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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2017, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: East Coast, US
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Looking to adopt a cat

Hi everyone! I will do my best to make this a short and sweet as possible, while still getting in all my questions.

Quick background, I've worked in the animal care field for the last 6 years. I've worked as a veterinary technician, in the private animal care sector, canine rescue, and now as a shelter worker.

My personal cat ownership experience is limited to two cats that were adopted by my family when I was 8 years old. They were part of our family for 17 and 18 years respectively and passed due to bladder cancer, and small cell hepatic lymphoma respectively. They passed a year apart, 3 and 4 years ago.

My boyfriend and I currently have a beagle (8yo) and catahoula (6yo) as housemates. The catahoula has lived very successfully with cats in the past. The beagle has never lived with cats but has spent extensive time in friends homes visiting with cats (both dog savvy and otherwise) and is a friend to all living things! We are not concerned with the introduction into the home with the dogs as the cat that we will be adopting has a very good history with dogs, and our boys are so receptive to new friends. We will take is slow, with lots of positive reinforcement, plenty of space for new kitty, and lots of "down/stays" for the dogs so the new family member can feel comfortable exploring.

I have three pressing concerns:

1. what are your best litter box system recommendations? we have looked into the Tidy Cats Breeze litter system. My boyfriend has never owned a cat before and is very sensitive. The cats he has experience with lived in homes where the caretakers weren't particularly diligent and as a result the cats tracked a lot of clay litter throughout the home and the smell of ammonia what overwhelming.

2. ideal diet? I am adamant about feeding my dogs the absolute best. I'd like to provide the same level of quality to our new cat. That being said this particular cat is VERY picky, enjoys mostly dry food (less than ideal), and his wet food preferences are hard to tack down. I think he prefers salmon, and dislikes pate.. but any and all recommendations are welcome! Namely what is the best dry food you can recommend? I'm considering Farmina for neutered cats. I'll do my best to wean him onto a wet food only diet and use "crunchies" as training treats only.

3. Grooming! My childhood cats were short haired, and required very little in the way of grooming beyond nail trims and occasional brushing (more during shedding season). The cat we are considering adopting is medium hair. My boyfriend has a history of allergies to cats, but we have done some trails with different kitties and he doesn't have a reaction to the medium and longer haired cats, though does get sniffly with their shorter haired counterparts. My intention is to the feed a high quality, grain free diet, that will hopefully improve the skin and coat health and quality of our new pet, as well as provide necessary grooming. I use earth bath products for the dogs, but I'm wondering what you all can suggest/recommend for the best schedule, and ideal products to get the job done.

Just for fun! Any name suggestions for an all black, green eyed, bob tailed, medium haired, 2 year old male? We have some names we are thinking of, he doesn't have name recognition currently so we aren't worried about changing it and don't care for the name he currently has.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 34
Litter box: I have the CatIT hooded litter box that I found on Amazon (it's huge and both of mine can fit in at the same time haha). For litter, I use Dr. Elsey's Precious Cat Litter (blue bag). There isn't a lot of tracking in my experience and it is very low dust. We also have a mat in front of the litter box that catches stray granules, which helps a lot. I have never used the breeze, but I have heard that it's very overrated. I scoop twice a day (I have two cats, so you might be able to get away with once a day for one cat) and we live in an apartment, so if the box was smelling you'd be able to tell almost immediately.

For the food. What I did with mine (shelter kitties, 5 months old on a strictly hard food diet) was to first wean them off of free feeding kibble so that they had set breakfast, (at the time) lunch, and dinner times (I started feeding them 2 meals a day at six months, but as your cat is already out of kittenhood, two meals per day is fine!). Next step was to get some fancy feast (aka "kitty crack"...definitely not the bet for your cat but better than Friskies or 9Lives and a decent "bridge" food, IMO) and simply put some (not all) of it next to their hard food as an option every meal (you mentioned textures...I know that FF has some chunked and maybe some shreds in addition to pate). After a while of that, I began to gradually mix in the fancy feast and kibble in their bowls. Eventually it wound up being 75%FF/25% kibble, and then we worked out way up to 95% FF with some crushed kibble on top. That was eventually phased out to 100% FF. Then you can use the FF to transition them to a better wet food using the 90%FF/10% other brand, etc. until they're eventually on 100% good quality canned food.

Alternately, if you aren't comfortable giving lower quality food, you can trial and error foods with different textures to see which one "clicks". Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frick-Azee and Fowl Ball are both shredded, and the Splash Dance and La Isla Bonita are kind pf ptae/chunk mixtures (mine eat that, so hat's what automatically comes to mind).

I'm starting my two on a raw diet within the next few days, which is the best that a cat can have. 100% meat/bones/organs with no fillers, which you can't avoid with even the best brands (like I said, my cats are currently on Weruva, and their poops are still pretty bad and smelly). Ironically, after buying all the stuff online, it comes out to $1.40/day/cat- cheaper than 1 can of the Wruvva, which I'm feeding 2-3 times per day! Ahhh.

Grooming: No help from me, sorry! Both of mine are shorthaired. I suppose getting a comb and rewarding him with crunchies when he stands still enough to be groomed would work?

Congrats on your new family member! Be sure to post picture of him!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-13-2017, 05:42 PM
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Clumping clay letter is preferable for most cats.....so avoid newspaper pellets, wheat, etc. Some brands are less dusty than others. Also scoop every day.

For feeding I recommend you read this excellent article on cat nutrition. Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition

Grooming is best done with a polished steel "Greyhound" type comb (it's a brand name and not for the dog) and has wider spaced tines on half of it and closer ones on the other half, and the tines have rounded tips. With a moderate longhair, comb out at least once a week. Always reward the cat after the grooming session, and he will be looking forward to his grooming session. Most moderate longhairs only need to be bathed twice a year unless they are white! It's best to give them a bath during the Spring and Fall coat drop, as this will make it easier to keep cat hair off clothing and furniture. Have on hand one of those sticky rolls, to remove any loose hair from clothing. If your cat has full "breeches", a small "potty patch" will prevent any feces getting caught in long hair. Trim back hair around the anus at least an inch with rounded-tip scissors and this will prevent any dingle dangles.
Look forward to seeing pics of your black bob-tail cat....have a special fondness for them.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar -- "Always in my heart."
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM
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Location: Western Canada
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Modern clumping litters are much better for absorbing odour than the old cheap clay litter was. I've had great results with the kind made from ground up corn cobs, but there are plenty of good brands on the market. As long as the cat isn't declawed, you have a wide array of choices.
A litter box should be scooped at least once a day. In winter, when ours can't go out into the back yard, I do twice a day. Once a month I completely dump the litter, scrub the box, and put in all new fresh litter.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:37 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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I use the cheapest litter I can find, which is from the local feed/farm store. I notice no smells and I have a very sensitive nose. I usually scoop every day and we have 2 boxes for our 2 cats and both are in the laundry room. I keep a broom and dustpan near so I can sweep up frequently.

For food I've tried a lot of different wets and neither of my cats are excited about anything of them. I usually feed them wet around noon and sometimes they leave it sit for a long while before they eat it. Sometimes they do and others they don't. I give them a 1/4 cup of dry food at my bedtime and they never get up before me! I use Orijen cat/kitten for that.

When I first came here I was pointed to catinfo.org for food info.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Today, 03:23 PM
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I like Orijen for "cat treats" as my cats are on canned food mostly. Nature's Variety Instinct kibble/freeze dried is also a good one.

"There are no ordinary cats.";"Time spent with a cat is never wasted."~ Colette
"A loving cat can mend a wounded heart." ~ Unknown Author
Alkitotle aka "Alkee", "Lambie" (July 2/04 - Oct. 2/15) -- white Devon Rex
in avatar -- "Always in my heart."
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