After about 2 months of dilly dallying about what pet to get after the sad death of our beloved hamster, we have decided to go feline! DD really wants a dog but DH and I are certain we don't want and can't cope with the demands of a dog. So a cat seems a good idea. I had three cats in my house as a child, well not all three at same time and not only as a child. All silver tabbies. First two were lovely, third was a nightmare, all boys.
A friend has a silver tabby cat he wants to re-home who is lovely and friendly. However, DD (8) really wants a kitten. A friend has some kittens and we may be offered one of them. I know DD really wants a kitten and I have explained about 10 time how they turn into cats! DD knows this but wants one from scratch! excuse the pun!
Any advice on which is better. The cat is spayed and chipped and free and the kitten cost, so I know DH would say cat! But DD wants to feel it is her pet from the start and as this will be the only one we get, I feel I need to let her make her choice. Another friend had a kitten which turned into a really horrible scratchy cat! At least with this cat we know he is already really nice and friendly. The trouble is those kittens look too darned cute!
I don't regret getting kittens, as they were AWESOMELY cute. But they were kittens for such a short time. I wouldn't get a kitten again - you have no idea what you're getting. I appreciate that you want to give your DD the choice, but in the longer term (and not that much longer) if your cute kitten turns out like one of my cats (fiercely independent, not cuddly) I don't think she'd thank you for giving her the final say.
I would get a kitten personally, your daughter is right in wanting it to feel like her pet from the beginning. And the type of cat it becomes really depends on how you raise it. My husband and I got a kitten last year and he is the cuddliest little guy ever (he's actually laying cuddled into my side right now)! They are like babies, when they are young they bond the most. I understand all are different and there's litter training etc but our guy was still blind when we got him (long story) and he only had 2 out of littler accidents, both pees. He's also ever so clean, I don't know where he gets it from having never known his mum but he is the most fussy cat about cleanliness. Now 17 weeks pregnant with our first and praying that the little one isn't allergic as it would break my heart having to give him up, I guess I bonded a lot getting him so young also .
There are the vet fees, the 2 injections needed as a tiny tot came to £60 and we had him castrated when I became pregnant because he's an indoor cat and he found some changes quite hard, that was £50. In a couple of months he will be due a booster but even if that's another £60, I don't think £170 is that bad over a year. If it was all at once I would be feeling pain but over a year is not a big deal .
There's various flea treatments which can be costly but we use frontline spot on and it's £15 for 3 treatments, which lasts 18 weeks so again not bad at all really.
Id definitely choose the cat as shes already lovely. Maybe your DD will fall in love with her if she gets to know her? Kittens grow up so fast and can be quite hectic when young. my parents adopted me an adult dog when I was 8 and she was the best friend ever, with no need for teaching anything like house training etc and also past her teenage stage!. Ill ditto chillisbopper estimate of cost but add wormer to it (essential but not expensive), although youll need to account for future vet visits as well as the preventative stuff too - bills can be expensive so insurance is often a good idea.
Kittens will need feeding more frequently. (Assuming you'd get a pair to keep each other company.) Be ready for possible accidents in the house and shredded furniture (one friend had a kitten who liked to climb your legs!)
Kittens are a huge pain in the arse. They are also not guaranteed to turn out lovely or cuddly. They also bite and scratch. If you know the older cat is friendly then I would take it and explain to DD how much it needs a loving home, how sad it would be to let it go into a shelter. I'm sure she would bond with it just as much.
We had two kittens, they were naughty little things climbing up curtains, which twice pulled the rail down in our room, emptying bins, taking underwear off the airer, our male used to pull our socks off and often got us with his sharp teeth (hehe) but they soon grow out of it. They were great company (and still are at 13) and we have great memories of that.
Now I know a lot more about cats, I may choose to re-home an older cat next time, I suppose because I like the thought of giving a cat another chance to have a good loving home for life. If you do this, it's worth going somewhere they can give you a brief history (that you believe) as to why they're being re-homed and if they've had any health issues in the past. Obviously you never know what kittens will come across healthwise in the future, but if you get an older cat you can do research on any potential problems and know how to deal with them.#
we got 2 girl kittens last summer & I am now their mum! (probably because I am the Source of Food) - if they hear my voice out of the blue they come running from wherever they are, meowing, it's really sweet
they have both been handled very gently most of the time (I do have 2 grown-up boys who like to hug them & squeeze them but they don't mind that too much...) of course you can never predict how they will turn out but fwiw they were feisty little madams in their youth. now one of them loves to play fetch & the other prefers football, but they both like laps (some of the time)
how about getting the cat and a kitten? then they'll be company for each other!