All About Cats (or HELP!)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Estro-Forum : One Thread
As we all know I just aquired a kitten today. It's been a very long time since I was up close and personal with one of these creatures. I need some help and some opinions.
He's going to be almost entirely an indoor cat. Normally, I wouldn't declaw a cat. All my furniture is old and he can scratch all he wants on it. My concern is that Allie only has one eye left. The last thing I need is for him to give her a good swat on the pupil. Opinions?
Like all good kittens he's slept a lot today. I have a feeling this means I'm going to hear a lot of "mewing" and random playing tonight. Should I make him a little bed and shut him in the bathroom with food, water and litterbox? I don't want him to sleep in the bed until he and Allie are MUCH more comfortable with eachother. I especially want Allie to know she's still top dog around here and sleeping in the bed is part of that.
Litter box. Where should I keep it? (Yay! He's smart and actually uses it!) I know most people keep it in the bathroom, but...well, the bathroom is a bit of a haven for me and I don't want it to smell stinky and have litter granules everywhere. I'm thinking of keeping it in here (computer room.) Ideas?
Any other helpful kitten tidbits would be appreciated.
-- Jackie (email@example.com), June 01, 2000
I'm not concerned about my furniture. I'm concerned the Allie only has one eye left! *grin*
-- Jackie (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 01, 2000.
Congratulations on being adopted. You are now a "cat person". Being owned by two cats myself, I'll share my kittenhood/cat knowledge. About the declawing. It doesn't hurt them much to get them declawed. It makes them a little more suseptible to arthritis in their old age, but some cats can get that anyway and others don't get it at all. Kittens generally learn how to "play" without claw usage, so she should learn soon to keep them in. In the meantime expect some claw pricks and not to wear shorts. I keep the litterbox in my bathroom, because it is the easiest place to empty it and because I don't want guests seeing it. Well, that's my advice. Except for one more thing. Since you are now a cat person, buy lots of magnets and bumper stickers with sayings like "Real men love cats" and "Sorry, my cat would never approve of you".
-- Michelle (email@example.com), June 01, 2000.
hooray! owning a cat/kitten is such a wonderful thing, but a great responsibility as well. first, i agree with not keeping the litter box in you litter box, but you may wnat to consider the kitchen over hte computer room. i've found that the litter box being kept close to their food works well. i would suggest putting up one of those little gates (across a doorway) instead of shutting him in a room, just make sure that "his section" of the house has everything he needs. that way, he wont get frantic and meow his head off or claw at the door, but he will instead have room to frolic. here is a tidbit: take some tin foil and ball it up, INSTANT TOY!!! i have not found a cat yet that does not love to bat the shiny ball around the house. oh, and one more thing about the claws, if you fear for Allie's eye (I would too) you should get him declawed (vets suggest doing it as a kitten) but only in the front. Hope this helped! -Beth (a reader of yours)
-- Elizabeth L. (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 01, 2000.
No declawing!! Mean!!
If you don't want your cat to scratch your furniture, you can get odourless (to humans) spray that sprays on your furniture. Our cats HATES the stuff and therefore, no scratching.
-- marilyn (email@example.com), June 01, 2000.
I have two cats and two dogs, the cats are exclusively indoor animals. We just keep their claws trimmed and it prevents any damage to our furniture, our skin, and the dogs (who actually deserve a good scratching from time to time). It's fairly easy to do, you just have to have a tight grip on the cat if he gets squirmy-neither of our cats particularly enjoys getting trimmed, but they have learned to put up with the inevitable. Just use your standard toenail clippers, and be careful not to trim too short, you can see where their little toes grow up into the nail, so don't nip that or you'll make them bleed. As for the cat box-we keep ours in the kitchen-mostly because it's not carpeted and near the trash can for easy clean-up. If you use a good cat litter and keep it clean you shouldn't have too many odor problems. Our cat box is one of those dealies with the cover (like a little cat outhouse), which also helps with the smell and gives them a bit of privacy (cats are very modest when it comes to this stuff). I've found that the Arm & Hammer clumping cat litter works the best, and they also sell a powder deoderizer you can add to the litter. Also, one of the best things to use with cat litter are those sifting box liners-they're these plastic sheets with perforations. You open the box, which contains about 10 sheets (the bottom one doesn't have the perforations. You place the whole stack in the box, with the solid sheet on the bottom, they come with a big rubber band to secure them around the lip of the box. Then, when it's time to clean out the box just lift up all four corners of the top sheet, let the non- clumped litter run out back into the box and throw the clumps and top plastic sheet away. Very efficient! Any other questions, feel free to ask-we just got our second dog (an 8 month old pembroke welsh corgi puppy), so I'm feeling like a new parent. Luckily I think I've made it through the 'overwhelmed by new parenthood' stage and am now in the 'we've got it all down to a routine' stage only occasionally interupted by puppy accidents.
-- marni (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 2000.
My opinion isn't necessarily the most popular one, but i have no problems with a cat being declawed as long as it will only ever be outside on a leash with the owner (as i understand is your case). My kitten will be declawed - front only - when she gets spayed.
I don't really like the idea of a litter box in the kitchen as the thought of the cat using it while i'm cooking or eating is kinda on my "ick factor" scale. I personally use the bathroom for the litter box, and i got a hooded box which cuts down on the flinging and i just sweep it up once or twice a day. Your computer room might be okay if that's what will make you happiest. It's a matter of personal choice - cats are smart enough to use the box wherever you choose to put it, except sometimes if the area is high-traffic.
You may have to put up with a lot of crying if you lock her in the bathroom overnight. :)
Oh, Elizabeth? If you want to meet a cat who doesn't like aluminum foil balls, click on this because she is the one! I made her one once, she batted it half-heartedly, looked at me, said "meow meow MEOW!" and went back to her stuffed mouse and sponge ball. Alas.
I love my kitten. *swoon*
-- Sherry (email@example.com), June 02, 2000.
Water bottle. Set for "stream". Move any important papers/items you don't want wet.
Any habit you want to break, start now. Squirt him and say "no!", but make sure you catch him *in the act* or it'll just confuse him. After a while, all you'll have to do is show him the bottle. I don't even keep water in mine anymore.
People used to tell me that cats didn't respond to positive reinforcement like dogs do, but they also told me that cats never learned their names. Give him a rub and a "good kitty" when he does good (or when he's not getting in trouble) - it does work. And I can call an individual cat from another room, so so much for not learning their names.
I gave up on expensive cat toys long ago (the dogs just eat them anyway). A crumpled up piece of paper, paper sack, or (oh joy to all the kitty gods!) an empty cardboard box works just fine.
Get a Littermaid, or toilet train him (Karawynn's written the best tutorial out there, it's on her site). I don't like the box in the bathroom either, I have mine in the computer room with a throw rug under it (easier to take outside and shake than to vacuum) to catch the stray litter. I do get to hear and smell everything in detail (the only accessible electrical socket is right by my chair), but 10 minutes later it's scooped into the clump bin and covered, so it's not so bad. Plus..just in case Allie finds she likes...kitty krunchies...*shudder* The Littermaid rules, is all I'm saying.
Tire the little booger out right before bed. Sit on the floor and use a stick or (my personal favorite) the cardboard tube off a pant hanger and make him chase the end all around you. Sometimes a flashlight beam works, too. He's still going to wake up before you do, but it should buy you a few hours of solid sleep.
Oh, and take lots of pictures. He'll be out of kittyhood and into kitty adolescence before you know it.
*sigh* They grow up so fast!
-- Never (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 02, 2000.
Heehee, my cat is the least modest thing in the world. She insists on following me into the bathroom when i'm going in to do my own business, and she'll often get in to the litter box while i'm there. And if i'm in another room when she uses her box, she makes a really big show of prancing out of the bathroom with several loud, hearty "MEOW MEOW MEOW" vocals to let me know she was a good kitty and used her box.
It kills me. Too cute.
-- Sherry (email@example.com), June 02, 2000.
I'm not concerned about my furniture, but rather Allie Gator's one remaining eye!
Life with kitty is good. That water bottle really comes in handy when he starts attacking the plants or the blinds. He hasn't figured it out yet and keeps going back for more. He'll learn!
And he's not a problem to sleep with at all. He sleeps like a baby.
And I found a more remote spot in the bathroom to put his litter box. It's not at all in the way there.
So here's another question. What do you guys feed your kitties? I got Purina One kitten food, but next time I have a bigger cat food budget I want to get the Eukanuba cat food (it helps prevent the horrible urinary crystals.)
-- Jackie (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 03, 2000.
I give my baby Iams dry food. As soon as she's spayed i'll switch to the adult formula.
I also give her a few spoonfuls of wet food on occasion as a special dinner treat. For snacks, she loves chicken flavored Pounce.
What's kind of funny is that i gave her a piece of chicken from the leftover supper i made last night and she sniffed it, batted it, then walked away. She's eaten "people food" on occasion before but i guess that if she doesn't see me eating it at the same time, she just isn't interested.
-- Sherry (email@example.com), June 06, 2000.
Congratulations on being proudly owned by a new cat.
You already know there's a controversy about declawing. If I may put in my .02, please PLEEEEEEASE don't declaw. :-(
You have already wisely decided to start out letting Allie be top cat. I thought you might find this helpful... Anitra Frazier in The New Natural Cat goes even further, about how to introduce a new kitten or cat to the household, so as to not make the first cat jealous. I haven't tried this, but surely will if an opportunity arises... I thought it a very loving and wise way to go about it.
The idea is that in the beginning as much as possible, you are to go agaist all instincts, and act completely oblivious to the new cat whenever your first cat is around. (Feed him when you can of course!- this is all psychological stuff for the benefit of the first cat) You introduce the cat by having a friend bring it in. In your case you've already introduced them, but there might be something useful here. What she describes all may sound impossible on first thought, but she's very creative in how you can do it, and how to observe what stage they're at with each other, and what to do about any hissing (nothing) or fighting (if it's bad, you'll need to separate the cats by some neutral means like dropping a pan on the floor or something that will startle them). I haven't described any of her steps and suggestions of how to go about this. (I'd quote here except I'm not sure about the copyright thing.)
Maybe this could help with any jealousy so you need have little fear of him swiping the new cat. The cats will get used to each other on their own terms and the goal to be accomplished is a strong loving bond between the two cats without having to compete for a human. Hey, maybe it's happening already but thought you might find it useful to read up about it. It's on page 29++ of the book.
Hope this was welcome...
-- Debbie (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 2000.
I think that keeping claws well trimmed should be enough. There are also little plastic "tips" you can put on cat's claws now, which have the effect of blunting them.
My cat refuses to eat anything other than Fancy Feast. I wanted to get her eating some nice pet store brand, since most of the commercial ones have the most horrible things in them, but she turns her nose up at everything else.
-- Christine (email@example.com), July 12, 2000.