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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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ÖKinda. More like our household, but stillÖ

Iím Isosceles andÖ uhÖ I donít own a cat. Yet. Itís actually why I joined up. I want to present a plan to my parents in hopes of wooing them into getting one, maybe two, kittens. (Theyíre wary of the idea, but not completely adverse to it.) However, I want to pre-empt their questions, and in order to do so, Iíd have to have everything all set and ready to go. Thus, I come to you with my inquires. Letís get started, shall we?

1) One Kitten Versus Two
óItís everywhere on the internet that getting two kittens is far better than getting one. As a college student, my time will be mostly spent on campus during the days. Luckily, I live at home with my parents (school is a forty minute walk down the street). This means that the kitten(s) will spend up to seven hours alone during the week, as both my parents work and my brother is in high school. Would you guys recommend getting a pair of kittens, to spare a single kitten boredom (not to mention the furniture the wrath of kitten claws)? Are two kittens noticeably more expensive than one (day-to-day, as I know all expenses will be doubled)?

2) The Food
óWhat kind of food should be purchased for the kittens, and later on for the cats? Preferably something you could buy from a Petco or Walmart.

3) The Litter Situation
óFor homes with two cats, is it truly necessary to get three litter boxes? Our home is a bit cramped for space, and there is really only one viable spot for a litter box. Could I get away with just one? Another idea I had was to toilet train the kittens. Have any of you tried this, and does it work?

4) Leash Training
óFinally, Iíd like to know about leash-training cats. XD Iíve always been fascinated with the idea of it, and I would love to be able to walk my cats myself. Have any of you done it? Do cats take to it very well, or not at all?

Thanks everyone for reading this and helping a fellow cat-lover out. I really appreciate all the help you give me.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 10:32 PM
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I can help you out with inquiry #2.

You'll find that a lot of us here agree that raw food is the best, but after that canned food is the next best thing. The good quality stuff gives kitty the moisture and meat that a carnivore needs.

What's good quality? The first ingredient should be a named meat - chicken, turkey, duck, lamb, etc. Not corn, not a meat by product - but an identifiable meat. The fewer the by products the better. I'm not sure about Walmart, but you'll definitely find stuff that fits that description at Petco. Some good brands are Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance and Eagle Pack.

Oh, and avoid fish. Good for every once in a while, not so good for every day. Fish oil is ok, just not fish. Apparently, an excess of fish can lead to allergies and urinary tract issues.

I think very young kittens have certain dietary needs that can only be met through mom's milk or an equivalent replacement formula. But I'm not sure about that seeing as I've never had such a young cat. But I know others will be happy to chime in.

And have a look at the sticky on canned food in the Health and Nutrition forum. It's at the top. Lots of good information there. Good luck.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 11:25 PM
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I have a question that the parents might ask- what will happen to the kitties once you have graduated from college and move out? Will you be taking them with you, or do you plan on leaving them behind with your parents?

Two kittens at once can mean that they entertain each other, but it can mean that they work together to take over your house . I do think that cats like a companion, and if you get a bonded pair that is even better.

Have you thought about adopting older cats who have already outgrown the kitten stage? If they are going to be home for longer periods of time it might make a big difference. Also once they have out grown the kitten stage it is harder for them to find a home, so you would be doing a really good thing.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 11:38 PM
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I would recommend getting two adult bonded cats. Kittens are a handful and can be very destructive during their "training" period. And it's your parents' house. My two "older" cats don't jump up on anything, chew anything, claw anything, but the twins? OMG!! Cleo picked up bad habits from them.

Leash training. Hmmmm, you don't so much "walk" cats as they walk you. From what I've seen, they just wander around little steps at a time, roll around, chase bugs. There ARE cats who can be walked, but it's not common.

Cats can live to be 20 years old. It's a big commitment.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2009, 11:57 PM
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I would recommend a good variety of canned cat food and 2 litter boxes, as most cats will not use a dirty litter box. Don't forget to keep their water fresh. Although they will get water from their canned food, they should still have fresh water available. Petsmart will have the good canned food, but Walmart probably will not. Grocery store brands are not the best.

Kittens are a handful, but so much fun! They are as cute as can be, but mischievous! I agree with Marie that a bonded pair, either kittens or adults is best. The kittens are adopted more quickly, so you might be saving the adults' lives if you decide to adopt them. I hope you can convince your parents. Your pets will bring you much joy!


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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 12:28 AM
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A lot of other points have been covered. I also recommended two bonded kittens/cats, agree that you won't find any good food at Walmart but will at Petco, and agree that in general cats walk you and not the other way around. (Also note that attempting to "walk" two cats at once is a good way to end up standing with both arms out, holding leashes stretched taut in two opposite directions, with a cat on the end of each leash looking back, wondering why you aren't following her. Guess how I know this...)

I will say that you MIGHT need 2-3 boxes for 2 cats. Or you might not. My cats are (grown) littermates and share one box with no problems. But sometimes you do better with more boxes. (Even with one cat -- some cats prefer to poop in one and pee in another!) But you can't know that until you get the cats!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 03:49 AM
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Arianwen and I are a single cat household, but I'm home most of the time.

She has 2 litter boxes, and she makes litter last a very long time between changes by letting each box box "rest" for a couple of days between uses. You should get 3 litter boxes if you can manage it. You'll use less litter in the long run.
You'll find that 2 cats only use maybe 50% more food than a single kitty, as you'll be throwing away less uneaten food.

Arianwen and I take walks together. It's a long story as to how this came about, but she walks leash-free, and stays close to me.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 05:30 AM
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I agree with everything so far. Two is better than one. Adults or young adults may be a better choice for you. As said, kittens are a real handful and that may be too much to ask of your parents. Also, two bonded adults are so much harder to find homes for together (I'm assuming you'll be going to the shelter). How many boxes depends on the cats. I've always had one box and two to three cats with no problems. I keep it extremely clean all the time. This involves scopping at least two times a day, but usually a lot more. Basically every time I walk by. And giving it a full cleaning at least once a week. But I don't use scoopable litter.
As for the expense, increase in daily expenses for two is negligible. You'll buy bigger cans of food and that's much cheaper than the little cans. I get the 12.5oz cans of Wellness which is about 1/2 the cost of the 3oz cans. That feeds my two guys for about 2 1/2 days. The real difference would be in vet bills. Pretty much double although most vets will give a small multi pet discount if you bring them at the same time. Keep in mind, emergencies do come up! Always have an emergency fund or a designated credit card. I really can't stress that enough! Within the first couple of years Nanook wracked up close to $3000 in vet bills. Don't want to scare you, but it happens all the time and you need to be prepared.
As for leash training, I used to walk one of mine every day. He loved it but, as others have said, it's more like a meander than walk.
If you've really thought it through and you're ready for the responsibility, I hope you can talk your parents into it. They bring so much entertainment, joy, fun and love into a home. I can't imagine life without them!
P.S. One more thing about the food, shop around! I know you said you wanted to stick with PetCo (put Walmart out of you mind for pet food!) but when I went to check the price for Wellness at PetCo, it was way higher than my little local pet store. You can usually find better deals on the higher quality foods at smaller, independent pet stores or online.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks everyone for all the suggestions! Iíll definitely be pushing for two kittens then. We live in a small city, and our local shelter actually ends up with more kittens than adults more often than not. But Iíll keep the idea of adult cats in mind.

Leazieóthat is a really good question. XD I suppose many young cat owners are only interested while others take care of them, huh? D: Thatís so sadótaking care of them is a huge part of the deal. The kittens/cats will definitely be going with me. XD My schedule makes it so that Iím the last one to leave and the first one home, so Iíll be the main care-giver, even during the week.

Iíll be the walk-ee, huh? XD I figured as much. Cats are so independent like that. We recently fenced in our large backyard, so I mostly wanted to be able to take them out to enjoy the space. Iíll just have to see if they take to it.

About the litter box situationóour house has rather small bathrooms, so there is a lack of space for them. Our laundry room is more like a glorified closet with the necessary plug-ins; we barely have enough room to stand in it ourselves. What other locations would you suggest? We have a basement, so that might be something to do. My brother tends to lurk down there, and plays video games really loudly. We can hear them from the living room sometimes. Would that noise deter the cats from using it in such a location? The other idea I have is placing the litter box in a corner of my own bedroom.

The litter box location is actually one of the reasons why my parents arenít convinced of getting a cat. Of course, Iím also the one who brought up said situation, so now I feel like a bit of a fool for doing so. XD So, if anyone can help me with that, I would be so grateful.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-06-2009, 12:35 PM
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I have my litter boxes in the basement with a cat door in the basement door. You can keep a litter box in your bedroom as well as one in the bathroom so that the kitties choices.

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