(Closed) Any tips on raising kittens/cats?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 32
Member
418 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We adopted two male kittens from a shelter who were the same age, but not littermates and they are really sweet together, now! Like you said, people tend not to adopt black/grey cats less for some reason. I totally agree with other posters that if I did it again, I would adopt a slightly older cat, closer to 1-2 years +.

Kittens are so sweet when they are little and then they hit the adolescent stage where they are curious about EVERYTHING, really clumsy, and big enough to be destructive. BUT – even if you are set on a kittens, I would definitely suggest:

1. getting a cat tree with various levels, posts to scratch so that they don’t destroy your furniture and a snuggly place to sleep. Ours love this, especially, because they can get away from the dogs.

2. cheap spray bottles for when they are doing something bad! It got to a point that we could just pull out the spray bottle if they were on the kitchen counter and they would flee.

3. a litterbox with a dome or a lid on it.

Other than that, just lots of love and snuggling helped ours get socialized, so that even when new people come over they come out to say hi! Enjoy your little balls of fluff! 🙂

Post # 33
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

@Luckygir15: ohhh I can’t wait to give that a try, I am SOOO tired of dealing with cat poop, and since I’m going to school and SO works full time, all the icky jobs fell to me! About your catnip comment- my two female cats, who are normally well behaved- will sneak onto the kitchen counter (big no-no) open up the junk drawer, and chew on the lid of the catnip crack tub and usally pop it open. Bad kitties!! I stoped offering it to my tom cat, he acts like its a really bad acid trip- its so heart breaking seeing him in the corner, crying, covered in pee… never, ever again!

 

 

Post # 34
Member
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

Aside from patience? 🙂

Get some spray bottles to fill with water (Home Depot has them for $.99) for training them to stay off tables, etc.

Automatic litterboxes are the best thing in the entire world and worth every penny. We have a Littermaid and it has changed my life. We got it because one of our kitties wouldn’t go in the box unless it was completely clean (which is impossible to do, even if you scoop multiple times a day). It has fixed that issue completely and there is NO smell. We have a Littermaid Elite.

Our kitties have a drinking fountain and they drink so much more water than they did before we got it. Ours is a ceramic one from Petco and it’s too heavy from them to flip.

If they like catnip, there are sprays with catnip in them that will make any toy super appealing. Ours LOVE chasing laser lights and there’s one you can get for about $4 at Petco.

Softpaws have saved our furniture. They’re amazing and totally worth the bit of hassle to get them on. If you get them used to them young though they may not mind. They can still stretch and “scratch” but no damage is done. They’re also still able to climb their cat tree no problem.

Post # 35
Member
677 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I have always had cats and while I would highly advise getting an older cat (they often come pre-trained and their personalities are fully formed) I can understand the lure of kittens.

1. automatic litter boxes are a must if you dont want to scoop litter more than once a day but dont want to deal with the smell

2. high quality cat food and a water fountain will reduce urinary tract issues (cats are prone to UTIs and this can lead to accidents and bad litterbox behavior)

3. Get a tall cat tree, cats who feel they have a high space to retreat to and be safe will be far less likely to become skittish and will be more relaxed and friendly

4. There are many different types of cat posts, some cats like wood, others like burlap, or plush carpet or tightly woven carpet etc, make sure you find out which one your kitten likes and also practice trimming claws under a vets supervision until you are comfortable, and use caps if you need to.

5. Have lots of fun!!!!

Post # 36
Member
6927 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011 - Boy #1 12/2015, boy #2 02/2018

Ours is a black kitten too. We were lucky to have found him early in the day on October 31st. We have heard stories of cats being sacrificed, especially black ones. He is so wonderful, friendly, loving and cute!!

Post # 37
Member
207 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Best advice I can give you – TRAIN THEM!! I know, most people don’t think about training cats, but it really does help when they get older. My cat is snap trained. From the time she was a kitten, if she’s doing something wrong, I snap my fingers. When she was little, the snap startled her enough to focus her attention elsewhere and she left what she was doing. As an adult now, it still works, but she is conditioned now to know what snap means stop. I never realized how important training was until I moved in with my SO and our cats. His cat was not trained at all. She will now jump onto the table and steal food off our plates. She also bites the furniture (neither of our cats have claws- personal preference, please don’t hate) and when you tell her to stop, she just ignores you and does what she wants. 

I agree with holistic food users. I use Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry food. The cats can’t get enough of it. I have the dry out constantly and they get canned food twice a day. 

We have two cats and two litter boxes. We use non-clumping litter. I’ve found that you can clean the box less with non-clumping, it smells better, and the litter is soooo much cheaper. You do need to clean out the boxes every few days, but the litter itself only needs to be changed every week or so.

Post # 38
Member
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

@Black-Eyed-Susan: We use the Blue Wilderness too! We switched from Nutro Max a while ago and their coats are so much nicer and they have so much energy.

Post # 39
Member
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’ve raised 3 cats from kittens and I admit it’s a lot of work for the first year. Yes kittens have a lot of energy and nothing is off limits in your house. Bookcases, fireplaces, cabinets, under beds, in closets, hidden nooks you never knew existed and more. With 2 cats in the house you’ll need to adjust to the committment and habit of cleaning their litter box daily. Find a spot thats out of the way so the house won’t smell – the basement; a spare room, laundry room etc. Get them spayed at 6 months as recommended, train them from birth not to scratch the furniture etc. It can be done! My 4 yr old cat is still sneaky but knows when he’s doing wrong. All it takes is one look or yell from me for him to stop. Go to the library; read up and best of luck!

Post # 41
Member
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

@QueenGreen: Aww, he looks so soft and fluffy!

Post # 43
Member
5667 posts
Bee Keeper

@QueenGreen: I pay about $50 per cat. I think I get a slight discount for doing all of their shots at the same time. That includes Leukemia (FELV), Distemper (FVRCCP) and Rabies.

Post # 44
Member
677 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

you should read this first though

http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/lifelong-immunity-vets/

Its mainly about dogs but it also talks about cat vaccinations, the fact that most last 7 years and vaccinating yearly is outdated and potentially harmful to your pets

my cats get a booster every 5 years and they never go outside, they are 16 and 15, and most people guess they are 6 or 7 based on their health, looks, and energy levels.

Post # 46
Member
400 posts
Helper bee

Glad you will be getting the older cats! Sure kittens are cute but they might be too much for a new cat owner!

Overall, great advice on this thread!

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