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First time cat owner - what's your best piece of advice?

(38 Posts)
TartanTilly Sun 08-Jan-17 16:53:48

After twenty years of wanting a cat I'm getting a kitten on Saturday! I've already done lots of research and begun kitten proofing my house, but what are your top tips for a first time cat owner?

thecatneuterer Sun 08-Jan-17 16:56:39

Neuter at four months.

Seriously relax your 'houseproudness' (I know that's not a word).

dementedpixie Sun 08-Jan-17 17:05:50

We got 2 kittens less than a week ago and are still learning the ropes too. We have a scratch pole/climbing frame thing from home bargains plus a wavy scratching thing that they often lie on. We leave the cat carrier on the floor with a blanket in it and then they can play on it and go in and out so it's not a big trauma if we want to take them out in it. Plenty of small bowls, a mat for the bowls to sit on and a litter tray (we ended up getting a second one too). You will need lots of cat litter too and a pooper scoooper thing. I bought cheap nappy bags from Tesco and use them for the poo and then bin it.

As we have two they can amuse each other and they do a lot of play fighting.

Also took them to the vet soon after getting them and found out our two girls were actually two boys so had to rename them! Injections at 8/9 weeks and then 12 ish weeks. Need to be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks and then will think about getting them neutered when they are 5/6 months.

What age is your kitten?

lizzieoak Sun 08-Jan-17 17:10:17

Two things:
Respect their space - don't over-handle them. Be affectionate, but let them come to you sometimes.

Chat to them. All of us crave connection and while cats don't chat to each other (body language instead) mums do talk to kittens so they will understand that this is your way of communicating. I think chatting to them is vital to creating that human-car friendship.

DrinkingCocktailsInTheSunshine Sun 08-Jan-17 17:15:31

Will you kitten be going outside?

Cats are clever animals and I am sure you one will have you trained to his/her beck and call in no time. Enjoy!

TartanTilly Sun 08-Jan-17 17:25:07

Thank you for your replies everyone! She's going to be fourteen weeks old when we collect her, and we've made sure that she's up to date with injections etc. I feel a bit reluctant about letting her go outside because we have a golden eagle in the area (Scotland) and I don't want her to end up being his dinner!

Ruhrpott Sun 08-Jan-17 17:27:38

Don't let her out till she is neutered. Give her space and let her come to you.

Ilovecaindingle Sun 08-Jan-17 17:29:16

Make sure she knows her name and can answer it even if it's with the help of a dry food box rattled!!
Makes letting her out so less stressful if you know she will come running!!

TrustySnail Sun 08-Jan-17 17:32:54

Take the time to teach her to respond to her name - it will really help you later on.

I taught mine by repeating their names as I fed small treats, and gradually doing this from greater and greater distances - now they will come from all over the house unless they're doing something more interesting.

Weedsnseeds1 Sun 08-Jan-17 17:42:58

Don't take it personally when they reject the eye wateringly expensive luxury food you purchased in bulk because they lived it last week....

Upanddownroundandround Sun 08-Jan-17 17:48:14

Get a cat scratching post before you get her so it is familiar from day one. Also not dissimilar to baby, don't tiptoe round the little kitty too much. Do things like hoovering nearby in the first few days but not right facing her iyswim. Possibly with someone holding her if she seems happy like that but not if she isn't comfortable with cuddles.
Letting cats go at their own pace is important. You can't force a cat to be relaxed. You need to give them space to investigate on their own and places to hid like a cupboard box upside down with door cut out and a towel inside for curling up on. Also sleep with a towel or blanket for the cat all week so there is something that smells of you that you can use as a blanket or bed.

Upanddownroundandround Sun 08-Jan-17 17:54:37

Also only give access to one or two rooms at first. Gradually letting her investigate further. The kitchen is a good room to start with people just going about their business in the room but ignoring her as she gains confidence. I must confess I took my kitten to our bedroom at night but she was super confident but we had 3 DC and another older cat so wanted to protect her. I also used to leave a radio on when I went out in the early days with human voices not just music like BBC Radio 4.

TrustySnail Sun 08-Jan-17 17:55:52

Don't take it personally when they reject the eye wateringly expensive luxury food you purchased

Ditto when they ignore the elaborate cat toy you've bought in favour of batting an old sweet wrapper round the carpet.

Wishforsnow Sun 08-Jan-17 17:56:19

Know your place 😂

hollinhurst84 Mon 09-Jan-17 20:19:09

Don't buy all the food when they like it. Because the day after it will be the most disgusting thing ever, usually when it's on offer and you've bought 84 pouches of the stuff

brokenbone Mon 09-Jan-17 20:24:16

1) You DO NOT own a cat. The cat owns you. Once you get your head round that you will know your rightful place in the feline hierarchy. You have been chosen to take care of your master/mistress and obey his every whim.

onthelevel Mon 09-Jan-17 20:33:55

It really is best to restrict her to a small room for the first couple of days letting her have easy access to her litter tray and food, she'll also need somewhere where she feels safe, I had a small cat tree when my cat first came to us where she liked to sit/sleep;also a soft fleecy blanket for her to snuggle in.Good luck!

BantyCustards Mon 09-Jan-17 20:36:31

Hide the cheese

ivegotdreadfulpmttoday Mon 09-Jan-17 20:40:56

wishforsnow exactly what I was going to say

Vinorosso74 Mon 09-Jan-17 20:45:45

Be prepared to be woken during the night by cat climbing on your head, burrowing under the duvet, running riot arouns the place or deciding your toes need attacking.
Get the best insurance you can afford (vet bills are expensive).
Mostly enjoy having a feline friend around and post photos on here when they arrive.

somewhereitiswinetime Mon 09-Jan-17 20:59:54

Be prepared to have a little nutter on your hands who will randomly try to climb the curtains, jump up the door frames scraping their claws down your freshly painted woodwork. Oh and will likely meow outside your door if they are not allowed entry during the night....
however fast forward to being a year old + and they are the most adorable (not so) little thing in the world who always wants some fuss and is trying to please by bringing such wonderful presents - some alive some not so!!
We wouldn't be without her though cats are so entertaining !

Mner Mon 09-Jan-17 21:05:57

Don't buy them a cat bed. However tempted you are. They will never use it and will either use a cardboard box or your bed.

Toddlerteaplease Mon 09-Jan-17 21:25:01

My pair are both happily tucked up on/ in their beds! The main thing is to know your place and just enjoy the joy having a cat will bring to your life.

eleventybillion Mon 09-Jan-17 21:34:58

Ooh congrats OP

<settles in to await kitten photos>

Being practical, I'd get them used to things like vet visits, grooming, claw clipping, teeth cleaning and giving medicine. Much harder to to do once they're older.

Also don't, whatever you do, give treats when you leave for work at 6am unless you want to get up at 6am every bloody morning bitter experience grin

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 09-Jan-17 21:45:42

Be prepared to love her more than you thought possiblesmile

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