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Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?

 
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 07:54 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Just one advice: Love him! Catz are the best! 886
 Quoting: Zombietard


+1000
tandym

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12/03/2012 07:55 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
A squirt bottle to spray the kitty with when she scratches on inappropriate items (like furniture) ....

The first few times she scratches in the wrong spot, pick her up, scold her with a phrase you will use all the time such as 'No, Patches! Bad kitty'. Then take her to the scratching post and show her that it is OK to scratch there.

Then if she persists doing it after a few times, add the spray bottle in as a deterrent... then after you spray her, pick her up, say your phrase 'No, Patches! Bad Kitty!' and take her to the post again.

When she does scratch on the post, be sure to reward her with a 'good phrase' like 'Good kitty! Good girl!' in a slightly higher pitched voice. And if you can, play with her & her favorite toy too, as a reward...

My cats love the long plastic sticks with the feathers on the end. :-)
 Quoting: tandym


Thanks so much Tandym, am adding water bottle to list. I was planning on getting those sticks with the feathers and maybe a laser light
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579


You're welcome! :-)

Another thing to remember, have someone teach you how to clip their claws (if you've never done it before, similar to a dog, but cat claws are much sharper but not as 'rigid'). You will want to start with this soon, and you will want to handle her paws often so that she / he doesn't freak out when you finally *do* try to clip them. Getting clawed by razor sharp claws while trying to clip is common and painful! Ask me how I know :-D
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
I especially appreciate all the advice about the litter box and discpline. I've had large dogs all my life, most between the weights of 80 to 140 pounds, love dogs so much but honestly, most of my dogs would maul a stranger with lovin rather than attack.
Desert FoxModerator
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Don't store it in the freezer.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28982828

lolsign
TOMABANEFOX
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12/03/2012 07:56 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Don't do it. Stinking house forever if you do. No way.
 Quoting: Desert Fox


You're doing it wrong.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28105140


^^^^^This^^^^^
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/03/2012 07:56 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Who gives their cat a bath? How do you do it, or, is it necessary to put them in water?
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 07:57 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Definitely a harness and a leash. Mine walks like a dog albeit a little slower.

-if the little one hides for a few days, leave her be until she gets used to the sounds of your home and the smells.
-litter training is as easy as showing them once, using their little paws to dig in the litter and they get it.
- Lots of toys (interact with them or let them play alone)
-laser pointer (good for laughs)
- teach her/him to use a scratching post
- tie up wires
- maul them a bit while they are young get them used to having you do whatever you need to whenever you want.
- research your house plants, kitties like to chew for indigestion etc and most are actually poisonous (esp Poinsetta's)
- research your floor cleaners
-Look up cat body language as a wagging cats tail isn't a happy one, also you can use their language to discipline (they understand it better) Growling or grasping them by the scruff of the neck firmly but not hard gets the message across
-Reward them for doing good, same as a dog.The only time I give mine treats as we head out the door so he thinks us leaving isn't as bad as it could be.


Love them, spay/neuter, do not declaw please.. It's like cutting the tips of your fingers off
Philligan
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12/03/2012 07:57 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Cats are awesome but listen to me on this one.

When you get him, talk to him as much as possible, even talk out loud. This makes the cat think you are talking to them and it develops their personality.

Honestly this works 100%

I did with my cat and he now has THE best personality of any cat I've ever seen. Everyone who meets him says so.

Just talk out loud to him while your doing your housework or whatever


Trust me
everything in its right place
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 07:57 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Be prepared to spend 1,000 dollars per year over the next 20 years.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 29004976


For what?
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 07:58 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
My daughter called this morning said they found a little kitten in their barn again (last July they found 2). Anyway, she thinks the kittey was dumped as they have 4 barn cats and all have been fixed. She wore me down and I agreed to take it even though I've never had a house cat before.

I'm taking her to the vet Wednesday to get it checked-out and get any shots necessary and probably de-wormed. Tomorrow I'm getting food, toys, litter box, and scratching post. Anything else I should have? I really don't want her to start tearing up my furniture so any advice anyone can offer on deterring that kind of behavior would be appreciated.

I already named her Winnifred or Winnie for short.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579


Congratulations -- it will change your life in a good way. I'd get the cardboard scratching pads instead of a post. Some cats never take to the posts but most like cardboard. It seems like if they like the post it would make scratching furniture more likely because of the similar surfaces.

You can buy clear tape to put on furniture to prevent and deter scratching. If she grows up with that on it and has a cardboard outlet scratching may not be an issue. (Please don't ever get her declawed. They literally cut off their 'fingers.')

Plan to get her fixed in the next few months unless you plan on becoming a kitten factory. It's not just to control the pet population. A female cat in heat that does not consummate will drive you nuts. The screaming is like something out of a horror movie.

I'd be tempted to try to teach a kitten to become toilet trained.

afro
Philligan
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
No you don't have to bathe them they clean themselves
everything in its right place
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 07:59 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Cats are awesome, and female cats tend to be more social and attached to humans. Be sure to plan on spaying as soon as it's safe to do so. Keep at least one clean catbox available - I keep two. Just feed dry food and water. Once she's used to wet food, you'll never be able to stop it, and the dry food is actually better for their teeth. Avoid milk - it's not necessary or helpful.

NEVER, NEVER declaw a cat. It's actually an amputation of the ends of their fingers, and they are compromised for life. It's a truly sad thing to see them flopping around rather than trotting in the same happy way as other cats.

Love her and feed her, and she'll take care of most everything else.
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:00 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Who gives their cat a bath? How do you do it, or, is it necessary to put them in water?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579



I give my cat a bath twice a year, spring and fall..He's really good though.. But keeping your movements slow and the water splashing to a minimum you should be good.. Start them early and often and make it a nice experience. Warm house, warm but not hot water (like making baby bottles) towels and treats afterward make it positive.
I find it's best to fill the tub for the soaking and shampooing, and then if you have it one of the mobile shower heads with a hose to rinse them off.

** trim the toenails before you bathe** lol
tandym

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12/03/2012 08:00 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Don't do it. Stinking house forever if you do. No way.
 Quoting: Desert Fox


You're doing it wrong.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28105140


I quite agree. We have two cats and no one would ever know if they didn't see them from time to time. Seriously.

Here is what we do -- YMMV -- but this is how we have done it for years and it works.

Fresh step *clay* litter with activated charcoal
Silica Crystals

Combine in box 1 part silica crystals to 2 parts Fresh step. Mix with your hand.

Get a scoop and scoop the litter every day (for one cat, that should be enough) and make sure you turn it over like you are tilling a garden so that the damp litter can air out.

Then when it is time to change the litter in the box, pour it all into the trash (outside is best, because it can be dusty) and then WASH THE BOX with soap/hot water/scrub brush. I actually spray the inside down with FANTASTIC and scrub a little more (to kill the germs that 'live' on the plastic). Rinse very well so that the chemicals don't bother their noses then fill with litter & crystals again.

We have two active cats & two cat boxes, one up stairs and one down. But using this method we can usually get 10-14 days out of each litterl box before they need to be totally rebuilt.

Also, place a bath towel on the floor to catch any litter so it doesn't roll across the floor so much ... stepping on little rocks in your bare feet can be uncomfortable :-)
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:00 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Cats are awesome but listen to me on this one.

When you get him, talk to him as much as possible, even talk out loud. This makes the cat think you are talking to them and it develops their personality.

Honestly this works 100%

I did with my cat and he now has THE best personality of any cat I've ever seen. Everyone who meets him says so.

Just talk out loud to him while your doing your housework or whatever


Trust me
 Quoting: Philligan


I agree with that totally, also when i'm cooking I pick him up when he comes in the kitchen and I explain to him the ingredients and what i'm doing. Then he gives me those "you call that Hollindaise sauce" eyes.
tandym

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12/03/2012 08:01 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Be prepared to spend 1,000 dollars per year over the next 20 years.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 29004976


not even close.
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:01 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
#1 SPAY THE KITTEN!!!!!

#2 Get a good pair of pet nail clippers, have the vet show you how to trim the nails and keep them trimmed!!!
Kittens nails grow real fast, so some individual nails may need trimming more than once a week, but older cats need trimming every month, maybe every other month.

#3) This may sound crazy and maybe you don't have the time or patience to bother trying, but consider toilet training the kitten. I got a dog cage and set up a toilet seat with a sturdy bowl with water in the bowl...
Long story short, it was less than 2 months and my kitten goes in the cage to use the 'toilet' on his own every time now. Still need to get him on the 'big boy toilet' but no hurry.

Spay/Neuter any indoor cat, and trim nails regularly.
INK3

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12/03/2012 08:01 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Don't do it. Stinking house forever if you do. No way.
 Quoting: Desert Fox


My brother and SIL have five cats and their house has NO odor at all. If you keep the litter box clean, the house won't smell.
"When tyrants tremble in their fear, and hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing"

page7
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/03/2012 08:02 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
I'm intrigued about the toilet training, will look further into that. Also, the advice about the cardboard scrather as opposed to the actual post is interesting. She will be spayed as soon as the dr. says she can be.

I'm actually looking forward to this now, got good info and lots of things I know am going to look into further on the internet and ask my vet.
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:03 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Talk to it just like you would a human being.

Talk to it like it is a child even when they grow up an old they still cannot resist talking to them like a child.

If you treat them like family a family member especially in a mothering way they will act like one.

The best their little cat minds and hearts can.

No it does not do any good to beat or play ruff or be mean to a cat. They actually get hurt feeling over this.
They even get nervous and if you keep doing it this will destroy their nerves.
Once that happens they will act in defensive mode or even reclusive mode. They will draw a distance for you because they know your anger and power. It leaves a sense threat their Little minds and it is hard for them to deeply trust you.

They will if cared fro caring they will cry and come running if they think you are crying or hurt. They will come running if they hear you laughing and talking funny like playful.
because they know you are playing and having fun.

They will know you as well as your spouse or children know you.

And they will look unto you and count on you to be there with them.
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:04 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Who gives their cat a bath? How do you do it, or, is it necessary to put them in water?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579


No bath, they will make that quite clear to you that that's not going to happen. Besides they need to keep an oil in their skin and baths detract from that. If the cat has a messy poo (which happens once in a great while) use a baby wipe.
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:06 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
its gonna piss everywhere!hiding
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1385340


If it has a litter box won't it go in the box? She's a female so I don't think females spray
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579


sometimes they do, but one of my cats enjoys pissing on the
FUCKING STOVE. fucking disgusting. also females don't
spray but they have some other kind of invisible stinking genital sauce that they wipe everywhere when they're in heat until you get them fixed.
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:07 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Add to the above, I've got 3 cats now... litter free and no damage to furniture/curtains... an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I spent 10 dollars to neuter this last one, skipped the shots, treated fleas and ear mites myself using natural methods.

Pet ownership is as easy or hard, as cheap or expensive as you want it to be... the internet is your friend.
tounge
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12/03/2012 08:07 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
how little?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 21738912


if she is still a baby, not able to relieve herself…you have to piddle and poop her. Luckily i had a wannabe momma cat to do the messy stuff for me with my runt handicapped kitten. Turned out she wasnt all that handicapped afterall though.

If she can walk and is mentally there, then yeah, she will be using the litterbox. Just you are taking in a kitten sans its mom. Keep that in mind and the kittens age too.


Kittens are a lot of fun but as they get older they can get very smart--knocking things down, opening doors and cabinets, unraveling things, getting stuff, dragging stuff around the house, chewing paper, eating plastic bags, eating litter, playing with litter like it is a sandbox daily, chewing through the bag of food (get food bins, get child safety locks for cabinets)…

but kittens are a blessing and will reward you with cuddles of purrs. They can be very loyal if you treat them well. Play via toys, try not to use your hand as a toy. Try games like fetch and peekaboo. For fetch, i use half a sheet of paper wadded into a ball. Cats love laser lights. Avoid direct contact with the eyes. The more activity the less destructive demon kitteness occurs with your back turned or when your arms are just too far away to stop the domino effect unraveling before your eyes. Indoor cats live longer and dont catch as many parasites to bring back home.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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12/03/2012 08:08 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
I'm pretty sure a clean catbox will not be a problem if I decide I can't potty train her. I go crazy over unpleasant smells so I tend to keep everything scrubbed and clean. For instance I clean out my kitchen trash can with soap and hot water 1-2 times per week.
dpepper
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12/03/2012 08:09 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Whenever you get a new baby kitten or puppy, let it
stay CLOSE to you for the first couple of weeks.
Animals are social beings and the kitten will want comfort
and companionship.
This very ACT of letting it stay close- will ward off separation
anxiety which leads to a vast array of behavior problems
later on.
A kitten or puppy that is simply "put into a bathroom" at
night, will cry, whimper, scratch the door, ect. Yes, even
cats will do this. Usually an unsuspecting owner that does
this, simply can't understand the animal just needs
companionship to build it's confidence...which makes
for a well-adjusted pet throughout it's life.
Good luck with the new addition!
Anonymous Coward
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12/03/2012 08:09 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Be prepared to spend 1,000 dollars per year over the next 20 years.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 29004976


For what?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28998454


Food and cat liter......10 per week. The rest for the Vet, tags, etc.
tandym

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12/03/2012 08:09 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Who gives their cat a bath? How do you do it, or, is it necessary to put them in water?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579


No bath, they will make that quite clear to you that that's not going to happen. Besides they need to keep an oil in their skin and baths detract from that. If the cat has a messy poo (which happens once in a great while) use a baby wipe.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28998454


I generally agree. I have given cats baths in the past but only because they got ito something they shouldn't have and either were all dirty/fur or smelly. For the most part, especially if she will be an indoor only cat, you shoudln't have to bathe her.
Carshy McCarsh

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12/03/2012 08:10 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
A squirt bottle to spray the kitty with when she scratches on inappropriate items (like furniture) ....

The first few times she scratches in the wrong spot, pick her up, scold her with a phrase you will use all the time such as 'No, Patches! Bad kitty'. Then take her to the scratching post and show her that it is OK to scratch there.

Then if she persists doing it after a few times, add the spray bottle in as a deterrent... then after you spray her, pick her up, say your phrase 'No, Patches! Bad Kitty!' and take her to the post again.

When she does scratch on the post, be sure to reward her with a 'good phrase' like 'Good kitty! Good girl!' in a slightly higher pitched voice. And if you can, play with her & her favorite toy too, as a reward...

My cats love the long plastic sticks with the feathers on the end. :-)
 Quoting: tandym


Best.
Advice.
Ever.

I've been using the spray bottle/squirt gun for 20+ years.

Works for every bad habit.
Tell me what this tastes like...
ANHEDONIC

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12/03/2012 08:10 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
enjoy your new best friend.

sun

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger"

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