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Another novice cat owner here. Getting new kitten on Sunday. Advice please!

(286 Posts)
ToffeeWhirl Fri 19-Apr-13 14:20:31

I have been looking at old threads here and it's been really helpful, but still have a couple of questions. Firstly, am I meant to put newspaper down under the cat litter or just sprinkle the cat litter straight into the litter tray? Am not sure what newspaper will achieve, but have this odd feeling I should! confused

The other thing I'm troubled about is that we are bringing the kitten back in the car with us and it will be a four-hour journey. I have borrowed a cat carrier and bought some Feliway to spray in it. Am just looking out old fleeces and towels to make it snuggly. What I'm worried about is what to do about food, water and the kitten's need to wee/poo. It is toilet trained already (it's 14 weeks' old), but will it just do that in the carrier if it needs to? Could I bring the litter tray and offer that or is that a mad idea? I do have an absorbant disposable mat to place under the towels in case of sickness or anything else.

And I don't know what to do about food because some advice says don't feed your cat before a journey in case it makes it travel sick. But surely it's cruel not to offer the kitten some food on the journey? I will obviously be offering water anyway.

Also, a friend told me to bring ear plugs for the journey because the cat might be noisy. It's a Balinese (like a Siamese). I have visions of a four-hour journey from hell, with yowling travel-sick kitten and two wailing, travel-sick children.

ToffeeWhirl Wed 08-May-13 19:58:15

Yes, it's so good to see his improvement. He still doesn't play for long, but he's definitely feeling more inclined and couldn't resist the new toy.

And yes, there is as much mutual adoration between eldest son and Kitten as there is distrust between youngest and Kitten. I don't think the latter will change until the youngest settles down a little and becomes quieter and less boisterous.

ZebraOwl Wed 08-May-13 23:58:17

There may possibly have been some actual flailing over The Cute. Tricky to do that while (admittedly quite half-heartedly) stretching. Hem.

CBT is (as am sure you know!) the best treatment for OCD, so I really hope that your DS1 is able to start CBT ASAP (this all seems a bit acronym heavy, suddenly) & that it works well for him. OCD can be so hard to deal with for both the sufferer & their family: especially the question of habit vs compulsion. Don't be afraid to advocate for your needs as well as DS1's either - nor to make sure you feel engaged with his treatment too. Not in the sense of demanding to know everything he says, just in the sense of feeling you are able to support him through the process as much & as well as possible. Yes. Am very glad that Kitten Strachey is helping him deal with bedtimes in a better way - or rather, the way in which anxiety & compulsions will manifest at that time. Hopefully he will sleep better if he's less troubled by intrusive thoughts at bedtime & thus just feel better in himself generally.

Suspect you're prolly right that DS2 & kitten's relationship will be predicated on the former's bounciness levels - as KS gets more used to him he'll prolly cope a bit better too. Hopefully DS2 will warm to KS a bit more once he realises that there is definitely no usurping going on there, too wink

Am very glad Kitten Strachey's doing so much better - you must be so relieved!

ToffeeWhirl Thu 09-May-13 13:45:34

DS1 has had CBT twice, but we are pushing for a third time and hopefully with someone experienced with OCD sufferers this time. Am fed up with letter writing, phoning and arguing, but we will get somewhere in the end. DS1 really needs CBT with ERP for his OCD! (Very acronym heavy and hilarious when I'm trying to explain to concerned family).

Kitten Strachey is the most wonderful therapy for us all. DS1 fell asleep on his bed with him this morning, whilst I was nattering with a friend, and it was sweet to see them curled up together.

He still doesn't have his voice back (DH says he will be the perfect cat if it never comes back hmm), and he is still not very playful, but he is eating well and seems happy enough in himself.

cozietoesie Thu 09-May-13 13:49:27

The kitten time (and eventually cat time) will soak up any stress from DS1 - experienced it myself. It will really be good for him.


ToffeeWhirl Thu 09-May-13 14:19:37

That's good to know, cozie. It is not exaggerating to say that the kitten feels like a healing presence in the house.


ZebraOwl Fri 10-May-13 00:25:40

headdesk Yes, someone who's got experience treating people - indeed, not just people generally, children (& adolescents) specifically, because of their different needs. Is your GP any good at advocating for you[r DS1]? I am lucky to have The Best GP In The World Ever who has me on The Best Possible Treatments not The Cheapest (happily they sometimes coincide!) & will refer me as required & then chase referrals etc. (Which reminds me, I rather need to ask her to contact the RNOH because they're ignoring me. And if that's cos they can't do a cartilage graft to repair my knee I'd quite like to know that. Because that means having to start thinking about replacement joints. Which means thinking about stopping dancing. And possibly giving in to The Wheelchair. Bleurgh.)

Anyway, my ramble aside, a good GP can make a HUGE amount of difference when it comes to accessing care pathways. Do you have anyone who could help chivvy them along - I know DS1's home-schooled, but if he was previously educated outside the home is there someone there who could provide you with a supporting statement? Sorry if you are already Doing All The Things, am just wishing v hard I could help. Have you got anyone near you who offers cost-reduced treatment while you wait for the NHS stuff to fall into place? (Assuming you can't afford to go private. Not in a horrid way, just I know - having psychologist friends - that it is expensive. Not in terms of what you get, obviously, but in terms of absolute amount of expenditure, if that makes sense?)

Purr Therapy is wonderful. My cats are very attentive when I am More Ill Than Usual, too: if I've got to be stuck in bed I'd rather be stuck there with the cats for company. I've not needed to use my crutches since I've had the cats (well, I've not used them, anyway, hem) & they've never seen me use my wheelchair (not that I ever use it in the house, would be a nightmare, much easier to bum-shuffle!) & am not sure how they'd react. Well, am pretty sure with the wheelchair they'd be delighted to be able to snuggle with me all the time, bit worried they'd twine about the crutches & blond!cat would jump up to try to grab my hands. Ech. Think that (assuming it's not done as an emergency, which, y'know, I'd really rather not!) before my next knee surgery (or hips/ankles/other-thing-requiring-crutches) I'll have to use my crutches round the house to get the cats used to them while it won't be quite such a hazard to me! The cats are such darlings when I am upset, too: they snuggle extra-close & are super-purry & stroke me & blink-kiss & nose-boop. They have both wiped away my tears with their paws, too. Am so glad that Kitten Strachey's a happifying presence in your home & hope he brings you all much joy smile

ZebraOwl Fri 10-May-13 00:26:23

Caught again by the Asterisks Of Doom. Gah.

ToffeeWhirl Fri 10-May-13 10:18:13

Thanks for your advice and concern, Zebra. We are seeing DS's psychiatrist on Monday, but have been advised to go back to the GP if we're not happy with her actions. A letter from an NHS consultant is also in the post to her to urge her to take urgent action. Private treatment is not an option, for various reasons.

I hope you get the treatment you need as quickly as possible so that you can continue dancing. I'm glad your cats bring you so much happiness and are so comforting when you're sad.

Kitten Strachey is very hungry this morning. He's eaten two tins of Applaws chicken and lapped up some kitten milk. That must be a good sign.


cozietoesie Fri 10-May-13 10:27:28

Is he more bouncy?


ToffeeWhirl Fri 10-May-13 10:59:02

No, definitely not bouncy. It's lovely that we are able to give him endless cuddles without him wriggling off, but I do worry that he should be showing more energy. Maybe this is simply the sort of cat that he is or maybe he's still in recovery. I have no complaints, if so, I just want to be sure that he's ok.

Am sure, however, that he would not be eating so well if he wasn't on the mend.

cozietoesie Fri 10-May-13 11:18:06

I think he's probably still in recovery (and yes - the eating and drinking well is a good sign) but you have a point about his temperament. He's not only adjusting to the household but he's growing up very quickly at this stage. Remember that Siamese (Balinese) are great people cats - mine have always been much more inclined to cuddle and seek love than to play. (Forbye they have madcap moments.)


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