We're getting a cat/kitten, best food/litter advice please.(25 Posts)
We're going to a rescue centre tomorrow to look at cats/kittens.
DD (9) obviously wants a kitten but I'd prefer an adult cat. I have a feeling she'll win!
I've had cats before, I used to have 3 but had to rehome them when I divorced. This was 7 years ago.
I've seen the tray and carrier I want, but I'm clueless about litter and food I went to a pet shop and couldn't believe how many types of food there are and litter.
I'm happy to pay for decent food, so any suggestions appreciated.
There must have been 30 different litters clumping, wood, paper, fragranced! Help with this one please.
Finally pet insurance, advice on the best one please, and I've noticed there are life policy and fixed price?
How lovely, a new cat
You are right, there are many different choices and I know lots of helpful Litter Tray folk will be along to advise. I was going to suggest speaking to the rescue about the diet they have been on as you don't want to make any drastic changes straight away, in case they get upset tummies. I have kept mine on felix pouches for now which is what the rescue were feeding them, we've had them three weeks and it seems to suit them well. I also give them a few Royal Canin biscuits for supper, the indoor cat ones for now.
With regards to litter I use the non clumping wood pellets, you can just scoop the poo out, and wee just makes the pellets disintegrate. Again I would go with what the rescue use to start with to encourage them to use the litter tray.
Its worth asking your vets if they do a monthly direct debit pet care scheme to cover the cost of worming, flea treatment, vaccinations and health checks, it works out cheaper for us, around £11 each a month.
Good luck and of course you'll have to come back and post some pics of your new arrival!
Yes to keeping the food and litter the same as they are used to.
I use clumping litter. Very cheap from Lidl. Be sure to leave a deep enough bed.
Food. I let mine have a little bit of dry (grain free) but mostly wet. Cats often don't drink much so need to get lots of water from wet food. (Had a boy have a UTI on decent dried food.) I've tried expensive wet food. Mine love Felix pouches. As it's available easily (no need to have it delivered or worry about driving miles to get it in the snow) we have stuck with that. It's not one of the best by any means.
I really think it depends on the cat. My little guy consistently eats his dry food, so I make sure that's good quality - he likes Lily's Kitchen - but more often than not ignores his wet. I've tried everything, but he always turns his nose up after a day or two, so I mix them up.
Fluid is important, so we give a good dish of kitten milk in the evening to make up for his dry food habit.
In an ideal world he'd have much more wet than he does, but I usually manage to get half a pouch down him, or a full pouch of the cat soup.
As for litter, we've been really lucky. He's never gone anywhere but his tray. These days we use the silica gel ones from Pets at Home (green) because they don't smell, but he really isn't fussed.
Oko Cats best litter, it clumps and stops smells-it isn't perfumed but does work. Try online company zooplus.
Insurance, get the best you can Petplan Lifetime. Not the cheapest but worthwhile, they are good at paying up (read exclusions carefully though). Vet bills can soon add up.
They don't always like water near their food!
Food, there is so much out there now. Agree with keeping them on what they're used to at first and changes need to be done gradually.
Oh and post pictures once kitty is home, tis the rules on here!
Virtually identical to Posie here (did we rehome from the same rescue I wonder?) - wood pellets, Felix AGAIL and Royal Canin. Mine get 1.5 pouches a day between them, of which they waste at least half a pouch, and Royal Canin ad lib (varying between indoor and anti-hairball). They both drink very well so have no worries about that.
The only difference is that as mine are indoor only it wouldn't work out cheaper to be on a monthly plan with the vet, as mine will only need worming & de-fleaing once a year as a precaution rather than much more often.
I spent a very long time researching insurance, and came down to the Petplan LIfetime same as Vinorosso. If they develop a long term condition like diabetes it can cost a fortune in meds which the insurers won't pay for with after the first year if you don't have Lifetime cover. I also found out that Petplan is the preferred insurers for vets, as they are much more likely to pay up and will pay the vet directly (apart from the excess of course). I know having indoor cats mean mine are much less likely to have a major accident, but I want my precious furballs to have the best treatment if something does happen to them rather than what I can afford at the time from rather meagre savings.
I tried cat litter crystals (in a pink bag) recently and was very impressed. There was no smell, which was a big improvement on other types we gave tried. After that, catsan is good, but more expensive.
We use purina or iams dry cat food.I would steer well clear of cheap brands like GoCat - my cat would throw it up undigested - it must be awful!
In terms of food - try to give them food that has the highest meat content. I feed / have fed mine
Natures Menu country hunter /kitten
Applaws (the best dry food imo)
Animonda von Feinstein (from zooplus)
Petplan is the best insurance to go for. One of my cats ate a load of pink cotton which resulted in £2k vets fees which were paid very promptly.
Cat litter is a personal preference but I tend to use the wood ones.
How exciting! For kittens, don't get clumping litter, if they eat any it can clump in their stomach, causing problems. Try to get smaller sized pieces- Sainsbury's anti odour one is non clumping and quite little pieces - they'll need to be able to dig and their paws are so tiny! Some clay based ones are quite dusty too. Tesco cheapest was quite bad for this.
In terms of food, ours had kitten wet food and our vet friend has just recommend hill scientific as a high quality dry food.
We also had lots of toys and a covered bed so they had somewhere to hide and sleep.
I'd love to see some pics if you can post them!
I got 2 kittens a couple of months ago- we weren't able to keep them on the food & litter they were in so I did lots of googling.
I discovered everyone prefers their own type of litter, so I guess that's trial an error.
Applaws dry food is excellent. I've also been giving my kittens James wellbeloved pouches which seem good.
I had 2 cats for 18 years and no insurance. I guess we got lucky, but we never never needed it, but wanted to get some clever for my kittens. I was horrified at the price of petplan and went for insurance from a livestock company (animal insurance?) which seems to offer the same cover at half the price. Hopefully I'll never have to find out if they're any good at paying out.
If anyone can suggest a good cat bed which can be tumblr dried I love to hear about it I managed to melt the bed in the pic.
My 3 cats drink water. I give it to them in clear drinking glasses, just a little distance from their food. Cats don't like having water so close to their food. I also have water in glasses in other parts of the house, which encourages them to drink.
Mine have prescription dry food. One has Royal Canin urinary and the other 2 for renal probs. I do give them wet food, pouches, just so they have something different to taste, and tuna.
I use Tesco own cat litter, €2.69 a bag, (I live in a euro country). I line the trays with one sheet of newspaper, then put a little bit of litter in, just so they have enough to scratch around in, and I clean & change litter trays each time they're is used.
I don't have insurance for them. I've neveread thought it was with it. But you might think differentlyou, as cats do have many ailments, especially as they age.
How did your visit to the rescue centre go.
Cats are carnivores but most well-known brands of cat food has a shockingly low meat content (as low as 4%) So my advice is to buy your pet food online or from a good pet shop that sells good quality food with a high meat content.
Our cats like Orijen dry food and Lily's Kitchen wet food, and I buy both from Zooplus. There are other brands so do check them out and maybe buy a few options in small quantities in case your cat decides it doesn't like them! (Ours used to like Nature's Menu before they went off it, but they've always liked Orijen.)
As for cat litter, we tried loads and now we stick to Cats Best Oko Plus. It really is the best! Clumping, biodegradable, doesn't smell. We buy that from Zooplus as well.
Enjoy choosing your cat!
Oh and we got comprehensive Lifetime insurance which is the most expensive but has already paid for itself, 2 years in!
I have a very picky rescue cat (got her at 9 months and she's now 9 years) who loves James Wellbeloved. With any food, check that it has taurine in (either naturally or added) - I'm sure someone who is more awake than me can say exactly why but I know it's important. Also as a pp mentioned the Zooplus website is very handy both for food and litter choices, and you can get cashbook through Quidco too (it all adds up ). I use the Applaws litter, which is clumping and only needs to be fully changed about once a month (you just scoop out the clumps and poop and top it up a bit). It's biodegradable and most importantly Mrs super picky over her litter tray doesn't mind it, so it must hold the smell really well. She used to just pee once and then never use it again until I scooped it, which was a pain. I'm on the app so can't do paragraphs which is a pain
major flaw. Anyway, please consider getting a cat rather than a kitten. You'll know the cat's temperament so will know if you're getting a lap cat or not or rather you can choose to get a lap cat if that's what you want. With a kitten you have no idea of their personality or how snuggly they will be. You also won't have to clean up the inevitable extra mess from a kitten when they step in poo; chew everything they're not supposed to and all the times they will stab you with their tiny razor-sharp claws when they climb your legs for food. Oh and re insurance always the lifetime plan. You never know what they will develop as a young cat that will be written off fixed plans after a year or two. My cat is basically uninsurable for so many things due to her being a stray, having teeth problems and developing cat flu due to lack of vaccinations as a kitten (before I got her).
Thanks everyone, we're going today (Sunday), I'll update if we choose one!
We're back! We saw every cat there, were not allowed a kitten as it would be on its own for 6 hours a day while I'm at work.
We saw two cats we liked, a pure black very friendly 9 month old male and a black and white girl also friendly.
I'm not sure what I was expecting though, I thought it would be like buying your wedding dress and I'd just know it was the one. But I'm torn, it's their little faces looking at you through the glass, all showing off saying pick me
There was one older cat who was just adorable, but he had feline leukaemia so had to be an indoor cat. I don't think that would work for us otherwise we'd have had him.
The girl can't go yet as she's a stray so we're calling back Friday and if she's not claimed, we'll be taking her.
Should there be a feeling or am I being silly!
You're probably being silly! When we picked our cats I really like the prettiest one and was gutted when she was taken So we got the friendliest one (who had fallen asleep on DH's lap) and her comical brother, and haven't regretted it one bit.
I think you should get the black boy because you describe him as "very friendly" and that's an excellent sign! Plus black cats are beautiful but harder to rehome than black and white cats.
However, if you have you heart set on the female, she needs a good home too, so you can't go wrong!
Were you able to go in the pen and spend a little time with them? Although not a certainty that they are behaving as they would in a home environment, you do get some idea of their personality and temperament. The rescue should also be able to give you a good idea of their character.
We adopted a beautiful cat who we were told was friendly family cat, she really wasn't. She was very unhappy in our home, either aloof or biting/scratching us and after 4 months she disappeared We were much wiser the next time round, chose a rescue that knew the cats well, and when we went in the pen with a pair of cats who came right up to us and rubbed around us, we knew they were the ones. Three weeks in and we love them to bits, they have fitted right in to our family.
A hard decision but a lovely one!
We're in the process of moving back with our two and can't get the food brand they eat currently in the UK.
I've done some research and ordered them Applaws and James Wellbeloved for dry food and Hi Life and Nature's Menu for wet pouches.
Litter-wise, mine will only use fine crystals and will meow at me to change it if I have used anything else.
We just got a rescue cat and still using the pouches he was used to. But litter wise we have gone for cats best one as recommended on here. Very impressed. It doesn't smell at all, it's flushable and clumps so you can just scoop and flush as needed, and we're changing and washing the whole tray once a week. Once poos and wees removed, the rest of the litter will go on the compost too.
I found it hard to choose a cat, we went for one who was quite young and was timid but not aggressive. Two weeks later he's really started to come out of his shell. Who knows whether he was the 'right' cat, but he seemed cute and the rescue reckoned he'd be ok with kids. (He is - bit wary but very playful.) Enjoy choosing!
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