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 Mon 22-Apr-13 18:17:34

Sorry, ToffeeWhirl - I was trying to be positive because DS was the one who wanted it - and to be fair, having a kit in the house generally will help him a lot - but you do know who is going to end up being the kitten's person don't you? (And the kitten's personal litter cleaning and food providing servant.)

grin

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

Oh gawd. I suspected as much...

<sigh>

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 09:41:16

I think kitty will have to sleep on his own tonight. Do you think that's ok, cozi? He has thoroughly settled in now and spent a lot of this morning exploring the house and finding niches to tuck himself into. He slept with DS1 last night, but DS is groggy and grumpy this morning and said that the kitten was too chatty in the night and kept waking him up. "Will he always be this noisy?" he asked me. I think the answer is probably yes. On Wikipedia it says a Balinese is "a vocal breed which may vocalize for no apparent reason, albeit at a lower volume than the Siamese."

We are all thoroughly enjoying our kitten cuddles though. I love it when he climbs over me, chatting away, and perches on my shoulder. His fur is the softest I've ever felt and there is something incredibly relaxing about letting him snuggle up.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 09:54:34

As I understand it, Balinese are very similar to Siamese (Bali owners may wish to comment here) and all I can say is that in my experience Siamese don't do sleeping on their own.

I feared that DS1 might find it all a bit too much so I reckon it's time for you to step up to the plate I'm afraid. grin

How would DH feel about sleeping with a kit?

smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 09:56:16

PS - if you think you've heard 'noisy' wait until you get the fall-out if a kitten wants to sleep with you and is prevented.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 10:23:06

Uh oh. Thought you might say that. Do you think the kitten will get easier to sleep with as he grows up? I know DS would love him to stay overnight, but there's too much chattiness and activity in kittenland at the moment grin.

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:28:17

envy at kitten chatting all night. Awwww. Sparkling Cat lies on my chest snoring like a dead weight.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 10:41:06

Hmm, that sounds more like my DH, Sparkling. Maybe I should send him upstairs to sleep in DS's room and I could have the kitten! grin

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 10:43:35

You'd expect a bit of activity at night for at least a short while - you've had him for less than two days and he'll still be all excited. And he's very young.

He will likely calm down very fast (viz Sparkling Cat lying snoring! (as Seniorboy is currently doing up on his blanket)) but I think you're going to have to make that call quicker than he'll calm down because if you want to get him away from sleeping with DS1 you need to do it, in my opinion, right away - before the habit is formed. Just in case DS1 can't handle it in the long term.

Lest you think it's a dreadful chore, it's absolutely not. I think Sparkling would likely agree. There's nothing so relaxing as sleeping with a little bundle of warm fur snuggled in to you or lying long beside you. I can't sleep properly these days without a Siamese in bed with me.

(And they're very discreet about 'grown-up' moments as well so you need have no worries on that score. grin)

If you want to change things around, I'd suggest that you go for a short afternoon snooze today and take the kit (and his litter tray) with you. (I know you home educate so don't know if that could be fitted into the schedule but you may be able to manage it.) They love an afternoon snooze, see it I think as an extra love session, so go up, take a book, cuddle under the duvet reading and if/when the kit settles down with you put you head down and go for a snooze both of you. That should break the short two night pattern with DS and allow you to take the kit up tonight.

By the way - I wouldn't worry about jealousy from DS on this one at this point. Mum is different - and he'd likely take the kitten sleeping with you better than he would with anyone else, especially if you slightly exaggerate the noise when talking to DS next morning.

smile

Sparklingbrook Tue 23-Apr-13 10:46:22

There's nothing like been awoken in the morning by having your eyebrows licked cozie. grin She does have a bed in our room and alternates between that and our bed. we have got so used to it, she doesn't wake us up anymore.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 10:52:10

Yes - a little bed in the room (if only a fleece in a cardboard box) is a good idea, Sparkling, as an alternate.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 12:15:16

Hmm, really don't know what to do now. DS1 has issues with sleeping anyway and needs his sleep. However, DH and I had decided that our bedroom would be a cat-free zone. This is mainly because, even though I haven't shown any signs of allergy to this cat, I don't want to tempt fate by having him in my room all night. We keep the bedroom as allergy-free as possible (no carpets, etc) as we both get hayfever, asthma, etc.

Would it be unkind to settle kitty downstairs in a comfy fleece-lined box tonight? I have read about leaving kittens with a hot-water bottle and a ticking clock, or maybe the radio on low, to reassure them.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:25:39

Allergy issues might make a difference. Why not give it a try? (I would agree with the radio on low - a bit of continuous 'same-y' noise can often help soothe them.) I don't hold out any firm belief that it would work and you might still get a caterwauling infant wanting comfort in the early hours - but if you're going to try it, now's the time.

Best of luck whichever way you go.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 12:47:12

Thanks, cozi. I thought you might think I was being a bad kitten owner blush. I don't want kitty to be lonely, but I also need to make sure we are all well rested and healthy.

As I expected, one of the kitten's favourite rooms is DS2's, as the sun streams in there at night. Once DS2 has grown used to him, that would be a good place for the kitten to sleep. What we could do, once DS2 has 'bonded', is leave the doors ajar at night, so the kitten has the run of the kitchen (where his food and litter tray is), but can also pop upstairs and choose which boys' bedroom to sleep in. I suspect DS2 (7) would sleep through any nocturnal visits.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:49:07

Ah - so DS2 is moving up the ranking, eh? That would certainly cure his fear of cats. And he's at an age to cope well with cat duties.

smile

marzipanned Tue 23-Apr-13 13:22:07

What a lovely thread - so great to read of your new addition Toffee. We have two grown up boys, (cats that is, not kids!) one of whom is incredibly chatty. I have tried and tried to let him sleep on our bed but he interrupts our sleep so badly that we now have to shut him away at night.

It does sadden me because, as cozie says, there is nothing better than a purring hot water bottle sprawled all over you at night. I know the cat doesn't like being shut away but he gets loads of fusses as soon as he comes out in the morning. I'm sure your kit will be just fine on his own, as long as he has a warm, cosy bed and yes maybe some background noise to distract him.

I smiled at your sling comment - chatty boy has definitely been wrapped up in a sling once or twice blush

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 16:16:26

Luckily, DS2 doesn't know I have him lined up for kitten duties as well, cozi wink.

marzipanned - what breed is your chatty cat? It makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only cat owner who can't/won't sleep with her cat. I still have my baby sling - am wondering if it would fit kitty now... Mind you, he seems happy enough to hang round my neck like a scarf.

DH is besotted. He admitted today that it felt a bit like falling in love grin. The novelty is definitely wearing off for DS1, who has had to be coaxed several times to look after the kitten today rather than go on his XBox. Am being charitable and putting it down to his two sleepless nights.

The good thing about the kitten's chattiness is that I can always find him. It is quite reassuring. He does make an odd sound though. It's not at all like a cat and, if anything, reminds me of a bird. Perhaps a seagull.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:22

Advance warning for Sparkling: am going to attempt to post kitten photos today!

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:30

Kittens can oftentimes chirrup or caw more than miaow. smile

I wouldn't think badly of DS1. Teenage boys are the very devil to get to think of anything at all apart from techy bits and girls. Cats are for the long haul these days eg Seniorboy is admittedly a house cat but he's over 18 now and still going fairly strong which is a good age for a Siamese.

Just having a cat around the house will be good for the DCs and who it might notionally belong to or have been bought for becomes pretty unimportant when it establishes itself as a member of the family.

smile

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 16:28:49

Ooohhh. Pics!

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 16:57:48

Oh Wow! What a handsome little chappie.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 17:03:13

Oh good, it's working. That took ages. My profile kept telling me I didn't have children, which made me unaccountably upset. Anyway, I have sorted it now.

cozie - so our kitten's noises will change as he grows up, maybe? It doesn't matter, to be honest, as he is lovely just as he is (although a volume button might have been useful wink).

Wise words about DS1. I will relay that to DH, who is feeling all disappointed at DS1's lack of commitment.

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 17:05:46

That last pic is of him chasing a toy bird on a piece of elastic. I love the way he goes up on his hind legs. I didn't know cats could do that.

He is very quiet at the moment. That is because he has dozed off on my lap smile.

cozietoesie Tue 23-Apr-13 17:08:03

Yep - it's sorted now.

You can see his colour points starting to come through - and it looks as if he's going to be quite a big boy as well. (Albeit orientals are leaner in general than other breeds.) He'll be gawky for a bit and then start to come into his elegance in a few months.

smile

ToffeeWhirl Tue 23-Apr-13 17:21:10

Are his points his ears, tail and face? Will he stay creamy on the rest of his body then?

The breeder actually thought he was going to be quite little. He is a skinny little thing. I wondered if all Bali kittens are like this or if it is the result of fighting for food with all the other cats in his family. He is eating little and often now.

We have our first visitors to see our new kitten tomorrow afternoon (left it a few days for him to settle in), then have our first trip to the vet's afterwards. Am unaccountably excited about taking kitty to the vet confused.

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