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Discussion Starter #1
I've recently had to put my last cat to sleep. :( I'm considering getting another cat (or two).
I know that you should keep (new) cats indoors when rehousing them to get them used to their new environment. And when let outdoors for the first time, cats should be closely watched in case they panic and try to run off.

I believe the duration of keeping cats indoors can vary from a couple of weeks to many months(!) depending on how cats are settling in. How can you tell when cats are ready to be let outdoors (if at all)? :?:
 

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I'm not one who lets my cats outside ever but I'd say wait until they are bonded with you and then start taking them out for short supervised sessions in the yard. If it's a kitten then it's a different story, I don't know when you let kittens out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the comments!

I'm looking at getting adult cat(s), not kitten(s).

Waiting until cat has bonded may take years (I think?) before attempting an outdoors excursion(?)

For my previous cat, it literally took about 4 or 5 years before she would let me pet her, handle her, and carry her without being hissed at, scratched or bitten (she was a semi-wild cat with one previous owner). :yikes

So, how do you know at what stage a cat has bonded (sufficiently) before entrusting them to go outdoors?

Actually, it is my preference that cat remain indoors for most of the time (or at the very least be indoors at night time; my previous cat was indoors for 99% of the time) anyway. But if the cat should venture outdoors, then it would be highly preferable that they don't run away but remain at home.
 

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Hi ... and welcome to the forum.

I would recommend you keep your new kitties indoors for about 4-6 weeks so they get used to their new home before letting them outside.

Sorry about your recent loss :(
 

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Seconded. We kept Peggy in for 3 and 1/2 weeks because she was itching to go out. When we DID let her go out, she was a bit scared bless her :lol:

It's always hard when we lose our friends, but great when we get new ones!
 

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Definitely keep the cats in for a few weeks. Then you can start taking them out into the yard. My family and I also did "door training" with all of our cats. It consisted of one person taking them outside via our sliding glass back door, then putting the kitty just outside the door. The other person would open the door, and call kitty inside. Once inside, she got a treat.

This was, kitty at least knows the door. We never taught the other two doors... but they figured it out on their own. All but Nito. He doesn't go outside alone anyways.

I think you will be able to tell when kitty is able to go out alone. She'll be comfortable in the house, and know that her food source is there. But only let her out alone if you are positive that your yard is very safe! We have no coons, foxes, or dogs that run loose in our neighborhood. Nor do we have any prey birds larger than kestrals. Otherwise, they wouldn't be out there alone, no-sir-ee.
 

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brispuss said:
So, how do you know at what stage a cat has bonded (sufficiently) before entrusting them to go outdoors?
For me, I think that would depend entirely upon when the cat would reliably come to me when I called it. I like the door-training idea, too. Very similar concept.

What I had always done in the past, was go outside with the cat for very short durations, slowly letting them explore a bit more each time. We live too close to a 55mph road and I only wanted each cat to become accustomed to what the outside of our house was like, just-in-case they ever got out accidentally.
heidi
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Many thanks for everyone's comments! :) They have been quite helpful! :D

I'm still hesitant to get another cat (or two) just at the moment, as I'm still grieving over the loss of my cat (pts less than a week ago), and I'm also conscious of my limited financial means at this time. However, my financial situation is not too limiting, so that I should be able to look after a couple of cats for at least a couple of years or so, provided no major expenses arise.

Currently, I am looking at some cats for adoption from private owners as well as cats from shelters etc. We'll see what happens. :?:
 

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brispuss said:
However, my financial situation is not too limiting, so that I should be able to look after a couple of cats for at least a couple of years or so, provided no major expenses arise.
Not quite sure what you mean by this. Cats can live more than 20 years. Am I missing something?
 

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I would not recommend adopting a cat (or two) based on the assumption that no major expenses will arise. Kobi was a 12 week old kitten when I brought him home, I spend over $500 on him in the first 3 months due to medical issues. Cats have accidents, eat things they shouldn't. Having the means to get hold of $1000 or so is a necessity IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am aware of the financial obligations in looking after cats.

Just to clarify my position, financially. I am not working at the moment. I am looking for work, but due to the nature of my work, it may be difficult (or take awhile) to get a placement.

Currently I have savings that can cover most everyday expenses (including feeding cats) for up to two years without working. But, if there is no work or steady income from about two years on, then there may be financial problems.

However, I OWN my house which is situated on a larger than usual section for the area I'm living in. If the worst should occur, I can sell the house and move into a smaller house & section, and the difference in house prices should be in my favor. That price differential can be substantial based on current trends, and would be sufficient to cover most expenses for quite a few years at least.

Admittedly, I am still hesitating in adopting a cat (or two) because of financial considerations, but cats are excellent companions, great sress relievers, and I love them anyway. We've always had cats in our home, and it would be great (almost a necessity) to have another cat.

Yes, I am aware that cats can live to 20 years or more. But I propose getting more mature/adult cat(s) (aged 5 ~ 10 years) anyway rather than kitten(s)/young adult(s).

I know, despite having savings and an option to sell the house for additional funds if need be, the logical option would be to wait until I gain employment before adopting any cats.

It is hard NOT having a cat around at the moment. And I think it will be very hard waiting to gain employment before adopting any cats. :(
 

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I absolutely understand, better than most, in fact. I was laid off last year and I will sell off the last of my belongings before giving up my girls. And you're right, they've been such a comfort and source of laughter and stress relief. I'm sorry to have been so intrusive, I just didn't understand the post. I do now. :patback
 

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I think that if the only people who owned cats (or any pet for that matter) were people who had over $1000 in savings in case of emergencies that the shelters wouldn't even put a dent in the pets without a home!! I have 2 cats and a dog and I most certainly do not have $3000 in savings. If a major accident occurred it would have to go on a credit card or be borrowed, but I would of course do that.

There are a lot of people who can't afford major health problems with their pets, however, most vets will not say "tough" to you if you are in a financial bind. Payment programs can be worked out! The clinic I work at actually will get people to sign the animal over to them if the owner can't pay (rather then put the animal down). They then treat the animal and find it a great home. I admit I find it a bit strange, that if they're treating the animal for free and then giving it away...why not give it back to it's owners? But I think the reasoning behind this is that people would come in with the whole "I have no cash" act just to get free treatment if word got out. Either way the animal lives and has a great home.

I think that if you can give a homeless cat or two a home you certainly should. If you are getting adult cats from a shelter they are fully vetted and so you at least have peace of mind that (in all likelihood) no major health problems will occur right away.

Edited to add: Oh, and I just wanted to add that a good way to avoid unexpected health problems is to not let your cat outside. There is a far greater chance that your cat will get into some trouble outside then in! I know they love it outside, and it's good for them to get exercise, but if you're worried about random health problems letting them outside where there are cars, other animals, diseases and poisons (both natural and set by others for "pests") is probably not the best idea; keeping them inside would probably be best. Teach them to accept a leash and take them out for supervised outtings! That's what I do with my boys! Not to mention in most place it's (technically) against the law to let your cats roam free, just as it is with dogs. Now, not many people follow this law, but if you check into your local bylaws you will in all likelihood find out that your city frowns upon this!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the additional comments.

I should apologize for not making my position clear in earlier posts! :( I think my recent loss is still affecting my logic! :?

I would really like to adopt at least one cat. But I'm still somewhat hesitant, just at this moment.

Actually, I am selling off various items that I don't use or need (it's amazing the amount of stuff you accumulate which you don't really need 8O ). These sales are helping out a little with finances! :)

With a bit of luck, with extra income from these sales, (a job?), I hope to be in a position to say that I've adopted a cat (or two?) within the next week or so. :?: :?:

My previous cat was mostly indoors. Any future adopted cats will (hopefully) be mostly indoor types as well, as my street is moderately busy with traffic, and I don't want to risk the cats being hit or run over.
 

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I would emphasize to you expect the unexpected will happen. I just shelled out ~ now around $700 because my fake feral that lives at my sisters house and who is inside a majority of the time came home with an infected wound. Just keep your cat inside. You can provide a happy full life for him with out the risks or expense.

Why not offer to foster for a rescue in your area. That way youd get a kitten or cat fix without the expense and commitment right now till your more financially prepared. Plus making a huge difference in the life and future of a cat!

Lots of rescues provide the vet care, food and support in exchange for helping give a cat a home till he can find his permanent home.
 

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I foster and I love it! I get to play with kittens while they are the cutest. However, I pay for their food and my gas to drive them to their appointments, the rescue pays for all veterinary costs.
 

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Excellent suggestion, Merry! The organizations here pay for food and any necessary medication, all the foster has to provide is litter, I think.
 

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Brispuss...thank you for clarifying your position. We didn't mean to jump all over you, but unfortunately we so often have people coming here with cats with serious medical conditions and no means to pay for a vet. It so sad to see these situations develop. And I know I get frustrated with some of these people because they didn't ever have any plan at all for caring for their cats. So when I see someone that says their finances are limited considering an adoption, I just have to speak up and make sure they realize the financial implications.

GeorgeMichael said:
I think that if the only people who owned cats (or any pet for that matter) were people who had over $1000 in savings in case of emergencies that the shelters wouldn't even put a dent in the pets without a home!! I have 2 cats and a dog and I most certainly do not have $3000 in savings. If a major accident occurred it would have to go on a credit card or be borrowed, but I would of course do that.
A credit card or borrowing the money is a means to get hold of it.

GeorgeMichael said:
There are a lot of people who can't afford major health problems with their pets, however, most vets will not say "tough" to you if you are in a financial bind. Payment programs can be worked out! The clinic I work at actually will get people to sign the animal over to them if the owner can't pay (rather then put the animal down).
Actually, from what we see here, I think your clinic is an exception. Read some of the posts over in Health & Nutrition, we're always getting people who have no money and the vet will not treat the pet. I do believe that in many cases it's because these people do not have a relationship with the vet. I think they'll work with an established customer. But if it's someone who rarely/never takes their pet to the vet and show up needing a payment plan they won't get the same consideration. And I really can't fault the vet for this. They have a business to run, bills and salaries to pay. They can't absorb the cost of treatment when there's a high risk they won't get paid.

I agree 100%, if vet bills are a concern, keeping the cat in will reduce the risk significantly. It could also eliminate expenses for things like parasite preventatives/treatments depending on where you live.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've decided to hold off on adopting any cats at this time until I am comfortable with my financial position. Improving my financial status is being worked on.

Another reason I'm holding off on adopting any cats, is that I get to see, pet, and talk to neighbors cats almost daily anyway! :) So that brightens up my day (a bit) :D

Cats welfare/health has always been of highest priority, regardless of anything else. We've always looked after our cats as well as we could, and promptly had them treated by vets as situations occurred.

When I adopt cat(s) later on, it is proposed (hoped) that they will be mostly indoors (or at the very least, remain indoors at night time), to lessen the risk of diseases and accidents etc.
 
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