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Advice wanted please ...

(11 Posts)
ChunkyMonkeyMother Tue 05-Jul-11 18:57:46

Am in a bit of a pickle - Have been offered a very beautiful kitten by work colleague of DHs - Have been harping on for ages about wanting a pet Even feeding all the waifs and strays in our cul de sac but now we've had the offer I'm wondering if its too early?

Let me explain...
I have a 22m/o DS who is a bit obbsessed with animals, he is very good with my parents Dog and their 2 cats generally just keep out of his way - Am I kidding myself by thinking that a teeny tiny little puddy tat would be ok with a toddler? If we went ahead where would I keep the cat litter? Toilet isn't really an option as we have a seperate loo and bathroom iyswm and the toilet just isn't big enough - I do have space in the kitchen but my DS has free access to it and occasionally wanders in there when I'm mumsnetting not with him - Has anyone got any tips? I don't want it to go out you see.

What do you think? Should we wait until maybe this time next year? I'm a student and this time of year is perfect for pets as we have the summer off so they have plenty of time to settle in etc.

My mother is saying no, but I kind of think it would be good for him, the ages to learn about animals, death etc.

How expensive is it to keep a cat? We would have to get it insured as we aren't exactly rolling in money but I have enough at the moment to probably get it spayed and chipped - thats another thing, do you have to get boy cats "done"? They're not going to roll home one night up the duff are they? Is that irresponsible?

Sorry this is so long - I really am struggling, I have already shouted at DH for putting this ridiculously cute kitten on a stick in front of me without having thought about it thoroughly!

Help me please!

buggerlugs82 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:25:49

Hey - Hmm where to begin.

We have a covered cat littler tray (pets at home) with a cat flap on. The cat gets in there, does its business and it keeps any smell in. There isnt anything to stop your DS sticking his hand into the flap but it won't be as easy as an open litter tray.

One thing to consider is that kittens LOVE to jump at things, swipe things and for a good few weeks can't retract their claws. I looked like a self harmer when i got my kittens (i've had 4 in total over the years)

Kittens / cats are lovely animals, insurance is about £7 a month (direct line / Tesco are best IMO) We feed our 3 cats dry food only, its better for their digestion and teeth, wet food is basically crap. a £12 bag of IAMS (decent stuff) lasts 1 month. Flea and worm treatments can be bought from the vets (IMO shop bought ones are rubbish) and cost about £5 for worm every 3 months and about the same for fleas. They suggest every month but we do ours every other month.

Re getting the boy cat done - YES you MUST - for several reasons, male cats will fight and spray. It will prevent unwanted kittens by other cats (already TONNES needing good homes each year).

I'd say go for it if you happy with the above. BUT do not expect the kitten to fit straight into your homelife, give it 1 months trial. If you can't get on with it speak to the RSPCA or other cat rehoming place but not before 1 month is over.

Don't take on the kitten without being prepared to have it for 20 years.

Good luck!

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:41:11

Ok.

Males need to be done or they go off after females in heat and get run over. Happend to my sil cat "oh im not getting it done he wont wander" cat now buried in garden. 6 months old. It will cost about £50 to neuter and microchip, which is essential because if he does get lost you can get him back.

Vaccinations will be around the same cost, its more down south it cost dh cousin £70 to have their male neutered. They will be more affectionate after and less likely to go off on jaunts (less likely, some go off for a while and frighten you half to death then turn up one day starving hungry).

I feed my bengal on aldi premium pouches and that costs £6 a week plus a big bag of biscuits for £15 every 4 months or so.

They need worming every 3 months or so (they can get worms from eating mice).

You'll need a lockable cat flap with an infra red or magnetic "key" on the cats collar so you dont get visitors eating your cats food, sleeping on your beds, spraying and fighting with your cat.

You can get covered in cat litter trays with charcoal filters for £13 in argos, or get a litter quitter from ebay that trains them to go on the toilet. Youtube has loads of videos of cats using the loo, some even flush.

Wether or not your son is ready for a pet is for you to decide, cats generally give younger children a wide berth, but I've also noticed them being more tolerant to babies messing with them than adults (mine just walks away from kids).

Dont expect any help looking after puss when ds is older, you will be the one who feeds, worms, changes water bowls and arranges vets visits. I was 8 when we got our first cats and I never did much but now im just the cats PA.

Yours DS will def learn about death when the cat brings his first kill home!.

Im sure I've forgotton bits but others will be along soon.

buggerlugs82 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:45:31

Re Catflap "You'll need a lockable cat flap with an infra red or magnetic "key" on the cats collar so you dont get visitors eating your cats food, sleeping on your beds, spraying and fighting with your cat" - Can't say i agree tbh - we have a cat flap, just a normal one, I don't like collars they cause too many injuries.

Each to their own though! smile

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Jul-11 19:57:56

Ours is capable of locking, but cat learnt how to take his snap release collar off, so its open all the time now. We dont get visitors cos hes a bengal, the local black cat goes into others houses but only comes in our garden. Wise puss.

You can get a cat flap with a microchip reader on it, but if op is a student it may be too expensive. I wouldnt put a collar on with the elastic though.

Do the snap release ones cause injuries too buggerlugs?

cambridgeferret Tue 05-Jul-11 20:08:33

We fed our cats on IAMS, no mess and doesn't stink.
Insurance is at the moment £15 per cat per month, but yours wil be much lower. Recommend Tescos, but remember to change to a covered for life when puss gets to eight, a lot of places won't take them after that age.
Vets twice a year, boosters and flea/worms. Also factor in cattery fees.

Do the responsible thing and get him de-plummed and chipped.

The Sureflaps are £60 off Viovet, and so worth it. Just needs to be in learn mode the first time the cats go through, and job done.

Don't do what we did and sneak up behind cat with the Dyson to persuade her to go through the flap. She shot through like a missile, too fast for the chip to read. Impressive for a 17 year old smile

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Jul-11 20:29:35

crying with laughter at cambridges post.

ChunkyMonkeyMother Tue 05-Jul-11 22:28:36

WOW thanks ladies - Brilliant response, I think we would go down the dried food/biscuit route as I know I can get that reasonably priced at Costco - As for the flap thats a bit of a no go as we rent and the door is glass, plus I don't think I want him going out, my Mums cats are house cats and they don't seem to mind.

I love the idea of trying to persuade a cat with a dyson - My Mums wont even walk past hers!

I would deffo get him chipped/neutered and flead etc - Totally forgot about that!

Love the idea of a covered cat flap - to keep smells in and little baby hands that would probably eat it out!

What kind of collars do you use? My Mum has like scrunchie ones that are supposed to be good incase they get caught - but her cats look like they've just walked off the set of the Tudors! I'd like something garish and sparkly boyish.

I've also seen some lovely cat beds on ebay that are like pyramids, do you recommend those or are they a waste of time? Same for scratch posts? I've read that because he will be an indoor cat he will need something he can constantly scratch on?

Thanks for this help!

cambridgeferret Wed 06-Jul-11 12:47:15

Both of my cars had collars initially. Neither of them liked it.
It lasted two days before Cat2 managed to lose hers and came home smirking at me.

Cat beds didn't work either. One refused to sleep in it whilst the other did a poo in it.
And with that feline vote of support they were consigned to the bin.
I've found that cats sleep where they want to, not where you would like them to.

BTW, Cat 1 decided that scratching posts were nowhere near as good as the back of the sofa. Same went for toys - no interest at all.

They can be awkward little sods at times.

ThunderboltKid Wed 06-Jul-11 13:00:27

If the cat is an indoor cat, and is chipped, you don't really need a collar.

We also thought we knew what we would feed out cat before we got her - turns out cats are notoriously fussy and she will only eat the most expensive premium food!

Beds and scratching posts we have found to be a waste of money. Ours will sleep anywhere she wants other than her bed, and a scratching post wasn't sturdy enough so she used uses the sofa angry

Her favourite toys are a cardboard box and a bit of string grin

ChunkyMonkeyMother Wed 06-Jul-11 18:08:04

Have any of you used the anti-scratch spray stuff? [Stands guard over her beautiful new sofas] Does it work?

I'm ok with him sleeping on the bed - only concern is that one of us squish him in our sleep :-S

We've already decided that we'll be keeping DS's door firmly shut at all times as it wouldn't be fair to get his bed all hairy!

I worry that we may need a collar to be able to keep him safe inside, my Mum and Dad use them to keep bells on so they can keep the door shut!

Thanks again!

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