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    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 7th Oct 19, 3:22 PM
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    lindos90
    Planning to welcome a Kitten into our Family
    • #1
    • 7th Oct 19, 3:22 PM
    Planning to welcome a Kitten into our Family 7th Oct 19 at 3:22 PM
    After several years of my daughter asking for a cat, we have decided to welcome one into our family in the near future.

    We had cats in my family growing up, but things seem to have changed a lot since then! There was no pet insurance, scratch posts or fluffy beds! Well at least not in our house, it was cardboard boxes, bits of string with a paper bow knotted to the end and a catnip mouse. The only cat food options were Whiskas or Kitikat tins, or boxed Go-Cat of dry food, I don't remember any storebrand food at all.

    I'm trying to research so we are well prepared, but I feel a bit bamboozled by some of it, as theres so much more choice now.

    We have got the basics (Pet carrier, litter tray etc) but I'm still a bit puzzled by some things, as with every other aspect of our lives we try and be moneysaving, we want to be savvy and sensible with feline purchases too. (I know it's not going to be cheap, and that having a pet is a long term financial commitment, but would like to spend my money wisely)

    We plan to initially use the same litter and food that the kitten will be used to, so there's some familiar things, but then gradually move onto other more suitable things once it has settled in and growing.

    Can anyone give me any good advice or point me in the direction of some money saving tips please?

    Cat litter~ crystal, wood pellets, clay based? Which do people find the most practical and cost effective? (and the most environmentally friendly?)

    Food~ wet or dry? (will be using the kittens familiar kitten food initially, but then what would I be best weaning it onto as it grows)

    Insurance~ are there any insurers who I should avoid? Is it similar to car insurance, where there's several levels of cover, the premiums stay low if you don't claim, but shoot up on renewal if you make a claim?

    Fleaing and worming~ I've seen a variety of over the counter sprays, drops, tablets etc, which are the best overall, are generic brands OK as long as I look out for particular ingredients (similar to money saving with Human medication?) Or should I be subscribing to a monthly treatment at the vets and sticking with branded options? (Just been browsing around 'Pets at Home' and they are recommending a monthly treatment for all things for 11.50)


    I do most of my 'human' shopping at Lidl (with a bit of Homebargains and B an M) so I would be particularly interested in peoples experiences with Lidl petcare items, as it would be good to just add what I need to my weekly family shop. But of course, for the right items I would be happy to go elsewhere if it was better.

    Thank you in advance for any advice and suggestions
Page 1
    • NaughtiusMaximus
    • By NaughtiusMaximus 7th Oct 19, 3:38 PM
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    NaughtiusMaximus
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 19, 3:38 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Oct 19, 3:38 PM
    When it comes to insurance, check the small print to make sure the policy will cover lifelong conditions and there is no upper limit on how much they will pay out for a particular condition. In my experience the premium is largely based on the age of the cat rather than the number/value of claims you make, the excess also increases with age,
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 8th Oct 19, 1:42 AM
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    Fire Fox
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 19, 1:42 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 19, 1:42 AM
    Prey-like interactive toys are most fun for kitten, daughter AND the family. Check out the Purrsinourhearts shop . The lovely forum regulars (many rescuers and fosterers) road test everything thoroughly so nothing is duff, and all profits go to cat rescue. Literally the lovely Tan who runs the shop does it all for free.

    Cats naturally get most of their water from their food rather than drinking water like a dog does. So a wet diet is arguably more natural and healthier. If not possible consider both wet food and dry food (separate bowls for hygeine).

    Do read the ingredients on any dry food: avoid grains, starches like potato and sugars. Cats are 'obligate carnivores' and have NO nutritional requirement for starches/ carbohydrates whatsoever. These ingredients also cause dental decay, there is zero scientific evidence that dry food cleans pets teeth.

    As an anecdote my nine-ish year old cat has perfect teeth, no scale or plaque, never had nor ever needed a dental. She has had wet, grain-free diet her entire adult life (classed as one year old). Nothing fancy or pricey: Butchers Classic and Butchers Really Meaty. This is available at Morrisons, Lidl, Pets at Home. Whiskas Supermeat is grain-free too IIRC.

    You can also clean a kitten's or a cat's teeth by occasionally feeding RAW meaty bones (never ever cooked bones, which splinter) such as chicken wings, chicken ribs/ carcasses, turkey necks. Increasingly veterinary practices worldwide are advocating RAW bones for dental care.

    See YouTube if you want to see tiny kittens tackling a chicken wing almost as large as they are!! But if they struggle, cut the raw bones up with poultry shears or really good kitchen scissors.

    Wilko own-brand is good for treats, though these are not necessary. They have dried duck mini strips, dried chicken mini strips, chicken broth ... all no added rubbish. Meat not meat-flavour IYSWIM. But if the kitten goes for raw bones these can double as treats anyway.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 8th Oct 19, 1:43 AM
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    Fire Fox
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 19, 1:43 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 19, 1:43 AM
    Kittens may eat litter so do not use clay litter which can swell in their stomach and cause a blockage. I would not personally want them eating a fragranced litter either, many fragrance ingredients are known allergens or irritants. As are many house plants BTW.

    W e use a wood crumb litter (Cats Best Original) which was vet recommended for my last boy as being gentle on his paw condition. I returned to it with my girl as it is clumping so I can easily scoop out pee and poop, but not waste all the fresh loose litter. Better at holding smells than paper pellets or wood pellets (indoor only flat cat!).

    I get Cats Best Original in bulk online (eg. Spend 30 for free delivery of a very heavy parcel!) or sometimes on offer at Pets at Home. Not the cheapest but actually economical if you scoop daily rather than chuck it all out frequently. But try a few different types such as Lidl or Aldi if they do a wood or paper litter, you may settle on something cheap and cheerful.

    Please use veterinary prescribed flea/ worm/ ear mite treatments (all-in-one spot-on the back of the neck). These are more effective and much safer than pet shop stuff. Ear mites are a lesser known issue but kittens are at higher risk than older adults.

    My little girl had mites when I picked her up (a Monday) and she was ripping her ears off within days. Whisked her in on the Friday had the vet prescribed spot-on and was back to normal by Sunday!!

    The kitten must be weighed regularly to get the correct dose of parasite treatment as they grow so fast. Some veterinary practices do bundles/ plans for kittens with regular parasite treatments, check-overs with the vet nurse, lifetime vaccinations, neutering, microchip at a hefty discount. So worth researching online or ringing around.

    HTH!

    PS Microchip is emboldened because too many kittens go missing before being chipped. My little girl is one example. Due to her gorgeous tortie coat, sweet and playful nature and being neutered by the time she was an older kitten we are sure she had a loving home ... but they did not chip her and she got lost.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 08-10-2019 at 2:07 AM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
    • tealady
    • By tealady 8th Oct 19, 6:38 AM
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    tealady
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 19, 6:38 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 19, 6:38 AM
    Hi
    I hope you are getting kitty from a rescue and not the likes of Facebook or Gumtree.
    They will ensure your new pet will be deflead and wormed, they may even help with the cost of neutering. Also they should be able to tell you about your new pets personality.
    Yes there will be a fee for adopting, but it will help the rescue help even more cats.
    Re toys, I gave mine practice golf balls to bat around, and if you have any cardboard boxes then cats do love those. I would also second looking at the Purrs In Our Hearts website.
    And one final thing, when you let your kitty (or kitties!), please post pictures.
    Proud to be an MSE nerd
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    • donnac2558
    • By donnac2558 8th Oct 19, 10:15 AM
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    donnac2558
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 19, 10:15 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Oct 19, 10:15 AM
    To be honest the over the counter flea treatments are rubbish you really need to go via professional vet but you can buy online cheaper. Oh and never ever use Bob Martin, numerous cats and dogs have died because of it.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 8th Oct 19, 12:39 PM
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    Silvertabby
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 19, 12:39 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Oct 19, 12:39 PM
    Another thumbs up for 'Cat's Best' litter. It's not as expensive as it sounds, as it lasts for ages. Furry madam's litter tray is in the utility room, next to the cloakroom - so all 'lumps' are scooped out and are tipped down the toilet. (can't do that with most litters, and certainly not with a clay based one).
    • Brambling
    • By Brambling 8th Oct 19, 3:27 PM
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    Brambling
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 19, 3:27 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Oct 19, 3:27 PM
    You can buy both frontline and advantage online although with a new kitten it may be best to get he advice from the vet as to which one is best and then go looking for it online, when comparing prices be aware some boxes contain 3 and some 6. My vet now expects most clients to buy online.

    Kittens don't need expensive toys they will play with screwed up paper, I had one who would play fetch and would take screwed up paper out of waste paper baskets and bring to me. She also would carry around bottle tops and play with ping pong balls but as Firefox said a toy on a piece of elastic which looks like prey is good. My 6 year old still plays with his cat nip 'cigar' shape toy. The last time I brought cat beds they ended up at the charity shop as both cats ignored them and refused to go near them, a cupboard box or my bed was preferred. Although a timid kitten might feel safe in a enclosed bed, it will depend on the nature of the kitten and the environment it has come from

    If you're letting your cat out once old enough I would bring it in at night and only use the litter tray then, I'm lucky in my cat rarely uses the litter tray but as he came from CP at 5 and had to be taught to use the cat flap I think he was kept out all day

    Food wise I've had cats who eat anything and others like my current one who is really fussy and will eat it this week but not next You should never give cats milk and I've never brought cat milk for any of mine cats or kittens, some have drank water so I've always kept a bowl of fresh water but they will often find a dirty puddle or if you aren't careful drink out of the toilet so keep the lid shut !

    Good luck with it, I'm not sure how old your daughter is but warn her they do attack bare feet and climb legs
    Last edited by Brambling; 08-10-2019 at 3:29 PM.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 8th Oct 19, 6:39 PM
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    lindos90
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 19, 6:39 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Oct 19, 6:39 PM
    Aw thank you everyone, what fantastic replies, all noted! Yes absolutely we are using a rescue! I have heard such bad things about FB/Gumtree etc.

    This is part of the reason it has taken so long, as we wanted to get a kitten from a rescue, they are very popular and we kept missing out. Plus the fact I wanted to be absolutely committed myself before going for one.

    I know there are so many adult cats that deserve rehoming though, and if it were just for me I would probably go for an older one.

    Will certainly post pics (if I can work out how to!) once we have him home.

    We have a little fella reserved, at a local cats protection foster home (We were in luck and they had 2 litters at the same time, so I called before they had all been reserved)

    He will be flead, wormed and microchipped before we can collect him, and he will come with voucher for a followup vaccination a few weeks later, plus a voucher to have his 'bits off' at a later date! All that for 50!

    They have told me the food and litter type they use, so when we collect him, we are going to donate some litter and food for future cats in their care.

    Thanks again everso, some very sensible suggestions which we very much appreciate!
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 8th Oct 19, 7:25 PM
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    Fire Fox
    .
    This is part of the reason it has taken so long, as we wanted to get a kitten from a rescue, they are very popular and we kept missing out. Plus the fact I wanted to be absolutely committed myself before going for one.

    I know there are so many adult cats that deserve rehoming though, and if it were just for me I would probably go for an older one.

    Originally posted by lindos90
    You made me cry
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 8th Oct 19, 8:04 PM
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    lindos90
    You made me cry
    Originally posted by Fire Fox
    Aw I was looking most days at all the local rescue websites for months, then I contacted a couple, and they said kittens are so popular they don't even get posted on the websites as they are all usually reserved before they do the photos, so I was looking in vane for so long!

    I was determined to go to a rescue though, and after visiting a few it is very interesting to see how they are run very differently.

    Thank you again Fire Fox for your really detailed replies to me, they have been sooo helpful!
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 8th Oct 19, 9:10 PM
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    MovingForwards
    I buy a huge bag of wood pellets cat litter from pets at home for about 6. Lasts for ages.

    Food tends to be a mix of whiskers, Purina one, Felix, lilys kitchen and whatever else is on offer. Also a bit of fresh pork / steak / chicken a few times a week.

    Kibble could be harringtons, whiskers or whatever looks nice.

    Treats are dreamies, chew sticks, pockets / pillows, cat jerky and whatever else looks nice.

    Your kitten will let you know what they don't like, so don't get buying loads as you may end up giving it to someone else to use.

    I've only ever purchased kitten food once, that was for my 5th one, he went straight for the adult cat food that was out for my others.

    Toys are danglies on a stick, never leave this one unsupervised as she wrapped one round her neck as a kitten, toy mice, cat nip, balls etc but her favourite are sweet wrappers! Eat a quality Street scrunch the wrapper up and lug it, she runs, catches it, brings it back and the process is repeated.

    Her bed is a sofa, with blankets and small cuddly toys from the charity shop; teddy bear, unicorn cat, a cat etc; she likes them, cuddles them, rests her head on them etc and only cost 50p each.

    A carpet off cut / carpet tile / cocoa mat work as a scratch post. She has scratch posts but doesn't use them.

    Flea drops (front line) I buy from pets at home. As she is an indoor cat I only drop her every few months.

    Never had injections because of being indoors.

    Never insured a cat in over 2 decades, always paid as and when even when my first had two major operations (cancer and had both sides of her breasts off in two different ops at 300 each incl tests).

    Make sure you are comfortable with the vets you pick.
    • lindos90
    • By lindos90 8th Oct 19, 9:26 PM
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    lindos90
    toy mice, cat nip, balls etc but her favourite are sweet wrappers! Eat a quality Street scrunch the wrapper up and lug it, she runs, catches it, brings it back and the process is repeated.
    Originally posted by MovingForwards
    Ohh gosh that takes me back! We used the colourful sweet wrappers into little bows tied onto a long piece of string! Oh my, I can almost here that squeak of the wrappers between the teeth!

    One of my cats when I was young loved tapping a ping pong ball back and forth with me, I will try and see if our little one will play 'fetch' like yours! Thank you for your advice x
    • Money maker
    • By Money maker 8th Oct 19, 9:51 PM
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    Money maker
    We got pet insurance through Argos - platinum. Started off well, 7-8 monthly. So we started a savings account run simultaneously and put the same into that each month. Fast forward and she's 8 now. Renewal just come through at a little under 25 month. They will take a few pounds off for us but I think it's now too expensive each year. Will continue to pay in to the savings account and that will be enormously helpful should we need veterinary care.
    Please do not quote spam as this enables it to 'live on' once the spam post is removed.

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    • no1catman
    • By no1catman 10th Oct 19, 11:52 AM
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    no1catman
    [QUOTE=MovingForwards;76362514]. but her favourite are sweet wrappers! Eat a quality Street scrunch the wrapper up and lug it, she runs, catches it, brings it back and the process is repeated.
    QUOTE]

    I too did this. Many a time kept the cat entertained by from the bed tossing rolled up sweet wrappers at the half open ward robe door, to be deflected onto the landing. Cat races after it, comes back triumphant with it, jumps up on the bed and jumps ready for the next one!!

    Other comments - fleas won't spontaneously appear, - spread by other cats - are there many in your area? Kitten should be OK to go outside after its first jab at twelve weeks.
    Be prepared for some impact/damage in the home - no matter how many scratching posts you have! Wool (or part wool) carpets attract cat fur! So best avoided, with lounge suite - micro-fibre seems best e.g. faux leather. Partner had one cat that after redecoration proceeded to tear strips of wall-paper off!!

    Make sure the cat/kitten is micro-chipped, and at some point micro-chip controlled cat-flap.
    I used to work for Tesco - now retired - speciality Clubcard
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 14th Oct 19, 7:57 PM
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    Fire Fox
    Other comments - fleas won't spontaneously appear, - spread by other cats - are there many in your area? Kitten should be OK to go outside after its first jab at twelve weeks.
    Originally posted by no1catman
    Cat fleas (or their eggs) can easily 'hitch a ride' on humans or dogs though. I live in a city centre flat with no outside space, no other pets in the building and very few in the immediate area. Low risk so I do not treat for parasites routinely.

    Many years ago I found a solitary flea whilst grooming my (pure white) boy. The only other pet I had regular contact with at the time was my best mate's cat .... also indoor-only and who thankfully remained flealess!

    In a more recent year my current girl and our internal hallway experienced a sudden population explosion coinciding the first warm spell of Spring. Pretty sure that batch came from a friend's house, who had a couple of dogs visiting fairly regularly.

    HTH.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
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