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Imminent adoption-what's good to get and what should be avoided?!

(47 Posts)
MollyBloomYes Tue 07-Jul-20 22:54:50

I’ve registered to adopt a cat and, provided I pass the home inspection (not worried, I was completely honest on the application which they’re happy with) will have a cat reserved! 8 month old boy and I’m very excited!
So…wise cat owners of Mumsnet, I’m asking for recommendations for cat stuff, products you love etc

Open or closed litter box? What kind of litter?

Scratching toys/cat towers-any yours particularly love? I’ll be letting the cat outside eventually but will be keeping it inside for the first few weeks so don’t want it to take out any boredom on the sofa! I'm going to get a bunch of small toys as well but some scratching stuff will be needed too.

Tips for any outside space stuff? I’ve got a patio type area out the back and a fenced lawn to the front-both will probably be escapable which is fine if it wants to roam a bit when ready but I’d like to try and make the patio cat friendly to encourage it to stay close (patio has two levels and a small flowerbed)

Do I need a fancy bowl? I’ve seen some ‘anti reflux’ bowls, do I need one or will a bog standard one suffice?

Cat tracker collars?! Ridiculous idea or not? Obviously it’ll be microchipped but I find the idea of knowing where it is quite soothing when I let it out

Best sort of bed to get?

Any tips on which insurance to go with? Is there a particularly decent company or are they all much of a muchness?

Anything else?! As it’s probably painfully obvious to see, I’ve never had a cat before, I was brought up with dogs so I just want to make sure I’m not going to waste my money on something that looks cool but is, in fact, a total load of wank that no cat would look twice at (I realise that this could conceivably apply to anything depending on the cat’s mood wink)

OP’s posts: |
milienhaus Wed 08-Jul-20 08:36:24

On another thread someone recommended this scratching post and it is the only one my recently adopted cats have used (previously were using the sofa) - basically you need a tall one they can stretch with:

Don’t bother with a bed, they won’t use it.

milienhaus Wed 08-Jul-20 08:38:06

We got regular bowls, open litter boxes (though if you get a closed one you can always take off the top to make it open if they don’t like it) and a microchip cat flap. I like the idea of being able to track them too but the tracking collars look massive and I don’t think they would take it well.

milienhaus Wed 08-Jul-20 08:38:51

We went with PetPlan insurance - the rescue recommended it and we got the first month free via them.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Wed 08-Jul-20 08:45:02

Well done on adopting a cat. Cats are generally easy.

Bog standard food bowls & water bowls are fine - (I've never even heard of anti reflux cat bowls).
Uncovered litter tray.
Find out what food and litter the rescue were using and start with that.
Never bothered with cat beds - everywhere is a cat bed by default.
I also don't bother with expensive cat toys - long feathers and cardboard boxes provide endless amusement (as do undone boot laces).
You also need a bloody good Hoover (or be knee deep on cat fur)

Re. Insurance, others can advise (I don't bother but I'm in a minority here).

And photos are mandatory when your new cat arrives grin.

Toddlerteaplease Wed 08-Jul-20 08:46:24

You must have the best insurance you can get.
Some cats do use beds, so you could get a couple of cheap ones. Maybe an igloo type and a more open one for him to try.

Toddlerteaplease Wed 08-Jul-20 08:47:26

Tesco have been great with my £20k of claims!

ivartheboneless Wed 08-Jul-20 08:48:27

Definitely get a scratch post, the longer the better so they can stretch out. Try to avoid ones that are made with cardboard tubes with the rope around as they do not last long at all. We also have tunnels for him to run through and hid in and lots of balls with bells in them. Laser pointer is also a winner and provides hours of entertainment for both him and the kids 😂

With regards to a cat bed, don't bother. My boy has had several and has never slept in any of them. He now has an Ikea wooden box tipped on its side with his blankets inside for him to chill out in which he seem to love when he's not on the kids bed.

We use these bowls as it keeps the mess in the mat mostly as he gets his food everywhere and it's easier to clean. We also use a cat water fountain for his water as he prefers running water.

ivartheboneless Wed 08-Jul-20 08:50:11

Meant to add, we also use a large enclosed litter box and catsan litter.

We found crystals were better but harder to get hold of now for us.

ivartheboneless Wed 08-Jul-20 08:50:21

Meant to add, we also use a large enclosed litter box and catsan litter.

We found crystals were better but harder to get hold of now for us.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 08-Jul-20 09:46:12

Well done on adopting a cat. Cats are generally easy @Grumpyoldpersonwithcats you have Stockholm syndrome 😸 TC has won the war.

Jackson Galaxy always recommends open trays, they need to be big and deep because they do like a good dig & they have to turn around 43 times before doing a poo.

I wouldn’t get a collar, they can injure themselves trying to get loose & they can also get caught on them which strangles them, if they do get hit by a car the collar can cause them to get dragged along. If you want to know where he is cat proof the garden, there’s three main systems in the UK but oscillot is the least obtrusive & was developed in Australia because some of their councils require all cats to be contained for conservation, cats don’t seem to be native over there like they are here.

Grumpyoldpersonwithcats Wed 08-Jul-20 11:18:27

@Fluffycloudland77 grin. I'll rephrase -
Cats are generally easy unless they live next door but spend their lives besieging your house

For the benefit of the OP - I have four cats - but my NDN's cat has also spent several years trying to break in. Many here believe I have 4.5 or 5 cats.

MollyBloomYes Wed 08-Jul-20 11:22:52

So much good advice! Thank you! Genuinely thought a bed was going to be essential kit, somewhere for them to retreat. Think I'll wait and see now!

I'm keeping everything crossed the home inspection goes ok, there's no reason for it not to but still! Video tour of my house seems so bizarre, like a particularly crap version of Through the Keyhole!

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Wed 08-Jul-20 11:39:41

They’ll use your bed. You’ll get a sliver of mattress. A patch of duvet.

If you move too much they’ll give a look

Vinorosso74 Wed 08-Jul-20 12:31:02

Zooplus is excellent for everything a cat could possibly need (or ignore) including food and litter.
Cat litter-we use Cats Best which is easy to scoop out and keeps smells to a minimum. However, it does get stuck in paw pads so tracks. Our tray is just there for overnight so rarely used. The wood pellet litter doesn't clump but keeps smells down. I find Catsan type litter gets very smelly. I keep the soil hoed in certain areas of our garden for toilet areas.
Toys-our lad loves ping pong balls and he has a small catnip fish by Yeooww who make lots of catnip toys including cigars and bananas.
Lifetime insurance is a must unless you have lots of savings. I like Petplan as they have always paid up quickly and some vets will claim directly so you don't have to wait for your money back.
I don't like collars as I've heard of too many injuries even with quick release ones.
I look forward to seeing photos!

Furries Wed 08-Jul-20 13:37:24

I wouldn’t worry too much about beds, mine prefer the sofa or a real bed! I do have one of the pyramid/igloo type beds in a spare bedroom which tends to get used a bit in winter.

Scratching posts are a must. I’m useless at attaching links, but search for “barrel scratching posts” on Amazon. They’re not particularly cheap, but mine LOVE them. They’re really sturdy so no risk of toppling over. They’re tall so cats can get a good stretch up them. They have two or 3 hidey-holes in the barrel which mine likes to curl up in. And he LOVES the bed at the top. I have it placed in front of the window in spare bedroom and he loves snoozing up there, or watching the world go by. I would say it’s the best thing I’ve spent my money on over the last 10 years.

Litter tray - I would go for covered every single time. And try to get the largest one you can for the space you’ve got. I always relate it to hating those small cubicles in pubs etc, where you have to contort yourself to open/shut the door! For litter, I’ve always used Cat’s Best - it’s wood pellets and it’s clumping. So easy to clean out, as it’s really obvious where the dirty litter is. I’d also recommend a ridged mat to put in front of and just under the entrance to the tray. It helps lessen the tracking of litter (nothing will eliminate tracking completely) and he likes something to wipe his feet on when he exits.

Toys - don’t spend loads of money, they laugh in your face! Maybe one of the long wand-type toys so that you can play interactively in the beginning. Mine more happy with an empty cardboard box, ping pong balls, bendy plastic straws (hours of fun clamping one end down and then “pinging” the bendy end that poked up!), balls of paper thrown across the room.

Pet Pan Lifetime Insurance - that way, if your cat does develop an ongoing condition you have no worries about reaching a limit on a particular condition. My boy had nearly 8 years of medication before he sadly passed earlier this year. They were very prompt at paying out on each claim. When he passed, I was too upset to call and cancel his insurance (as it felt like finally admitting he was gone). Turns out the vets had notified them and they immediately cancelled the policy and repaid the two months premiums I had paid. I was quite impressed with that.

Food - find out what he’s been on and use that to begin with. If you want to change his food (only if you’re going for better quality), it’s best to introduce it gradually (say, mix of 80% old and 20% new) and gradually increase the new food - they can get upset stomachs if you switch over all in one go.

Definitely make sure he’s microchipped. And, sounds obvious, but if you move house then remember to update your details - it’s surprising how many people forget to do this. I wouldn’t have a collar for mine - they can get into all sorts of spaces and the worry of it getting caught on something and causing serious injury is too high for me (even the supposed “quick release” ones). I am fortunate, though, that mine never leave the back garden, so have never had the worry of where they’ve disappeared too.

And be prepared to find yourself quickly wrapped round his little paws! You’ll soon find yourself with a dead arm or leg because you don’t want to shift for fear of disturbing his snooze, you’ll sleepily sigh and smile when he stokes your face at 4am for a cuddle, and your heart will melt when he jumps on to the arm of the sofa demanding a proper head-Bop with you 💕

And, as PP said, photos when he’s settled please!

jobnockey Wed 08-Jul-20 13:41:51

Our boy ignored the expensive igloo bed I bought when we got him, and chooses to sleep on the human bed, preferably on a big fleecy blanket, exactly where I would like my legs to be. He also ignores the extra tall scratching post and prefers to use the rug in our room. He also uses the sofa arms for scratching, so i bought some sticky tape stuff which is supposed to stop him doing it but in reality just becomes covered in fluff and hair and looks awful.
We have an open litter tray with quite deep sides as the cat's best litter is good as a PP has said, but does get everywhere. He goes outside pretty much all the time now but i keep it there just in case.
Toys... anything dangly... string is perfect! Ours also loves ping pong balls and bits of scrunched up foil which he bats about. The only 'expensive' toy which he loves is the Kong Kickeroo which he still enjoys 'killing' most days.
Enjoy your cat!!!

Oldraver Wed 08-Jul-20 17:14:21

<takes cute cat bed out of basket>

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 08-Jul-20 17:27:42

You can get cat sofas.

Oldraver Wed 08-Jul-20 18:50:12


I've been amazed by the sofas and even saw a cat bed in the shape of a retro tv

MollyBloomYes Wed 08-Jul-20 22:32:19

I saw that retro tv one! I was so tempted but thought if I loved it that much then it would probably be ignored completely!

Thank you so much for all your advice everyone, yes, microchip cat flap will be installed but not for a few weeks so he can settle inside first. I'm hoping he doesn't feel the need to roam too far, the back patio 'yard' has lots of levels and interesting things to explore and I'm going to take over the flower bed bit to become his toilet (currently just has stubby patches of grass and weeds so no loss). I'm just nervous because I'm not used to having a pet who can bugger off if they want, but after someone pointed out that an indoor cat meant potentially 20 years of not being able to have the doors open in the summer I decided to get over those nerves!

OP’s posts: |
aloaf Thu 09-Jul-20 10:51:02

We recently adopted 2 brothers. I did get them a bed which they didn't look at for the first week now it's where they sleep for the majority of the time.
We have an open litter tray but it's out the way and cleaned regularly so no need for a lid really. We've been using crystals which don't smell at all.
Ours love balls, feathers on a string etc. Haven't brought them any fancy toys as they're happy with the basics and destroy them pretty quickly.
With the food get a mat for under the bowls as they can be a little messy at times, mine are on raw meat which they sometimes pull out the bowl.
We did petplan insurance, not had to use it yet. There's an insurance company (can't remember the name) that comes up as cheapest on comparison sites but the reviews are terrible so just watch for that.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 09-Jul-20 20:12:31

We got the Stealth Panthers last year .

They say :

Have enough bowls (water and food+bscuit) so they're not kept waiting while you wash up or they're in the dishwasher

Cat beds Pah . They Fits They Sits . Wherever they choose .

Litter - we have a big covered tray (after loads of trial and error , this suits them) in the hall. Cats Best litter

Microchip door. And male has lais claim to the garage (theres a gap in the door )

He loves the laser pen .

And - DH is WFH, I do maybe once a week.
Female is over us luje a rash....then ignores us til supper time .

You'd think a rescue cat would be a bit grateful ? Our are doing us a favour by enhancing our home and lowering our blood pressure .

MollyBloomYes Fri 10-Jul-20 00:33:24

Ha! How very dare you think they should be grateful?!

Ok, trying to work out downstairs litter box placement. There is space by the back door but the tumble dryer is there and I don't want it to get spooked. It's also not an enormous space so it'd fit the box but not a mat as well. The only other place I can think of is under the stairs (no cupboard just a big...void under the staircase). Trouble is it's carpeted which seems like a Very Bad Plan. However if I got a couple of those plastic carpet runners that Nanas are fond of and secured them down, plus a litter tray mat would that work do we think?

I'm promise I'm not going to come running to this thread every time I can't find the answer on google. I'll at least start a new one so other people can have the joy of my musings!

House inspection tomorrow!

OP’s posts: |
undercoveraessedai Fri 10-Jul-20 00:46:23

Good luck with the house inspection and your new boy!

Big chunky scratch posts, and cardboard scratchers - I had one shaped like a chaise longue which was amazing, but the rectangular ones are also popular in this house (DNinjaCat and DFluffyCat, rescue sisters who are completely not alike at all).

Another vote for petplan covered for life, they have been excellent at paying for my two accident prone fluffs.

Keep him in at night if possible - means best of both worlds, he can roam in the day but is safe at night when the majority of accidents happen.

Definitely microchip but no collars for me - too nervous of them getting caught or strangled. Tracking devices I have mixed reviews of, friend up north uses it so she can tell when her cat has gone to the pub (literally), but the one in my road just slips their collar and leaves the tracker in various gardens for their human to go knocking for 😂

Make sure there's a shaded area in your garden on hot days, I've made mine a tent each from a chair and a blanket!

And most of all, enjoy - my two are 7 but came to me at six months. I'd never had cats before and I can't imagine my life without them 💙

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