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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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New kitty adoption

Hi everyone,

I'm new around here but have been exploring all the threads and soaking up as much info as possible.

A week ago we (my dad and I) adopted two new kitties. I've always had pet since childhood but the previous 8 months we went without. Our old housecat (a feral siamese/tabby kitten we saved from Animal Control) Peppermint died at the age of 15 last summer. She was a super cat who really bonded to my dad. She also saw a lot of changes in her life. First the introduction of baby houseguests (my nieces and nephews). Then losing her old canine companion when he died of old age. Then my mom dying of cancer. Then my dad and I each starting to travel more. She had bonded with our family, particularly my dad. So when she passed, we decided to wait a while before bringing a new pet into the family.

In the past we always just seemed to find a stray animal that needed a home. But now all the ferals in the area have been spayed and everyone we knew had older pets rather than litters. So we opted to head for the local shelter and see if someone would like a home with us. We ended falling in love with these cuties:



They are sisters, 5 1/2 mos old, spayed and vaccinated. The shelter said their previous owner brought in the whole litter of 5 a month before because she'd developed an allergy. The black-n-white one (Bella) is very outgoing and friendly. She won me over at first by purring as soon as I pet her. The grey-n-white one (Cricket) won over my dad by being more timid and like our previous Peppermint. They were so well-bonded with each other at the shelter we didn't have the heart to separate them. Plus we figured they'd always have each other for company when we're out or away.

It's been a long time since we've had young ones around so I feel a bit rusty. I usually work from home during the winter months so have spent the last week getting our kitties used to being around us. They get regular petting, playing and (since they show good litterbox habits) have been given reign of the house. We're working on coming when called and not trying to run outside.

How long does it usually take new cats to realbond with their home? With Peppermint we rescued her when she was 6 weeks old. We kept her in a smaller space with gradual privileges outside while she learned her litterbox habits.
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 06:12 PM
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Re: New kitty adoption

Hi, what a great story!
IMO, the amount of time varies due to different variables: the individual cat, the people of the home and how much time the people are able to spend getting the kitty comfortable around them. Because you're home often, I suspect they'll bond with you pretty quickly.
heidi =^..^=



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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: New kitty adoption

They were so funny. First day home we gave them an hour alone in their room to get adjusted to their new home. Then we opened the door to invite them into our Family Room and the rest of the house. But the girls refused to cross the threshold. (Their "room" is the laundry and opens onto the rest of the first floor which is mostly an open floor plan.) We each took turns going out to them, petting them, talking to them and encouraging them we weren't monsters. They'd peek at us watching TV in the next room but would not join us. We thought they were on their best behavior for fear we'd take them back to the orphanage.

Next morning Bella stepped out to explore, her sister following close behind. In quick time they had explored our house from top to bottom. Only thing we made off limits was the kitchen counter and kitchen table.

In the week since they've seemed to stake out their favorite spots. The Living Room for daytime naps (each have a favorite chair), Dining Room for night time naps (it's warmer, closer to us and hidden under a tablecloth). They play hide-n-seek upstairs and catch-me-if-you-can downstairs. I've led several rounds of laser tag (more enjoyable at night) and mouse hunt (via wand toys). My dad usually just pets them and coazes them to cuddle.

My tricky issue is that due to a disability I have limited range of motion. I use a power wheelchair to get around and am unable to get down on the floor to their level. So they need to jump up on a chair for me to reach them for a pet. Bella has figured this out quickly (with the aid of treats and several thorough rub downs). Cricket is still hesitating. I think she is a bit afraid of challenging her sister.

Other issue I have is getting them to use their scratching post stations. We have some sizal boards and posts for them (purchased new) but while they've looked and scratched, them seem to prefer the Laundry Room door or wood floor. Our old Peppermint absolutely destroyed a chair with her scratching. We haven't had much luck getting cats to scratch in spots we designate for them.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 12:33 AM
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Re: New kitty adoption

What a nice update, and they certainly do sound entertaining! I think if you work with Cricket like you did Bella, she will eventually come to you for lovies and attention. It may just take more time for her to feel comfortable. It seems she is content to let her sister lead.
I don't have any advice about the scratching. Maybe rub catnip on the scratching posts? Buy a few more of different materials? Be sure to have a TALL one, too. I also will sometimes place the scratcher at the area they are scratching in hopes of luring them to the scratcher. In my childhood home, our doors were very rustic; they were made of 2x10 Redwood, natural. My cat preferred to scratch one spot on my bedrooom door for 16yrs and there is an area permanantly marked by her claws. It is special to me and adds character.



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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: New kitty adoption

Funny story #2: I think this is why I love having young animals in my home. They do the silliest things.

Last night during their usual night time crazies, we heard the round of catch-me in the Living Room. Suddenly there's a loud crash, like a lampshade being knocked. My dad and I flip a coin over who's turn it was to investigate. I lost, went over to the Living Room, flipped on the light and found both cats in their respective chairs grooming themselves. Bella just ignored me when I asked who caused it. Cricket had a very guilty look on her face but tried to play dumb too. Nothing seemed distrubed so I warned them to behave and walked away. As soon as I walked out of the room they went right back to chasing each other. Just like a couple kids.

Another night, they were suspiciously quiet for a long time. So I went looking for them and found them staking out our chest freezer. I stopped at the door, flipped on the light and asked what they were doing. Each cat trilled at me, came over to me tail head high, got a little scratch behind the ears then lowered their tails and went right back to their sentry positions. They stayed that way for over an hour. Never caught anything. I think the freezer was just making noises or they were practicing their hunting skills. Their communication to me was like saying "Yeah mom, we're hunting. Love you, bye."

My dad thinks I'm slightly crazy such a thrill out of these little kittens. Can't help it. I really missed our old cat's cute kitten stage. But we had her from 4 weeks old so there was a lot more to do. Then after 5 years, she became Queen of the Household and started bossing me around.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:15 AM
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Re: New kitty adoption

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:21 AM
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Re: New kitty adoption

I am loving your stories!



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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 01:45 AM
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Re: New kitty adoption

Its hilarious when they put on an act. I like the one where she gets excited about something Im doing to lure her over to me and she begins rushing towards me, then remembers shes an independent cool cat and skids to a halt half way and starts to excitedly pretend to clean herself as if she really wasnt interested at all.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 09:40 AM
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Re: New kitty adoption

They sound adorable, and I'd love to see more pictures. When it comes to exploring the house when you first get them home, I've had two very opposite experiences with my two adopted cats. The first one was shy and wouldn't come out of her carrier for an hour after we got her home. The second one, Murphy, came bolting out of that carrier like a shot from a cannon, and within half an hour was on top of the kitchen cabinets. Those first experiences bore themselves out in their personalities, too -- Rookie was more shy and Murphy's a goof.


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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 04:21 PM
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Re: New kitty adoption

i guess i made a boo boo with my second set of cats. we brung them home, took them to our living room where the food and cat tree were at the litterbox was in the bathroom. they were in cardboard carriers so i opened it up and they immediately went running around looking at stuff. i watched them for about an hour and then grabbed them both and took them into the bathroom and sat them in the litterbox. they sniffed and then ran off. i went downstairs and played video games. Balthasar meowed when he was in the hallway and i stuck my head out to let him know where i was at. by that night id say they were acclimated lol.
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