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Discussion Starter #1
On Sat. afternoon we had a horrible thunder/wind storm. While I was trying to secure toys and such under our carport I saw a cat streak across the carport and hide under a table. He was terrified of the storm and dripping wet. DH got towels and dried him off and held him some to calm him down. He's just a tiny fellow (we think he's a he), very young and very thin/malnourished. DH felt bad and gave him some water and dry food and he scarfed down the food. We put a box w/ some old towels in it and he has been camped out in that box by our backdoor ever since Sat. afternoon. He jumps out when we go outside and is very affectionate and my two girls (3 and 6) love him and want to keep him. He jumpes up on a table by the back window and stares inside at us, tries to follow us in the door, and cries at night, so sad :(

My concerns with keeping him are:
- We've only had him 2 days, not sure if he is someone else's cat. There are lots of strays in our neighborhood but they normally don't stick around our house. Our immediate neighbors don't have cats that I know of, but this little guy is so friendly it seems as though he may have been an indoor cat at one point.

- We have two inside only cats and they have been growling and hissing whenever they see him at the window. Levi is 8 yrs. old and has been having dietary issues so we now have both cats on Natural Balance food (because they eat out of each other's dishes) which is really taking a hit to the wallet! Lucy is 5 yr. old and is quite the Queen of the house. Not sure how we could keep food separate between the cats or how the other two would respond to a kitten in the house.

Originally we thought we would just continue to feed him and keep him outside and the girls can play with him outside, but the crying at night is sooo sad and I'm also worried about the cold in winter. Hubby wants to try bringing him in slowly to get the other cats used to him, and making all three cats indoor/outdoor cats (once we've updated for the leukemia shot and flea/tick sprayed them all). We live on about 2 acres of land at the edge of an older development, and there is forest behind and beside our house. We've seen lots of animals in our yard (deer, turkey, fox, groundhog, etc.), as well as other strays. If they become indoor/outdoor cats, I'd let them in and out during the day when they want, and try to make sure they are back in before dark.

I can get an appt. at the vet tonight to check out this little kitty and deworm him, etc. Or is it too soon to adopt him if we've only had him 2 days and not sure of another owner? Should I risk bringing him in with the two older cats or is that a recipe for disaster. I'm not fully onboard with a third cat in the house, but I'm also not coldhearted enough to let him cry outside at night.
 

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Definitely take him to the vet ASAP. If you are worried he is someone's cat then check local online classified ads, call around local vets , etc, but to be honest I doubt it since it sounds like he has been on his own for sometime. Just because he is friendly doesn't mean he was someone's pet. You say he looks young,,,well younger cats tend to be more friendly and curious even if they were outside cats.

If you want to keep him then set up his own room and slowly Introduce him to the others(swapping smells, etc). Of course they won't like him now because he is in the garage and is in their territory. My one cat hates when the neighbours cat visits the screen door and freaks out because he is on her turf.

Take things nice and slow. It will take a while but can wprk
 

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poor little guy! Have you put up 'found kitten' posters in the neighborhood and put a found listing on craigslist? He may be lost, or he may have been dumped, but at least make an effort to help him find his way home if he has one. It sounds like he is used to being an inside kitty, hence the crying to come in. If you do end up keeping him, please check out the introductions sticky.

I understand about letting them be indoor/outdoor kitties, if you think the outdoors is safe enough. Indoor only kitties usually live much longer.
 

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A vet can check him for a microchip and you can call the local shelter to see if anyone reported a missing cat that looks like him. Honestly, though, if he's so thin/malnourished, he probably doesn't have an owner. I wouldn't be able to bear the crying either... so sad! As for the indoor/outdoor idea, I wouldn't recommend it... you said there are foxes in your area and they will kill/eat kittens. If you take him in, get him checked for FIV and FeLV before you introduce him to your other kitties, and introduce them very gradually. CJinCA is right about indoor kitties living longer... in the feral colony outside my best friend's mom's house, the cats only make it an average of 5 years; my cousins had two outdoor cats and they only made it 7 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input, I'll keep the vet appt. for tonight and will ask around with neighbors/look for signs. As thin as he is, I'm guessing he was abandoned and has been on his own awhile.

As for the indoor/outdoor, both of our other cats try to escape (one more than the other). Lucy seems pretty content to just hang out on the carport (we use it as a picnic area in the summer). Levi likes to hide under trees and will head towards the woods or flower beds. Both were adopted as strays when they were kittens. We've tried to keep them inside but hubby thought with three cats, if they go outside some, it might cut down on litter usage, and let them get out some of their energy outside (Lucy loves to scratch on the wood trim around our doors, even though DH built a lovely cat tree/scratch post for her). And with some outside time, they might not drive me so crazy (the two adult ones like to hiss and spat at and chase each other fairly often and Lucy can get too feisty with the kids at times).
 

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I say take him in and try to find out if anyone is looking for him. Keep him apart from the your cats and like the others have said take the introductions slowly. I hope you get to keep him or maybe can find a forever home for him. Good luck and keep us posted. Post pictures if you get the chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Any idea what the cost increase is going to be if I add a third cat to my family? Buying Natural Balance food for the other two is getting quite pricey and our budget is very tight. I forget how much kittens eat. With our other two we were still feeding Purina dry kitten food to them at that point, we just recently switched them over to a mostly wet diet.
 

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Frankly, once his vetting expenses are over with (deworming and such), he shouldn't be that expensive to keep around. :} Since any canned wet food is better than dry, you can switch him over to an inexpensive canned food.

IMO even Fancy Feast isn't that bad, and it's relatively inexpensive where I live. You can also troll pet food stores and look for sales on canned foods since the kitten shouldn't have special nutritional needs.

It's been my experience (and what I've heard) that older cats can usually adjust well enough to a kitten addition. Even if they never become outright friendly, they might reach a tolerable level of avoidance and just stay out of each others' ways.

You can try feeding the kitten in a separate area - or even outside as long as the weather is all right. It's more of a hassle to feed cats separately, but if you get the kitten used to eating in a certain area (far away from the other two so he doesn't get into their Natural Balance) you should be able to make it into a routine with him.
 

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Check this forum for the "How to Introduce a New Cat" advice. Take it slowly. Completely feral cats do live shorter lives, but somewhat domesticated ones can live quite long. Right now, I have an outdoor cat--she hates to be shut up anywhere--who is going on 18 years old. She (Mommacat) rules the yard and garage. I can't catch her to go to the vet but she looks and acts just as healthy as the much younger cats who make regular trips.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, almost $200 (ack!) later, I am now the proud owner of a third cute kitty :) Stormy is all healthy (other than a big flea problem), up to date on her shots and they are guessing HER to be about 5-7 weeks old. We've now got her living in the basement and will do gradual introductions with Lucy and Levi over the next few weeks and hopefully all goes well, because I have two little girls who have fallen deeply in love with this cat and couldn't bear to part ways with her.

The vet suggested keeping her on kitten food for awhile if we are feeding her separately from the others. Any suggestions for an inexpensive but good food?

I did not get the feline leukemia shot today to have her outside, but DH still wants it done. He's afraid we're going to be overrun by cats and litter box work if all three cats are inside full time! Any words of advice? We currently have 3 boxes (2 in the basement, one in the bathroom on the main level) - am I good with 3 boxes?
 

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Congratulations!! My newest kitty has brought me so much joy and I'm sure your new little girl will do the same for you. I've read that Fancy Feast is good and they make a few flavors of kitten food. I've also read that it doesn't matter if it's called kitten food or not; in the wild there is not special food for kittens, and as long as the food is high in protein and low in carbs it's ok. That being said, I have my cat on kitten food now, but most kitten food comes in tiny cans (3 oz), so I'm switching to a "cat and kitten" food in 5.5 oz cans. If your kitten is like mine and eats a lot, unless the little cans are not expensive, you're better off with big cans to get more bang for your buck. There's a great link on food in the Health and Nutrition Forum. As for litter boxes, I have 4 for three cats, but the two little ones are just for the kitten (so he has access to one up and down) and the two big ones are claimed separately by my two older cats. If you already have one where she's confined, the two older cats could probably do with one box each.
 

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Congrats on your new kitten! I would say you are good with three boxes unless you start having a problem later on, just give the kitten her own for now while she is separated of course.
 

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Just one note of caution. You said the woods with foxes, etc is quite close to you and you are thinking of allowing all your cats to be indoor/outdoor cats. I cannot help but caution you you may be setting up your cats for a negative experience. Foxes, racoons, oppossums and other wild creatures can and will kill domestic cats if they feel threatened by them. Are you sure there is no way you can keep them all indoors for their safety. I really feel you should consider this seriously. It will also keep down vet bills due to fighting with other cats and wildlife and eliminate flea infestations and worm/parasite problems. Please consider this seriously.
 

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Congrats on your newest addition. (pics please!!) as for the number of boxes. You are fine. I have two boxes for three cats and never had a problem.

I also agree that you should keep them indoors especially with all the wildlife in your area.... Don't want to have to explain to the kids that their kitten got eaten.

As for food... Are you looking for wet or dry? I feed blue freedom, Indoor formula dry, the two youngest are on wet but the oldest is on the dry(she would starve herself over eating wet). It's grain free and the ingredients are great. It's decent in price too.

For wet you will have to shop around. Go to various pet stores and when you see sales stock up. Avoid the small cans, very expensive overall
 

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aw, she is just a baby! at 5-7 weeks old, she shouldnt even be away from her mom yet. no wonder she was scared and starving!! your cats will hopefully be more open to her, since she is so young. and it will be very good for her to have cat siblings to show her proper cat behavior :)

here is the page on cat introductions:
Cat-to-Cat Introductions | Little Big Cat

and browse around the other articles on that website if you have time. there is lots of good stuff, and articles about letting your cats outside, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, almost $200 (ack!) later, I am now the proud owner of a third cute kitty :) Stormy is all healthy (other than a big flea problem), up to date on her shots and they are guessing HER to be about 5-7 weeks old. We've now got her living in the basement and will do gradual introductions with Lucy and Levi over the next few weeks and hopefully all goes well, because I have two little girls who have fallen deeply in love with this cat and couldn't bear to part ways with her.

The vet suggested keeping her on kitten food for awhile if we are feeding her separately from the others. Any suggestions for an inexpensive but good food?

I did not get the feline leukemia shot today to have her outside, but DH still wants it done. He's afraid we're going to be overrun by cats and litter box work if all three cats are inside full time! Any words of advice? We currently have 3 boxes (2 in the basement, one in the bathroom on the main level) - am I good with 3 boxes?
Oops, meant 5-7 months, not weeks, she already has some adult teeth. And vet suggested kitten food til at least 10 mos., but for now we are finishing up the By Nature food that one of my other cats used to eat (both dry and wet). She especially loved the wet food this morning, but I'm almost out so will need to pick up some more wet food tonight. I can get to Target or Petco, which has the best, cheapest but healthy selection of wet foods for cats her age?

Also, I noticed this morning that she does not cover her poo in the litter box, is that something I can teach her to do or does she not like the litter we are using? We currently are using Everfresh downstairs in the pans she is using, but I hate the tracking of clay litter and was reading about Sweat something or other wheat litter? Anyone have any input on this or something else that will do well with containing orders, easily scoops, not trackable, and not too expensive?
 

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Target doesnt have a very good selection. I would go to Petco, the best food they have for your money(canned) in my opinion is Innova cat&kitten. If you buy the larger cans, it is comperable to fancy feast in price, and is a better quality. A 13.2 oz can runs a little over $2(cheaper if it is on sale) at my petco. That is around 17 cents an ounce, or 50 cents for a 3.3 oz can. Wellness also comes in big cans at petco. Just think about the breakdown cost per ounce when you are comparing prices :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Congrats on your newest addition. (pics please!!) as for the number of boxes. You are fine. I have two boxes for three cats and never had a problem.

I also agree that you should keep them indoors especially with all the wildlife in your area.... Don't want to have to explain to the kids that their kitten got eaten.
That was my reasoning to DH, these girls love the cats like family, how would we explain if one of them got hurt, lost, or killed outside? Plus, with the woods in our backyard, there is a lot of tree dirt, spider webs, and other yucky stuff that I don't want them to drag into the house! Not sure why is complaining so much, I'm the one who usually cleans the cat boxes and feeds the cats!
 

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You are very lucky she loves wet! I wouldn't go to target for food, I'd stick with Petco, pet smart and small independent pet stores. If you go to pet smart, look for a wet food called authority. It is the store brand but it's pretty good quality (although not grain free) and its cheap!

My younger cat doesn't bury her per or poo either and has a similar past to your kitten (found at a few weeks old by herself then brought to kill shelter and saved by rescue group). So may have something to do with that. We have had her for almost a year and still does this so I don't really have any advice. We use clay litter but have litter mats so most of the litter stays on yhere
 

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You are very lucky she loves wet! I wouldn't go to target for food, I'd stick with Petco, pet smart and small independent pet stores. If you go to pet smart, look for a wet food called authority. It is the store brand but it's pretty good quality (although not grain free) and its cheap!

My younger cat doesn't bury her per or poo either and has a similar past to your kitten (found at a few weeks old by herself then brought to kill shelter and saved by rescue group). So may have something to do with that. We have had her for almost a year and still does this so I don't really have any advice. We use clay litter but have litter mats so most of the litter stays on yhere
All of our three kitties are adopted strays. The male has no problem covering (when he uses the litter box, he's been having issues lately that we are trying to fix w/ a better diet). The female has always not covered, though she is just now starting to get a bit better, and now this kitten doesn't. Wasn't sure if it was a female thing, or possibly the type of litter.
 
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