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Hi there!
I am new to your site, but I'm happy to have found it! I've lived with cats my whole life, up until I had children about 6 years ago. We currently have an Aussie (which is a dog :wink: ), and now it is time to teach my children about kitties. My kids are "cat people" like myself. We will be adopting a Manx kitten in 2 and a half weeks (when she turns 6 weeks old) and I have a couple of pretty basic questions.

Since it's been a few years since I've fed a kitty, I'm a little out of the loop as to what the best cat foods are these days. Any suggestions? My pooch is on the Bones And Raw Food Diet, and I need to do a little homework with that regarding kitties...but as far as buying a good healthy food goes, I'm way open for any suggestions. :)

My next question is about kitty litter. What do you all suggest is the best type to use? I hope to toilet train my kitty when she gets large enough (my friend's cat uses the toilet, so I know it can be done), but until I get to that point what do you think about the brands that are out there to choose from? Thank you in advance! :D
 

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hi there, welcome to the forums! hope you enjoy your stay! :)

the best cat foods out there right now are the holistic (natural) foods ie. wellness, natural balance, wysong and i believe chicken soup for the cat lover's soul is if i'm not mistaken.

the usual clumping cat litter is still quite popular, so are these new "natural" and "flushable" types. make sure to read the labels first to make sure if it is flushable. i've heard a lot of people talking about "swheat scoop" as well as "world's best cat litter," the swheat scoop is a cat litter made from 100% natural wheat that is flushable. the only bad thing i've ehard about it is that it tells you to spray some sort of non stick spray (pam) onto it to make it not stick, yet it still does. i've only heard good things about "world's best cat litter" but i also heard it's a bit pricey.

hope this at least partially answers your questions. :lol:
 

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Hey there, and welcome.

I give my cats Science Diet sensitive stomach dry food (two of them have very sensitive stomachs), which I would recommend, and Nature's Recipe moist food. "Ever Clean" litter works well for us. I would recommend trying out different foods, but beware of ones that have meat "by-products" in them. They're OK for your cat, but not the best. Also, try out different types of litter until you find one that works for you.

For a treat, feed your kitty baby food (make sure it is a meat type) - they LOVE it, and it's somewhat good for them, though it certainly shouldn't be their only food.

Good luck with your new kitten!! I LOVE Manx cats. I would recommend getting her at 8 or 10 weeks old (especially because she's a manx - sometimes they have something called "Manx syndrome" at an early age) - but it's up to you and the breeder.
 

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Thank you both for the great advice! I am going to go look for "Manx syndrome" now, that doesn't sound like it could be a good thing. Thank you again!
 

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I also found this paragraph on Manx syndrome on this website http://www.fanciers.com/breed-faqs/manx-faq.html:

Special Medical Problems
Manx Syndrome is a normally fatal defect caused by the so-called Manx gene, which causes the taillessness. The gene's action in shortening the spine may go too far, resulting in severe spinal defects--a gap in the last few vertebrae, fused vertebrae, or spina bifida in newborns. If there is no obvious problem with a Manx Syndrome kitten at birth, the difficulties will show up in the first few weeks or months of the cat's life, usually in the first four weeks, but sometimes as late as four months. It is often characterized by severe bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, or by extreme difficulty in walking.

Breeders of Manx will generally not let kittens leave the cattery until they have reached four months of age because of the possibility of Manx Syndrome appearing. In most cases, however, experience will point to a problem in a kitten long before the kit is four months old. Rarely will a breeder have no suspicion of anything wrong and have the Manx Syndrome appear.

Manx Syndrome may occur even in a carefully bred litter, but is more likely in the instance when a rumpy is bred to a rumpy in or beyond the third generation. For this reason, the breeder carefully tracks rumpy to rumpy breedings, and uses tailed Manx regularly in the breeding program. Generally speaking, a sound breeding between a tailed Manx and a rumpy Manx should produce a litter that is 50% tailed and 50% rumpy, but as we know, what should happen and what does happen are many times two different things. Usually, however, one may rely on this percentage. As long as litters are produced in which all tail lengths appear, the breeder may feel that the breeding program is on track.

Manx litters tend toward the small side in numbers, both because of Manx Syndrome and because of the short back of the queen, which leaves less room for large numbers of kittens. A typical Manx litter will be 3 or 4 kittens--more than that could crowd the kits and a female who has a history of large litters needs careful observation during pregnancy to see that all goes well. A sensible precaution with expectant Manx queens is to have the vet x-ray or ultra-sound her a couple of weeks before the due date, to determine the number of kits to expect.

Most breeders will have the tails of Manx kits docked at 4-6 days of age. This is not so much for cosmetic reasons as it is to stave off another manifestation of the Manx gene. In adult cats of around 5 years, the tail vertebrae may become ossified and arthritic, resulting in pain for the cat. The pain may grow so severe that amputation is necessary--a difficult operation for an adult cat. It is much less painful and recovery is much swifter for a very young kitten to have its tail docked.
 

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6 weeks old is WAY to young to take a kitten away from its mother!! The kitten should stay with it's mother until at least 12 weeks of age! Please, PLEASE reconsider the age of when taking a baby away from its mother.
 

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Aonir said:
6 weeks old is WAY to young to take a kitten away from its mother!! The kitten should stay with it's mother until at least 12 weeks of age! Please, PLEASE reconsider the age of when taking a baby away from its mother.
I understand that this is very young, but, the person that has the kittens rescued 3 pregnant mother cats that were cast out by her friend's neighbor. Two of the mothers have had their litters, and the other is due any day now. And she is planning on giving away these kittens at that age, regardless of who takes them. It is not for me to tell her to keep them an additional 6 weeks. I don't know her, since this was a "free kitten" ad in the paper. There might be very valid reasons as to why she cannot keep 3 litters of kittens for 12 weeks. I think it was quite generous of her to take the mother cats out of the 90+ degree weather, into her home, to let them give birth and be fed on a regular basis. Here in Phoenix, it is not a crime to abandon cats (even when pregnant). They are considered to be self sufficient in the eyes of the legal system. Ok, that's a crock of poop, I agree, but it's the law. Now, if you kick a dog out of your house, you go to jail.
Anyways.... She's giving the kittens away, regardless, at that age. I have always gotten my kittens anywhere from 6-8 weeks of age, and none of them have had mental issues or needed Paxil :wink: . I am giving this kitten a nice home and a happy life, it sure beats the shelter.
 

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Hi there.

I guess everything was already said here except the toilet training facts. Please, do not toilet train your cat. There was lot of talking about it here, on the forum and it's not good for the cats at all. Unfortunatelly, I can't find the link where you could take a look.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Do you remember why they said it was bad? Just curious, because my friend's cat does just fine.
 

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Reputable breeders will not let a kitten go until it is 12 weeks. The CFA recommends 12-14 weeks, but obviously with Manx kittens it iw necessary to wait longer. Please be cautious. I don't think your breeder knows what she's doing--or is willing to take the chance. :(

Mother cat teaches the kitten what is and is not acceptable and playing with littermates is also learning. You see this with the big cats also. Please find a different breeder.

By the way, I love your avatar! I'm a Tom and Jerry fan. :D
 

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Oh, I found it! :D

Please, read this. It was written by 2sillycats. (http://www.catforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=2748). I hope she won't mind I'm quoting her. :) :


Last summer I had the bright idea to toilet train my cat too. I would love to never clean out a litter box again. But it caused serious problems in my little household. Badness aggressively attacked Scrappy. She was also rolling in the litter box. The DIRTY litter box. I didn't know how to stop her from doing that. Needless to say, it was quite disgusting.

I posted my problem on another message board. I got a reply from Pam Johnson-Bennett, the cat behaviorist and author of several books on cats. She really, really let me have it.

Here is her reply:

Ok, here comes the important part. I VERY STRONGLY advise you NOT to toilet-train your cats. Please listen to me because this advice will save you and your cats a tremendous amount of stress in the very near future. Eliminating in a toilet is not natural for cats. Although some cats can be trained to do it, it's a stressful, unnatural behavior. It's a natural instinct for cats to dig and cover during the elimination process in a sand-like substance. Perching on a toilet seat is not comfortable and it forces a cat in an awkward position. If the cat has diarrhea, constipation, or is sick or weak, trying to perch on a toilet becomes very difficult. Although an adult cat won't drown in a toilet under calm circumstances, when a cat falls in she is extremely stressed and the panic can cause drowning. Falling in the toilet can also create more of a mess for the cat and for you. If a cat is recovering from an injury or surgery, it will be impossible for her to eliminate in a toilet.

Additionally, if you ever have to separate your cats due to illness, post-op care, or to do a reintroduction due to aggression, the cat who is separated in another room will have to use a litter box and that will then become confusing. Remember, cats hate change.

When you toilet-train a cat, everyone in the family and all guests must remember to leave the toilet seat up. If it is left down accidently, the cat will start eliminating on the carpet.

If you ever have to board your cats or if they have to be hospitalized overnight, they will then have to use a litter box again. That adds stress and confusion. Also, once they start using the box, they need to be retrained all over again to the toilet.

Another important thing to remember is that the litter box is a diagnostic tool for you. By scooping twice a day you can monitor the amount of urine in the box, the condition of the solid waste (diarrhea, constipation, etc). With a toilet-trained cat, you can't monitor the amount of urine and it can be difficult to judge the condition of stool. You won't be able to inspect it for worms or signs of excessive hair. You also won't be able to bring a stool sample to the veterinarian.

I've been a behaviorist for over 20 years and I've seen my share of owners who have tried to toilet-train their cats. It may work for a while but it usually ends in disaster.

Pam Johnson-Bennett

feline behaviorist and author of Think Like a Cat
 
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