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Kids want a cat, I'm not a cat lover, what to do...and how much to keep them?

33 replies

Flyingtree · 01/07/2013 15:45

Not a huge cat fan myself, they seem pointless as they just sleep and then spend most of the time outdoors (also biased as grown up with dogs and used to have one myself!) but my children love animals and are used to being around them at their Nan's, so Nan suggested rehoming an older cat for them.

I def don't want a kitten that will need training, etc. enough responsibilities already with two young children.

I'd like to know how much they cost to keep though, ie vet bills and weekly food bil before I make a decision.

My sister lives in the next street and adores cats so there will be no problems with care if we go away.

Also, male or female, do you think, or any particular types to avoid, ie Siamese. I think we just need Bagpuss really, a big lump of a cat that will be cuddly as my kids like to manhandle the big ginger Tom that lives on our road.

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 01/07/2013 17:22

The first few pages of this thread should answer most of your questions:

As for type, it really all depends on the personality of the cat. If you go to a rescue centre they should be able to suggest a cat that will fit in well with your situation (eg laid back, good with children etc)

thecatneuterer · 01/07/2013 17:23

Oh and male or female really makes no difference when they're neutered. It's really all down to each individual cat's personality which your local rescue should be able to advise you on.

Fluffycloudland77 · 01/07/2013 17:27

I like male cats, all the females we've had have had ishoos.

Sparklingbrook · 01/07/2013 17:28

Ooh Flying you need a cat. Everyone does.

Have a look at the website of your local Cat Rescue and see what they have. Like thecat says they will be experienced in matching the right cat to the right owners.

I got Sparkling Cat from the CP when she was about two and she is a sweetheart. puts up with the DSs loudness and still wants a cuddle with them.

Bear in mind you will need to keep him/her in for three weeks initially, so litter trays are a must.

Sparklingbrook · 01/07/2013 17:29

Is it true that females stay closer to home territory wise?

cozietoesie · 01/07/2013 17:33

I don't know, Sparkling. Neutering will probably mean that males don't roam quite as much as they would otherwise do.

I'm also a fan of (neutered) male cats. With me, they've always been steadier and more loving than females. That might just be me, though - I know that plenty of posters would swear by their girls.

thecatneuterer · 01/07/2013 17:35

Sparkling that BBC2 documentary a couple of weeks ago did seem to suggest that females didn't wander quite a far as I recall. I might be wrong though.

However with my lot only two of the current 20 or so wander any further than next door's garden, and one of those is male and one is female. And in all the 60 or so cats I've had (in only 9 years) I really can't generalise at all about males or females. Some females have ishoos, some males do. Some females are very, very clingy and needy, some aren't. Some males are, some aren't. The sex of the cat doesn't seem to make any difference.

Sparklingbrook · 01/07/2013 17:40

My lovely neighbour has 4 cats. 3 females and one male. Two females never go further than the garden, and the male goes into a few other gardens-they are just very homely cats. The other female is 9 weeks old so it will be interesting to see what she does eventually.

Sparkling Cat patrols the road, about 5 houses in each direction, but is mainly found asleep on the garden bench in this weather. Grin

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts · 01/07/2013 18:58

OP, I was always in the no pets camp, particularly a cat, but when a family member needed to home her cat I thought I'd give it a bash - obviously with quite a lot a thought Grin

Wouldn't be without her now. She's 1yo and is the most placid, loving, cuddly cat ever. She is playful which the kids love and also chilled out a lot of the time. She's brilliant.

Cost wise: maybe one box of biscuits a month (she doesn't eat massive amounts) @ £2 and 12 tins a month (doesn't eat wet food at every meal) @ £6.

Flea and worm stuff @ ~£20 a month.

few toys (mostly homemade from pipe cleaners and tin foil)

annual boosters.

lots of cuddles Grin

Fluffycloudland77 · 01/07/2013 21:39

You say your not a cat lover but one day you'll find yourself greeting the cat before anyone else when you get in and spewing baby talk at it "whose a good cat? You are, aren't you? Yes you are, mommy loves you cos you're the best liddle puddy tat".

Then it's all over for you and you are under the paw.

Liara · 01/07/2013 21:42

Get a maine coon. They are a dog in cat's clothes, honestly.

Really, really lovely, will follow you around the place but are not terribly invasive of your personal space if you don't want it.

I find that males are generally easier than females, but don't let our princess female cat hear that.

Flyingtree · 02/07/2013 00:45

£20 a month for flea and worm stuff? Shock As a lone parent with two under six, not returning to work until this Autumn (hopefully) , that's a massive outlay.

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 02/07/2013 08:54

It's not that much - I suspect ALovelyBunch made a typo.

Sparklingbrook · 02/07/2013 09:12

No, it isn't that much is it cozie? Unless I am seriously doing Sparkling Cat a disservice. Confused

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts · 02/07/2013 09:54

it wasn't a typo it was a very bad miscalculation! Grin

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts · 02/07/2013 09:56

a pack of three frontline is about £19 so £6 a month. then worming stuff maybe £8 for two tablets so £4 a month. im a plank. Grin

Ragwort · 02/07/2013 09:59

I would seriously consider whether or not getting a cat 'for the children' is the right reason to have one. Pets take up an awful lot of time, money and work (think of the extra cleaning/cat hair etc etc) and whatever children say it will be you looking after it. Vet fees can be enormous too.

My son would like a dog, I just said 'no' Grin.

but I am not an animal lover

Toughasoldboots · 02/07/2013 10:01

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sonlypuppyfat · 02/07/2013 10:02

My DH was the most anti cat person in the world and me a little bit we couldn't see the point of them, but a stray cat came to stay and we are completely hooked they are amazing they talk to you! Give one a go you won't be sorry, and they are not users like dogs

Toughasoldboots · 02/07/2013 10:03

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts · 02/07/2013 10:04

they really don't make that much mess. i don't do any extra cleaning. maybe sweeping round the litter tray and cleaning that out but it's a five min job.

cozietoesie · 02/07/2013 10:07


Having said all of which, Flyingtree, having a cat is not a free ride. Food can be relatively inexpensive if you shop around and toys/beds etc can be only pennies if you use 'found' things - which cats usually like as much as expensive cat toys.

There's no NHS for pets though so you would likely either have to get pet insurance or face the cost (could be hundreds or even more) of treating an unexpected road accident (if they are to go out) or an unexpected illness. The latter of which could occur in a cat of any age even if they were a housecat. Plus standard flea and worm control/annual checkups or a vet plan.

Most of us will pay these costs (which could easily be £20-30 per month in total) because we recognize the joy and love that a cat brings to us - and they're family. If money is really tight with you, though, maybe it would be a good idea to hold off for a little until you're more financially stable?

It doesn't mean that your DCs could never have a cat - just maybe not at the moment. The last thing you need is to acquire a cat and not be able to treat it properly.

Good luck whatever you decide.

TwllBach · 02/07/2013 10:07

Get a cat Grin

My girl is a rescue and she does have a few ishoos but nothing awful. She can be a bit vocal, but you just have to figure out why she's yowling. Normally it's because she wants to go out or she's run out of biscuits.

Cost -

£9 a month insurance
Approximately £3 a month cat biscuits
£12 every 48 days for a daily wet food pouch
£6 every six months for worming tablet - she's only little at 3ish kg so half a worming tablet every three months.
£21 every three months for a three pack of flea treatment, but in reality, my vet practice often do deals. This month I got a free extra pipette for both the cat and the dog.

Flyingtree · 02/07/2013 12:08

Thankyou for all your views, I'm happy to read some unbiased ones too :)

When I say my children love animals, that's an understatement. My daughter particularly goes ga-ga even over snails, slugs and creepy crawlies, never mind the big ginger tom a few houses down - it takes a whole 5 minutes to even walk past their house because she stops and cuddles him, with that catnip look onher face!

I first looked into hamsters/gerbils/rats but they seem a lot more high maintenance plus I don't like the idea of caged animals.

One of my Mum's cats is a proper homebody and although I don't have huge experience of pet cats, I think it's unusual, in that the grandchildren over the years have pulled her tail, squashed her, taunted her, etc and she just never reacts, so I'm hoping to find one like that, as it's going to be cuddled to near-death I'm sure.

In which case, would a rescue cat find it harder to bond with children unlike a kitten that's grown up with them? Hmm...

There's still the flea issue I need to research more before I make a final decision, as fleas love me and my legs are pockmarked with old scars :(

Do flea treatments really work?

Oh, and will male cats spray everywhere when first getting used to their new home?

Thankyou Flowers

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 02/07/2013 12:35

In fact, a mature rescue cat will usually have a recommendation of whether they'd suit kids or not. The rescue will likely know their history - or at any rate will have been able to make an assessment of their temperament.

And flea treatments do work although you may have to find the right one. (For example, Frontline, I seem to recall, is losing its effectiveness in certain areas of the country. Other posters may advise on that.)

And if you get a male, they should be (or will likely already have been if it's a rescue) neutered which will reduce their spraying tendency. My own experience is that coming into a new home, a cat will spend most of its time getting to know its humans and food/litter places. Especially if it's the only cat. I wouldn't expect much (if any) spraying behaviour in a single cat household.

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