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The litter tray

So it appears that we have two cats...

19 replies

3bunnies · 15/09/2014 23:11

Agreed with neighbours to take on two cats who singled our house out as a soft touch a while ago (neighbours had been caring for them but they don't get on with their dog and won't go in there for food). Their history is a bit hazy. They are brother and sister, probably under a year had flea treatment a few months ago (can probably get a close guess for this date and what was given). We don't know if they have been spayed/neutered although I guess if they haven't we could have taken on a whole family. The girl is skinny and v obsessed with food but v affectionate, the boy is a bit more chilled but still likes a stroke and a comfy lap.

I guess our main priorities are vet, feeding regime and insurance. When I take them in to vets what do I need to ask them to do for them? Microchip, innoculations, what else? Will they be able to tell from looking whether they need spaying/neutering? Should I take them together or one at a time?

For food we want fairly low maintenance for when we are away so I thought maybe one wet feed a day and then dry food. Any recommendations? They will need to be feed outside most of the time when we are away as cat flap isn't practical - planning to make their current residence in the playhouse a bit warmer for them. Will bring them in in winter and once convinced that they can use a litter tray (they were at one point litter trained but need to get a litter tray to stop puddles). We have not yet shut them in - they have always had a door open so far. Also need to stop girl jumping on surfaces and stealing food from the dc. Hoping this might stop when she is fed more.

So any tips or advice?

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 16/09/2014 01:18

Don't the neighbours know their history? Surely they can tell you if they had them neutered?

Anyway the vet (and indeed you) will be able to tell if the boy is neutered as he either still has balls or he doesn't. To know if the girl has been done they will need to shave her side to check for a scar. So this is the priority when you take them into the vet, as well as vaccinations and microchips.

They should also be de-flead ever month using a 'proper' treatment, such as Advantage, Advocate or Stronghold. They will also need a wormer every three months. Your vet will able to advise/sell you the stuff.

I don't understand what you mean by feeding them outside when you're away. Do you mean when you go on holiday? You plan to shut them out of the house then? That doesn't sound like a very good/nice idea. It would surely be better to shut them in if anything. Cats don't need training to use a litter tray. Just provide a tray, show it to them, and they will use it.

And in what way is a cat flap not convenient? Cat flaps are generally such a good idea and they can be fitted into walls, into double glazed doors, into windows ... all over the place really.

As for teaching them not to jump on surfaces - good luck with that one! I know that some posters on here have claimed success, but my advice would be to just not worry too much about it. I have cats sitting in on almost every kitchen surface in my house and I'm still alive:)

For food Butcher's Classic is a good quality, healthy and cheap wet food. Unfortunately though there isn't a good and cheap dried food. The cheap dried food (think Wiskas/Go Cat etc) can cause health problems, and are particularly dangerous for male cats as their use is linked to urinary crystals causing blockages. So you need to go for quality dried food such as Applaws/ James Wellbeloved etc.

soddinghormones · 16/09/2014 06:30

They will need to be de-flea'd, wormed, microchipped, vaccinated and neutered as a matter of urgency so you should take them to the vet ASAP - if they get on take them both at the same time (saves you having to run back to the vet every 5 mins)

Definitely get a cat flap - cats will be much happier and so will you!

Good luck with the no jumping on surfaces rule Grin

3bunnies · 16/09/2014 06:32

The cats were deposited with the neighbours by someone else who was staying with them but has just moved out and isn't taking the cats, they are going to enquire about any more history but we have to assume for the moment that they have none/ have done nothing. Since then they have more or less been living rough in our garden (I don't know where they sleep but they are always v close when they hear the door open). The boy in particular is quite nervous about being shut in the house. It's not a problem during the day as I work from home. Once he is more used to us we can shut him in, or if necessary find a cattery, but I don't want to freak him out and scare him off. I therefore need a strategy to work out the best way to feed them outside for the moment - the neighbours have said that they can feed them. We are away this weekend and next for example for my work and to see ill parents. Longer term we plan to move anyway and our conservatory is raised up so any cat flap would be at least 30-80cm off the ground. I think that we will let them settle in first before making any major changes for them.

The boy isn't neutered then. I had my suspicions but I wasn't sure whether they would leave the sack and just remove the contents. I am assuming that the girl probably isn't either and possibly pg although she has fared the worst and is quite skinny so I don't know that it would be kind to her to proceed (or indeed the cat population as a whole) if she is pg. I guess we will see what the vet says.

Will go in search of butchers classic today. How much do they need and how often? I think that they have been underfed for a whileso I don't want to over feed them too much too soon (the girl was sick yesterday after gulping down her food). On the other hand I want to renourish them before too much long term damage is done. I was wondering whether little and often would work better in the short term with wet food twice a day and some dry food during the day at least over the weekend so don't need too many visits. At least it is only the next two weekends and after that we won't be away for a while. I can't really put off taking them on though as I think that they will only get worse as the weather gets worse. I am hoping that when the boy is done he get used to being inside while he recovers and as his wondering instincts die down.

Will try to persuade dh not to worry too much about the surfaces then! I generally take a fairly relaxed attitude to germs and no-one has died yet!

OP posts:
thecatneuterer · 16/09/2014 10:50

Ok in that case you need to book them in for neutering this week. And if the girl is pregnant they should go ahead anyway. If she's small and young it wouldn't be good for her to give birth. And considering there are far more cats in the country than potential owners, every extra kitten born means another cat or kitten in a rescue basically doesn't get a home, as your kittens are using up those potential homes, then it is also the best thing for cats in general. And that is if you can even find homes.

For food, as they are currently on the thin side, I would just give them however much they want and then readjust if they start to get chubby. It would probably be one can per average size cat if they're not also eating dry. So a can between them plus dry should be ok. But at this stage if they're hungry just give them more.

Little and often is how cats like to eat normally so if you can manage that it would be better.

3bunnies · 02/10/2014 19:53

Quick update to say that they have now been spayed and neutered respectively and microchiped. Going back for inoculations once recovered. They seem quite at home here now.

OP posts:
HansieLove · 02/10/2014 20:16

Could we see pictures of them? Glad they found safe haven with you.

thecatneuterer · 02/10/2014 20:51

That's lovely news. They are so lucky to have found you. Yes, pictures please...

Fluffycloudland77 · 02/10/2014 21:08

Free cats! How did I miss this thread?.

Pictures please!

3bunnies · 16/10/2014 09:42

Collars are finally off them after the op and managed to get this photo just before the boy got up for a stroke. He is now friendlier than she is - he comes and curls up next to me on the sofa every day. She has had a rough time with constant diarrhoea (which I think had been going on for a while) but I think that the vet has finally got it under control. I wouldn't say that they were free - after the neutering, deworming, second lot of deworming and flea spray, plus two different medicines to stop the diarrhea our purses are somewhat lighter! They are lovely and affectionate and even dh loves them snuggling up on his lap!

So it appears that we have two cats...
OP posts:
cozietoesie · 16/10/2014 10:16

Well done.

Are they to be oustside going cats? (I'm thinking that if so, you'll need some appropriate suncreen for the girl's ears etc given that she's white - they can get cancerous lesions there.) Has she got blue eyes? I couldn't tell from the photo.

3bunnies · 16/10/2014 10:24

Oh thanks for the tip. It's the boy who is white, his eyes are yellowish. He does go out but doesn't go far. Fortunately there is quite a bit of shade too many kids toys in the garden. Every vet has asked if he is deaf, but he seems to be able to hear the sound of a tin opening from 50 paces! adds suncream to the list ofessentials!

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 16/10/2014 10:42

Ah - sorry, Boy!

His eyes being yellow lessens the likelihood of deafness very substantially. (It's blue eyes that are the bigger issue. Here's some background so that you can look vets straight in the eye. )

3bunnies · 16/10/2014 13:10

That's interesting, thanks. He has a little black behind his head. His sister is all black/ brown.

OP posts:
Siarie · 16/10/2014 13:16

My cats don't go on kitchen surfaces ever, they are not allowed. I've had them since they were kittens though so it's easier to enforce rules.Smile

Lovely picture! They look very comfy

3bunnies · 16/10/2014 13:20

They are much better now that they are being fed regularly and not trying to scavenge for food! They still seem to see the table as a fair option but I don't mind that so much I just wipe it over.

OP posts:
Shedding · 16/10/2014 13:20

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sylviet · 16/10/2014 13:21

Lovely cats.

My cats always have tried to jump onto surfaces, but just say No, firmly, and push them off. They get the message.

Congratulations on your new family members!

cozietoesie · 16/10/2014 14:34

Enforce the table as well. No mixed messages. Wink

(They won't be unhappy about it. In my experience, cats like a few rules as long as you don't have too many.)

Fluffycloudland77 · 16/10/2014 16:32

They are lovely. I used to put sunscreen on our cats ears.

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