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Went to see a kitten and I think we're going to take him, so I've got some other questions

(17 Posts)
Linnet Tue 04-Aug-09 00:57:58

ok, we went along to see the white kitten (he's 10 months old so almost grown up)today and he was very cute. The dd's liked him and we seem to have agreed that we will take him.
So never having had a cat before I have some questions...

Does anyone have a covered litter box? are they worth the money? will the cat use it?
Which litter should I buy?

Now, worming and fleas. I'm guessing that you work on prevention, so how often do you treat? and what do you use?

Lastly should we get pet insurance? Tesco seem quite reasonable, only a few £'s a month is it worth it? He will go outside eventually, hopefully not to far away, so should we insure?

Thank you in advance and if I think of anymore questions I'll post them.

Abi12 Tue 04-Aug-09 12:01:30


I have a covered litter box and I think it's well worth it's money. We used to have an open one but the cats (2) kick the litter all over the place. Also it contains the smells! We only use it when we go away over night now but it is much less mess to clear up whwn we get back. I use wood chip litter because it doesn't stain the floor if it gets caught on the cats feet and it smells nice - like pine.

I use Front Line (from vets or online)for fleas - only use it in the summer probably about twice. I have never wormed the cats - apart from when they were kittens - so cannot help with that one!

I don't insure but wished I did earlier in the year when our boy cat came home with a terrible limp. Took him to the vets where he was given 2 x-rays, 2 pain killing injections, a course of anti-biotics and kept in over night for obsivation - all in all it came to £360.00 and the end result was 'he seems to have wrenched his leg'.

Hope this helps, and good luck with the puss.

trellism Tue 04-Aug-09 12:08:12

You should get him insured and also chipped. Beware though, as he gets older the insurer will bump up the premiums so keep an eye on that and shop around regularly.

At first you should use the litter he's used to, but try various sorts to see which one you and he like most. Mix in a bit of the new litter with the old if he gets confused (but cats are pretty good with stuff like that). Change it more often than you think you need to.

I use Frontline all in one for worms, fleas and what have you, but since my cats don't snack on the wildlife (they really don't - they are hopeless), I tend to use it when they're going to the cattery.

He'll need vaccinations every year too.

Good luck.

redandgreen Tue 04-Aug-09 12:16:45

You can get frontline and worming tablets (I use drontal) for a lot less on the internet than any vet will ripyouofffor-- charge you.

I use frontline regularly (every 6-8 weeks) cos I'm terrified of infesting the house.

You'll need to keep them vaccinated if they'll ever be put in a cattery, but other than that, keeping them vaccinated and insured depends on how much you love them!

BertieBotts Tue 04-Aug-09 12:20:47

A friend told me for pet insurance only go with Petplan, beause they are the only one which will over existing conditions on renewal. So e.g. if you insure with Tesco and the cat has an accident which puts them on lifetime medication/develops diabetes etc, when you go to renew they will treat it as an existing condition and not cover the cost, whereas Petplan will cover it for life, providing you had cover with them when it was diagnosed, if that makes sense!

PestoMonster Tue 04-Aug-09 12:26:05

Just popping on to this thread to say 'congratulations'. Am very pleased you are getting your white kitten. You will get a lot of pleasure out of him. Have you got a name yet?

steamedtreaclesponge Tue 04-Aug-09 12:32:33

Covered litter boxes are definitely a good idea - less smell and less mess! I prefer the sawdust pellet type of litter - the other kind starts stinking really quickly, is not as absorbent and throws up clouds of dust when you put it in the litter tray.

Definitely get him vaccinated if he's going to be going outside and in contact with other cats - this will need doing once a year. It is expensive but cat flu and the other diseases that vaccinations protect against can be really nasty and will cost a lot to treat.

Insurance is a good idea - bear in mind that if you do insure him you will need to get him vaccinated and regularly wormed and de-flea'd as not doing so will probably invalidate your insurance. I would go with PetPlan or another specialist insurer - Tesco etc are cheaper, but they will only pay out a certain amount per claim, so if your cat gets an illness or injury that continues long-term (say diabetes), it will only be covered up to the maximum claim allowance and then you'll have to carry on paying for it yourself. PetPlan will carry on paying out every year, up to your maximum claim allowance, although their premiums are higher to account for this.

Lastly, bear in mind that all-white cats of certain breeds are genetically predisposed to deafness (especially if they have blue eyes) and are prone to sunburn, especially on their poor delicate ears!

Linnet Tue 04-Aug-09 18:33:20

Brilliant thanks. I'll check out how much petplan quote me for insurance. I think he will go outside, he's used to going outside and our front door is open a lot during nice weather as the kids play out so the means to escape will be there. Not at first of course as I know we have to keep him in for the first few weeks.

New question now, should litter be clumping or non clumping?

and how often do you feed cats?

My dad has cats that are fed once a day at 5pm.
the lady who is looking after this cat said that he gets fed in the morning and again at night. Would this be because he's only 10 months old and needs more food at the moment? and should we eventually only feed him once a day?

bella21 Tue 04-Aug-09 19:01:03

I've tried all sorts of litters and imho clumping smells less.

I feed mine once a day, at 10pm, so I can be sure they are in at night.

best of luck x

PestoMonster Tue 04-Aug-09 20:24:13

Our cat has a Felix pouch for breakfast and another at teatime and biscuits for supper if her bowl is empty. Also, she may sometimes get leftovers at lunchtime. SHe's not fat though. She only eats as much as she fancies smile

cookielove Tue 04-Aug-09 20:31:31

maybe this can protect your cats ears !! grin

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 04-Aug-09 20:32:53

insurance is vital

get a cat flap fitted

Linnet Fri 07-Aug-09 23:32:54

Hi me again,
We're picking up our kitten a week on Sunday, what should I do about a bed for him? Should I just get a cardboard box and put an old blanket in it and see if he sits in it? I know people say don't buy a cat bed as they never use them, so would a box do?

Also do you need to put anything in the bottom of the litter tray, like a liner, or do you just put the litter in?

thanks again

Lulubee Fri 07-Aug-09 23:40:12

I use a covered box with the wood pellet littler and don't bother putting anything on the bottom - it comes off easily enough (the wood pellets are compostable actually) and then I just give it a rine and (if it's sunny) letit air dry. Also, the litter tray only gets used if we're away for a few days and our neighbours arefeeding the cat - if your cat is used to going outside he'll probably be used to going to the toilet outside too, which is far better than having to clean out the litter tray!

He might appreciate a semi-closed box to escape to in the first few days but seriously, don't spend your money on a cat bed as he will KNOW you bought it for him and then sleep anywhere but the bed. However, a clean pile of washing will prove irresistible, especially if it's black ;)

feralgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 22:41:16

Defintely petplan for insurance. Costs more but they'll give you unlimited cover for everything, for ever which none of the others do. Get him snipped and chipped too.

I feed my two biscuits at 6ish in the morning and wet food at 6ish in the evening. It's a vague attempt to make sure that they are fed at dusk and dawn and therefore help protect the birds and shrews in my garden. The vet told me to give decent 'complete' food (e.g. Iams) and that cheap tins are the equivalent of feeding them McDonalds! Biscuits help clean their teeth, if you always give them wet food then some cats will get tartar build up.

I've never used a liner for a litter tray and ours go outside now anyway (usually in next door's garden blush). I used to use the recycled cat litter as it's dead cheap. We tried wood pellets but they made so much noise scrabbling around in it!

Oh and have a scratching post, even if it's just a chunk of wood outside. My two little sods darlings have ruined 3 sofa covers angry

feralgirl Sat 08-Aug-09 22:44:15

BTW, there's supposed to be a link between blue-eyed, white-coated cats and deafness. Not sure if it's true and it's not necessarily a problem per se but might be worth checking.

Longtalljosie Thu 13-Aug-09 11:07:27

Yes it is true, blue eyed, pure white cats are invariably deaf.

I'd recommend with a new kitten, when you get him home comb him for fleas to see if you've got an existing infestation - also check for "flea dirt" - like tiny bits of dandruff but brown. I wish I'd known to do that - would have saved me a lot of hassle!

If he already has fleas, I'd go for Frontline Combo, which sterilises existing fleas and stops them from breeding. In addition, your vet can sell you a flea spray.

If not, ordinary Frontline should do, which you can get without prescription. You'll probably be keeping him in for the first month, but in the summer anyway would recommend using it once a month, going down to every 6 weeks when it gets colder.

Alternatively, Advocate is a spot-on which also deals with all worms but tape-worm. But your vet will be able to give you a tape-worm spot-on every six months.

Has he been neutered?

I found Kittens for Dummies very helpful when I first got mine.

This is the litter tray I have - would thoroughly recommend it. Any clumping litter will do with it, I use Sainsburys.

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