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First off- for anyone who remembers my declawing post a couple weeks ago- I thought I'd mention that we've decided not to do it. I'm still a little bit worried about accidents against the dog, but we'll give those soft-paws a try, and if that doesn't work we'll think of something else. Thanks again to everyone who replied with helpful suggestions.

And as for this post...I'm just wondering if anyone has any general kitten tips for a first timer. Neither my girlfriend or I have ever owned a cat before, so everything from hairballs to litterboxes will be new to us. The kitten is (I think) a female, and (I think) coming to us at about 6 weeks old. We have quite a few "accessories" we got from a friend- kennel, litterbox, litter, food (should we be buying some sort of kitten formula instead?), toys, etc. And this is about as prepared as we are, thus far.
 

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Is there any way to delay getting the kitten?. 6 weeks old is WAY too young. Kittens should not be taken from their mother until 12 weeks. It would be much better for the kitten's health, well-being and socialization to wait until 12 weeks.
I am glad you have reconsidered the declawing, I think you will be pleasantly suprised in how effective dealing with the claw issue in different ways will be. As for kitten food, since the baby will be growing rapidly, you should feed kitten food until she is spayed (at about 6 months). At that time, the kitten's nutritional needs really decrease so you can switch onto adult food. The reason kittens need kitten food is because it contains much higher levels of protein and fat, just what a growing kitten needs!
One of the best investments you can make is a good scratching post! It blunts their claws and teaches them to scratch in the appropriate place (not on your couch).
I'm sure others will give you more input.
 

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ditto what Queen of the Nile said. If you can leave the kitten with her mother for another six weeks, great! But we'll (well, me...I can't speak for everyone else) understand if that's not an option.

It looks to me like you've got all the necessities for a new kitten. Now it's time to set up the kitten's room. This is the first place she'll go and she should stay in there for a few days until she's used to her new surroundings. Put all of her supplies in that room so she has access to everything.

Some incidentals. These are things I've got for my cat that have come in handy. You may or may not find you'll need them:
brushes and combs: keeping Kitty well-groomed will cut down on the number of hairballs you'll have to deal with.
toothbrush and toothpaste: keep Kitty's teeth cleaned and you'll avoid expensive dental cleanings and removals in the future. Start brushing about the time Kitty loses her baby teeth.
glass and/or ceramic food and water dishes: plastic can cause feline acne and stainless steel could shock Kitty.
scratching post or cat tree: Since your're not declawing (and good for you, I say!) a scratching post is a must. But you might consider getting a cat tree in addition to or instead of. Getting a tall one will give Kitty a good place to climb and get plenty of exercise. Cats love being in high places. We have an ebay dealer post here recently under this forum in a thread titled "purrrniture." Apparently he's got some really good deals and comes highly recommended.
Toys: I see you've already gotten several toys, but may I recommend a toy called the "panic mouse." If you want to distract the cat and do something like cook dinner, this is a good way to keep your cat occupied while you're doing something else. I don't actually have this toy because it came out well after Sabby became a lethargic old cat.
String: Not a ball of twine or anything Kitty could get caught up in, but a length of heavy-duty string to tie to your belt loop that will drag on the ground behind you so Kitty can play with it instead of your ankles. Kitties love ankles. (Time for a Sabby story. Yaay! ... When I got Sabby I shared a room with my little sister, Afton. It was Afton's job to turn off the light at night, so every night she'd stand by the light switch and say, "Do you have him?" And I'd be holding Sabby and say, "Yes." Then she'd turn off the light and I'd let Sabby down and he would chase and bite her ankles. And she would scream and jump on her bed and yell at me. Ahh...good times!)

Other than that, spend lots and lots of time with your new kitten and enjoy!
 

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This will sound incredibly selfish, I'm sure, but we've both been counting the days until we get her, so I don't think waiting will work for us. Also, the kitten is coming to us from a friend who is pretty desperate to unload her. Her cat is sort of the town ***** and is pregnant every two months (Yes...they definitely do need to get her spayed). Needless to say, kittens aren't much of a novelty to her anymore and she just wants them out as soon as possible. I'm home daily for the next couple months though, so at least the kitten will be getting plenty of attention.

As for scratching posts...I was thinking of building my own. Just can't bring myself to spend $25 on a 2x4, a square of plywood, and some carpet. Any specifics I should be looking at? I'm guessing just keep the carpet type short and tightly stretched?

queen of the nile: I'm in Alberta as well (St. Albert)- any suggestions on kitten food brands I can find locally?
 

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a kitten would be like an introduction to having a baby, they like to stick their nose into anything just for the sake of :lol: . They are curious about everything sometimes to their detriment but it provides hours of entertainment.



here is one tip maybe people don't think of off the top of their head --- if you have blinds or curtains or shades etc and the kitten is roaming free - make sure to tie up the cords or flip them over the valance etc - if you leave them hanging and they swing, kitty will love to play and swat at them etc. That's all fine and good, but I've had 3 people I know come home to a horrible sight of kitty swinging from these blinds, dead and hanging from them like a noose because kitty got stuck in them and strangled themselves. I know it's not a common occurrence but still something to be aware of.
 

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If you can at all convince your friend to get her cat spayed, please do. 17 cats are put down every week in Edmonton. I look at the humane society website everyday (yes I'm weird) and I see the pics of the cats disappearing and I know they aren't being adopted. If you can do anything at all, please try :cry: .

As for a good place to get pet food, I'm not sure if there is anything in St. Alberta directly but there is a great food store in Edmonton. It is called G & E Pharmacy and is located at 7326-82 Ave (469-7667). They sell (I think) - Felidae, Natural Balance, Wellness, and Wysong. They are the only place in Edmonton that sells the premium foods. You can also buy Nutro Natural at Midas and Petsmart, but it is not as good quality of food as the ones listed above.

About the scratching post - making it is much better than buying - so much less expensive. Mine is home-made and about 7 feet tall, 4 feet wide and has 4 perchs. (Yes my cats are spoiled :lol: ). Bigger is definately better. Have you considered adopting more than one kitten? This way when the kitten gets older it will have someone to play with when you are gone. Two cats aren't much harder to take care of than 1. They take up the same amount of space and are MUCH happier if they have a friend. Mine snuggle in one big pile and groom each other - so sweet :D .
 
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