Bringing home a 7 week old kitten on Friday...

(64 Posts)

I realise she's very young to leave Mum, but have little choice.
A family I work with have 10+ cats, including this kitten.
The others from the litter left at 5 weeks old sad
They are very keen to give her away as soon as they can. I persuaded them to keep her for the extra fortnight, but if I don't take her on Friday she will be homeless.
They do not have a litter tray, so the cats wee and poo in the house. She has been eating solid food, mainly given to her by Mum Cat, who has been taking food from bins and bringing it home to eat with the kittens. They have not been wormed or de flea'd, and are quite skinny.

I feel the kitten would be better coming home with me, as they are financially unable to feed or care for her properly, but I am worried about her young age.
I have booked a vets appointment for Saturday.

What can I do to make the transition easy for her? I do work, but only school hours, and have the weekend to settle her in before I have to leave her alone. Am so nervous, and keen to do my best after her difficult start.

Any cat experts out there tonight?

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 22:15:45

Not an expert here but you've come to the right place.

Can the current owners get Momcat neutered?

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 22:20:25

PS - 7 weeks is young so you'll likely have to train the kit to its litter tray as if it was a hand reared - but my darling Oneago was abandoned by his Mom at one day old and he made it through. She's got every chance.

I have given them details of our local PDSA but they lack motivation, despite me offering to transport them. The home circumstances are quite chaotic.
Am I doing the right thing, do you think?
Getting a kitten wasn't planned, though for the past 2 weeks I have been frantically researching and preparing.
One of the other kittens is on it's 3rd home already, having been attacked by a dog owned by its new family sad
I just know if I don't take it now, it will end up in the same situation as its Mum, flea ridden and almost constantly pregnant/nursing.

Kitten has never seen a litter tray! Mum cat goes outside whilst the kittens use the carpet or beds sad
The house has a very strong smell of cat waste.

MrsFrederickWentworth Wed 11-Sep-13 22:34:36

You are doing the right thing.

See if you can get something smelling of mom cat to put near it. If you have a non leaky type hot water bottle, eg the sort filled with grain that you heat in the microwave, put it with an alarm clock under a comfy blanket in the basket and the warmth and tick and smell will be comforting. And if you have a litter tray nearby, you' ll see, kitten will work things out. Cats are intelligent and clean animals . There will be mistakes bit unless it is feral, you should be fine.

Any way, that's what we used to to with ours

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 22:39:09

Yikes.

Okey Cokey - let's leave that home situation for another thread. (Which it probably needs.)

Cats/kittens are easy despite what you may read on here. As she's not been litter trained, clear the house temporarily of any expensive rugs (ie anything that can't be cleaned or dumped) and any valuable nick nacks.

Get a couple of litter trays, some litter (I always use Fuller's Earth clumping but other posters will likely have other suggestions) and some kitten food. Also, given the circumstances, lots of kitchen towel and a couple of spray Dettoxes or similar.

You don't need special bowls for her food and water - what you have in the cupboard will likely do - or go to the nearest charity shop on your next free day and get some cheap stuff there.

Will try that. I have a microwave heat pack with a fleecy cover.
I gave prepared a room for the cat to spend its first few days in. The floor is laminate so accidents won't be the end of the world. I just hope she is healthy.
I have bought good quality kitten food and a fleece blanket.

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 22:47:49

You are absolutely doing the right thing. It's maybe going to be a hard row to plough ('Oh for F's sake - not another shit on the floor?') but training her and having a happy cat at the end of the day will be wonderful for you.

I am so excited!

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 22:51:37

Of course!

smile

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 22:56:30

And remember - any problems and you can just come back here for views.

smile

kiriwawa Wed 11-Sep-13 23:00:35

I think Catsan ultraclumping is good for kittens - it's got a very fine texture which is easy for them to manipulate. Put her in the tray as soon as she's eaten and when she wakes up and hopefully she'll get the idea. Cats like to be clean so she should cotton on fairly quickly.

You need to feed her regularly if you can - any chance you can come home during the day to feed her at lunchtimes?

Starkitten Wed 11-Sep-13 23:00:49

Good luck with Kitty and don't worry if she hides in a corner for first few days! But...could you not get the RSPCA involved with those people? Anonymously? Breaks my heart that mum cat has to bin sweep for her little ones......

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 23:10:07

Likewise - but I'm judging that the OP has a professional relationship with the family so it's not straightforward.

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 23:10:07

Likewise - but I'm judging that the OP has a professional relationship with the family so it's not straightforward.

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 23:10:52

Tech is still off on holiday, eh?

OhDearNigel Wed 11-Sep-13 23:17:24

Op, unless you are already contacting social services, you need to. . What you're describing is unhealthy not only for cats but children as well.

You are right, my relationship with the family is professional. The situation is complex and professionally my priority is not the welfare of the animals.
As sad as it is, the area is an extremely deprived inner city and the circumstances in which the animals are kept is not uncommon.

I realise it is far from ideal, but my thinking is...at least I can help this one cat?

I did read somewhere that clumping litter is unsafe as kittens can ingest it or be adversely affected by the dust it creates. Is that not the case?

Unfortunately I can't come home at lunch to feed her.
I leave the house at 8 and my dd arrives home at around 2.45. Is this too long to go without food?

kiriwawa Wed 11-Sep-13 23:33:26

I'm feeding my 14 week old kittens every 4 hours. They're hungry little critters but then they're used to it and expect it. It's really about how much food you can get into them so you could split night into 2 - ie my kittens have a 12 hour break from 8pm till 8am but you could feed them when you go to bed and as soon as you get up.

I'm using the same litter that the rescue centre used - it's not dusty and I don't think they eat it. They do eat every other bloody thing though angry grin

5 weeks is tiny! Take lots of photos (next to things that show scale - I made my kittens pose next to cans of coke the other day!)

Ok.
So plan is feed at around 11.30pm, then again at 6.30am.
Dd can feed her at 2.45, then we could probably fit in 2 more meals before her last feed.

If I am aiming for 2-3 pouches a day I would need to feed her at least 4 times I think?
So nervous about getting this right!

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 23:45:19

She'll probably think she's in kitty heaven! She'll be fine.

smile

kiriwawa Wed 11-Sep-13 23:48:17

Sounds perfect! Once you let her out of the one room, you may want to get another litter tray. My 2 sometimes (like babies) forget to go until it's too late so another one in a more accessible area is a good idea.

Please could you post some pix when you get her? grin

cozietoesie Wed 11-Sep-13 23:54:25

OP

I've used clumping litter (natural Fuller's Earth) for more years and several cats. Without any problems.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Sep-13 03:34:49

Just thinking here - as she's coming from a chaotic home she'll likely need to be trained to her litter tray. (Cats are naturally very clean so it shouldn't be too difficult.)

It will probably mean you or DD spending some time with her one on one at the beginning. About 5 or 10 minutes after she's eaten, try to position her on her tray with a bit of paw scratching. If no go, then sit in the room with her, music or TV playing, and wait until you see her assume her position - then grab her and put her on the tray.

Lots of praise for tray use of course and clean it directly.

itsnothingoriginal Thu 12-Sep-13 14:44:23

I think it's wonderful you're taking her in and I know 7 weeks is young but I understand that if kittens are well socialised by 12 weeks this is a very good thing.

My kitten ate tonnes up until recently (5 months) but especially when she was on the cheaper food which I don't think filled her up as much. We keep the kitten kibble out and then give wet food twice a day.

We use the stuff we got from Cats Protection called Verdo wood pellet litter which is great. We get it online.

Catmint Thu 12-Sep-13 19:44:03

Cozie, how you can describe yourself as NOT an expert is beyond me! You quite clearly ARE an expert! smilegrinthanks

OP congrats on your new kitten, I get mine tomorrow too!

I have just finished setting up kitten's room. Have removed rugs and covered sofa in old sheets as I expect fleas. Vets booked for Saturday so hopefully they can sort any parasite problems.
Thanks everyone for all the advice, I'm sure I'll be back for more of it!

How long should the fleas take to clear up? I don't want an infestation in the house! Have bought a flea comb to get rid of as many as I can. Not sure how the vet will treat them.

And congratulations, Catmint! We can compare notes smile
Picking her up at 4ish. Have let dd name her, she has come up with some fab suggestions!

timtam23 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:31:37

MoreCrack I took in a stray kitten a few weeks ago, he was about 7 weeks old at the time and was absolutely crawling with fleas

I had a flea comb and managed to get a few but you have to be quick! I crushed each one straight into a bundle of tissues, although like cockroaches they are impossible to squash, and put the whole bundle straight into the dustbin

The vet then sprayed him with flea spray (he was too young & underweight for Frontline drops or similar) unfortunately he did not spray the kitten's head so all the remaining fleas migrated up to his head & neck where they hung around for a further 24 hrs until I had managed to chase & kill all visible ones with the aid of flea comb and more tissues

I then bathed him as he was very dirty & I had heard that this would reveal any remaining fleas as they dashed away from the water - I wouldn't usually bath a cat, but I thought he was small enough to hold still in the water - a few dead fleas floated off but no more live ones thank goodness, and 3 weeks on he has remained flea-free and squeaky-clean!

Good luck with yours and yes we will definitely need photos! (there are a couple of my kitten on my profile smile)

timtam23 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:34:02

oh and I got him at 9am and he was being fleacombed within an hour or so & at the vet's by 2.30pm as I couldn't bear the thought of fleas all over the house and infesting the other cats (have had this before and had to flea spray all the carpets & soft furnishings)

He is BEAUTIFUL timtam!
I have my flea comb and baby wipes at the ready. Will try to remove as many as I can by hand. Vets appointment is a whole 24 hours later, but I have covered soft furnishings in sheets and floor in cat's room is wooden so hopefully we will be flea free. I don't have other cats so at least I don't have the worry of further infestations.
I have also bought a kitten friendly, water free shampoo which smells lovely. Kitten's current home smells horrendous so am expecting her to be quite stinky!
Basket prepared with newspaper and an old towel ready for collection. I hope she's going to be ok. Nervous!

timtam23 Thu 12-Sep-13 22:52:32

Thank you MoreCrack smile - am looking forward to seeing your little one!

Catmint Thu 12-Sep-13 23:00:54

Morecrack yes I look forward to comparing notes. Don't forget to upload pics! Mine are on my profile already from a recent visit to kitten.

timtam23 Thu 12-Sep-13 23:09:52

Gorgeous, Catmint!

She is so pretty!
Think mine will be more black and white moggy smile
I know they are often more difficult to rehome, but my Mum has always had black and white cats and they have been full of personality.
Anyone willing to divulge cat names?

sashh Fri 13-Sep-13 07:54:42

The kitten needs a trip to the vet ASAP, if it has already got fleas they can kill a kitten, but none of the stuff you buy can be used on a small kitten so you need an expert, it shouldn't cost too much.

The vet I use would charge about £20 including a health check.

Could you take mum too (if you do bare in mind she might already be pregnant)

HansieMom Fri 13-Sep-13 20:19:49

You could give kitten a bath in a bowl of water. The fleas will crawl to her head so you can get them. Or try!

I am booked in tomorrow at vets.

She is AMAZING!
Eating/drinking happily and playing with dd.
The fleas are noticeable but her fur is in good condition.
Not yet used the litter tray.
I had to bob to the supermarket and she slept on her blanket the whole time- exact same position when I returned home!

We are in love!

ZebraOwl Sat 14-Sep-13 02:10:49

It is fab you've taken the kitten in: I hope the vet appointment goes well & you're able to get her defleaed & litter-trained asap.

So sad the circumstances so many inner-city animals (including humans!) live in are so grim. My beloved moglets were from a litter cared for by a neighbour of mummycat's owner(s) after the poor girl decided that a stranger's loft was the best place to birth her umpteenth litter of kittens. I got them at just 8 weeks (rest of litter went at 7 weeks) & they adjusted quite fast to All The New Things.

She is still happy this morning.
She slept in her room without crying, but was very pleased to see me at 7am! She has wet on the sofa bed, but after picking her up numerous times and putting her in the tray we managed to get her first poo in there! No runny ness or sign of worms.
She loves the James Wellbeloved kitten food and is having a great time playing with dd,
Even dh is smitten.

And thanks everyone for your advice and experience.
I was not quite as daunted by the task ahead after reading all your posts smile

cozietoesie Sat 14-Sep-13 09:45:01

Pretty good going so far, then.

You'll feel better once she's been vetted. Let us know how she gets on.

smile

cozietoesie Sat 14-Sep-13 09:55:07

By the way, try to stay alert on the use of tray front. A poo in the tray is excellent but training is likely to be a few days and not a few hours.

Shame about the sofa but given your description of the original house conditions, it could have been so much worse.

Catmint Sat 14-Sep-13 20:52:29

Hi morecrack, I am so pleased its going well, and that you are in love. grin

Kittens are so clever and funny aren't they, we have laughed so much as a family already today. Very happy.

Catmint Sat 14-Sep-13 20:54:13

Forgot to say, if you can find time please post a pic!

My cat is called Meg White, by the way, as you were asking about names.

timtam23 Sat 14-Sep-13 22:02:15

How did you get on at the vets MoreCrack?

Well...

Good news on the litter tray front. Boo has used it all day with no accidents. She's a clever girl smile

She is a little underweight, according to the vet, though her ears are clear of mites and her eyes are clean.
She is, however, riddled with fleas sad
The vet ran her comb through Boo's fur and the results were disgusting. She has been sprayed with a kitten friendly flea treatment, but tonight is very uncomfortable and scratchy. The fleas are much more noticeable than before- wandering around on her fur, particularly her face. I am picking and combing as many as I can. It's awful to see her so uncomfortable. She isn't purring when stroked like before.
Is this normal after treatment, do you think?

So cross that someone would allow their animals to become so infested. Poor thing.
I have booked her in for vacs on the 28th.

Hope your day has been a success too, Catmint. Has Kitten settled down at all?
Love Meg White!
I would have liked PJ, after PJ Harvey, but dh vetoed this and my 2nd choice, Penelope.
So dd chose Boudicca, nn Boo.
It suits her!

timtam23 Sat 14-Sep-13 23:04:58

good news about her general health smile and she has a lovely name

My 7-weeker was underweight as well but gained very quickly - 500g in 2 weeks

The fleas were still jumping around on my boy after the vet sprayed him, which I was surprised about as I'd thought they'd all be dead. They were mainly on his face & neck especially around his eyes & ears. I kept combing and combing, squashing & squashing the fleas, and the following day I gave him a bath (but by that time I was sure we'd got rid of virtually all the fleas, I thought it might flush out the one or two remaining ones)

He was definitely so much more comfortable once all the fleas had gone

MrsFrederickWentworth Sun 15-Sep-13 14:54:14

Ok, the old fashioned flea trick.

Comb, bowl of hot water, bar of soap, tissues.

Comb the cat with damp bar of soap to hand. Use car of soap to catch fleas. ( it does work, they stick to it). Then wipe soap with tissues and stuff down loo. Rinse comb and soap and start again.

Good luck

Thanks everyone, for all the fab advice.
Just combed her and there was much less flea dirt.
A few dead fleas, but haven't spotted a live one all day.
Much less scratching.
Hopefully we've cracked it. All kitten's bedding and blankets in washing machine.

Oh...and I really love her smile
So glad I took her in!

girliefriend Sun 15-Sep-13 18:02:15

You def did the right thing, can you put a picture up?!

Not sure if anyone has mentioned pet insurance, well worth imo. My friends cat was recently run over and it cost her about £1500 in vets bills shock I have moggy insurance with argos and it only costs £6 a month!!

When my cat was flea infested the only thing that worked was advocate, not sure what age it is suitable from tho.

Catmint Sun 15-Sep-13 20:14:42

So pleased things are going well with Boo, Morecrack. Love the name - there is a bit of a 'strong woman' theme in our kitten names! grin

Meg is doing brilliantly. We have periods of utter madness, racing around, followed by complete flopping. There is no in between.

By the way, there are 2 types of Advocate. The orange one is good for small cats/ kittens but I don't know what weight the kitten has to be for first treatment.

Very similar here, Catmint.
Boo has spent the evening playing with dh and is now on dd's knee watching Vera. She watches TV so intently,it's very funny grin

Using the litter tray with no further accidents. Can't believe how easily she has picked it up.
She was sick tonight, brought up one of those rubber bracelet things...not ours so must have been ingested in her previous home.

No more live fleas on tonight's combing.

Insured her today, £10 a month with Petplan, more expensive than some but the cover was good.
I also plan to pay £99 for a vacs plan, which covers the cost of boosters for their lifetime.

Glad to hear you are enjoying Meg, Catmint. We have laughed so much at Boo's antics today, she's really added something extra to our family <soppy>

cozietoesie Sun 15-Sep-13 21:46:03

So pleased she's taken well to her tray, More. It just shows how really clean they are - she must have been close to despair in the other house.

Glad you're all enjoying each other.

smile

timtam23 Sun 15-Sep-13 21:52:12

Good to hear you kittens are settling in so well, MoreCrack and Catmint

Managed to upload a photo.
Stupid phone won't let me add anymore.
I think you get an idea of scale by the skirting board!

cozietoesie Mon 16-Sep-13 20:13:57

What a sweetie!

girliefriend Mon 16-Sep-13 20:41:31

Aww cute, really similar to my boy (think I have a photo on here!)

Black and white cats are always really affectionate ime and not sure if its a trait but my cat is a real follower, if we walk anywhere locally he loves to come with us grin

Catmint Mon 16-Sep-13 21:44:51

What a lovely kitten!

She is perfect.
Managed to upload a second pic but it appears to have replaced the first confused

Hope all is well with your kitten CatMint smile

cozietoesie Mon 16-Sep-13 22:22:05

Even more beautiful on that one!

timtam23 Mon 16-Sep-13 23:10:05

What a gorgeous kitten MoreCrack, she deserves to be cossetted and adored in a loving home with you, I bet she is in kitty heaven right now after what she has been through smile

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