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New kitten alert - all your top tips please!(27 Posts)
So... we get our new kitten on Friday. He'll be 10 weeks old and joining my partner and I... no kids or other pets. I've been reading, shopping and generally preparing, but despite having a cat when growing up and having a dog from a puppy years ago, I'm surprisingly nervous about getting things right for him from the off! So... with your wealth of knowledge, if you were getting a new kitten now, what would your preparation priorities / top tips be, please?
He will be an only kitty but I am at home all day. The kitchen is where we will set him up to begin with and get a vet check within the first couple of days / injections etc.
My biggest concern at the moment is that on the 3rd day after having him I will have to leave him for 2-3 hours for a Drs appointment 10 miles away. Will he be okay for that amount of time so soon? It'll be a one off and obviously I'll leave him with eveything he needs.
I think I'm probably stressing too much when really I should just be soooo excited to have a small furry thing about the place again. We've been needing something for looooong time!
Anyway - I see it's customary to post a pic... so here is Timmy (so callled as both my partner's mother and my mother had Timmy cats growing up... so it's a family name) . He's a Russian Blue / Bengal cross as I'm allergic to most other breeds! (We have checked this out with Timmy!)
He is gorgeous!! Congratulations.
He will be fine for a few hours - after all you will be asleep every night and he will be left to his own devises. As long as he is warm enough and has plenty of food and toys - in any case he will be sleeping about 16 hours a day at that age.
One tip - he best toy I bought was a four way tunnel. My kitten has hours of fun running through it, and hiding inside.
My top tip for anyone getting a kitten is always to get two! They just grow up so much happier and healthier with a friend of their own size.
He'll be fine for a few hours. Just make sure, in general, that the kitchen is kitten proofed as much as possible - no access to small gaps behind units or cleaning products, sharp knives etc. Kittens get to anything and are super curious!
Are you buying a "cross breed" kitten from a private individual? They are often not the breeds they claim at all...
hard to say without more pictures, just in case
I second get two as well. It makes life much easier at that age.
One kitten will want to play constantly and wreck all your belongings.
Two kittens will play with each other, socialise properly, still have more than enough time for cuddles but spend less time wrecking your house.
They are also less likely to grow up nuts.
One tip that I used was to make some sort of noise whenever you are feeding him. He will soon respond to the noise so you should always be able to find him - very useful for when tiny kittens disappear in the house!
It's not that easy!! I'm afraid two kittens isn't possible... the breeder was let down by someone so this little fella never left last week when the others in his litter did... we were on the reserve list. And as I have allergies I can't just go and get another one from somewhere else.
It wasn't my first choice to go to a private breeder - which is where he is from - we tried rescue centres and would have taken an older cat... but as I am allergic those I can have are very few and far between! We found one Russian Blue in a shelter, but he was snapped up before he was even advertised, despite us visiting the centre and seeing him. The only thing I need to know is that I'm not allergic to him I really wouldn't care what breed or crossbreed he is otherwise... and I know a visit isn't watertight - but had no reaction then.
Wrecking my house and belongings... growing up nuts... not the breed I think he is... okay, not instilling me with confidence guys - thanks for that!!! For those giving positive comments - thank you, I appreciate it.
I got the only surviving kitten from a litter. She is six months old now and seems very happy. My friend got brothers who are two now. They can’t be in the same room because they fight so much.
I have only ever had one cat and I think they have been happy enough - and very well cared for!
Thank you Dollymixture that has made me feel much better - I was beginning to regret posting on what I hoped people might see as a happy event!
We take pet responsibility very seriously and have had very happy single cats and dogs in the family before. I hope Timmy will be too... he will be very much loved and cared for and have lots of time spent on him...
I am sure Timmy will be a spoilt little monster!
He'll need a Bolt Laser. My chap goes nuts for that little red dot.
Nothing wrong with having an only. It's true that two kittens are good for each other, but as they grow up they often grow apart. Of all the multicat households only one pair don't fight on a daily basis.
Oh yes laser pen. My kitten gets excited even when she sees the pen - isn’t jingles and she comes running!!!!
Start training him in all the things that will make life more pleasant for all. E.g. being groomed, taking a treat from your hand, getting into the cat carrier, being handled, a noise for doing to you, a noise to associate with "don't do that!", brushing his teeth etc etc
Had our 7-month old kittens for 9 days now. It's fab! Have fun and good luck.
Laser and four way tunnel going on the shopping list!!
Is a Feliway plug-in likely to help for the first week or two? Thinking mostly for when he's on his own at night.
I had one kitten for 2 years before I got a second. A boy and she was awful with him eventually had to give him back. A year later we tried again with a kitten the dog took a shining to at a friends house. She ignored her, wouldn’t be without each other now! Sleep together and play together
I didn’t need anything to calm my kitten. She was tiny when I got her (six weeks) and had been largely on her own on a farm having been fostered by another nursing cat after her mum died.
I slept downstairs with her the first night, she followed me up to bed the second night and slept on my pillow beside my head! I left out dry food, water and got a second litter tray for upstairs. That is now her routine. She still wakes me occassionally during the night, usually to let her in under the covers!
THe advice online can be overwhelming, and contradictory! Extreme views about one versus two, dry versus wet, inside versus outside! I have given up and just use my own judgement, inforrmed by my lovely vet.
Get some citron spray and put it on the arms of your sofa, bed base, bottom step, curtains, & anywhere else you think they might scratch. & also on any exposed wires they might chew. It's much easier to prevent these bad behaviours from the beginning than to try to change them later.
Amazon do a good one, search for pet behaviour spray
& don't be tempted to stock up on loads of one type of kitten food as they may refuse to eat that type (this happened to me, what a waste!)
Also don't bother buying loads of toys, they'll probably be happiest with a piece of string!
Invest in a cat tree. Mine adore theirs! Cats like to be high up.
We were nervous about doing everything right as well when we got our kitten as he was our first pet. We needn't have worried - he pretty much started doing his own thing from day 1! Cats really are very easy at that stage. They sleep a lot when they're very young so it's easy to leave the house. Food, water left in a couple of places (they don't like to drink near their food), litter tray, a comfy pet bed (not really needed for cats but we thought it was cute so we bought it) a couple of toys, that's pretty much all we had at the start. Oh, and some pet odour neutraliser spray and pet-safe detergent for the litter tray, all from Pets at Home.
The only issue we've had is that he doesn't want to go outside and so has mostly become an indoor cat. We hadn't anticipated that we'd have to keep clearing out the litter tray. We suspect it's because there's a vicious cat that roams the neighbourhood and regularly gets in fights - a few other people on the street have to keep their cats inside too. Not much we could have done to prevent that. I don't know if it would have made a difference if we'd started encouraging him to toilet and explore outside sooner (we had to wait as we were in a flat where he couldn't go out at the time).
Being an only cat he does want regular affection from us. But then he is an especially needy cat - some are much more independent. I am at home all day but if that changed we might look into getting another kitten. There is no guarantee they'd get on though so it'd be a bit of a risk. Some cats love being the only cat so I wouldn't worry.
Good luck, he's very sweet!
Timmy is gorgeous.
Where’s he going to sleep, as you refer to him being in his own at night?
I managed one, before caving in and having Matt on the bed. Now he alternates between me and the dds.
At the moment the idea is he'll be in the kitchen at night... that has been set up with everything he needs... however I'm not sure how long that will last!!! We've already ordered an extra litter tray so he can have one up and one down, so I'll give it a night before I probably cave!! Can anyone tell me, if we were to let him upstairs to sleep in the bedroom is he likely to settle or are kittens awake / disruptive in the night??
Think I've finished kitten proofing the house. We live in a large old 1920s house, so I've had to go room by room as there are various open fireplaces etc which need to be secured... I'm looking for hazards everywhere!
How’s he settling in, Pebble?
Dcat wasn’t too bad as a kitten in my bed in the night. A bit of walking on my head, a bit of pouncing on hands and feet under the duvet, but generally slept ok.
Good thinking for looking for hazards like fireplaces. Be careful if you have blinds. As a kitten, dcat managed to get caught up in the little plastic chain thing that fixes one strip to another at the bottom, and was dangling upside down by one leg. Luckily we were only in the next room and noticed straight away but he bit me bloody hard in sheer panic when I was freeing him. Blood everywhere!
I have a kitten, she's 20 weeks now and just been spayed. Is the two kitten thing like two from same litter or can I now add a kitten from wherever? Would she accept a friend now or just bully it?
Funny you should say that Papergirl I have literally just been tying up blind cords! I thought I'd got them all but had missed a couple out..!
He's settling in really, really well thank you! He's so at home already! He's gradually been shown the whole house, adding a couple of rooms a day but he's a confident little thing and very happy already to take himself from one room into another. He's been brilliant with his food and litter trays and soooo friendly - loving both his playtimes and cuddles... he's already purring like a motorbike! I think he's quite happy about his new home!
And yes... we caved on the first night!!! The only time he's meowed for anything other than conversation is when we went to leave him in the kitchen at night. So up he came and slept on the bed!! He's slept with us the last two nights, but now he's more settled and very used to the kitchen we may give it another go. He does like to move around a fair bit and he's very good at using his litter tray - but then the smell wakes you up at 2am and you have to go fishing in it as it's far too pungent to go back to sleep!!!! We'll see...!
He's loving his four way tunnel - great suggestion thank you Dollymixture . In fact he's just perfect... and having had to avoid getting too close to my cat when I was growing up (I suddenly developed an allergy to her 5 years after we got her) it's wonderful to be able to cuddle him and have absoloutely no reaction at all - no hives, no streaming eyes etc etc. I'll put another couple of pics up!!
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