I'm not a cat person - persuade me to become one!

(17 Posts)
Ilikethedaffodils Wed 15-Jun-16 00:36:07

I've never owned a cat (or dog for that matter) either as a child or as an adult, but am currently under pressure from both DH and DC's to adopt the neighbour's cat, which we are currently feeding as neighbour is in hospital.

If, as I fear, the neighbour is unable to return home but goes into a residential home instead it will fall to me and DH to take responsibility for the cat. To me that could happily mean making sure it is taken safely to a cats charity that would rehome it, but the rest of the family want to keep the cat ourselves.

The thing is I'm really not a cat person. I'm a bit scared of it to be honest; it always feels to me as if it's about to bite or scratch although it probably isn't. It lets my DH and DC stroke it. I also have a horror of fleas, worms etc and the hygiene aspect of it jumping up onto kitchen surfaces, dining table etc as I've seen cats do in friends' houses. Basically my ignorance about cats is almost total and I have no idea about their habits, needs etc. I don't even know if it's male or female!! it has a unisex name.

I do genuinely want to do the right thing by the cat but I can't decide what the right thing is. Any advice welcome.

WellWhoKnew Wed 15-Jun-16 00:46:49

People with pets are healthier and better able to cope with stress. Children with pets grow up to be more empathetic. Are two studies I've read. If you use flea guard, you'll never get fleas. And worms, well unless they are tape worms, you'd never see them. Your kids will get worms and nits more likely! Many cats are trained not to go on counters when you are looking, but most of us use sanitiser spray.

And finally, a home without a cat is just a house a fluff free one granted

Wolfiefan Wed 15-Jun-16 00:52:55

Deflea and worm regularly.
Keep it off the food surfaces.
But if you don't want it maybe it would be better off somewhere else?

hollinhurst84 Wed 15-Jun-16 01:32:52

I am not a cat person but have admitted defeat as cats seem to flock to me confused
Mine has never had fleas and won't get on surfaces ever. He tried once when he first came and has not done it since! They're good pets smile

hollinhurst84 Wed 15-Jun-16 01:36:46

Oh just saw the habits and needs. Obviously they're all individual

Needs - flea and worm treatment, food, water, litter tray with clean litter, then you've got injections and any vet bills (insurance), something to scratch (mine likes pets at home scratch box)

A lot like dangly toy type things to play with or catnip toys

Habits - depends on the cat. Mine demands fuss when he's awake and then sleeps for about 12hrs a day hmm
They like somewhere comfy to sleep which is generally not a cat bed, and some like cat trees as it gives them something to climb and have a view point from
Some are lazy, some more active, most like lazing in the sun

I was a complete novice cat owner so feel free to ask questions

Pohara1 Thu 16-Jun-16 00:57:09

I've had both cats and dogs all my live, with other random pets thrown in too. And cats are so completely individual!! My first cat was so very different to the three we have now, who are all really different from each other. Two of them love being cuddled and on a lap, the other does not. One likes to play, the other two don't.

Cats do need fresh water, but you will find them drinking out of puddles. They are also lactose intolerant - the cat and milk thing is a myth. Though if they have had cows milk from a young age they will have built up a tolerance to it.

If the cat is indoor house trained, then a litter tray is vital. A clumping, de-odorizing litter is a really good idea too. My cats are trained to ask to go outside for the toilet.

A regular deflea and worming schedule is really important.

Toys depend on if it likes to play. If the cat doesn't like toys then it won't use them.

Food wise, if possible, stick to the food it's used to. If this isn't possible, then there are so many foods available, so look for one that caters to the cats needs eg. if it's a senior cat, find a food for senior cats.

You said that you are slightly afraid of the cat. Does it come to you? Cats tend to like people who don't like them. If it does come to you, just quietly hang out with it and get used to it being around, and build a relationship with it that way.

As for a pet bed, in my experience, they are pretty redundant, mine can and do sleep anywhere - my bed, the sofa, the wall, the swing set.

Also, has the cat been neutered/spayed? If not, I really recommend that you do that. There are usually schemes available for free neutering/spaying.

The thing about cats is that they want company when they want company. They are quite self sufficient. They're a lot more independent than a dog is. And they generally believe that they are the superior species. There's a saying that dogs have owners; cats have slaves.

As for the jumping on surfaces, tbh, it probably will, I figure they like to be high up as it adds to their superiority complexes(!) Having said that one of my cats doesn't jump up in the kitchen, but I think he doesn't like the smell of the kitchen cleaner we use.

Having a cat and enjoying it is fantastic - they calm me when I'm upset, sick, annoyed, whatever. They help teach my kids about responsibility, and I couldn't imagine my life without any of them, even the baby of the three (2 months old).

However, if this isn't something that you feel like you can commit to, then there's no shame or guilt in finding a good re-homing shelter that has a no kill policy.

Like Hollin said feel free to ask questions. And Hollin, sounds like your cat and one of mine were cut from the same cloth - 12 hours of sleep is a requirement for him!

mandyemma13 Thu 01-Sep-16 23:01:25

I have 2 cats. I am a cat person. Love cats and animals.

Pros:
Cats are EASY to look after. They go out themselves. Clean themselves. They even entertain themselves.

Cats are cute. They are good with children and help to boost immune system in children and adults.

Cats are actually quite clever.. I have taught mine to sit. Beg. Lay down. One of them plays fetch.

They are good at hunting spiders, mice, rats and a variety of other creepy crawlers and even flying insects that get into your home.

They are loveable. And they do show you love when purring or cuddling up next to you or you children. Amazing companions.

Believe it or not they can warn you of danger! One of my cats came and woke me up when my little girl was really poorly one day she was being sick in her bed at night. She had a bad fever.

Cons:

Flea and worm treatment does cost money but you can do a plan with petcare providers.

Food, litter, toys and grooming costs money. But not as much as a dog.

They do walk on your counters... But before mealtimes just wipe down with bleach or antibacterial spray.

Sometimes the little buggers do leave you little presents.. like dead mice. Dead birds. Sometimes live ones or even half dead ones...

Fur. Fur... Don't have a beige carpet with black cats is all I am saying. Tbh though outdoor cats means if they are out more than in then less cleaning. Indoor cats shed more fur. But overall it does keep you fit and active as your cleaning the house more...

I would say yes get the cat but get your husband to cough up for the financial side of it. Get your kids to feed it and play with it and clean the tray if indoor cat. And you just enjoy it when people come over and say aww how cute is your pet cat.

smile

Thegiantofillinois Thu 01-Sep-16 23:05:39

How old is it? Grumpy old bastard cat (who is my favourite), prefers not to play. He largely avoids us until post dc bedtime, when he sits in the middle of the sofa and shouts if I try to sit by dh.

The younger cats like to play, but prefer to sit elsewhere.

Cats are easy.

MilesHuntsWig Thu 01-Sep-16 23:16:46

Have to say I hated cats until about a year ago when I gave in to DH and DD who really wanted some... And I'm a convert. Don't get me wrong I don't go gooey over all cats, but my boys are good and I have really warmed to them. Once you get used to the routine they really are very easy to look after (I never had pets growing up either) and they do genuinely make your house feel more like a home.

Why don't you agree to it for a trial period and if you can't get on with it re-home it?

tryingtogetthroughlife Thu 01-Sep-16 23:34:25

I have a cat he's awesome, my Dh never really liked cats but took to my fluffy little fatty. When i have been pregnant he followed me around constantly. He even walked to the shop with my cousin and waited for her outside while she was pregnant. My Ds used to have night terrors I would find him on or near my DS's bed. He doesn't go on sides or tables he did try but we kept putting him down until he got the idea and stopped.
He's very tolerant of my Dc (4) we have had fleas but indorex spray from Amazon sorted that out.
We did have an issue with trying to scratch the sofa and also he Peed a few times on the floor but I used lemon juice to keep him away from those areas.
Other than that he has been fab, op I would visit kittens and find one you're drawn to good luck in you're decision op x

Janussi Wed 07-Sep-16 09:08:06

Having run a boarding cattery and written cat articles for a newspaper, I do know a bit about cats. Do I own one? No. I'm currently in rented accommodation and hope to travel a lot.

It sounds to me that you're not really keen and may end up doing most of the cat care. Maybe you would fall in love with a kitten you could train?..

BluishSky Wed 07-Sep-16 22:42:09

Watch lots of Jackson Galaxy videos on YouTube to learn about their body language and needs.

Mycatsabastard Wed 07-Sep-16 22:49:01

We have four cats.

One boy - hugely independent, goes out a lot, sleeps a lot, eats a lot. Will tolerate a cuddle for approximately 2 mins.

Girl cat 1 - extremely affectionate (to me mainly) but also quite anxious when I am away from home for more than a couple of nights. We have had issues with this.

Girl cat 2 - a fucking lunatic 3 year old who quite frankly has zero going on between her ears but is utterly hilarious.

Girl cat 3 - still under DD's bed 2 weeks after bringing her home. She's 5, very shy and we are working on gaining trust. Loves being brushed and having her head scratched.

Would I tell you to take on the cat? Depends on it's age. If it's elderly then take it on. It will find it hard to find a new home. However if it's young and healthy and playful and you really don't want it then get it rehomed. Better to have a home where it's wanted than one where it's resented because it's clawed the carpet (they do this a lot despite have 5 scratching posts), sleeps on the beds (despite having 3 beds of their own), prefers to pull it's food out of it's bowl and eat off the floor (but not all of it, leaving a lovely mess), brings home dead things as presents, sheds fur everywhere and generally makes you sigh quite a lot.

If you are a cat lover this isn't an issue. If you aren't it will become an issue rapidly. Especially if you have very nice furniture.

Anna93 Sat 10-Sep-16 08:22:48

I'm a cat person, had cats growing up and couldn't wait to adopt rescue cats. My partner was on the fence with it, he's never been that fussed on cats or any pets for that matter!
I managed to persuade him that we should get cats (took quite a while!) and within a couple of days of getting them, his mind was changed!
Cats are such lovely animals, he loves them as much as I do now!

EllaHen Sat 10-Sep-16 08:33:08

We have two cats. It's lovely to see the bond between them and the kids. Especially with dd. One of the cats just wants to be beside her all the time. This particular cat likes to be outside at night time (probably killing stuff) and so she is very loving when she comes in, in the morning.

Our other cat is a bit of a big fat lump. He needs so much affection though.

They were rescue kittens.

Cats are ideal for the lazy pet owner. grin

EllaHen Sat 10-Sep-16 08:38:51

Agree with everything Mycatsabastard wrote. Everything. I didn't list all the annoying things my cats do because these things don't actually annoy me.

I don't care about food on the floor, or trying to get them to stop scratching the carpet a thousand times, or dead mice (proud actually) or about having fur everywhere. I don't even care about them walking on kitchen surfaces.

Auriga Sat 10-Sep-16 08:47:58

I was a cat-hater who had to change for the sake of DD. She fell in love with the first cat she saw and almost her first words were 'can we have a cat?'

DCat moved in & I couldn't believe how lovely she is. If I'd known there were cats like her, I'd have had one years ago. She is friendly, affectionate, chatty and funny.

My cat-hating mother then moved in with us, saying 'keep That Thing away from me'. DCat worked on her until she was a willing slave. She talked about and to the cat all the time, went out specially to buy cat milk & took enormous pleasure in cuddling & stroking her. In DM's declining months, the cat was one of her greatest consolations (& has been the same to me since DM died).

You do need insurance. But they are wonderfully easy to look after.

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