(Closed) Advice/Tips for owning a kitten

posted 4 years ago in Pets
Post # 31
Member
5419 posts
Bee Keeper

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stephaniee24 :  We have a two year old cat, indoor only. To prevent smell we brush her regularly and use cat wipes. They sell them at petsmart in order to remove allergens but it works as a mild cleaner. To be honest though she never smells and by trimming her nails regularly, brushing and cleaning the cat box twice daily, she is very clean. 

When my parents had outdoor cats they would get a bath every other month but they would fight us on it. 

Post # 32
Member
225 posts
Helper bee

I suggest feeding your cat either half or exclusively grain-free wet food. A diet of exclusively dry food can really impact their health negatively over the long-term. Catinfo.org is my go-to for feeding instructions. Feeding them correctly will make a huge difference in vet bills down the road ๐Ÿ™‚ Cats are obligate carnivores and many dry foods do not have enough protein or moisture (and have too many carbs). 

 

http://www.catinfo.org 

Post # 33
Member
465 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

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stephaniee24 :  A little grass is good for them.  As they groom, they get hair in their bellies and chewing on some grass helps them break up the hairballs and cough them out painlessly.  You can also buy cat grass from most pet supply places.  I’m a Pet Supplies Plus girl, and they always sell little pots of cat grass and catnip.  A warning on catnip: although they virtually never overdose, cats react to it differently.  My now-deceased Mr Kitty got super affectionate when he got some nip.  My pretty girl Andy goes a little nuts and runs around in silly circles.  Mr Atticus Cat, however, gets very aggressive.  I have catnip that grows outside my house and let them chew on it, but I can no longer keep catnip plants inside. ๐Ÿ™‚  Because Mr Cat is bigger than I am.  He can take me in a fight.

I’m so happy for you.  And for your kitten. ๐Ÿ™‚  Love these early stages, when they’re still clumsy!  You’re going to have so much fun, I’m sure!

Post # 34
Member
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Real talk? Get ready to find cat hair on every piece of clothing and furniture for the next 10 years. Be prepared to guard every meal you eat in your own house for the next 10 years lest your shit-paw cat jump on the table or counter and stick her shit-paw-licking face in it. If you let them outside, be prepared for the chance that they will be lost, attacked by a wild animal, or hit by a car, or that you find them afterward and have to take that screaming, suffering cat euthanized.

1. Invest in a good vacuum and scratch/hair resistant couch.
2. Get shock mats for your tables and counters.
3. Keep all check-ups and vaccinations up to date to identify medical problems before they get worse.
4. DO NOT LET THAT CAT OUTSIDE UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO FIND IT DEAD OR NOT FIND IT AT ALL.

Post # 35
Hostess
10347 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Chicago, IL

Are they hard to maintain?

No, kittens/cats are so much easier than dogs. My cat is super independent and is not hard to “maintain.” 

What kind of food is best?

Cats don’t drink a lot of water naturally, so it is a good idea to feed them wet AND dry food with high protein content (do not feed them dog food, the protein is lower). The wet food will help them get the extra moisture in their diet they need to keep from getting dehydrated. I recommend Taste of the Wild. There’s not any “meat byproducts” and you can buy it on Amazon with prime.

Is it hard to get them to use the kitty litter?

I got my cat from a breeder, so he was already litter box trained. We have never, ever had any issues with them. 

How often do you need to trim their nails?

It’s important to keep multiple scratching posts around. This will help decrease the amount that you’ll need to actually trim their nails. I do it every few months – but my cat doesn’t use his nails, like at all. I never once got scratched when he was a kitten, but I think this has a lot to do with his breed (Ragdoll). 

My husband says they clean themselves, but the thought of never taking the cat a bath, is kind of gross.

I think in the 2 years we have had our cat he has been bathed once? However, I have a friend who needs to bathe her cat weekly or biweekly for medical reasons (he is blind and doesn’t really groom himself). My cat definitely does not smell, so there’s been no need for baths that might irritate his skin and freak him (and me) out. 

Post # 36
Member
2108 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

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stephaniee24 :  When we got our cat, he was very young. We bathed him every couple weeks because he didn’t know how to clean himself and rolled in his litter, a habit which has thankfully stopped. Unfortunately our cat just never figured grooming out. He never licks himself and doesn’t clean his behind (literally walks around with his behind covered in poo… it is SO gross) So we had to keep giving him baths every other week or he gets really greasy, gets dandruff, and has litter and dog slobber matted in his fur. Fortunately for us, we started bathing him so young he really doesn’t mind baths. He doesn’t LIKE them, but he doesn’t scratch us or cry, he just kinda sits there and accepts his fate.

We feed him Merrick Limited Ingredient food because our vet recommended it. He does not get any outside time at all, even though he wants to go out SO badly because we have SO many coyotes that we literally hear them howling every night and I won’t take the risk, but I know many people who let their indoor cats out for a couple hours every day. I trim his nails every time he gets a bath, so about every two weeks. He is SO easy to take care of. We can only clean his litter box every 3-4 days, which is really unusual for cats, but he HATES when we clean it out. Even when we clean it, we have to leave SOME stuff in there or he will start crying and kicking all the litter out of his box. He’s very odd haha.

Make sure your indoor cat has a ton of toys and scratching posts! Our cat had a million toys and never acted out in any way, but one day our puppy went on a rampage and destroyed almost all of the cat toys in <15 minutes. We weren’t able to go to the store that day and made plans to go the next evening. Our cat was a horrible grumpus all day the next day. Seriously it was like he had been possessed or something. He went from not having scratched us in 8+ months, even on accident, to slashing me, DH, and even our older dog, whom he usually snuggles with and LOVES, for literally no reason. I’m not joking, the minute we got back from the store with his toys he was back to his happy, snuggly, loving self. Toys are IMPORTANT.

Post # 37
Member
2034 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

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stephaniee24 :  Beautiful. Best of luck to you! And honestly, if you can get two, your life will be much easier! They will require less attention from you, and when you leave them alone, they will have a buddy.

Post # 38
Member
203 posts
Helper bee

YAY, congrats on your new fluffy babies. Can’t wait to see pics! ๐Ÿ˜€ 

My tips:

  • A lot of cats don’t drink water often so if you put some in their food, that helps keep them healthy. A kitty water fountain can help too.
  • It is worth it to spend the money on grain free food. Healthier cats = less smelly poops and less money spent on vet bills in the future.
  • A Roomba vacuum is a LIFE SAVER when the fur babies start shedding.
  • I think someone here said clipping their nails is unnecessary if they have scratching posts. That’s not true for most cats. They can get ingrown nails. Watch some Youtube videos on how to clip them. It’s not that hard, especially if you start them young, but there are some tricks that make it easier.
Post # 39
Member
4240 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

You are a first time cat owner so do NOT get a kitten.  They are cute but a LOT of work.  If you get a cat that is a year old, they are still super playful, but they are also a bit more mature and thus easier to take care of.  I got my cat when she was about 10 months.  She is absolutely bonded to me and I think part of that is because she was still relatively young.  She’s now about 4 and she is as playful as ever.  Plus….LOTS of people want kittens.  Adopting an older cat is so great!  I asked the place I adopted my cat from when cats are considered “adults” and thus “less adoptable” and she said 10 months.  People bypass older cats and it is so so so sad.

Post # 45
Member
5419 posts
Bee Keeper

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stephaniee24 :  Hello!

No, do not use a regular clipper you need to get a cat one. They may have separate ones for kittens as well. I have only trimmed our cats twice and we’ve had her for several months. I still get nervous doing it. Please note the anatomy of the cat nail, you aren’t supposed to cut the pink portion, which is called the “quick” (Strange name I know). This will bleed and hurt the cat. So have the vet show you at the first visit what to cut. I barely cut anything off the first time, but the second time I cut a regular amount off because they got so long and it was easier to see the pink part.

I was told by my friend (animal groomer) to get teh nail clipper with the curved portion. We got this one. http://www.petsmart.com/cat/supplies-and-training/grooming-supplies/nail-care/furminator-cat-nail-clipper-23484.html?cgid=200092

Hope this helps!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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