Another novice cat owner here. Getting new kitten on Sunday. Advice please!

(286 Posts)
ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 14:20:31

I have been looking at old threads here and it's been really helpful, but still have a couple of questions. Firstly, am I meant to put newspaper down under the cat litter or just sprinkle the cat litter straight into the litter tray? Am not sure what newspaper will achieve, but have this odd feeling I should! confused

The other thing I'm troubled about is that we are bringing the kitten back in the car with us and it will be a four-hour journey. I have borrowed a cat carrier and bought some Feliway to spray in it. Am just looking out old fleeces and towels to make it snuggly. What I'm worried about is what to do about food, water and the kitten's need to wee/poo. It is toilet trained already (it's 14 weeks' old), but will it just do that in the carrier if it needs to? Could I bring the litter tray and offer that or is that a mad idea? I do have an absorbant disposable mat to place under the towels in case of sickness or anything else.

And I don't know what to do about food because some advice says don't feed your cat before a journey in case it makes it travel sick. But surely it's cruel not to offer the kitten some food on the journey? I will obviously be offering water anyway.

Also, a friend told me to bring ear plugs for the journey because the cat might be noisy. It's a Balinese (like a Siamese). I have visions of a four-hour journey from hell, with yowling travel-sick kitten and two wailing, travel-sick children.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 21:39:27

Forgot to say. He'll be white at the moment but he'll have the Himalayan gene that Siamese and some others do. That gene is heat sensitive (I won't go into all the science) so as he gets older he'll start to develop darker colours (depending on his colour point) on the colder parts of the body - paws, tail, face etc. Take a photo or two each week so that you can see him changing.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 22:22:07

Really, cozie? I had no idea. We will be taking lots of pictures anyway and it'll be interesting to see him change.

He has done a wee in the kindling wood (probably because he is used to wood-based litter), but won't use our litter tray yet. Ah well. He is being very talkative at the moment and we can't work out what he wants. We have offered him food, water and the litter tray. Maybe he is just protesting at the oddness of his new environment.

We tried to take him up to DS1's bedroom, but he was distraught, so DS is going to sleep on a mattress downstairs. He has just crept back into the shoe rack and gone quiet, so maybe he'll want to sleep there for the night...

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 22:27:43

It's probably all too busy for him. He'll be knackered, remember - a long journey when he stayed awake, a strange place when he stayed awake, everything changed....... He should shortly keel over with tiredness because he's just a kit and they sleep a lot, normally.

DS sleeping downstairs might be just what he needs. I'd suggest you all head to bed now and leave him and DS to it in quiet surroundings.

Bad luck on the litter tray but let's see how that goes later tonight and tomorrow.

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 23:11:08

DS wanted to tempt kitty out of his hiding place, but I told him not to and he realised that he wasn't thinking of the kitten's needs. Poor kitten - you're right, he must be exhausted. He has hardly slept since we put him in the carrier at midday.

It's good to leave DS1 with the responsibility tonight. I hope it will be good for him and help him and kitty bond.

Thanks for chatting and for your reassurance and advice.

cozietoesie Sun 21-Apr-13 23:22:59

There's no hope on earth that DS won't be talking to him when you all leave the room - and will likely try to stay awake for that - but you could try to impress on him that when the lights are out and if the kit joins him on the mattress (which there's a good chance it will) then he must let it sleep. In the crook of his arm or whatever.

That way, there's a fighting chance that they'll both get some sleep tonight.

Best of luck

smile

ToffeeWhirl Sun 21-Apr-13 23:31:53

Ha ha! You are so right! Have just popped down and found DS chatting to kitty. He said the kitten was miaowing at him hmm. I suggested the kitten might be dreaming, but DS didn't seem to think so. I have passed on your message (from a 'cat expert', I said) and hope he will take it on board.

Ah well, so long as I get some sleep tonight, I'll be happy! DS and kitty can catch up tomorrow.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 09:59:32

Well, DS woke me up at 2am, worried because the kitten wouldn't stop crying. I offered the kitty some food and he gobbled it up, then settled back to sleep in the crook of Ds's arm. This morning, DS is exhausted because he couldn't get back to sleep, although the kitten slept for a few hours. He is a very lively and very noisy cat this morning! He is getting bolder and has had a nose upstairs. He's currently perched on my shoulder as I type grin.

Is it normal for a Bali kitten to be so chatty? He is yowling constantly, but he doesn't seem distressed - it feels more as if he's letting us know he's here. Is it because he's settling in, or is this just what Bali cats do?

Oh, and he's just used the litter tray!

envy It all sounds like it's going very well. Not sure about the chatty thing, but doesn't sound like he's in need of anything. Will you get anything done today? grin

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:18:16

Oh yes - he'd have been starving once he got his equanimity back! Leave some food down for him all the time now - small amounts of sloppy wet and refresh at regular intervals for the time being. Kits eat a lot.

I think Balinese are very chatty cats. I'm used to Siamese who can also be mouthy. You get used to it. Talk back to him. smile

Poor DS. The likelihood really is that he stayed awake all stiff and tense with the joy and responsibility of a kitten sleeping on him and not wanting to disturb it - and it is quite an experience, especially when it's your first. If the kit bonds with him, it will sleep with him all the time and can shortly be taken up to his room for the night - and you said it's now exploring.

Reassure DS that when the kitten is used to him, he can just go to sleep and the kit will fit into his body and the duvet; and he's not going to squash it in his sleep or anything. I had my first Siamese at 9 years old (which is many moons ago now) and I haven't squashed one yet: you seem to have some instinctive knowledge that it's there.

Lots of praise for DS of course - it must have been very draining for him.

smile

PS - yay to the litter tray use!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:18:57

I doubt it Sparkling! Watching a kitten exploring is just too much fun.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:29:52

Sparkling - no, I don't think we are going to be doing anything except wait on this kitten! I can see why cat owners describe themselves as cat slaves grin.

Have discovered he doesn't like trout in his cat food, but loves chicken. He is eating another bowl of Applaws. I think you're right, cozi, he is probably starving, but was refusing this horrible new food I'd put in his bowl and waiting for his favourite chicken instead. I'm learning.

cozi - I read DS your words about sleeping with the kitten and he is reassured by that. Have also told him how well he did smile.

Right, kitty has eaten the bowl of chicken and is now chatting - very loudly! - again. Non stop. I think this is going to be a noisy first day.

DS is home educated, but I suspect we will have to skip work today and either minister to the kitten or let DS catch up on sleep grin.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:35:28

Seniorboy doesn't like fishy tasting food either - but at 18, he's allowed the odd quirk. Your new boy is clearly licking you into shape early. smile

He'll be going for a sleep eventually (in fact I'm surprised he hasn't crashed already) so maybe let DS go for an afternoon snooze and see if the kit will go with him?

Have you named him yet?

smile

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:35:54

PS - and remember the pics!

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:39:22

We keep thinking of names and seeing if they fit, but haven't decided yet.

He really is still very lively and not sleepy at all. Rather like my children when they were babies hmm. What do I do wrong?

I will post pics as soon as I can work out how to do it!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:47:07

Give a warning on the pics so that Sparkling can avert her eyes! (She's kitten-broody and gets jealous. smile )

He will be quite boisterous for a little yet. Not only is he a kitten but he's got a whole new world to explore and everything is exciting. Sounds like he's forgotten Mum and his litter mates already - as they do. Great pragmatists, cats.

Don't worry about the name. One will come to you all and seem perfect.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:51:28

Have discovered what stops his chattiness - rocking him and stroking him like a baby smile. He goes all sleepy and quiet. However, as soon as I put him down to get on with anything, he starts yowling again. I need a kitten sling grin.

Will give you a warning on the pics for Sparkling's sake!

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 10:55:11

That's orientals for you - they love closeness. (Seniorboy still demands full-on privileges at any time of day or night - even at his age.)

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 14:36:59

He's been sleeping under the sofa for two and a half hours now...

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 16:59:18

That's what I love about kittens - they do everything in such a concentrated way. When he wakes up it will be total attention on being a mad thing.

Sounds like he feels at home now.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 17:04:30

He did wake up, was hungry and wanted lots of cuddles and playtime. He has now gone back to his spot under the sofa and all is quiet again.

DH has just finished taping cardboard to our bannisters because the kitten kept peeking between the bars and we were all terrified he'd fall. I'm not sure if he instinctively knows about height or not. I know cats are supposed to right themselves when they fall, but didn't want to risk it anyway.

I haven't quite got to the stage of putting safety covers on the sockets yet wink.

Yes, I do think he feels at home now. It hasn't taken long. He is much bolder about exploring the house and is not backward about letting us know when he wants something.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 17:22:53

It will make you feel better - but you could probably take it off in a few days once he's used to the place because one of their favourite games is playing paw and finger chase through the banisters. I don't think they necessarily have an instinct for height when they're in the middle of a 'hot pursuit' (few young things do) but he should be relatively safe.

He'll likely be partly making up for sleep gaps yesterday but kittens do sleep a lot anyway. You might have a short while of madnesses at 2 in the morning but I've always found that my cats adapted to the household routine and pretty quickly tended to go to bed when we did and sleep through till morning.

Sounding good so far.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 17:54:28

Thanks, cozie. You are very reassuring. I will leave DS1 to cope with the 2am madness, as he's the one who wanted a kitten in the first place grin.

cozietoesie Mon 22-Apr-13 18:02:57

In about a year's time, when the cat has (hopefully) fully adapted, you'll find it very useful indeed when dealing with DS1 - if he becomes the bed person.

'Shouldn't you be going to bed now, darling? Toffeekitten is looking awfully tired!'

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 18:10:51

I like that, cozie. The kitten has already had its uses today when trying to get DS1 off the XBox. ("Ahem, you wanted this kitten, so you need to look after him when he's crying and I'm busy"). He would happily let DH and I do all the looking after, cheeky sod.

grin

ToffeeWhirl Mon 22-Apr-13 18:12:16

Although he did a good job with the kitten last night, to be fair!

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