This is a Premium feature
General cat question.(13 Posts)
Hi, just wanted some advice and guidance.
I’ve never had a cat before and used to be really scared of them when I was younger. However in recent years have become friends with some cats and can appreciate what wonderful pets they are and would love to have one of my own. I am waiting til my kids are a bit olderDS4 DD2 and a bigger home. Following are some questions that have been going through my mind.
What breeds are best for first time owners? Ideally I just want a sweet natured friendly sociable type, not pouncy feisty aloof killer type . I have been quite intrigued by Ragdolls , Maine coons and Birmans.
I’m not sure I want a kitten , I think I’d rather get a cat whose personality is known . I know you can get retired studs and queens . Also rescue centres. When you go to breeders and rescue centres do you get to spend time with the cats and see if you have a connection with an animal or do you have to pay deposit to secure it first ? I don’t think I could choose a pet from a picture alone . I’d like to see how we get on first?
Also the going outside thing. As I’ve never had a cat I’m not sure how important it is to their wellbeing . I really don’t think I’d be brave enough to let them roam. There are so many dangers out there and tbh it gives me the fear. I’d be happy to harness train them or build a catio .
Is it better to get a pair or individual cat?
The whole reputable breeder thing. I wouldn’t have a clue as to the paperwork etc and all the jargon . Is there anywhere to go to get help with making sure all is tickety boo?
I have said I’d probs prefer a cat to a kitten but is it better to have them from when they are kittens ?
I’m totally up for going to rescue centres too.
I’d be happy to hear all experiences and advice positive and negative. As I’ve said it’s not imminent but I really like to have lots of info before making a decision.
If you want a specific breed there are breed rescues around. A regular on here Toddlerteaplease got her girls from one.
Obviously there are lots of rescues from the well known names to small ones.
I volunteer at a CP adoption centre and in pre covid days you could pay a £5 deposit to reserve a cat for 2 days prior to meeting them or after if you wanted to think about it for a day or two. It is was actively encouraged for the whole household to meet the cat(s). Obviously different rescues operate slightly differently. At present you don't meet your cat before adoption. Hopefully things will go back to normal in the not too distant future!
With children an adult cat is sensible. There are often young adults in for adoption and older adults. Our lad was about 9 months when we adopted him and still a bit of a handful!
@Quackersandcheese unlike dog breeds, which are about temperament and appearance, cat breeds tend to be more solely about appearance, so temperament can vary widely. For example, I had two Russian blue cats growing up. One was incredibly outgoing and friendly, the other very timid and shy.
Personally, I'd recommend a moggy that has been raised in a busy household (around kids, other cats, dogs ...etc) as these cats tend to turn out the best adjusted, being well socialised to all sorts of people. I'd say view as many litters as possible, and pick the kitten that seems the most cuddly and sociable. The most outgoing and friendly cat we've had so far (and the least neurotic) has been our moggy who was reared in a busy house
Best of luck :-)
Yes. I got my Persians from St Francis Persian rescue. They were very damaged from being being breeding queens in a kitten farm. But they are now absolutely wonderful cats. Although one died. I adopted another. Persians have a wonderful calm temperament and are very affectionate. Cheddar is all over everyone like a rash. They aren't hunters and don't climb. I've found their long coats easy to
Manage as long as you keep on top of it. However the first pair have run up
Bills of £21k. So good insurance is a must. Although cheddar, who was not maltreated hasn't run up any bills. Gratuitous pics!
@Toddlerteaplease good point about insurance etc. I hadn’t thought about that aspect. Persians are quite appealing to me.
They really are fabulous cats. But everyone telling you they look grumpy will drive you mad!
@Toddlerteaplease - I love Cheddar but my gods she is the spitting image of MIL's best friend
Should Cheddar be insulted by this comparison?
Probably . I showed her pic to MIL & she said
'Bloody hell - she looks like X'.
Quackers You'd probably be better off looking at an adult cat rather than kittens for your first. They tend to have their personalities evident whereas with kittens you just don't know what you'll end up with, plus I know you're talking about the future (I love people who plan ) you need to be more careful with kittens with younger children about as a) they are very delicate and can be injured more with any rough handling and b) they are likely to scratch. Kittens are also likely to damage your furnishings more as well .
Once Covid is over & done with, or at least things are more settled, any cat rescue centre who didn't want you to meet the cat would be off my list right away. When I got my pair, I was interviewed first by the owner then introduced to cats that she knew would fit me and my needs, and just as importantly cats where I would fulfil THEIR needs.
Regarding indoor vs outdoor, there are mixed views on this. Mine are indoor only and that was a condition of adoption in their case. Many cats in rescues have to be indoor for various reasons e.g conditions like FIV, physical problems (DSiL has one who is blind in one eye & has luxating patellas), or that's all they've ever known in a previous household so aren't very aware of dangers. I would love to have a cat proofed garden, and have plans to build a catio when I have my back garden done after lockdown (person doing it has a shielding partner).
We've adopted adult cats and had cats from kitten-hood. We currently have three - a 5yo, a 4yo and a 10 week old.
My advice would be: if you get a kitten, get a pair. They keep each other entertained and it means they have company when you go out. Our current kitten was a solo but we do have older cats so he's not on his own at night or if we leave during the day.
Be aware that adult cats can come with issues. Our 5yo came from a neglectful home when he was three and for the first six months he hid in a corner and hissed. If you came within a foot of him he would growl and swipe. I didn't hear him purring for over a year. But we stuck with him and now he's fantastic. Loves a cuddle, purrs like a motor engine, demands fuss when you come down in the morning and adores being carried around so he can snuggle into your neck! So as you have DC I would remember that not all adult cats are interested in children and nor do they like being picked up and cuddled or played with. They will scratch and/or bite when they're scared.
Saying that, my adult cats are great with my niece who has just turned 10 - it's like they know she's only a child. But I don't know what they'd be like with younger children in the home - the 4yo would probably be okay but I do think the older one would avoid them completely
If you do get kittens just remember they scratch and climb and will destroy things. They're not destructive as such but they like to explore. Mine uses the dining table as a climbing frame, likes to climb up kitchen towels to get on the work-surfaces, will jump up on high surfaces and thens struggle to get down, and he will scratch you when he plays - he's not aggressive but they can't control their claws!
I wouldn’t underestimate how much care a longhair coat needs, even experienced owners end up having their cats matts cut out under sedation.
You need to regularly groom them, find them a tool they don’t mind you using & learn the cues that say “I’ve had enough now”.
Please login first.