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Advice for a new kitty mom?

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Old 08-25-2011, 04:45 PM   #1
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Default Advice for a new kitty mom?

hey all!

my husband and i just moved into an apartment that will allow us to have pets! and because it's a 2nd floor apartment, we've decided cats would be the best bet for now. the thing of it is, neither one of us have had cats before. he likes cats (his mom owned cats growing up), and i've always wanted a cat.

we need some advice!

good foods, good toys, etc etc. any recommendations will be great!

and you can guarantee that once we get our lovely new 4 legged kiddos from the shelter there will be a bajillion pictures. we just want to be prepared before we bring them home
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:06 PM   #2
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Cats are like people- they tend to be highly individual. Our cat, for example, can't stand cat treats, doesn't like catnip, and actually physically runs away when you try to give him human food (as if he's scared of it- it's so cute). Some days he'll be in to wet food, others he'll leave it alone and only want dry. His favorite toys are not the balls with bells in them, nor the stuffed mice, but a plastic straw (he'll play fetch with us and a plastic straw).

He's also very loving and affectionate. He'll cry when we come home- at first we thought this was because he wanted food, but it was actually because he wanted a hug! Give him food and he'll keep meowing, pick him up and give him a hug and he starts to purr!!

So I recommend just trying a lot of different things until you get to know him/her.

A couple of tips- make sure you buy dry food which is nutritionally balanced. Don't give him wet food too often, even if he loves it, because his litter box will tend to smell more! 1/2 can every other day is fine, but no more than 1/2 can every day. Buy some baking powder and sprinkle it on the litter box- the smell will decrease a lot if you do this! Change the box atleast once a week, or he could get sick. Buy a decent brush- it will help your house safe from excess hair and cats tend to love it. Also, though I've had female cats whom I've loved very much, in my experience male cats tend to be much more social. Some male cats "spray," but you can usually tell by visiting his cage at the shelter two separate times and investigating (especially the smell). Ours doesn't.

Also, consider getting an adult cat from the shelter. You can usually tell how well that particular shelter takes care of their cats (if by smell alone), so if you find a good one, you can be sure that he's had good medical care. Adult cats need homes much more than kittens (kittens are usually taken from shelters very quickly), and they are often more satisfying than kittens. In my experience, it's a little bit harder to form a relationship with an animal if you're constantly under pressure to train or punish it.

Good luck getting to know your kitty!

Here's ours- Weyoun- he's a bobtail and he loves to lay in the weirdest positions!
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:22 PM   #3
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Are you open to the idea of having 2 cats? They aren't much more trouble than 1 and actually can be less as they keep eachother entertained. Shelters and rescues often have already bonded pairs that they'd like to adopt out.

My husband and I were nervous about getting our first cat and although we were open to having 2, we only got 1. We pretty much immediately regretted it as we loved our kitty so much and wish she had someone to be with during the day. We adopted our second kitty about a year after. And really, I think we should've done it from the start.

We adopted a 9 month old cat for our first cat and a 3 year old cat for our second. They were both great in different ways. I liked that the 3 year old was already spayed, which is a plus of going with a rescue.

Toys vary but I have to tell you that our cats love a simple piece of string, shoelaces work. They will pounce for hours with you if you let them but they are interactive. Ping pong balls work well for things to chase as they are so light and move quickly. Other cats link crinkly balls and balls with bells.

The food we use is called Before Grain. Both our cats like it and one of my cats is really picky foodwise.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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I have a 1 yo tiger male, Cooper and a 3 yo black and white female Oreo. We had Oreo and got the kitten later on. At first Oreo was mean but now she grooms him like he's her baby! They sleep together, i love them soo much. They really make you smile and are easy to take care of. Unlike a dog, you can go away for the weekend and leave food out. This is them:
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:31 PM   #5
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we have already decided on getting 2 cats. we never know who is gonna be home when during the day, due to my husband's weird class schedule and my impending weird work schedule.

i'm very excited about it! a friend of his adopted a dog from a local shelter, and we are gonna talk to her about her experience and then visit that one and a couple others. i'm looking forward to having some fuzzy critters in my home again.

we are debating on whether to adopt from a kill shelter (and save a life) or a no kill shelter (and help fund the effort)... and i was already looking to adopt a young adult cat (1-3 years old) if we can find one that has been strictly indoors. i worry about adopting an older cat who has been indoor/outdoor and taking away their freedom to go outside and play. if not, then we will get kittens. they can't miss the outdoors if they've never been outside!

thanks for the words of wisdom, i love hearing stories and such. it helps me mentally prepare.
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Old 08-25-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
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My Cooper is harness trained! I never thought it would work but i tried at 7 months and now at a year I jingle the bell on the harness, he comes running, sits, PURRS like crazy and sticks his own head and arms into the harness!!!!! He really wanted to go out and now he doesn't know the difference of not being on the harness
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:21 PM   #7
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I have 2 cats and they're great. The most recent one is a shelter cat that I rescued (he's 11 and people for some reason don't want the older cats). He's such a good addition to our home! My other cat is also older, he's 14. As mentioned, they have distinct personalities. My older cat is very much the baby- he follows me everywhere like a dog, cries to be picked up, loves to be brushed. The other cat likes "daddy" best, is boss cat, sleeps in between our pillows, and doesn't care for the cat brush but he's funny because he grooms himself AND everyone else including the dogs and the people! LOL!

I second getting two, and considering getting adults. I always plan to have two cats, and as one crosses over the Rainbow Bridge I will be getting new feline friends from the local SPCA.
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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I have 2 cats, Jasmine (2yo) and Luna (3mo) and let me tell you. Jasmine is so done with having a kitten in the house. Luna is still real young and wants to run and play and Jasmine isn't having it. So my suggestion is to get 2 cats or kittens in the same age range. It will keep them busy and playing and it will keep your sanity. Luna is always going in time out (yes I put my cat in time out, and it works lol).

As far as toys are concerned, get the basics, stuffed mice are always a hit and stuff with strings and feathers. As a previous poster said with her cats not liking bells and cat nip a lot of cats/kittens are very picky and you will spend a ton of money on stuff they ignore. My cats also love balled up paper. I don't know why, but they love it. Straws too. Luna also LOVES plastic shopping bags so I have to make sure those are kept up high so she doesn't get to them. I don't want her hurting herself.

You will get to know your babies. They have little personalities of their own. They are great companions and very loving.
Post pics when you get them!
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:19 PM   #9
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Our cats loved twist ties from the bread turned into a loop. They could play with them for hours.
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:49 AM   #10
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Oh and be careful with rubberbands. One of my cats likes to eat them which is not a good thing. We've never had to take her to the vet due to it but a couple times i've caught her chewing on one and twice I've seen evidence in the litterbox...
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #11
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Be careful, also, of houseplants (some are poisonous to cats) as cats will chew plants. Flowers, also.

And that stringy tinsel for Christmas trees? Do not use. Some cats will eat it, and it can kill them.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:49 PM   #12
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we went to the shelter today to inquire about what we would need to do and what the adoption process would entail. while we were there, i fell in love with a pair of cats named pixie and brownie. they are sisters. 1 year, 9 months. sorta calico colored, only with very little white. their owner died from cancer, and the shelter refused to separate them. they've been there a while though, because nobody wants to adopt 2 adult cats. pixie is a little bit bigger than brownie with a white stripe on her nose, and that's really the only way to tell them apart. pixie is a bit shy, whereas brownie is more outgoing.

when we went in to see them, the lady opened the cage and brownie immediately started rubbing against me, then she jumped out of the cage and tried to climb my husbands leg. pixie eventually walked up to me as well, and started purring and rubbing against me too. she even bit me twice when i'd stop petting her to ask the lady that worked there a question. not hard, just wanted to get my attention. it was a "what gives? you stopped petting me..." kinda nip. the lady was very happy to see that, and said she'd never seen pixie so outgoing before!

the lady that okays the adoptions wasn't there today, she'll be there tomorrow, so we get to go pick them up after church in the morning. i'm really super excited! we went and got a litter box and a couple small bags of different brands of litter to see which works better for our needs. and we also got some toys. we'll get a carrier and some cat tower things tomorrow when we get the kitties.

this is good timing for us, because i'm on leave for a healing injury i can be home the whole time while the cats adjust to their new home. there will be many pics tomorrow!
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