(Closed) first time cat owner tips?

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
4693 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We have a boy cat who is pretty affectionate, he was litter box trained when we got him.  His annual check up is $150 so that’s the only vet bill unless he gets sick.  We lost our last kitty after he swallowed string and spent $2500 on emergency surgeries trying to save him so emergencies can be very expensive. Anything else you want to know I’d be glad to answer!

Post # 4
Member
1774 posts
Buzzing bee

Make sure to get kitty-safe cleaning products! Cats are very sensitive creatures.

 

Oh, and always be careful about the flwoers you bring home. Lilies are horribly toxic to kitties, for example.

Post # 5
Member
4693 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Baimee:  Yup, I had to yell at my sister when she brought me over lilies!

Post # 6
Bee
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

I’m so excited for you! I love having a cat, and have had at least one pretty much my whole life. We have a very affectionate boy right now – he’s so sweet and always wants to sit on or near us.  My experience with girl cats is that they tend to do their own thing a little more, but there is a such a range of personalities! We don’t tend to spend too much on the cat – once you buy the initial supplies – litter box, food bowls, a few toys – we buy dry food and litter in bulk and the annual vet bill (similarly, any emergencies can be costly, but hopefully there won’t be too many!)  Our cat was trained, vacinated and neutered when we got him.  Kittens take more work at the beginning, but there is more of an opportunity to train them and help them fit into your family – not to say that’s not possible with older cats (and older cats are definitely less work initially then a kitten, but gosh kittens are so cute!) I’m happy to answer any other specific questions too! Good luck, so exciting!

Post # 7
Member
3693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’ve bought lots of expensive cat toys, and will no longer bother.  She prefers balled up pieces of paper and McDonalds straws still in the wrapper.

This thing was not expensive, but she does love it:  

http://www.petco.com/product/105394/Cats-Claws-Feline-Flyer.aspx

 

 

Bought this one last Christmas, and it was a flop:

http://www.petco.com/product/117335/Petlinks-System-Mystery-Motion-Electronic-Activity-Cat-Toy.aspx

 

I don’t let her anywhere near it, but my cat goes nuts whenever she smells bleach.

Post # 8
Bee
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

We had a lilly crisis recently too! Most other flowers and plants are ok – and lists are online.

Post # 9
Member
1774 posts
Buzzing bee

@MissBoPeep:  I go on the lily tangent around Easter time with anyone who has a cat. Y’know, just in case.

 

ETA: OP, you’ll want lots of appropriate places for a cat to scratch

Post # 10
Member
4466 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Agree with all points PPs made.  Also, make sure and get a scratcher, and IMO, feed organic or natural food.  They’ll be a lot healthier and their poop will smell way less!  We currently feed Wellness, but have used other brands in the past.

My personal opinion is to adopt a cat that is a year or older.  You won’t go through that “destroy everything” kitten phase, and their personalities are more developed.  Plus, older cats are more in need of adoption.  Kittens sell themselves.

Post # 11
Member
3693 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@Mrs. Hermit Crab:  My dad has never had a cat, so doesn’t know which plants are harmful.  He sent me a big bouquet of lillies for my birthday.  I had to put them in a room and keep the door closed so she couldn’t get to them, but I couldn’t enjoy them either.

Post # 12
Member
5096 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@strawbabies:  AAAHHH my cat loves little crumpled pieces of paper to chase! I thought she was the only one!!  Our apartment is LITTERED with them. lol

Also, her favorite “bed” is a one-square-foot cardboard box lined with some tissue paper. 😛

We got our kitten from the rescue when she was about 5 months, and we didn’t have to train her to use the litter box.

 

Post # 14
Member
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I have a boy and a girl cat. They’re both affectionate. My girl cat is a foster/rescue who came to us a skin and bones and she’s always just been SO happy to be safe and warm and loved (and fat now). She lives to be snuggled and loved. I think it’s more the cat’s personality than the gender personally.

Re: litter box – When you get the cat (or kitten I’m assuming?), a few times a day take it to the litter box, plop them in, and wipe their paws in it like they’re digging. Eventually he/she will to pee or poop, give them lots of praise and a treat. Do that a few more times and you’re set. It’s REALLY easy to get a cat litter box trained! Ask at the shelter, you may need to use a litter like “Yesterday’s News” (made out of recycled newspaper formed into pellets) until a few weeks after you’ve spayed/neutered the cat. If your kitten is small, you may want to use a large shallow tupperware for litter at first because the big boxes may be too large for them to climb into.

For an indoor cat, you may want to think about SoftPaws to go over their claws so you don’t end up with your furniture shredded, or one of those cardboard scratchers if you have a cat who’s nice enough to only scratch where you tell it to 😉

Otherwise, lots of toys, lots of love, and enjoy!!! Being a cat owner is wonderful! Oh and kittens are exhausting. It’s like having a toddler for the first few months, I swear. Awesome, but exhausting, LOL!!!!

Post # 15
Member
3265 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Also on the flowers thing! Poinsettias are another super common flower (Christmas time especially!) and they’re toxic to kitties, but won’t kill them.

I’ve had two boys and two girls during my life, and I really think it’s cat-dependent. Both my boys were very affectionate, but while one of the boy’s sister was affectionate a lot, she wasn’t as much as her bother. She’s my dad’s cat now, and the brother is my mom’s cat. Their shadows really. My little girl I have now is the sweetest kitty I’ve ever had.

Also… rolled up balls of foil. Seriously. She goes bonkers for them.

Post # 16
Member
4693 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@StL.Ashley:  Our cat couldn’t care less about the cat condo we bought him, but he loves the scratching post.  They’re all so different though, some love the cat houses!

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