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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

Hi,
I've been lurking for awhile and thought I'd say hello. DH and I are most likely getting a new 4 month old kitten next month- I finally convinced DH to get 1 cat. We live in an apt, work full time, don't have kids or pets so this is a big step for us.

I plan on taking a week off from work when we pick up "Libby" to help her get used to her new surroundings. Unfortunately, she will be by herself during the day M-F, we are home all the time in the evenings and for the majority of the weekends. I also want to get one of those snuggle kitties with the heart beat (not sure I can mention the website)- to attempt to keep her company.

I've been reading articles about kitten proofing the apartment... taping wires, child locking cabinets etc. I just need to finish researching litter boxes, food, break away collars etc.

My main questions are:

* My mother in law lived here previously with a cat and it may have urinated on the carpet. I don't think a cat has lived here in at least a year but it did smell like cats when we moved in this summer- we no longer notice any smell. Do I need to use any type of sanitizer on the carpets just in case? I really don't want "Libby" to be enticed to pee on the carpet.

* Where should we put the kitten's bed?
Do you think encouraging the kitten to sleep in our bedroom is crazy? We live in a 1 bedroom apt. at the moment (but may be moving in the spring due to work). If "Libby" doesn't sleep in our room she will sleep in the main room in the apt. (kitchen/family room)- which is an area we use for cooking only as we spend all our time in the bedroom because that's where the tv/cable etc is. We have a tiny bathroom and I wouldn't really want the kitten to have to sleep there- we may end up putting the litter box in there.

Any advice is welcome. Thanks so much.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 01:22 AM
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

Welcome! Myself, I would recommend getting two (littermates) kittens as they will be company for each other during the day while you are away and you get twice the love and laughter at their antics. I do understand a small apartment may not have enough 'running room' for two cats, and two kittens/cats can get pretty rambunctious and active, gallumphing all over the place. Just tonight, Floofy (approx 2yrs old) was running/sliding all over the living room hardwood floors; over the couch, under the couch, around the coffee table, bank-shot leaps on the couch cushions or recliner and back to the floor...the other cats just watched him.
Anyhow, a single cat/kitten should be just fine. I think it is easier on a cat to be alone than a young kitten newly taken from its siblings, so I'm glad you will be spending the first week with the new kitten so she won't feel so alone and has time to get used to the apartment. Most adult cats sleep while their family is away at work, so I don't think they miss us all that much.
For the carpet, you could purchase a very good blacklight and hold it close to the carpet to reveal any areas that need cleaning with an enzymatic cleaner that will break down organic (cat pee) odor causing bacteria and help prevent the new kitty from using that area as a bathroom.

Good luck with your new kitty and I'd love to see pictures!
Heidi



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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:11 AM
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

I have to say, having adopted two 10-week old little sisters, that I can't imagine having just one. Their energy is endless, even now at 1-1/2 years old. They keep each other company and chase each other and wrestle like boys every day.

That being said, a single kitten is purrfectly fine, too. In fact, I'm sure my girls feed off of each other, and if there was only one, maybe they wouldn't be so wild. Do you have pictures of her you can show us?

My twins have their own room for bedtime (thank goodness!). It's really all they've ever known, so it's no big deal to them. Sometimes they play for an hour or so before settling down, and sometimes they wake up in the middle of the night and play.

Heidi gave you good advice on all your other questions.

Take lots of pictures, they're only tiny for a short time.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 09:01 AM
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

In my opinion having a cat sleep in bed with you is one of the pleasures of having a cat. All of ours are welcome on the bed and sometimes we have several and at other times we have none. In the end they usually end up choosing for themselves where they will sleep.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 01:11 PM
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

if you know you'll be moving soon (within the next year)
it may be wise to wait till you move to get any cats.
I second the motion of getting 2 littermates, especially
since you both are not home much during the weekdays.
just keep in mind each cat costs about $1,000 per year
to maintain, so make sure you can afford the commitment.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 02:16 PM
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

It's lovely to have 2 cats and watch them interact. But I don't think Libby will suffer if you don't. Cats spend a lot of time sleeping during the day and she'll probably be perfectly happy on her own for a few hours.
Also, you have to take into account the double expense of having 2 cats, plus you're living in quite a small appartment.
One cat seems prefectly appropriate to me if that's what you want.

Good luck with her, let us know how it all goes.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 03:30 PM
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

I'm also a fan of getting littermates if you can afford them, but it sounds like you've already picked the kitty and fallen in love. So that may not be an option, anyway.

I agree that most cats are fine as single kitties and that some are happiest as single kitties. I will say that watching two cats interact is endlessly entertaining, though!

(Aside: I think that if you wanted a second cat, the move would be the perfect time to get one. Weird as that sounds, I think the existing cat may be more accepting of the new cat in the new environment, since they'd both be entering a new territory rather than on cat intruding on the others' already-existing territory.)

I could be wrong but I wouldn't worry about the heartbeat cuddle thing. I think the kitten will be old enough not to need it.

Generally speaking the decision about where a cat will sleep is made by the cat. You can put out a bed, but she may or may not sleep it. (She may even move it to her preferred location -- isn't it Holly who drags her bed to wherever she happens to decide to sleep?)

Many people are big fans of sleeping with their cats. Me, I'm fine with it as long as I'm sleeping with my cats. When I'm awakened at 3am because Misty is patting my face with her paw asking to be petted (Saturday night) or because Stormy has decided she needs to climb onto my pillow and eat my hair (last night) then I'm not so keen on it.

I'll warn you that cats have very individual responses to being in a new home. Depending on the cat, the newcomer may decide to spend several days straight in hiding (when my housemate in grad school got a new cat, the cat didn't come out from under my bed for 30 straight hours, even to eat, and didn't venture out for more than a few minutes for at least a week). So don't be surprised or offended if it turns out Libby would rather not have company for the getting-used-to-her-new-home period. It's not personal, some cats are just like that.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 12-08-2008, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Probably getting a kitten- 1st timer.

Thanks for all the responses, much appreciated.

In regards to getting 2 kittens, my hubby refuses to have 2 cats. It's taken months just to talk him into getting 1. Maybe he'll fall in love and change his mind. Fingers crossed.

In addition, the kitten I am interested in doesn't have any litter mates, she was the only one.

Thanks again and I'll post pics as soon as I have some.
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