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The litter tray

DD wants a cat and I'm thinking I might finally be persuaded

17 replies

AtSea1979 · 19/08/2014 19:23

I love animals but the older I'm getting the more wary I am of the long term commitment they involve.
I have 4 guinea pigs which DD dotes on and has done for past 18 months so I'm pretty certain she won't lose interest quickly.
DD is 5 and has been asking for a cat for past 6 months continually though has mentioned them on and off for longer.
I would like a rescue car but I am scared it might not be litter trained or friendly with children but I will enquire at local centres and see what they have.
What would I need to buy? And what do I need to know?

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 19/08/2014 19:29

Hello AtSea. Good decision. Smile

What tends to happen is that you go to the rehoming centre or call them and explain what you are after cat-wise. Age, sex, long hair/short hair etc. They will need to know the age of any DC etc.
then they will try and match you with a cat that meets requirements. There will usually be a home visit where you can ask questions.

Have you looked at any of the websites they usually have pictures and a bit of info on each cat.

Fluffycloudland77 · 19/08/2014 19:42

Rescue cats are often re-homed because the owner can't look after them, not because they are bad cats.

Lovethesea · 19/08/2014 20:08

Most cats are very fastidious about being clean so unless really unwell they like to use a litter tray or go outside. Rescues normally use litter trays in their runs so they are used to it from there too.

We took the kids with us to choose our rescue cat, it was easy to see which cats were anxious or scared of the pre schoolers and which were far more bombproof.

I wanted short hair as I thought it was less work, but the long haired tabby was utterly calm and lovely with enthusiastic children so we brought him home and he has been awesome. And doesn't shed more than the short haired we got a year later.

So be open to all and child test them yourself is my advice! We also chose a cat around a year or two old as I figured they would be more open to change if they weren't used to a noisy house of two kids very close in age. I wanted to bring home the old ones but many had notes saying they wanted a quiet home to enjoy their old age so not us! I also thought younger would give the kids a chance to really know them as they grow up together.

It's lovely and far less work than rabbits, guineas as I just have a cat flap and feed them. They use all our beds and ignore cat beds anyway. They supplement with mice etc. They have no hutch to clean, don't have to be fox proofed and can come and go as they like so no escape risk!

SummerSazz · 19/08/2014 20:14

In our area the RSPCA won't regime cats with young cc (although cut off May be 5?). We got ours from a local rescue and she was there as she was being bullied by her own son
She was 3 and fully house/litter trained and had been an utter delight other than her penchant for mice and leaving us the entrails

SummerSazz · 19/08/2014 20:14

Rehomed even

AtSea1979 · 19/08/2014 22:03

Thankyou for info. I will contact local RSPCA and see what they think re ages etc.
So don't bother with cat bed? What should I buy?

OP posts:
timtam23 · 19/08/2014 22:23

Lovely of you to consider a rescue cat, all of mine have been rescues/strays

My cats have never used cat beds in spite of all my efforts - they have all had their favourite armchairs and we dutifully made way for them, the current cat (we have gone from 3 to 1 recently Sad) also sleeps in an old cardboard box with fleecy blanket, but his favourite spot is on my bed on DH's feet

We have a few cat toys but he likes pigeon feathers best (fortunately not the whole pigeon) and also some pieces of old rope, big cardboard boxes, ping pong balls etc

We have one bowl for food, one for water (both heavy plastic as we tended to drop/break the ceramic ones)

Also a quick-release collar with name tag (although he is also microchipped - I know a lot of people don't put collars on their cats in case they get caught on things, but we put a bell on his collar and we also have a magnet-operated catflap which needs a collar tag)

Catflap - ours is magnet-operated but there are microchip ones too which would keep other cats out

My old cats used a litter tray but this one doesn't - we have both covered and uncovered ones, and a scoop for removing soiled litter

Food - we have James Wellbeloved dry food, Feline Fayre tinned food, and a pack of Dreamies for occasional treats

That's about it I think!

RiverRocks · 21/08/2014 12:57

Cats are pretty independent, that's why they work for us. Our boys are quite happy to be out most of the day, then get a fuss when we're home from work. We've been lucky because R-Cat is a tart sociable, so the neighbours know him and are happy to come in and feed them both for us.

In terms of what you need:

Cat bed - ours don't bother. We have tried various, from blankets in a box, to a top of the range fur lined thing. Nope. R-Cat is currently sleeping on a pile of clean washing on the living room sofa that I'm too much of a slattern to move or re-wash as I'm 8 weeks pregnant and quite frankly can't be bothered and T-Cat has been alternating between a roll of organza that I'm using for my table decorations for my wedding at the weekend, and the box the organza came in that I haven't moved from the middle of the floor all week, see above.

Cat flap - this was our biggest expense; we paid about £80 for the microchip cat flap, but it was definitely worth it and I'd recommend it. Only your cats can get in.

Toys - We have a few toys, but they don't bother with them. I usually only get them out when it's bad weather to distract R-Cat from clawing my sofa.

Litter tray - They haven't really used the litter tray since they started going outside, but it's worth having one for if the weather is bad. We used an old 12l storage box to stop the litter getting everywhere.

Food - I get them a high meat content, no cereal wet food, and Iams dry. The Iams is in a double bowl which is down all day, wet food in a bowl each twice a day.

The biggest ongoing expense for them is their worming/flea treatment.

Both of ours were rescue cats, and R-Cat is really sociable. When we first got him (he was between a kitten and a cat), there were young girls down our street about 5/6/7, and I'd come home to find him being carried about under his 'arms' with his 'legs' dangling, or my favourite was when they had him in a pram. Your best bet is to go to the shelter, let DD loose and pick one if you can limit yourself of the ones that doesn't run and hide.

AtSea1979 · 24/08/2014 11:18

Cat flaps have been mentioned in every post. I was hoping to avoid this as I have a new plastic door. How do they get fitted on plastic? Was hoping car would just scratch at door and meow to be let out/in

OP posts:
AtSea1979 · 24/08/2014 11:18


OP posts:
cozietoesie · 24/08/2014 11:31

You can manage fine without a cat flap if your household routines suit. Is there someone at home during the day to let any new incumbent inside if needed, for example?

(Assuming you acquire an outside-going cat. You might decide to take on an indoor one and remember that even the outside-going ones should really be kept in at night so you'll likely need that litter tray anyway.)

thecatneuterer · 24/08/2014 11:32

Plastic doors are the easiest to fit a cat flap into. You just cut a hole in the plastic - it's very easy indeed. And if at any time you want to return the door to normal a new plastic panel only costs a few pounds.

AtSea1979 · 24/08/2014 22:14

Ah never thought of just replacing panel. Feel better now!

OP posts:
madamemuddle · 24/08/2014 22:28

No problem with rescue cats here. There are lots of looking for good homes who have just been a bit unlucky in life not because they are problem cats.

Tell the rescue that you are unused to cats and have a young daughter. They will then suggest which ones will be suitable. Some cats aren't suitable for young children but some are. I am sure you will find a lovely puss.

They're really are great characters like guinea pigs!

Fluffycloudland77 · 24/08/2014 22:43

Dh did our cat flap in the upvc door, it's just two pieces of plastic with polystyrene sandwiched in it.

AtSea1979 · 25/08/2014 21:53

Had a look at the door but there isn't a panel. Its one of those doors with two narrow panels either side. So not suitable for cat flap.

OP posts:
sashh · 26/08/2014 10:43


I don't have a cat flap, HA house so would need permission and my doors are metal.

I sleep with my bedroom window open most of the year (ground floor) and she uses that most of the time.

She will also ask to go out or come in other windows, if my bedroom window is closed I let her in, if it's open I tell her to use it.

Be warned though, in winter her favorite place is the window with her bum in the warm and her front paws out in the cold. I am apparently very unreasonable to insist she is either in or out.

Sleeping - well she arrived as a stray and didn't have a bed and has slept at one time or another:
on my bed
on me - when it is warm and I have stuck part of me outside the duvet
on my pillow
on a visitor who was sleeping on the futon
on the radiator
on the book shelf
once, and only once on the radiator bed
under the laptop (on a stand and so is a nice warm den)
in the laundry basket
in the garden
behind the TV
in my sewing box on top of scissors and pins
in/on a tissue box - she managed to get all her feet in and then sort of collapsed the rest of her body around them

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