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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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My "Cat Plan" + questions

Okay guys, I'm getting a cat soon! Probably after thanksgiving, so we don't have to deal with something like boarding - family's all headed down to Texas this year.

Since I'm volunteering at the shelter I'll be getting the cat at, I can pick out a cat that'll work with the dogs in my house and my preferences. (hoping for a cuddlebug cat that would be okay with the occasional trip and leash training) I've been getting to know the cats at the shelter and there's a few I've fallen in love with - my decision will probably end up being adult cat vs older kitten.

Cat'll come home and stay exclusively in my room for a week-week and a half while I work on getting the dogs used to their smell. I'll have my room set up with all the necessities, like a scratching post, litterbox, etc... I also plan on getting a cat tree and one of those perches that stick onto your window with suction cups.
I plan on starting off with Tidy Cats litter for now, because that's what they use at the shelter, but any other litter suggestions?

Also, what's good, food wise? I know the first five ingredients should be meat, grain free is best, etc, but any favorite brands? I plan on doing a mix of dry and wet food (primarily dry).

It's not ideal, but even after everyone's adjusted to each other I plan on keeping the cat in my room while I'm at school. We have a doggy door that leads outside and a bunch of toxic houseplants, so I'd rather be safe than sorry. It'll only be a max of 6 hours a day, less next semester. My windows have good views for people- and bird-watching, but is there anything else I can do so they don't get bored while I'm out?
Also, I have toxic plants in my room - jade, golden pothos, some kind of variegated ivy, two kinds of coleus, and a couple others. I plan on moving most of them out for now, but is there any way to see if the cat would try and eat them? Or, would a bitter spray work in deterring them?

Kinda incomplete but I just figured I'd type out what I have so far. Input, answers, anything would be appreciated right now!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 05:56 AM
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Hi,
In my opinion,The toxic housplants need to go, even those out in the main house. You cannot watch your cat all the time and a quick nibble could lead to a ver poorly cat or worse, its just not worth the risk. You also said the cat won't stay out when you are not there because of the dog door, again unless you are planning on locking that door the cat will slip out if you have a door dasher.
I would read up carefully on cat dog intros and follow these steps as that will help for a successful intro for the future. But it could take a lot longer than a week so be prepared.
As for food there is a very good site called catinfo.org which gives great information on feeding a cat.
If your cat is going to spend a lot of time confined to your room than the tree is a great idea. You need to make the room as stimulating as possible, perhaps a food puzzle ball containing a few bits of freeze dried treat or similar and maybe shels so the cat can explore and have places high up to go, even maybe to use to get away from the dogs
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 06:22 AM
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I think you've done a great job of planning. I'm not a fan of suction cup anything so I'd skip the window perch unless you can find a better way to secure it. I have found that suction cups don't work well on painted surfaces. As to the plants, I've had golden and regular pathos in my house with foster kittens and cats for 21 years (just in this house) and nothing bad has ever happened. Even with kittens scurrying around on occasion (normally the foster kittens are confined to one room). I find the occasional nibble on a leave sometimes but I think the taste is a total turn off and after that they leave them alone. That is my PERSONAL experience and not one to base your plant tossing or keeping decision on.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 09:33 AM
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It's interesting about plants. I have never had a cat be interested in my house plants... they even slept in the bay window where my indoor garden was. Plants and cats both liked the sunshine. I realize some plants are toxic to cats, but did not know that for many years.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 09:57 AM
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My crew love some plants and hate others but I wouldn't risk anything that I thought would draw them but would be dangerous - watch them like a hawk and make a reasoned decision - if in doubt DEFINITELY err on the side of caution.

I have a gem of a dog but we went to the shelter when our dog died and said that our only criteria was being good with cats. Since then we have so many "tested" - in fact that dog is now a test pilot herself on occasions - to make sure cats can cope with dogs, but also the other way - not all cats can cope with other cats.

Last edited by Arianwen; 10-28-2015 at 10:00 AM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 05:01 PM
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To address some of what you wrote -

Litter: I've been using Tidy Cats (the clumping stuff) and it has worked pretty well. Could be better, but still good. I plan on switching to Dr. Elsey's soon, though, as I've heard it's a great litter.

Food: If at all possible, you should really feed wet only. It's much better for them. As for some good grain-free food brands, I'd recommend the following,

- Feline Caviar: Limited Ingredient Diet Wilderness Holistic Entree (dry)
- Nature's Variety: Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meal Formula (dry)
- Halo: Impulse (wet)
- Halo: Vigor (wet)
- ZiwiPeak (wet)
- Tiki Cat (wet)
- FirstMate (wet)
- Nature's Variety: Instinct Limited Ingredient (wet)


and as others have mentioned, you should really get rid of or at the very least move all of your toxic houseplants somewhere that the cat doesn't have any access to them. My mom loves houseplants so I understand that it's not ideal, but your cat's safety is of the utmost importance.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 05:08 PM
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Plants.... I used to have various breeds of pothos hanging around the house. Book ate every.Single.One. He also vomited them all up on the carpet after he ate them.

The other two could care less about plants but Book can not leave ANYTHING green (and alive) alone. Didn't matter if I offered him cat grass and wheat grass to munch on, he would graze that completely out and go straight back to the plants. Now I have empty plant shelves that the c ats sleep on.....
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I haven't replied until now, I had a bad day yesterday and I might've gotten salmonella poisoning.

Anyways, I was talking to my mom and if we need to, we might be able to close off our front office area to put the plants in if we need to. I can keep a close eye on the plants downstairs and upstairs is always gated off. I think I mentioned bitter sprays, have any of you with plant-eaters tried it?

The cat will be kept in my bedroom, and no one really goes in there, so I wouldn't think there's much risk of someone coming in and letting the cat out. My room has a high shelf I can clear off for the cat, plus my dresser and the top of my snake cage shelf are both a decent height.

 

is the window perch - the suction cups are pretty heavy duty and they stick on the glass.
Before anyone asks, my snake cages are well secured and even then, none of my snakes are large enough to harm a cat.

Food-wise I might actually be able to feed raw. We're starting the dogs on pre-made raw (Primal) so it's a possibility I could do it for the cat, too.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 10:57 PM
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Raw is another great option! Just make sure you're feeding them a balanced diet. If you're already doing pre-made with your dogs, then I'd highly suggest using a pre-made mix for your kitty as well. It's not cheap, but it's easier, especially for people who are just starting out.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 12:28 AM
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Please ask questions in their individual correct forum, thanks.

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