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Feeling full of trepidation!

(17 Posts)
girlandboy Wed 12-Aug-15 17:40:40

Hi everyone.
I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks while I debate whether to indulge my long held desire for a cat! I have also been lurking on my local cat adoption websites and cooing over the delightful kitties that need a new home.
However, the longer I sit and read all your posts the more unsure I've become! I'm beginning to wonder if it's such a good idea after all?

The posts all seem to state similar things ie.
1. The cat weeing/pooing on the bed/behind telly/on sofa/anywhere but where it's meant to.
2. Constant mentions of litter trays, even for outdoorsy types of cats. When I was a child and we had cats, litter trays were unheard of. When did this happen?
3. 4am wake up calls by cat demanding to be let in/out. (I sleep badly enough as it is!)

I also have some questions:
1. How do I keep the cat from wandering outside in its 3/4 week initial indoor period when the weather is nice and my windows and back door are always open? Do I have to hermetically seal us in for a month?
2. Are boy cats friendlier than girl cats? Or the other way around? Or is that a daft question?
3. Is a cat flap actually a necessity, because basically I can't have one. I've got a 17th century listed house with an ancient back door that I can't start chopping into?

I've probably got some other questions too, but my mind has gone blank at the moment!
And sorry if these concerns and questions sound stupid, but I don't want to do something wrong, but I really would like to rescue an older cat and love it to bits!

whereshouldibuybee Wed 12-Aug-15 17:47:38

1. Yes, you'll have to seal cat in or if you want the door open for a bit, to shut it in one room.

2. Totally depends on the cat IME. My two girls are the friendliest, cuddliest cats on the planet but my mum's girl is very stand offish/nippy (she is still fab and still love her!). Again IME, the factor for cuddliness seems to be if they are indoor or outdoor cats. Indoor cats I've had tend to be friendlier. Outdoor cats are more independent/slightly less inclined towards cuddles but still have bags of personality.

3. It depends on if you want your cat to go outdoors or not really. If you do, and you don't have one, be prepared to consistently be letting it in and out - they're very indecisive!

You don't need a litter tray if its an outdoor cat really, but your neighbours may start getting annoyed if it poos in their garden. IME however many cats that go outdoors won't use litter trays. But others may have different experiences.

Litter trays really aren't a big deal, if you empty them regularly they don't smell.

tabulahrasa Wed 12-Aug-15 18:51:21

1. Yep you need the doors shut, though I've never needed to keep windows shut...unless you have them really really open?

2. It just depends on the individual cat really.

3. I don't have a cat flap, I just let them in and out...yes you do spend a bit of time going, well, make up your mind then or but you've only been out ten minutes, urgh, lol.

Litter tray...well, I don't really want my neighbours to clean up after my cats, I keep mine in at night so not having one seems spectacularly cruel and it means if there's ever a reason why they're struggling with outside, weather, old age, illness or being bullied by other cats then they're fine.

girlandboy Wed 12-Aug-15 19:11:35

Thank you for your replies.

I might wait a bit until the weather cools a bit, because my family are big on leaving the back door open in nice weather. I can guarantee that they will forget to close it!!
The cat flap is just a non-starter, so we'll have to get used to being a door opener/shutter.

If the cat is out all night, is it a nice idea to get some sort of outdoor hideaway/kennel for it to come back to if necessary?
And are there such things as outdoor litter trays? We only have a couple of neighbours (loads of open fields though) but I bet their gardens would be more appealing than ours for toileting!!

whereshouldibuybee Wed 12-Aug-15 19:19:22

I don't mean this rudely, but if you're really dead set against litter trays in the house you probably shouldn't get a cat, particularly an older one. Animals are messy and a bit grubby, you have to embrace it IYSWIM.

I don't think it would be fair to keep a litter tray outside personally.

girlandboy Wed 12-Aug-15 19:23:50

No fair enough, I'm just sounding out my thoughts.

I've got somewhere to put a litter tray, one would fit quite nicely in the downstairs bathroom (I've measured the gap and everything smile ) but I was just thinking about if the cat is outside at night and saving the neighbours garden!

whereshouldibuybee Wed 12-Aug-15 19:29:19

Tbh this is a massively unpopular opinion on MN but if your cat goes outdoors there isn't always much you can do to stop it pooing in gardens.

My mum's cat point blank refuses to use any kind of litter tray!

But all cats are different smile

girlandboy Wed 12-Aug-15 19:38:15

But it also got me thinking that when I was a child, no-one I knew with a cat actually had litter trays. confused I know we never did!

tabulahrasa Wed 12-Aug-15 19:45:30

Whereshouldibuybee...no you can't actually stop them going to the toilet outside, one of mine definitely does sometimes, but she has the option of using one of the trays and I'm at least trying to make sure it's me clearing up after them rather than someone else.

Re the being out at night - cats aren't nocturnal, they prefer to sleep most of the night and night is when they're more likely to be run over or hassled by foxes.

whereshouldibuybee Wed 12-Aug-15 19:47:40

I wasn't saying OP shouldn't provide litter trays, don't jump down my throat!

tabulahrasa Wed 12-Aug-15 19:57:02

Oh I wasn't - did I sound a bit nippy? Sorry, I was just agreeing that no, they don't always do what you'd like, being cats and all, lol, but I'm happier having one for them anyway.

Though one of mine does actually come in to use it and go back out.

whereshouldibuybee Wed 12-Aug-15 20:00:39

No sorry, I was being oversensitive - I am pregnant and hormonal smile

Wolfiefan Wed 12-Aug-15 20:04:08

We called our captain overnight. Foxes, more risk of cat fights and car accidents. Couldn't sleep if they were out.
Litter trays are a must. Your cat will need to be shut in for a while when you get it. Litter trays can help avoid accidents in the house. And if a cat is ill it can be helpful.
If you don't want to deal with litter then perhaps a cat isn't for you.

PeanutButterOnly Wed 12-Aug-15 20:04:10

Go for it! I think having a litter tray with a lid is fine especially in a bathroom. Find a litter you're happy with, change it as soon as they poo and it doesn't smell. This would be good if you haven't got a cat flap and needed to leave cat indoors sometimes whilst you're out. We're having to have a permanent tray with our new cat because he won't currently use the flap. Actually with our old cats, where we has no tray, it was occasionally a pain to suddenly have to set one up when they were poorly etc.

girlandboy Wed 12-Aug-15 20:12:22

Yes, as I said I have a nice spot marked out for a litter tray. There certainly seems to be a huge choice for cat litter grin

It does make me wonder what we did in the olden days though (1960's/70's!!)

So all the cat owners who let their cats out at night, have you ever discovered what they do or where they go if they're not nocturnal? My mother always "put the cat out" last thing at night!

girlandboy Wed 12-Aug-15 20:30:23

Oh, and I'd just like to emphasize I'm not against litter trays, but I was wondering that if there was an outdoor version of one, then it might save the neighbours gardens from being used as a toilet!

I work from home, so apart from going shopping I'm in nearly all of the time. My office is in the garden so the cat would have plenty of company smile

PeanutButterOnly Wed 12-Aug-15 21:09:19

Haha agree re olden days. Our first family cat came to us as a kitten in 1978 and never had a flap or a tray. He used to sleep in my mum's wicker shopping basket at night.

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