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Hi there. DH and I have been pushing around the idea of a pet for a year or so now. We have 3 DCs between 9 and 4yo, and the house is empty 3 days a week from 8am till 5.30pm. We own our house, have a garden (which is not in the least secure) and a cat flap (from previous owners).
Now, I had dogs when growing up and DH had no pets. We cannot have a dog at the moment, and DH has suggested a cat. I like cats, especially big furry orange ones, but I have no idea about keeping one. I thought you people onhere might be able to answer some dumbass questions I have.
1. Can you have a cat and a burglar alarm? All the downstairs rooms in our house are covered by sensors except the utility room. Keeping the cat in the utility room when we're out would mean it did not have access to outdoors (back door is in kitchen). Keeping the alarm off is not an option - I have been burgled before and don't want that again. 2. I'd like to keep the cats off the kitchen work surfaces, and have just been reading the recent thread on it. Is it really possible? 3. Our house is very messy - not dirty, but messy, always stuff lying around. My friends who have cats all seem to have very tidy houses - is this just coincidence or is cat+messy house a bad equation? 4. How likely is it that the cat will want to sleep on someone's bed (I'm guessing the answer to this is 100%)? And does this lead to the need for lots of extra laundry when bedding gets muddied?
Thanks for your help. If we did decide to go ahead, BTW, I'd probably rehome an adult cat from a rescue, as I think we're out too much for a kitten.
My cats don't go on beds - keep the bedroom doors shut! If they ever do sneak in they don't stay long - I suppose they aren't that familiar with those rooms. They also have never jumped up on work surfaces in the kitchen. I'm not sure about the messy cat/ house dilemma. Our house isn't particularly tidy but I've found since having a cat we keep it a bit tidier as the Hoover gets pushed around more often.
My cat is an indoor cat (she occasionally will go outside if I go with her!) so a bit different situation. But
Worktops - she knows she's not meant to go on the food ones or the dining table and rarely does, I was lucky that she learned that quite quickly and if I catch her on them (rarely) I just have to say get down in a shocked tone and she jumps off. Having nothing interesting for them (ie food) but full access to other high places seems to help. Or a pet shop told me to try citronella oil diluted down to spray in places - it did deter mine from scratching the side of the bed.
My house isn't spotlessly tidy by any means and it doesn't seem to bother the cat, she likes things to hide behind, look in etc. she sometimes seems a bit stressed if I'm cleaning and moved things around, she likes to come & check everything!
Beds - mine likes to sleep on mine sometimes overnight, occasionally during the day. She has her own bed and a few other spots she uses though too. You just might need to Hoover a bit more especially when they're moulting but even when she's been outside I haven't noticed muddy feet but I suppose it could happen. Cats are clean though, I can't think of any friends mentioning their cats bringing in mud or anything. You could always put a fleece blanket or something on bed/couch to encourage them to use that.
oddly enough my cat has never tried to jump onto the kitchen worktops and i know she physically could, lazy me' thinks our cat has the run of the house (couldn't bring myself to restrict her access) and sleeps on (usually) my bed. she is a very clean can and has never made it look dirty although she was sick on it (a little) once, bless, so i clean the duvet, no problem. if you have a few (empty) cardboard boxes lying around then your home would be like a funfair for them (as long as they are big enough for the cat to get in). weird, my cat LOVES getting into bags/boxes, seems to hold deep mystery for her...
Your cat may set off the alarm. Ours do... If we forget to chuck them out of the living room. Our house is zoned so the alarm is on but cats have the run of the kitchen, hall,landing, stairs.
Cats like beds! Shut the doors.
Cats like to climb! (Think tigers and panthers). You may end up with a lazy arse for whom climb means the nearest chair, like our old dead Griffin.
However, you may end up with a cat like Wicky who loves nothing better than going floor-chair-bookcase-top edge of the living room door wobbling around with all four paws in a row!
The word 'no' and a loud handclap is v effective in kichens should the two of you meet. Behind your back, however, the cat will treat your kitchen as an olympic theme park. Dettol spray is your friend.