Rescue cats(21 Posts)
I have no experience of owning a cat but I'd like to get one for my daughter who will be 2 in the autumn. I'd prefer to get a rescue. How likely is it to get a rescue kitten? I don't know anything about the process or indeed how difficult it actually is to own a kitten / cat.
What do I need to know?
Personally I wouldnt get a cat for a 2 year old. We had geriatric cats when my dc were born. When the cats died, I waited until my youngest was 5 before we rescued some kittens.
Any good rescue place will do a home visit to check. Do you live somewhere quiet with a garden or in a flat?
Cats are pretty easy to live with although kittens will be a bit nuts for the first year. They need feeding, watering, a litter tray, vaccinations, neutering etc.
Very young children and kittens don't really mix - at that sort of age it's hard to prevent the child from being a bit rough with any animals which can lead to terrified kitten, scratched/bitten child or even severely injured kitten (they are very delicate creatures). Most good rescues won't adopt out kittens to homes with very young children for good reason, plus kittens are normally adopted out in twos.
If you are determined to get a cat soon, best to talk to a reputable rescue and discuss whether they have an older cat that is used to children.
Don't get a cat for a child who isn't even 2. WTF?! Cats can live for over 20 years. They need worming and flea treatment and vaccinations as well as feeding and litter tray cleaning out. A toddler can't do that!
Get her a soft toy.
If you want a cat don't get a kitten. Small children can kill them or be scratched and bitten.
Kittens are unpredictable and aren't the best option with small children. I have an adult rescue and she's great with my little nieces and nephews. She was only 2.5 when we got her so we should have many years with her. She is exceptionally gentle and has never scratched me, not
even when we've had to put her in the shower. People often assume that a cat brought up with children from a kitten will automatically be child friendly and that isn't the case. One of the cats we had when I was younger was a nervy, scratchy demon cat. She was fine as a kitten but as she matured became less and less tolerant. My sister who was still quite little when we got her and couldn't resist bothering her still has a few scars from when kitty wasn't in the mood.
Please don't do this until your child is older. Part of the beauty of having a pet is being able to do things for it, including feeding, handling, and understanding how to interact with it. At the very best outcome you are risking a scratched and terrified toddler, and at worst a dead kitten (kittens are delicate and toddlers tend to squish them like soft toys). For this reason a rescue is highly unlikely to approve you as a good home for kittens.
Spend some time doing research, save a cushion of money (looking after cats properly isn't cheap), and wait until your daughter is about five. By that age children remember a whole lot more, and will be able to help care for the kittens (as you should get two together to minimise them "play attacking" you and your daughter).
We choose to get a cat when dd was about 5 months. However, we adopted an adult cat (she was around 5). We took dd when we met our cat and gauged her reaction to dd. It's worked very well for us, both our children (4 and 2 now) have learnt to respect our cat and be gentle with her. We are incredibly lucky that our cat is extremely placid and loving.
Have you considered an adult cat?
If you've never had a cat before so you know nothing about owning one, what made you decide to get one for your toddler?
I think it's a terrible idea btw.
Cats can be hard work, mine was an utter bastard of a kitten until we had him castrated.
It's a 20 year commitment & vets bills stack up quickly. The last uti he had was £80 for a consultation and painkillers.
It's not something to do on a whim & kittens have been killed by toddlers which is why rescues won't rehome to families with kids under 5.
If your house proud a cats not the ideal pet, they do tend to destroy the place.
Thank you for all helpful the replies. It's such a shame that you can't seem to post anything on MN without being attacked / criticised though.
I've name changed for this thread as I do with every thread as I treasure my anonymity. I've only ever started topics for advice and start out at an open and curious place and always I've been met with at least one or dig from someone.
Seriously, what is the"WTF" for or the ?
"What made you decide to get one for your toddler" - rtft Rhonda - I haven't decided anything. I know nothing and am being very transparent about that. I want to learn so I don't fuck things up - it seems clear that a kitten whilst my daughter is so young isn't a great idea so I won't do it. I don't know if I don't ask do I?
Sorry for the massive rant but Jesus. I'm fucking trying. I'm trying every day with nobody around for rl help and I just wanted some advice. Thank you for those that gave it.
You don't get a pet for a child. Ever. A child that young hasn't chosen to have a pet, won't look after it, can't pay for it and may even hurt it. It's a stupid idea. Get the kid a cuddly toy.
I think it's possible for you to get a rescue cat - not a kitten (actually I think everyone should get an adult cat - you can be surer of their temperament). But IME there are not that many available that the organisations say are definitely OK with little kids. It's still worth a look though.
There's several rescue workers on the board who have known kittens killed by toddlers which is why people are so twitchy.
No one wants you in doubt that it's not a great idea.
An adults better because their pretty strong animals (6'3" Dh could just contain ours as a young cat) & they can get away but in the process your DD could get scratched pretty badly.
I also think the right adult rescue cat could be fine. I'd speak to some rescues and see what they say. I got mine from the blue cross, they have centres all over the country. You came and asked for advice and didn't go out and buy a kitten on a whim. Lots of people do. You sound sensible to me and may well be able to find a cat that would fit in well with your family. My rescue would have been fine in a house with a toddler as long as she was given somewhere to escape to and the adults were relatively vigilant in supervising the toddler. It's never a problem when my nieces and nephews are here and we don't watch them like hawks or anything just tell them when she's had enough to leave her alone.
Cats are a relatively easy pet to care for as long as you have insurance. she costs us a fair amount of money once you add up insurance, flea and worm treatment, cat litter and food. I won't feed her cheap stuff, it makes her smell bad and I don't want to have to clean soft poos out of her long hair when it gets stuck . She also has a pretty expensive dreamie and lick-e-lix habit. Plus cattery fees or cat-sitters for holidays or the extra fee to take her with us in the U.K. I don't say that to put you off but just to give you an idea of how things can add up.
She is very good at understanding "gentle" and when I tell her to move away. She's quite tentative around animals and constantly looks for reassurance from me but I suppose it was the unpredictability of both toddlers and animals that I was concerned about.
Perhaps an adult cat would be better. But still, it might be better to wait until she's older.
Still the fact remains do YOU want a cat. DD has a thing about ginger cats. But it's me who feeds and cleans out and gives pills and flea treatments. And does vet visits. And pays. And cleans up any accidents. Last cat lived for nearly 20 years. Do you want that commitment? (And at the end she cost us over £60 a month in meds)
Waiting a little bit probably isn't a bad idea. I definitely recommend an adult cat. I doubt I'll ever get a kitten again now. I'm totally converted. It was actually DP that suggested a rescue, I'd always just associated getting a cat with getting a kitten as we only ever got kittens when I was growing up. I'm so glad that I he suggested it. Kittens are hard work and cat scratches set off my allergies so having a placid cat makes a big difference. We trawled through the descriptions looking for the right sort of temperament and held out for a long-haired cat, again due to my allergies. The centres seem to really care about getting the right match between cat and home and it worked out really well for us.
Neither of my sons were rough with our old cat (who was PTS at the age of 20 last summer) when they were toddlers. Still, she did not like them much until she and they were older (when she spent much of her time on my DS1s bed). All our lives were enriched by her, and she was very loved (as is our new girl)
cluelessclara I don't think anyone is being deliberately Nast, the litter tray is normally a pretty supportive place.
Toddlers can and do accidentally damage or kill kittens. Kittens are so tiny it's unreal and the urge to squeeze them, even as a rational adult is overwhelming. Friend if a friend cat had kittens, toddler killed two out of five.
Toddler injured my 20 year old cat so badly she has to be put down ( not my toddler, spoilt brat belonging to friend).
An adult cat with assessed nature etc. is a better bet and more robust.
All cats are cute and can form a bond with you ( some cats will never be lap cats but doesn't mean they aren't sociable), but asking the rescue for one that is used to small children is a better bet. There's never a guarantee , but a known entity stands a better chance of being a successful adoptee.
I agree that an older cat with a history of being with toddlers is the way to go, I've had a couple of cats that were completely bombproof with toddlers, actively sought them out.
Kittens are scratchy, even with adults, if you get the wrong one you could have a real problem. I had one who's only pleasure was to clamp on and rake, he'd have been a disaster with a child.
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