How much damage are kittens capable of? (And other stuff!)

(27 Posts)
Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 10:20:54

My dh an I are considering getting a kitten. I had a cat as a young child and dh has never had one so we are complete novices. Untill recently we thought we didn't like cats but have been adopted by a local cat (think 6 dinner sid!) so have one part time and have realised we actually quite enjoy their company confused

Dh is concerned about the kitten damaging the house.. Primarily the leather sofa and curtains hmm is this likely?

We both work and at both out of the house at least part of every day. I do 25hrs and he does 40. Kids are 8 and 4 and sensible. What do cats do when their owners are at work?

What do you need for a kitten? Do people who have cats always have litter trays or is that just when they are kittens? It wouldn't be a house cat. How many meals a day do cats need? Our imposter seems to eat non stop!

Lots of questions!

stubbornstains Mon 30-Sep-13 10:25:46

When you're out of the house, cats generally do the cat equivalent of hanging around the swings drinking cider grin. Although obviously when they're tiny kittens, they do need more care and attention.

A kitten may well try and sharpen its claws on your leather sofa. As I recall, they also far far prefer your duvet to a litter tray- well, it's softer, isn't it ? grin

They are very cute, but if you're looking for hassle-free cat owning, perhaps consider adopting a nearly grown up kitten/ adult cat?

Kittens can certainly do quite a lot of damage and are a bit of a handful. Why not adopt an adult cat? They're much easier.

If you're out a lot then it might be an ideal to adopt a bonded pair of adult cats. However one would be fine and would probably sleep most of the time when you're not there.

You have to be prepared to have a litter tray all the time, even when you have a cat flap, as cats often don't like to go out when it's raining or when the ground is frozen etc etc. If you adopt an adult cat you will have to keep it in for the first three weeks so that it gets used to where it lives. This means you will have to be very, very careful with windows and doors. You will not be able to leave any windows open.

If you adopt kittens you should keep them in until they are at least five months old and neutered.

Whatever you do please don't buy kittens. If you do decide you want kittens rather than an adult cat then please adopt them from a rescue. If you buy kittens you are encouraging people to keep letting their cats breed when there are already far more cats and kittens than there are homes available.

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 10:50:15

I hadn't really thought about an adult cat/s or rehoming kittens from a rescue. Our part time pet is so affectionate and interesting that I'd quite like a cat with a similar personality.. I suppose if we rehomed one we could specify what sort of cat we wanted? Is that how it works? Or do you get paired up with whatever they have.

:D at swigs of cider!

Yes exactly. With an adult cat you know exactly the personality you're getting. With a kitten you don't as their personalities haven't really come out. The rescue will suggest cats that would be a good match for your household (friendly, tolerant with children etc).

You can find rescues in your area using this site: www.chatcat.org

There are thousands of kittens in rescue centres also at the moment. So if you do have your heart set on kittens you can still get them from there.

So you're planning to get a cat flap? Do you have a safe garden without easy access to the road?

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 11:08:53

Massive safe garden and live on a quiet estate. Lots and lots of neighbouring cats.

I don't think we would be able to have a cat flap, we've got fairly new double glazed French doors to the back and standard uvpc front door.

You can have a flap in double glazed French doors (see the photo on my profile), but it will cost the same as getting a new pane of glazing. If you have a wall next to the french door then the flap could go in the wall.

If you don't have a flap then you absolutely have to have a litter tray all the time. It isn't an option.

SilverApples Mon 30-Sep-13 11:18:01

I'd go for a young adult, they have established personalities,, are litter-trained, neutered and when they get into trouble in your house they are better at solving the problem themselves rather than wailing until rescued.

I would really recommend getting an adult rescue cat. We adopted our three year old cat this year and it has been such a great experience.

The shelter know the cats so they can point you in the right direction for one that is right for you. With the adult cats you can see what they are like when you wander round and look at them. Our cat was purring and saying hello as soon as we saw her, we wanted a friendly cat so we saw this as a good sign! The RSPCA discussed what we wanted from a cat and agreed that she was a good fit for us.

She is currently curled up next to me purring and is as friendly as ever.

She likes to play but she spends most of her day sleeping and sitting with us. She has scratched the carpet but no furniture. She came litter trained, vaccinated and neutered which had made our life easier.

We feed her twice a day, she is pretty cheap to keep tbh.

I am not a big fan of kittens, they pounce on everything, their claws are like little needles, and they get everywhere. The RSPCA we went to had a separate kitten section and that was so busy with people wanting kittens, when we went over to the adult section there was hardly anyone looking at them so it felt nice to be able to give one of them a good home.

Oh and I forgot to say, if you really want kittens despite all we've said then you really can't have just one. They get very, very upset if left alone and so if you can't be with them 24 hours a day then they need to have a litter mate with them.

Our rescue doesn't rehome kittens singly for that reason.

Adult cats are much, much easier! And they're counted as adult from five months onwards, so you can still have a young one if you really want.

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 11:27:44

Well Seniorboy came to me at 13 and has been a joy ever since. I appreciate that that may be older than you would like but there are plenty of cats out there looking for love.

smile

SilverApples Mon 30-Sep-13 11:29:30

Kittens and curtains are a bad combination, they climb them and get stuck and they shred the fabric as high as they can reach. Likewise with getting stuck in and under and having no common sense.
We took several weeks to choose our cat from the CPL and he is perfect in every way. Best money I ever spent.

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 11:45:29

Certainly lots to think about wrt an older cat then! It would probably be more sensible for us to wait until the winter proper as then having the doors closed isn't a pain and I guess if we wanted to rehome out of kitten season we would have to have an older cat anyway. I will speak to DH later and see what he thinks smile

GemmaTeller Mon 30-Sep-13 11:53:40

My thermal dining room curtains are laced with pin prick holes where boy cat regularly climbed up them to sit on the pelmet.

I wouldn't swap him for anything but he has: knocked vases of flowers over for want of chewing the flowers/leaves, brings birds and mice in, torments our (big) dogs, spends hours over on the field.

On the good side he wears himself out during the day so when he comes in for his 'cat curfew' we never hear a peep out of him from about 7pm to 7am.

umiaisha Mon 30-Sep-13 12:05:28

I am a total newcomer to cat ownership - we have only had our kitten for a week!

I am a SAHM, but do go out and about quite a bit during the day. So far we have not had one 'toilet' accident, everything has been in the litter and she has not wrecked anything or howled at night which we were told to expect! Perhaps its beginners luck!

I intend to get a cat flap (one that you can programme to her microchip) and this will have to be fitted to a glazed UPVC door too.

Good luck!

issey6cats Mon 30-Sep-13 12:44:24

i second what everyone else said think about a young adult cat as kittens do tend to behave like teenagers lol at most rescues the kittens go first and the mom cats tend to be under 1-2 years so still young and you know thier personalities

itsnothingoriginal Mon 30-Sep-13 12:48:38

We adopted a rescue kitten from our local Cats Protection who is now 5 months old. We were 'allowed' to adopt a single kitten as there is usually someone at home every day and we literally can't afford to run two cats!

She has always been perfect with her litter tray - never any accidents and she came to us at 9 weeks from a foster home already trained.

She does use the curtains as a way up to the windowsill shock so yes, be prepared for some rips and holes. Fortunately we have cheap ones I plan to replace when we can so is not terrible. I have lost a lovely pot off my windowsill which she knocked off onto the floor sad but otherwise she's never attacked the sofa or anything else furniture wise.

I love the fact that she's 'growing up' with our family but yes, kittens are harder work and you do have to keep them in for a good few months until neutering.

Sounds like you would have one happy cat with a large garden and safe area to play in smile

TheWinterOne Mon 30-Sep-13 13:06:29

I've had curtain swingers and claws in my sofa. But both have calmed down a lot since neutering. Girl was only done 2 weeks ago and to be honest boy was more of the one to claw the sofa. I still catch him now and again despite having a huge scratching post.

Wouldn't change either of them for the world though, they're very much part of this family. smile

MissDD1971 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:46:18

They can run up curtains.

mine and my mum's kittens (from 2 different litters, lived in different houses) used to run and claw up the backs of our legs for food at dinner time.

YOW

MissDD1971 Mon 30-Sep-13 16:47:24

they need toys. nothing too complex.

and consider getting them a friend - eg too.

also, a lot of cats hunt. such fun.

GemmaTeller Mon 30-Sep-13 19:03:06

...and lets not forget the month or two when the toilet roll hanging in the bathroom got shredded on a daily basis - in the end we used to leave a shredded one out for boy cat to play with and hide the others.

Luckily he's grown out of that habit.

timtam23 Mon 30-Sep-13 21:09:44

We took in a very young stray kitten, about 7 weeks old, a few weeks ago (already had 2 old cats aged 17 & 18, also taken in as stray kittens) and goodness I had forgotten what kittens can get up to! My one runs very fast at me then jumps up my legs as if I were a palm tree or something, and climbs all the way up to my waist or shoulder - and his claws are SHARP! I've got pinprick scratches all up my legs. I can't do any knitting or sewing as he launches himself at it & chews through the thread smile He also claws the sofa & ignores his scratching post. We don't have curtains (wooden Venetian blinds instead!) or wallpaper (walls are painted) as I knew from previous experience what kitens could do to them! On the bright side he is completely part of the family already, a beautiful affectionate little thing and he has used his litter tray perfectly from day 1. He has been ok as a "single" kitten as DH is at home every day so he has plenty of company. We wouldn't be without him but given the choice I would adopt an older cat from a rescue as I would hope to get a calmer one!

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 21:26:27

Right dh is up for getting a rescue!

I spotted This little lady earlier on. I might give them a call tomorrow grin

That link doesn't take you to a cat sad But yay to rescue!!!

Methe Mon 30-Sep-13 21:30:42

Oh well that's annoying!

Yay indeed grin

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