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About to get a kitten - what do I need to know?

(19 Posts)
TruthSweet Mon 03-Oct-11 21:39:09

And get?

I'm assuming a cat basket, litter tray, carrier, food bowl/saucers, kitten food (dry/canned?) and some thing to chase/attack aside from the DDs?

We are planning on getting vaxed and neutered as soon as able to (it's 8 weeks for vax and 6m for the snip isn't it?) and getting pet insurance.

Anything else?

NorkyPies Mon 03-Oct-11 21:43:52

Blanket or igloo to go in the cat basket (though cats often won't go in the places you so lovingly prepare for them - so don't pay a lot). They do love cardboard boxes, though.

Be prepared for him/her to run up your curtains and pull at loose threads anywhere (upholstery, carpets), and also to eat indoor plants.

TruthSweet Mon 03-Oct-11 21:47:37

We don't have any indoor plants luckily and our garden's a state so no worries there!

Thanks for the tip on the blanket/igloo front. Any good kinds out there or do you just buy them as a sacrificial offering to the cat to show how much you love them so they can ignore it to show you how little they care?

NorkyPies Mon 03-Oct-11 21:51:49

You can get fleece pet blankets (paw-mark pattern) for a couple of pounds roughly at Tesco, or cheaper at discount stores/pound shops.

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 03-Oct-11 22:01:15

How exciting! Where are you getting the kitten from? I only ask because breeders/ rescues etc will often have dewormed and de-flead before handover. If it's from a private home, ask if these things have been done.

What age will the kitten be when you get him/ her? For cats, 1st vaccine usually around 9wks, 2nd one 3-4wks later. Do you have a vet in mind? Worth calling them and checking. We usually offer a free kitten check when you first get the kitten, which just serves to get to know you and your kitty, answer any questions you have (bring a list!) and do a basic health check. I personally prefer the kitten to have had a week or so to settle in before giving the vaccines, as I feel it is a potentially stressful period in the little thing's life and also gives you a chance to notice any problems/ worries before vaccinating.

With cats you have options with vaccines, basically based on whether you intend the cat to eventually go outdoors or not- your vet can discuss the options with you at your initial check-up.

Let us know how it goes- enjoy your life as a cat-slave!! smile

TruthSweet Mon 03-Oct-11 22:09:34

The kittens are 8 weeks old now and we would hopefully picking it up on Friday (viewing tomorrow). It's from a friend of a friend and they are free so not breeding for money.

I have looked at a few vets and seen one that has a satellite clinic in our neighbourhood with access to 2 hours emergency vets and lots of drop in clinics.

Do you know how much it costs (approx of course) it costs to neuter a cat (we will do it regardless of cost but it will give us an idea of how many hundreds to save for!)?

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 03-Oct-11 22:32:03

Wrt neutering, it depends somewhat on where you are in the country and whether you are getting a male or female. Up here (West Scotland) we are £70 for a female neuter (spey) and £40 for a boy, but it can vary hugely. Can't imagine you would be hundreds though!! The reason for the price difference is that it is a more technically difficult and longer procedure for the female cat (they have a full hysterectomy and have their ovaries removed too, to prevent future health problems as well as unwanted pregnancies)

As far as vets go, well worth asking a few fellow cat owners if you know any- personal recommendations are always worth following up, and call up a few for prices/ to get a feel for the practice.

Your vet will be able to advise you about worms, fleas etc. Ask the person who bred the kitten what they have been feeding it on to date, so that you can continue to do so initially. if you want to change to a different food, it's always best to make the change gradual. Ask if the kittens have been using a litter tray, and about what kind of litter they are used to.

It sounds like you have thought about most things smile The only other thing I can think of that would be worth doing if you think the kitten will be going out is microchipping, but this can be done at neutering/ vaccination.

Good luck- and enjoy! Take lots of photos (and post them here!)

Be warned that kittens also tend to run up bare legs. Oh, and Christmas trees are much more fun when full of a climbing kitten.
Enjoy your new family member, there's nothing more fun than a kitten chasing a leaf when it thinks no-one is watching.

purpleturtletoise Mon 03-Oct-11 22:46:07

I'm no expert - merely the owner of a 5-month old kitten. She was spayed and micro-chipped last week for £65. Roll on Wednesday when she's finally allowed outside! She is very fed up being kept in all the time and has been trying to eat play with our feet for entertainment.

We all love her though. smile

TruthSweet Mon 03-Oct-11 22:49:16

Thanks for all the advice - I live in the SE so was expecting a hefty bill for vet fees but in the region of £70+ sounds manageable.

I have fond memories of my mum doing the washing up with a cat hanging off her trousers...

TruthSweet Mon 03-Oct-11 22:50:08

You can't let them outside until they have been micro-chipped?? I though once they had their jabs they were safe to go out in the garden?

purpleturtletoise Mon 03-Oct-11 22:52:25

It was the spaying I was waiting for! She has been out in the garden when we were able to keep an eye on her - it's a big garden with a good high wall. I was quite stressed when a week before her op she ran 20-25ft up a tree and I didn't really have time to wait for her to come down before going out. Thankfully, all was well, but it was quite a stressful morning.

purpleturtletoise Mon 03-Oct-11 22:53:44

The vet gave me the distinct impression that I should keep her in until she was spayed. Although, they are also prepared to spay from 4 months, so it's not too bad.

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 03-Oct-11 22:56:48

they will be covered against cat flu/ enteritis/ leukaemia from about 1 wk after their vaccines (some vets say 2wks- depends on the vaccine company) but some people prefer to wait until they are bigger and have been neutered before letting them out (often depends on your individual circumstances- eg if your garden is secure, not lots of bigger cats etc in the neighbourhood), so often folk do the microchipping at neutering as they don't intend letting them out before then, iyswim. The microchipping can be done at any age- it's just a bigger needle. Because it is a bit bigger it's often more convenient to do it when they are under anaesthetic, but it can really be done before that. It's more in case they wander off, so again, depends on your outdoor arrangement.

girlywhirly Tue 04-Oct-11 09:54:21

My vet said that they prefer to spay young cats at around 2 kilos in weight, approx half the average adult cat weight. It was recommended to keep the cat indoors until after they had recovered from the op. You could get a little kitten harness and lead so that you can allow your kitten to explore the garden without running off, once the vaccinations are complete. Also you can protect it from any neighbourhood cats that may suddenly appear.

As for toys, fabric mice, a 'fishing rod' with a toy on a cord, ping-pong ball, scratching post, paper carrier bag to rustle and hide in (cut off the handles), whatever you can afford.

When you take the kitten for the booster vacc injection, ask if the vet runs a loyalty scheme where you can pay monthly direct debits, to cover flea and worming treatments, annual boosters, healthcare checks and give discounts on spaying, diets and any other treatments/medications. It spreads the cost quite well, and kittens get 3 monthly health and development checks until 12m old, then every six months as an adult. I pay £10.40 the first month, and £8.90 for each other month every year.

stinkyfluffycat Tue 04-Oct-11 10:02:38

I'm in London and it was less than £100 to neuter one boy and one girl - less scarily expensive than I thought it was going to be!

Kittens will probably ignore anything you spend money on otherwise - they will prob prefer a cardboard box to a bed (all cats love cardboard boxes) and little balls made out of kitchen foil/Kitkat wrappers are usually more popular than actual cat toys. Also shoelaces, especially ones you are trying to tie on your shoes without getting little needle - sharp claws in your fingers.

Give kitten a snuggle from me and do put photos up!

TruthSweet Tue 04-Oct-11 12:03:50

Jooly - that would explain why my mum's last cat (now sadly deceased at about age 17) got cat flu with in a week of us getting him and having him vaxed. We shouldn't have let him out sad

We 'rescued' him from a breeder's house for £5 in the 80's - they were originally unsure if they had any cats for sale when mum rang them but then lo and behold Candy appeared. He was 4 weeks old and the last of his litter (the runt too) as the rest had been sold at 2 weeks.

His litter-mates took after the Persian cross mother but Candy appeared to be a small toilet brush with legs as his fur pointed the wrong way so he had been passed over.

My mum suspected he had already been put a plastic bag to be 'disposed' of when she rang as it was a Thursday and the ad had been put in the Friday paper so they had given him one more week before getting rid of him. He was always petrified of plastic bags more so than any other cat I have known - just the sight of one made him tremble.

I miss him sad he was viscous and hated people almost as much as plastic bags but he did appreciate you if you fed him grin

Sorry for wobbling on about a cat who died 6 years ago (who wasn't even mine!).

The tips for cat toy and bedding have been great - thanks. I have some small boxes about the size of a shoe box (but with flaps that could be taped up to make it taller) would that work for a kitten bed?

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Tue 04-Oct-11 12:26:42

My two are fighting with each other as I type.
They are boys and, having them both neutered, chipped and buying the first flea drops for them cost me £120 total.
We are Warrington.
Can you get two? I know there is a lot more expense, but mine really do play nicely together and I don't feel as bad when we go away overnight and leave them. Possibly just me projecting my thoughts onto them though.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 04-Oct-11 14:09:18

Dh cousin is in Bournemouth and it was £70 to castrate and chip, you must chip them in case they get lost or killed, the local councils usually scan rta cats, as do RSPCA, rescue centres and vets.

Ping pong balls are the best toys, cheap fleeces are good in case they throw up on it.

Pouch food is better than tinned, tinned food has a lot of cheap cereal and cats are obligate carnivores.

Only uses the safety release collars that snap open not the buckle ones with elastic, poundshop does two for a pound which is good as our cat is a three collar a week cat.

A covered litter tray smells less, smartprice litter is fine, wilkos do good cheap carry cases.

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