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Letting out a new cat straight away?

(18 Posts)
MegBusset Tue 13-Oct-09 17:51:34

We are thinking of rehoming a cat (have been pining for one since our dear old mog died last year).

A cat litter tray is a no-no since we have nowhere to put it out of the reach of toddler and soon-to-be-crawling baby. So it will have to stay outdoors at night -- we will put a bed in the shed so it's got a warm spot to sleep in.

But I can't see any way of dealing with the first few days when the cat stays indoors getting used to its new home. We would have to let it out to go to the toilet straight away, but wouldn't it run off? Should we wait til the DC are older and can be trusted not to eat cat poo? Or can anyone think of another solution?

123andaway Tue 13-Oct-09 17:55:19

You need to keep a new cat in for an absolute minimum of 48 hours. Some people say up to two weeks, escpecially if the cat is nervy. The cat will be scared and if you put it outside straightaway it may well flee, and then not be able to find it's way home. It needs to have eaten with you a good few times before you put it out.

Maybe not the most hygenic solution, but could you put the tray up on a work top where the kids can't reach?

FlightAttendant Tue 13-Oct-09 17:58:15

It does need to stay in for a good few days really and some places won't let you rehome unless your cat stays in at night - danger of traffic etc etc I suppose, though ours always wants to be out at night - but she has a flap in case.

Could you maybe cordon off the tray using a stairgate or something? Or get a covered one - much easier all round.

MegBusset Tue 13-Oct-09 17:58:24

Gawd, I don't think DH would allow that -- he's one of these people who has a fit when they see cats walking on kitchen surfaces!

I'm going to have to wait a few years for a new moggy, aren't I? <sigh>

MegBusset Tue 13-Oct-09 18:01:05

X-posted. we had a covered tray for our last cat and a) it didn't contain all the litter and b) DS1 thought it was brilliant to play with the flap!

moshie Tue 13-Oct-09 18:01:15

A covered litter tray is better with children around, could you put it on the landing out of the way, or in another room with a safety gate in the doorway so that the children can't get to it?

BertieBotts Tue 13-Oct-09 18:01:25

A few ideas...

Get an enclosed litter tray (with a lid type thing)

Put litter tray in a cupboard (ie cupboard under stairs type place or kitchen cupboard) with a cat flap - admittedly you will have to replace the cupboard door when you move (perhaps replace it now with a temporary one so you can put the old one back on when you move)

Put it in a room you can keep the door shut to unless you are supervising DCs

Put a fence up in the garden (admittedly difficult to make cat-proof!)

I keep the litter tray in the kitchen and don't let DS in there unsupervised (he's crawling and does try to eat it sometimes).

FlightAttendant Tue 13-Oct-09 18:01:44

Cats and babies...cats and babies...always bring the baby to the cat, not the other way round.

I knew thisonly in hindsight after ds1 painted our new rescued cat with half a tin of blue gloss.

She is fine now btw but he was 1 then, and at 6 he is JUST getting nice to her. Ds2 was born when she was 8 and has never been that abd with her.

MegBusset Tue 13-Oct-09 18:02:31

<wonders if we could build an extension just for housing the cat's litter tray>

EightiesChick Tue 13-Oct-09 18:03:31

Covered tray behind a safety gate. And keep the cat in for 2 weeks at least. But then go for it! My DS (9 mos) loves our cat.

MegBusset Tue 13-Oct-09 18:04:02

Pmsl at blue cat

FlightAttendant Tue 13-Oct-09 18:07:48

It was expensive

luckily the insurance paid up shock

scroobiuspirate Tue 13-Oct-09 18:10:46

Unless you can incorporate it into your family, it won't be fair to have one yet. It needs time and attention.

123andaway Tue 13-Oct-09 19:11:38

Could you put the litter tray in the bath?

latestincarnation Tue 13-Oct-09 19:21:08

A new cat will not find a litter tray hidden away! Put a child gate on the kitchen/utility doorway (whichever room has the catflap in it), with the litter tray and cat food in that room (my crawling baby loves dog food - its not just the litter tray you will need to worry about!)

A cat will be able to come and go through the gate.

You will need to keep it longer than a couple of days indoors - especially if its a mature cat, as they will be bolder, range further and more likely to want to head home.

MegBusset Tue 13-Oct-09 20:09:26

Thank you all.

I think realistically we aren't geared up to have a cat yet

It's just not feasible to gate off the kitchen as I'm in and out of it all day followed closely by DS1.

Will have to leave it a couple of years, I think.

Or maybe get a couple of pygmy hedgehogs!

FlightAttendant Tue 13-Oct-09 20:12:56

smile at pygmy hedgehogs!

I think you sound like a sensible person tbh.

All the rescue cats I have had have arrived when I was less than geared up, I am terrible about these things...get a cat, then some food and oops we forgot the tray hmm

All of them without exception have hidden under my bed for the first 2-3 nights. And some have pooed under it too.

You don't necessarily need a tray - just a bed grin

mololoko Tue 13-Oct-09 20:13:13

the only thing we used our play pen for was to put the cat food and litter tray in so dd couldn't get to it smile

we've only ever managed to keep new cats in for a day or two and they've always been fine.

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