Just got my first cat. A few questions. - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Just got my first cat. A few questions.

I just brought home my first cat, and I wanted to ask a few questions to make sure I don't forget anything or screw up. He's a 3 year old(approx) short haired stray from a shelter, who's quite friendly and reasonably well behaved. I've been reading this forum for a while now and have learned quite a lot from you guys but being that he's my first, I want to make sure I cover everything. So here goes.

I have to take him in to the vet for a general checkup next week. Are there any additional tests he should have, and What questions should I ask the vet?

I have a pretty good handle on cat food and nutrition, but are there any human foods that I should be extra certain he doesn't get in to(like chocolate for dogs)?

Are there any kinds of toys you recommend to leave on the floor for him when I'm not around to play? (he has just a cardboard scratcher and interactive mouse-on-a-string at the moment)

Any tips to get a Petmate Freshflow fountain pump to stop humming? It is secure on the bottom, and the water level is good.

He's quite friendly and curls up on my lap gently, but occasionally seems to think my hand is a toy and claws/bites at it. Not hard, but his claws are extremely sharp(haven't built up enough trust to try and clip them yet) and the scratching outbursts just seem to come out of nowhere. Is this just normal new cat behavior or something to be concerned about? I have to get him neutered in the next couple weeks as well, will this help?

Anything else I should know?


Thanks for putting up with my long introductory post, and I appreciate all your advice.

oh, and meet Mr Wendel
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b210/ ... w/cozy.jpg
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 01:36 AM
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First off, congratualtions on bringing your new companion home!!!

When bringing him to the vet, you want to know what's already been done by the shelter. If they didn't to an FIV/Feline Lukemia test, DO ONE! It's a simple blood test, but those results are essential to knowing how healthy your kitty is!

For human foods to avoid, the big one is onions. Onions are known to cause extreme anemia. Garlic is also something to avoid in large portions, but many cat foods contain garlic in very small portions and I feel this is okay

Those furry mice are a wonder to leave scattered around the house, as well as foam balls (both of which he will promptly loose under anything wiht sufficient clearance!), I have some catnip toys scattered about, and a honeysuckle mouse or two

I don't have a fountain so I can't help with this one, sorry

I have one cat that is kinda quick on using the claws... it's something that is part of his personality and I've learned to avoid. It helps when you can keep their nails trimmed, and I trim both cats twice a week. Neutering might settle this a bit, but it's mostly learning his behaviour and stopping before he gets you

<--Julia

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 03:14 AM
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Welcome to the Cat Forum!! Altho it appears you have been lurking awhile. But this makes it official.

He is quite handsome!!!!

You already got some great advice, so I will just add a couple of things.

My PetMate fountain hums for the initial priming period of 15-25 seconds or so but then goes quiet. Make sure the water level in the area with the filter is full, but other than that I would just bring it back and get a new one. I had to return my first one cuz it was loud. I don't know where you got it, but you can return it to PetSmart with or without a receipt.

Regarding his claws..... many people play rough with their cats and let them bite/claw them. Since you don't know his background, that may have been the case. Also, mama cats teach their kittens how to play - when they get too rough they get a bite or a swat of mama's paw. Kittens who have been abandoned or weaned too early do not get this "training" so you will have to provide it. I have hissed and slightly pinched (like a bite) my kitten who I found abandoned and he eventually learned to not be so rough with me - tho he is still learning that with the other cats. I think hissing/biting might only work in kittens tho.
If he bites/claws too hard, a firm no and stopping playing will let him know that behavior is unwelcome. Go back shortly after and start playing again and praise the good behavior and he should learn what is good/bad.

Congrats and good luck!
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 07:55 AM
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I have to get him neutered in the next couple weeks as well, will this help?
Keep him inside too, if he's not neuteered, he's likely to wander.

You could go to a groomer to get his claws clipped, and have them show you how it's done.

Get him into a schedule of playtime, so he'll sleep when you do.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 10:51 AM
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Welcome! Mr Wendel is beautiful.
Everyone has given you great advice
and sounds like you are off to a good
start.

I hope all goes well at the vet.
The FIV/FELINE test is so important.
The vet will give him the rest of his shots
while there. You might want to read more
on the forum as to how often to give these
shots so you can form your own opinion.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 11:18 AM
 
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Hello, what pretty cat you have!
A lot of cats don't like it when you touch their belly. Maybe that's why Mr Wendel scratches you?

I used to play quite rough with one of my late cats. He used to scratch me too. But like The Cat Whisperer says, you can diminish that behaviour. Ignoring him worked well, but it will take a while to get results.
Good luck!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your comments and advice. Mr Wendel was pretty calm this morning and I was able to clip 6 of 10 front claws. I only have to look out for his right now . He seems to be adjusting to his new home well aside from seeming a bit disoriented when he woke up in the middle of the night. I'll be sure to get all his tests done next week and hopefully everything comes up okay. Thanks again.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 06:14 PM
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Petmate fountain: if the water is flowing and if the fountain is clean, then the pump shouldn't make enough noise to be heard about normal ambient household noise. You might have a defective pump. Off-balance motor or impeller that makes it vibrate, or something like that.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 07:11 PM
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You have a heart of gold!! I think it is great that you went to a shelter and helped a poor orphaned kitty boy. I just adopted my first kitten/cat in October. He was a New Orleans rescue that I adopted after he was rescued by Pasada. He was 5 months old by the time I brought hiim home. He is a tabby and he is great! I would like to know what kind of food you feed him. Just like to know what every one else feeds. I feed mine Nutro Natural choice. I have tried others, but he seems to like this better. There are so many good ones out there, but since this works, I am not going to change. My vet charges 74$ a year for unlimited nail trims. I trim them myself, the back ones are very hard. My guy's foster mom had a fountain, but i never did get one. She also had 10 foster cats. SHe had him from about 2-3 weeks and was very reluctant to give him up. She knew what a great guy he was. He drinks out of the faucet, I can really tell he would like for me to get a fountain! Maybe some day. Good luck with your new guy!
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 11:00 PM
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Congratulations!
I don't have much to add to the great advice everyone gave you. As far as the fountain goes, if it isn't faulty as Tim said, putting it on a soft mat or dish towel will make it almost completely silent.
Enjoy the new little fellow!

Victoria
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