New cat - lots of questions!

(14 Posts)
pineappletongue Mon 05-Sep-16 14:19:37

I have just adopted a cute little 1 year old cat from a rescue centre. I grew up with cats in the family but this my first one all of my own. She has settled in really quickly and seems really happy, not shy at all and happily jumping up on everyone's lap for a cuddle. I just have a couple of questions about a few things that the cat rescue lady said, and would be really grateful if any experienced cat owners could give me some advice:

1. I am using wood pellet cat litter, as recommended. The lady said to just take poos out and flush them down the toilet, then renew all the litter once a week. Firstly, is it really OK to flush the poos (with a fair few pellets clinging to them) down the loo or will this block my toilet? Also, I have just been scooping out the obvious lumps of sawdust where she has done a wee rather than just leave it there (am worried it will start smelling and surely she would rather it was taken out?). I put quite a lot of pellets in the box so there are still plenty left doing this and then I will completely clean out and renew in a week - does that sound OK?

2. The lady said to give her 1/2 pouch of wet food (Felix as good as it looks) in the morning and a pouch in the evening, and then have biscuits (Royal Canin) available 24/7. Does this sound OK? She starts miaowing when we have lunch/the kids have tea as if she is hungry, although she has biscuits down. Should I give in and feed her more wet food whenever she seems hungry or keep to the schedule?!

3. She isn't allowed outside for at least 5 weeks, so at night we are shutting her in a room with her litter tray, food (far apart from each other), a fluffy cushioned cat basket on top of a chest of drawers that she can easily jump up to, and also a nice squishy furry blanket on the floor. I have even bought her a nightlight so its not too dark for her! She seems OK in there, doesn't miaow or anything in the night, but she also doesn't use either her basket or her blanket and I'm not sure what she does all night! She isn't too keen on me shutting the door on her at night, and also gives me a bit of a telling off in the morning when I let her out (well she miaows very loudly following me around for half an hour so I figured that's what she is doing!), so now I'm feeling a bit bad shutting her in overnight, but I don't really want her running around the house in the night (she is quite playful and likes running up and down the stairs like someone is chasing her). Does this sound OK? Will she ever use her nice comfy basket or blanket or just continue to sit on the floor all night?! I have sprayed Feliway in them and also fed her some dreamies on them so she could feel how comfy they are but it doesn't seem to have made any difference.

4. The cat lady clipped her claws before she came home. I've never heard of this and not sure what the point is - wondering whether I should continue to do it. I suppose it might stop furniture scratching? Although she hasn't done that yet.

5. She doesn't seem to have had any water to drink at all. I have been putting a bit of water in with her wet food to make sure she gets a bit of water but is there anything else I can do to encourage her to drink?

6. Last question! When she sits on my lap she kneads me like crazy, but whenever she sits on anyone else's lap she just sits straight down. Just wondering what this means?!

Any help/advice much appreciated!

Toddlerteaplease Mon 05-Sep-16 14:53:13

The kneading means she is happy and secure with you and you are her Hooman. You've been adopted.
Use what ever cat litter you like!

TimeIhadaNameChange Mon 05-Sep-16 16:15:25

1) I put poos down the loo and haven't had a problem. Scooping the wet sawdust regularly sounds good (though I don't as my cat barely uses her tray, but does tend to wee in it once I've cleaned it, I think to mark it as hers, so it would be a vicious circle to clean it all the time and it doesn't smell). What will you do with the old litter when you clean it? I put it on a fire in the garden (have one every couple of weeks).

Oh, and if you're using wood pellets go to an outdoor place (like Harbro - they sell animal pellets etc) and get wood pellets either for stables or fireplaces - works out much, much cheaper.

2) I feed my wee madam when she asks (though she'd probably complain less if I'd kept to proper mealtimes). If you can put up with the moaning, then just give her little and often. (Has the advantage in hot weather of not having meat down for ages if she doesn't eat it all at once). Otherwise she'll just learn when to expect food.

3) My childhood cats were shut up during the night (though with a catflap, but no access to their humans) and coped fine. They complained nightly for a wee while, but soon learnt that we'd come down in the morning. She has the option of the basket so don't worry about her not using it - cats are contrary creatures and will often do whatever upsets you most to get sympathy (imo!)! You'll probably find she's spending her nights plotting world domination!

4) If you value your hands I'd not bother with the claw-clipping, unless you find they are getting too long (then buy her a scratching post / new sofa).

5) Cats don't drink much, though they do prefer running water so you could try a running tap or water fountain.

6) You're her human!

FuzzyWizard Mon 05-Sep-16 17:36:33

I'm on my phone so won't answer everything but I clip my cat's claws. She doesn't mind it but if she disliked it I wouldn't bother. It hasn't stopped her scratching on her scratcher or the carpet, the opposite in fact, but it has stopped her snagging them constantly when kneading and playing. I only take off the very last mm or so just so the tip is less needle-like. I meal feed my cat. She has dried food and pouches- whiskas at the moment as that's what she had at the shelter but we're going to move her onto Applaws or James Wellbeloved. She has either 20g of biscuits or a pouch in the morning then a pouch when I get in for work and 15g of biscuits at night before I go to bed. I often make her work for her biscuits by hiding them inside toilet roll middles or a puzzle feeder or with clicker training. If I gave her free access to biscuits she'd gorge herself silly as she is foods mad!

FuzzyWizard Mon 05-Sep-16 17:50:04

Cats merrily ignore comfy, expensive pet beds. I wouldn't worry about it. One room at night does sound a bit restricted to me though. Ours has access to our spare room (which has essentially become her room, she has an en suite ffs), the landing and stairs and the dining room below. We do shut the kitchen and living room doors to keep her out of those rooms though. She seems to wander a little bit and occasionally you hear her run up or down the stairs but it isn't a massive bother.

RoastChickenDinner Tue 06-Sep-16 17:28:47

When we first got PreciousPussGirl I kept her in 'her room' at night and if we were out as I wasn't sure how much she could be trusted. However she soon got wise to this and after not very long it became a game of catch the cat every time. So one night I just didn't put her in, she came and slept beside me, and the rest as they say is history.

She also kneads like a mad on a particular blanket and one of my dressing gowns, but she sucks them too, which is less pleasant!

midsomermurderess Tue 06-Sep-16 17:35:38

I find it hard to imagine that little kitten turds will block your toilet. It is a domestic cat you have isn't it?

BengalCatMum Thu 08-Sep-16 22:13:44

1} I wouldn't flush, just bin and rest sounds good.

2] Sounds good, give in occasionally if you like with all the exciting gourmet mini meals you can get for 1+.

3] Meh they change their mind all the time, mine now likes the blanket that used to be on our sofa (so smells like us I think) and we place under the bed and he curls up in it. If she like a certain place, try moving the soft stuff to that place, she may just prefer hard cold ground though - who knows lol.

4] If its only 5 weeks the she will be outside you don't need to clip her claws. They need there claws outside to climb and fight (or feel comfortable and confident that they could fight IYSWIM).

Its only indoor cats that need claws clipping and if you don't know what you are doing get the vet to do it with you for first couple of times. As she's 1 she won't need to go that often, so you won't be able to fit it in with other visits (like you would a kitten). Maybe ask if you can pop in quickly for a reduced fee and they will probably offer to do it for free if you ask nicely.

5] She's probably drinking water from where you don't realise; like the toilet, your drink when you leave the room, or a dirty bowl half filled in the sink grin

6] They knead their mummies to stimulate milk, and your her mummy now grin Awww she loves you well done!

sm40 Thu 08-Sep-16 22:18:30

In response to water, cats apparently don't like to drink from the same place they eat. Our cats water bowl is in the bathroom and they always use it, one of the cats also drinks from the toilet!

Qwebec Thu 08-Sep-16 23:17:26

1. it is not recommended to flush cat poo as it contaminates the water with parasites. link: www.floppycats.com/cat-feces-flushing-a-bad-thing.html

2. I tried giving pouches regulaly and it was hell, half an hour before the sheduled time the yowling would start and she would stalk us everywhere trying to get our attention by making us trip. Now she gets top dry food (orijen) and tuna or boiled chicken after she got something unpleasant done (claw clipping, ear cleaning). She is much calmer and we don't risk breaking a leg anymore. Do what suits you and her best.

3. I don't think it is necessary to shup her up for the night, if I were you I would try one night free range and see what happens. Don't worry, she will sleep were she feel the best even if it is the floor. My cat is also very chatty in the morning, maybe she is greeting you?

4. As said by others, it depends on you cat. I had 2 cats it was never needed, 1 we did it when her claws started to prevent her to walk silently and the other when she started to spend ages on the scratching mat and got caught everywhere. They did not look comfortable. As long as she looks fine, I'm not sure it is a must esp. if she will have access to the great outdoors relatively soom.

5. same response as sm40. I don't let her use the toilet but it's because I'm afraid she might get sick (don't know if there is a real chance or not)
her water is changed 2x per day

6.already answered

ClarkL Fri 09-Sep-16 07:53:31

For the bed I suggest getting the cardboard box the bed came in and pop that down.
We have beds EVERYWHERE, radiator beds, cat tree beds, specific snuggly blankets, shark and house cave type beds not one is interested (unless for some reason one is in a particular one then they all must have it immediately) however, stick a cardboard box down and it'd the best thing in the entire world and they will fall asleep straight away and claim it as there's, important paperwork also appears to do the trick, any school letters, homework all make excellent sleeping places

BorpBorpBorp Fri 09-Sep-16 10:29:34

Litter box routine sounds fine, but bin the poo rather than flushing. If you're scooping the wees you might find clumping litter more convenient. I use clumping litter and scoop poos and clumps once a day, top up the litter every other day, and fully clean out the tray once a month.

I would slowly switch her over to a grain-free wet cat food and ditch the biscuits. Butchers Classic is good, doesn't smell and is affordable. When you feed is really up to you and your schedule.

Shutting her in a room as you describe is fine. I wouldn't bother with a night light. Cats don't use things you buy for them - she's probably found a favourite spot already. BorpCat1's favourite place to sleep is in a bucket with an old dust sheet in it.

You can keep her claws trimmed while she's indoors, but once she starts going out she'll need her claws for climbing and self defence, and she'll find good things to scratch to stop them getting too sharp. You probably won't need to trim them again.

Cats have a really low thirst drive, which is why wet food is important.

The kneading means she loves you! grin

pineappletongue Fri 09-Sep-16 11:43:17

Thank you so much everyone, that's really helpful and reassuring.

I actually found her drinking out of the shower tray this morning, so will try to make sure there is a splash of water left in there every day!

I might try letting her out to roam the house tonight, with all the bedroom doors closed. Bit nervous of what she might get up to but I suppose I should try!

TroysMammy Fri 09-Sep-16 14:01:51

I used to pick up the poo in a doggy bag and walk to the bottom of the road where they have a dog poo bin and put it in there (under cover of darkness).

Always have a glass of water by your bed. Kitties like drinking out of things they aren't supposed to. I watched my cat do that one night but didn't tell my boyfriend when he took his tablets in the morning grin.

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