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Hello all.

I recently adopted a male stray kitten. He is a healthy-looking, gray, tabby pattern. He doesn't have any scars or weird bumps, and hasn't done anything to suggest he is sick. (no puking, diarrhea, etc.) He has a healthy appetite and seems playful. After adjusting to my new house, he is fairly calm and affectionate.

A bit of history: I work at a country club. He was a stray cat who was wandering around where I work, and he came up to me for a few weeks begging me for food. After I started putting food out for him, he became gradually more friendly, and allowed me to pet him, and pick him up. There are several stray cats who live outdoors up there, but he was the friendliest of the bunch. After a few weeks of this, I put him in my car and took him home!

Current Situation: So the cat has adapted pretty well to living indoors. He follows me around, purrs when I pet him, likes his food, has adapted to a litter box, etc.

I assume I need to get him examined by a vet or someone, and probably vaccinated. But I don't know what to have done though.... I don't want to waste money on unnecessary things. I also have a few behavioral type questions.


Questions:
1) What kind of exams, or shots, should I request for my new cat? He has lived outdoors his whole life.... which I expect is probably about 6 months.
2) Should I have him neutered now, or should I wait?
3) Behaviorally... he has chewed through or clawed through strings on 2 of my closed wooden blinds! How can I stop him from doing this? (My window sills are narrow, and the blinds were closed when he did this)
4) Should I consider adding a 2nd or 3rd cat? What kind of cat (or cats) would be best to add with a ~6 month old playful male cat?
5) For some reason, he is terrified of my bed. He doesn't like to sit on it, and he won't sleep on it with me. If I set him on the bed, and lie down next to him... he tenses up, and runs off. Is this normal? If not, how can I get him used to it?
6) Do cats need a bed of their own? He normally just sleeps on the carpet in random places.
 

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In my experience:

A vet would usually perform a general exam. If something was detected during that exam, the vet might want to do further testing, but if nothing turns up, a general exam should be fine. Shots would be rabies, a combo vaccine (given as a series of 3 shots one month apart) and possibly feline leukemia (given as a series of 2 shots), depending on whether kitty would be indoor only or indoor/outdoor.

I am a huge fan of neutering as early as possible. It can be safely done as young as 2 months old, if they weigh at least 2 pounds. Six months is old enough for him to get a female pregnant, should he find one.

So far as chewing and clawing...I use a squirt bottle for my kitties, to keep them out of places I do not want them. You can also get "claw caps" which fit over the claws without hurting the cat, and blunts the claws.

I don't know that there is a "need" to add another cat, if that is what you mean. Cats can do fine on their own in homes, without a need for other cats. If you were to add another, generally it is easier to add younger cats and of the opposite sex (so a younger female, in this case). It is perfectly possible to get adults or same sex cats to get along though.

The bed issue is something he could get used to in time.

He will find comfortable places to sleep whether you provide him a bed or not. He is a cat. :) You can absolutely get him a bed, but this is no guarantee he will always use it and it is not a requirement.

Sounds like you're off to a good start with him! :)
 

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He needs a general exam and his kitten shots (at least panleuk/calici/rhino and rabies). If he is six months old, definitely have him neutered now. You don't want him to start spraying. You can get bitter apple spray at the pet store and spray it on your blinds to keep him from chewing them; I had to do that for my cat Tugs. If you get a 2nd cat, get one a similar age as him, as kittens are better off with other kittens as playmates (adults do not usually find kittens amusing). I'm not really sure why he's afraid of your bed; all I can suggest is rewarding him for being on it (playing, praise, treats) and being patient. Cat's don't need beds of their own; they will lay anywhere and he'd probably love a cardboard box (sounds weird but it's true...). That said, I've bought beds for mine, but they only use them half the time.
 

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Two of my cats came to us after living outside exclusively for six months. They had no issues adjusting and are very affectionate, though they hide when we have company. I got them fixed ASAP, and recommend a vet checkup and neutering as soon as you can. Some places offer low cost neutering (and often vaccinations) if you're interested. Google or talk to a local animal shelter.

I second the bitter apple spray. You can spray it on the blinds and on any furniture you don't want him to scratch.

I would get him neutered and wait a few months before adding another cat (male or female), because neutering will greatly decrease any territorial behavior (like urinating on things, fighting, and scratching furniture to mark it). In my experience (and I'm sure others have had this happen as well) cats can kind of come into your family whether you were planning on it or not. So if you're open to getting another cat, one will probably be available when you're ready. Once he's neutered and vaccinated, he can have a playmate (one his age would be better, either another neutered male or spayed female) but it's not absolutely necessary unless you can't be around to give him attention every day. They're fun to watch when they're cuddling, playing, and generally interacting with each other. I do recommend multi cat families, if your budget, space, and time allows. Just remember that vet, litter, and (of course) food costs multiply with each cat you add, and plan accordingly. There are ALWAYS cats of all ages available in shelters, so if/when you decide you want to get him a friend, look at a shelter first. They'll be able to find you the perfect buddy for your cat.
 

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My cats sleep on my bed so I don't have a problem with this, but I remember my mom bought a really nice bed for her cat and she couldn't get him to use it. I told her to get ome cat nip spray and spray it and since he adored his treats I told her to put his treats on his bed. It worked! He absolutely loves his bed. Just associate your bed with things he likes. Play with him on it. Don't lay next to him in the beginning, maybe that makes him uncomfortable. Let him make that choice. Cats do EVERYTHING on their own terms. You have to make them think it's all their own idea.
If he is at least six months then I say get him neutered for all things mentioned above.
I woul definitely worry about the blinds. Not the damaging part, but him getting tangled up in them and strangling himself.
Last but not least; I always say 2 cats are better than one! They are so fun to watch interact with each other. Very entertaining.
Good luck!
 

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1) The vet will take care of all that and if you decide he will remain an outdoor cat there is more shots involved for those risks.
2) Vet says 6 months is a good time to neuter so yes, if possible
3) He is probably teething at 6months - this will likely stop as he gets older. you can use citrus juice as a spray to keep him away if necessary. pet stores also sell spray.
4) Depends if your cat likes other cats or you want one. Cats do well on their own, some do alright with another but not really necessary.
5) You have to let him do what he wants at his own pace. I have a feral kitten that i tamed, shes 2 years old now and sleeps on my bed but as a baby she stayed under the bed for about a month or so before she started to get comfortable.
6) You can buy one but again, not necessary. Some cats like them, some don't. I bought one for my cat and she hated it/never used it. lol
 
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