New Kitten Advice

(14 Posts)
softlysoftly Fri 16-Aug-13 13:03:34

We have adopted a kitten, pick him up in October when weaned (at 10 weeks).

Its been about 7 years since I had my last cat so i'm sure loads of advice has changed! So at the moment I think I need the following but am awaiting wise MN advice on anything I have missed / got wrong!:

- litter tray - does scraping paws in it really make them housetrained? I remember my last kitten weeing in my fruit bowl hmm

- having him to the vets for neutering and vaccs? Anything else and likely cost?

- pet insurance - any advice on the best?

- What food is the best? and how much how often?

- Keep him in a while (how long?, how do I make him road wise? always had country cats just moved!)

- Train him not to go on surfaces / upstairs with water spritz and firm no (is this cruel?!)

- How do I introduce him to the children? they are nearly 4 and 14 months.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 16-Aug-13 16:21:25

1). Cat should have been taught by mum but accidents happen, they are still babies after all.

2) neutering varies, vaccs about £50, microchipping is £20ish but sometimes less if done while neutering.

3) Pet plan gets good reviews but maybe one of the vets on here will advise you who is best.

4) It's up to the cat, some hate dry others love it. I avoid iams after I heard of its animal testing (don't google that one when you've got pmt), some of us on here avoid cereals in general as the cat doesn't need cereals or milk. I feed kittens on demand, they are growing incredibly quickly and very active so I tend to feed as requested.

5) keep him in until after neutering so he doesn't wander off through naivety or from looking for female cats.

I don't have any experience of the last two questions but others do.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Aug-13 16:29:34

Golly, softly - 101 on Cat Owning, eh?

You'll get a lot of contributions later when the board becomes busier.

On the matter of littering, though, 10 weeks should be old enough to have been trained in his duty by his Mom although sitting him in the tray and doing a paw scrape with him ought to help if he's really slow to use it. (But expect at least some delay when he arrives - it will be a massive change for him and he might cross his legs for a bit.)

I'd start off on the type of litter his current owner has been using and which he's used to - and see if his owner will give you a small amount of (clean) litter from the tray he uses at the moment. Although clean, that should have enough of an odour to a sensitive cat nose to act as a beacon to his new tray.

Is he to be a cat who goes outside to toilet eventually?

cozietoesie Fri 16-Aug-13 16:32:45

Introducing him to the kids is more problematic because they're so little. I'd be wanting to supervise contact and also give him a clear safe place/zone to retreat to in the event of them getting noisy or grabby (particularly the littlest one.)

Are they rumbunctious children?

softlysoftly Fri 16-Aug-13 18:20:16

Thank you, yes I like to know everything about everything cozie blush

Eventually yes toilet outside preferably.

Older DD is really calm, little one is little so probably very grabby. Will not let her faff with kitten until she/he is a bit bigger, hopefully she will get bored!

I have a utility room that the kids aren't allowed in to so I shall make his bed in there.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Aug-13 18:24:01

Good idea - and start training the little ones that they're not allowed into it. (I'd actually go as far as to recommend a gate if you can fit one - having a grabby little one as you do.)

cozietoesie Fri 16-Aug-13 18:59:12

I should have added, softly. As you've got loads of time before he arrives, visit this board when you've got some spare time or can't sleep etc and you'll pick up a lot of information.

smile

ArabellaBeaumaris Fri 16-Aug-13 21:50:04

Ooh. Perfect thread for me. We are collecting a kitten in a fortnight. Although we have never had a cat before so it's all new to us...

cozietoesie Fri 16-Aug-13 22:05:44

I'd get him registered at the vets directly - and arrange for his first course of vaccinations or its completion. You'll be looking to get him neutered at about 5 or 6 months if healthy and a good weight and also to have him chipped. His vet will advise.

I certainly wouldn't let him out until he's completed his vaccinations and (for myself) until he's been chipped.

As to training not to go on surfaces? I know that some people find it difficult - if not impossible. I've always managed it pretty easily with stern words and room exclusion implemented from the earliest age - when they can't actually make the height but you can see from the bottom shimmy that they're thinking about trying a jump. I seem to be in a very small minority though.

My mums cats get a mix of wet food and dry biscuits, but mainly wet food because they don't drink a lot of water. You'll need to see what your new kitten is like at drinking water or cat milk. They used to get only dry food (Iams) because it's meant to be a complete diet, but her oldest cat developed a horrible bladder infection and had massive crystals in his bladder from lack of water. He needed a v expensive stay at the vet and surgery to sort it.

Catmint Mon 19-Aug-13 18:22:52

I am collecting my kitten in late Sept, have visited her again over the weekend, pics on my profile if anyone would like to see. The rescue are getting her chipped with our details.

I have bought a selection of wet/dry food from zooplus, along with lots of toys, due to the length of time she will need to stay indoors.

Still need to get cat litter and tray, which I will do nearer the time. Planning to get a corner one with a hood but leave hood off at first.

I am so excited. My much loved old boy died in the new year, it feels weird not having a cat. And it will be a new adventure to welcome a kitten into our family. A friend of mine is taking 2 of the siblings, so I am very pleased about that.

Catmint Mon 19-Aug-13 18:25:27

ps congrats Softly and Araminta!

cozietoesie Mon 19-Aug-13 18:35:22

Oh she's a honey.

She looks quite a confident kitty?

Catmint Tue 20-Aug-13 12:34:18

I think she will be confident, she is 6 weeks old now and was fine with handling etc. She even used the litter tray!

Mum seems friendly and confident. It all looks good so far!

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