Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Thinking about getting a cat but have problems - any advice

(14 Posts)
sazz1 Sat 22-Aug-15 01:42:26

The last cat we had was when my daughter was 4 yrs old. She was always ill with various throat, ear, chest etc infections and had eczema but after the cat went everything got better - we now know this was allergy as she has hay fever symptoms if she goes near a cat or picks it up.
Recently I found a soaking wet cat straying in the rain in the road and crying pathetically so I did bring it home and put it in the garage with the door open for shelter. It ate well and slept there all night in a cardboard box. Found the owner the next day so all good. Didn't come in the house at all and so daughter was ok no symptoms at all.
OH is now keen to get a cat again and says he could put a catflap in the garage door for it to live there with free access to the garden.
Just wondering if this is suitable - can you keep a cat like this or is it cruel? What do others think?

vampirequeen Sat 22-Aug-15 06:20:56

Your offering it food, shelter and no interference from humans. Sounds like a cat's dream to me. However, knowing cats, the chances are it will eventually move into the house. It will practise it's 'looking pathetic' face and use it on you in winter when it realises that the house is much warmer and more comfortable than the garage.

You OH may have to wait until your DD has left home.

Greyduster Sat 22-Aug-15 08:07:48

I am inclined to agree with VQ. It sounds like a plan, but I can't see the cat wanting to stay in the garage permanently and, after all, why do people have cats? To share their company. Presumably that's why your OH wants one. If it is going to be confined to what essentially is an outside space, why have one? What about long winter evenings when it is dark? Would you want to keep a light on in the garage? I have only known one instance of an outside cat. My best friend took one on when it's owners went away and left it. It had always lived in a shed and would not come into the house. As our friends didn't have a shed, they built a large insulated "kennel" by the back door and the cat lived out his days happily in that. They never did persuade him to come indoors.

Grannyknot Sat 22-Aug-15 08:14:43

vampire it will do a "My cat is sad, because ..." face grin

It will come into the house, no question. We looked after my daughter's very skittish cat and at first it only stayed in the spare room where my daughter's duvet etc was but it slowly made its way downstairs - first curling up on the top stair, then on the sofa backrest, and finally on my lap.

hildajenniJ Sat 22-Aug-15 08:33:17

Have you looked into getting a Siberian cat. Apparently 80% of allergy sufferers can happily keep these cats. I am sorry that I can't post a link, but look on the internet. They look adorable.

seacliff Sat 22-Aug-15 08:41:11

We had 3 "farm cats" when we first moved here. They were kittens from farm up the road - their mother had always lived in barns, and was used kept for keep the mice down. They stayed in and around the barn for the first summer, and then somehow found the woodburner and cosy house barn. You have no chance!

Only way, if you got a semi feral cat from a rescue place but that wouldn't be much company for your OH.

Charleygirl Sat 22-Aug-15 10:11:02

I agree, if the cat was anything other than semi feral it would be very cold and lonely in the barn during winter and the evenings/nights are long and dark.

You either want a cat for companionship or one to be a mouser- I have both but she lives a wonderful life indoors during the winter and out for many hours during the summer. She creeps on to my bed at night for cuddles.

You have to decide what you want.

Tegan Sat 22-Aug-15 10:45:52

Siberian cats sound adorable. The 'my sad cat' site is making me want a cat again sad....I would never have a feral cat; my ex has 4 of them and they don't enjoy being stroked..just eat, sleep and hunt. It breaks my heart that my favourite one, a gorgeous long haired ginger cat hates being touched.

Jane10 Sat 22-Aug-15 11:04:10

Chances are that your DD has grown out of her allergy. We literally couldn't bear to be without a furry purring chum. Am writing this under heavy feline escort. Am also in trouble with DH for my peals of laughter at the @mysadcat photos. So funny. Get a cat. Love it. It will love you right back and the proposed outdoor life will just seem daft to you. Go on, go on, go on, go on....

sazz1 Sat 22-Aug-15 15:07:40

thanks for the replies - will look into a Siberian cat and see where we go from there x

Lilygran Sat 22-Aug-15 15:23:23

Oh, how I would love to have a cat again! Away too often for it to be sensible. Good luck, sazz! Here's something for all cat lovers

seacliff Sat 22-Aug-15 16:00:07

Well, we made the mistake of going to a local cat protection rehoming fair this morning - have now taken on 2 more kittens - 2 brothers, one is jet black, the other a pretty siamese colouring but not purebred. They had different fathers but same mother. Can't wait to get them home.

We have also asked about being "fosterers" for them too. If you don't have a spare room they'll supply a run in garden. We have to give them lots of fuss and cuddles so they aren't too wild, so someone will adopt them.

Charleygirl Sat 22-Aug-15 16:04:17

seacliff do you not want to keep them permanently?

My young lady came from the local CPL when she was around 2 years old. She is 11 now and neither looks nor acts it, except maybe no half dead birds or animals brought indoors this year.

seacliff Sat 22-Aug-15 16:19:14

Hi Charley, we will have 5 of our own with the 2 new ones coming!

But we wanted to help Cat Protection out, they do such a good job and really need fosterers in some areas - that branch don't have a central building, they just reply on local people to keep the strays until they can be rehomed permanantly. They pay for food/litter/etc and we just provide the care and love.

I have never done it before, so am hoping I CAN let them go. 5 is enough.