(Closed) Advice/Tips for owning a kitten

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
Member
1015 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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stephaniee24 :  and yes, they will need shots. I would also get it tested for feline leukemia when you take it to the vet. 

Post # 19
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465 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

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stephaniee24 :  Kittens need shots!  At 3 months old, I believe they can also be fixed.  I know it’s no longer the 6 months they used to recommend.  It’s always good to get a new kitten/cat to the vet quickly just to establish them as patients when they’re healthy, get them a good once-over, and get their shots started.  They shouldn’t need to still be bathed, though, and should be able to eat normal kitten food.

Whether your cat needs/should have outdoor time depends a lot on your living situation.  My parents have a cat ranch – they have a farm out in the middle of nowhere and have roughly 40 cats at the moment (people like to drop cats off in the country; sometimes you don’t get them fixed in time and boom, 12 kittens born in the span of a week).  Most are strictly outdoor cats.  Two are strictly indoor cats.  Three or four are indoor/outdoor, depending on how well they behave.  I live in a small town but near a busy street; I let mine out on the porch and to eat a little grass, but only with direct supervision.  If you let them out at all, be sure to get them regular flea treatment.  It only takes a few moments to pick up extra guests.

Fun fact: cats can also be leash trained.  If you start leash training them when they’re still young, you can take them on leash walks through your neighborhood.  Then they can get some exposure and eat some grass while safe and you get the delight of astonished onlookers.

Post # 20
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

We got our cats (15 months old) from a rescue when they were 3 months. I only planned on getting one, but the rescue wouldn’t let me have the one I wanted unless I got a second from his litter because we both worked full time. I actually cried on the drive home because I only wanted one cat. Man, am I so glad I got two! They keep each other company, cuddle, play/wrestle/chase each other all day long. And aside from 2x the food and vet bills, there isn’t really any extra work. 

We feed them purina naturals dry food and fancy feast wet food (DH works at Nestlé, so we get deep discounts). We have two litter boxes that are cleaned daily, sometimes twice daily. I definitely recommend getting a litter genie for each box; makes the daily cleanings less of a chore. I only gave them baths when they were really little when they kept getting poop on their tails and would drag it around the house. Now they’re great at cleaning themselves, and they also glean each other’s heads/ears if they smell bad. I also try clipping their nails every few weeks and brush them every few days. Also, they lose their baby teeth, so don’t be shocked like I was!

definitely have them fixed and take them to the vet for vaccinations. Ours are inside cats, but we’ll occasionally let them out on the balcony or patio to lay in the sun. They LOVE their cat tree, too. They like to be up high looking down at us.

 

Post # 21
Member
465 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

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mrscali13 :  Let me just build on one thing you mentioned – litter boxes!  When they’re kittens, it’s fine to have one apiece.  As they grow up, the general rules of thumb are N+1 for number of boxes and N.5 for size.  As in, if you have two cats, you’ll want 2+1 litterboxes, and if your largest cat is, say, a foot long, you’ll want your boxes to be at least a foot and a half long.  The size isn’t often an issue, but I have one very big old boy where it turned out to be quite applicable.  

There are some great options out there now to disguise the litterboxes.  I have one awesome endtable that has an opening for the litterbox inside, and since my biggest cat prefers to be enclosed while he’s doing his business–makes him feel safer, and for whatever reason he loves to scratch the walls around the box when he finishes, so it makes the paint feel safer too to have him enclosed in a cabinet–it works out well.

Post # 22
Member
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

Just a side note, depending on where you live (city vs country, proximity to roads, etc.) letting your cat out may not be the best idea. Many cats do not understand the concept of what a road is, especially if you live in town and there are sidewalks/driveways that are also concrete, but safe.

Secondly, other neighborhood pets can pose a danger too. And of course, kitties love to kill songbirds.

If you have a large plot of land in the country that is free of predators, some outside time during the day can be good for cats. I would google how to train them to come back inside (usually feeding as soon as they return), and some other tips if you decide to go this route.

Post # 23
Member
770 posts
Busy bee

Kittens will almost immediately pick up using a litter box! The best advice I can give is contain them to one room for a while, like a guest room or large bathroom. They can get acclimated without being exposed to too much and will get used to their litter box. Give them lots of toys and a place high up to go, like a tall kitty condo. If you plan on leash training, start young and very slow. Cats do not need outdoor time if they have adequate exercise inside. Watch the kitty’s urine and poop and make sure the food isn’t causing any issues. Soft food is best, but can get expensive.

Make sure you give flea medicine and bathe them thoroughly when you bring them inside. Watch for any teeth problems, etc. If cats are acting unusually loving, it can be a sign that they are sick. If you don’t want them sleeping in your bed when they grow up, do not let them in your bed when they are young. A spray water bottle works well for discipline when they scratch on furniture, etc., but don’t use it often. ONLY use it when they are really doing something wrong.

I would also suggest a fairly large litter box with a cover on it. And put a small mat on the outside if you can. It helps to keep the litter contained and not tracked all over your house. It can also contain the smell since some kitties don’t cover their poop. Try to scoop every day or every other day. Trust me, it’s so much easier than scooping a ton once a week. It’ll make your life easier. Rememver to change litter often, or when it gets low. When you change litter, clean and disinfect litter box so you don’t get bugs or anything.

That’s about all I can think of! I hope I helped and I apologize if I repeated anything previous posters said. Good luck!

Post # 24
Member
2035 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I hope you will be getting your new little one from a rescue/shelter!

Otherwise, so many great tips here 🙂

Post # 25
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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WestCoastV :  Yass on the  cats thing. Such a huge difference. 

I love soft paws nail caps. I only used them on them as kittens because they would try to climb people and curtains and I didn’t want them to get hurt. Now they don’t attempt any of that craziness. lol 

I would never recommend letting your cat outside unsupervised. I absolutely implore you to have them fixed, and have them checked at the vet. 

My cats love cat nip bubbles and fishing pole type toys. Also not sure if you will need this tip, but one of my kittens would bite the heck out of my nose in the middle of the night and it was so bizzare lmao. I think it was my snoring? lol so I had to start putting a bit of vics vapo rub on my nose at night to get him to stop. lol (The culprit is pictured bellow, Nox is on the bottom). We have cut off our cat count at 3.

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