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The litter tray

Tell me the truth about getting a kitten....

32 replies

takeonboard · 30/05/2012 10:53

I am really undecided, DS is absolutely desperate for a kitten but then he is desperate for everything until he gets it then he loses interest rapidly Hmm

I have always had pets, lots of cats and a couple of dogs both as a child and an adult. But haven't had a pet for the past 10 years which is basically all of DS's life. I really do miss having a pet, the cuddles, the playfulness, the curling up on your knee............but is our home/lifestyle fair on the cat?

Here are the cold hard facts:

We live in a large 2 bed flat in central london with a patio which is surrounded by high walls, so not much outside space and nowhere to roam. I work from home most of the time so the cat wouldn't be alone much. I am a little bit anal about mess/smells and my 6 month old sofa is very beautiful and I want it to stay that way! (I fear I am being too honest here!)

A cat would be essentially be an indoor cat with access to a patio for sun and fresh air but nowhere to roam, is this fair? If the kitten has never been out will it not know what it is missing? This is my main concern, I think I can live with a litter as they are very hygenic and odourless nowadays and I think you can get them with roofs on can't you?

Am I mad to consider it or will the pros outweigh the cons. I would love to hear some honest views and some opinions from people who have indoor cats (as all the cats I have previously owned have been real roamers).

Oh and are there health issues related to having an indoor cat?

TIA Smile

OP posts:
takeonboard · 30/05/2012 11:32


OP posts:
issey6cats · 30/05/2012 11:35

a kitten brought up as an indoor cat would be fine as he/she would not know any different so no worries there, a female cat once spayed tends not to roam so far as boys anyway, litter trays even with anti stink litter in them do still pong so you would have to change and empty it very frequently, your sofa can only suggest there are sprays you can buy to deter the kitten using it as a scratching post, you will need lots of toys and distractions for an indoor kit, once deflead and wormed there shouldnt be any health implications as the kit wont be in contact with ohter cats so wont catch anything,cant think of anything else for the moment other people will have more to add later

DancingwithDragons · 30/05/2012 11:39

i agree with issey6cats

Health issues with my sister inside cats were they got spoilt and really fat, they resented being on a diet but have slimmed down now are an average weight for cats although could do with some removal of excess skin Grin

albertswearengen · 30/05/2012 11:47

I have never had a litter tray that hasn't stunk to high heaven even with a roof and fancy litter and I'm at home to change it whenever the cat poos. If the cat is inside all the time there will be hair everywhere so if you are going to get a cat choose a nice shorthaired one - with IME no white.
We had 2 cats when we lived in a flat with a courtyard and very high walls in the centre of Edinburgh and we found as soon as they were allowed outside the courtyard wasn't big enough for them and one managed to get out over the walls and continually got stuck in other people's courtyards. He would always make every attempt to escape out the front door.
I love cats and have 2 at the moment but I wouldn't do it in a flat like that again. The flat just smelt of cat litter tray all the time.

takeonboard · 30/05/2012 12:09

Thanks for your responses, I am surprised I thought everyone would be against having an indoor cat! I must admit I was relieved to read your posts issey and dancing as I really would be disappointed if everyone had said no don't do it (does that mean I have already decided?) Grin

I was concerned about the litter smell, but thought if I stayed on top of it that woudl be fine.......I hadn't thought about the hair problem or the colour of the hair though! albert your 2 cats in Edinbugh had they been allowed out before you lived there? I know that cats I have previously had would go mad trying to climb the walls but would a kitten who hadn't roamed before?

OP posts:
issey6cats · 30/05/2012 13:05

no a kitten that hasnt been out before shouldnt show too much interest as there are no big cats to show him/her that there is a world out there, i have a 9 week old foster kitten at the moment just getting him socialised and to wheight for neutering (adds pic to profile0 so he can go back to Haworth for adoption and because he sees the big cats going out he wants to go out aswell but no chance. the walls round your patio you can put wire mesh round the top at an angle like they do in zoos, there is a company that does this but i cant remember the name at the moment this stops them going over the top of the walls, its pricey though but excellent

takeonboard · 30/05/2012 20:16

I am glad you think a kitten who hadn't experienced the freedom to roam wouldn't miss it.
I'm not sure we would need the wire mesh as the walls are very high but I will bear it in mind, thanks for the tip.
Your foster kitten is gorgeous, so cute.......I am becoming kitten-broody!

OP posts:
bonzo77 · 30/05/2012 20:39

You could get a cat flap and keep the tray in your yard. Or even build a raised bed for the cat to poo in. They need grass to chew to make them bring up the fur balls, and you can also grow catnip. A bit of outdoor space is nice for them. I think if you make your yard inviting for the cat it will be fine.

takeonboard · 30/05/2012 21:09

thanks bonzo, I had considered putting a litter tray on the patio but as there is the back door then a second glass door as kind of double glazing it seems impossible to have a cat flap.

OP posts:
bonzo77 · 30/05/2012 22:20

That's annoying. We actually got a new back door to accommodate the cat flap Blush.

bonzo77 · 30/05/2012 22:22

Oh, and we lock our cat in over night for about 12 hours and she rarely used the tray, maybe once a week max. So if you work from home and can let the cat out there might not be too much stink.

formerdiva · 30/05/2012 22:32

Agree with going for a female. I've had toms before and loved them, but got...well...a pisser this time (can't think of a better way to put it, sorry!).

He has a lovely nature, but once a week or so he will have a huge wee. I HATE my children being brought up in a house that smells of wee, but what can I do? (actually I'd have given him away years ago, but DH says it would be cruel). As cats live for around 18 years, we've got a long time to put up with it - next time I know to go for a female...

celeriac · 30/05/2012 22:46

I do think that if you get a cat you will have to relax a bit about the mess/smell thing! They do shed hair, use inappropriate items as scratch posts, occasionally wee in odd places and vomit the odd hair ball. Litter trays do have an aroma, even if you keep on top of the cleaning.

I agree that a female is the better option, my male cats have all tended to roam. I love my cats, would never be without them, but there is no doubt about it - they do make life more complicated.

Cats have very entitled personalities & if they decide that they are going to make a new bed on the top of your wardrobe at 3am, and then spend half an hour noisily washing themselves, then no amount of persuading will make them change their mind!!

Redbindy · 30/05/2012 22:52

Agree with celeriac, kittens and nice furniture tend not to go together. Some breeds are better than others.

Redbindy · 30/05/2012 23:11

Irrelevant I know, but I've just looked out of the window at our Bengali cat peeing in the birdbath.

takeonboard · 31/05/2012 07:52

Thanks all. I am kind of ok with the litter/smell thing as I think I will be able to keep on top of it. The scratching does concern me though, has anyone found an effective way of stopping them scratching? do scratching posts work I mean do they just stick to the scratching post if you have one?

Grin at the Bengal cat peeing in the bird bath.

If we do get a kitten it will be a moggy so we won't be able to chose a breed that sctaches/moults etc less, I guess we will just take our chances as you can't know how a moggy will turn out can you?

Are there any useful tips in chosing from the litter, we want a girl but other than that what do you look for if you want a quiet, contented, indoor cat who is affectionate and not very scratchy?

OP posts:
issey6cats · 31/05/2012 10:05

lol good luck on that one when you go to see a litter of kittens one of them will pick you, when i went to pick up jasper my tuxedo boy i had already picked him and i had all five of them in my arms and his sister wriggled her way to the top, purred very loudly in my face charmed me to death and guess what we came home with two kittens she chose me, she is delightful though very girly and has to be crowbarred out the door in a morning she would quite happily be anm indoor cat, and litter for the tray the wood pellet one dosent seem to stink as bad as the clay one and breaks down to sawdust so easier to clean the tray

PurpleWithaBlueBun · 31/05/2012 10:30

My boy cat who we have had since a kitten scratches the carpet sometimes but both my cats are very good at using the scratch post :o I wonder if my older cat showed him? This is great as I rather like my sofa too!

Anyway, my cats have access to outdoors but he really isn't that interested! Will go out for 20 mins max and do his business and maybe kill something Hmm but he likes to stay in and I feel would be very happy with your set up.

He is 1 this month so really expected he would want to be out! He was castrated on the dot of 6 months and has never sprayed either. Anyway, would you consider a rescue kitten?

albertswearengen · 31/05/2012 10:38

Sorry I didn't get back sooner but to answer your question my 2 cats hadn't been out before but as soon as they got out the courtyard was fine for a week or so and then they wanted to roam. They were boys (but neutered) and 1 was worse than the other.
You could get a ragdoll or another breed that is more content inside than the mental farmyard tabbies we had. It is really hard to know which cat will be quiet and well behaved when picking them from a litter.
If you really can't stand the litter smell you could also have an outside litter tray in your courtyard- a large planter or something that you could clear out regularly if you had a cat flap. Once we let ours out they started using a big plant pot as a toilet.

celeriac · 31/05/2012 16:37

There is no definitive way of stopping a cat from scratching where it wants to! They kind of make their own rules to be honest. My last sofa was ruined by my cats, but now they are older they have not scratched the new one. They both use one of the decking posts in the garden and one of my cats seems to favour the door frames for a good stretch when he feels like it. You can tell them no till you are blue in the face and they will just look at you and do it anyway. That's cats for you!!

I'm not trying to put you off getting a kitten, as I said I absolutely love my cats to pieces, but it is always better in my estimation to be fully prepared.

I would say that the suggestion of a Ragdoll is a very good idea. I would avoid farm cats/ orientals/ bengals etc as I don't think that they would take too kindly to living as indoor cats. Definitely research the breeds, and then you can always keep your eyes out for a suitable pedigree cross if you don't want to part with ££££'s

bonzo77 · 31/05/2012 16:52

My cat doesn't really scratch things, except the door mat, which is fine IMO. My previous cats all loved the door mat (old fashioned brown scratchy one from ikea). Once she tried to scratch the sofa and I tipped a glass of water over her (it happened to be handy). Bit of a mess but she hasn't done it since. Contrary to popular opinion you can train cats, you have to make it worth their while and give alternatives to undesirable behaviour. I shut ours in the kitchen at night. By bed time she is always on her blanket in the kitchen waiting for us to shut the door. A couple of nights ago we forgot to lock the cat flap, but she was still inside when we went into the kitchen the following morning.

Fluffycloudland77 · 31/05/2012 17:24

You can have the panel in doubleglazed doors replaced if it has a panel eg a pane of glass then white door frame then a pane of glass underneath.

They take the glass out and replace with upvc so it's still warm.

There not kittens for long, maybe a rescue cat who is a housecat by choice? we had chinchilla persains when I was little, they are meant to be a breed who dont like going out but our two drove us nuts until we let them out.

Dont get a Bengal, I have one and I know he would not appreciate being a housecat one bit. It also encourages antisocial behaviour. .


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takeonboard · 31/05/2012 17:47

celeraic whats a farm cat, is it a breed or a cat raised on a farm Blush and if it is the latter why? the kittens in question are on a farm but they haven't been outside.
fluffy there is no way we can have a cat flap as we have 2 doors IYSWIM a glass door that opens inwards then a wooden door that opens outwards. the antiscocial behaviour is that just Bengals or all house cats?
Will remember the water tip bonzo
albert whats a ragdoll? oh no another bad report of farm cats, what is there problem?

OP posts:
issey6cats · 31/05/2012 18:32

i think people are saying about farm cats because the mother will be a roamer living on a farm and some of this can be genetic, my half siamese had a feral mom and sometimes i can see the feral in him as in stealing food and pushing the others out of the way to get to thier food, he was taken from his mom at six weeks old but even at two years old seems to remember going hungry he is so food orientated

GiveTheAnarchistACigarette · 31/05/2012 22:01

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