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Shalo

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A kitten followed me home... Reply to this Post
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I was walking home from lunch today with a friend and a few blocks down from my house there was a kitten in the front yard of a neighbour who hasn't been home for months. It then followed me up the street and into my property, so I thought I better look after it.

On closer inspection, I could feel every single bone in it's body, the poor thing looked as if it hadn't eaten in days, so I put it in the bathroom with some chicken meat and went down to the shops to buy some food for it.

From what I can tell, it's a boy, and is about 2 months old.

I've decided I'm going to look after it for a while whilst keeping an eye out for 'lost' posters in the area, and maybe make a few 'found' posters and put them around the neighborhood. I guess if nothing happens I'll just keep it.

I'm about to head out to buy some more food, a litter tray, and of course kitty litter. Is there anything else I may need?

The poor things been eating for almost half an hour straight now.

Any advice for raising a kitten?
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Shalo - Meridian
Lanfear - Meridian, Emerald

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Yummyfreckle

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Re: A kitten followed me home... Reply to this Post
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only advice i can give you is,give the poor little thing alot of love and attention.and play with it,they have a wide variety of cat and kitten toys you can purchase.giving the little thing a bit of milk once a day will help it to get its strength back. when i had a kitten,i used ot let her sleep onmy chest,in my shirt most times,i think the sounds of my heart beating,eased her to sleep.just contact with the little will help,very young and vulnerable right now,so watch it,pay attention to it and gove it alo tof love and affection :O)


Ladycindy
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[Mar 12, 2008 12:09:59 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Pianoman1125

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Re: A kitten followed me home... Reply to this Post
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As someone who has raised two, here's my advice.

Firstly, the litter box. Most cats don't want their litter boxes out in the open. Most homeowners aren't entirely fond of that idea either so find a place that's out of the way and probably dimly lit most of the time but that's still accessible for cleaning. I put mine in a corner back behind the couch in the family room. Secondly, put something under the litterbox; an old rug, a large plastic sheet, mini tarp, wood plank, something that can sit under it and stick out about a foot in each direction. Even the best behaved cats will toss some litter out while they're getting comfortable and having something you can just pick up and dump the litter off of is a lot easier than sweeping it up everytime. Thirdly, make sure the cat knows where it is, then don't move it! Instinct is instinct. I once tried to move a litter box on my old kitten, well he went right back to where the box *used* to be and made a mess on the floor.

Now, once you place the litter box and fill it with litter pick up the kitten and put him in the box. If he does something right away, that's fantastic and there's a good chance you won't have to worry about this ever again. If he jumps right back out then there's a little more to it. Firstly, confine him to the room with the box. Close all the doors, make sure he's within walking distance at all times. Every 20 minutes or so, just pick him up and put him in the box. Wash, rinse, repeat till something happens. As for the litter itself, I recommend unscented. Fresh Step is what I think I use but honestly I vary from what's on sale and my kitty never seems to mind. (Hence the unscented, if there's no smell, they're less likely to get upset if you change brands on them.)

Now, food. Depending on the breed of cat, there are definitely things you shouldn't feed him. If you'd be willing to post a picture, I can probably identify the breed. Most cats, however, react quite well to the following diet.

You know those little flat circular cans of wet food? Get one of those and divide it into 4 quarters. Give him one quarter in the morning, and one quarter in the evening. Match it up with your breakfast and dinner and he seems happy. Then, get a big ole bag of dry food or kibble and keep a bowl full at all times. Most vets I've talked to agree that this amount of wet/dry food is plenty enough to get the nutrients and protein in their system for an averaged size healthy cat without overfeeding them. Apparently, they are much likely to stop eating when they are full with dry food then they are with wet so hence the limited wet and all the time dry.

I recommend 9 Lives brand. Good quality, healthy choice, good on teeth, and honestly cheaper than Fancy Feast or Choice Select with the same benifits. (I don't know if you live in the U.S., but Publix does a buy 1 get 1 free on that all the time. Stock up when they do. :) ) Also, keep a bowl of water out and try and stay away from saucers of milk, it's actually not very good for them.

Next, a couple things you should figure out about the kitty. If it's a boy is it neutered? If it's not, and you end up keeping it long term, then you might want to consider getting the relatively inexpensive procedure done. Cats with all of their...ummm...bits and pieces are far more likely to spray and forget box training when they hit puberty than neutered ones are and unless you plan to breed him, there's enough poor abandoned cats already, no more need to be made right now. Secondly, is he declawed? (Probably not if he's just a kitten as you usually have to do it when he's a few months old.) If he is, then there's not much you can do but enjoy not being scratched. If he isn't, I highly recommend *against* declawing unless your furniture is more precious to you than the knuckle bones of a poor defenseless kitten. Declawing is actually quite inhumane and I have not had it done on any of my cats. A properly loved cat actually learns to keep it's claws in with time, just takes patience. You can also get little rubber caps that glue on the claws so they can't scratch anything. It's your choice but I recommend against declawing if you decide to keep him long term.

Lastly, and most importantly: LOVE THAT CAT! Craddle and huggle that little kitten whenever you feel the need to. Firstly, it will make you feel better and, studies show, live up to 10 years longer. Secondly, when kittens are young, human affection has a lot to do with how kind and affectionate of a cat they will grow into. One that doesn't get hugged or paid attention to usually becomes one of those fat, smelly cats that sits there and hisses at everyone with litter caked to it's butt. Cats that are loved become that cute one that fall asleep next to you on the sofa and kindly wake you up in the morning 30 minutes before your alarm by running their tail under your nose and headbutting your chin to tell you it's breakfast time.

So there, that's mostly cat ownership for you. Enjoy it, they're so cute and fun to have around. Feel free to PM me with any specific questions, I have a lot of experience.

~The Maestro
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[Mar 12, 2008 12:19:46 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Pianoman1125    Your average cupcake is just not as tasty. [Link]  Go to top 
bronzebeard

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Re: A kitten followed me home... Reply to this Post
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Fatten it up then eat it.
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[Mar 12, 2008 1:39:45 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Shalo

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I put the litter box in the corner of the bathroom, with some newspaper under it (but that wasn't until after he spilled it all over the floor), he's gone in there once so far this afternoon after placing him in there so that's looking good. I just went for the cheap home-brand litter as it was $3 a bag, and I'm a little short on money at the moment.

I have no idea what breed he is, but he is black with white 'socks' and a white chest and a little white moustache, if that helps. He's probably just a tomcat (if that's the cat equivelant of a 'mutt'?). I'd post a picture but I currently don't have one, but will work on borrowing one from somebody.

I reside in Australia, so 9 Lives and Publix might as well not exist. I got a few random cans and a box of dry food of the Whiskas brand, since that seems to be a popular brand.

It's definately a boy, but I would have no idea if it's a neutered. Is there any way to tell? And no, he isn't declawed, but I've only seen him scratch when scratching him behind the ears. If he does develop the habit to scratch furniture, I'm not really fussed, as all my furniture is cheap stuff bought from The Warehouse, and looks bad enough as it is.

He loves attention, and is currently sleeping in my lap. He doesn't seem to be playful. I tried getting some ribbon and running it across the ground etc. but he couldn't care less. Very adventurous though, so I have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't get anywhere he should.

At the moment, for names it's a toss up between Lolcat and James Dean (JD for short), but I remember that dogs respond well to certain types of names, and was wondering if it's the same for cats.

Thank you very much for the advice, he's just so cute and cuddly it makes me wonder why I never had a pet cat as a child.
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[Mar 12, 2008 1:50:36 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
PogoBeta

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General advice about cats

  • Although a cat may be creepily thin, it's not usually advisable to let the cat eat until it decides to stop. Many animals operate under the assumption that it may be a long time before it finds food again, and will, as a result, eat until they physically can't eat anymore. I've heard of the routine wet + permanent dry method that Muffynz mentioned. According to some other cat owners I know, it's quite the solid method, as long as the cat knows the food will be available (and therefore will not constantly gorge itself).

  • Don't get the claws taken out of a cat. It's not the same as getting your nails trimmed. It's the same as getting bones taken out of your fingers/toes. To me, this is worse than parents taking their babies to get their ears pierced.

  • An especially young cat (and definitely a cat in a new home) might need a few practice swings in using the litter box. Even if you've placed the box in a secluded area and shown it to the cat, the cat might still need a while to get oriented and comfortable.

  • If you must feed milk to the cat, do so in minimal quantities. Milk (especially people-milk cow milk) frequently causes diarrhea and sometimes vomiting in cats, especially when they're not accustomed to it. There are substitutes available that contain the substances that young cats actually need and are able to digest better.

  • Never count on finding posters regarding a lost pet. Housecats, as well as strays, can bear a litter of offspring in the outdoors, and the babies can eventually wander out into the unknown. Additionally, some people just plain abandon their pets. It's certainly possible that the animal could be someone's pet, but if you're willing to care for it in the meantime, you should be prepared. Buying food in larger quantities in advance (once you've established which food is ideal and accepted) can make it easier to develop a comfortable routine. Also, if you buy too much box litter, you can always keep the excess in a container in your car, in case you are ever stuck in a situation where you need to throw some litter under your tires.

  • Cats enjoy sitting in windows. The view is nice, and there's lots of moving stuff to fantasize about killing. Windows screens usually pop out easilt and aren't usually enough to keep a cat inside. If you don't want your cat outside (or if you live high above ground level), it's recommended that you don't let the cat sit in the open window.

  • Cats can get anywhere. I've seen them squeeze through the crack under a door, jump up over a 4-foot high shelf, appear in a physicist's box, climb pretty much anything, and get surprisingly long distance from a standing jump. Don't be surprised to find your cat on top of your refrigerator. If there's something that the cat wants, it will keep trying until it eventually finds a way to reach it. Keep this in mind when considering the above advice regarding windows.

  • Cats will usually try to capture and kill anything smaller than themselves. This includes small rodents, spider, flies, bees, and a large number of other tiny creatures.

  • It may be enjoyable to watch a cat chase after a laser pointer (and can provide good exercise), but it is just as dangerous to the eyes of a cat as it is to the eyes of people.

  • Cats don't care how much money you spent on those cute brightly-colored toys at the pet shop. The paper grocery bag is a lot more fun, as is the balled-up paper towel. Every cat I've ever had absolutely loved ping-pong balls, and also unfortunately those little wire twisty-ties that come on things like bagged bread (it's not advisable to allow the cat to chew on metal). My last cat enjoyed batting Dum-Dum pops around on the loud tile kitchen floor.

    My recommendation for cat toys is to get a cheapo teddy bear (or equivalent children's stuffed animal) with nothing chokable or tooth-threatening (it will get mauled), and a 6-pack or so of ping-pong balls (don't release them all at once. They're quite noisy when bounced around in the middle of the night, and it's good to have a backup in case you accidentally crush one under your heel while you're running to the kitchen to shut the oven off because the last time you left the pizza in for "just one more minute", it turned damn-near black.)

    So yeah. Cheap teddy bear and some ping pong balls.


    This cat was* ours (presumably previously-owned) found wandering around outdoors, days before a terrible snowstorm


    Note that the bear is missing an arm. The bear was not missing an arm when we presented it.



    *some friends adopted him after we found out our new landlords weren't going to honor the pets clause in the lease (interesting, considering the building had nothing to lose from animal damage, and the landlords each owned many, many pets).
    ----------------------------------------
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  • [Mar 12, 2008 1:52:41 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    mari_

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    I would also recommend the wet+dry method for feeding, it seems to help balance out a cats need for food without them gorging themselves (particularly in cases of rescued cats).

    A kitten needs stimulation and entertainment, just like any young animal, they are naturally inquisitive and generally pretty naughty (I have one who just adores climbing up the chimney from the fireplace). But an important thing to remember is cats are also pretty independent creatures, if they want play, love, cuddles etc they will seek it out from you. As much as it is important to make your new kitty feel loved, it is equally important to let him have his own time/space.

    Cats love warm, sunny spots, and comfy places to curl up and sleep - and boy oh boy do cats sleep, don't be alarmed if he sleeps for numerous hours per day.

    You will need to decide if your cat is going to be an indoor only, an outdoor only or a mixture of both. As yet he is probably too young anyway, but if you and he (yes he will make his runs for freedom) decide he is going to venture outside then he it is advisable to get his vaccinations done, and also make sure you get some worming tablets and administer those on a regular basis to stop him catching them. You might also want to think about giving him flea treatment regularly too. However, if he is going to remain an indoor cat, the former mentioned things are not so necessary, although most vets would still advise you to do them. Being a male cat I would highly recommend if you do keep him to get him neutered. Toms are known for "spraying" a lot to mark their territory, even if they are indoors cats, and trust me the smell from this is disgusting. It can also help with aggression and if they are a cat that goes outside stop them roaming looking for females in heat. From the animal welfare side of things it also stops lots of unwanted kittys being born out there who could end up in similar situations to your little one.

    Finally and most importantly, enjoy your kitty, they are such funny creatures, smarter than a lot of people make allowances for. Whatever you name him stick to it, they do "learn" the sound of their name. They have a lot to give back, enjoy the time they want to spend with you, stroking a cat on your knee is very theraputic, particularly when you've had a bad day!
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    [Mar 12, 2008 3:12:12 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    nunny_45

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    Poor little kitty :P eveyone wants to take his manhood away.

    Have ye checked if its been microchipped? alot of pets now a days are microchiped if they have previous owners. If it isnt it is a good idea to get him microchipped as it can help if he gets lost and can be identified.
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    [Edit 2 times, last edit by nunny_45 at Mar 12, 2008 4:44:59 AM]
    [Mar 12, 2008 4:35:24 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    Drusilla

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    Aww, lucky kitten to find a loving human! You're doing great so far, and I second the tips other people have given you. Here are a couple more for good measure that benefitted my kittens.

    *Groom him. It will be immeasurably comforting, and it will show him that proper hygiene is important. The best way to do this, I've found, is to use a cup of water and a rag. Dip just a corner in the water to moisten and stroke his fur gently with it, similar to what his mama would have done but with no licking involved. Make sure to keep his little behind clean, as well - it can be hard for a kitten to clean up after himself at first.

    *Strays or kittens weaned too early often try nursing on blankets, sweaters, pillow cases, et c. There's just no easy way to deter them, and it usually doesn't harm anything - it's just a comfort mechanism - but some people find it annoying. "Kneading" with his paws doesn't necessarily precede nursing, either, so don't worry about that behavior. If he exhibits this tendency and you would rather he not nurse on your sweater, try giving him a certain blanket (the softer the better, I've found) every time he tries; he may get the idea and only use that blanket for comfort-nursing.

    *Instead of feeding them milk or cream, try soy milk if you keep it around the house. It sounds odd, but cats do love a treat and mine go nuts over this.

    *Keep the food far from the litter! Cats are prissy things, and eating next to the toilet is just as objectionable to them as it is to us. Like the litter, don't move the food around too often. If you find yourself having to move it for some reason, do it gradually if you can.

    *Speaking of food, try not to switch food brands too often! This can cause stomach upset, and that's no fun for either of you.

    *Get your boy a vet check-up as soon as you can. Many strays have gastrointestinal diseases or parasites that are uncomfortable to them but easily cured; dental and eye problems are also very common among cats.

    *For now, see if you can find a food specifically for kittens. It will be richer and more nutritious, full of the fats and vitamins he needs.

    Snuggle that baby for me!
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    Avast! Jesus were a leopard.
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    ladyrayth

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    Poor little thing! Most everyone has given you great advice (especially Muffy).

    I would just say that he's probably not playful right now because of a couple of reasons. First he's malnourished and it will take a while for his body to recover. Second, if he's not been a loved kitty he's probably never played the way humans play with cats before. It takes them a while to learn to pounce on non-food objects sometimes.

    On the health issues. Watch to see if he shakes his head a lot and scratches at his ears a lot. If he does and has black stuff in his ears he needs ear mite treatment. Its a really common problem for cats. More annoying than anything for them, the ear mites won't bother you.

    On names, just make sure you name him something that has a distinct sound and that you won't be embarrassed calling him in public.

    With food, watch the ash content. It can cause urinary problems later on. I have to buy the more expensive low-ash food for my neutered tomcat or I'll be cleaning up a LOT of cat pee (he's 20 pounds and has a bladder capacity of Mary Poppin's handbag).

    Thanks for caring for the little rascal you found! The love a cat can give you is unending.
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    davsbrander

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    Aww man! I really miss my cats now =(

    I would fully agree with everything posted so far... Albiet I had never heard of de clawing but it sounds inhumane and disgusting. Be sure to get him neutered tho, the last kitten we adopted was a male and we had to put off his neutering due to lack of funds and he was found run over on a road not far from my house.

    The cat was one we found as a VERY small kitten was too young to be removed from its mother but didnt know where it came from. It obsessed with being on my bed at night and didnt know how to use a litter tray, consequently it meant a daily change of bedding and plenty of showers lol. (It worked it out after 3/4 days with coaching =) )

    Wet/dry is how I have always fed my cats, not always morning/evening but often when they bugged me into feeding them... Save on wastage too, and with dry food there 24/7 it wont go overly hungry.

    Try to limit it to cat food tho... My cat got a taste for chicken =/ basically gave up eating cat food which could have got expensive quickly...

    Basic things are what have been said already, wet/dry food, neuter it, and give it love and huggles!

    lolcat as a name? Nah JD sounds better =)
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    Davsbrander
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    LtJamesDoom

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    At the moment, for names it's a toss up between Lolcat and James Dean (JD for short)


    Heartily endorse!

    First thing you need to do is get that cat checked out by a vet and get his shots up to date. Seriously. The vet will find out more information about the cat by looking at him in one minute than everyone here could in an hour.
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    [Mar 12, 2008 7:13:34 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    fanta

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    First thing you need to do now it take it to a vet. If it has been living on the streets for some time, it'll have worms and fleas and who knows what other parasites. Most likely it also never had any vaccinations yet either. Yes, this will cost you money, but at the very least it'll need to be checked over and the parasites need to be dealt with. I also do not know how dirty it is, but if it has been on the streets for some time, it might be necessary to wash it once, just to get it clean.

    Also check your house. Just like when you have a little kid, you need to go around your house looking for hazards. If you have plants, check if any of them are toxic to cats. Be careful with little things they might end up eating. I'd link you to some sites, but the only ones i know are in dutch, i'm sure there are english sites about hazards as well.

    I feed my cat the more expensive dry food from royal canin. It looks expensive, but they eat much less of it then when you give them the cheap stuff. So in the end you are not really spending that much more. And if you buy a larger quantity, you are paying a lot less. The cheap food is also way more salty, which is more likely to cause kidney problems later on.

    I make sure she always has water and dry food, and only give her wet food like twice a week or so. Do watch it doesn't over eat. Mine was very food focussed when i got her, but changed when she realized that food was for her alone and always there. But a stray may always remain obsessed with food, and may eat to much all the time.

    A litterbox, yes, the brand of litter doesn't really matter that much for the cat, but the cheaper stuff again may end up being more expensive, because you have to change it more often. I get litter that forms clumps that i can just scoop out. So i use less litter then when i have to empty out the box each time.

    If you are going to keep him, You might also need something like a pet carrier to take it to the vet. And perhaps in time a scratching post. For toys, yes, mine loved her bear, loved the little balls i made out of paper. She does have way to many toys, but since she is an indoor cat, she needs lots to keep her busy. She loves the little soft sort of balls i got her. I can throw them, and they never break anything or hurt the cat, they are also not a problem if you step on them. sort of a foamy rubber balls i guess. She also loves the fake furry little mice i got her. She keeps hiding them all over the place. But yeah, you do not need to buy expensive stuff. Many cats like catnip, i usually put some in an old sock. Also, many cats like valerian, i have a bottle with valerian tincture, and usually put some drops on her bear.

    And of course lots of love, sounds like it made a good choice to follow you home. And be patient, it probably missed out on a lot, never learned things, might not even fully trust people. It'll need to get used to being safe and cared for, and learn some rules. When teaching it, be consistent, yes, you can teach cats some rules.
    ----------------------------------------
    Pleun,
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    [Edit 1 times, last edit by fanta at Mar 12, 2008 7:35:23 AM]
    [Mar 12, 2008 7:31:09 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    ellopoppet

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    I've hand raised two stay kittens, the fun find that are wild like barn kittens until they get use to humans.

    If the kitten is about the age you think it is, watch to make sure he goes the bathroom soonish. Feeding a eight week old kitten chicken tends to clog them up rather well. In the end the poor thing will just walk around crying because it can't go the bathroom. This happens alot when kittens are weened and given real food. If it happens dip your finger in oil, sunflower, veggy, or cooking will be fine and place your finger in his mouth. He won't be happy but it nearly always does the trick of clearing up the problems.

    Stray kittens are use to sleeping in small safe spots, you may find that he is happiest sleeping in a shoe box vs a pet bed. Odds are the kitten you picked up also has worms. At eight weeks you can get the pills that you can mix into their food for rather cheap and be sure he has no fleas. The can suck a amazing amount of blood out of small kittens to the point of killing them.

    Other than those things have fun! He'll need tons of attention and take up a great deal of your time for a bit. Be wise and spend it now though, attention when they are young makes them so much more social when older.
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    [Mar 12, 2008 7:39:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    nunny_45

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    I find if you need to give them pills rap them up in a little sliced ham :P worked wonders for the stray we had living in the shed... though i still dont know were it went now.... tends to go for months on end and pops up again for a few days.
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    Nunny
    [Mar 12, 2008 7:49:03 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    frogkissed11

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    Re: A kitten followed me home... Reply to this Post
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    You've mentioned being low on cash- mine was localized, but I do know that there are organizations that have programs with some vets to do cheaper neutering. We did this with our dog (but the program had cats listed as well) and it was considerably cheaper to do than just paying the vet's normal price. Try contacting your area's version of the SPCA- they may also be able to help with the cost of those initial shots as well.

    Can't wait to see a picture of your cute little guy.
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    [Mar 12, 2008 7:56:26 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Hidden to Guest [Link]  Go to top 
    nunny_45

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    RSPCA down here in Aus.
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    Nunny
    [Mar 12, 2008 7:59:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    Crooktooth

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    A bit of basic catspeak:

    *Make eye contact with the cat. While smiling, without your teeth showing, slowly close your eyes almost all the way shut and open them again. - This is a show of affection, that has been known to make cats get all wriggly from across the room.

    *Lick yer thumb and rubb it across kitty's jawline, close to the corner of the mouth. - This is interpreted as something akin to grooming from mama-cats, and helps stregthen the bond between kitty and yerself.

    *During cuddle-time, lightly (very lightly!) grip the scruff of kitty's neck in yer teeth, hold for a three count, release and immediately rubb kitty's jaw with yer chin. - Despite the rebukes of Dr.Evil, sometimes its okay to gnaw on our kitty just a bit.
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    [Mar 12, 2008 2:11:10 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://stoneknivesandbearskins.blogspot.com/ [Link]  Go to top 
    Lotsofgoats

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    Future Caturday thread. Reply to this Post
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    I remember seeing kittens lifted up by that little scruff of extra skin (not with teeth, with a hand) to "build a relationship," or something like that. Made sense to me.


    I also vaguely remember something about rubbing them on the head with one finger like you're another cat licking them. Sounded weird to me.
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    [Mar 12, 2008 3:26:33 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    sweetnessc

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    *Make eye contact with the cat. While smiling, without your teeth showing, slowly close your eyes almost all the way shut and open them again. - This is a show of affection, that has been known to make cats get all wriggly from across the room.


    This is how I always picture Pogo in my head anyway.

    Nice tips, thanks Crooky.
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    [Mar 12, 2008 3:29:28 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    Erfan

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    Pedialyte is something that vets use a lot for malnurished and dehydrated animals. Unflavored kind.

    When I rescued my kittens, I bought the book "Kittens for Dummies" and it's been helpful.

    Don't spend too much money on toys. My kittens' FAVORITE TOYS IN THE WORLD are a piece of paper to shread, those little fake mice and a 99 cent stick with a long fuzzy thing on the end.

    Something I learned that you should know that nobody told me: it is possible to overheat your cat by playing with them too much. I didn't know that cats aren't supposed to pant like dogs, with their mouths open. Only AFTER Persephone had a seizure, went limp in my arms and scared the crap out of a hysterical me as I raced to the emergency vet did I find this out.
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    Nemesis says, "Since Erfan joined us, let me just give a blanket, totally not directed at anyone (ERFAN), warning that certain topics are not to be talked about on the docks."

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    Peter_Blood

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    Crazy Cat Lady wrote: 
    When I started rescuing kittens, I bought the book "Kittens for Dummies" and it's been helpful.


    Fixied for you. ;-)
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    [Mar 12, 2008 5:47:41 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    ellopoppet

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    Something I learned that you should know that nobody told me: it is possible to overheat your cat by playing with them too much. I didn't know that cats aren't supposed to pant like dogs, with their mouths open. Only AFTER Persephone had a seizure, went limp in my arms and scared the crap out of a hysterical me as I raced to the emergency vet did I find this out.


    Puts the lazer pointer down, but Govna looks so happy when he starts to pant :(
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    [Mar 12, 2008 5:52:24 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    Erfan

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    Crazy Cat Lady wrote: 
    When I started rescuing kittens, I bought the book "Kittens for Dummies" and it's been helpful.


    Fixied for you. ;-)

    TWO KITTENS DOES NOT A CRAZY CAT LADY MAKE.
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    Nemesis says, "Since Erfan joined us, let me just give a blanket, totally not directed at anyone (ERFAN), warning that certain topics are not to be talked about on the docks."

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    Peter_Blood

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    Methinks she doth protest too much. :-P
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    [Mar 12, 2008 5:53:46 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    Talisker

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    Re: A kitten followed me home... Reply to this Post
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    Erfan wrote: 
    OP wrote: 
    I'm about to head out to buy some more food, a litter tray, and of course kitty litter. Is there anything else I may need?

    MOAR CATS!

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    [Mar 12, 2008 6:54:14 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
    GraveCollins

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    Vet visit ASAP.

    Comfort the kitteh. Try giving him his own special blanket, or a soft basket with a blanket in it that is all his. My formerly homeless kitteh still likes cardboard boxes. Cats love heat too, so try not to let your house get too cold.

    Clean water. Make sure he gets fresh water daily and that the bowl is always clean. If you don't clean it, it get's pink goo in it and that's just nasty.

    Entertainment. Different cats are amused differently so you will have to test this out. One of my cats love to chase strings, the other likes to fetch wadded up peices of paper. Some cats love to watch Animal Planet. I've found those red laser pointers will amuse pretty much any cat, just avoid shining it in it's eyes.

    Exercise. Once you find his favorite activity, don't get stingy on the playtime. Play with the kitteh so he get's his exercise and doesn't become a fatty.

    Grooming. Some cats love being groomed. You can get a good kitteh comb for cheap at any pet store.

    Do not punish kitteh. If he misses the litter box, claws up your furniture, goes psycho on the toilet paper, do not punish him. He's just being a cat, and if you get angry with him or punish him, he will stop trusting you and may even start attacking you.

    Keep kitteh indoors. I know people love to give their kittehs the freedom to roam in the wild, but there are many dangers out there like cars, other cats with diseases, people who hate cats, dogs, and alien abductions. Keep kitteh safe. You don't want to know how it feels to come home and find kitteh squished in the road.
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    [Edit 1 times, last edit by GraveCollins at Mar 12, 2008 10:33:20 PM]
    [Mar 12, 2008 10:32:35 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.myspace.com/buttcookies [Link]  Go to top 
    chemicalgirl

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    Congratulations! Took me a while to read through this thread due to the emotional factor. I grew up with a cat named Oreo, but... our mother and the neighbor lady conspired against us.
    My sister discovered the conspiracy and demanded we get a recount. 4 to 1 (Mom being the hold out) meant the visit to the local shelter would be fruitful. We met two kittens from the same litter. One was very outspoken and chatty and showy. The other was more shy and reserved. My brother and I chatted with the bold one, while my sister made friends with the shy one, who happened to have a little color under her nose. She was called "Bouger" during our discussions at home. After Beth (my sister) explained why she found "Bouger" more appealing, we recognized the wisdom of her choice and upon our return visit to the shelter, Thomas and I also fell in love with "Bouger", now known as Gabrielle.

    That was before Christmas of 1988. Gabrielle has lived through my sister going to Tulane and being left with Mom and me, then moving with Beth to Athens, GA for several years, adopting a Chow- Retriever mix, then living in Chapel Hill, NC while my sister got her Master's, and then living in Miami for a year while my sister taught (and got knocked up) before finally moving back to Athens, GA. Gabrielle has tolerated a dog, a red-headed Taurus human-child, and a second cholicky human child. She's dealt with the death of one of her human-siblings and more recently the death of her brother puppy.

    Gabrielle is now 20 years old, in *human* years. She likes warm places and things. She does the blinking thing as described so well in an above post. My dad swears Gabrielle speaks Arabic. She touches the doorknob when she wants in or out of a room. She was declawed in her fore-paws and holds her left paw up when she's at rest. She still manages to bring home all kinds of prizes, usually expertly dissected.

    Gabe's never been fed much other than dry food. When she was first adopted from the shelter, one night she pooped all over me due to some tummy bug. I think she was more embarrassed than I was. She's such a lady. It's amazing how much love will extend a life. I'm not sure what I'll do when Gabe leaves this world, even if she does live several states away. She remembers her friends over several year's absence and her trust is an awesome responsibility.

    Be a good owner and you'll have a fabulous friend for decades. Sadly, we discovered after having Gabe for 2 years that I'm seriously allergic to cats. We just didn't let her into my room, but I did suffer for the years we lived in the same house. When I go visit my sister now, I just accept that I need to pack allergy meds and that I'll end up sick from whatever illness is making the rounds at my niece and nephew's schools. It's worth it.
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    Silk
     
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    Patetch

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    I will second the advice to watch out for the ash content in the food, (which tends to be most prevalent in the cheap generic brands) and stick to kitten food, especially for male cats. They can develop deposits similar to kidney stones and get blocked up. I lost one at a pretty early age due to this, and you'll not convice me that cats don't have feelings the way his brother mourned for him for months - 'bout broke my heart.

    Also, keep people food to a minimum, if it all. Mine will actually turn their nose at most people food and I don't have any problems with them getting on the counter. My sister's cats, on the other hand, have developed a taste for junkfood (potato chips mostly) and are always up on the counters and table looking for food.

    A good sized cardboard box with several larger holes (big enough for him to get in and out of) and smaller holes (for a paw to dart out and snatch things) can be a great addition to any cat decor. Just set it somewhere and let the kitty explore (they usually prefer to discover these things for themselves) it can provide hours of entertainment for both of you.

    Names- mine are named Jasmine, Bubba, and T (that is just the name that I found myself calling him. <shrug>) Whatever name you decide on, use it often and he will learn to respond to it.

    Toys - my three cats each have their own preference. T likes plastic things like milkcaps and army men (I discovered this when I was babysitting one day. The 4 year old boy was rather puzzled when his little dinosaurs kept disappearing every time he turned his head, but I found them in the kitchen where they skittered nicely across the tile floor.) Jasmine loves round objects, particularly the ball in a track around a scratching pad. Bubba goes absolutely crazy for the little fake mice (I buy them in bright neon colors - the natural ones are startling when viewed in the middle of the night.) I gave some of the fake mice to my parent's indoor / outdoor cats (yes, we are an animal loving family) and my mom found the empty skin the next morning - apparently they brought out the hunter instinct. Plastic drinking straws are an all time favorite toy though - and cheap! They also love being on hand (literally) when I am playing YPP - especially swordfight and sailing.

    Cats are amazingly clever and entertaining. T can turn lights on and off (kind of freaky when you live alone until you figure it out) and has almost got the faucet figured out (after enough nights of below freezing weather in which we needed to keep the water dripping so the pipes wouldn't freeze, he has decided fresh running water is the way to go.) Jasmine likes to sit on the arm of the couch and watch tv with me - she gets quite put out if something (or someone) is in her way and I think she actually likes being full of static electricity because she pulls herself along the carpet until her fur is sticking out in every direction. (This is the same cat that I am constantly reminding my nieces not to play with when she is pointy side up.) Bubba can get his toys out of just about any container. He has also figured out how to drink from a cup - he walks up to it and pulls it over, quite intentionally (drinks are no longer allowed anywhere near the computer.)

    Basically - just plan on having a friend for a long time - take the time to give attention when he wants it and he'll be much more likely to accept it when you give attention at other times. Learn his moods and enjoy his company.
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    Pletoo of Sage
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    fanta

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    Oh, and to add, since it's a young kitten, try to be home as much as you can untill it gets older. And if you have to be away for a long time for work or whatever, give it a shirt or something you've worn. Anything that really has your smell on it.
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