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New adopted cat

(36 Posts)
AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 05:44:22

Brought home a beautiful grey and white short haired 2yr old today. Got the "safe room" prepped but as soon as the door opened she wanted to explore, so we've let her and tried to follow her lead, telling the young DC to keep out of her way

She seems happy enough, has eaten and used the litter, is exploring all corners of our home. But this eve keeps periodically having very "kittenish" crazy moments, chucking herself around and whizzing from room to room. Is this normal? Should we confine her back into one room? I just want to make her happy and she seems to be taking everything in her stride?

mrsnec Tue 18-Feb-14 05:57:17

Mine is nearly 4 and still does that! She just gets these manic sudden bursts of energy. We just make sure we play with her once a day even if its just for a few minutes. Once it's established find some toys they like and play for a bit that might stop it running riot. Ours has a sqeeky mouse that she likes to chase behind the sofa. She's also fascinated with string.sounds pretty settled to me.

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 06:25:41

Ok cool - we tried to follow her lead but I just worried we should have kept her in the safe room and not let her roam.

We've put her in there to sleep (I'm west coat USA so 8hr time difference) and I feel horrid cos she's now miaowing. Put her bed, litter and food in there, just don't want her freaking out in the night and the kitchen/siting room/hallway is all open plan and DD still wakes in the night so didn't want to freak the cat out

Is this the right thing to do?!

mrsnec Tue 18-Feb-14 06:36:06

I think your situation is different to mine. We don't have any children and let our cat have total freedom of the place since day one. It's only sheer luck she's never broken anything!

You are getting a routine established now which is good.

We only occasionally shut the doors on the rooms we don't want her in and she sleeps where she likes. Only just bought her a bed!

Yours has probably got used to being around people and is lonely and probably not tired hence the noise but she should get used to it. Having said that it's hard to train cats! But ours is usually asleep within minutes after we've run around with her.

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 06:38:48

Ok, thanks. We tried to keep it calm today and tonight as the DC usually run around like loons before bathtime so maybe she's just in need of the same. We won't eventually shut her in the spare room guests won't thank us but we need bedroom doors open atm to hear bad sleeping DD. Maybe I should go and get a baby monitor so cat can be where she wants to be in the house but we can shut the bedroom doors. I don't mind her being in our room but not DC

mrsnec Tue 18-Feb-14 06:50:55

That's a tough one too! We let ours in our room and its not always a good thing. She is an outdoor cat and the catflap is in our bedroom and we live in a bungalow so she sleeps with us and wakes us very early which got a bit annoying which is why we got her a bed and put it on the ottoman at the end of ours. Just something to be aware of if you let her in your room she'll get very comfy!

I think carrying on as you are thinking will be ok. Other. Mners will be able to advise you better on the monitor idea. It's good but would that be a big change for the dc with the door shut? But yes the cat will also enjoy running around like a loon!

cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 07:53:52

She sounds like a very bright and outgoing cat who is out of a routine and needs to play and get some stimulation and company. (I'm assuming (as she came from a rescue) that she's neutered?)

She's come from a place where there was likely something going on all the time so is bound to be a bit discombobulated for a time by quiet and sleep hours. A few hours in your house is only the blink of an eye so I'd grit my teeth and hang tough on the routine - but see what play you all can do with her during the waking hours. Has she got toys etc?

Do you know any of her history?

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 09:49:50

To be honest I hadn't even consisted a routine outside of when to feed her! What do you do for a routine?!

Yes she's nuetered but other than that no history known - she was rescued from another shelter that euthanises animals when it runs out of space but they think she was owner surrendered as she's healthy and perky and confident.

Any other general tips? Suddenly feeling a bit out of my depth!!

mrsnec Tue 18-Feb-14 10:06:30

Oh don't feel like that! I just have moments when I wished wed done things differently. Especially when I wake up with a stripey paw in my face and worry I'll squash her in the night so we should have got her sleeping in her own bed from the start, that's just my example. I think for now in your situation just try the play thing and see how that goes if she doesn't have any toys you don't need many they needn't cost much. And scratching posts are a good idea too. Ours is in the garden. She sounds lovely by the way.

cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 10:15:10

You'll be fine so don't worry. Cats are great pragmatists and she sounds like a confident one.

As to routine - she should adopt herself to yours although there's always a bit of give and take. I try to make roughly the same times for feeding which is my 'give' - otherwise my cats fit in with me. (Although, to be fair, I tend to head for bed (which may be an 'in/on bed but watching movies or reading') at broadly the same time every night - so they're pretty used to that and can usually time their food by family movements if nothing else.)

If you're having a wobble, why not have a read of this. It's a UK site, so some of the advice on the site (eg vet services and drug names) may be UK specific - but cats is cats the world over.

(Be warned - that site is a bit sluggish this morning, so if you find it slow at first, it's them and not you. I guess they're doing maintenance or something.)

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 15:03:22

Thanks all

She was awake a bit in the night but prob cos DD kept waking, cat cried a bit but always settled again before I did and really wanted to be out of the room this morning. She's exploring again but still seems skittish - she's butting up against doorframes and our legs, then suddenly runs from one side of the house to the other. Both DC at daycare the next two days so she and I can spend some time settling her in

cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 15:43:42

It sounds as if she's just learning her new life. (And remember, she may have been kept in a smallish cage at the rescue so having a bit of room to stretch out and at the giddy goat may be nearly too much for her.) It all seems OK for such early days.


cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 15:45:42


Sorry - I'm trying to type with Seniorboy stretched nearly on top of me and seeking attention with The Paw.

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 16:02:08

Thanks for the reassurance!! She happily lay down in the kitchen cleaning herself while we had breakfast so I think you're right - the tearing about the house is just because it's so much space for her!

Yay! Next question - we were given dry food by the shelter but told she should have a combo? When would you give wet food normally?

AmericasTorturedBrow Tue 18-Feb-14 16:02:36

I have had a cat before but from the age of 8 so mum took on all this responsibility!!

cozietoesie Tue 18-Feb-14 16:15:26

Seniorboy has virtually no teeth left (he's elderly) so is on mainly wet food but if I had a younger cat who wanted dried, I'd probably give dried during the day - in foraging toys where possible if it was an indoor cat - and wet for the evening meal. That's just me though.

(Check you feed a decent quality dried food though and have lots of water around all the time for her to drink. I'm afraid I don't know the good brands which you might have across there but another poster might.)

mrsnec Wed 19-Feb-14 07:51:28

Sounds like she's settling in well. Ours has biscuits all the time. Whiskas. Then a tin of gourmet or pouch of wet food twice a day at about 8am and 5pm although she often asks for breakfast early. Might change this as it could be too much anyway, she is most lively after her tea so that's when we tend to play. Then she'll settle with us while we eat and usually for the rest of the evening. Sometimes she goes out if her boyfriend calls her! Foraging toys sound like a great idea. Im going to look out for those since necat likes to play with her food!

AmericasTorturedBrow Wed 19-Feb-14 15:24:47

She seems to be settling in well - last night she even just curled up next to me while I worked.

We locked her in the spare room again last night, mainly because our nights are so disrupted with DD I can't bear a frolicking cat added to the mix, but she got woken constantly by DD anyway and was crying from behind the door sad We have guests staying Saturday so would you let her out from now on? We've also been keeping her in the spare room when we're out of the house for now (I've so far been gone max 2 hours at a time as I don't want her to feel abandoned) as she's not learnt about not scratching the furniture yet - but I'm out most of the day, would it be mean to keep her in that room?

She is eating her dry food but not finishing it. Going to the vet's tomorrow to register her etc so will ask about wet food recommendations then

cozietoesie Wed 19-Feb-14 17:15:37

I'd be tempted to let her out tonight to see how it goes if you're thinking that she's settling. (Remembering to ensure/show her that she has a warm and comfortable private place to go if DD is rambunctious. If you haven't got anywhere obvious, a cardboard box with an old fleece in it is usually a winner.)

Have you acquired a scratching 'something' for her, yet? If she's to be an indoor cat, they've got to scratch something and my experience is that if you authorize something, they tend to stick to that. (Otherwise they might just have at anything they fancy.)

mrsnec Wed 19-Feb-14 18:25:40

Necat's scratching post is on an outside wall. We also have fake grass in the garden which she likes to scratch. As there is plenty for her to do out there she tends not to go to far. On the off chance you have sn off cut of that lying about I thought id mention it!

We still have a few claw marks on furniture though but I have more blankets and throws everywhere now than I did before she moved in. Good idea to ask the vet about food.

cozietoesie Wed 19-Feb-14 19:03:10

Seniorboy currently has an old (but originally very good quality) armchair as his scratching post. With previous house cats, I've had very good success with pieces of good quality carpet (free samples from the local carpet shop) rough-anchored to the floor in some way.

They've all treated any sort of official scratching post with utter contempt.

All of my cats have permitted claw tip cutting, though, which helps.

AmericasTorturedBrow Wed 19-Feb-14 21:54:43

she has a kind of corrugated cardboard scratching thing - we got it because we watched her use it at the shelter so thought best to get something she already knows. Despite it being covered in catnip she hasn't used it once! Slightly reluctant to go buying an expensive post but maybe we should? How do you encourage them to use it?

I think we'll keep her in the room again tonight and let her out tomorrow night, there's a old wooden chair in the sitting room she likes to go under and though she's ignored her bed maybe if I pop it under there she'll make it a comfy place to hide and sleep? I just want her to be as comfortable as possible - she's not showing any interest in toys etc but is still constantly exploring, she seems to like company but not a lot of heavy petting. Good news is she uses the litter perfectly!!

Thanks so much for your help and support btw

cozietoesie Wed 19-Feb-14 22:15:05

If it's under the chair, maybe just put a blanket or throw under there - or something similar and soft. Too much of a structure under there might not make it so attractive to her. (And she might actually like it without anything at all: cats can curl up on hardwood floors and seem perfectly comfortable!)

She's likely still learning too much and too excited to use her post but the usual rules - verbal praise when she uses it and a firm NO (or two) if she starts scratching something else. She should learn fairly quickly.

Oh - and good news indeed about her litter tray. Peeing and pooing in unauthorized places exercise many posters on this board.

You're doing well so far. smile

sashh Thu 20-Feb-14 09:54:37

They are called 'mad minutes' and cats win them from playing cat chess.

They have to be used up every day or so. We had one as a child who would run the length of the Livingston / diner (about 30 feet) and climb the curtains, swing for a bit and then run back to the other end, climb the curtains and repeat for 15 mins.

As for when to give wet food, in my case never/only as a treat, I don't like the smell of the food and when I had a litter tray I didn't like the smell of that even more.

AmericasTorturedBrow Thu 20-Feb-14 14:40:49

well she had another mad half hour last night - fairly hilarious to watch! I wonder if it's because she ended up being in her room most of the day because I had to be out. Apart from taking her to the vets to be registered today and doing the usual school run though I'll be home with DD so cat can wander around to her heart's content and we'll attempt letting her stay out this eve. Just annoying neither our kitchen or sitting room have doors on them!

She was crying again at about 5:30am so I think I have the joy of looking forward to being woken up by cat and children

I also hate the smell of their breath when they have wet food (our old family cat could only have wet food thanks to no teeth) but been told to make sure she has some for the water in it, and we live in SoCal where it's pretty warm

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