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First time cat owner
5

Peapodpanda · 20/06/2022 22:50

Hello,

Were a family of 4 (DC are 6 and almost 4) and are considering getting our first family pet. My husband works at home and so is home most of the time other than family days out and I work two long shifts a week. The children are typical young, energetic children but are gentle when they need to be.

I grew up with dogs and am very comfortable around them but DH isn’t. I don’t feel like a dog would be good for us as I think it’s too big of a commitment with walking etc. We’re thinking of getting a cat. I’ve no real experience of cat care, and my husband only had one briefly as a child, so he hasn’t really either.


Not really sure where to begin. We’re in a rural area but on the corner of one main road and one busy road. I can’t see myself been able to let a cat outside and risk coming to harm on the road so it would likely be an indoor cat. I’ve read that Ragamuffins are good indoors.. is this correct? I like the idea of a rescue as we’d know about it’s personality and there are so many needing homes but a lot won’t let you adopt with young children.. I’d also like to experience the kitten stage so we may look to buy for that reason (from a reputable breeder).


This isn’t something we’re going to rush into. We are reading up a bit and are not planning on doing anything until after our summer holidays so any potential kitty could settle without interference.


I guess I’m just a bit daunted about a cat because I’ve no experience of them and I’m a bit wary of them. Is there likely to be a lot of scratching? Do they bite? Am I right in thinking that one cat would be happy by itself or would we need a pair?


Help a clueless mama out.

Any experience or info welcome

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silentpool · 21/06/2022 06:57

I will second the suggestion of a Persian and going to a well regarded breeder is important. You can generally get a good natured cat, who is used to living in a family setting. I believe that good early socialisation is really key with cats and their behaviour.

They are easy going and fairly lazy so I have not experienced much in the way of destructive behaviour. Mine is also very tolerant of children - if they are annoying him, he will go and hide, rather than lash out.

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Toddlerteaplease · 21/06/2022 06:49

Persians are good indoor cats. And will be happy in an enclosed garden.

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User3456 · 20/06/2022 23:44

If you're getting kittens, get two to entertain each other. The possible issue with a kitten is you won't truly know their personality for a year or two, and they are bonkers/destructive as wolfie says. But also funny and very very cute.

If you just want one, I would get a young ish adult that you know is friendly - likes strokes, young enough to still be playful etc.

The rescue we got our cats and kittens from would rehome to a family like yours. I have found it's not as strict as dog rescues are for rehoming with children as long as they think the cat would be a good match for your circumstances. Some rescues like to rehome cats to homes where they have access to outdoors, others like indoor only, and some do a mix depending on the needs of the cat. So you would probably be asked about that in your screening questions.

We currently have 3 rescue cats - one that's 8 and very loving/cuddly friendly lap cat (we got her when she was around 2) and two 9 month old kittens - friendly in that you can stroke them and just about pick them up but they are far too busy to want to sit still for long - definitely not lap cats so far, that might develop in time maybe. They need lots of play. They make us laugh every day.

I agree with you that you shouldn't let cats roam near a busy road, so it's best to look for an indoor only cat or you could maybe look at cat proofing your garden or getting a catio if you want them to have safe outside time. There are facebook groups for this and there are companies that specialise in this - eg protect a pet. We've got a cat proofed outside space for ours.

Don't let this put you off, but do be aware that it can be hard having indoor only cats with kids that might leave a back door or something open. You'll need to think about the logistics of how to be sure they won't get out. You also need to make sure your windows don't open too wide and get either restrictors on them or something like a screen or 'flat cats' mesh so you can open your windows without the cats escaping.

Honestly, there are so many cats in the world already, rescues are struggling to find decent homes as it is, I would really say talk to a rescue first, they should be able to match a cat to you personality wise. Lots of cats are fine as indoor only - it depends on the cat, their personality and what they are used to. Some would be really unhappy as indoor only but many many cats are just fine with it, and have good lives. I don't think it is cruel to have an indoor only cat if it suits the cats personality and they are not already used to roaming outside. You will need to think about enrichment and toys though.

If you do get one from a breeder, make sure it's a reputable breeder. A kitten should ideally not leave it's mum before 12 weeks old. If you get a pair you might get away with slightly younger (ideally they should be with other cats until 12 weeks so they can get socialised). You want a kitten that's been vet checked, vaccinated, microchipped, flea treated and comes with a month free insurance. So no nasty surprises/heartbreak awaiting. You would also get these things with a rescue. And get your own insurance put in place straight away.

Good luck and enjoy!

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Daisyroseandhyacinth · 20/06/2022 23:05

If you live near busy roads you can’t have an outdoor cat really. I think it’s cruel to keep them indoors, although as you say, Ragamuffins are indoor cats.
Cats are pretty easy to keep apart from the scratching. I’ve had them most of my life. They’re a lot easier than dogs.

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Wolfiefan · 20/06/2022 22:58

The kitten stage can be bloody destructive and a nightmare. Ours used to attack anything that moved when the mood took them. Including the kids!
I wouldn’t go for a particular breed as a house cat. I would go for an adult rescue that needed to be kept in or cat proof the garden.
In future I would go for an adult bonded pair. We had kittens this time. They grew up to hate each other. And one is a bit of a biter. With adults you can tell their character a bit more.

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