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Advice for Potential New Cat Owner

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Nudd0234, Sep 10, 2020.


  1. Nudd0234

    Nudd0234 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    I am a young professional, living alone in 3 bed house, with full time job working varied hours/days. I am considering (more or less made my mind up) that im going to get a cat (most likely kitten).

    I however have a concern that due to the hours I work I wont be home enough to spend time with or even let It in/out the house - a catflap is not an option.

    As a rough idea I can be out the house at 0300 and not be back for 11 hours or leaving at noon for a similar duration. Often working 4 days a week maybe more in summer, less in winter. The hours and shift duration can vary greatly but never will be more than 13 hours.

    That being said, its a fairly spacious house so the cat being stuck inside (or outside if it wishes) for these periods can’t be that bad.

    I hope thats given enough background, i’m looking for experienced cat owners opinions on whether this is a fair thing to do to a cat.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ChaosCat

    ChaosCat PetForums VIP

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    Hallo and welcome to the forum!

    Your long working hours wouldn’t be fair on a kitten. You’d leave a baby alone for half a day!
    Kittens need a lot of playtime and attention. You’d have to get two so they have each other for company but it still wouldn’t be ideal.
    You could expect to come home to some wreckage if kittens are left alone too long.

    Two older cats who are calmer and more settled would be a better option.
    But no way would I leave a cat outside for any longer time without the chance of coming in through a flap.
    That’s completely unfair.
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I think 2 older cats from rescue would work better.

    If they are used to going outside then a cat flap would be necessary.

    You could look at cat proofing the garden or building a catio accessible from the house directly via a cat flap.

    If they are indoor cats, that solves that issue.
     
    Nudd0234 likes this.
  4. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

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    I have to be frank and say I don't think your situation is right for a cat and I'm not sure a reputable rescue would let you have a cat with the conditions you are currently considering and definitely not a kitten. There are so many things to consider, more so if your situation isn't quite the norm and owning any animal is a huge responsibility, they can't just be left to look after themselves.

    I personally think that a cat shouldn't be left for more than 10 hours at most which is roughly the average working day plus travelling. It isn't fair to have an indoor cat who will on its own most of the day, on top of which I assume you socialise and go out sometimes which would make it even longer.

    Cats shouldn't be locked out of the house with no means of entry, there are many dangers out there - main roads, dogs, catnappers etc.and they should have access to food and water when needed. Also, there is more chance of them wandering away from home and getting lost or worse.

    Indoor cats need a lot of stimulation to make up for not being outside either in the form of human company or toys and cat furniture, windows to look out of etc. though it would be asleep for a certain time.

    Kittens are a definite no as, left on their own, they can get into all kinds of trouble. Like children, they have no sense of danger so really need someone around in the early months until they become more savvy. A kitten should not be let outside until its around a year old for the same reason.

    One way round it on the days you are working would be to employ a pet sitter perhaps who could pop in for half an hour or so.

    I agree that whatever the situation, if you want to go ahead, you would really need two cats to keep each other company, obviously as long as they got on well together so came as a pair.
     
  5. Orla

    Orla PetForums VIP

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    I wonder if an older cat might work in this instance. There are always lots in need of forever homes, often who spend long periods of time in rescue or foster. You would need to find a rescue who are willing to rehome as indoors only because without a cat flap, you cannot expect a cat to just stay outdoors. An old boy or girl might be content to stay in and snooze most of the day. A bonded pair would be better still.
     
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  6. Nudd0234

    Nudd0234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you all for your feedback and advice, it has certainly made me reconsider my initial intent and I have taken note of potential problems.

    I should probably say the working hours I mentioned initially were 'worst case' but do occasionally happen.

    So the kitten idea is a no go thats accepted, I would be open to getting an older cat (or 2) and then on the days I do work in excess of 10 hours I could like somebody suggested get a cat sitter to pop in.

    Its not possible to fit a cat flap, but I don't think that necessarily means I would need an indoor cat, as when I am home the back door is open 90% of the time and in winter can be let in/out as and when need be.
     
  7. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    I have to agree with everyone that your situation is far from ideal ,being left alone for such long periods is hardly fair to an animal especially when you add on the hours when you will be asleep too.
    That turns a possible 11 hours at work into19/20 hours of no human interaction .
    Also you say that you are unable to have a cat flap which to me makes allowing a cat outside very problematic.
    What would happen if say your cat was outside and didn't come back in time to be brought in before you left the house.
    You couldn't just go off and leave it outside until you returned.
     
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  8. Psygon

    Psygon Yoshi Tonks! :-)

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    Can I ask why a cat flap is a definite no go? Is it a rented property or something else?
     
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  9. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    How many days a week do you work? Because of the longer shifts, do you have more days off? If you work 5 days a week/12hrs a day, I would say this was unfair on a cat. However, if you work three days a week, like me, so have more days off, with some effort, thought and the right cat, this could work.
    I would certainly say a kitten or young cat is a no-no, they need a lot of stimulation, and are just learning about life.
    You say you have a large space, then two older bonded cats from a rescue centre might work better. I don't think they need constant access to the outside, as you would have to keep them in for at least a month before letting them out unsupervised, anyway, so they "know" where they live. Many cats live happily as indoor cats only, and if you adopt a pair that have only known inside, that would work well. I would certainly say you can't leave a cat outside for 12hrs. Full-time indoor cats do need more stimulation, so you would need to play with them more, but they would also enjoy each others company and hopefully play together. Indoor cats would also need numerous litter trays, and if you're out for a long shift, they certainly would.
    If you decide to adopt a pair, you would need to take a week off from work, IMO, so you're not out too often or long in the first week. You don't want them to feel abandoned. But at the same time, don't stay in 24/7 in that first week, go out for short periods and build it up, so they know they have alone time, but so they know you come back.
    It's certainly worth talking to a rescue, as most places like to place the right cats(s) with the right person.
     
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  10. Nudd0234

    Nudd0234 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, just because its a glass patio door at the back, I know you can get them fitted to glass doors, but personally i think they are unsecure, and look pretty naff in a glass door.
     
  11. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Cat flap's can be fitted into an outside wall , maybe that would be an option for you.
    I don't allow freedom to roam to any cats but perhaps some members who have used this option could advise you how this works .
     
  12. Nudd0234

    Nudd0234 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for this Jackie,
    Its very hard to say definitively my hours/days worked as they can vary in length and frequency, I initially said 12 hours because that is the worst case and I always plan for the worst case, however I could be back within 6.
    I agree with you about the initial time off, hence why i'm trying to sort this now as I work in aviation and winter is particularly quiet for us, and given the current state of play even more so than normal!

    I'll try and locate my nearest rescue place and have a chat with them, see what they say! Thanks again.
     
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  13. ChaosCat

    ChaosCat PetForums VIP

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    We have glass patio doors, too and put the flap into a wooden board and a smaller glass pane on top:

    B82F8073-0AC9-4FC1-9343-CF526BA0CADD.jpeg
     
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  14. Chaddycat

    Chaddycat PetForums Senior

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    I work 12.5 hour shifts. With travelling I can be out of the house for 15 hours. I do have a grown up Son who gets in before me though so the cats are alone for about 10 hours. Chadwick is an adult and its suits him down the the ground (he wasn't keen when i had to izolate for 2 weeks and looked at me as if to say get back to work you lazy moo) we now have a kittsn and I know she has Chadwick to keep her company. But I think she would be lonely if she was alone all that time as she's very active x
     
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