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To cat or not to cat - advice please?

(71 Posts)
fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 16:41:25

I’ve never had pets, beyond goldfish (rip Franck and Russell) and I tend to tolerate rather than adore animals.

DH always had a cat when he lived with his parents, and is desperate for us to get one.

We’ve reluctantly given up hope of having DC2 so a cat would be some company for DS (5) and give him something to look after. He’s lovely with the neighbourhood cats and I have no concerns there.

My main sticking point is, I can’t bear the thought of having a litter tray in the house (bike) but DH is insisting all cats need them, even outdoor cats.

Is this true? Are there any types of cats which would be better to get? We just have AstroTurf in the garden, would this be a problem?

Thanks if you got this far, any advice appreciated.

minipie Sat 02-Dec-17 16:44:15

I grew up with cats and never had a litter tray after the initial settling in period or if one was ill and couldn't go outside.

You will need some kind of soil area in the garden though. They have to bury their poo somewhere.

QueenOfAccidentalDeathStares Sat 02-Dec-17 16:47:22

You will need one initially, as they will have to be kept inside for the first 2-3 weeks. After that, as long as the cat agrees with you, you don't need it. Don't through it away though, as you may need it again if cat is I'll for example. Qcat only needed trays in his old age

Taffeta Sat 02-Dec-17 16:47:39

If it’s an outdoor cat and the cat has access to a garden of course you don’t need a litter tray.

We had our cat as a rescue kitten and he was litter tray trained, and he used one until he was spayed and allowed outside at 5 months. It took him a week to get used to going to the loo outside, and we’ve not had a litter tray for 7 years now.

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 16:49:52

Thanks- we have a wee chipped area about 2x1m which I’d quite happily lay soil in instead. Would that do?

But how does the cat know to go there? I wouldn’t want to upset the neighbours if it went into their gardens to do it.

Taffeta Sat 02-Dec-17 16:49:55

Ah just saw the AstroTurf bit. As pp said the cat will need access to an area with earth eg a bed or something so it can bury its poo.


Taffeta Sat 02-Dec-17 16:51:04

Do your neighbours have cats? Pooing in another cats territory is war.

Non cat gardens are fair game though.

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 16:52:17


Ok so I could cope if it was just a couple of weeks or in case of illness.

We were thinking of a rescue cat, then the rspca could advise us on best fit for our family. Would that still have to be indoors for a while or is that just kittens?

Oops4 Sat 02-Dec-17 16:53:42

We don't have a litter tray unless we need to keep her in. It's a good idea to provide a place for your cat to go but in my experience they will choose where they want to go and there's a fair chance it won't be the place you intended!

My dh wasn't a cat fan until we got ours and now he's a convert.

Taffeta Sat 02-Dec-17 16:54:10

It would depend on the cat, if it’s a rescue. Tell the rescue people you’d like a cat that will be able to do it’s business outside within a short space of time.

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 16:55:03

There are a few cats about, including the house opposite.

I’m feeling daft for asking but how do they learn where it’s ok to toilet?

(Is that even a verb?!)

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 16:56:16

It’s not just the neighbouring cats but the neighbouring humans I wouldn’t want to upset!

Ollivander84 Sat 02-Dec-17 16:56:20

I think a lot depends on the litter you use too. The stuff I use is easy, clumping, and smell free. I keep the tray tucked away behind a screen. My cat won't go to the toilet outside hmm so I have to have one!

Taffeta Sat 02-Dec-17 16:57:48

Who knows?! Cats are a mystery, they figure it out for themselves. There’ll be a LOT of sniffing and stuff, and digging up earth, more sniffing etc. You don’t need to trouble yourself with it, that’s one of the wonderful things about cats.

BeetrootTart Sat 02-Dec-17 17:00:30

Personally I think all cats should have a litter tray or be encouraged to poo in their own gardens as it's horrible for your neighbours to deal with. I have a litter tray. Mine will only wee in my garden they come back in to poo.

They instinctively know to use the litter tray if they have been properly socialised as it is instinctive to dig and bury. Both of mine were popped in the box a couple of times when I first got them and we didn't have any mishaps.

Taffeta Sat 02-Dec-17 17:00:58

Most cats bury their poo unless there’s CatWar going on.

Most cats also won’t wander into Mrs Buckets rose bed and dig it all up and shit everywhere.

They’re territorial and usually stick to the same area.

MaidenMotherCrone Sat 02-Dec-17 17:01:13

Cats 'go' where they want to 'go'!

Cat 1 will only go outside. If she can't go out she pees in the sock basket. We are very good at letting her outwink

Cat 2 goes in the garden to look at the birds but will not toilet outside. We have top entry litter trays and she uses 1, the other is rarely touched.

Only agree to getting a cat if your DP agrees to do the trays everyday

EachandEveryone Sat 02-Dec-17 17:01:26

I use really expensive clumping litter it’s dead easy to chuck down the loo. I imagine any cat you get will absolutely need to be kept indoors for two weeks at least.

Mol1628 Sat 02-Dec-17 17:04:12

I think cats just choose where they toilet, you can’t really teach them!
One of mine liked my neighbours garden (sorry!) and my other was a complete nutter and used plant pots like a potty, he would get on the edges with all four feet and hover and wee and poo into it.
Never used a litter tray except when we first moved and they were kept in for a few days or when they were ill.

Mol1628 Sat 02-Dec-17 17:05:33

Oh and please don’t flush cat litter down the toilet it causes blockages.

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 02-Dec-17 17:05:41

Similar to Maiden my boy cat will only go outside, he will hold on overnight and rush out first thing (6am) when we get up. Girl cat however only goes outside in fine weather! Now it has become colder and darker she chooses the litter tray. We have a covered tray and its really not too bad. I'd rather that than her going on the doormat or carpet which would be her next choice!

wheresmyphone Sat 02-Dec-17 17:05:58

So long as it has s cat door: no
Litter tray needed once trained. And if you google there are some cats that have been trained to use human toilet: really!!! shock

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 17:08:03

The point of getting a cat rather than a rabbit/guinea pig was so i wouldn’t have to deal with another creature’s poo!

So if we speak to rspca they should be able to match us with an outside toileting cat. We’ll clear an area outside for it and it can choose to ignore that and go wherever it wants - hopefully not Mrs McBucket’s rosebed!

May have to keep it indoors for a while but I can cope with that.

So... catflaps?

fluffygreenmonsterhoody Sat 02-Dec-17 17:10:28

Xpost again, sorry.

So all I need is an acrobatic cat and a plantpot? Well I have plenty plantpots...

Vinorosso74 Sat 02-Dec-17 17:11:53

I think a cat should always have a litter tray available especially in winter months. It is safer to keep a cat in overnight too so would be needed then-ours rarely used a tray overnight until she got older. We had it in our bathroom (small 2 bed flat) but if you had a utility room or suchlike that could work?
Cat will need to be kept in for at least 3 weeks. The Cats Protection website has loads of info easily available on all manner of things cat so have a read.
Charities are generally good matching cats and humans.

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