Cat for DD. Please share pros/cons and annual cost!(12 Posts)
DH wants to get a cat. DD (18 months) loves animals. I'm not so sure. Those of you who have a cat or had one in the past please tell me the pros and cons and give me an approximate idea of cost?
Is a cat likely to scratch/attack my toddler?
We have a cat dc1 is 2 dc2 is 11 weeks old. Cat hasn't scratched either, friendly and tolerant. If he gets bored of toddler he walks off. No problem with ours.
If you get a rescue cat from a respectable shelter they'll make sure to pair with you with an ultra-gentle animal.
Go for it.
Some do, most don't attack.
Cost is minimal really, but you are tied down to being at home every day.
stepping on random organs early in the morning
Please rehome, don't get from a breeder.
Make sure it's neutered and you have enough money for insurance and annual vaccinations, 6 weekly flea and worming treatment, good quality food and to install a cat flap or provide a litter tray.
Also consider what would happen to the cat if you were all away, many get stressed in cattery environments, but pet sitters are a good alternative, both are costly though.
Have you had a cat before? Maybe you'd benefit from doing a bit of research in to behaviour and basic kitty first aid.
They're great companions and loads of fun, but please be sure you can commit for the next 15 years, if you're offering a home it should be for life.
When DS was 18m I had to rehome my cat simply because I couldn't cope with caring for 2dc under 2 and a cat... And at that age DS was terrible at not pulling the cats tail etc, and it was tough to stop DS on time with a baby to look after as well.. The cat ended up being stressed and I think he was happy to leave when I found him a new owner without kids. The cons outweighed the pros at that point in my life- shedding, needing to groom, cleaning litter box, inappropriate toileting/ vomittig on carpets (especially stressful as it was a rental place), and trying to keep ds and the cat separate. I would love to have a pet again but personally I know I can't cope while I also have young dc. Oh and the cost can be very high! I think I was playing close to £50/m on insurance, annual vet fee, food, litter, toys. Def not cheap!
I have two cats and an 18 month old - no probs here. I do always supervise them together, as one cat is semi-feral, but the toddler has been taught not to go too close to that one, and just blows kisses at her from afar.
The other is very gentle with the toddler, as the majority of properly socialised pet cats would be, so we have taught toddler she can stroke this cat gently - if it gets fed up it just buggers off!
Dd absolutely adores cats - she talks about them all the time, and I think the most exciting event in her short life was when we accidentally shut one of them in her room, and she woke up and there was a cat in there! What joy!
As pets go cats are pretty low maintenance - we give ours permanent access to the garden via a cat flap, so no need for litter trays. Ours are short hair and we dont brush them either. Just feed twice a day, top up the water, take to the vets when they get ill or injured (rare), and let them sit on our laps when they want to. Kittens would be harder work, I reckon, so we have always had adult cats. Expense wise pet insurance is one (i pat about ten pounds a month per cat). Food can be cheap or expensive depending on your brand preferences, and people feel differently about this. We just get neighbours to visit and feed our cats daily when we go away, so that is free!
I wouldn't get a pet with a child that young. Wait till sheis older and you can more easily reinforce how to treat animals properly. Otherwise all your time will be spent keeping them separate.
Ds was very rough with our 2 cats when he was the same age. Fortunately ours are great - one is a long hair and the must loving, docile and tolerant cat I have ever come across and the other will get up and walk off if she isn't in the mood. Neither have scratched though one has threatened to. It probably helped that we have had our cats since before DS and we got them both from a rescue home as kittens. We were therefore responsible for training, socialising and moulding them. Toddlers and cats can be hard work but also great to teach your LO how to be gentle. In terms of cost, we have found that the biggest cost that we sort of didn't take into account initially is the cost of putting them in a cattery when we go away somewhere.
My advice, as crazy as it seems, would be to get a kitten rather than an older cat. We have actually also found advantages in having two. And please just always ensure your DD is supervised and not left on her own in the same room as the cat. More for the cat's sake than anything.
Unlikely any shelter will let you have a cat with a child that young in house (sorry). You'll find you have to go to a breeder instead. I'm not even sure you'll find a dog a shelter will let you have.
I don't think toddlers & cats do mix well; I'd think to get a dog instead.
I'm with JumpingJS on this one. Wait a bit until your DD can understand better. We've been very lucky with our cat and DD (2), but we already had the cat. Sooner or later DD will be scratched as she sometimes grabs it. I think the cat copes because she feels secure here, whereas a new cat would probably react more assertively.
I do worry about what will happen when DD "meets" the cat's prey though - sometimes rodents, sometimes birds; dead, live or part devoured. To date we've always been there first to clear up.
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