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Considering adopting a 10 year old cat...

(23 Posts)
ep0681 Sun 19-Aug-18 17:33:36

A friend who lives around the corner from me is looking for someone to adopt her beautiful 10 year old ginger cat. I'm very tempted but a total novice - I haven't had a pet since I was a kid and then only hamsters and rabbits. My husband had cats as a kid.
We're a working family (the kids are 4 and 7), living in a city centre (although the cat is obviously familiar with the area) and our terraced house has no cat flap. I'm also fairly house proud...!
Is this a terrible idea? What do I need to know? What questions should I be asking the current owner?
Thank you wise cat lovers!

OP’s posts: |
thecatneuterer Sun 19-Aug-18 18:01:45

Why can't she keep the cat?

If she lives just round the corner it will be difficult to stop him going back there. You could of course put a cat flap in. Do you have a safe garden?

The biggest worry here is that you mention being houseproud. You will need a litter tray, and litter tends to get tracked around. Cats scratch things they're not supposed to ... Can you cope with that?

ep0681 Sun 19-Aug-18 18:30:42

Bit of a lengthy explanation as to why she can't keep the cat! She owns the house but has been living abroad - until recently the cat has been looked after by the long term tenants living at the house. She's now back from abroad but moving to a new area where she'll be renting and can't have a cat, and one of the new tenants at her place is allergic.

We could put a cat flap into the utility room and it would be fine to have a litter tray in there as well. What do you classify as a safe garden for a cat? It's got low walls all around, so other cats can get in, but there's nothing dangerous per se and no roads immediately next to it.

In terms of scratching - do all cats scratch the furniture? If he didn't scratch at his current home, am I safe to assume he won't here either? I realise all cats have to scratch somewhere!

OP’s posts: |
viccat Sun 19-Aug-18 18:34:15

Is the cat used to children? If he is used to an adult only home, a 4 and 7 year olds may be very noisy for him... For a 10 year old cat I would also ask for a senior health check with blood and urine tests to be done at the vet's to check for kidney function, thyroid etc. While a 10 year old is not 'old' as such (many cats live up to 18-20), it will be harder to get insurance and you should prepare for some health issues and vet bills in the coming years.

On the other hand with a 10 year old cat you usually 'get what you see' - their personality is pretty much known. He is likely to be fairly chilled out at that age and won't be running around or climbing your curtains like youngsters would.

You should definitely get a cat flap fitted though especially as previous home is so nearby or he will just keep going back there if you are out and he is locked outside.

Beaverhausen Sun 19-Aug-18 18:37:44

Cats are so easy and a pleasure. Will be an idea to keep cat in for at least a month so that it gets used to you and he house. Make sure it is microchipped and get it insurance, comparethemarket is good wig who is best although I have mine with marks and sparks and have never had a problem with pay out.

Thehogfather Sun 19-Aug-18 18:52:18

If it's been quite happy living with different tenants then it's highly likely it will adapt to a new family relatively well.

Ime it won't be so much the old home it will be returning to, but it's territory patch. So you may find that once you start letting it out you find yourself collecting it from there.

A friend moved a 10 minute walk away when her cat was 3/4, and had to collect it every evening to come in. The only change 15yrs later was that when the cat started getting exhausted walking there they started carrying/ driving him round to 'his' patch after dinner and collecting him at bedtime. Apart from a cursory stroll of inspection of the new owners changes it never bothered with the actual house, just the various gardens/ street/ field that he considered his property

immortalmarble Sun 19-Aug-18 18:54:23

I adopted a beautiful ten year old from a rescue centre eight years ago, and he’s great, such a loving cat smile

NotSoThinLizzy Sun 19-Aug-18 19:01:06

I adopted a 4 year old. He's dosent scratch furniture does the toilet outside so no litter tray also we don't have a car flap we just let him on and out when he asks. You can train a cat if needed

parklives Sun 19-Aug-18 19:18:13

I've had my rescue cat 14 years, never had a litter tray as she's always used the cat flap to come and go. Never scratched the furniture, although leather can get scratched when cats jump up onto the sofa etc, I've got a fabric sofa so no issues.
She does leave hair where she sleeps, I would give her a brush every few days to help remove dead hair and I have a load of hair roller things to run over any fabric she's been on.

parklives Sun 19-Aug-18 19:18:17

I've had my rescue cat 14 years, never had a litter tray as she's always used the cat flap to come and go. Never scratched the furniture, although leather can get scratched when cats jump up onto the sofa etc, I've got a fabric sofa so no issues.
She does leave hair where she sleeps, I would give her a brush every few days to help remove dead hair and I have a load of hair roller things to run over any fabric she's been on.

parklives Sun 19-Aug-18 19:18:38

Sorry double post

ep0681 Sun 19-Aug-18 20:31:11

Thanks for all your helpful messages and advice everyone! He's a very chilled out cat, and obviously comfortable in the local area (current house is only a couple of minutes' walk away), so I'm hoping it would be a relatively smooth transition.

OP’s posts: |
SuburbanRhonda Sun 19-Aug-18 20:37:11

Good question about whether the cat is used to young children - is he / she?

We adopted two cats from a rescue and were told they were “bomb-proof”. Our DC were the same age as yours. The cats hid under our bed the whole time the children were awake and didn’t come out until they’d gone to sleep. We had to return them in the end.

ep0681 Sun 19-Aug-18 21:37:30

Oh gosh, that's sad. I'll definitely ask the question.

OP’s posts: |
HuggedtheRedwoods Sun 19-Aug-18 22:38:22

To help him settle, ask what type of litter he currently uses (if he has a tray) and current food preferences. Scratch posts aren't expensive to help keep him off furniture (but not all cats scratch indoors) and you could also buy a Feliway plug-in to help him settle in, especially if keeping inside for a few weeks. Hope it works out for you all.

Thehogfather - your friend sounds lovely to do that for her cat!

Toddlerteaplease Mon 20-Aug-18 13:32:38

Do it op, you'll not regret it!

PinkSparklyPussyCat Mon 20-Aug-18 20:32:49

Older cats are great, you won't regret it!

Hellywelly10 Mon 20-Aug-18 20:38:05

Is there a road between your house and his current home? Hes likely to go back to his old territory.

MalloryLaurel Mon 20-Aug-18 20:47:27

We did as the owner rather unfortunately was sent to prison. We were told either we took him or he was going to be put to sleep. So we took him. He is an absolute delight. We were so lucky. An older cat is good because they are house trained, and not in that annoying phase of kittens when they're constantly climbing up the curtains. I was worried about huge vet bills because he was older, but when we thought about it, 10 is still fairly young and we have only had vet bills from much older cats. He is super grateful for a table to sit on and lord it over the dog! I would advise you that for a first time owner an older cat is better. They know the score and are grateful for what they get. Unlike our cat we've had since a kitten, who is a complete diva!

MalloryLaurel Mon 20-Aug-18 20:51:12

Our now 12 year old cat was in a two person household with no other pets and moved in with a four person household and two cats and a one year old dog. He adapted really quickly, to us, but was very traumatised from the incident and the police scene of crime officers. I wish I could post a picture of how happy he is now, but the nature of how we got him is very sensitive.

shivs1974 Mon 20-Aug-18 21:48:57

Make sure you get insurance. We got a 10yr rescue cat and he died 19 days after. We were dreadfully unlucky....but as others have said, he knew what to do & settled really quickly. Hope all goes well.

Broken11Girl Tue 21-Aug-18 01:35:55

Forget being houseproud grin but if you can deal with that, go for it. I have a rescue Madam who is now 11. It's not old. She still runs around and plays.
Not all cats scratch furniture at all, they shouldn't if they have an adequate cat scratcher, there are various types, horizontal vs vertical, various materials so you might need to try several to find one that he likes.

Beaverhausen Wed 22-Aug-18 07:49:20

She is an older cat, she wont be messy and she wont scratch your furniture as long as you have a decent scratcher for her in length and size. Also might be an idea to get some feliway to settle her in, the plug in's are good and if you get her a new scratcher get her the feliway for scratching posts.

Also be sure to know what brand of litter she prefers and if you want to transition her to another brand take it slowly by introducing little by little every time you change the tray.

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