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How to give the DC a cat

(68 Posts)
OneMoreForExtra Thu 05-Dec-19 21:39:00

After an impressively persistent campaign the DC are about to get their wish of a cat/cats. They don't know it yet. Its 25 years since I last acquired cats and things have changed! Very put off by pet-selling sites charging ££s for mongrel kittens and £££s for named breeds, instantly worried about exploitative breeders. CPL don't seem to want to home cats with families, and my local branch closes for a month to prevent cats as Christmas presents, which I sort of get but isn't helping. Plus, this is loosely associated with Xmas, at least from the DC's perspectives. I'm a bit bemused by the options, to be honest, and looking for advice and ideas. The main runners seem to be:

Get a kitten/kittens off a private seller where I can see the mother on gumtree in the next 2 weeks - there are some near me - and present them as an early surprise

Give DC a wrapped cat toy at Xmas and sort the whole thing out afterwards in relative calm with their input (they're 3 and 9, main cat enthusiast is 9)

I would rather have a young ish cat /kittens as my 2 beautiful girls each lived to 21 and spent the last 5 years getting increasingly frail, expensive and worrying- I'm over-riding DH anyway to do this as he's still traumatised and would rather have some young healthy time before the frail years. Plus I think younger cats will bond with the DC better. I'm very tempted to get 2 siblings rather than 1 but not sure how much that's me projecting human values!

Help me choose how to do this grin

OP’s posts: |
slipperywhensparticus Thu 05-Dec-19 21:42:06

We just went to look at the kittens and came home with one (then got two of his brothers) I would always go for two

teenageanxy Thu 05-Dec-19 21:50:12

Give them toy cats and go to a local shelter, talk to the staff about your house and family dynamic and listen to their recommendations for cats that will fit your family.
If they are old enough to want the pets then they need to understand why it isn't best to get one as a Xmas present.
We had to try several shelters before the Celia Hammond trust found us two kittens.
We spoke for a long time with the staff, visited a couple of times to see the cats and yes the did a home visit.

Don't be put off by a home visit - they just want to see that you aren't being economical with the truth.

Shelter cats will have been vaccinated, microchipped and sometimes even neutered before adoption saving a small fortune.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 05-Dec-19 21:52:41

I’d wait till after Xmas, then get two rescue kittens. They’ll be neutered and vaccinated then when you get them.

Xmas would be a horrible time to leave your mum and go to a new house, way too noisy and too much excitement.

SmallestInTheClass Thu 05-Dec-19 22:00:51

Toy cats for Christmas and rescue cat afterwards. I agree Christmas would be a stressful time for a cat to join a new family. How about RSPCA? We got a three year old moggie from them and she is a lovely, gentle family cat (our kids were 5 and 7). You're best to speak to them, they are good at knowing which cat would suit. Are you around in the daytime to look after kittens? We're not so a slightly older cat was better.

fartingrainbows Thu 05-Dec-19 22:05:13

Give DC a wrapped cat toy at Xmas and sort the whole thing out afterwards in relative calm with their input (they're 3 and 9, main cat enthusiast is 9)

This option, real cats don't like being given as presents, the wrapping paper never stays on properly grin

Your kids need to be part of the process so make them the promise at Christmas and then look seriously at rescue centres in January.

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Thu 05-Dec-19 22:06:35

Yes, toy cats for Christmas (along with cat toys/collars maybe) and get rescue cats after Christmas when everything has calmed down.

I had kittens from CPL when my kids were small - DD was only 18 months with the first!

EarlGreyT Thu 05-Dec-19 22:08:43

Go to a rescue centre, but don’t give them the cat as a surprise and take your children with you to meet the cat before you choose one.

Do not get one from gumtree. It’s largely full of irresponsible owners who haven’t bothered to neuter their cat and owners who are using the cat to breed continually to make them a bit of money. Neither group on gumtree gives a shit about the welfare of the cats.

teenageanxy Thu 05-Dec-19 22:09:11

Plus cats and Christmas trees really don't mix- kittens destroy everything.

Tigerty Thu 05-Dec-19 22:09:59

Take them with you to choose your kittens. Give them soft toy cats and cat related presents at Christmas then pick up your kittens in the New Year.

Its frustrating to wait (I’ve been in this situation) but completely understandable and very sensible.

The RSPCA and Blue Cross will have kittens to and the coat will include flea/worming treatment and future neutering.

Tigerty Thu 05-Dec-19 22:10:26


OneMoreForExtra Thu 05-Dec-19 22:31:16

Thank you for replies. I'm fine with home visits etc and think that it could all be part of the adventure for the DC - they'll understand better why cats need special homes. So the consensus seems to be to give them the hint at Christmas and find the cats afterwards. I'll just have to steel myself for the nagging onslaught between getting the catnip mouse and getting the cat(s) to play with it!

OP’s posts: |
Meltedicicle Thu 05-Dec-19 22:35:07

We got our rescue cat from the RSPCA in January 5 years ago. There were loads to choose from but we went for a 2 year old and it’s been the best thing we ever did. We took the girls with us to choose and we didn’t have to have a home check or anything, it was really straightforward. Hope you find the right furry friend for your family!

OneMoreForExtra Thu 05-Dec-19 22:35:09

OBviously this all for the DC but I can't WAIT for snuggly purry toe-pouncing stair-tripping silky monsters in my life again...

OP’s posts: |
OneMoreForExtra Thu 05-Dec-19 22:36:23

Checking RSPCA and Blue Cross shelters, thanks for the recommendations

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Thu 05-Dec-19 22:51:37

You might have a local smaller rescue near by as well.

Elliania Thu 05-Dec-19 22:55:54

I think people have covered the main points but a few tips from my own experiences of getting rescue cats:

-Definitely wait until after Christmas, it'll be so much calmer
- Work out where you can put a bed/litter box/food bowls, you can always ask the shelter for input on that
- If most members of the house are out all day at school/work/nursery then I'd recommend getting 2 if possible. They'll be company for each other & a lot of shelters have trouble rehoming siblings or bonded cats as a pair.
- My ideal age for getting cats is about 10-12 months old. They're still young with loads of energy & love to play but they'll be out of the mad kitten stage (at least mostly!)
- Don't pick the cats. Let the cats pick you. Every single cat we've had from a rescue centre has chosen us. One reached through the door of their run & grabbed my arm. One licked my hand and our current boy climbed onto my lap and purred, onto my partners lap and purred and then went to sleep in between us.

Elliania Thu 05-Dec-19 22:56:32

Oh and check out the Cat Chat website, they have lists of shelters by area :D

HeatedDryer Thu 05-Dec-19 22:59:31

We got our 2 rescues on New Year's Day, it was a wonderful start to the New Year! Whereabouts are you OP, people might be able to suggest local rescues.

thecatneuterer Thu 05-Dec-19 23:03:26

Definitely don't buy. Rescue is the only ethical way to acquire cats. shows all the rescues near you.

BUT - this isn't kitten season! Kittens are born twice a year - in Spring and late Summer. A few will be born out of season but there won't be many. By the time March/April comes rescues will be drowning in unwanted kittens. So really you either need to think about adopting adults (which when you have children is often a better bet as then you know the personalities you are getting and you can find children friendly ones) or, if you really must have kittens, wait until Spring.

OneMoreForExtra Thu 05-Dec-19 23:56:50

Love the idea of letting the cat choose us Elliana!

Good point about seasonality. I'd checked local shelters on cat chat - which is where I'd formed the view that it's hard to adopt rescue cats to homes with young children, but presumably that's because they mostly have shy old cats and strays they're trying to get in from the cold at this time of year. I'm not sure the DC could bear to wait till April so might set them up to think about a bonded pair of young cats as opposed to kittens. New Year cats would be lovely!

OP’s posts: |
Vinorosso74 Fri 06-Dec-19 00:04:12

Firstly Cats Protection do home to families with young children. Obviously not all cats are suitable for this. The adoption centres are more likely to assess on a case by case basis than the branches.
There are older kittens/young adults in rescues now so 6 months. They might be better as character will be more obvious.
All that said of Christmas is a noisy/busy time wait until after and give the kids a soft toy cat then go and choose a rescue or two in the new year. Rescues do want the whole household to meet the cat prior to adopting.

viccat Fri 06-Dec-19 00:09:40

It's worth contacting your local rescues directly, most have all kinds of cats year round but not all the cats are ever put on the website - especially the most "adoptable" young, sociable ones everyone wants...

Personally I wouldn't really link the whole thing with Christmas presents at all, as it's not a great lesson when it comes to responsible pet ownership.

LizB62A Fri 06-Dec-19 00:30:56

Please adopt instead of buying from Gumtree/Facebook etc. and helping to finance kitten farming.

Contact your local rescues, get to know them and see if they have any young cats coming up who would be ok with your children

goingtoneedabiggercar Fri 06-Dec-19 01:06:49

We adopted DCat2 at 10 months, she was still kitteny but not too over the top DCat1 was a kitten when we got her and I swore never again. Your plan sounds excellent and your little ones will probably enjoy the adventure of meeting the cat(s) and taking them home etc.

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