(Closed) Advice/Tips for owning a kitten

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
Member
2676 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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stephaniee24 :  this is going to sound counterintuitive, but I’ve found it’s easier together 2 kittens than 1 because they will play with/entertain themselves. Also, when they are very young, you may have to bathe them. Little kittens can be remarkably good at getting filthy (rolling around in litter/food, etc) But, I would NOT recommend bathing an adult cat, unless it’s a one off where they get into something or whatever. If you did ever have to bathe an adult cat, I’d recommend long sleeves and thick gloves if you value your skin 😳😳😳😳 

ps I hope you will adopt 😺

Post # 4
Member
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I agree. I had cats growing up and now my husband and I have two. If you can get two from the same litter or as kittens you shouldnt have too many issues with them not getting along. Its actually really cute to watch how to cats play and interact with each other. I never had any issues with my kitten not using the litter box. Just make sure they know where it is and that its not to high for them to lift their little legs into. I have never given any of our cats a bath. They spend a good amount of time licking themselves which is how they keep themselves clean. I try to trim our cats nails once every couple weeks. The first cat we got was older and came from the shelter and she gives me a hard time, but if you can get them used to handling their paws and nails when they are young you shouldn’t have that hard of a time when you need to trim them. (the vet will sometimes do it for me when they have checkups). If you have any other questions let me know!! If you get one (or twolaughing) make post a picture for us!

Post # 5
Member
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

I second getting two kittens at once!Β I have two cats myself, and I got them one at a time. But it would have been SO much easier to get them together looking back. I personally found litter box training not so bad. For the first day or two I’d take them to the box and scratch their front paws in the litter (so they get the idea). One cat was fine by day three, the other cat took maybe two weeks, but that is because she kept urinating on her paws and tracking it around…once she learned that was ‘dirty’ behaviour, she was all good. As for bathing, cats are generally a ‘self cleaning’ animal. I MAYBE have to bathe them once a year.

My ‘pro tip’ is decide before you get the cats whether or not you want them in the bedroom at night. At first we didn’t care, and they were so disruptive at night in the bedroom we had to make the decision to change the bedroom to a cat free zone at night. Then we had to go through ‘re-sleep training’ the cats, and put up with them crying at the door every night for upwards of 30 minutes, for a good MONTH!Β 

Post # 6
Member
174 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I also sescond what snowflake8  said about what to do at night. We actually did the samething when we first got our cat. There were a few weeks where I got no sleep becasue they would just cry outside our bedroom door. They still do it alittle now, but only in the mornings when breakfast is late!

Post # 7
Member
465 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Whether or not you’ll need to bathe them (I agree with PP–getting two is better for them) depends on how old they are.  In general, if you’re adopting them from a reputable place, they should be old enough to take care of themselves, grooming, feeding, etc.  If you know someone who just found an abandoned litter of very young kittens and is trying to find a home for them, be prepared to bottle feed and wash!

They do take care of themselves, but when they’re young, it’s very important to handle them a lot.  Try to expose them to new people fairly frequently and have those new people handle them.  This will help them to be well-adjusted when they’re adults–they won’t scream and hide under the bed when someone comes to the door like some animals. (I’d glare at my cats, but they were all rescues and are allowed to be nervous around strangers)

I’d really avoid bathing them unless you see serious need to do so, like if they get into something sticky.  Brush them regularly.  They’ll love it and it will keep their skin exfoliated.  But they have evolved to keep themselves clean.  There are some products out there designed to be gentle for a cat’s skin, but they’re not built to have all the water and soap in their pores.  They’ll dry out and get very irritated.  A good brushing will do the necessary job.

If Dear Kitten is to be believed, they find our bathing methods quite odd. πŸ™‚

In any case, each kitten is different, and as long as you’re gentle and engage them, you’ll learn their quirks quickly!  Have fun!  Kittens are awesome.  And then they grow up, and you get a lovely old fat lap cat who just wants to lie on you and purr.  There is no bad age of cat.

 EDIT: I saw your update on how these are indeed neighborhood kittens in need of a home, not shelter or store animals.  First off, good on you for being willing to take them in!  Secondly, I’d take them straight to the vet.  Ask the techs to give you a walk-through.  If you need to bottle feed or help them with other bodily functions because of their age, it’s best to just have the pros help you out!  Cats don’t really have much of a smell, not like dogs or most other housepets do.  If you notice a consistent odor coming from them, get them to the vet quickly.

 

Post # 8
Member
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

In my experience (I’ve had probably 12 or more kittens in the course of my life..I know, it’s a problem) kittens are fairly easy. They do take care of themselves for the most part. As far as litter goes, my parents never had litter boxes in the house. All their cats go outside to use the bathroom. However, DH and I just got our first kitten (Sophie) together and she is completely inside. The litter box was not an issue. We stuck her in the box once and she used the bathroom then and there and has used it ever since. No accidents at all.

We feed our kitten Purina Nurture Kitten chow. I’m honestly not sure if it’s the best, but I had to go with whatever our local grocery store had (which wasn’t a lot). I found her in the middle of the road (not hurt at all) and needed to get some food for her quickly so that was my only option. She seems to really like it though, so we’ve continued feeding her that food.

Baths. They’re not fun, but if you get a kitten that’s still too young for flea medicine, you may end up having to bathe him/her. Sophie is still too young for flea medicine and was covered in fleas when I found her, so we bathed her with some warm water and a very small amount of dish detergent (suggested by our veterinarian). We’ve been doing that once every couple of weeks until she’s old enough for flea medicine.

But as far as baths for cleanliness, cats usually clean themselves pretty well unless they’re just filthy from being outside or something.

Hope this has helped. And good luck! Kittens are SO much fun!

Post # 9
Member
2676 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

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stephaniee24 :  keeping kittens out of the shelter is great too! Just be sure to get them spayed/neutered asap. 

Post # 10
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Cats will bathe themselves and they don’t really smell. You usually don’t need to clip their claws either. All of the cats we’ve had just know how to use the litter box so you don’t have to train them like you would a dog. When you bring them home just put them beside the litter box so they’ll know where it is. I’ve had cats my whole life and they’re really easy. Just make sure they have fresh food and water each day and scoop their litter box. Also, schedule a vet appointment for the kitten just to get checked out. Make sure you keep up with vet appointments and their shots. 

Post # 11
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Is your cat going to stay indoors or do you plan on letting it outside? If it’s an inside only cat you don’t really need to worry about flea baths or flea medicine. If you do decide to let it out please wait until it’s grown and big enough to take care of itself. Kittens are easy prey for animals. 

Post # 12
Member
3900 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

Prepare to constantly feeling like your cat is trying to get you to trip because that’s what most of them do…. πŸ˜‚

My cat eats dry food, Wellness brand.  Once in a while i give her some wet food as a treat/special occasion. Make sure to do your research. For cats the less grains the better so any food that is grain free is much better than one that has grain fillers. Buy small sample sizes and see what the kitty likes, what makes her stomach upset etc. I stick to “Welness” and rotate between 2-3 flavours ever time I get a bag I make sure it’s different than the last one, this way she doesnt get bored, rotate 2-3 flavours this way, not every meal cause then she will become too picky. When I’m eating fish or meat i give her a little piece for the sake or variety πŸ™‚ and a tiny piece of butter every week, for coat health πŸ™‚

Once the kitty gets to 5-7 y.o. you can add a supplement for joints health to try prevent arthrits πŸ™‚

Some cats are weird and like to try different foods (eggs, icecream) just google if it’s toxic or not first.)

Most cats love to nibble on houseplants… so kitty grass is good to have (my cat mostly ignores it though) so I make sure to not have toxic plants in the house as she will try to eat whatever. Lillies and Poinsettias are a big no-no fyi. Again google plants…

Make sure there is a designated spot for the cat to scratch/trim it’s own nails, like a carboard scratcher or a scratch post. Please for the love of everything do not declaw your kitties that is so cruel 😒

If you have a leather couch, I hope you dont love it too much cause it may get ruined. 

Clean the litter box daily, and i highly recomend clumping litter.

Brush regularly from an early age so they are used to it, it helps with shedding too. 

Kittens need regular baths as they can get into messes and dont know how to clean themselves yet. Adult cats… I give a bath maybe every couple years? No more than once a year for sure. 

It your cat has a scratching thing it uses regularly, nail trims will be a biyearly thing at most, if not then ever couple months.

Also dont bother with fancy beds or cat condos. I have had 4 cats in my life 3 males, 1 female and NONE of them ever used an actual cat bed. They LOVE carboard boxes. My current kitty loves her square shallow Amazon box.  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Happy catting πŸ™‚

Post # 15
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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stephaniee24 :  they don’t need outdoor time. Just make sure it has toys and things in the house to stay active. I was just wondering since a pp was talking about outdoor cats. 

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