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to want to get a kitten (or two)

(32 Posts)
Lorelai Thu 16-Jun-11 22:59:03

So, friend has just told me her cat is pg again. Last time I half-seriously suggested to DH that we should get one, this time I have said it again and he has said ok, so now we are officially thinking about it. We have both had cats before, but not kittens (youngest cats I have had were 5 months). DD1 is 3.5 and has been brought up with cats so knows how to behave around them, DD2 is 6 months and far too mobile. I am on mat leave at the moment, going back PT in Sept. We would want to get two, so they would have company.

Are we mad to be considering this?

FreudianSlipper Thu 16-Jun-11 23:02:07

get two they need company when young. no not mad at all, they can be surprisingly hard work but lots of fun.

Lorelai Thu 16-Jun-11 23:06:24

So tiny kittens and crawling baby isn't a recipe for disaster?

Jonnyfan Thu 16-Jun-11 23:07:49

Def get two!

LineRunner Thu 16-Jun-11 23:12:10

Oh dear lord, I have spent £500 in the past year on one of my two cats.

Please be sure you are able to foot the vets' bills. They will need to be spayed, immunised, de-bugged, just for starters. Then you need to insure them or pay the vet bills as you go along.

They may wreck your doors and curtains.

They need company and food!

Lorelai Thu 16-Jun-11 23:15:02

LineRunner - that's the main thing I am concerned about - how much do you reckon; both for 'start up' costs and insurance?

Not too worried about doors and curtains as we are renting smile although this may well be a non-starter if we can't get permission from the landlord.

LineRunner Thu 16-Jun-11 23:24:56

Lorelei I never really itemised it per cat but if I could roll back the clock I would certainly get insurance from the get-go.

Ring a local vet and ask about costs for spaying, injections etc. I think mine were about £100 each for the first year's stuff; but it varies.

Although to be honest I can't measure the happiness they have brought to my family. Lovely creatures.

Doors - erm, they are striated to fuck. From top to bottom. It's kind of like an art installation.

LordOfTheFlies Fri 17-Jun-11 00:09:56

Our moggie (got her secondhand from a rescue) was fine until DS turned up when she was 11.
Then she shredded the stair carpet.Hard wearing stair carpet, heavy duty underlay.Right to the wood.Little bugger.
Had replace carpet as it was getting dangerous.
If I added that to the amount of money she cost me (food,vet bills,cattery) I would have to lie down in a quiet room.

purplepidjin Fri 17-Jun-11 00:20:25

Get lots of toys. Budget at least £50 for a decent multilevel scratching post, then hundreds of cheapie toy mice for them to chase. Also, plenty of out-of-the way spots to sleep and hide. Mine (one now deceased, other nearly 6) like the top of the kitchen cupboards, upstairs windown sills, underneath the kitchen cupboards because i'm too lazy to put the kickboards on, back of the rocking chair (then she gets surprised when it moves. Every single time hmm), dining chairs tucked under the table... Remaining feline furball is a house cat by choice, and is now teaching the rabbit to be a cat...

My parents have offered to foot the counselling bill when my animals find out they're not actually people. So you may want to disregard my advice wink

LordOfTheFlies Fri 17-Jun-11 00:36:04

Ha ha purplepidjin ours used to get on top of the boiler -kitchen cupboard top height. She used to lie with her legs hanging over the edge.
Obviously this was in her drinking/fighting daysgrin

unitarian Fri 17-Jun-11 01:09:41

We got a pair of kittens as baby-substitutes then, bingo, I got pregnant.

They were about a year old when the baby was born so they had calmed down a bit. But after we had put her down in the cot and put our feet up we would hear her snoring and a cat purring from the baby monitor. No matter how carefully we checked, one or other of the cats would get into the cot.

The crawling stage was a nightmare for the cats because she would yank their tails so they moved onto higher and higher surfaces. Never once did they ever scratch her though. Claws were sheathed until she was 16.

The nicest thing was the night time reading sessions. I'd lie on her bed and read the bed-time story with a pair of warm cats wedged lengthways between us. I could always tell when she'd fallen asleep because that cats stopped purring and were zonko too.

Frankly, I wouldn't get any kitten with a small baby around. Wait a while. They are very destructive of furniture and carpets, get into awkward cavities and need a huge amount of attention. The same is true of kittens grin

unitarian Fri 17-Jun-11 01:14:03

Also babies and cats compete for lap space. It's all very companionable but very, very hot!

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 17-Jun-11 05:02:18

We will soon be kitten owners. The hook to convince DD that moving to England would be a good thing was the promise of two kittens.
FWIW, I would advise your friend to get her cat spayed. None of my business, but one cat can produce an alarming number of kittens.

Lorelai Fri 17-Jun-11 07:14:31

Thanks all. I think the over-riding factor will be cost, plus of course the landlord. Will look into it all very carefully. Kreecher - I agree about the spaying; not sure why she hasn't/doesn't but this is at least the 3rd litter since I have known her and she doesn't seem in any hurry to do it.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 17-Jun-11 07:33:53

I won't post what I want to about non neutering of cats. It makes my blood boil.

zelda1982 Fri 17-Jun-11 08:23:58

I got a kitten in march when dd3 was 12 months, and if i'm honest i do regret it a little (i wanted a kitten for ages, didnt really think on the cons) Poor dd has scratches up her legs where the kitten attacks her (any tips on how to stop her doing this appreciated) I can't have the back door open for kids to come and go as im scared incase she gets out (getting her spayed soon though) cat litter stinks the house out and dd3 likes putting her hands in it (yuck) wish i'd waited another year tbh. But i love my kitten to bits smile

barleymow Fri 17-Jun-11 09:49:30

Our kitten just turned 6 months, DP, DSS and I are totally in love with her. She is best thing to have happened to me (other than meeting DP and gaining a lovely DSS). We pay £7 a month for the worming/flea stuff you put at the back of her head and £14 per month for decent insurance. She's just been neutered which was £80 plus £18 for microchipping at the same time. In your position I would think really hard about it, they will be fine with the DCs (provided you handle them LOADS) but they take up a lot of time in the first couple of months (if you get them at 8 wks).
You don't need to spend loads on toys - our kitten's fave is a green fluffy ball that has (had) sticky feet, got it free from the dentist!

PinotsKittens Fri 17-Jun-11 09:58:49

I have only started on my kitten adventure, but I am surprised how much attention they demand need. They are expensive (vaccinations booked at 2.20pm so I'm a bit shock at the costs quoted up thread!!) but we've spent a fortune so far on toys, food, vets bills when they were tiny and of course, kitty milk (they were abandoned in our garden at 1 day old). It's cost over £300 so far <weeps quietly>

But as I sit here with one asleep on my lap in the gap under the laptop, and another who tucked her head down my top, twirled and is now asleep with her head sticking out of my top, I thank god that manky stray cat chose us.

I am covered in scratches (literally dozens) and I have to wear jeans every day as they climb/jump up my legs constantly (so I'm hot!! It's June fgs!!) but they're great.

Sorry, rambled a bit there!

Geordieminx Fri 17-Jun-11 10:04:02

Also think about cat trays.... You will need at least 3 for 2 cats. How are you going to keep your mobile baby away from it?

It probably doesn't sound like a major prob now, but trying to stop a baby playing in cat poo and wee isn't easy.

Lorelai Fri 17-Jun-11 18:46:19

Good point on litter trays and baby - she gets into everything as it is. Can you expand on why we would need 3 though?

Omigawd Fri 17-Jun-11 18:59:12

Kittens are great fun but IMO better when kids are older to enjoy them. The minute you put a baby in a cot, there will be cats in it too!

HeavyHeidi Fri 17-Jun-11 19:01:07

will you have indoor only cats or will they have the chance to go out too? ours stopped using the litter boxes the minute we got the cat flap.

catgirl1976 Fri 17-Jun-11 19:01:53

do it

i have 3 they are brilliant!

purplepidjin Fri 17-Jun-11 19:08:46

Cat relationships are much more clear cut than human ones, with one cat being dominant in all things - eating, excreting, sleeping, playing. The rule to a happy cat household is one tray per cat plus one, all in different places, so that the boss cat can't prevent the undercat from peeing in safety. For two cats you'll also need at least 3 water bowls, and seperate food bowls.

Saying that, my unrelated pair happily shared a litter tray for 5 years, were fed next to each other, and would play happily with the same toys (cat tennis is much preferable with a toy mouse to a real rat sad) and curl up together on a chair. It depends on your cats. Despite now only having the one cat (and a house rabbit) I still keep a spare water bowl on the bathroom windowsill, and she still uses both that one and the one with her food bowl.

One each plus one is safest, you can always reduce later if you don't need the spares.

DontCallMeBaby Fri 17-Jun-11 19:16:31

Theory on litter trays is one per cat, plus one. We only ever had one, for two kittens, kept spotlessly clean, never had any problems. We were probably lucky though.

I think behaviourally, I'd be more concerned about the 3yo than the baby. DD was 5, a sensible and sensitive 5, when we got our kittens. She threw a cushion at one of them, was terrified of them scratching her, ran away from one of them, slamming a door shut ON HIS PAW behind her ... I was shocked at how bad she was with them at first. But yes, the litter tray would be a big issue with a crawling baby.

Costs were a bit of a nightmare with ours at first - one came complete with dicky tummy, which had to be sorted out before the insurance would kick in (no claims in first two weeks of policy, and no claims on pre-existing conditions). Cost a small fortune, but at least sorted itself out before we had to pay any lab fees.

If you do get them, my star tip is not to wear cropped trousers with small kittens around. The like to climb legs, which is a bit alarming at the best of times, but when they dig into your denim clad knee with front claws, then try to gain purchase on your BARE SHIN with back claws, it gets a bit bloody.

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