(Closed) FI and I are getting a kitten!! Need advice! (picture included!)

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Everyone has given really good advice. Definitely try walking your cat.. makes things more fun for you so you don’t feel like you can only enjoy your pet’s company stuck at home, and then you won’t have such a scaredy cat either. I recommend the Kitty Holster. Appears to have the most comfortable design for the cat and is very easy to take on & off. I also agree with everyone who says you should get a playmate for your new fur baby. Could be another kitten or pup, I think it’s an excellent way to socialize your pet. I got my cats 1 year apart, so the first one grew as an “only child” … so he has more of an attitude problem haha. But it’s also a shame that my friends can’t visit me with their pets because cat #1 will attack any foreign animal. Having cat #2 also keeps cat #1 company whenever we’re away from home so I can feel a little less guilty about going out.

Also, scooping litter for one cat the old fashioned way is ok. Once a day is best. Or every time after kitty uses the bathroom. But if you’re getting a 2nd cat (or more) you would DEFINITELY love the Litter Robot. It’s pricey but so worth the investment. Indoor cats can live past 15 years of age so might as well try to free yourself from the chore of scooping constantly. With the Litter Robot I have zero complaints. With my 2 cats we empty out their trash once every 3 days or so.

When your kitten gets a bit older, I think you should feed it wet food regularly.. some cats are real finicky about water from a bowl and wet food may be the only way they get any type of hydration to avoid kidney problems. It’s a similar consistency of the food they would eat in their natural wild habitat anyway.

Post # 17
3169 posts
Sugar bee

She’s precious!!! I haven’t read any of the advice in the thread, though I’m sure you’re getting some great tips.

Something that I would add is to not bother wasting money on any special cat beds. Take it from someone who ignored their mothers sage advice and not only bought my cats cute fluffy beds but also super awesome cooling pads for them to sleep on during hots days. Do you think they use them? No! Cats are assholes and the closest they got was next to them…. you know, juuuust close enough so I could imagine what it would look like if they did deign to sit upon them haha

Post # 18
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

OP please DO NOT use clumping litter while your kitten is small!!!  Eating/tasting litter can be very common in young kittens (they learn about the world with all of their senses) and as clumping litter becomes solid on contact with liquid it can potentially cause blockages in the kittens intestines.  Clumping is great for older kittens and cats but when theyre new Id STRONGLY recommend a basic, non-crystal, non-clumping, natural litter.  Enjoy your gorgeous little furball!!!

Post # 19
197 posts
Blushing bee

Well it is kitten season…I’m sure you could find a similar aged kitten as a play mate for your new addition. Kittens are little terrors to their humans when they are an “only” kitten. They actually learn to be better pets when they have a companion to play with. They learn that biting and scratching hurts. That’s my biggest advice. Plus it will melt your heart to see them sleeping together and grooming each other. 

I don’t think you need to lock your little one away when you are not home. The biggest thing would be to get those electric cable organizer things. I don’t know what they are called but they are hollow tubes with a slit that you can slip cordes into to orgnaize them. I’m pretty sure you can get them at Radio Shack or Ikea. Also, keep things like mini blind cords well out of reach as they are strangulation hazards. 

Plus, I would invest some money in a large, sturdy cat condo and scratching post. If it’s not sturdy they won’t use it. They will be a great investment as your adult cat will use them instead of your couch. I wouldn’t waste my money on smaller, kitten sized posts as your cat will quickly grow out of them. 

And my last peice of advice. Get a feather on a stick toy. Not the one on a string as they are also strangulation hazards if left to play with unattended. Mine drag that thing around the house, down the stairs, up on the bed…it’s so stinking cute! And never underestimate the enjoyment of a balled up peice of paper, a milk carton ring or even just a piece of plastic wrapper. 

Other than this, cats are pretty self sufficient, even as kittens. 

Ok, final advice, get them used to being brushed and having their nails trimmed at an early age. Even just getting them used to having their paws touched and played with helps. 

Post # 20
2449 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

  YMMV but we tried the breeze system (expensive!) and found it messy and our guys eventually stopped using it-ah! 

We like the new tidy cats lightweight litter. We originally had hooded cat boxes (after the breeze system didn’t work out) and our guys were constantly peeing along the inside wall and it would leak out, we even tried an electric system (messy and expensive and jammed all the time) and then liner bags and finally ended up with cheap open regular plastic litter pans! 

Catnip spray is fun for toys/cat trees

start nail trims/brushing early with a sleepy kitten, ours still don’t mind nails done as long as they are sleepy/comfy on a lap. We usually do a couple nails (maybe even 1-2 feet) at a time till they get squirmy and then stop, and start again later. 

We have two and that worked well for us, they are brothers and best buddies! 

Post # 21
70 posts
Worker bee

Cats can be a bit difficult with drinking water, make sure your kitten gets enough, and that there’s always fresh water available. That means refreshing the water (if it’s in a bowl) twice a day, just when you get up, and somewhere in the evening.

One of my cats loves drinking out of the faucet, so I let him. If you think that’s gross, you can buy a cat water fountain. I think they’re worth the cost, and I had one for 3 years, but I want another model. The other cat likes drinking out of a tiny glass I put on the table, so she has her own little cup. They won’t really use the regular bowl on the ground. But yah, I let them do anything they want D:


Also, I agree with PP saying maybe think about adding a second cat to the family. I think it has been great to have 2. It’s super cute when they play or cuddle together.

(Here’s a picture of my younger cat sucking on one of those “cushions” they have under their feet. Like sucking on a thumb, it’s crazy cute, but as you can see the big one is not into it, she’s only allowed to do it a few minutes :D) 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by  papatya. Reason: added a pic
  • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by  papatya. Reason: messed up the pic lol
Post # 22
24 posts
  • Wedding: July 2013

Congratulations! She’s a cutie!! We use Blue Naturally Fresh. It’s made of crushed walnut shell and is much safer than clay litter. It does clump and I find it to be pretty amazing. We go though one 14lb bag per month for our one cat. 

Good for you for making her a housecat from the start, she and the birds will be so much safer for it. Our cat was born in the wild and I adopted her at 4 months and kept her inside with lots of shelving on the walls and toys and she has never asked to go outside. We tried taking her for walks on a leash but she was too terrified of being outside. 

A couple differnt scratching posts thoughout the house will deter her from sharpening her daggers on furniture. Mine has never destroyed furniture. If you see she will scratch a certain spot of the couch put the post there and the problem is fixed. 

If she’s a digger in her litter like mine is use a glad storage tub. Works like magic. You’ll probably have to wait until she’s ~6 months for that so she can jump in and out. 

Have fun with your new darling kitten!

Post # 23
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: The Mansion at Valley Country Club

Let’s see…multiple scratching posts, not just one. Put them in the “main” rooms of the house, where the kitten will spend the most time. And shoot for the sisal ones, not just carpet. Providing multiple posts will reduce scratching on furniture. And play with her at the scratching posts, using a feather toy or other dangling toy to encourage her to interact. Most cats like to scratch when they’re feeling playful, so she’ll be right where she needs to scratch.

For litter, I’d stay away from highly dusty ones until she’s older, as dusty clay litter can affect little lungs. For adults, I love using Everclean. I never smell anything, as long as it’s cleaned out daily. For kittens, I suggest World’s Best Cat Litter, a wheat or paper litter, or whatever the shelter uses. But kitten poop is exceptionally stinky, just FYI. It’s all the protein in their food. She will grow out of it, but be forewarned. 🙂 It’ll be bad for a while, no matter what litter you use.

I didn’t read through all the comments to see if you explained why you decided not to do two kittens, but I encourage you to rethink it. A solo kitten is a naughty kitten. So are two kittens, frankly, but a kitten with a buddy to pal around with is less likely to climb your curtains or explore the top of the fridge. And having two cats is really no harder work than having one. The only difference is adding another litter box.

And about the box…the rule of thumb is having one extra number of litter boxes for the number of cas you own. So you have one cat, you get two boxes. Two cats, three boxes. I’ve never, ever done that, but if she starts having trouble, add a second box. When you bring her home, put her in the litter box and let her walk out on her own. If she can walk out, she’ll know how to get back.

Finally, when she’s cuddly or sleepy, play with her feet to get her used to having her nails trimmed. The more you touch and push out her nails, the more comfortable she’ll be with having a trim. Please do not declaw. (That’s a blanket statement I make to anyone. I’m not assuming you’re planning to declaw.)

Have fun! I’ve raised and fostered more kittens than I can count, and they’re always ridiculously fun.

Post # 24
401 posts
Helper bee

Omg so cute! As PP have mentioned, they get into everything!!!!!! I’d hide anything small and expensive or things you’re afraid they could break. When I adopted my 8 month old cat he ruined so many things. He would just sit on my dresser and knock shit off for the fun of it. I wouldn’t leave any jewelry around. Still can’t find one of my favorite earrings after he was basically playing hockey with it. 

My one cat loves to scratch the furniture even though they have multiple scratching posts so I’d lay some sheets over your couches until you get a feel for if he likes to scratch at them. I use glade lightweight febreeze litter and I think it’s fine. Id also get the arm and hammer cat litter deordarize. And we have a mat that tracks the litter that helps.

I agree with PP if you’re able to get another kitten, do it. My cats grew up together and they are so in love it’s rediC. They’re inseparable! 

Post # 25
698 posts
Busy bee

Take her in the car with you wherever you go! Get her used to the car.

We have two cats – A bengal and siamese. They love car rides! We take them to our other house all the time (2 hours away) and they just sit on their pillow in my lap!

Post # 26
3035 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

My cat is 5 and probably the most well behaved ever… so no kitten tips here. That was a long time ago! And he was already liter trained before i got him. And lived outside for a long time when i was at my parents house but he’s indoor now. 

this is a very popular toy! http://www.amazon.com/Bergan-Turbo-Scratcher-Colors-Vary/dp/B000IYSAIW  He also likes those balls with the bells in them. 

make sure to keep an eye on strings, hair ties, ribbonrs, etc. Keep them put away. They love those and if they eat them it can get tied up in their intestines and cause serious issues.  

I also have a liter genie and love it. A covered litter box is nice – it keeps them from kicking it everywhere and eliminate some of the dust. I have a petmate booda clean step.  I usually buy whatever liter is on sale/coupon. The heavily scented ones kinda bug me as they smell so perfumy so sometimes I will get unscented. I tend to like Cat’s Pride Fresh & Light or Tidy Cat’s Glade Solutions one. 

I also recommed a grain-free food. Cats need protein more than anything and so the first ingredient should always be meat – usually chicken, turkey, or beef. Limit the seafood as it isn’t as good for them – even if they do like it! I feed mine a mix of dry and wet (wet once a day and then i leave dry out in an auto-feeder).  For dry i like the 4Health brand that they sell at Tractor Supply Stores. It’s a good value.  For wet, I feed him the Sheba brands in the cuts form. He doesn’t like pate so that really limits my wet food options.  

Post # 27
3035 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

Beegritte:  agreed. My cat won’t lay on any bed i buy him. I’ve given up. He lays on the floor, the couch, the window sill, or the bed. 

Post # 28
3035 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

Oh. I recommend using a spray bottle with water to “disipline” them and keep them off things like the counters / dining room table. Usually one spray is enough for them to know.  I also make sure to always do a stern “no” when i use it. That way they learn the word too and I can get him to stop doing things even if the water is no where near. 

Post # 29
5092 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Advice I wish we’d been given before we got our sweet kitty: don’t feed her first thing when you wake up in the moring! If she learns to associate you getting up with getting fresh food, she will start trying to wake you earlier and earlier. Mine walks all over over us, chews on our hair, pats our faces with her paws, etc., until we have to get up and kick her out of the bedroom. Other cats meow really loudly till you get up.

Post # 30
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Love! Dr. Elsy’s litter works wonders if she’s not potty trained. I can’t wait for you to update us on her. 🙂

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