Adopting a cat- what do I need to do(15 Posts)
Ok, so next Saturday we are going to meet a cat at a rescue centre and hopefully adopt her and bring her home. I've had cats before but always from kittens. This is an adult cat- the shelter say she is a Maine Coon but tbh she looks more like a longhaired moggie to me. She isn't especially large and not as shaggy as the Maine Coons I've seen before (although she does appear to have the tufty toes and a very luxurious tai). They say she is a very friendly, cuddly cat.
What things do I need to do to make sure she settles in OK? I'll obviously buy bowls, brushes (apparently she loves being groomed) and a few toys before she gets here but I was just wondering about some other things. I'm planning on getting a bed and/or cat tree but was wondering if I should wait and see what sort of spaces she prefers to sleep in before I buy a particular style. Some of the cats I've had before have shown strong preferences for either enclosed cubbyhole type beds or open lounger-type beds and I don't want to waste money on a bed the cat then refuses to use (has happened before). Should I buy a cheap and cheerful bed just so she has something to start with though?
We also want to install a cat flap. Does anyone have a microchip reading one that only lets your cat through? We were thinking of getting one but don't know how reliable they are. Again I don't want to waste money on one that sounds like a good idea but then locks my poor cat out all the time.
My last question is about insurance. We are going to get insurance obviously but was wondering whether in addition to that we should also get a care plan thingy with the local vet. Are they actually value for money or is it better to just PAYG?
I've never ever had a cat use a 'bought' bed. If you want to really push the boat out, I'd try a large cardboard box with an old fleece-type thing inside it to soften it. That will probably be ignored as well though.
I think you're probably right about the bed. I might just take theropod off the cat carrier and stick a blanket in it.
I wouldn't waste money a special bed. An old cardboard box with any fleece/blanket she may have been sleeping on at the rescue centre will be best.
In my experience cats always end up in bed with us!
Our cats sleep on our bed, dd's bed, the sofa in the conservatory (which has blankets on to stop them covering it in fur), the floor, windowsills and laps. They all three of them ignore the bloody cat beds we bought them. Really, don't bother!
Cat litter tray is needed and some decent cat litter. The OKO one is good.
I can't advise on the cat flap as the last one we had was lockable (in/out/locked or two-way) but the bastard cat from down the road managed to break it by ramming into it when it was locked anyway. We don't have a cat flap at this house now. Cat's have got used to when they can go out or not and we keep them in at night.
You need to post pictures of your new cat as soon as it's home. We need to see the new fluffball!
PS - our cats have always used a varied collection of bowls. Before buying any - and don't fall for anything in the pet supermarket that has 'Cat' and lots of paw prints on it because there will be a heavy mark-up - I'd check round friends and family to see if they have anything going spare in cupboards. China individual and small cereal and fruit bowls are often something that people have knocking around.
(And in future, pop in to any local charity shops when you're passing. Their shelves often have loads of cheap cat goodies.)
Mine never use beds, they use the sofa, stairs/cardboard boxes!
I would get a tall scratching post, mine also have a litter tray with a lid for privacy
Our Siamese have only ever slept in bed with us in fact. (The other cats have just slept where the fancy takes them.)
In fact, that's usually one of the first things a new Siamese will check out - bed location!
Some great advice, thanks. Now you mention it I might even have some appropriate bowls knocking about at the back of my own cupboard.
I'm a bit undecided about the cat flap. I'd want to keep her in at night anyway but thought it might be good for her to be able to get out into the garden during the day when we're at work. I've only had indoor cats before so will admit I'm not 100% sure how necessary a cat flap would be to a cat used to going outside.
We have a microchip catflap which worked really well for our old girl, she was used to coming and going as she pleased. We had trouble with a male bully cat coming in so that's why we switched to the microchip flap.
When we get our new cat we will lock it until she's ready to explore outside, I find it really helpful to be able to lock it when necessary.
We also put a little step up stool either side as our cat flap sits quite high in the glass for some reason. (When our old girl was getting on a bit we called them her mobility aids )
Definitely no to a bought bed, mine both prefer my bed or the settee in the conservatory where they can keep an eye on the wildlife without getting wet or cold!
I can definitely recommend the microchip cat flap. We have had ours for 3 years now and never had a problem. It has a curfew setting as well to prevent your cat going out at night if you wish. There are two sizes if you buy the Sureflap one. The first is a cat flap which bought first time round. We found it a little on the small size and our then old girl struggled a little to get through (she wasn't a large cat, just getting a bit on the stiff side). When we replaced our door we put in a new flap but this time bought the petflap size to make it easier for her. Sadly she is no longer with us but we now have two largish (5.5 kg) fluffy ginger boys and the size is perfect for them.
Looking forward to seeing some piccies of your new kitty!
Sorry, also meant to say that you asked how useful a cat flap is for a cat used to being outdoors. I would say that for your sanity they are essential if you don't want to be slowly driven mad by having to keep opening doors My cats are in and out like flipping yoyos. They pop back for a mouthful of biscuits or a drink or sometimes just to check we are around and then once they are happy everything is in order they are gone again within 2 mins. Also if we are at work they can come and go as they like.
Ok, I think I probably will get one then. She'll need to be kept in for a while anyway until she settles and then once we start letting her out I'll see how often she's in and out. If she seems to want to be in and out all the time I'll get a flap. Might be a good idea to get a larger one too because if she actually is a Maine Coon then she's still got another couple of years of growing to do. when we collect her on Saturday I'll definitely post pics. We've bought a good sturdy cat carrier to bring her home in and have set up a room all ready for her when we bring her home with litter tray, bowls and a big cardboard box and blankets. I haven't bought food or litter yet because I wanted to get what she has been used to at the shelter so I'll ask what they use and then DP can pop into pets at home and grab the same stuff.
Maybe see if the shelter will give you a small bit in a poly bag of the (clean) litter she's been using. Clean or not, it might still have a little odour to her sensitive nose - sprinkling it on top might just serve to remind her of her duty.
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