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Thinking about getting a cat for the 1st time.

(9 Posts)
TruthSweet Thu 15-Sep-11 20:19:18

I know someone who is looking to re-home 1 or 2 1y/o cats (brother and sister). They are both neutered/wormed/vaxed. DH & I are thinking of having one of them (possibly both).

I'm not sure how the DDs will go for it. They get very silly around animals and the youngest seems petrified of all animals (a factor in thinking about getting a cat - to get her out of this) BUT they all love looking at animals at farms, in books and on television. It's just real live ones that walk up to them that puts the frighteners up them.

We all also have asthma (healthy bunch us!) but I am hoping as I grew up with cats and DH grew up with dogs that we will all be ok.

Are we being daft in thinking of getting one given these things?

Also, how expensive are cats? If we did get one we would get pet insurance but I am thinking of the day to day costs of a cat wouldn't be too much if you didn't buy the really expensive cat food (or am I kidding myself?).

Marne Thu 15-Sep-11 20:22:54

I love cats, we have 1 (would love another), TBH the cat costs me more to feed than the dog and sinse getting the cat we have been invaded by fleas (the dog had never had them before) so it has cost me a fortune to treat them both. I would say it wont cost much more to feed 2 cats than it would 1 as cats often leave food, it drys out an you chuck it away, at least if you have 2 the chances are if one doesn't eat it the other will.

WhoWhoWhoWho Thu 15-Sep-11 20:30:53

Are your DDs panicky when a cat approaches them? That's if a cat has ever approached them.

Warnings: cats like to be sick on soft surfaces - rugs, carpets, clothes bedding - not hard, wipeable surfaces. You have to be on the ball with their flea repellant stuff.

How your cats fit into the family depends very much on the individual cat(s), some are as aloof as it is possible to be, some are very friendly and expect lots of cat worship. Have your dds spent any time with these cats to see how they interact?

My cat doesn't cost me a great deal, she's a tiny little thing who seems to leave at least a quarter of every meal I give her. Her and DS live harmoniously as they tend to ignore each other, I think they both regard each other as rather boring! grin Pet insurance definitely a wise move.

I love my cat, she's so lovely. smile

Oh and if you do decide to adopt them, then do take them both, they are siblings who have lived together this long they would probably miss each other if they were rehomed seperately and they will keep each other company while you are out.

TruthSweet Thu 15-Sep-11 21:21:39

Lots of cats near us and one of DD1's school friends has a BIG fluffy ginger tom. I thought DD3 had caught her fingers in the door the first time she saw Seb she shrieked so loudly (she was about 18m though!).

We see lots of dogs on the school run too, and there is usually a few chained up at the school fence that we have to walk past.

DD1 seems to be getting better (she walked past a slipper dog without fussing today) but because she started fussing over animals her sisters have followed suit even now she has calmed down. I have always maintained a calm disposition about animals except when a pit bull type dog charged at the younger two in their pushchair at a local park and tried to jump on them (it was a low pushchair so they were level with the dog) and then I was frightened but DH pushed the dog away and shooed it back to the owners (who came over to assure us he was fine with children - they weren't fine with him though!).

Good advice on the keeping them together.

Thanks to all for your input.

oopslateagain Thu 15-Sep-11 22:24:52

The day-to-day costs are not bad, but you do need to factor in the things NOT covered by your insurance: flea treatments (Frontline is £15 or so for 3 treatments, less if you go for flea collars but they aren't as effective), annual vaccinations, worming pills. Also bear in mind they may poop in your garden (if you have one) and you'll need to 'patrol' before your children play there.

My cats delight in giving me lovely gifts of whatever they've caught. I regularly get half a mouse, half a bird, half of something unrecognisable, in the middle of the kitchen floor or on the doorstep. Be warned!

Cats are adorable though. grin

Marne Fri 16-Sep-11 10:49:17

My dd1 is nervous around animals, took her ages to get used to the dog, she's still getting used to the cat and will screem if its sat in the stairs and wont walk past it, the cat seems to follow her around like he knows she doesn't like him, i'm sure your dd will get used to them but it will take time.

swanriver Fri 16-Sep-11 12:25:04

I think if you have asthma it's better to build up resistance slowly with a kitten, anyone correct me if I'm wrong...

Kitten may be less threatening if your kids aren't used to cats, although they are harder work, obviously requiring more attention in short term, climbing up curtains, racing round house, tlc etc etc. Could you try out the asthma factor by visiting a friend with cats regularily and seeing what dcs' reaction is?

I suppose to a child a cat is as large as a rat (think about it) and is really quite a threatening size in proportion.

Pet insurance is a good idea to cover emergencies, but you would save a lot by already having had them neutered when they arrived. Tbh, compared to cost of children cost of keeping an animal is peanuts.

And well worth it in terms of the lurrve factor.

Our cat is a joy. He runs upstairs every morning to greet dd. He has his own interests, v independent. Watchng him in the garden, tiptoeing round and sniffing things, or doing elaborate jumps chasing flies/climbing trees is just a delight. Two cats who love each other are even better imo. They do wonderful chasing games, snuggle up together. Therapy in a furry package.

swanriver Fri 16-Sep-11 12:28:44

Also my sons are not interested in the cats at all. But when one went missing, Ds1 admitted that he had become part of family and quite regularily talks about how much he wishes he was back. My Dh regularily complained about the cats, but he now says when I'm away with children in hols, the cat is the only thing that cheers him up.

Cat sitting in hols is easier with two, it must be said, as they keep each other company. We really miss having our second cat sad

DontCallMeBaby Sat 17-Sep-11 11:07:49

Hm, I think grown cats are LESS 'threatening' than kittens actually - DD was five when we got our two, and was terrified of them, and tbh she kind of had a point. Kittens are SHARP and POINTY despite their fluffy exteriors. Of course the cats are still sharp and pointy, but they mostly know what they're doing with their claws now - and you can tell when one is about to use your leg as a scratching post, and take evasive action, whereas it was all about the stealth attacks when they were tiny. She got used to them very quickly - in part helped by her friend who just came round, scooped them both up and petted them (I have a photo of this, surprising as I was in shock due to the kittens really not liking being handled, and here they were dangling over a 5yo's forearms like it was the best thing ever).

It's a gamble though, with kids - DD was never particularly comfortable with animals at other people's houses, and of course with cats it's really hard to gauge as they tend to just sod off if children shriek at them, whereas dogs you can try to keep in the room.

Cost-wise - our insurance is just over £20 a month for both cats. They eat Hills dry food, which isn't the cheapest - however I've just reordered two 5kg bags (can't fit the 10kg bags in the cupboard) at £54.46 in total, the last two having lasted 75 days. So that's less than 75p per day for both cats. Not bad really! Frontline for fleas (a lot of people won't use this any more, but it works for us) cost me £19 for six pipettes, so three months' worth. Can't remember what the worming costs - I just know it's due, I take them to the vets for it as I hate giving them pills myself!

Damage to furnishings - wouldn't like to think about it (one cat currently anchoring himself to back of my 'leather' office chair); having little furry buddies about the place - priceless. smile

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