Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: New to Cats  (Read 4491 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
New to Cats
« on: November 13, 2009, 08:35:16 am »
I was at the vets yesterday (nothing wrong, just popped in for a chat)  and there was a lady in there with a basket of kittens.  Now, I've never really been interested in cats before (I suppose because I've never been in a position to have any more pets before),  but they were beautiful and I fell in love!  Now, having got the idea of maybe having a cat (or 2?)  I have to decide whether I would like one of these kittens or any other cat/s.  The lady was from the Cats Protection League.  She called me later in the afternoon, and was telling me about all the different cats they have at the moment, as well as the kittens.

Having never shown an interest before, I'm not familiar at all about how to look after a cat....What they need, what I can offer them.  So I'm busy looking up as much as I can.

The kittens would be house kittens, but they have other cats that are more 'ferral' and she says they would live in the barn and be good mousers.

The reason for my post is to find out your thoughts.  Anything at all you can think of that I should be looking at, thinking about, wary of etc. 

Really interested in hearing from you.

Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.


  • Joined Jul 2009
  • Kirriemuir Scotland
Re: New to Cats
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 09:11:50 am »
How exciting. I have always lived with cats, but I can imagine that getting to know them will be a great pleasure.
In my experience cats are very flexible to whichever way you can accommodate them. Whether you have one or two is purely your choice. They may get on well and really enjoy each other's company but they not really care either. Cats personalities are as variable as people and from that point of view getting a kitten is a new adventure as it grows and you get to know each other.
Depending on your circumstances there are numerous ways that you can care for a cat. Our current two, mother and son, Patch and Pirate, sleep in the house all day often on our bed and we feed them outside just before we go to bed and they spend the whole night earning their living mousing etc. Or I suspect Patch does and Pirate who is big and black and totally misnamed (he is the biggest softy in catdom) will be spending the night in a high place in the poly tunnel watching Patch work.
We don't have a catflap because it is drafty and our jack russels could get out. Also patch used to bring in all sorts of bits of animals when we did.
Often when cat protection people talk about house cats they mean cats that never go outside. Some people like to look after their cats like this and I suppose for expensive pedigrees there is a protection issue. It has never seemed right to me though.
I have friends with a cat that lives completely outdoors. This particular cat doen't look very well but I think she doesn't get wormed or de flead either. This doesn't seem right either. Although if a cat has grown up like that it would be unlikely that they would change their behaviour and become happy to spend time in a noisy household.

So the long and the short of all this is that the options are huge. Basic cat care involves a good meal twice a day, flea and worm treatment once in winter and more often in summer. This is the biggest expense. You will be aware that generally cats are superior beings and having one as your friend is a great honour. TS Eliot's book 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats' is a lovely description of many cats.
The Ad-Dressing Of Cats by T. S. Eliot
You've read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind.
For some are same and some are mad
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse--
But all may be described in verse.
You've seen them both at work and games,
And learnt about their proper names,
Their habits and their habitat:
How would you ad-dress a Cat?

So first, your memory I'll jog,
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.

And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste--
He's sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he's finished, licks his paws
So's not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat's entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his NAME.

So this is this, and that is that:
And there's how you AD-DRESS A CAT.
this is a good link for more of hte same  :cat:
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 09:19:19 am by marigold »


  • Guest
Re: New to Cats
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2009, 10:55:34 am »
We have always had cats on the farm. There are some which are out and out ferral cats, living in the barns (or anywhere they can get into that's warm and dry) my Dad puts out some food for them in the mornings, but they pretty much just get on with things themselves. We have one in the house, but it gets out and about regularly, though as marigold says not with a cat flap - you need to be able to check the 'presents' it will invariably bring for you - trust me, having woken up with a half dead bird flapping about in my bedroom I nailed ours shut !.
My sister has a pedigree cat but chooses to keep in inside at all times (it does have some health problems and she stays in a villiage) IMHO cats need to get outside for at least a portion of the day - it's not fair to keep them in (and even if you're changing litter trays daily they still smell  :P)
Cats are very independant creatures and very smart - you can't train them like a dog. Although I did know a lady once who had a massive white tom who used to wear a harness and go for walks  ::)
Here's a very funny joke that sums up cats perfectly -
How to give a cat a pill

1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.

3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right fore-finger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8) Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.

9) Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take taste away. Apply band-aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10) Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab. Throw Tee-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12) Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.

13) Tie cat's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of fillet steak. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14) Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15) Arrange for RSPCA to collect cat and ring local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.


1) Wrap it in bacon.

Good luck  ;D ;D ;D


  • Joined Nov 2009
Re: New to Cats
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2009, 11:51:33 am »
Cats are great to have around especially when they curl up on your lap purring.

As others have said they have such different characters and having had them from kitten and as adults there is no right or wrong way. We've got 4, 1 we had from 6 weeks where he was injured and dumped outside the vets. Hubbie had never had a kitten before and spent hours fascinated with the things he got up to. 2 were 9mths old and left locked in a house when the family moved and the last one was a 5yr old a ex-breeding Siamese that was no longer wanted. They have all turned out to be extremely affectionate, the Siamese had no idea how to play and was scarred of her own shadow, but now she will venture out although not for long. The others come and go as they please during the day, usually bringing me back a pressie, but are in all night.

Cat's don't necessarily need another cat for company so if you could have 2 you could always get 1 indoor and and 1 outdoor cat.

Also although 2 males or 2 females can get along I tended to find it can be easier if you have 1 of each. We've got 2 of each and they have sort of paired off, the 2 girls really not liking each other.

Good luck, the hardest part is choosing.
Check out for environmentally friendly crafts.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: New to Cats
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2009, 01:31:08 pm »
Thank you so much for all the info, I really appreciate that. 

I love the poem marigold. 

Fantastic bit about giving the cat a pill HappyHippy.  As I was reading it my husband came into the study to find out what I was laughing about!!   :) :) :) :) :) :)

I'm seeing the lady from the cats protection later today, to find out more about the kittens and cats.  I think, at the moment, I'm likely to go for the kittens so that I can see them growing up. 

Can't wait!
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: New to Cats
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2009, 05:46:40 pm »
Go for it!!
Cats and kittens are fantastic............ be aware of spoiling the kittens and making a rod for your own back when they're all grown up and play up!
And your first vets bill may seem huge (neutering, vaccinations, fleas, wormer, health check, microchips) but hopefully after that they are pretty hardy.  The cats protection may begin some of this, with a bit of luck!

Post some pics when you get them
Little Blue


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Devon - EX39 5RF
    • Ford Mill Farm
Re: New to Cats
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2009, 09:28:33 am »
The Cats Protection people are coming around on Monday now, they got held up yesterday.

So plenty of time over the weekend to get more info....and get more excited!!
 :cat: :cat: :cat:
Pedigree GOS Pigs and Butchery for Smallholders.


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