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seun
08-23-2007, 01:29 PM
My girlfriend and I are thinking about getting a kitten when we move house. I grew up with cats but rarely kittens and haven't lived with a cat in almost ten years.
Any advice on kittens? Health care, eating habits, toilet training etc.

oswann
08-23-2007, 01:30 PM
Ooh, the big kitten decision with the girlfriend. Good luck.

Os. (I have a bulldog and no real advice)

Xx|e|ph|e|me|r|al|xX
08-23-2007, 02:07 PM
Xx| Get at least two, I say. They're so cute when they play together!

My only other piece of "advice" is to not take any videos of yourself or girlfriend playing with them and posting them on youtube. Those self-righteous youtubers all have sticks up their butts. You'd probably get reported to PETA or something. *rolls eyes* :ROFL:

Good luck! Kittens are the sweetest. :3 |xX

seun
08-23-2007, 02:36 PM
I think one will be enough although I'm sure she'd say we should get two. The only thing that worries me is we're both out all day. Obviously we're not talking about a dog that needs walking but it will still need constant care.

dclary
08-23-2007, 02:46 PM
Are you kidding? Cats watch ESPN and sleep all day. They don't do what they're told, and only come when they're hungry or want to be touched.

Hell, your woman wants another man.

Haggis
08-23-2007, 03:01 PM
Any advice on kittens?

You can use them in any recipe that calls for cats, but use two. They're small.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-23-2007, 03:44 PM
First: Ignore Haggis.

Second: Do get two... especially if you're both gone all day... and then kitten-safe your domicile.

Third: Get 'em from an animal shelter. Petfinder.com is a wonderful place to look. You can search by location, breed, gender, age, etc.

Fourth: If you choose not to go the shelter route, please neuter/spay. Or, if you want to show your kids the 'miracle of life', it's only fair you show 'em the miracle of death, too, by taking them to visit the pound on euthanasia day.

http://www.georgetown.org/images/animalshelterimages/cats_propogation.gif

southernwriter
08-23-2007, 03:50 PM
Congrats on making the decision to adopt! Absolutely get two. Preferably two of the same litter. I know they're supposed to be so independent, but they really do get lonely. Besides, watching them play together is a hoot. They do the craziest things.

There are some things cats need:

Instinctual needs are to hunt, to scratch, and to have privacy. They'll thank you for a covered litter box (do you like people watching you on the toilet?), and you'll like it, too. Stepping on kitty litter all the time is annoying. Get a scratching post.

Physical needs are: Nutrition, exercise, hygiene, safety, rest, and stimulation. Like every other pet, they need some attention. Ephemeral may not like kitty vids on YouTube, but my cat will watch them by the hour. I just need to teach her how to start them over by herself.

Emotional needs seem to be lying on your keyboard when you are busiest writing. Otherwise, independence, interaction, and treats.

I'm not actually this smart. I got this from the label on a cat toy I bought. The brand is SmartyKat. The toy is a fabric tube / tunnel, and my cats looooove it. They weren't so crazy about "Thing in a Bag." They like mice on a string, and any insect they can chase around the house and torture until it's dead.

Save your pennies and plan to have them neutered / spayed when they are 6 months old. That's the responsible thing to do, and you won't have to worry about having to find homes for the kittens. Cats can live a long time, you know. My sister had one who lived to be twenty-six! Good luck, and post a pic for us to see, okay?

seun
08-23-2007, 03:57 PM
Thanks for the replies. It's not definite we're getting one - there's a few things up in the air with moving house and what our plans are in the next couple of years but it would be cool. I'm a cat person.

The_Grand_Duchess
08-23-2007, 04:04 PM
Wow I just rescued a kitten yesterday! So strange!

Anyway, yeah get two from a rescue place. I got two and they're awesome now.

Usually kittens come litter trained as long as you get them after eight weeks of age. They instinctully bury thier stuff so beware if you have potted plants. Actully if you do have plants make sure they're cat safe.

Thats it from me. I'm tired.

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 04:55 PM
My girlfriend and I are thinking about getting a kitten when we move house. I grew up with cats but rarely kittens and haven't lived with a cat in almost ten years.
Any advice on kittens? Health care, eating habits, toilet training etc.

Two are better than one, but one will be fine -- just lonely when you're not home. Kittens are really easy to take care of -- do buy the kitten chow. Play with them plenty and train them to use the litter box immediately. Probably should bathe them first -- use warm water in the sink and hold/pat them so they're not too frightened. But they are really easy to take care of. Just food and water and litter box change and lots of play. If you get two -- they will have hours of fun playing together and snuggling.

Cats are fine by themselves but they do get lonely during the day -- but they just sleep it off. :)

Get a scratching post and train them to use it. Or cover up all your furniture.

Welcome to the world of cats. Next step: a baby!

(did I scare you, Seun?)

seun
08-23-2007, 05:50 PM
Welcome to the world of cats. Next step: a baby!

(did I scare you, Seun?)

Not at all.

:e2cry:

reigningcatsndogs
08-23-2007, 06:38 PM
One is fine on it's own, even if you work -- if anything, you will find them much more affectionate and approachable when you're around. I've done both routes -- and one seemed to be the best. Actually, we also did the weiner dog puppy/kitten arriving at the same time and they think they are litter mates -- the best of friends but not always in each other's faces. Two is also okay, if that's what you want, but its best if they are littermates if you get two. Just make sure they have water, food, some toys to play with and a few nice places to sleep (and of course, a litter box). The best kitten toy -- get a mylar helium balloon with a long string -- seriously, they will chase that damn thing all over the house, and they last for weeks. Spaying/neutering is really important, although bear in mind then that some male cats, after being neutered, can become more prone to bladder crystals and can put on more weight. I grew up on a farm and we had cats outside. When I got my own, it was an inside cat, and even now that I am back on an acreage in the middle or nowhere, I still keep my cats inside. They don't mind, they adjust fine, and it is really better for them -- less health issues, fewer dangers from critters who might want to eat them, and they will never dig in a neighbors garden and cause problems with the neighbors.
Rule #1 though -- a good name. My first one was Pajamas! I really liked it, although the few times my F-I-L let him out and we had to go looking for him, Dh did not appreciate standing on the step calling him. He also did not appreciate the many 'Pajamas' jokes at our wedding.

cray
08-23-2007, 06:43 PM
*peeks in thread. advice on kittens -- this should be good. oh. oh, this in not at all similar to the taping up of boobies thread. slowly backs out of thread*

larocca
08-23-2007, 07:07 PM
I picked mine up from the Hong Kong SPCA in September 2000.

"What will we do when we move?" asked my lovely wife.

"Oh," said I, "We'll just give her away."

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I needed to be taken out behind the woodshed for a good whipping. When we left Hong Kong, of course we took her with us to Hangzhou. Then Shaoxing. Then Hangzhou. And now Chiang Mai, Thailand. Ten apartments, finally a two-story house, and she used to be my avatar. Remember her? She still puts the "calico" in Calico Consulting, and she is the brightest brain in the house.

Back in the US, I had three cats and two dogs. Pets are wonderful. Get as many as you can handle. We have only one, because that's all a typical tiny Hong Kong flat is good for. We could get more, but after seven years as a loner, I believe Miss Picasso would kick my butt for even thinking about another cat. She still claws my wife's boobies sometimes. (Tip of the hat to Cray.)

There's no reason to buy from a breeder when mutts and moggies (because you look British, seun) are free, needy, more intelligent, and more loving. (Hate mail from the purebreed lovers coming...)

As for advice on feeding etc, do what your cats tell you. Buy the good stuff because it's healthier. Get some scratching posts. They toilet train themselves if you show them where the litter box is. I have flowing water fountains, imported, one on each story, and the Thais think I'm insane. They're probably right. But I have a happy cat, and that's what it's all about.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-23-2007, 07:13 PM
Watch out for string, ribbon, etc. Some cats like to chew it off the toy and swallow the whole length of it - not good intestinally. Can cause blockages and lead to emergency surgery.

And definitely: Indoors. The average life span for an indoor cat is upwards of 14 years. The average life span for an outdoor cat is 2-3.

larocca
08-23-2007, 07:17 PM
Good point about the great outdoors, Ol' Fashioned Girl. My cats never go there. My past experience matches the life spans you quoted, same as any cat "owner" you could ask.

acharity
08-23-2007, 07:18 PM
Beware of when they find (and they will... always) the toilet paper.

acharity
08-23-2007, 07:20 PM
Watch out for string, ribbon, etc. Some cats like to chew it off the toy and swallow the whole length of it - not good intestinally. Can cause blockages and lead to emergency surgery.

And definitely: Indoors. The average life span for an indoor cat is upwards of 14 years. The average life span for an outdoor cat is 2-3.

And also floss (especially if it's minty) and tinsel (think Christmas)... I agree with the outdoor statement... especially when you're in the city. A lot of drivers couldn't care less about avoiding any animal on the road. Not to mention that things that people put outside for animals to eat; there was a case here where someone was giving dogs poison... I think he killed around 12 dogs before he stopped (not sure if he was caught).

larocca
08-23-2007, 07:21 PM
Save your pennies and plan to have them neutered / spayed when they are 6 months old.

I forgot to mention that! Since all my cats and dogs have been SPCA rescues, the neutering/spaying is automatic. Well, except for that one little fella who just wandered up one day and decided to move in. I got him neutered too.

I recently wrote a long and passionate article about this for Care For Dogs, so I'm gonna stop myself here.

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 07:23 PM
Actually all kittens from the humane society are spayed or neutered before they go home to anyone. Apparently, they can do that now on kittens as young as 6 or 7 weeks old.

dclary
08-23-2007, 07:23 PM
You can use them in any recipe that calls for cats, but use two. They're small.

Right. Cats are just like shrimp. You use your gulley cats for kabobs and the such. Regular cats can be used in pasta. Kittens can be used in kitten cocktails.

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 07:24 PM
And definitely: Indoors. The average life span for an indoor cat is upwards of 14 years. The average life span for an outdoor cat is 2-3.

Yup. In the last few years, a friend of mine has seen three of her outdoor cats meet with their untimely, gruesome deaths. I won't go into details but it's just something you wouldn't wish on your pets.

The_Grand_Duchess
08-23-2007, 08:14 PM
The boys are all indoors. They've gotten out like three times in thier lives and alll three times they came right back home. Its a scary wet place out there full of dogs.

ajkjd01
08-23-2007, 08:27 PM
1) Get two. It's not that much more expensive and they will always have someone to play with while you are gone.

2) kittenproofing. Especially string and dental floss, ribbons, and other small, swallowable dangers. Tie up cords. Mine likes to chew cords, which is why she's not allowed in the computer room.

3) Covered litterbox with filter to help with smell.

4) Find a good vet.

5) Do not declaw. Ever. Learn how to train them to not scratch your couch. Provide lots of good approved scratchy like places (cardboard scratching pads, scratching posts, etc. I have one big scratching post and two or three other scratching surfaces throughout the house. Couches are untouched.) If you have a scratching problem look into nail caps. If you are determined to declaw do lots and lots and lots of reading on the subject before you do it. Ask me about it. Talk to shelter workers about it. Ask other cat owners. Check out the Paw Project.

6) Toys. They're cheap, and will keep kitties from getting bored and destructive and fat and lazy.

7) Get a good first aid and cat care book and refer to it often.

8). Keep them indoors.

9) Love them lots.

Tracy
08-23-2007, 08:40 PM
My girlfriend and I are thinking about getting a kitten when we move house.

Oh Seun, that's the slippery, slippery slope ... as Ray says, it'll be babies next. Kittens are just training-babies.

But I second everybody else's advice: get two, neuter.

Oh, and don't expect love from them or anything. Hah! The thought.

The late great poet Ogden Nash said: "The trouble With a kitten is that, eventually it becomes a cat." And once that happens they ignore you forever, pretty much, unless they're hungry.


These two statements sum up what cats are like:

A dog thinks, You feed me, you love me, you mind me. You must be God!
A cat thinks, You feed me, you love me, you mind me. I must be God!

And

Never forget that to a dog you're family, but to a cat, you're staff.

Esopha
08-23-2007, 08:42 PM
My girlfriend and I are thinking about getting a kitten when we move house. I grew up with cats but rarely kittens and haven't lived with a cat in almost ten years.
Any advice on kittens? Health care, eating habits, toilet training etc.

First of all, welcome to the hell that is cat ownership. :D

Health care: When you go to a shelter, you should ask these questions of an attendant:

- Are your kittens spayed/neutered? If so, when were they spayed/neutered? If the kittens are spayed or neutered before 8 months of age, they loose valuable hormones. This isn't a big deal, but they won't grow as big.

- What vaccines have they gotten? Kittens/cats need a rabies vaccine, a feline HPV vacine, and various other vaccines. Those are the big two, though.

- When was their last veterinary exam? Are there any health issues I should know?

- Do you recommend a veterinarian? Remember: the relationship with your vet lasts at least 15 years.

When you go in to see the kittens, keep these things in mind:

- The kitten's eyes should be clear. There should be no 'goop' around their eyelids or in their nose.

- The ears should be free of any sand-like material inside. This may be a sign of mites.

- Their coats should be soft and silky. They should not feel like a lot of hair has been falling out. Check to see if there are any sores on the cat, or bald patches, as these can be a sign of OCD or nervous washing.

- Ask to see the mother. If the mother is not friendly towards people, it is very likely that the kittens will need extra attention before they trust you completely.

- Kittens should perk up when you walk by, and try to get your attention. They may start to play, or paw at the cage. When you take them out to interact with them, sit down on the floor and let them climb over you. Any kitten who sits out, hisses at you, or is lethargic is not a good adoptee.

- Kittens, especially littermates, should be adopted with a brother or sister. Don't be afraid to adopt a mixed breed. Unlike dogs, mixed breed cats actually have a pedigree: American Shorthair or American Longhair.

Eating Habits:

Cats dislike having their food and water bowls next to each other. Those double bowls, for both food and water, are a bad, bad thing. Also avoid any automated water dispenser while the kittens are young. They're big, and they make scary noises when they run low on water.

Litterboxes must be far away from the food. Try putting them in a bathroom.

Kitten food is good for the first couple of months, until the cat starts to lose its fuzzyball appearance. The change from kitten food to adult food is different for every cat. I have not ever needed to 'ease off' of one type of food and onto another. In my experience, if the cat's hungry, she'll eat it.

Dry food is commonly filled with grains and other plant products that are not necessarily beneficial to the cat. Moist food, however, is very fattening. You have to balance the two out.

Also invest in tooth-cleaning kitty treats. Sometimes, cleaning your cat's mouth is not unlike taking your life into your own hands.

Some cats enjoy green plants in the winter time, when they can't necessarily eat grass from the outdoors. I buy spider plants for my cats, and they devour them. If you are going to have an indoor cat, make sure you have some foliage around for them to eat. It helps keep them unconstipated.

Ask your vet about urinary tract syndrome, a common problem with overweight cats.

Toilet Training:

Cats are smart with this. Set up a 'kitten room' for the first few days when you have the kittens at home. In this room, have food and water and a litterbox. Watch the kittens for a while, and when they start to scratch the floor, pick them up and put them the litterbox.

You'll have to watch out for them for the next couple of days. Eventually, they'll return to the litterbox by themselves.

My father's cat refused to go to the litterbox when my dad wasn't home, so you may want to encourage the poopies when you get home everyday.

Make sure there's a litterbox on every floor of the house.

General Training:

Contrary to popular belief, cats can be trained. My cats come when I whistle, or call their name, and they immediately stop when I say 'No.' They also know never to jump on the table.

When you train your cats to come to you, carry a jar of kitty treats. When they listen, reward them with a treat.

Never say 'no' unless you mean it. It's the special, stop everything word that they recognize. Don't be afraid to stop your feet, yell, and clap when they don't listen. Finally, if they still won't listen, pick them up and put them back in the kitty room, but don't put their friend in with them. This is a 'time-out' and cats remember these!

Make sure you have rules for the cats. For example, in my house, we don't allow cats on the dinner or kitchen tables, or on any high surfaces.

Indoor/Outdoor Cats:

Every pet owner should invest in a microchip for their pet.

However, I don't think that indoor cats are better off than outdoor cats. All of my cats go in and out at their leisure (of course, we live in the suburbs). The last cat that passed away was 18 years old. As long as your cats are properly vaccinated and trained, they'll be fine.

Outdoor cats learn to do their business outside, and get their own roughage. Also, allowing your cat to go outside reduces the amount of time you need to spend playing with your cat everyday. (Cats need exercise!)

We don't use collars, either. But then, our cats are very well trained and we have a large yard. Collars may work for your cats. If you're going to use a collar, put it on while they're still in the kitty room. Don't spring it on them after you've given them free range of the house.

Make sure your cats adapt to them. My sister's cat, who is psychologically unstable, got her lower jaw caught in her collar. I had to hold her down and cut off the collar.

If the cat you adopt is 8 months or older, and has lived outside, chances are it will be very unhappy confined to the indoors. The cat will, however, adapt to the collar easily.

If you live in the city, of course, things change. You need to find a solution that works for you, and that you are comfortable with. Letting them go outside in a city isn't unheard of, however. My parents lived in Montreal during college, and they adopted strays, so keeping them inside was not going to happen. None of their cats died until they were living in a suburb in Virginia, at which point they were 15-17 years old and died of organ failures.

I recommend you swing by a bookstore and pick up the ASPCA's Guide to Cats, which is very informative. :)

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 08:43 PM
And once that happens they ignore you forever, pretty much, unless they're hungry.


Not true. My one cat wouldn't leave me alone. Constant need for affection. Drives me crazy.

ajkjd01
08-23-2007, 08:47 PM
I second the idea that cats can be trained.

Mine sits on command, and sits up on command. Yeah, I know. Some days I think that she thinks she's a dog.

And the myth that cats will ignore you unless they're hungry? Um...yeah. Mine's an attention slut of the worst order. And she's always hungry.

Soccer Mom
08-23-2007, 08:59 PM
Yeah, I always hear about aloof cats. Where can I get one of those?

My friendly little pests drive me NUTS. I'm not allowed to write without Meg's assistance. She likes to scan pictures of her tail on the printer.

Oberon
08-23-2007, 09:09 PM
My wife and I spent several years breeding Maine Coon cats. We sold lots of kittens, carefully screening the buyers. A few tips from our "Kitten Manual:"

NEVER

dclary
08-23-2007, 09:27 PM
First of all, welcome to the hell that is cat ownership. :D

[blahblahblah]

I recommend you swing by a bookstore and pick up the ASPCA's Guide to Cats, which is very informative. :)


You're kidding with all that black, right? Dude. It's a cat. You buy one, find one, steal one from a kid with kittens at the mall. Then do this:

buy a bag of cat food. The brand is entirely inconsequential. I buy my cats Friskies Seafood Delight because the bag is blue and pleasant, and it's always on sale.

Put food in a bowl.

Put litter in a pan.

Put more food in bowl when cat complains.

Take poop out of pan when cat complains.

Repeat for 10 years.

Buy new cat.

That's seriously everything you need to know about cat ownership.

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 09:28 PM
My wife and I spent several years breeding Maine Coon cats. We sold lots of kittens, carefully screening the buyers. A few tips from our "Kitten Manual:"

NEVER

I love maine coons. They're the sweetest.

Kate Thornton
08-23-2007, 09:31 PM
Congratulations - we love our 3 cats, all rescues and raised from kittens. (One is 14+ years old now, 1 is about 10 years old and the baby is 7) They stay indoors and within our private fenced compound. They live happily with our 2 small rescued dogs, too. You have recieved lots of good advice here - I'm just wishing you the joy and happiness that cats (and all pets) bring to your life.

Esopha
08-23-2007, 09:43 PM
You're kidding with all that black, right? Dude. It's a cat. You buy one, find one, steal one from a kid with kittens at the mall. Then do this:

buy a bag of cat food. The brand is entirely inconsequential. I buy my cats Friskies Seafood Delight because the bag is blue and pleasant, and it's always on sale.

Put food in a bowl.

Put litter in a pan.

Put more food in bowl when cat complains.

Take poop out of pan when cat complains.

Repeat for 10 years.

Buy new cat.

That's seriously everything you need to know about cat ownership.

Well, I'll admit that you don't want to check Esopha's All-Inclusive Cat Guide everyday of your life. That last post is pretty much everything I've learned about cats.

So...9 years of cat knowledge?

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-23-2007, 09:53 PM
Re: smell.

Zero Odor. Really works. Really. :)

dclary
08-23-2007, 10:11 PM
Well, I'll admit that you don't want to check Esopha's All-Inclusive Cat Guide everyday of your life. That last post is pretty much everything I've learned about cats.

So...9 years of cat knowledge?

Actually, this set of cats is getting a bit long in the tooth. Booger's 15 and Alley's 10 or so.

Esopha
08-23-2007, 10:17 PM
Actually, this set of cats is getting a bit long in the tooth. Booger's 15 and Alley's 10 or so.

We had a cat named Alley. She used to go on walks with me, and let me hold her tail when I was a toddler (so my parents tell me). She's the one who died of liver failure at 18. :(

My cat's an old, cantankerous lady. The kittens pester her constantly.

Julia - 9, April - 2, Frankie - 1 and a half.

dclary
08-23-2007, 10:40 PM
We had a cat named Alley. She used to go on walks with me, and let me hold her tail when I was a toddler (so my parents tell me). She's the one who died of liver failure at 18. :(

My cat's an old, cantankerous lady. The kittens pester her constantly.

Julia - 9, April - 2, Frankie - 1 and a half.

Your squid is eyeballin' me.

Esopha
08-23-2007, 11:07 PM
Octopus.

dclary
08-23-2007, 11:11 PM
Octopus.
What you call me?

Esopha
08-23-2007, 11:11 PM
Cephalapod.

:D

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 11:14 PM
Fast forward to December, 2007:


My girlfriend and I are expecting a baby...so we threw out the kitties...Any advice?

MidnightMuse
08-23-2007, 11:17 PM
Fast forward to December, 2007:

Fast Forward to December 2012:

My kid wants a puppy, any advice?

jennifer75
08-23-2007, 11:20 PM
I grew up with cats but rarely kittens and haven't lived with a cat in almost ten years.


Eow...welcome back to the world of cat hair.

seun
08-23-2007, 11:37 PM
Shit, this all sounds too much like hard work. Think she'll be OK if I suggest we just get a plant?

Esopha
08-23-2007, 11:38 PM
Kitties are fluffy and they cuddle.

Plants have no fluff and are inert.

So, no. Don't wuss out now, buster.

maestrowork
08-23-2007, 11:39 PM
Fast forward to August 28, 2007:


I'm looking for a house plant for my single's apartment...any advice?

jennifer75
08-23-2007, 11:54 PM
Shit, this all sounds too much like hard work. Think she'll be OK if I suggest we just get a plant?


Welcome to the world of indoor plant gnats. :)

No, there is no winning.

Esopha
08-23-2007, 11:55 PM
Oh, oh! She might ask to get an orchid.

Those things are more high-maintenance than I am.

Chumplet
08-23-2007, 11:57 PM
Actually all kittens from the humane society are spayed or neutered before they go home to anyone. Apparently, they can do that now on kittens as young as 6 or 7 weeks old.

I don't think they do that so early here. Seems a little risky. I'd wait till six to eight months. As far as the outdoor/indoor debate, my cats lived 12 and 15 years respectively as outdoor cats. One male, the other female, both fixed. I had other cats, but lost them early due to cystitis and 'catnappings'.

Neutering a male is cheaper. Less invasive. Litterbox training is a non-issue since they learn that before they leave Mommy. Just use a small box at first because they can't climb into the big ones.

Kitten food when they're kittens, then upgrade to adult food. Try to stick with the same brand or you'll get tummy issues.

Cats are fun, or whiney, or aloof, or cuddly. Just like people, they have different personalities. Whatever you get, you'll love it.

Tracy
08-24-2007, 12:06 AM
Not true. My one cat wouldn't leave me alone. Constant need for affection. Drives me crazy.


well, you must have had a neurotic cat so.

Or a co-dependent one.

Tracy
08-24-2007, 12:10 AM
Shit, this all sounds too much like hard work. Think she'll be OK if I suggest we just get a plant?

Plants, IMO, are harder work in many ways. At least pets will let you know if they're hungry. Plants just quietly die. Not fair.

Esopha
08-24-2007, 12:13 AM
Alternatively, you could get her one of these:

http://www.takara-usa.com/toys/cubee/index.php

Oberon
08-24-2007, 12:21 AM
Shit, this all sounds too much like hard work. Think she'll be OK if I suggest we just get a plant?

My post got blanked, above, just as well, you have lots of advice. Way much too much. My final advice to you, which was part of the blank, is get a couple of littermates and work things out with them. Don't be mean and they will love you. All you need is litter, scratching post, food and water and compassion. That cats are aloof is a myth. In nature, lions, tigers, etc. spend most of their time sleeping, saving energy for the hunt when hunger creeps up on them.

Izunya
08-24-2007, 04:12 AM
For training cats: buy a squirt bottle. Fill with water. When the cat does something really naughty, squirt 'em, repeating "NO!"

This works on most cats. It worked on all my mother's cats, for instance. Our cat, Spook, either doesn't notice or thinks we're trying to give her drinking water, we aren't sure which.

Something to remember about cats: they are insane. All of them are insane in different ways, some of them cute and endearing ways, but every cat ever born will develop some behavior or habit that defies all logic (and, occasionally, physics).

If possible, try to have a video camera ready the first time you use your printer with your cat around. Try not to die laughing.

Even when the kittens are small, scold them when they use their claws inappropriately. Cats can learn to play with "soft paws," and they should; a grown cat can cause a bit of damage if they go all-out on your hands or ankles.

I am with the group who sees no trouble with indoor-outdoor cats---so long as (a) you're in an appropriate area, (b) you have made reasonable provisions for finding your cat if he/she goes missing (microchip or collar) and (c) they can get in when needed. It all depends on your specific situation, though.

Izunya

Shady Lane
08-24-2007, 04:15 AM
Just wanted to add that I'm getting two kittens tomorrow. And I'm super excited.

Keep them in a small area of the house, so they can get used to that before they see the whole thing. Don't declaw, do spay/neuter. Cuddles and love, kitten food for the first year, clumping litter (flushable, for your sanity), definitely get two, and don't forget collars with your name on 'em. Good luck!

ETA: I have five cats, all indoor outdoor, and they're just fine.

southernwriter
08-24-2007, 06:42 AM
Watch out for string, ribbon, etc. Some cats like to chew it off the toy and swallow the whole length of it - not good intestinally. Can cause blockages and lead to emergency surgery.

And definitely: Indoors. The average life span for an indoor cat is upwards of 14 years. The average life span for an outdoor cat is 2-3.



My cats have all been outdoor cats and they've lived a good long time. The Celebrated Mr. K lived to be 13. Catfish lived to be about 5, but it was the poison pet food that got him, not anything outside. My sister's cat who lived to be 26 was also an indoor / outdoor cat, so sorry, but that theory just doesn't hold up.

dclary
08-24-2007, 12:23 PM
My cats have all been outdoor cats and they've lived a good long time. The Celebrated Mr. K lived to be 13. Catfish lived to be about 5, but it was the poison pet food that got him, not anything outside. My sister's cat who lived to be 26 was also an indoor / outdoor cat, so sorry, but that theory just doesn't hold up.

This depends entirely on your surroundings, too. Some outdoor environments are relatively safe for cats. Others may involve large numbers of owls or coyotes.

seun
08-24-2007, 03:06 PM
Plants, IMO, are harder work in many ways. At least pets will let you know if they're hungry. Plants just quietly die. Not fair.

We moved into a flat that came with a spiderplant. My girlfriend was very happy to let it die.

Esopha
08-24-2007, 03:27 PM
This depends entirely on your surroundings, too. Some outdoor environments are relatively safe for cats. Others may involve large numbers of owls or coyotes.

Also, foxes. We have lots of those (Julia eats them for breakfast).

Honestly, seun, most of the stuff in my Big Post of Doom you're only going to need to do once, if at all. After you set the cat up, it poops in a box, cleans itself, and tells you when it wants to go out/get food. And they give you smoochies.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-24-2007, 04:59 PM
My cats have all been outdoor cats and they've lived a good long time. The Celebrated Mr. K lived to be 13. Catfish lived to be about 5, but it was the poison pet food that got him, not anything outside. My sister's cat who lived to be 26 was also an indoor / outdoor cat, so sorry, but that theory just doesn't hold up.

That's why I said 'average'. Some will be lucky and make it through unscathed. Some will be killed by the neighbor's dog. Some will fall prey to any number of other things from poison to cars. Your mileage has, obviously, varied. I hope it always does.

southernwriter
08-24-2007, 05:30 PM
Your mileage has, obviously, varied. I hope it always does.


LOL Thanks. You, too!

zahra
08-24-2007, 06:30 PM
We moved into a flat that came with a spiderplant. My girlfriend was very happy to let it die.
Which confirms my opinion that leading the girl on with talk of one or possibly two kittens, then fobbing her off with some triffid isn't going to go down too well, honeylumps.

My advice to you is: Call them Gino and McKenzie. Buy them a cat gym. Play Baby Seal-Face with them.

The_Grand_Duchess
08-25-2007, 05:14 AM
All of my cats have loved me to bits. My current two are attached to me beyond all reason. The follow me around and come when I call. The listen to me when I tell them to do things.

I am convinced they think they're just tiny hairy people that never mastered the abilty to talk or walk upright.

Izunya
08-25-2007, 10:11 PM
I am convinced they think they're just tiny hairy people that never mastered the abilty to talk or walk upright.

In my experience, that's exactly backwards. The cats think that we're large and ungainly sphinxes (a hairless breed of cat, so ugly they're fascinating) who never learned how to hunt. My grandmother's cat is particularly bad about bringing in a stunned mouse, setting it in the center of the kitchen, folding her paws, and looking at my grandmother like, "All right, now kill it and eat it. Come on, you can do it, you're a big girl now!"

My grandmother is not amused. Her dog, on the other hand, thinks the whole thing is the Best Game Ever.

Izunya

The_Grand_Duchess
08-25-2007, 10:17 PM
I had a cat that used to kill baby birds and leave them all over the house for us. Including but not limited to stuff inside the front seat of the car. Yeah, that was pleasent. I think my boys think they're people.

Actully what I really enjoy is when my daughter and my cats teach eachother things. Usually its them teaching her something. Like how to pry open the door to get out. How to rip open a trash bag. How to climb.

They're just the best of friends.

southernwriter
08-26-2007, 12:29 AM
In my experience, that's exactly backwards. The cats think that we're large and ungainly sphinxes (a hairless breed of cat, so ugly they're fascinating) who never learned how to hunt. My grandmother's cat is particularly bad about bringing in a stunned mouse, setting it in the center of the kitchen, folding her paws, and looking at my grandmother like, "All right, now kill it and eat it. Come on, you can do it, you're a big girl now!"

My grandmother is not amused. Her dog, on the other hand, thinks the whole thing is the Best Game Ever.

Izunya


That's very funny, but I dunno ... we leave the house and come back with whole sides of beef and pork and chicken and turkey and fish, and ... they might think we're very good hunters.

Oberon
08-26-2007, 12:45 AM
Our cat is obsessed. She comes to me meowing and rubbing and getting in my way. I have to carry her or follow her all the way through the house to her food dish so she can eat. She sits next to my wife while she's reading the newspaper (no, not the cat, she hasn't learned how to read yet) and bats her arm with a paw to get a hug and lots of petting. then she does it again. I could tell you all kinds of cat stories, but I won't. They are a gas. someone once said, "If cats could talk, they wouldn't." BS, they talk a lot, with their bodies, we are the ones who don't understand.

zahra
08-26-2007, 01:12 AM
The listen to me when I tell them to do things.


But have you ever told them to fix the plumbing or cook the dinner?

larocca
10-01-2007, 09:25 PM
Pets are wonderful. Get as many as you can handle. We have only one, because that's all a typical tiny Hong Kong flat is good for. We could get more, but after seven years as a loner, I believe Miss Picasso would kick my butt for even thinking about another cat.

About a month after posting that here, I brought home a second cat. Yes I did. A little kitten. Tell me what an idiot I am. Really. Go for it.

Sunkissed27f
10-01-2007, 09:31 PM
Look at shelters, That's where my next kitten is coming from. Hopefully TODAY.
I never liked cats until I had 3 of them LOL.
The shelter will check for Feline Leukemia and Aids, and give them their first round of shots, and spay/neuter, all for lots cheaper than if you were to go to some ladies house grab one up and then deal with vets afterward. (AND FLEAS!!)
If you try the shelter/pound at least you know they are getting a good home!

http://gianteagle.petkare.com/index.asp?FrameId=4&CMD=Menu&SId=1992

larocca
10-01-2007, 09:38 PM
Sunkissed is exactly right. I've never been to a puppy or kitten mill in my life.

When I lived in the US, I scooped up quite a few awesome doggies from Animal Control and such. Mutts rule!

Here in Asia, sometimes we've had to live in tiny flats with no green (or brown) grass outside, so I switched to cats. One from the Hong Kong SPCA, and one from a lady who rescued a stray not knowing she was pregnant.

Sunkissed, I hope you get a kitten today! Mine is doing all he can to stop me from writing to you. He sees the movement on the screen and wants to get it!

maestrowork
10-01-2007, 11:24 PM
Forget about kittens and puppies. Get a baby instead.

:D

Foinah
10-01-2007, 11:34 PM
Awww, how sweet.
Forget the kittens...I have cats you can have! I'll even pay you to take them ;)

No, really. Please take them! Take them all...RIGHT NOW!!!!

Cats are great unless you get a temperamental pisser. Wee little fecker must want to be a pair of ear muffs.

Advice : change the litter every day, fresh water, lots of little knick-knacky play toys to keep them occupied, and then never have a child of your own. Jealousy leads to urine-soaked shoes and jackets...and bed clothes.

A. Hamilton
10-01-2007, 11:53 PM
Your life will never be the same-in a good way.

Lots o good advice here. The indoor/outdoor decision is important. I've never kept a cat completely indoors but our five year old, Mitzy, rarely chooses to go out any more, but she got hurt last year, and I think that killed her outdoor interest. My outdoor cat back home in Wyoming lived to be 19. But she was a Maine Coon cat, and I think they are longer lived. If you do opt for outdoor freedom, well even if you don't, yes, find a good vet, get them neutered, and keep up on the vaccines. Make sure you are financially set enough that you could pluck down a couple hundred for an emergency vet visit, if needed. We just spent $130 to have our tom seen for a bite wound.
You can administer basic vaccinations yourself, it's easy and a lot less expensive. They're available at most feed stores. Rabies shots have to be given by a licensed vet.
If you get your cat from a private party instead of the SPCA or other group-try to get one around 8 weeks, they'll be ready for their first shots right away, and will be better adjusted. A family with kids that hold the kittens a lot, and other pets, will have kittens that are socially well adjusted.

Sunkissed27f
10-02-2007, 12:00 AM
Sunkissed is exactly right. I've never been to a puppy or kitten mill in my life.

When I lived in the US, I scooped up quite a few awesome doggies from Animal Control and such. Mutts rule!

Here in Asia, sometimes we've had to live in tiny flats with no green (or brown) grass outside, so I switched to cats. One from the Hong Kong SPCA, and one from a lady who rescued a stray not knowing she was pregnant.

Sunkissed, I hope you get a kitten today! Mine is doing all he can to stop me from writing to you. He sees the movement on the screen and wants to get it!

I have already signed the adoption papers, I am just waiting for her to be well enough from her spaying to come home. She is a beautiful chocolate point Siamese (maybe mix) kitten with big blue eyes!

Azraelsbane
10-02-2007, 12:54 AM
I have a question, I know you're supposed to keep the kitten in its own room for about a week, until it feels safe, but... Swish climbed over her gate while I was writing, and when I looked behind me she was curled up next to our puppy and they were both sleeping. Now they're running around the house playing and they both seem happy. Should I put her back in her room or let her stay out?

Sunkissed27f
10-02-2007, 01:02 AM
Stay out. My cats never had a "safe period". I mean they were all checked to make sure they didn't carry any diseases etc....before being brought home. It's all about how you decide to introduce them to the new family. If you worked a lot and couldn't be there to watch the kitten when it was running around, then a "safe" place would be necessary and also easier for the kitten to potty train. It's all subject to how you feel on it. There's no set rules when it comes to animals. LOL

Shady Lane
10-02-2007, 01:03 AM
She'll be fine out. Just make sure she knows where the litter box is.

Azraelsbane
10-02-2007, 01:09 AM
She's really good with the litter box. :) And I put her food and water on the sink, and she jumps up there fine when she's hungry/thirsty, but it keeps my dog out of it.

Sunkissed27f
10-02-2007, 01:13 AM
You can administer basic vaccinations yourself, it's easy and a lot less expensive. They're available at most feed stores.

Whooo......that's a big no-no! Some of those vaccines aren't completely safe.
I made the mistake of doing that and after 3 rounds of it my puppy still came down with parvo and Bordettella. She was only allowed in one enclosed spot for eliminations, so I think she may have gotten it from not having good stock vaccinations. Even when they say they can vaccinate for 7 different things I don't believe it. And my puppy was the only puppy in the house, etc. I know parvo is carried on shoes etc, but after 4 months old she should have been completely immune from the vaccinations!
Case in point: I was buying horse feed and watched a clerk at the feed store unpack a case of bottles of 7-in-1 vaccines and then he left them on the counter to help a customer and when I came back in from loading the feed 30 minutes later....the same exact bottles were sitting there. I asked the guy if those were supposed to be refrigerated immediately, (during shipping they are) He was like "Oh yea, your right." Needless to say I would rather spend the extra bucks at a good vet, then have to pay AGAIN the $300 to nurse my puppy from deaths door for parvo/bordetella. Thankfully she lived but she will never be fully healthy again!

Azraelsbane
10-02-2007, 01:17 AM
Whooo......that's a big no-no! Some of those vaccines aren't completely safe.
I made the mistake of doing that and after 3 rounds of it my puppy still came down with parvo and Bordettella. She was only allowed in one enclosed spot for eliminations, so I think she got got it from not having good stock vaccinations. Even when they say they can vaccinate for 7 different things I don't believe it. And my puppy was the only puppy in the house, etc. I know parvo is carried on shoes etc, but after 4 months old she should have been completely immune from the vaccinations!
Case in point: I was buying horse feed and watched a clerk at the feed store unpack a case of bottles of 7-in-1 vaccines and then he left them on the counter to help a customer and when I came back in from loading the feed 30 minutes later....the same exact bottles were sitting there. I asked the guy if those were supposed to be refrigerated immediately, (during shipping they are) He was like "Oh yea, your right." Needless to say I would rather spend the extra bucks at a good vet, then have to pay AGAIN the $300 to nurse my puppy from deaths door for parvo/bordetella again. Thankfully she lived but she will never be fully healthy again!

I have to agree, and basic vaccinations are pretty cheap in general. Rabies is the most expensive one, and I think I only paid 45 bucks for that (with my dogs). My kitty came with 1st set of shots, rabies, and spaying paid for, and she was 65 bucks. She hasn't had all of it done yet, but when it's time I just go in and give her name, and it's free. Cutting corners in the wrong places can lead to bad side effects.

ajkjd01
10-02-2007, 03:52 AM
Just a quick tip...

Someone mentioned getting a water bottle or water pistol to discipline a misbehaving kitty. It does work.

However, with my cat it took several times of catching her in the act before she stopped the behavior. Which left me with a soaking wet living room, a soaking wet and angry kitty, and a frustrated ME.

I have found that the air cans you can buy to blow the dust out of your keyboard work better. She really really hates them, there's no water all over the house and the cat, and I buy them anyway.

Azraelsbane
10-02-2007, 04:25 AM
I have found that the air cans you can buy to blow the dust out of your keyboard work better. She really really hates them, there's no water all over the house and the cat, and I buy them anyway.

I have a friend that uses this on his dog, to keep her away from cats. I always thought he was a nut. ;)

southernwriter
10-02-2007, 04:17 PM
. . . he left them on the counter to help a customer and when I came back in from loading the feed 30 minutes later....the same exact bottles were sitting there. I asked the guy if those were supposed to be refrigerated immediately, (during shipping they are)

Don't be so sure. If they're shipped U.S. Mail, FedEx, or UPS, I can promise you they are not refrigerated during shipping -- from the time they are picked up by the courier to the time they're delivered to their destination is overnight at the very least. Another thirty minutes is not going to matter.

Carole
10-02-2007, 05:30 PM
Kitties!!!!! I looourve kittens! Two is good, but they can be very independent critters so a solitary cat won't be as lonesome during the day like some dogs are.

As for potty training? It's been built-in with every cat I've owned. Be warned, though, that with females they can still get that horrific howl when their cycles come around, even they have been fixed. And boy cats sometimes spray. That's never fun.

Also, there are clinics where shots and spaying/neutering is very low cost and you don't have to be financially strapped to qualify. I took my dog to one to get her fixed and get her shots. They were terrific with her and even trimmed her nails as a bonus! I think it cost me something like $75 total for the surgery and all her shots.

larocca
10-03-2007, 09:28 PM
The new guy doesn't have a name yet, but he's not dead yet either, so that's probably a good thing. He cuddles very well. Too bad my lovely wife and my lovely lady cat don't know this yet. I guess I'm Mom.

Sunkissed27f
10-03-2007, 09:37 PM
Don't be so sure. If they're shipped U.S. Mail, FedEx, or UPS, I can promise you they are not refrigerated during shipping -- from the time they are picked up by the courier to the time they're delivered to their destination is overnight at the very least. Another thirty minutes is not going to matter.


I asked my vet, and he said they are 100% always in a refrigerated environment. The cultures have to be kept at a certain temp. So if you are buying vaccines that aren't...I don't know what to tell you.

When the vet's office get the vaccines from a mail carrier they are ALWAYS in cold packs.

He also said.....they have the largest cases of parvo and feline leukemia/aids from people who self-vaccinate!

Sunkissed27f
10-03-2007, 09:39 PM
I get my Siamese-mix kitten from the shelter either today or tomorrow!
I think I will either name her Seal or Suel! She is a chocolate point with big 'ol blue eyes!

larocca
10-03-2007, 09:47 PM
Potty training. Well, if you read my newsletter, you'll get the impression that our lovely new kitten is dumb as a brick, probably because he is, but I didn't potty train him at all. He knew automatically. He still stinks out a room, making my wife and lady cat both frown at ME (I didn't do it) until I clean it up, but it's always in the litter box. If we could bottle that smell, we'd have chemical warfare, WMD, and cruel and unusual punishment happening. Who moved my gas mask?

Sunkissed27f
10-03-2007, 09:50 PM
I had to buy a litter box with a hood....my Maine mix liked to hang his butt over the box and leave me a nice smelly pile on the floor..ugh!

larocca
10-03-2007, 10:19 PM
I have two hooded litter boxes for Picasso -- one upstairs and one downstairs -- because she flings for distance. When I brought the new gremlin home, I went into the storage room and revived the two unhooded ones because I didn't think he was up to using Picasso's litter boxes. Besides which, she'd probably kick his ass for even trying. So I have four litter boxes in service right now. Picasso has two monstrosities that a Swedish friend brought along when he moved. New guy has no hoods and stinks up the place real bad.

Bubastes
10-03-2007, 10:24 PM
When I was trying different litter brands to see which one worked best, one of my kitties would leave a huge dump 20 feet from the litter box if the litter didn't meet her finicky standards. She still peed in the box, though, apparently because poop is a better communication tool.

Nope, cats don't need to talk.

BarbJ
10-03-2007, 11:24 PM
Nope, cats don't need to talk.

Yep, they train us well with only a little kitty-cuss when we annoy them. And an occasional ... present. :D