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We are considering getting cats/kittens - what do I need to know?

(47 Posts)
NickNacks Fri 06-Sep-13 22:00:25

We'd like to get a pet to add to our family and think we've settled on getting (2) cats. I have some questions as despite dh and I both having cats as children, these will be our first pets as adults.

Is it ok to get 2? We figured they'd be company fir each other.

Should we buy them from the same place litter?

Would you advise getting kittens or cats?

Any particular breed recommended?

I can imagine the sort of things we will need to buy but anything a rooky won't have thought of?

Any thing else you can think of to tell me would be great!

Thank you smile

fffinsake Fri 06-Sep-13 22:03:01

Cats often prefer to be solitary - their relationships with others can be complex and if two cats struggle to coexist it can get very unpleasant with protest peeing and the like.

NickNacks Fri 06-Sep-13 22:07:58

Oh that's interesting. We definitely don't want an stress to them so 1 might be the way to go. I presumed two because everyone I know with cats has two!

Beehatch Fri 06-Sep-13 22:09:54

You never own a cat, you merely become part of their staff ...

NickNacks Fri 06-Sep-13 22:13:31

Ha ha- I need to get a sign with that on!

timidviper Fri 06-Sep-13 22:19:30

We got 2 from the same litter when DS was about 10 and DD about 77 as pets for them. Although DCs loved them they were not good at doing the litter tray, etc and, as we live on between 2 busy roads, they could not go out so it became a bit of a nightmare. We had them for about 6 years, in which time they destroyed a sofa, carpet and good curtains by clawing, stank the place out by peeing (admittedly not all their fault as DCs didn't change tray as much as I'd have liked) and, as we were out more at school and work, became more and more confined to one room.

Eventually we found a family who lived in a more rural situation who could take them. They went to this new family, settled in well and probably had a happier life with them than with us even though we loved them.

My advice would be don't unless you are sure you can cope with them and give them what they need.

Silverfoxballs Fri 06-Sep-13 22:22:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thecatneuterer Fri 06-Sep-13 22:27:50

Don't 'buy' them from anywhere! If you buy kittens you are encouraging people to keep breeding their cat and bringing yet more cats and kittens into a world where thousands are put to sleep every day simply because there are not enough homes to go round.

Go to a rescue centre. And yes, two are generally a good idea (particularly if you get kittens instead of cats) as they can keep each other entertained.

Generally speaking adopting adult cats is easier as the rescue will know the personality of the cats and will be able to match the right sort of cat to your household and circumstances.

Why not post in 'the litter tray' part of the board where you'll let lots and lots of advice.

formerdiva Fri 06-Sep-13 22:28:09

I've had a couple of lovely toms before, but have ended up with one who wees everywhere in the house. He's neutered and we've tried many vets and proposed solutions, but 8 years later he still does it. I know 99% of toms are fine, but having gone through this, I'd go for females every time in the future (...actually I think I'd get a dog, but that's a different story smile)

coffeeandcream Fri 06-Sep-13 22:29:58

Yes, it's a myth that cats need another cat for company. Of all the bug cats, lions are the only ones who live in a social group!

You don't need to actively house train cats, they naturally know what to do waiting for someone to contradict me

Don't bother with a collar, cats are very good at getting them off!

Don't give them cows milk, cats are lactose intolerant and will get upset tummies! You can get special cat milk for them for a treat.

Love and worship them: in ancient Egypt, cats were worshiped as gods. They have never forgotten this...

NickNacks Fri 06-Sep-13 22:31:14

2 opposite views, argh!

I like the idea of them already being house trained. smile We do live on a main road but its not massively busy, it's just the main village road through the well... village! Around us there are tons of fields so I am a bit put off by the mice they might bang back.

On the plus side I work from home so would be around for them.

SonicPower Fri 06-Sep-13 22:31:34

I work with cats, so hope I can be of some help.

Evolutionary wise cats are solitary animals, unlike dogs, but many cats get on well with other cats and do often seem to really enjoy each others company. If you do want a pair then siblings are the best option, especially male - female pairs.

Personally I'd go for adult cats, then they are already house trained, just as lovely and cuddly, you know they get on if they have been together for a number of years. Also, with adult cats you will have a better idea of their personality, and some history, for example if they have lived in a home with children before.

Please visit a local rescue, they will be able to give you plenty of advice, and all rescues are always desperate for space to help more cats, and adult cats, particularly older adults, can be harder to find homes for.

Hope that helps!

waterlego Fri 06-Sep-13 22:32:43

Oooh, I love cats. We have had several- the first two came from rescue centres as adults and we had them one at a time. They seemed perfectly fine on their own. After the 2nd one died, we were catless for a while but eventually decided to get another one and then I managed to persuade my OH that we could get a kitten, or in fact two. We ended up with two boy kittens from the same litter and they are gorgeous- just over a year old now. I would suggest getting one on its own is fine if it's an adult rehomed cat, but consider two if kittens. I really have no idea if cats experience much in the way of emotion but getting them as a pair eased my conscience about taking them away from their mother.

If you do get kittens, the first year will cost quite a few bob at the vets, what with vaccinations, neutering, microchipping and flea and worming treatments.

Also, kittens need company when they're very tiny so aren't suitable for a home where the owners are going to be out every day for long periods.

And...when we got ours, I was expecting them to be all over the place and swinging off the curtains and so on, but in fact, they just slept for about 23 and a half hours a day. The swinging off the curtains came later smile

If you get kittens, it's recommended that you don't take them from the litter any sooner than (I think) 8 weeks old, so if you buy from a private seller, be aware that some will offer the kittens younger than 8 weeks, but they shouldn't as the kittens need to be with their mother till then.

Let us know how you get on!

NickNacks Fri 06-Sep-13 22:33:56

X posts!

Thank you for all your replies. I have lots to show dh.

gindrinker Fri 06-Sep-13 22:35:30

We've got a rescue lady cat who's about 10ish.
We love her, she's very cute and daft. She's spent most of this evening cuddled up on my lap...Mr gin has done something to offend her delicate sensibilities or he was trying to convince her to sit on him... So she chose me out of spite.

Get an older one they appreciate you, they still want to play but don't try to climb your curtains.

Get insurance!

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Sep-13 22:36:28


Why not post in 'the litter tray' part of the board where you'll let lots and lots of advice.

Was going to suggest this - let us know if you'd like us to move this thread OP

thecatneuterer Fri 06-Sep-13 22:37:18

Some of my cats are not keen on other cats (although they all learn to tolerate each other) and some are extremely bonded and can't bear to be apart (and they didn't always know each other before they came to my house). But if you go to a rescue you can get an already bonded pair.

Also if you go for more middle aged ones they're less likely to be going out mousing. It something that most (although not all) cats seem to grow out of (unless they have to do it to survive).

Please read a few rescue websites to give you an idea of the crisis affecting them all (too many cats coming in and too few homes) and I hope that will put you off the idea of paying someone to bring yet more into the world.

NickNacks Fri 06-Sep-13 22:38:42

You can move it if they're gentle with me! I'm a bit scared!

tabulahrasa Fri 06-Sep-13 22:41:08

Two kittens or two cats who've always been together (they don't need to be from the same litter) will get along with each other fine and they do keep each other company - but one's fine if you only want one.

Cats that are introduced as adults can be a bit tricky though.

If you've not got your heart set on a particular breed, just get in touch with a rescue and they'll find you cat/s kitten/s to suit your family.

They need food, water, bowls for teh food and water to go in, regular flea treatment and wormer from the vet, annual injections and possibly neutering (depending on whether you get adults or kittens), insurance is a good idea, toys and a scratching post...something like this gets well used.

Beds are a waste of time, they decide where to sleep. also you don't really housetrain cats, even with kittens they either come using a litter tray or it's more than likely always going to be an issue.

ErrorError Fri 06-Sep-13 22:42:45

X Posting here but yes to:

Rescuing, (if you're after 2, litter mates would get on best, none of the faff of sticking them together and risking fights. Unless they are 2 non-related cats who were housed together in previous home or the shelter and are okay.)

Adults or nearly adult. Not quite as challenging behaviour (sometimes!), house trained. Already been spayed/neutered and vaccinated.

Get them microchipped, even if intended to be indoor cats (in case of escape.)

Post in the litter tray. smile

Good luck!

tabulahrasa Fri 06-Sep-13 22:42:46

Oh and it's not a choice between rescuing and a kitten - rescues are full of kittens, just because some people don't seem to know that.

ErrorError Fri 06-Sep-13 22:45:56

Agree with tabulahrasa, rescues have loads of kittens if that's what your heart's set on.

GreenShadow Fri 06-Sep-13 22:46:51

We got two rescue kittens a few years ago - they were brothers and have never been apart. They get on very well (odd spat, but so do the DC) and love snuggling up together.
From our personal (limited) experience, I would definitely recommend getting two siblings.

Lovecat Fri 06-Sep-13 22:50:09

We ended up with four (four!!!) cats after being introduced to a mother cat and her kittens at the rescue centre. We went for kittens, DH fell in love with the mother cat, DD and I both liked different kittens and it wouldn't have been right to leave the other kitten on her own...

We've had cats before, brother and sister, from kittens to 18 years old. I wasn't keen on female cats as in my experience they are standoffish and dribble, while male cats are softer & dafter (once neutered). However, all four of our newbies are female and they are <touches wood> non-dribbly and four very different personalities. They all like piling on me whenever I sit down, though.

Rescues are overflowing with cats at the moment, please give them a try first. And good luck! smile

CoolItKittens Fri 06-Sep-13 22:50:38

We have three, one boy and 2 girls (all been done so no kittens!) that all came along at different times. The girls don't really like eachother and there's the occasional spitting match but generally they all get along ok.

Only one of ours will use a bed, none of them will use a scratching post and an old shoelace gives them far more entertainment than any proper toy we've bought them! And you'll be amazed how demanding and fussy they can be about food!

Agree with tabularahrasa about housetraining, one of ours has always preferred to crap on the floor no matter what litter we have down.

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