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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Help! :( New Kitten Owner with Questions

hey all,

im a first time cat owner and ive read prob everything on cats i can google. my neighbor gave us a kitten that they claim is 3-4 months old. we went to our local pet store and bought all the necessary items for our new cat.

the kitten ate the food we bought it only once today, and ihe wont respond to us putting him in the litter box. he tried to sleep in it a few hours ago!

all this will pass with a little patience im sure but what broke my heart today was his mother came up to our backdoor and started calling out to him . i didn't know what to do..if i let him out i didn't know if he'd come back on his own or stay with his mom..what do i do?

i feel really guilty for keeping the cat from his mom..but the neighbors don't want to keep the kittens and refuse to take proper care of them.

im going to do a search right now..but if anyone has first hand tips to give me id appreciate it...im a little confused cause a lot of the stuff online gave me contradicting views on litter box placement, food bowl placement and general introduction of the cat to the household...as wel as initial kitten care

thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 11:07 PM
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If you have any other pets, the new kitten should be kept in a separate room at first, where they can't see each other or get at each other. If you haven't got any other pets, there's nothing special you have to do. Just let the kitten explore. Realize he's going to get into stuff, so make sure that anything that might hurt him is put away where he can't get at it. The same goes for anything he might damage that you don't want damaged.

As far a litterbox and food bowl placement, they should not be close to each other. Other than that, put the litterbox somewhere it's easy for him to get at, gives him a little bit of privacy, but still allows him to see who's coming. A kitten that age knows what a litter box is for, so he just needs to know where it is.

It's too bad about the neighbor and the mom cat. I don't know what to say about that. Maybe you'll have to keep the windows closed and the shades pulled until they get over being separated. But that's the life of a cat. The little ones go away and never see mom again.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 11:47 PM
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Welcome to the Cat Forum, I'm sure you'll get lots of help here.

Sounds like this is his first day with you...it will take time for him to adjust to be away from mom & littermates, so not eating too much is pretty normal. Sleeping in the litterbox is a security thing. Does he have a bed or give him a cardboard box with some towels as a lining...basically provide him with a snug nest in an out of the way place.

As Tim said, litterbox & food dishes should not be near each other. If he's closer to 3 months and you have a house with more than one level you may need to put more than one box as he may not realize that he has to 'travel' to get to the box. If he's 4 months, he should OK.

I don't think you should let him out to see Mom. I would recommend making him an indoor cat. Please encourage your neighbor to get Mom spayed so she doesn't have more kittens they don't want. And of course get your little guy neutered no later than 6 months.

I've edited the title of your post for you to be more descriptive and encourage other members to read and respond to it.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-2007, 11:51 PM
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If it were me I would let the mom-cat in to see her kitten, and gain her trust. My thought being that this kitten could be a lot younger than the neighbors, who just want to get rid of the cats, claim.
Keep an eye out to make sure the kitten poops and pees, and if s/he doesn't you'll have to wipe his or her bottom with a warm, damp cloth to get him/her to go to the bathroom.

What do the kitten's eyes looks like? Are they the lapis lazuli blue of a young kitten, or showing their "true" color?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2007, 09:12 AM
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Congratulations on your new little one.

I don't have great words of wisdom, but wanted to say thank you for taking in this little guy.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-18-2007, 01:43 PM
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I would not let the mom cat in, you don't know what she may be carrying being that she stays outside. You should have the kitten checked out by a vet to find out the real estimated age and checked for disease and health.

Good luck. You got good advice already about the litterbox, etc.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 04:31 AM
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Well do your best to shoo the mama cat away. No need for her to be there.

As far as the kitten, lol...this is what I did.
1. Set the cat on the floor.



I wish I had more to tell ya, but we didn't do much. Hercules was a young kitten maybe only a month or 2 old when we got him. I put him on the floor and Cleo sniffed and licked and all that jazz. Then I tossed him in the litterbox and he hasn't had a problem since. They share the same food and lol....he ate adult food since we got him. He didn't complain.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
 
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just got back from the vet.

the vet says he's only 7-8 weeks old... is there anything special i need to be doing at this particular age for him?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-19-2007, 12:31 PM
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High quality wet kitten food 3-4 times a day, as much as he wants. A litter box in each room he's in (they tend to forget if they have to go too far). Lots of play, snuggles and lovin'. If he appears to be sick, lethargic, stop eating get him to a vet asap...kitten go down hill fast.

Enjoy him!


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