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Getting a pair of kittens, indoor only

(12 Posts)
ProvisionallyAnxious Mon 03-Aug-15 11:36:55

Hello all!

My DH and I have been thinking about getting a cat / cats for some time now and were given a push this weekend when I found out that my childhood cat, living with my parents, had to be PTS. sad It's really made me remember how much joy he brought and, even though he wasn't living with me at the end, has left a bit of a cat-sized hole in my heart.

However, we live in a two-bedroom upstairs flat with no garden, and our front door opens directly onto the road. We live in a mid-sized village and the road can be fairly busy at times. So if we did get cats then they would have to be indoor only. We are planning on giving a lot of thought to how we would set up our living space to best accommodate them before coming to a definite decision.

From reading up on this it seems that for indoor-only cats it would be ideal to get a pair, as (feline) company can help prevent them from getting bored. We would like to get kittens. Ideally we would like to rescue kittens but most of the rescues I've read up about won't let kittens go to indoor-only homes. On the other hand if we got unwanted kittens from a local litter we would be saving them from potentially ending up in a rescue themselves.

Does anyone here have any advice / thoughts? Has anyone raised kittens to be indoor-only cats and are there any extra considerations we should bear in mind? If you've then moved to an outdoor-appropriate home have you slowly introduced the cats to the out of doors?

ShipwreckedAndComatose Mon 03-Aug-15 12:04:35

Have you considered looking at young adult cats that need re homing? With kittens it's harder to judge their personality and I have met some who have grown up to be very much out door sorts of cats. You may be able to find older cats that are already suited to indoor life and their personality is already known.

midnightvelvetPart2 Mon 03-Aug-15 12:15:24

I totally agree with Shipwrecked

We have an indoor rescue cat, she's a Ragdoll and one of the conditions of the shelter was that she remains an indoor cat. The shelter were able to tell me about her previous life, whether she was happy with children/other pets etc so i feel as though we can offer her a life that suits her as well as us. Plus although kittens are gorgeous I didn't want any of that scratching stage on my furniture, I wanted an older calmer cat and she's 5, so still playful but without the hassle of kittenhood smile
Go with the cat or kittens you want, indoor cats are lovely and I'd have another one in a flash

ProvisionallyAnxious Mon 03-Aug-15 18:15:46

I do see what you both mean. Whilst I would prefer kittens I think I'd be more easily persuaded by a slightly older rescue cat than my DH, who is very pro-kitten. The potential DKittens would be our first pets together so I think he's keen to raise them from small, IYSWIM!

I've been working through the costs in my head and have calculated that for food, vets, a week or so in a cattery per year, and saving up for emergency / unanticipated bills, that we should expect to spend around £1500 a year on keeping a pair - does that sound about right? Have I been too conservative / generous in my estimate?!

Micah Mon 03-Aug-15 18:21:44

A pair might be company as kittens, but you risk territorial behaviour (spraying etc, even neutered.) as adults. Indoor cats particularly, as they won't be able to establish their own territories. Plus a two bed is very small for one cat's territory.

I'd get one. Rescues often advertise "additional needs" cats tgat need an indoor home.

QforCucumber Mon 03-Aug-15 18:23:01

We have 2 full grown cats - £10 a week on food, £15 a month insurance. Family look after them when we are away.
Some rescues will home kittens to be indoor only, it's worth asking around.

ProvisionallyAnxious Mon 03-Aug-15 18:30:14


Does the £15 insurance include regular vet expenses (the way something like BUPA healthcare does for humans!) or is it just for extraordinary expenses?

Do cats that are raised together need / seek distinct territories? I didn't know that.

QforCucumber Mon 03-Aug-15 18:37:51

It covers vets bills over £200 so anything under that we pay ourselves (2 visits in 3 years so far)
Vets offered a £99 vaccination package so paid that when we got them.
When we first got them we were in a 2 bed ground floor flat and was fine for 2 years, now in a 3 bed house - they used to get stroppy now and then but no real fights one likes to be high up on top of things the other likes dark spaces like under beds .
They are a boy and girl, aged 7 and 3, both neutered/spayed

Micah Mon 03-Aug-15 20:11:57

According to our vet, siblings are more likely to get territorial, as are certain breeds. We had two siblings, so raised together. Outwardly adored each other, groomed, played, cuddled up.

About 18 months old they started spraying. Shorted the electrics, broke the TV, ruined furniture and carpets. We tried everything. In the end, when they were about 4, we have one to a family member as our vet advised separation was the only thing that would work. Both cats instantly much happier and the spraying stopped. The family member has moved since from a suburban area with lots of cats to a house where there's none on the street. Cat is even happier.

They are territorial animals and need their own space. Normally the compromise with other cats- going out at different times if territories overlap. Can't do that in a small flat.

imabusybee Mon 03-Aug-15 21:58:51

Definitely recommend getting two! I started out with my rescue girlie just me and her in my 1 bed tiny flat... she is a BSH from Battersea. Then I moved in with DP and we acquired two brothers at 14 weeks old - they all loved each other to bits and although girlie had to establish herself as boss there was minimal issues tbh. 6 months later and our final addition came so now we have a happy family of four indoor cats in our 3 floor, 3 bed house.

They have a real dynamic between them and all get on great tbh - the brothers are the closest though so I can definitely recommend getting siblings. I feel like their lives are so much richer from having each other - despite being indoor-only. They have plenty of fun and games with each other too, which means happy and tired cats most evenings. They all have their own 'spots' in the house and different routines - e.g. our littlest girl gets her cuddles in bed in the morning, whereas our oldest girl prefers sitting on knees in the evening. One of the boys only deigns to join us when he fancies, and the other likes tummy tickles on the bed during the day. They have a great life!

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 03-Aug-15 22:05:12

Kittens are a flipping pain though, they get nicknames like the dark destroyer.

I'd go for an inseparable adult pair who are used to being indoor only and don't want to go out.

One of our cats out of 6 has been indoor only by choice, the other 5 I couldn't have kept in without stressing them out and the current one wee's on the walls if he isn't happy.

SacredHeart Mon 03-Aug-15 22:12:08

We have three indoor cats, one was a rescue stray converted to indoor and two were brought as kittens and are siblings.

We have floor to ceiling cat trees in all major rooms in the house (3 in total) lots of beds and indoor toys (food toys, race tracks, da bird toys). We also invested in window covers meaning we can have the windows wide open with a mesh over them to stop cats getting in or out.

I think in the UK it is seen as unusual but in America and Australia it is far more common (even the standard) to have indoor cats. Main difference is you need to schedule play time and can't just kick them onto the streets to play.

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