New Kitten - need advice on what to get - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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New Kitten - need advice on what to get

I think I'm finally getting a kitten next month. So, a few questions. I've read that we should put her in a small room to get acclimated and be sure she's using the litter box. I thought to use either the half bath or the laundry room. Does this mean we 'visit' her there or what? They also recommend a litter box with low sides and non clumping litter or pine pellets. I have one I used for years with the previous cat - it's maybe 4 inches high. Is that too high? The breeder is using Purina One, which I think is weird. She also mentioned wet food, but it doesn't say what kind. I have a stainless steel water dish and food dish so I'm okay there. What else do I need right away?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 08:41 PM
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My kitten was using feline pine at the breeders, but I hated that stuff! I switched him to clumping in a week and he's fine. If the kitten is over 8 weeks old or so, it would be fine to use clumping. A 4" tall litter tray will be fine. Feed the same food at first and slowly transition to whatever you want to feed him, over say a 2 week period, by gradually adding more of the new food to the old.

As far as what else to get, toys, toys, toys!!!! Lol.

The "safe room" is mainly for quarantine and slow introductions if you have other pets, but also so the kitten doesn't feel overwhelmed. If you only have the kitten, the safe room could be any room you would like (bedroom, if you want him to sleep with you, etc). A bathroom or laundry room would work too. If the kitten seems curious and confident, and you have no other pets to introduce, the safe room is less important.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 03:00 AM
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G-PEG123-
In response to your questions:

A safe room, as already mentioned, is the introductory phase for any new cat in the house. I'd probably use your half bath for a few days, if it's hardly used instead of the laundry room because the noise from the washer/dryer may frighten and stress her more while in use. She could also get stuck between the appliances and the wall, etc. Having a tiled floor surface area would also be best for quicker clean ups/spills. Place her food, water, litter box and bed or plush fabric where she can sleep on to feel cozy. A small cardboard box with a fuzzy blanket or towel would be perfect. In the smaller room, she'd feel less intimidated as stated earlier. Building her self-assurance is important for kitties! You'd be going in there every so often to check up on her too, of course. Get down low, speak in a soft, friendly voice, and entice her with toys or food to come out of hiding. Always allow your kitty to come to you, and she'll begin to trust you more. If she doesn't come out right away, it's perfectly ok. Leave the room for a while, allow some minutes to pass, and try again, maybe with a new toy. Check her litter box to see if she's eliminating appropriately. She may not go right away, but making sure she's using it consistently, along with eating, playing, and socializing with you will be a good indicator of how well she's adjusting. You may also want her to get her vet checked initially, too, if she hasn't already prior to adoption. This ensures she's rid of parasites or potential infections that can be quite dangerous to young cats or transfer to humans.

The litter box recommended is fine for a young kitten, as are pine pellets. The wood pellets would deter her from ingesting the litter accidentally, and would neutralize any urine odor. You'd be lifting out the solids and dumping out the sawdust, which can be a bit of a challenge and time consuming, but I'd allow the kitten to use it for at least the first few weeks so she's at least comfortable and familiar with using them...the last thing you want is inappropriate urination/defactation outside the box! If you do plan to change litter substrate, do it slowly and after careful consideration (another topic altogether).

Using the same food she's used to eating would again be something she's already familiar with, so don't change that immediately either. Switching dry foods slowly is a good idea, once you decide which ones to try to feed her. Purina One isn't terrible, but it's definitely not the best either. I don't know what you meant by weird, sorry. If she's already eating wet, this is a great sign! Keep feeding her a variety of wet, preferably not one from the grocery store. You can look up old threads or under nutrition to learn a lot more on that huge topic...

Other things you'd need:
A cat scratcher--sisal scratching post, corrugated cardboard, or even better, a cat tree so she can climb up high and boost her confidence levels as she grows. There's also a toy with a ball that goes around a track with cardboard in the center...that's a good toy, and will double as a scratcher.

A good scoop to go with your litter box! A heavy duty metal scoop would be great if you decide to transition her later to scoopable clay, but I've also used it for pine pellets too.

An enzyme cleaner--helps with any accidents your kitty will have, and it's best to be prepared than after the fact. Many like using Nature's Miracle, which can be found in most pet stores.

Depending on your kitten's type of fur, a brush might also be a good idea (long haired cats, especially).

Optional: nail clipper for cats--many may say this is unnecessary, but I like to trim my kitty's nails weekly because having less pointy claws always mean it's better for me! You don't need this right away, of course.

Toys-well, this is up to you, but I've found teaser wand toys with feathers very exciting to watch for all kitties. Lasers are also good, but so are brown paper bags, rattling mice, crinkle or fur balls, etc. Get her a variety and switch them around every week or so she won't get bored. Interactive toys are always are a hit, though.

We're all cat crazy here, so hopefully others can add on their opinion or speak from personal experience, too.

Please keep us posted with your new adoption!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 03:09 AM
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Not much to add here, the posters above have covered a lot. I just want to emphasize the toys. A tired kitty is a good kitty. Little ones have a lot of energy and a few good playing sessions during the day will help curb the kittens enthusiasm and keep him out of trouble.make sure anything that you care about that might break is put away. Every time I brought kittens into my house I put away all the delicate porcelain figurines and glass items. Also, make sure there are no electric cords or cables the kitten might chew up. For this I used bitter apple spray from the pet store. It worked pretty well.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbCatt View Post
G-PEG123-
Switching dry foods slowly is a good idea, once you decide which ones to try to feed her. Purina One isn't terrible, but it's definitely not the best either. I don't know what you meant by weird, sorry.

Please keep us posted with your new adoption!
What I meant by weird is I guess I thought a breeder would use a high quality food, which I don't think of Purina as.

I had considered the laundry room might be a bad idea. I could imagine a kitten getting stuck behind the washer/dryer, so I guess we'll use the bathroom. It's just so small. I do plan to get a cat tree, should I put it in the bath room right away? Do I have to worry about her scratching up the doors or cabinets or what should I do about that? And I should shut her in there at night and if I'm gone during the day?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-PEG123 View Post
What I meant by weird is I guess I thought a breeder would use a high quality food, which I don't think of Purina as.
Well how smart of you to recognize this! I guess you could ask the breeder about this? Not something I'd know, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-PEG123 View Post
I could imagine a kitten getting stuck behind the washer/dryer, so I guess we'll use the bathroom. It's just so small. I do plan to get a cat tree, should I put it in the bath room right away? Do I have to worry about her scratching up the doors or cabinets or what should I do about that? And I should shut her in there at night and if I'm gone during the day?
Small bathroom is ok as long as it fits all the stuff mentioned earlier. If your bathroom has a glass window that she could peer out of, you could put a post, a step stool, chair, or a smaller cat tree (if it fits) for her to climb on to get up high if she wants to. She will no doubt climb on top of your toilet when she feels confident enough, and getting up high would reveal she's getting comfortable in her small living quarters. The window would also provide her with distractions to see nature outside if there is a view, or just to bask in the sunlight.

Prior to her arrival, I'd catproof everything in your home. You'd need to get down low on all four and carefully inspect all areas. Cabinets should be "child-proofed" or have locks to prevent any access to detergents, chemical cleaners, etc. normally kept inside. Same goes for kitchen cabinets or closets. Block off any small holes in walls, under appliances, dressers, where she may get stuck once she gets free reign of your house. Use cord protectors like this:


to manage all loose cords under your computer desk and put away all thinner cords like your phone charger out of her reach. (3-5 month old kitties begin to start teething, thus chewing begins.) If you get several appropriate surfaces for her to scratch on and use a laser pointer during play, that would encourage her to climb, scratch, and use it more. Some cats also like to scratch only on horizontal surfaces, so a cardboard bed or sisal mat might help. I got this initially for my young kittens :



Put away any small items she could accidentally ingest, such as loose buttons, rubber bands, bobby pins, push pins, and especially strings or yarn! Shoelaces are very attractive to kitties, so put I sneakers away or keep my shoelaces ribboned on tight and then in double knot so they can't pull and eat at them. Any accidental swallowing of these would cause a blockage in her GI tract and require a trip to the emergency vet clinic. Sounds much like getting a toddler, isn't it?

Keeping kitty "locked up" for the first few nights or when you're out during the day may sound severe, but remind yourself that your kitty knows nothing of the world outside yet. So she won't miss a thing until she's ready to go out and explore on her own. And when she does, you'll be supervising, of course!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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GOsh, I don't know if it's possible to wrap up all our cords. I'll have to take a look at that. Thanks for the links. I can put more than one cord in that it looks like so that would be good.

Thanks for all the advice everyone! Keep it coming.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 03:00 PM
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I don't think the kitten would be attracted to the average thicker cords--it's those thinner ones that are more the concern, but yes, it will prevent them from harm. There are those who have tried "bitter apple" spray, hot sauces, or citrus juice on cords that you cannot hide or put away with success, too. Different things for different cats!
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