Post # 1
Have not had a kitten since I was a kid (and that was a long time ago). Back then, our cats spent a lot of time outside.
Now, my husband and I are planning to get a kitten (it will come at 10-12 weeks old). It will stay inside only, other than perhaps walks outside on a leash and harness.
Can anyone tell me what to expect in terms of damage to furniture, etc.? Does the type of cat make any difference? This will be a Ragdoll.
One reason that I am asking is what I saw at a friend’s house. She took in a stray kitten that is now about a year old. One of her living room chairs has practically been shredded by the cat clawing at it.
Do not get me wrong – WE WOULD NEVER DECLAW THE CAT! I UNDERSTAND HOW CRUEL THAT IS.
We considered an older cat, but were advised by an animal behaviorist that the male cat we have (a former stray and bit troubled) would accept a kitten more easily than an adult, and I also think he would love having a playmate, something an older cat may not be.
Post # 2
Carolsays: It is so super easy to start clipping their nails when they are kittens. I trim all my cats nails, even as adults now. My FIs cat is a ragdoll! They make sweet pets, very affectionate.
I also recommend a cat tree or other scratching post. When they have that to go to, they usually do and avoid furniture. My mom has leather couches and they never scratch them.
Just train the kitten well and it will learn good behavior. Good luck and AWWWW now I want a kitten! 🙂
ps. Two adult cats is hit or miss. I think a kitten is easier sometimes. I have had to separate two adult males that always fought, it just didn’t work. That’s just my experience. Cats all have different personalities like people and you never know who is going to get along! I think it’s best to just have as calm an environment as possible and introduce sloooowly. Old cats need time to adjust to smells/new ideas, etc.
Post # 3
Carolsays: One more thing-cats can get jealous easily, so make sure to maintain paying attention to your older guy too. They are so smart and can foster resentment of the kitten if they see you are overly fond of it and aren’t giving them the usual 100% attention they are used to. It helps to have two people in this instance so someone can hold the kitten while the other person reassures the older cat with petting/food treats. Don’t be surprised if older cat hisses and wants nothing to do with kitten at first. This is normal. Letting them sniff eachother from under between a close door is best. (I always kept new cat in the bathroom for a week before full blown introduction). Once kitten gets checked out at the vet and is cleared healthwise, you can start this process and gradually build up over a week. Patience is key for making a smooth transition.
(I spent a lot of time volunteering at the shelter doing adoptions and have also 4 cats, lol). Good luck and have fun! Let me know if I can help in any way if you have specific questions. I’d be happy to share what’s worked for me!
Post # 4
Carolsays: They can definitely get up to a lot of mischief! We have a bengal kitten and he’s pretty cheeky but totally worth it 😉
They do love to claw furniture, we have to constantly clip is nails and we have several scratching posts around the house. We’ve had to resort to spraying or wiping eucalyptus oil on things as he hates the smell!
He also chews a lot of things much like a puppy so keep an eye on that! He’s ruined a few pairs of shoes and is particularly fond of my leather handbags!
The key is to play with them a lot and give them plenty of toys to occupy/distract them. Bengals are a particularly mischievous and energetic cat so you may find it easier with a ragdoll (I haven’t had that breed before so I couldn’t say!) but much like dogs they mellow out as they get older.
I believe you can get furniture spray that cats dislike the smell of so it puts them off scratching – we kept blankets draped over our couch for the first few weeks so his only option was to scratch the posts and that worked for the most part.
Don’t let what I’ve said put you off though, they’re SO cute and so much fun! It’s good to just be prepared 🙂
Post # 5
My experience is that it really depends on the kitten. Most of my experience has been with ferals, ex-ferals, and outdoor access cats, all of whom have been completely mellow and have never damaged anything. However, I recently got my first pedigree kitten, who has caused a lot of damage to my house. I don’t know if it’s because he is a bengal, because he is indoor only, or just because I got unlucky. I think ragdolls are pretty mellow cats though. Hopefully you should be OK!
Post # 6
Carolsays: I have had two ragdolls and they are honestly the very best pets I have EVER owned. My “Queen” Chloe is now 11 years old and she’s the most affectionate creature I’ve ever known! Ragdolls are SUPER touchy-feely 🙂 They bond quite strongly with their humans, no worries about having two, or a playmate for your kitten.
I agree with pp, start your kitten off early, trimming the tips off their nails at least once a week during grooming & cuddles time. And although I did also provide a rope board for scratchig, she’s never really used it. She still paws at upholstery, but since her claws are so dull from the trims, it hasn’t damaged anything ever. And I also own a few leather pieces including a sectional and it doesn’t have a scratch on it.
You absolutely will NOT be disappointed with a Ragdoll baby!!! They are such beautiful and tender creatures!!! Be sure to post baby pics of your new arrival!
Post # 7
I have 2 ragdolls, SO amazing! I do trim their nails as often as needed which they don’t mind too much. They have scratching posts which they don’t really use. One of them never scratches anything but the male one often claws at our carpet which has ruined the look of it quite a lot but to me it’s worth it as I love them so much! To be honest I didn’t do much other than lightly picking him up to deter him from clawing at the carpet so training from a kitten may help if your ragdoll did attempt to claw. Enjoy your kitten when you get him/her, they don’t stay small long!
Post # 8
Our cat has always had scratching post (pictured below), and we’ve never had an issue. His favorites are the posts covered with carpet and rope, and he especially likes that he can sort of stand up to scratch. Fyi- if he scratches the rope to bits, you can buy more at Hobby Lobby for cheap and re-wrap it yourself 🙂
Post # 9
Rachel631: Our bengal can be a little terror too, it’s not just yours! He’s very stubborn and doesn’t listen to a word we say. If we tell him off he usually ignores us! Or gets really sooky haha but he makes up for it by being super cute and snuggly.
They are naturally cheeky/inquisitive/playful and quite a handful the majority of the time! We were warned as to what to expect, so its not a total shock but it’s still hard work sometimes! He’s only 7 months old and already weighs over 4kgs and is the size of a full grown cat – and they don’t finish growing until they’re two! they are unbelievably strong as we’ll it’s kinda scary!
We also had a mixed breed cat when I was little and she was SO chilled in comparison!
Post # 10
We’d give our stray kitten treats when we saw him at the scratcher and scolded him the few times he tried out the furniture, plus we keep his nails trimmed. He never gave us trouble. Make sure your kitten allows you to handle its claws. Cats tend to have scratching preferences, so be ready to try different textures and shapes until you find the one your kitten likes. Mine loves vertical carpeted posts, is fine with cardboard, and has no interest in rope. A friend’s ignored scratchers until I gave her the rope wedge my cat never used. Another friend’s loves flat, rough wood. They’re picky!
Post # 11
Miss_E_xx: I find it so weird because my ex-ferals were part leopard cat as well, but he is very different. He is a lot smaller than I expected, actually… he’s 10 months old but still smaller than our moggie. However, he has had GI tract problems, so that has probably stunted his growth. He’s very bold, but not the brightest… he also likes to eat inappropriate things, such as jewellery, pens, and tampons (we debated whether or not to give him outdoor access, but I don’t think he would survive very long, LOL!). He has two 6ft cat trees, a variety of scratching posts made from matting, wood, and sissal, a play tunnel, a huge selection of toys, a large outdoor enclosure, and he is STILL hyperactive. He pesters my other cat half to death, wanting to play.
Most of the damage he has done is actually because he is so clumsy. He’s very sweet and likes to be stroked (he has a lovely purr), but he doesn’t like sitting on laps, which I find a bit sad. Until recently I had two lovely lap cats, and now neither of my cats are lap cats 🙁
Post # 12
As long as kitty has things it can scratch, your furniture will be ok. Some cats like to scratch standing up, some on all fours. We give our cats a variety of surfaces to scratch, and they have an area in each room.
Post # 13
We got our black american shorthair cat when he was about 12 weeks. It took time, but he matured quit fast and is now a wonderful, well behaved, smart and affectionate cat. We adopted another american short hair that was given up by owner but used to be outdoor/indoor cat and brought it to the house when our other cat was one year old both males. They are the same age and get along great. They were both fixed and are the best buddies. I was so worry they wouldn’t get along but their personalities are so different, I think that’s why it was so easy for them to like each other. Our adopted cat wasn’t behaving very well at the beginning, but after working with him and giving him lots of love and positive reinforcement, his behavior has changed tremendously and is now a very sweet cat.
Post # 14
Just want to chime in on giving your future kitten different options to scratch. My (then feral, now a softy) kitten totally ignored all scratching posts, but when I bought a flat cardboard one he loved it.
I’ve never had a Ragdoll, but every one I’ve met has been super chilled, so hopefully you won’t have too many problems!
Post # 15
Get two kittens. They love to have a friend to play with. I adopted two kittens and provided them with a scratching post, a climbing tree and a bunch of toys and a little over a year later they have still not scratched at my furniture or rugs. I think having the second kitten really helps to keep them both distracted and it keeps them compnay when no one is home and they won’t get bored. Plus, two is always better than one!