just learn to recognize the cat's body language and put him down before he bites. But to just attack and bite from out of the blue (if that's what was happening?) sounds a little extreme, so I don't know if I'd chalk it up to being any particular breed. The cat may have been abused, poor thing.

If you get a breed, any breed, make sure that the kittens have been handled and are already well socialized, I've heard if they don't get imprinted on humans at a very young age they'll always be a little skittish.

Also, declawed cats can become biters bc their first line of defense is gone-- hence they'll be prone to biting under stress.

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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-05 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
24. Siamese and siamese mixes are usually great pets
but any ordinary mutt kitty can be a wonderful friend. Siamese are usually very outgoing and communicative.

But I wouldn't trade my very friendly, lovely mutt kitty for anything. She never bites or scratches, she meets me at the door, and she always tries to prevent me from leaving
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-05 05:38 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. It's funny
I would say that too about my Siamese. He's extremely gentle. However I've also heard reports of ones who aren't. Some say Abbysinians are gentle, but mine isn't. It might have to do with the individual animal after all.

The gentlest cat I ever had was a grey tabby. I could bath him unassisted and without protective gloves. That right there says it all.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-05 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Both Abys and Siamese fall into a similar category
the oriental and middle eastern breeds share many common traits, like high intelligence and energy, engaging personalities and sociable natures. The problem is that the very qualities that make them wonderful pets for those who like a cat with a lot of "presence" can make them a handful-especially if matched with the wrong owners. They can be opinionated, determined, and easily bored ( smart bored pets can be a handful; ask any border collie owner)! If they get too frustrated, they can get a bit aggressive. Cat breeds, like dog breeds, have fairly predictable natures, but as we all know-there are always the exceptions! One of the most aggressive dogs I've ever known is a female lab, the most obedient and well mannered dog I've encountered is a wolfdog (half malamute, half timber wolf), and the most gentle dog I'm acquainted with currently is a pit bull mix!
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-05 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. I have had 2 siamese mixes in my life
one was my cat I had growing up, half tabby, half siamese. A truly wonderful cat. He was my little buddy. I could never have asked for a better pet.
My mom's cat is a lynx point siamese. I think she has some maine coon in her. She is testy and snooty at times, but she is very bright for a cat. She reminds one of a troublesome toddler, and constantly wants to be picked up and carried around over the shoulder, like a baby. She communicates constantly, is the most curious animal I have ever met and is so funny that she is constant topic of conversation in my family because of her odd behavior. She is an absolute delight.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-05 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #27
35. That sounds exactly like my Pad Thai
Edited on Mon Apr-04-05 11:50 AM by demnan
A troublesome toddler and absolute delight, also a shoulder rider.

Paddy is a lilac point Siamese.
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MidwestMomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-30-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
28. I don't think you can beat a big ole tom tabby for lovableness
My sweetest cat ever was Walter, a great big ole gray striped tabby with white markings. A very distinguished gentlecat. You couldn't make that cat mad if you tried.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-01-05 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. Sounds like my big old fat cat Sebastian
he's your run of the mill DSH, a brown tabby, with the sweetest face -- he too, wouldn't hurt a flea. The only time he ever lashed out was after a 9 hr. overseas flight back to the US. (Heck you would bite too if you were cooped up in a cat carrier for that length of time!)

I totally agree and have whole-heartedly encouraged my friend to think stripes. :)
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Maru Kitteh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-31-05 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
29. I think ALL "purebreed" animals are status and vanity accessories
Edited on Thu Mar-31-05 11:59 AM by Veganistan
I would suggest a regular common cat/kitten. They are more likely to enjoy a better tempered and healthy animal companion if they do not insist on brand name approval.

Edited to add: I do not think that all people who care for brand name animals are seeking status or expressing vanity by their choice. I DO think that the existence of brand name animals, stamped with the approval of useless organizations serves primarily the need for peer approval and the egos of humans.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-05 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #29
36. Oh, rubbish
Edited on Mon Apr-04-05 02:14 PM by Lorien
most purebred cats evolved without human meddling. The two purebred cats I own are throughly natural breeds that existed for hundreds- and in one case thousands- of years without humans deciding that they would try to keep them as they are as opposed to allowing them to breed with foreign imports and lose their individuality and special traits. A Siamese IS NOT just like a Ragdoll, just as a toy poodle IS NOT just like a Lab (despite the fact that most dog breeds evolved from human involvement in their creation). That's like saying that blue jay is a "brand name" bird while the humble grackle is "natural" because a blue jay is more identifiable.

I don't give a fuck for status. I shop at thrift stores and drive a 12 year old car, and I 'm the queen of the "unbrand" products, especially since I helped to form the economic activism and progressive living group on this board. I've had seven rescue kitties and two purebreds. I got the purebreds after spending over $7,000 on one of my rescues who had a genetic disease. I lost that kitty, and my remaining cat and I were both lonely. I found purebreds with bloodlines I could see were screened against the worst genetic illnesses. I can not afford to care for another cat with HCM at this time, and if I could not have been assured that my new companions would be HCM free, I would have stayed with the one, very lonely cat. If I can get solidly back in the black someday, I'll adopt more pound cats-but I can't say "no" when an animal is sick, and I can't afford bankruptcy. If I lose this home, so do my pets. Purebreds were an economic decision as much as one of desiring a cat with specific personality traits.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-05 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #29
41. Well sometimes they just need homes, like other cats
I think breeding programs can get out of hand, and I've had many a wonderful regular cat in my lifetime, but I love my Orientals for their personality.
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LDS Jock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-05 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
33. Ragdolls
Very mellow, laid back cats. Also sweet and friendly. I think one would be just what you are looking for.
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Gelliebeans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #33
43. I would second that
I have had three ragdolls and all have been docile and sweet.
They are known as Gentle Giants.
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SW FL Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-02-05 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
34. I am not a cat expert,
My DSH (mix breed) used to be called the demon cat by my MIL because she wasn't friendly with strangers. Now that Jamie is older (she turned 17 last month) she is a total love sponge. She was never aggressive towards the family (including my infant son who arrived when she was 3, she just didn't like strangers. With dogs, it has been my experience that mixed breeds tend to be mellower and healthier than pure-breds. Just my 2 cents.
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-05 04:23 PM
Response to Original message
38. Of all our cats
My yellow male tabby is the friendliest, he's always in my lap or arms and purrs louder than a motor boat. I've had him for nine years and he's never put a scratch on me.
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catmandu57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
39. This is Munch
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-05 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Munch is one cute guy
I had an orange boy too. He lived to be 17 and was a wonderful cat. However he did have a genetic problem that necessitated an expensive operation when he was young. It was worth every penny.
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-05 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #39
42. Aww, another cute orange guy..
I have one too, he is almost 5, and he is a spicey boy. :)
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