Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2016 - Rockfield Manor - Bel Air, MD
Hey bees!! So my Fiance and I have decided to adopt a kitten, and I am so in love with her already!!! We will be picking her up on Friday. We have both owned various pets before – my parents currently own three dogs, a hamster, a fish, an outdoor barn cat, and six miniature horses – but we are less knowledgable about owning an indoor cat. So tell me, bees, what are some tricks of the trade? What are things I wouldn’t think about purchasing that a cat would need?
I would also love some litter recommendations! Anything that will help reduce litter odor is my objective. I am willing to pay a little extra for a litter that can successfully do that.
Here’s a picture of our princess! She’s the one on the right; the other one is her brother who we are not adopting (as much as I would love to). We’re pretty sure we’ve decided to name her Rogue, after the X-Men character. 🙂
Post # 2
marylandbee: So cute!!
I recommend getting low to the ground AND up high on shelves and things and eliminating any kitty dangers you see. Things they could pull over on top of themselves, things they could chew on (like wires and cords!), and so on.
I also recommend not leaving her out when you’re sleeping or not home – at first. We got a big kitty crate and crated our two little kittens for the first few weeks (just like you would crate a puppy). They were too little to freely roam, and plus we wanted to get to know their quirks and watch out for any bad behaviors while we could keep an eye on them (like if they were going to be wire chewers – thankfully not!).
Post # 3
Use clumping litter (we use tidy cats) and scoop daily. It makes it SO easy- maybe a couple minutes a day and you rarely have to change the box full out- and it definitely keeps odor down. We have a litter genie that makes scooping so simple becuse we only have to take the bag out once in a while, but I used to just scoop it into a grocery bag and put it in the outdoor trash. The best way to avoid odor, though, is to feed her good food. We like Blue Buffalo! Since she’s a baby and an indoor cat she’ll need lots of play. Buy her lots of toys and I recommend setting aside time to play with her before bed every night so she’ll go to sleep and not keep you up! My cats favorite toys are these crinkly shiny balls, but I pretty much grab him a new toy from the dollar section every time I’m at PetSmart. He is a wild man and also very spoiled 😉 Scratching posts are a must for indoor cats as well! We have them all over our house and against the arms of most of our furniture. Honestly, cats are pretty easy I think (though I’ve had them my entire life). Just pray youre isnt as bad as mine and have fun!!
Post # 4
why not adopt her brother too? two kittens together would play each other out and lower the possibility of getting destructive.
Kittens are very high energy – be prepared to spend at least 10 minutes twice a day playing with her to get her to calm down at night.
as for litter odor, I HIGHLY recommend the Breeze Tidy Cats System. I have two, and I love it. You can’t smell anything (well, unless the poop is fresh of course).
Post # 5
Honestly litter doesn’t matter too much if you’re scooping the box daily like you should be. You wouldn’t go potty in a dirty bathroom, you shouldn’t expect your cat to.
That said, I prefer tidy cats because it’s low dust. It’s good with odors as far as I know, but I scoop daily so there isn’t a huge opportunity for it to smell.
Toys are obviously important, and I’d recommend a cardboard scratcher in addition to a cat tree just to encourage scratching appropriate places.
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2016 - Rockfield Manor - Bel Air, MD
KitSnicket: MrsFiveOh: such great advice!! thank you so much!
strawbs: unfortunately her brother had already had dibs called on him when we called, otherwise we would definitely be adopting both!
Post # 7
the old saying that curiosity killed the cat can be pretty true especially when they are that little. I’m my experience (lifetime cat owner) they just love small spaces, such as open vents or holes or anything. Also if you have a couch that can extend out and have leg rests try to get into the habit of checking to see if they are under there before you push it closed
i also you tidy cat litter, always have and that probably won’t ever change. I feed my kitty royal canin cat food. It’s pricey but it does wonders for her hair balls and weight management
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2016 - Simsbury 1820 House
I’m a bit of a special circumstance because Fiance and I took in an abandoned former barn kitten at 8 weeks old who didn’t have a mom so he doesn’t have too many manners AND broke his leg at 4 months old…
Covered litter box all the way. Helps keep down the litter spray everywhere. Kittens are not known to be particularly “smart” about the box at first. Also scratching posts. Please PLEASE never declaw.
A collar with a bell is also a great investment. Fiance and I knew when he was small if it was quiet, go look for him and make sure he’s sleeping and not in trouble. It’s also just nice if they get lost under a piece of furniture or up high.
PM me anytime you want to chat. My kitten is JUST a year old next month so lots of kitten experience!
Post # 9
marylandbee: Oh, and give her some little places to hide! Something easy like a little cat house or even just a a cardboard box. Kitties like little caves to jump in and out of, especially the little ones 🙂
Post # 10
For litter, I like the Tidy Cats Breeze system. It is a luxury but the last two years have been so much more pleasant without the odor and litter tracked everywhere.
Watch out for kitten teeth and claws. They love to play and bite and nip. Make sure there are things (not furniture – don’t start bad habits) for her to climb and scratch her claws on.
Fancy toys are not necessary, a box and the plastic ring from a milk bottle provide plenty of stimulation. A few little mice and cheap balls are good too. Mine loves any soft kind that’ll stick to her claw.
Start now on behavior training – if you want to be able to bathe kitty, go for car rides, walk on a leash, etc start those things early.
Love and hug your sweet kitten daily.
Post # 11
If you are in a position to get two kittens I would agree with PP and recommend getting another one! They will keep each other busy and you’ll have less to worry about as far as energy and destruction. My cat’s most favorite activity is knocking things off shelves and tables- it can be a serious headache! He’s much better behaved when we visit my mom and he can play with her kitten, or on the rare occasion his sister will play with him. She hates him so it doesn’t happen much, lol.
Post # 12
My fiance and I have two cats that we raised since they were kittens. We were very determined to have good cats that are trained and have done the things below. We now have the best cats ever. Very social/friendly, very affectionate, never aggressive.
- When your kitten bites or scratches your hand during play – you have to make a high pitched yelping sound. This trains kitty to not associate your hand with a play thing that it can bite or scratch. When kittens are playing with their litter-mates and might bite too hard, the bitten one makes a high pitched sound, and the biter kitten backs off immediately. The same thing applies here. I’ve been doing this since my cats were babies and they never ever bite or scratch hands/feet. This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give – if you do this consistently you’re going to have extremely well behaved cats and your hands will never be covered in scratches like some other people who never trained their cats.
- Get a second cat. Cats thrive when they have another cat in the household – ideally when they can grow together. People say cats are independant so they think a single cat is fine but trust me, they will be very lonely if they are home by themselves without a play partner. There’s actually a syndrome called Lonely Cat Syndrome.
- Trim the claws on a regular basis right from kittenhood. I began doing this, and now both of my cats just lay around and let me trim their claws – totally indifferent to it. Same goes with grooming their fur.
Post # 13
What a cutie!
We use Scoop Away clumping litter, which is great at controling urine odor and makes cleanup easy. Between total box cleanouts, I will sometimes top off the box with a litter deodorizer (like Arm and Hammer). Neither the litter or the deodorizer is expensive. Just be aware that she may be a little stinky at first, especially if you are changing her food.
I also recommend buying a few different types of toys… try some jingle balls, small mice, laser pointer, wands, catnip. Our younger cat is terrified of the jingle balls, but loves toys that crinkle when squeezed, whereas our older cat enjoys the wand toys.
Also, like PP mentioned, scratching posts! We’ve got five in our apartment, but not a scratch on the couch or carpet. Getting all the supplies at first can be a bit of an expense, but once you get settled, it’s not so bad.
Post # 14
Aww what a sweet heart!
With her being so small be very careful to cat proof the place. Things like elastic bands, plastic bags, or even cupboards open can be dangerous not just for her as a kitten but even as she ages. We still have to cat count (we only have two) before we leave because a cupboard or closet left open for a minute is like a red carpet invitation to a cat.
We got our cats when they were a bit older (4 mo. and 8 mo.) but their favourite thing is the cat tree/sractching posts, we own three (two small, one large). They still tend to sometimes scratch the furniture so we also spray and try to drape blankets over the arms of the couch.
Also, get her use to being brushed and nail trims in the months to come (I hope you’re not opting for declawing her). My husband always holds the cat, gently has them extend their nail by pushing on it and I just snip off the point (I’m always cautious not to go close and make the nail split or bleed). It’s easy and ours are always more comfortable after it’s done. We used a reward technique at first to make it a positive experience. It was never a big deal for them and the treat was just a bonus to them. Key is though to start young so they are use to it but not right now mind you since she’s really young still.
As for litter, we’ve tried a lot! The cheaper bargain brands are ok but we find they fall apart when we go to scoop. We use one by Purnia (Max Scoop).
I also would advocate for a second cat…. our first got a little depressed and constantly (and I mean constantly) tried to talk to us.
Post # 15
marylandbee: congratulation! Fiance and I love our kitty. Cats are so sweet! Yes, def use clumping litter. Cats are very chill so they make for easy pets. Our cat cuddles 20 hrs a day! Enjoy!!!