Want a cat but work full time

(33 Posts)
polexiaaphrodesia Thu 31-Jan-13 17:34:09

I have always grown up with cats and now DP and I have finally got our own home we are keen to rescue an adult cat.

However... we both work full time and there is no possibility of putting in a cat flap (back door is french window). I would prefer not to have an indoor cat but want to ask your opinion on having a cat shelter/ cat cabin in the back garden with food, bed, water etc. Has anyone got one of these and does their cat actually use it? We would keep the cat inside with a litter tray on very cold or very wet days. Are Cats Protection or Rspca likely to turn us down aa potential cat-adopters without a cat flap to the house?

lozster Sun 10-Feb-13 20:56:14

I have a cat who i adopted after she had been living rough for months in our street. we toyed for ages with the idea of getting a cat flap as we were both out the house for up to 12 hours. However i read a couple of cat behaviour books (vicky hall I think) that said that cat flaps can make some cats anxious in the house as they feel a need to guard them and never feel safe from predators. Our cat was a nervous girl anyway so i bought a Katkabin in time for winter and trained her to use it starting her off with it inside baited with treats. She goes in there or under a bush until I come home and is perfectly happy.

Interestingly vicky hall also recommends not getting more than one cat as she says they are solitary animals. Our girl blanks other people apart from us so I don't think she hankers after another puss to hang out with to cramp her mousing style.

I still think you're better off with a cat flap than with a cat shelter. And if you were to have a problem with other cats coming in then you could always get one of those that reads the microchip and only lets your cat in.

And as for cats being solitary animals - I don't know how the author of the book mentioned above can say that. Feral cats live in colonies. They're not solitary. In my multi-cat household many cats have paired up and, even though they came to the house at different times, they follow each other around and groom each other and sleep together. And I took in a mother cat and two small kittens, who have now grown up but the whole family is inseperable, and if the brother cat decides to go out for a while his sister scours each room in the house crying until he comes home. It's true the some cats seem to prefer to be alone, and others aren't bothered one way or the other, but to say most cats prefer to be alone doesn't seem right at all.

WhatKindofFool Sun 10-Feb-13 23:39:55

Cat flap in the front door maybe? Are both doors glass?

MortifiedAdams Sun 10-Feb-13 23:43:34

My MIL has a cat flap in her wall - she removed the bricks through like a tunnel, just above the skirtinf board and put a catflap.on the outer wall.

It doesnt look the prettiest but is tucked away behind a couch. When her elderly cat started getting incontinent,she added a large dog cage onto the indoor hole of the flap so the cat could be indoor.or.out but when indoora was contained so as not to.pee everywhere
The cage had blankets and food and water in so everything they needed.

HarrietSchulenberg Mon 11-Feb-13 00:04:15

On my work days I'm out from 9am-7.30pm and my cat is fine. He gets used to going out first thing in the morning then again when I come home. He's not an indoor cat, far from it, but he's a lazy bugger and is very happy to snooze the day away on a bed in the sun. Or in the front window so he can nosey at the world.
I used to leave a litter tray out for him when I first had him (8 years ago) but he never used it. He's been fine all these years but he's started pooing indoors now and again as he just doesn't want to go out in the morning any more (getting old). But he's very considerate and does it next to the toilet so I'm not going to get cross at him.
Cats Protection weren't bothered about a cat flap for us, they were more concerned that he had somewhere safe to go away from the dcs.

lozster Mon 11-Feb-13 16:24:06

That's a really interesting point about feral colonies cat neuter. It adds a new perspective. I did a bit of research and found this link
http://www.pets.ca/cats/articles/cat-social-behavior/

I don't think it's black and white but certain cats have certain personalities and early experiences that don't equip them for communal living. The suggestion seems up be that on colonies mature males leave the group to establish new territories and that newcomers who are not related are not tolerated well. Life in the group may also be quite stressful for some members. I think that maybe the point vicky hall was making is that two cats isn't necessarily a recipe for harmony and that a cats need for company is lower than a dogs say.

Here's a link too on the cat flap issue from Vicky Hall
http://www.vickyhalls.net/feline-faqs/4566063347
You need to page down to find the relevant question 'should I install a cat flap'. She describes them as a mixed blessing. Even a microchip operated one could be problematic if your cat doesn't grasp that the hole in his territory is exclusively for him.

VeryDullNameChange Mon 11-Feb-13 16:35:22

I agree with cat neuterer that I see a lot of cats advertised in pairs from our local rescue. Getting two random adult cats and asking them to share a home is routine, but many will bond as kittens very well, and if their owner then has to get them rehomed then they'll need a home together.

milktraylady Mon 11-Feb-13 17:52:22

Ok this is a bit odd- my colleagues friend has just adopted a born in captivity hedgehog as a pet, as she is out all day!
Mega cute!

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