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Is a flat, no garden, ever suitable for a cat?

(35 Posts)
bittenipples Sun 13-Oct-13 08:20:32

I am day dreaming really, maybe its too soon after my old rescue dog was pts a few months ago. Its just that Ive never really had a pet free household and it feels wierd. I cant get another dog, that would be just silly as Ive got a small toddler and a small flat.

So just curiosity really, could (in the future) a flat provide a home for perhaps an older rescue cat? what about the toddler?

Treasures Thu 31-Oct-13 00:45:51

We rescued our cat a year ago from CP. He had never been outside. We live in a second floor, 2 bed flat. He's perfectly happy, gets tons of exercise as he loves racing around the flat and jumping off/over any furniture that gets in his way grin and we play with him lots. The only problem we had was that he liked to stand on the windowsills, up on his back legs, to look at birds flying past. We worried he might try to go for them so we got cat nets from ZooPlus online. They're brilliant. They are ugly!! But they do the job and it's easy to unhook them to open/close Windows.

Caitlin17 Sun 27-Oct-13 23:52:30

Sorry, schnockles, not chuckles.

Caitlin17 Sun 27-Oct-13 23:51:37

As chuckles says, in the case of feline aids outdoors access is impossible

Caitlin17 Sun 27-Oct-13 23:49:43

It's absolutely not acceptable for an adult cat who has had outdoor access.

It's not acceptable for a kitten to bring it up denying it the chance of outdoor access.

I'm not even sure if I think it's acceptable just because an adult cat has never had outdoor access. One of my 4 had no outdoor access before she came to me and she adores getting out to the garden.

However if a rescue cat is genuinely very nervous and timid or has health issues then it might be ok. It's certainly obviously better than no life at all.

schnockles Thu 24-Oct-13 14:14:14

Our rescue cat has feline aids so she can't go outside. She's been an indoor cat since we got her as a kitten and she's always been happy. We make sure she exercises by doing lots of playtime and she has a scratching post etc.

If you'd like a cat have a talk with your local cats protection league or RSPCA. There are plenty of rescue cats gentle and tolerant enough for toddlers too.

Noodles123 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:08:32

I think it depends on the cat. We have British Shorthairs which are often recommended as house cats and they are definately very chilled out, relaxed souls. Ours are lucky - after we lost our beloved Blue on the lane outside we spent quite a bit on cat proofing our garden (which is maybe 30m long by 15m wide) so they have the run of that, with two big apple trees to climb and lots of shrubs and flowered to hide in.
But - they wouldn't mind overly being inside I don't think, certainly they both came from families of indoor cats.
How about an older cat that has been used for breeding?

ILoveMakeUp Tue 22-Oct-13 07:37:07

Cats are happy indoors, if that is all they've ever known. We have indoor cats. They have a good life. In fact, our vet recommends that you keep cats indoors.

Just one thing... please, please get from a rescue center.

livinginwonderland Tue 22-Oct-13 07:34:47

We have two cats who have always been indoor cats. We live in a 2-bed flat and we've had them since they were 12 weeks.

They have lots of places to climb up and they have lots of boxes to play in and we do make sure we play with them everyday. I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping cats indoors so long as you make sure they're well-stimulated.

You need to make sure you have the time to play with them and you have to make sure you clean the litter trays regularly too.

dementedma Mon 21-Oct-13 21:58:04

Personally I wouldn't have a cat if it had no access to outdoors but I can't abide litter trays so that's probably just me.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 22:09:51


Fluffycloudland77 Wed 16-Oct-13 22:08:50

Like this

catameringue Wed 16-Oct-13 22:06:15

I love Maru!
He's so awesome the way he slides along in boxes.

I was given a large kitten by someone who had kept him in a one bed flat. He was too boisterous to cope but is now an indoor cat in a house with an enclosed run.

I think flats are fine just need to be creative with making high up places do cats can be high up and also tear about.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Wed 16-Oct-13 02:10:17

Well, I can't fault someone for having that much commitment to animals in distress. Well done.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 00:32:27

PS - she volunteers for a rescue so I think she tends to end up with some of the apparent 'no hopers' that need fostering/care/home comforts.

cozietoesie Wed 16-Oct-13 00:25:47

I think thecatneuterer who posted above had 21 at the last count. (Mind you, it's been a few days since she gave that number so the figure may have changed!)


MokuMoku Wed 16-Oct-13 00:22:59

Yes, she did seem slightly embarrassed about the sheer number. She said most were rescue cats.

The Maru videos are posted by mugumogu, the box ones are utterly adorable.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Tue 15-Oct-13 23:06:27

7 cats is a lot!

Yeah, when we lived in a high-rise apartment, before we had a house, our cat at the time was indoor-only, and she was fine with it. And our cats now don't have any interest in going outside. I guess it boils down to what they're used to.

I'll have to look up Maru the cat. My DD is 4, and loves cat videos.

MokuMoku Tue 15-Oct-13 22:53:17

Yes, it is funny for me too that people in the UK seem to see keeping a cat indoors as a big problem.

I was talking to another mum at kindergarten recently in Japan and she told me that they have 7 cats, all indoors only.

Having said that, my rescue cat is looking very miserable today as there is a typhoon and even he isn't brave enough to go out in it.

I suspect any rescue would be pleased to find an older, indoor cat for you.

By the way, my toddler loves watching Maru the cat on Youtube. He is a very spoilt cat that lives in a lovely flat.

CanucksoontobeinLondon Tue 15-Oct-13 22:42:55

Apologies for threadjack.

Well, we've only ever lived in big cities here. I suspect it varies from locality to locality. And the local SPCA here may or may not adopt out indoor/outdoor cats. We adopted our two boys from a private rescue which seemed quite paranoid about the dangers of cats going outside. The two we adopted, as it happens, had always lived indoors, so we decided to keep it that way. But there were other cats up for adoption there who'd been indoor/outdoor in their previous homes who they were still insisting should only go to an inside-only home. In my experience, convincing a cat who's accustomed to being allowed outside to stay inside all the time is a tough ask.

On a practical level, even if you want your kitty to go outside, it gets so darn cold in the winter in much of this country that realistically, your cat's going to be indoor-only most of the winter. And we have coyotes, which are much bigger than foxes (the indigenous British predator, or so DH says). When I was a kid, we used to keep our cat in at night because coyotes are nocturnal.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Oct-13 22:04:07

Is that anything to do with local legislation though and/or the likelihood of predators, Canuck ? (I don't know, just wondering.)

CanucksoontobeinLondon Tue 15-Oct-13 21:59:01

This thread is a fascinating example of cultural differences, because many rescue organizations in Canada won't adopt out a cat unless you promise to keep it indoor-only. Although I suspect that promise is honoured more in the breach than in the observance by many adopters.

eggyhead Tue 15-Oct-13 16:09:03

Unless it's an indoor cat it will need some outside space.

My cat doesn't go far but he loves the garden and we also have a woodland beyond. He loves to sit on top of the shed to check what's happening!

A rescue centre will probably have a few indoor cats looking for a new home. I am sure they will be delighted to come and live with you!

loraflora Tue 15-Oct-13 15:59:11

A friend had a rescue cat and she lived in a flat in a busy part of North London. The cat was FIV+ I believe so couldn't go outdoors and mix with other cats. Still made a great companion and was happier there than in a rescue.

thecatneuterer Mon 14-Oct-13 19:51:02

Just a point on windows. You say you don't have any that open at the bottom. Windows that open at the top can also be a problem. You'd be amazed at what a determined cat can get out of. So for the first few weeks you need to keep all windows closed, however small the gap and wherever they open.

Of course if you get an old cat its climbing abilities are likely to have seen better days. You will still need to be careful though.

cozietoesie Mon 14-Oct-13 08:36:22

As I mentioned a couple of months back, I saw recently on a breed rescue site an elderly chap (19) whose owner had died. He looked so sad (but dignified) and you can only imagine how hard it must be to lose your special person at that age. Luckily, he was only on the site for a few days before he seems to have found a new home.

I realize that that is probably a tad older than you were thinking of but taking on an oldie for their remaining sunset years is great for them as well as yourself.

Lots of luck and let us know how you get on.

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