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Thinking of getting a cat- best to rehome an older cat or get a kitten?

(10 Posts)
Haylstones Tue 30-Jun-09 12:41:00

I would dearly love to have a family cat in our house and am currently working on persuading dh...

In the past we've had kittens straight from their mum and rehomed a 2 year old from the RSPCA so I have a little knowledge of caring for them. The difference now is that we have a 5yo and a 1yo and I'd appreciate any thoughts on what would be the best option- kittens could be brought up around my children but are such hard work; with an older cat obviously I wouldn't know much about their history or how they'd react to the dc.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated. It certainly isn't something I'm going to be rushing into so it's purely general advice I need atm smile

differentID Tue 30-Jun-09 12:46:42

how about going for a young cat, not necessarily a kitten or a completely set-in-their-ways adult.

lljkk Tue 30-Jun-09 12:50:05

I'm not an animal rights freak, but I would seriously investigate what's on offer in local cat shelters before looking at kittens. Yes an adult cat will probably have issues, but there are no guarantees with any pet, anyway. And you may actually find lovely kittens in a shelter.

From what I know of pet trade/breeders, I struggle to approve of them. Obviously some are great animal carers, but it's not cost effective for professional breeders to give cats the care they need, truth be told. If not from Cat rescue, I'd look for a kitten bred locally by someone as a one-off (not professionally).

hatwoman Tue 30-Jun-09 12:51:44

I had 2 adult cats when dds were born - both were "2nd hand" so I didn't really know their history - although we had had them a couple of years by the time dd came along. but as far as I know they had had virtually no exposure to babies or toddlers.

we never had any problems with them - neither cat particularly liked children - they kept a very low profile for a while - they just found a cosy spot in the house and stayed there. until story time when one of them (a siamese) would come and join us.

hatwoman Tue 30-Jun-09 12:55:45

my only experience of professional cat breeders is completely the opposite of lljkk's. the woman I met was as mad as a bicycle. she had converted half her house and garden into a cat heaven. her tom cat had his own house (a chalet-style summer house, one of those ones good enough to be an office) at the bottom of the garden, complete with heating and his own tv.

CarGirl Tue 30-Jun-09 13:03:09

I've rehomed adult cats, and no regrets. They stayed away from the dc until the dc were old enough not to annoy them. The last one pretty much tolerated everything provided he was getting attention and he'd never been around children before.

Haylstones Tue 30-Jun-09 14:20:53

Thanks for all the advice. There are a few people locally with kittens- not breeders, just people whose family cats have had babies so that is always an option. i'D RATHER REHOME ONE (sorry caps) for many reasons but as DifferentID said, maybe a young cat would be better.

I keep thinking back to when we had 2 kittens and it was manic- poo everywhere, scratching everything, general craziness but oh so cute...sounds like having a baby but I've already got one of them!

It's all irrelevant atm as I am still working on persuading dh!

DrEvil Wed 15-Jul-09 21:13:18

We rehomed a tom from the RSPCA about 8 weeks ago. We have a 4 and 2 yr old and I was worried the 2 yr old would just be too rough for a tiny kitten.

The cattery lady advised us on cats she thought would be suitable and we met the cats to find if they were happy with the kids. Our big Ginger fluffy cat is around 18 months and was thought to be an ex stray and he is absolutely lovely and fab with the kids.

Maybe it's worth having lots of visits to the local RSPCA or CP and spending lots of time with your children and the possible rescue cats to see if they get on.

expatinscotland Wed 15-Jul-09 21:24:00

Adult cats/non-kittens all the way here.

We got our present cat when she was 14-months-old (7 years ago) so she was still very kittenish, but fully grown and without all the mayhem that goes with small kittens.

Bella21 Wed 15-Jul-09 21:55:33

I'd agree - adult cat, especially as they are very adept at getting out of the way of over-curious small dc grin

Cats Protection are overflowing at the mo, at least in my area, and will always work hard to find you the right one. They even take them back if they really don't work out.

Kittens are cute but lots more work.

Best of luck wink

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