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

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 25342985
United States
12/04/2012 02:42 AM
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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


No way, unless you got an already defective cat. Just don't let it go outside where it can get in fights w/ other cats or be attacked by dogs or mean kids and that eliminate a lot of expense. I have one old female cat (14) that has only needed to go to the vet once in her life (get fixed).

You can get rabies shots at the annual clinics for $5 each. If you're going to do the full vaccine thing, have the vet test her for FIV & Feline Lukemia before shelling out the bucks for those shots. Depending on where you live, there may be low cost spay/neuter clinics. The one here fixes & gives initial rabies shots for under $100. And please don't declaw her either, that's a hideous thing to do. Be like cutting your fingers and toes off at the first knuckle and telling you to walk on them like that.

You've had the spray bottle suggestion, but I just use a water pistol from the dollar store. Would not recommend a big super-soaker type though :) For a scratching post, mine ignored the fancy, expensive one, but love the $12 corrugated cardboard one w/ catnip impregnated replacaeble scratching blocks.

As far as litter goes, I've tried a bunch of different types, and the one that both I & my cats like best is called (no lie) 'Worlds Best Cat Litter'. It's a clumping litter, made from corncobs. Not real dusty, and best of all, it's safe to flush into a septic tank because it is 100% biodegradable. Only one I've found that the manuf. actually states on the bag that it's flushable. It is expensive, but a bag lasts forever. Good odor control too, but you do need to plan on scooping every day to maintain no odor.

Enjoy your kitty, and since she's so young and will want to play all the time, I'd second the suggestion of getting her a companion kitty to grow up with, esp if you're going to have to leave her home alone a lot. And always make sure there's at least a couple of windows in the house where there's a place for them to perch and look out. If you don't have a spot cleared for them, they will make one. And it will generally involve a busted potted plant all over the carpet :)
scorpio66

User ID: 2453057
United States
12/04/2012 02:51 AM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
-accept now that your carpet, stairways, furniture, curtains and any plants will all be damaged if not ruined completely

-try to keep the cat inside

-buy lots of those cardboard scratching things and replace them often

-hope that you get one that likes catnip then laugh appropriately

-try to teach the cat not to jump on the counters

-use a spray bottle of water to discourage unwanted behaviors

-be prepared for everyone that walks into your home to immediately know that you have a cat

-plan to spend a lot of time dumping poop and trying not to breathe

-expect to spend good $ on kitty litter, the cheap stuff is no good

-give up eventually and let the cat outside

-realize that once the cat goes outside, it becomes a different cat

good luck. i have owned a lot of cats in my life but just have dogs now. i like cats but i don't picture myself owning one again.

ETA:

-spay or neuter the cat as soon as it is ok to do so

Last Edited by scorpio66 on 12/04/2012 02:54 AM
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 25342985
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12/04/2012 03:01 AM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Just asking about the cardboard scratchers because I have leather furniture and although, not my decision, I do not want it wrecked
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28920579


You might as well prepare yourself now. It's gonna get some scratches. If you get one of those scratching blocks that is scented w/ catnip and she likes using it, the leather will take minimal damage. If not, well, get a good sturdy slip cover and get over the scratches....
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28929359
United States
12/04/2012 03:26 AM
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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
 Quoting: tandym


No reason to clip their claws, what's the point?

Also, do NOT declaw the cat.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 28606251
United States
12/04/2012 03:34 AM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
cats are easy imo .. you already have pets ... treat it like mama kitty would ... love and correction ... let it sit on your chest and it'll love ya back

you got a lot of good advice already ... don't over think it .. it's a cat ... teach it boundaries and you will be fine

hf
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28606251


eta ...

all my kitties have been out door cats. once they're older (like able to climb into the litter box) toss them outside to do their business. watch them at first. they'll adapt to their world.

forget the litter box

hope you and your kitty enjoy eachother.
KungPowMeowMeow

User ID: 27358318
United States
12/04/2012 03:48 AM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
I have always had a cat, and my advice would be don't chase the kitty, let the kitty come to you on her own terms, especially at first. If you chase her and grab her, she won't trust you and will always run if you try to pick her up. Sit on the floor with her, let her crawl up on your lap, talk to her softly. Then practice picking her up, but when she struggles to get down, immediately let her down. Cats always have to be in control and will panic if they realize they don't have it. Over time, she will let you pick her up when you need to without protest.

You know you have her trust when she grooms herself next to you. Some people get annoyed by the licking, but I see it as the ultimate compliment.

Also, if you want to tell her you love her, make eye contact and slowly blink. In their world if another cat blinks slowly it means all is well, and there are no threats around. It will put her at ease and eventually she will give you "lovey eyes" back.

Someone had mentioned the carboard scratcher-these are amazing and so cheap! Mine LOVES her super scratcher. She has never scratched furniture because the cardboard feels better to her.

To get her on your sleep schedule and not up all night making noise, play with her for about 30 minutes before bed. Make sure it is really physical playing too, like having her chase the laser pointer around the room so she is running and jumping. This will wear her out so she is ready to sleep when its bed time. Then when you get into bed, spend 5 or 10 minutes petting her and talking to her softly. She will be your life long cuddle buddy and you will avoid what I call "the 1am freakout".

Try to introduce her to many different people while she is still young, and have them handle her, pet her, talk to her. This helps socialize her so she won't run and hide every time you have a guest or when you take her to the vet. Have the visitor give her a treat and she will relate new people with treats and come running when she hears a knock on the door. My kitty does this and people think its hilarious. She greets them by the door and will put a paw on their leg as soon as they walk in. Then she will follow them and plop right on their lap as soon as they sit down. She no longer wants treats, she just wants some pets and love from them. She has turned many cat haters into cat lovers this way.

Have fun with your new friend and give her as much love as possible!
"Fortune, honour, beauty, youth
are but blossoms dying.
Wanton pleasures, doting love
are but shadows flying."

---Thomas Campion
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 9014106
Australia
12/04/2012 04:02 AM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
You want to 'vaccinate' the little kitten??

Poor kitteh!

Please reconsider before infecting powerful toxins into its little veins.
Philligan
in rainbows

User ID: 2530194
United States
12/04/2012 05:27 AM

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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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28998454


Haha
everything in its right place
telling it straight

User ID: 1461054
United States
12/04/2012 11:01 AM

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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.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28998454


Haha
 Quoting: Philligan


Agree--good advice!
tandym

User ID: 1667343
United States
12/05/2012 03:52 PM

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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
can't wait to see pics!!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 2916483
United Kingdom
12/05/2012 05:26 PM
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Re: Never owned a cat before...getting a kitten on Wednesday. Any advice?
Do not bath your cat or kitten. Cat spit, has a anti bacteria cleaning ability. Their saliva makes their fur very clean plus a good diet keeps it Shiney.

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