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There is a stray teenage cat that has been hanging around my apartment. I'm more than likely going to end up taking her in, she is very affectionate but also very trusting and I'm worried for her. My boyfriend is actually behind this which is surprising because he was adamant that I couldn't have a cat, but she charmed him with her cuteness. I've had cats growing up but this is going to be the first time I've had one that is completely my responsibility. I know that once I take her in I'm going to go get her registered and a check up with all her shots, get her spayed and probably treated for fleas. I'm not sure what else I need to do. It is going to cost 400.00s just for the pet deposit at my apartment complex so I'm probably going to try to save up for a few months before I can take her in, I'm just hoping she is going to be okay until then. I've noticed a lump on her belly, I don't think she is pregnant because the lump is only on one side. I can't really do much about it now, if she needs to have some kind of surgery I can't afford to pay for the vet bills AND the pet deposit to keep her inside while she heals. So I'm hoping it'll work itself out.


I also need some advice when it comes to litter boxes/litter. I was looking at some litter boxes online, I'd be willing to spend 30 but less would be preferred of course. I thought about the Clevercat top entry litter box but seeing as how she hasn't used a litter box before I was worried she may not take to it very easily because she isn't used to having to use a litter box. I'm tempted just to get one of the basic kinds with a lid to start with and eventually changing it up once she gets used to using a litter box. I'm trying to avoid as much mess and tracking as possible once she is inside. As for litter, I know clumpable is probably easiest but I'm also concerned about the smell. It doesn't bother me too much because well, that is part of having a cat, but I know my boyfriend will be less tolerant so I'm looking for something that will be safe for her, easy to clean, and good on odor control, it would be nice if it were fairly cheap also but I think I'm asking for too much already lol.

Other than that I'm probably going to stick to dry food, wet food on occasion. Again, I'd ideally like something cheap but I want something that will be good for her also, I read that the really cheap catfood is almost all filler and can be bad for their health. I've also read things about filtered water because tap water causes health problems, any opinions there?

Any advice you can offer will be very appreciated.

Here's some pictures.

She LOVES to give kisses.


Here she is rolling around in our patio. She was sleeping on her back with her paws up and curled, we accidentally woke her with our giggling.
 

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She is very cute :) Have you picked a name for her yet. How wonderful of you to desire to give her a home and love!

Cat boxes and cat litter is something that lots of people (and cats) will have different preferences on. I personally prefer to use a pine based litter. I buy Eagle Valley Animal Bedding - About Eagle Valley. It comes in 35lb bags and the local feed store I get it from charges $4.00 for the bag. I've found WalMart to be a good place to get things like litter boxes cause they tend to be cheaper then places like Petco. My mom uses these litter boxes for her cats and has had no complaints Walmart.com: Large Enclosed Cat Pan: Cats. I wouldn't worry too much about whether or not she will use the box. Her obvious love for you and ease around people would make me believe that she was somebodies at some point. One thing that happens a lot at apartments is people have cats, then when they move they leave the cat behind and outside thinking that someone else in the complex will take them. Just show her where the boxes are when you introduce her into your home and I am sure she will be a pro in no time :)

I do a wet/dry diet for my kitties. I use the brand Natural Balance and honestly love it. I would recommend a grain free food for you kitty. I would encourage you to make wet food a regular part of your cats diet. It is so much better for them, and has really important components in it that you may not find in dry food for things such as coat health. The shelter here leaves dry food out for the cats all day long, then feeds 1 tablespoon of wet food in the morning to the cats and another 1 tablespoon of wet food in the evening. Perhaps you should start with that and see how you and your kitty feel about it. I would recommend bringing her small amounts of whatever dry food you decide to feed her. That way she is already adjusted to it when you move her in. It will be one less thing she has to worry about as she transitions :catmilk

I would keep an eye on the lump just to make sure it isn't doing anything like growing. Since you live in an apartment I would highly recommend having something like a scratching post for her when you bring her in that she can happily rip apart. I also would get an area rug for your living room, one that you will be okay with possibly being damaged. My cats love to go after the carpet and since I'm a renter I do NOT want them ripping it up. So I got a cheap area rug in the living room that I try hard to deter them not to scratch up because I still don't want them in the habit of going after the floor, but it acts as a buffer in case they get going at the floor when I am not around. This is not a necessity just a suggestion.

I am so excited for you and for this kitty!!! Don't forget lots of toys and fun stuff. I hope I've been of help.
 

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When I saw Prince sleeping like that on my lap in the street little after he met me, that was it, I knew I had to adopt him and urgently. As you say, it shows they're too trusting.

I hid him from the landlord for a long time.

I also started by looking for the cheapest way to adopt him. Now he's a part of my monthly budget, and he's worth every penny (a lot more, actually).

Except for the pet deposit, I don't think the expenses will be much. I'd take her to the vet asap, that way anything she has will be easier and cheaper to treat now, not to mention may save her life.

She can certainly live on rather cheap dry food till you can gradually incorporate her in your budget with better food. Also, if she takes to meat, some meats like chicken wings / gizzards can be even cheaper than dry food, or about the same price. And as for litter box: a plastic box that is the appropriate size and shape, plus clumping sand that is good and cheap and odorless will be enough. The non-clamping sand is very cheap, but very stinky unless you change it at least twice a week.

Remember that, however humble what you can give her, it's always better than the life she's living outside. The main things, i.e. shelter from the climate and dangers, love, attention and care, a feeling of safety, regular meals and water (tap water is fine enough), and knowing someone cares, are all free of charge.

At first,Prince's possessions were the cheapest sand inside an old laundry basket lined with nylon bags (I was able to buy new sand and change it only after 2 weeks!), dry kibble, an old duvet to sleep on which I made a tent of using a twig I found, and his only toy was another twig from a tree that I found in the garden, from which I hung an old plastic wire. (Now he has wonderful brand toys, but he still prefers the twig with the wire.) But I saved his life and that's what made all the difference. It was one whole month before I could afford a vet visit for him (but he had no visible ailments or fleas). Now, after over a month, he has a collar with an engraved tag with our phone number, he's on an all-raw balanced diet, he's after his shots and check-up, he has many toys and treats and cushions to choose from and a month worth of balanced raw meals in the freezer. But I gathered everything a bit each day from hand-downs and what I saved from going out and from cutting my own expenses. It isn't much money after all - then again I found him already neutered and we don't have pet deposits here.

I don't know what the others will say, as I'm quite new at it like you, but I personally would urge you to take her in asap.

Wishing you three all the best !!
 

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This sweet calico looks already to be at an age to be spayed. Some females come into heat as early as 5 mos., so that should be the first thing, as well as her shots and worming, and FeLV testing. If you wait for a few months, she most likely will get pregnant. The lump on her side is suspicious and may need expensive treatment. Can you really afford to pay the deposit and the vet expenses?

It would be best for her if you feed her grain-free canned food (no wheat, rice, corn) than dry kibble, altho you can get grain-free kibble now.

A clumping clay litter with baking soda, I find is most earily handled and very little odor if cleaned 2x/day. I would start out with a tray (with a detachable hood). For a feral cat, it would be more natural to use an open tray.

Just a suggestion: If you want kitten experience, you might consider fostering one that has been already vet checked. It's possible you may end up wanting to keep the foster.
 

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I just recalled this thanks to Straysmommy, but when you take her in ask the vet to check for a spay scar. Since you do not know her history it is very possible that she has already been spayed. This will probably entail shaving her belly but a vet will be trained to recognize a spay scar from any other scar.
 

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Nicole, we posted at the same time. :) I can't believe you pay $4 for an 18kg. bag of clumping sand, and pine !!! Here we pay $20 for the very cheapest clumping sand in an 18kg. bag, and for pine we'd be paying more than $40. And our salaries are a lot lower than in the US. The sand is the biggest expense for the cat here.
 

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You should talk to your apartment complex. When I decided to adopt a cat and couldn't afford the 500.00 pet deposit up front my complex let me split it up over 5 months. I just paid 100.00 extra each month when I paid my rent.

A vet might also work with you on the price of your visits. My vet allows you to write 'installment' checks and postdate them. So say I had a vet visit that was 400.00...he would let me write 4/100.00 checks and put future pay dates on them and he will hold those checks until those dates. I had to do that once with a big bill for MowMow.

All the above might spread the cash out over a period of time and make it easier to afford and get her inside and safe quicker. I have to agree, even if you have to feed her some grocery store cat food to begin with until her vet bills are taken care of at least she's off the streets and safe. Once you've caught up you can put her on healthier stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
They're really not flexible here, I've mentioned it before because I've wanted a cat for a long time and they're always very stern that it is 400 dollars, no arrangements or anything available. I think I'm just going to keep her inside until we save up enough and if the lump grows or she starts getting sick I'll take her to the vet and hope the money we saved up will be enough. We also haven't filed our income tax yet so maybe our refund will come in time to save the day.

My boyfriend named her Calliope. :)
 

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Pretty Calliope, I like it :) I think that it is great that your boyfriend is also excited about her.

Yay for tax returns! They always seem to pop up at the perfect time. Sounds like it will work in your favor that you haven't filed yet. I am very excited for all 3 of you!!!
 

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Okay, I bought this litter box.



I also bought some arm and hammer clumping litter. I saw a sale on door mats for 2 dollars so i bought one of those instead of one of those cat mat thingies they sell. I also bought some large box liners and a little cat bed :). My apartment has shelves built into the walls, I'm going to clear out the nook on the bottom and line the wall and floor with a shower curtain so if she gets messy it'll be easier to clean. I'm worried about putting the litter box in the bathroom because we always close the door and I'm afraid one of us will forget one day when we're at work. I also bought her a little food and water bowl.

I feel like I'm kind of in shock a bit, I've been wanting a cat for so long and this was so sudden. My boyfriend has really surprised me, we've lived together for 4 years and I'd always HOPED that one day he'd change his mind but I never really expected it. He really is excited he even paid for the litter box and bed. I guess it took him this long to realize how much I love cats.


She is VERY affectionate and she loves to rub on EVERYTHING. She seems respectful of jumping on the counters and tables and stuff. She doesn't even go sniffing around the trash can in the kitchen. She follows us around everywhere and butts her head against our hands constantly and she is always purring. It's cute but I'm curious how it's going to work out once she gets used to staying inside. This is such an interesting change for us. I'm excited and nervous all at once.


Thanks for all your help you guys, I'll keep you posted on how things go. :D
 

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I love the name Calliope. It suits her. I hope you'll take her to the vet soon to get checked out, and I hope everything goes well for you all. All the best!
 

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Yay, I'm very excited too!

Before I adopted Prince, I called a friend who has 10 house cats and a lot more in her yard, and explained to her all the reasons why I couldn't adopt Prince, mainly vet bills and landlord. She listened attentively, and when I finished, all she said was "Congratulations". LOL, she knew before me that I'd manage some way.
 

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It's been a bit over a month since I adopted Prince, and I'm still in shock. It was totally unplanned. I just saw his behavior on the street, he followed me all the way up to my apt, and that was it, he was adopted. The night he came inside I didn't even have a box for him or litter - he had to go in the plant pots.

I bought him an expensive scratch post, but he doesn't use it, preferring to use the neighbors' doormats on the way up and down the stairs to the street.
 

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Haha aw. It's like they choose us. It got pretty cold here, usually it stays pretty warm even in the winters, but we had an ice storm and some really bad cold fronts. I couldn't let her inside because my boyfriend and I were both working nights on those days. I felt bad for her so I built her a little makeshift cardboard box shelter. I was so happy when I saw her using it. She would always want to come inside like she belonged here.

I think she's got my boyfriend in her paws. While we slept we closed the door to the bedroom so she could have free reign of the living room but she was by the door meowing and he felt bad. When we woke up he was like okay I'll let her in but don't let her get hair all over the blankets. He was laughing at how she was sticking her paws under the door. He's never had an indoor cat before so he is still new to their psychological warfare tactics. lol He kept saying "Man I feel like we're being mean by letting her stay out there, shes crying so much I feel bad." hehe, softy.
 

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Oh she has runny diarrhea but the lump in her tummy is gone. I'm guessing the two are related but I'm also wondering if she is just over eating and her stomach doesn't know how to handle it. She keeps going back to the food bowl to make sure its still there then she eats a little bit. I don't want to let it go empty because I want her to get comfortable with knowing she will always have food and water available. At least for now while she gets adjusted.
 

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Awwww....thank you so much for updating! And you're right, we make our calculations but then they have their own plans, which we end up abiding to. :)

Yay, no lump anymore, that's great!

The diarrhea could be due to a change in diet or maybe you gave her milk and she's lactose intolerant?

I too free-fed Prince at the beginning. I wanted to be sure he was eating enough and also as you say, give him the feeling that food would always be available. Now he's on a strictest raw balanced diet, which means he eats his carefully selected and ordered and highly paid for assortment of meats and organs, all calculated and weighed to the last gram, then goes downstairs and finishes his meal with the strays, eating the cheap kibble that they get. LOL

Btw, when my brother got married, one of his conditions was "NO PETS EVER". Then she brought in a dog and he fell so hard for the dog it became his whole world.
 

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Awww, this is just the most beautiful story! :) I'm so happy that everything turned out so well, and that Calliope (love the name, btw!) has a happy, loving home now. Congratulations on your new family member! And thank you for taking her in. I know a lot of rescue groups and shelters around me have a really hard time adopting out even teenage cats like Calliope because everyone wants kittens. You're giving her a second chance at a great life! :)
 
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