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First time, unexpected cat owner. Advice please.

(39 Posts)
Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:30:14

A friend of mine recently became pregnant and decided she couldn't keep her cat any more. 🙄

Anyway, I am NOT a cat person at all, but have spent a bit of time at this friend's house and me and my son have got to know this cat. She is a lovely little thing and my son adores her (the feeling is mutual!)

I visited my friend yesterday and she said she was dropping the cat at an animal sanctuary this weekend and my son was devasated so I ended up bringing the cat home with me.

She seems to have settled in really well, she is sleeping and eating and using the litter trays I have put out. She gets on our laps and purrs etc so she seems happy so far.

So, can any experienced cat owners help me with a few questions ?

How long should I keep her in? She normally goes out but I'm concerned she'll go back to her old house as we are only half a mile apart.

Last night she slept on my son's bed with him. Is this OK? Is there any reason why I shouldn't allow this?

I'm thinking of getting a cat flap put in but I heard that other cats can come in and bully the cat, steal her food etc?

Any other tips on how to make her feel at home? She must be confused about the move.

Thank you!

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Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:30:51

Sorry, I did put paragraphs in when I typed my post!

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Glowerglass Sat 25-Aug-18 19:33:38

Get her microchipped and get a microchip cat flap, so then only she can get in the house. Congratulations on your new furry overlord!

woodfires Sat 25-Aug-18 19:35:00

Sign up to a vet, take out pet insurance before you let her out.

Ohyesiam Sat 25-Aug-18 19:37:46

I always keepcats in for 3 weeks when I move, but you are right, at that distance she may return.
I always had the cat on my bed as a child even though I had asthma, to no ill effect, cats are really clean( though you may get some zoflora freaks who scream otherwiswwink).
If she’s purring and eating, she’s not too confused.
I’ve never had a cat flap.
It depends a bit on your local cat population, and your circumstances.

If she’s going to be out all day when you are she’ll need somewhere to shelter if it rains, but if she’s old she’ll need to come in when she wants esp in winter.

Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:38:24

So the cat flap will only open for Mabel? I didn't even know that was a thing.

She is insured already, I'm taking it over from next month and she is chipped, going to update her details on Monday


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SpottingTheZebras Sat 25-Aug-18 19:39:31

I agree about the microchip cat flap. They are expensive but it pays off. It sounds like she is quite relaxed and happy with you already but I would keep her for about a month, or longer if she is agreeable. Has she been neutered? That definitely needs to be done before she goes outside.

It’s absolutely fine for her to sleep with your son. I imagine they both enjoy it. My cats often sleep with me.

Usual tips would be a blanket smelling of where she has come from and sticking to the same food (for a while anyway) etc but she sounds like she is doing ok. There is something you can get called Feliway if you think she is stressed about the move but cats do adapt fairly quickly. Otherwise, what it sounds like your son is already doing, loads of cuddles and fuss but all on her terms.

woodfires Sat 25-Aug-18 19:40:01

Assuming your dc isn't a baby I can't see any significant reason not to let them sleep together. I don't encourage this because cat can disturb dc, he covers bed in hair, can come in with muddy paw prints and jump over the bed and he may bring small animal gifts into bedroom if he can get in there. I know plenty do happily allow it though.

Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:40:40

Thanks ohyes. She's only 4 so not too old. I work from home so she won't be alone much. I actually have an old dog kennel in the garden that I have meaning to rip down for a few years Maybe I'll keep it just in case she ever wants to go in it.

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OnTopOfSpaghetti Sat 25-Aug-18 19:41:34

It is usually recommended to keep them in for a minimum of 4 weeks when they're in a new home. I do think you might have problems with her trying to get back to her old home once she's let out. Get her into a routine of regular mealtimes and so something to make her associate her meal with a noise, eg rattle the bowl or shake the biscuits bag etc. This way if you let her out hungry then make the noise, she will hopefully know to come in!
Definitely make sure she is microchipped and registered to your new address. And yes to a microchip cat flap. Yes you programme them to only recognise your cats microchip.
Entirely up to you if you let her sleep on your or your DSs bed, mine are shut in the lounge/kitchen overnight with a litter tray. Would strongly recommend you keep her in at night once you start letting her go outside, much safer.
And set up regular vets appointments for flea/worm treatments and vaccinations, mine do a monthly payment scheme for this which also gets me 10% off any other treatment.
Congratulations on your new furball and welcome to the world of cat slaverygrin

A0001 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:43:07

Owner of 7 cats here

3 weeks to stay in sounds about right. She may try to go back to her old place, but presumably your friend will just let you know if she does? My cats stay close to the house

Sleeping on sons bed? Nope, isn’t an issue in this house and nothing awful has happened.

Yes, you can get microchip catflaps... but this may not be an issue

Lots of fusses, quiet places to go if needs be, and she’ll be grand

Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:43:52

My son is 6 so no danger of suffocation etc!

Yes she is spayed so don't have to worry about that.

So I should aim to keep her in for a month? That's good to know.

My friend said she would spray cat with water if she came back to her garden. I thought that was cruel but she said it's a good way to let them know they're not welcome 😞

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Toddlerteaplease Sat 25-Aug-18 19:45:49

I predict that you'll become a fully fledged cat person within a week.

CherryMaraschino Sat 25-Aug-18 19:47:23

I don't have a cat (I'd love one though), but just wanted to say that you sound super lovely OP. Also – jealous!

Moominfan Sat 25-Aug-18 19:47:41

I'd keep her in for a month. When we moved my cat got abit stir crazy cause she couldn't get out. Hang about on the stairs waiting to surprise attack. Back to her nice normal self once we let her out. We've never had a cat flap, she just lets us know when she wants out and bangs on windows to be let back in. Congrats on your new arrival!

Moominfan Sat 25-Aug-18 19:48:19

Also op it's normally etiquette to share a picture of your new found furry addition smile

bellinisurge Sat 25-Aug-18 19:49:50

Google Jackson Galaxy- US cat behaviourist.

NipInTheAir Sat 25-Aug-18 19:51:38

I wish spraying a cay with water had that effect on some of our local visitors bullies. Microchip flap works better.

You need:
Cat basket
Flea and worm drops
Scratching posts
Very good vet
Feliway to settle and calm if required
money to leave heating on when it's very cold.

Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:55:40

Thank you for all of your tips!

I do like having her around actually. She's really affectionate and clumsy. I always thought cats were aloof and disinterested in people but Mabel isn't like that.

I did not realise the ettiquite. I'm new to this don't forget! Pic attached

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Loulou0 Sat 25-Aug-18 19:58:28

Trying again with pic. ( I'm working on getting her to stay off the counters..)

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stillnotTheDoctor Sat 25-Aug-18 19:58:52

Old wives idea is put butter on their paws. They lick it and get the scent of home.

I got a microchip catflap as we have a lot of toms wandering around and I didn't want my house left stinking. It's really easy to programme.

ScreamingValenta Sat 25-Aug-18 20:02:15

What a gorgeous little puss!

Moominfan Sat 25-Aug-18 20:08:33

What a cutey! I can see why you kept her

Moominfan Sat 25-Aug-18 20:09:13

I've never managed to keep mine off counters just give them a spray before every use. If you find a way please share lol

NipInTheAir Sat 25-Aug-18 20:13:25

Lovely cat.

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