View Full Version : New Kitten
08-06-2008, 01:35 PM
We just got a new kitten! He is very adorable. I have had cats before growing up, but I've been on my own a while. Does anyone have any kitty tips they want to share?
How do I teach him that a lot of things, including me are not ok to scratch?
08-06-2008, 03:02 PM
Put your stash in hard plastic!
Congrats on the kitten, they certainly are wonderful to come home to. I think it's very important to feed a good brand of food to your cat, most of the supermarket stuff is not good enough.
08-06-2008, 03:35 PM
For your own sanity and his eventual comfort, learn to clip his nails. You only have to take off the white tips, and a regular set of nail clippers will work, hysterical TV ads notwithstanding. You can buy soft plastic nail caps that glue on. Most cats get over the scratching-everything-in-sight phase after a few months anyway as long as they have "legal" scratch pads to use. Sisal boards, cardboard scratchers, chunks of firewood with the bark on, discarded tree limbs...all of ours have had a favorite surface and a preference for upright or flat scratching.
A furniture hint: find a safe spice that matches your upholstery and rub it into the cloth on the obvious scratch targets. Whether you're in the room or not, kitty gets hold of fabric, lets go for a fresh grab, and fabric snaps back, poofing cinnamon or pepper or cornstarch in his or her face. It's very effective and I've never known a cat to persist (even the couple of not very bright but very sweet furfolks we've had over the years.)
08-06-2008, 03:37 PM
Right now I keep most of my stash in a closet, so hopefully the closed door will keep kitty out for a while.
What brand do you recommend?
The shelter used purina and said that that should be our first bag.
We went to PetsMart and I was looking at the different brands and was surprised to see how many have rice and things like that in them. Why should cats be eating rice? They are carnivores. So yeah, I don't know what kind to feed him.
08-06-2008, 04:18 PM
We have the nail clipper and will be trying it later today, and we'll be getting more safe to scratch things
I like the spice on the couch idea. I'm not sure which one would match... Does it get on your clothes when you sit on the couch?
08-06-2008, 04:33 PM
I would get a cat tree of size, something for him to sharpen his claws on and for him to climb. Cats will do both so it is a good idea to give him somewhere to do both. Even if is is one of the shorter ones (2-3 feet) that it is ok for him to do his thing on. As far as food, I feed my cat Iams (just regular kitten food) and always have. And get him a few furry mice, a couple of balls to chase and maybe some cat grass for him to eat up some. Heck, even a balled up newspaper can give a cat a hour or two of play a day.
Other than that, have lots of fun with thethe little guy and take lots of pictures then post a few here! We all love pictures of kittens!:flirt:
08-06-2008, 08:44 PM
Here he is.
08-07-2008, 04:25 AM
oh handsome boy!
isn't he lovely. I have always had success with using a water spray as a way of disciplining. Just get an ordinary plastic squirt bottle, if you are recycling make sure it had nothing dangerous i, incase the residue still lingers. If he misbehaves and you feel the need to punish him then just give hima quick spray witht he water. it is unpleasant to them so will deter them from unwanted behaviour rather but will not be harmfull.
Other than that lots of cuddles love, attention and playtime can never go wrong. Are you going to be training him to use a littler tray or a specific place in your yard? be patient with him, If you notice him needing the toilet move him toward the spot you wnt him to use and eventually he will automatically go there as cats tend to favour the same patch. You can help things along by putting one or two of his droppings there too, as they go by scent.
08-07-2008, 08:50 AM
What a handsome little boy! Although he does look like he is thinking "What are you doing and who gave you permission to do it?"
I agree with the use of a spray bottle, I just soaked my cat as she thinks it is ok to get on the table to investigate what is up there!
08-07-2008, 10:09 AM
When my cats were young, every once in a while (maybe 3 times a day) I would put them in their litter box just to let them know where it was, and what it was for. Neither one has ever had an "accident" in the house. Also, I made them each their own yarn ball, and they have never touched a project or any yarn I'm working with. Kittens are so much fun, ENJOY!!
08-07-2008, 10:42 AM
He is so cute. I'm allergic to cats but, I can look at them. It's neat to see the way the light caught his whiskers. Good picture!
08-07-2008, 03:32 PM
I wouldn't buy too many toys if I were you. Ours like cardboard boxes that packages come in or paper bags. It's usually the things you throw away that they love to play in. We've had so many toys and only 2 toys have been repeatedly played with. A scrunchy toy that crinkles and a plastic tennis ball (very small). All the others have gotten no attention from them.
As for the food, yes, cats are carnivores and should not be fed carbs in large amounts which is what dry cat food is made up of, carbs. We fell under the dry cat food diet spell for years and then one of our cats developed diabetes from it. So we switched them both to canned food and he is no longer a diabetic cat!! :cheering: Yes, most cats do fine with dry food, but it still isn't good for them. They don't eat rice or wheat or barley or whatever in the wild so why should they be fed large amounts of it? (This is just my personal opinion btw.) That's also why they get that little belly pooch. If at all possible just stay away from Wheat Gluten, it is not good for cats.
You've got quite the cutie pie there too. Congrats!!
08-07-2008, 10:07 PM
Thanks for the tips everyone! So far so good with the litter box. :) I need to get a spray bottle as he doesn't seem to know the different between his carpet and the kitchen rug.
08-07-2008, 11:33 PM
On the scratching - around here, cardboard is a big hit. I used heavy duty auminum foil on part of the couch to discourage couch scratching from one cat. It worked.
DH made a tall sisal rope scratch post. Big hit.
Human hands are not play toys, so don't confuse him on that.
Squirt bottle worked here too. Stopped drapery climbing and walking on top of the aquarium.
Library books and internet forums have so much information.
Handsome boy. What'd you name him?
I grew up with dogs. If I'd have known the joys of cats, I'd have gotten one much sooner.
Enjoy many years together!
08-08-2008, 12:24 AM
Oh. My. Goodness. What an angel!
08-08-2008, 08:19 AM
Every kitty is different, so just try stuff until it works. Itchy learned the litter box in about an hour. Really. The only thing that kept him off counters was sticky tape.
The thing about kitties is that they learn fast what is good vs bad behavior, and Itchy tends to use the bad to get attention. so even if your kitty does something bad, it might not be that he/she doesn't know better. Mine sure do!:roflhard:
08-08-2008, 10:13 AM
I agree on the dry cat food. My cat developed urinary tract infections and our vet said the dry cat food has too much ash in it. Also, my two like to play with boxes, yarn balls, and cigarette packs that are scrunched up. It is so much fun to watch them play.
08-08-2008, 03:45 PM
He's SO cute! Reminds me of my kitty.
08-08-2008, 11:04 PM
The shelter gave him the name Spaz. We haven't thought of anything better, so its stuck. Although he doesn't really seem like a spaz.
Maybe its because this is so new, but I'm feeling ambitious and want to clicker train him. Has anyone here had luck with that?
If dry food can cause health problems, do you feed your cats canned food? I need to check out the ingredients when I go to the store. That does sound pricier.
08-09-2008, 12:06 AM
The spices never got on our clothes, but then, the Late Great Fred only scratched the ends of the couch arms. You only have to put it where the cat scratches.
I wouldn't get horribly stressed over the kind of food. Educate yourself, but don't bankrupt yourself trying to get the most ultra-expensive stuff on the market.
08-09-2008, 07:15 AM
If a kitten is left with it's mother long enough it can learn how to use a litter tray from her. When we got our cat from the cat shelter he was 7 weeks old but we didn't need to toilet train him, he knew what a litter tray was for. Unfortunately he scrabs furniture, we got him a scratching post with cat mint in it, and he sprayed it so it was binned... He developed issues when a local cat got in through the cat flap when he was a kitten, beat him up and ate all his food... since we removed the cat flap no more spraying (he's now 13 and is neutered which we thought would remove the spraying issue, but didn't)
08-09-2008, 06:48 PM
So far so good on the clicker training. Today, I got the clicker and figured out which treats he likes. We were working on getting him used to the clicker and then started on "come here" and "sit". He's a smart little kitty. We'll probably do a little more before dinner.
08-09-2008, 07:07 PM
My cat Hobbes lived for 21 years on dry cat food, she was very healthy and happy. She had treats of wet cat food every now and then.