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The litter tray

I came home from work to find a kitten in my living room

41 replies

BunnyBunnyBunny · 15/07/2014 22:06

It's our wedding anniversary on Thursday, I've been considering getting a cat or kitten for ages, DH has been very anti. Turns out that's because he was planning to surprise me.

So, I have a very cute as yet unnamed little black fluff ball hiding under my sofa and I need lots of advice quickly.

Luckily I was already researching kitten care, but DH is unfortunately not the kind to plan things thoroughly so I feel a little underprepared due to the lack of warning. He has a litter tray, a bed, a box with a towel smelling of mum, kitten milk and dry kitten food, water and some toys which he seems non plussed about at the moment.

How can I help him settle in, he seems very shy at the moment. DDs are in bed now but will be making sure they are quiet and gentle around him. The bunnies are not impressed, but they'll forgive me.

I'm very excited, I've wanted a cat all my life. Hope he settles in, tips gratefully received!

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 15/07/2014 22:13

How old are your dd & the kitten? He'll need some wet food but kitten milk can upset their tummies so water is best.

Sparklingbrook · 15/07/2014 22:20

Where did your DH get him from? Is he vaccinated and microchipped, and sorted for worms and fleas?

BelleOfTheBorstal · 15/07/2014 22:20

If he is hiding, then for the moment, he wants to be left alone.
You could try tempting him out with some kind of treat, but as previously mentioned, it should be something that won't upset his tummy.
Or try and instigate a game of chase, using something dangled on a string.
When we got our shy kittens, they did spend the best part of two weeks hiding, before they trusted us enough to come out!

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis · 15/07/2014 22:24

Oh if it was my husband he would be getting a VERY special present this evening. Wink you lucky thing.
What everyone else said, nice and quiet with little treats.
We look forward to pics.
Happy anniversary!

BunnyBunnyBunny · 15/07/2014 22:26

DDs are 2 and 4, kitten is 8 weeks. DDs are very used to animals so although I will certainly make sure to always keep watch I'm hoping they will be as good as they are with the other animals. I've also set him up a little space with hidey holes etc where the DDs won't be allowed so he can retreat.

Should I give wet food in addition to the dry? We've got Purina complete for kittens at the moment but I'm going to go via the pet shop and the vets after work tomorrow to get anything else we might need.

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BunnyBunnyBunny · 15/07/2014 22:31

Sparkling yes he's been vaccinated, chipped and wormed. I didn't think to ask him about fleas, thank you for the reminder! I'm going to register with our vet tomorrow and trying to arrange insurance now, does anyone have any experience with Tesco pet insurance?

Thanks ohwhatfuckeryisthis Grin it's taken him 5 years to redeem himself for forgetting our very first, but I think I forgive him now!

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ilovemydoggy · 15/07/2014 22:34

Direct line insurance are the best. Maybe not the cheapest. They had no problems in paying up when I had an ill dog and when we lost our cat they arranged with a local printing firm to do posters all we had to was pop in with a photo and 45 minutes later we had 250 posters.?

Sparklingbrook · 15/07/2014 22:37

That's great Bunny. I am currently with Direct Line for cat insurance. Sometimes the vets recommend insurance.

You will need to go round the house and check for anything he could hurt himself with/chew etc.

And lecture the DC ( or your 4 year old at least) about opening external doors/windows. They must check where kitty is first. I put post it notes on the doors to remind everyone.

Go and buy lots of toys. It will be about 4 months until kitty can go out after neutering. If he has entertainment he will be less likely to scratch/get into mischief. Grin

MysteriousCircusZebra · 15/07/2014 22:39

I would leave the kitten be. He will come out when he's ready. Just make sure you have food, water, litter tray out and carry on as normal.

BunnyBunnyBunny · 15/07/2014 23:14

He's crept out and is licking my foot while I try to pretend I'm not looking...I think I'm smitten already Grin

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timtam23 · 15/07/2014 23:24

Having unexpectedly acquired a stray 7-week old kitten last year, when my DCs were 3 & 5, I would say the kitten will likely find it all a bit overwhelming for a while and may not immediately start to play with toys etc. Always supervise the DCs with the kitten as they may not know to treat it gently all the time.

Also take care not to use your hands/feet as chase/play toys, this helps to avoid the kitten learning to pounce on little hands whenever they try to stroke it

I remember around 10-12 weeks my kitten went absolutely berserk, he would hurtle about 2 feet in the air off the sofa and velcro himself to me with his claws, it really hurt and my 3 year old in particular did not like the cat at all at this time because he couldn't cope with the claws & the sudden movements

Also I had forgotten how destructive small kittens could be, the climbing and the scratching! goodness my carpet & the sofa will never recover. You may be lucky and have a kitten who loves their scratch post and only ever sharpens their claws on that one thing, but maybe assume that any soft furnishings will be fair game!

1 year on, the cat has calmed down a bit and the DCs adore him although the 6 year old is definitely better around him.

RubbishMantra · 15/07/2014 23:27

Eight weeks seems early for vaccinations... Usually the first one is administered at 9 weeks, then the second a couple of weeks later. So maybe check that with the breeder?

BunnyBunnyBunny · 15/07/2014 23:28

Thank you timtam that's helpful to know. Luckily all our furniture is knackered so scratching won't be too devastating, definitely will pick up a post tomorrow though.

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BunnyBunnyBunny · 15/07/2014 23:30

He said there's one vaccination still to go rubbish. Going to call them tomorrow as, well meaning though DH is, there's lots I would have asked that I don't yet know if he has.

OP posts:
Corygal · 16/07/2014 00:21

What a beautiful furry tale!

Your DH is a most splendid chap.

BelleOfTheBorstal · 16/07/2014 00:25

My heart melted at "licking my foot"

Don't be surprised if you don't see much of him when your dd's are around, at least at first!

ThinkIveBeenHacked · 16/07/2014 00:30

Ahhh so sweet! Have you thought of a name yet?

SagaNorensLeatherTrousers · 16/07/2014 00:36

Envy I would love a cat but we live off a busy road. Sparkling in my tiredness I read your first post as: "Where did you get your DH from? Has he been vaccinated and microchipped?" Grin

Beautifullymixed · 16/07/2014 06:20


And look forward to the fun!

I didn't realise how cats change your life,especially as my children are no longer babies. I love nothing better than an afternoon snooze with both cats on my bed with me. In fact I should be getting up now but two kitties need
lotsoflove stroking.
Heaven. Smile

BunnyBunnyBunny · 16/07/2014 20:43

Saga Grin That's made me chuckle!

His name is Jesse, chosen tonight by DD1 who announced that it was her most favourite name ever first I've heard of it

DH wanted Woody as its our fifth anniversary which is apparently wood. I let them fight it out, but obviously the 4 year old won.

Registered at vets today and booked a health check for next week. He's been much braver tonight out exploring and knocking stuff over. Thank for your advice everyone, still can't believe he's mine :)

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dogfish22 · 17/07/2014 11:48

Oooh congratulations :) I hope your new family addition will come out of his corner soon... you must be so excited.

Just one bit of advice: Drop the dry food. It causes more harm than good (its the primary cause of kidney and liver problems and malnutrition - ever noticed that a cat on dry food will have a matted coat? ;) , its just a convenience thing for humans, and no - it doesn't do anything good for their teeth either, as they don't chew the stuff (if you want to do something for their teeth give them a raw bone - never cooked as these can splinter_, and dry food keeps them in a constant state of dehydration as cats usually get the majority of their water intake through food, not by drinking water. Dry food mostly has a lot of fillers in it (meaning grains, rice or similar) which are not meant for feline consumption, as cats are obligate carnivores and cannot digest plant materials, i.e. grains will not give them any nutrition - feeding dry food or a low quality wet food such as Whiskay is like you living off Kelloggs Cornflakes and McDonalds.... There is a number of good wet foods around, i.e. Animonda Carny, Mac's, and so on which have a high percentage of actual meat with no fillers.

girliefriend · 17/07/2014 12:05

Thats interesting dogfish, does that go for all dry food (even the expensive stuff?!)

My cats have a bit of both and are healthy.

Congrats Op we had a 12 week old kitten so am slightly ahead of you! I would suggest some dry and some wet food, I have given my little girl so kitten milk as she loves it but only a small amount every couple of days!

Our kitten wasn't that impressed with her toys, fav thing to play with was a scrunched up bit of paper Grin

Having got our older cat when dd was 4yo would suggest you do keep a close eye on them as I thought dd would be very gentle with a kitten when actually she treated him much the same as her soft toys and for the first few weeks was quite stressful!! Now she is 8yo and has been much much better with our new addition Smile

Agree 8 weeks seems young to have first injection, think our girl was 9 or 10 weeks. Also most kittens have fleas so just be on the look out!! Advocate generally is the best for de fleaing.

dogfish22 · 17/07/2014 12:12

girliefriend I treat dry food like I do Haribos for my DSD. Only once in a while, and it's only in the house because I have a pygmy hedgehog which has this as a staple food as they are omnivores.

To my knowledge there is no dry food that is completely free of fillers or any plant materials, if there is then please point it out to me. :)

The result of giving it to them is always that both of them are very thirsty on the next day (go figure) and they much prefer wet food or a nice little lamb chop over it anyway.

dogfish22 · 17/07/2014 12:16

A funny fact: When my boy (Savannah) came home for the first time, we offered him some Felix, which he was used to. He didn't touch it, and instead ate all of my Bengal girls food (no, she wasn't happy), which was Animonda at the time... Oddly enough his loose bowels that he arrived with were then cured as well.

BunnyBunnyBunny · 17/07/2014 14:11

Thanks for the food recommendations, I didn't know that about dry food I actually had thought it was better than wet food so showing my ignorance there. I bought him some wet food but he didn't touch it, should I just remove the dry completely and hope he gets the picture? Also didn't realise Whiskas was not good, I wish so many of these well known 'trusted' brands weren't full of crap! I will have to get some of the stuff you mention instead at the weekend.

He spent last night playing with the label on his towel in a cardboard box, and then this morning DD1 played with him with one of those dangly toy things which seemed to make both kitten and child very happy :)

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