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Considering getting a cat - what do we need to think about?

(21 Posts)
BlueEyeshadow Sat 30-Apr-16 22:35:05

DS1 is desperate for a pet, and for various reasons, a cat would suit us best.

I think it would be best to get a young (not kitten) cat from Cats Protection or similar with a known temperament etc. What do we need to think about in terms of getting our house ready for a cat? DH has grown up around cats, but I haven't, although I do love them!

I work from home, so cat would have company.
The boys are boisterous so it needs not to be a fraidy puss.
Food, basket, litter tray.
Would it destroy the furniture?
Would it matter that DS2's room is a perpetual tip?
Can shelter people tell you whether it's liable to slaughter the local bird population all over the house?!

Allergictoironing Sun 01-May-16 08:04:14

I'm in a similar situation - will be getting my first own cats in a month or two, so need to start getting ready. My situation is a bit different as I want indoor only cats, but the stuff I can think of off hand that's missing from your list are:

Cat tree or at least indoor scratching post
Cat flap
Toys, including ones where you interact with the cat
Grooming brush or mitt
Treats

The scratching post should stop the furniture being ruined, my DSis's 2 outdoor cats use hers frequently so don't assume that they get their scratching done outside.
If your cat goes out, a cat flap is a must really or your whole life will be spent letting the cat out then 2 minutes later back in, then out again.
Cats need to play & hunt, and playing with them not only feeds that instinct but creates a good bond with the cat & their pet.
Most cats love being groomed (watch them groom each other some time smile) & it's a good way to check them over for injuries. As they get older they may get arthritis which reduces their ability to groom certain areas too.
Treats sort of speak for themselves grin.

iloveeverykindofcat Sun 01-May-16 08:26:09

Get a Feliway plug in. It diffuses cat pheromones in the air (undetectable to humans) that help them feel at home. It's the same stuff that comes out of their cheek glands when they mark things. Very helpful in settling them in.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sun 01-May-16 08:34:01

We've recently got a cat and we've bought-

Cat tree - can't tell you how much cat loves this and wish I'd got it sooner!

Cat nip spray

Feliway spray or diffuser

Cat toys

Cat flap

Scratching mats and posts

Cat toys

Grooming brush

Cat bowls for food and water

I think that's itsmile

Only1scoop Sun 01-May-16 08:35:34

Watching with interest want to get a rescue cat or kitten....

MrPony Sun 01-May-16 08:39:35

Why do you want a slightly older young cat? If your boys are loud and boisterous you might be better off with a kitten so that that's all it knows.

Lots of cat toys should help stop your furniture being destroyed but if you have something particularly nice to scratch they might still give it a go!

You need to prepare yourself for the local wildlife being brought home, it's inevitable. My youngest cat loves to behead them on my doorstep sad. My oldest used to love bringing live birds home through the cat flap so we would come down to a bird flying round our kitchen! He once brought a mouse home too and we had to chase it out. Was good fun actually

BlueEyeshadow Sun 01-May-16 20:49:16

Why do you want a slightly older young cat?

Partly because I would end up being the one doing kitten training, which I'm not keen on, and partly because of MIL's car, which despite careful socialising as a kitten, is an incredibly anxious animal and scared of everything that moves! I want a cat with a known temperament...

Lots of good tips here, thanks!

BlueEyeshadow Sun 01-May-16 20:50:08

Grr, that should be MIL's cat, obviously!

RubbishMantra Sun 01-May-16 22:38:19

Blue, I think you have the right idea about adopting an older cat. Ask the rescue centre if they're used to small children, what's their history etc. A cat who belonged to a frail, elderly lady probably wouldn't adapt to over enthusiastic youngsters.

You can't tell what a kitten's temperament may grow up into.

Before MCat, DH and I lived together, his nephews used to "chuck him about" when he was a kitten. (Not DH, MCat grin). He's now deeply mistrustful of anyone he doesn't know.

RubbishMantra Sun 01-May-16 22:42:48

*oh, and get them one of these Encourages cats to play, and children to interact, without little fingers being bitten/scratched.

TroysMammy Sun 01-May-16 22:46:07

Insurance. My 5 year old boy was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in January and is in heart failure. Including vet apointments, 2 visits to Langford small animal hospital in Bristol, emergency vets for aspiration of fluid from chest cavity, and a subsequent drain in vets and medication, insurance has been a godsend. I never expected I would need the insurance but in 4 months he is nearly up to his £4k limit. Lick-e-lix treats and a hang from the door bouncy, squeaky mouse from Pets At Home. Troy's favourites.

BlueEyeshadow Tue 07-Jun-16 16:34:20

Having said all that about not wanting a kitten, we currently seem to have first dibs on this little fellow ...! I have spoken to the fosterer about his temperament, and it seems like he should be reasonably bold once he's grown out of being spooked by his own shadow.

We have a home visit at the weekend and then can arrange to go and see him after that. Will be making lots of lists of all the suggestions from this thread, so thanks!

ElegantDream Tue 07-Jun-16 19:47:33

We were in your position and I'm SO glad a stuck to my guns and a kitten.

We knew her temperament, she was out of the scratchy, bouncy faze. She's really sensible and has slotted in to our lives without fuss. She was c. 1 year old when we got her.

lavenderdoilly Tue 07-Jun-16 19:51:51

Look at Jackson Galaxy on YouTube (us cat behaviourist ).

ElegantDream Tue 07-Jun-16 20:45:26

Sorry - stuck to my guns and didn't get a kitten.

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Jun-16 20:50:54

If you work from home do you need a cat flap? We don't have one and cats can't bring anything in!
Bedroom doors shut. At least kids. So no vomit on the floor or pouncing on them and waking them.
Don't know where you are. We got two cats from Katz castle in Surrey. Mum and son. 2 years and 18 months. They were old enough not to claw furniture. Young enough to play. Ideal.
Don't get a kitten with young kids. You will get clawed! Boisterous round a settling in cat is no good though. They will have to learn to be gentle around a pet. Or it may well find itself a new home.
Consider insurance and vaccinations. Microchipping. Cost of cattery or whatever if you go away.

pnutter Tue 07-Jun-16 20:52:52

My cats bring in mice birds etc. They have collars with bells. Oh and a rat once. I don't know why but this was the thing that shocked me the most . Now its the norm !

lljkk Tue 07-Jun-16 20:55:05

Awww.... (stamping feet impatiently to see more pics of cute kitten)

TheCatWhat Wed 08-Jun-16 22:30:51

We adopted a 4 month old kitten and have 2 boisterous boys. It has been a steep learning curve and Although he tolerates the DC now he will still go for a little nip now and then.

I was worried about the furniture but the only thing he scratches is the front of the sofa and his cardboard scratcher. I was also worried about litter training but he used the litter tray straight away and has never had an accident.

We let him out after he was neutered at 6 months. I work from home as well so we don't have a cat flap and it works well. He goes out for a sniff around in the morning for about an hour then sleeps next to my desk all day. Then he goes out again at about 5 until 10ish when we call him in for bed.

He was harder work in the early kitten stage then I expected but is the best companion ever.

BlueEyeshadow Sun 19-Jun-16 12:27:45

Smokey kitten arrived yesterday and already seems well at home and happy to play with the boys.

We'll get a cat flap when he's old enough to go out as my office is downstairs.

Will try and post a picture in a bit as MN ate it last time.

BlueEyeshadow Sun 19-Jun-16 14:52:29

See if it works this time...

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