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I need to know all things cat!


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#1 PurplePaperFrog

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:19 PM

I know there are many cat lovers on EB that probably give me better advice than anyone else!

After many years of consideration, we have decided its a good time for us to get a kitten.

I live in a city where cats roam free and pet care really isn't the same as in Australia.

Contrary to how things are done here, our cat will be strictly indoors. But our house is large and lot's of hiding spots a kitten can get into trouble.

So please EB, what do I need to buy and how do we look after a kitten so we have a safe and happy one as we've never had one.

Where should they sleep? Do they even sleep through the night?
Can they be left alone?
What 'stuff' do I need to buy?
How often do I feed them?
Can they be trained?
Do they mind being indoors or do they try to escape!

I've only ever had dogs, so cats are all new to me.

#2 Wolf87

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:34 PM

View PostPurplePaperFrog, on 20 September 2019 - 07:19 PM, said:

I know there are many cat lovers on EB that probably give me better advice than anyone else!

After many years of consideration, we have decided its a good time for us to get a kitten.

I live in a city where cats roam free and pet care really isn't the same as in Australia.

Contrary to how things are done here, our cat will be strictly indoors. But our house is large and lot's of hiding spots a kitten can get into trouble.

So please EB, what do I need to buy and how do we look after a kitten so we have a safe and happy one as we've never had one.

Where should they sleep? Do they even sleep through the night?
Can they be left alone?
What 'stuff' do I need to buy?
How often do I feed them?
Can they be trained?
Do they mind being indoors or do they try to escape!

I've only ever had dogs, so cats are all new to me.

They are expensive if they get sick. Mine is currently on a drip in hospital and we are looking at a big bill. Sorry hopefully other posters have some nicer advice this was just a very timely thread for me :(

#3 BadCat

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:56 PM

Where should they sleep?  - They will sleep wherever they want to.  Usually somewhere you don't want them to.  Give in. You won't break them of it.

Do they even sleep through the night?  No.  They get the zoomies at 3am and run around the house like mad things.  It's hilarious, although it rarely seems so to the hapless owner.

Can they be left alone?  Sure. In fact, many of them require it and will be quite strict in enforcing their alone time.

What 'stuff' do I need to buy?  Litter tray.  Toys.  A brush if they have long fur, but also nice if they have short fur as they might deign to be brushed from time to time and it's a nice thing to do.  Food and water bowls.  They may decide water is best spread all over the floor and left for you to slip over in.  If that's the case you will most likely find them drinking from the toilet.

How often do I feed them?  Morning and night.  Get some good quality dry food for morning and night, and give them a little wet food at night as well.  Or at least that's what mine get.  One is fat. One is thin.  So it may be either adequate or inadequate.  Your cat will advise you if it is inadequate by yowling loudly and stomping on your face.

Can they be trained?  Sure.  If they want to.

Do they mind being indoors or do they try to escape!  Depends on the cat.  Some will be happy indoors.  Others will melt through the very walls in an effort to sample the delights of the outside world.

I've only ever had dogs, so cats are all new to me.  You are in for a world of joyous annoying love and hate.

#4 #YKG

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:56 PM

All pets can be expensive when they get sick.

Where should they sleep?
They tend to sleep where they feel safest, so whether that’s in bed with their human, in a bed of their own, on the couch etc, depends on the kitten.

Do they even sleep through the night?
Like small children, my experience (I’ve had many cats) until they settle in, can take a couple days to weeks, and get into a routine they tend to go through the newborn to toddler progression, so wake you every few hours, they generally just want comfort, a cuddle and pat helps.

Can they be left alone?
Yes and no, if you’re going to work and coming home, yes can be left alone, if you are going away for a couple days/weekend/longer then no, you’ll need to have someone come and car for them.

What 'stuff' do I need to buy?
Food & water dishes, cat litter tray, cat litter, little scoop to clean out the tray, food both wet & dry, toys, scratching pad or post, bed, grooming stuff like nail clippers and mit or brush.
How often do I feed them?
Mine get fed dinner at 5:30pm every night, they get wet food at this time, they have access to dry food 24/7, cats are grazers so are generally pretty good at self regulation and nibble when hungry.

Can they be trained?
Yes, start as a baby, one of mine can play fetch, most important is toilet training, some cats are more tolerant to general fun training than others.

Do they mind being indoors or do they try to escape!
Depends on personality, but generally if they have always been indoor cats they don’t worry too much, but sometimes they can make a dash for it. I’ve taught mine that the word command “away” means they move away from the door and are fine.

#5 Dianalynch

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:57 PM

Only that kittens are hard work, and a cat that’s a bit older from a cat rescue can save some work and save a cat. Cats I’ve known from rescues have had their temperaments carefully assessed and made ideal pets.

#6 Lunafreya

Posted 20 September 2019 - 07:57 PM

My first call would be to your local RSPCA. They’d be the best to find you kittens that need homes. These usually come desexed, microchipped, vet checked, immunised and litter trained.

You picked the right time too! It’s kitten season so lots will need homes.

#7 #YKG

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:00 PM

Pretty sure OP isn’t in Australia, so kitten season will be variable.

#8 PurplePaperFrog

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:01 PM

View PostWolf87, on 20 September 2019 - 07:34 PM, said:

They are expensive if they get sick. Mine is currently on a drip in hospital and we are looking at a big bill. Sorry hopefully other posters have some nicer advice this was just a very timely thread for me :(

So sorry to hear that. Hope she gets well quickly and cheaply!

#9 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:02 PM

My cats have been waaaayyyy easier and cheaper than my dog.

I've probably been lucky but our cats have had barely any health issues other than general geriatric cat issues like renal failure and tooth issues. My two current girls are extremely low maintenance - most cats are pretty cluey about toileting in a litter box. Can't say the same about my dog... she had a bowel obstruction a few months ago that almost killed her and she needed 4k worth of surgery...

Ours are perfectly happy being left alone all day.

Basic setup would be a litter tray and litter, bowl for food (Will you choose dry, wet or a combo of both? Mine poo really icky poos on wet food so we get really good quality dry food), I'd suggest a water fountain such as a drinkwell type thing as they like to have running water, some basic kitten toys (although they can be fascinated by most things and make their own fun by batting things around), and don't even bother with a place to sleep... they will no doubt ignore it in preference of a box or a laundry basket or something else truly random.

We feed ours 2 times a day, based on a specific amount in grams that's appropriate for their weight. Our kitten gets kitten food and our older girl gets oral care food.

Don't go into cat ownership thinking you can train them ;) sure, they learn things like where the litter tray is, what time dinner is, but they are very much their own person and generally do what they want, when they want. Which is a massive part of thier charm in my opinion.

If you get a cat as a kitten and they know no better, they should be ok indoors. Just try and ensure they have a nice sunny spot inside to sun themselves. They love that.

Some sleep through. Some frolic around a bit at night. Our older girl sleeps most of the time - she's no trouble at night. Kitten on the other hand isn't allowed in the bedroom at night because she likes to play "lick the humans face" and "nip the human's nose"...

And I can honestly say, my dog has done way more damage to my couches than both my cats combined... she is currently making short work of the arm. I'm waiting til she's out of teething pup phase before I worry too much about it...

Good luck with your preparation for kitten parenthood - despite loving my pup dearly, I will always be a crazy cat lady. They are the best.

#10 Wolf87

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:02 PM

View Post#YKG, on 20 September 2019 - 07:56 PM, said:

All pets can be expensive when they get sick.

Well of course. But this thread specifically asked about cats. And vet bills for a cat are going to more than a goldfish.

#11 MurderBritches

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:06 PM

https://me.me/i/kit-...-human-16025920

Note the last line. Get at least two lol

Apart from that...toys, cat enclosures and all things playable. You're going to have fun !!

#12 bubskitkat

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:17 PM

Your bed, under your doona, on your pillow, wherever it’s warmest for them and least comfortable for you is where they sleep.

#13 Jenflea

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:21 PM

I am onto my 5th cat.
New boy is about 20 weeks old now and he's a bundle of trouble!

On the advice of a friend he sleeps in the laundry at night, he has a bed, (2 actually, I bought a new one to put on an old cupboard if he wants to sleep up higher) dry food and a water bowl in there with his COVERED litter box.

At 11 or so at night, I put his nightly dry food in his bowl and warm up his little heat pad(I'm a sucker and it's cold here at night) and put it in his bed and he goes in and I don't hear him till 6 the next morning.

I have a house full of cat toys, he LOVES his tunnel from target.
Sticks with dangling things saves him biting us(he's a biter lol) when we play.

Wormed monthly for now, then 3 monthly.

Kittens like to scratch the furniture, we're still trying to break him of that habit. Don't be too precious about your furniture.

I liken him to a toddler, into everything, doesn't listen, is adorable.

cats are the best!

#14 K.heather

Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:23 PM

Cats are a**holes, they own you not the other way round lol. Absolutely loving our Sooty cat, found her in our garden abandoned and recently found out she's already had two litters. Is twelve months old and I have desexed and microchipped her as soon as I found out no one owned her.

Pets can be super fussy with their food too so may take a while to settle in.

#15 Coffeegirl

Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:02 PM

Ok - gonna answer this seriously

1) when they are young and you have a large house, try to restrict them to a couple rooms, especially if you need to leave them alone for any length of time, or overnight.   When ours was little, we locked him in the laundry overnight, until he was fully litter trained. Then he was locked in a larger room (with water, litter box etc) until we were confident he couldn’t get into too much trouble being left to roam the whole house.

2) Litter box, water and food bowls, couple toys, some old soft blankets, a carrier

3) our cat is strictly indoors and they only thing we need to do is watch his food intake as they aren’t quite as active as outdoor cats.    So we have an auto feeder that feeds him dry kibble three times a day.   He’s a guts, so if we feed him only once a day he would scarf it all down in one sitting then vomit it back up.

4) expensive?  If they get hurt or sick, yes.   Otherwise we spend $100/year on vaccinations and check up once a year.   Plus worming tablets.    We don’t treat for fleas as he doesn’t go outside and isn’t around other animals at all

5) because I’m a sucker and didn’t want to leave him home alone all day while we were at work/school, I used to bundle him into the carrier and take him to work with me every day.   Did this for the first couple months

6) my cat plays fetch and has learned how to open doors

Don’t worry about buying expensive beds and toys.  Cats like what they like and my cats fav toy is a 50cent mouse from Kmart.

#16 kimasa

Posted 20 September 2019 - 09:56 PM

Where should they sleep? Do they even sleep through the night?
Wherever you don't want them to.

Can they be left alone?
Yes. They often prefer it.

What 'stuff' do I need to buy?
Not much, just the basics. Most things you buy them they won't be interested in because they're asses.

How often do I feed them?
Once to twice a day.

Can they be trained?
Yes

Do they mind being indoors or do they try to escape!
All cats are fine indoors. If you introduce a cat to the outdoors they will want to go out because it's been presented as an option to them.

#17 Wolf87

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:05 PM

View Postkimasa, on 20 September 2019 - 09:56 PM, said:

Do they mind being indoors or do they try to escape!
All cats are fine indoors. If you introduce a cat to the outdoors they will want to go out because it's been presented as an option to them.

This. Not all cats who are kept indoors won’t lust for outside, and not all cats who get a taste of the outside will then need outside time. But as a general rule, if you want them indoors only, don’t ever let them roam. If you can do an outside cat run apparently they go down well!

#18 Riotproof

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:11 PM

View PostJenflea, on 20 September 2019 - 08:21 PM, said:

.

I liken him to a toddler, into everything, doesn't listen, is adorable.

cats are the best!

yes. I’m not sure how old your kids are, op. But I have been teaching the kids about playful moods, and calm moods. He still nips them to say “lets play”, but not usually painfully.

Wand toys are a huge winner. If you can watch it, we really like a Jackson Galaxy’s show My cat from hell.i can’t find full episodes anywhere in Australia, but we’ve watched bits and pieces on YouTube.

#19 Jenflea

Posted 20 September 2019 - 10:28 PM

I'm currently trying to teach my boy to walk on a lead outside until I can find someone to enclose our pergola for him.

Only a few minutes a few times a week, just in the backyard.

#20 MurderBritches

Posted 21 September 2019 - 12:00 AM

View PostWolf87, on 20 September 2019 - 10:05 PM, said:



This. Not all cats who are kept indoors won’t lust for outside, and not all cats who get a taste of the outside will then need outside time. But as a general rule, if you want them indoors only, don’t ever let them roam. If you can do an outside cat run apparently they go down well!
All three of ours are leash trained.

#21 MurderBritches

Posted 21 September 2019 - 12:02 AM

...don't post after homemade honey vodka..

Edited by MurderBritches, 21 September 2019 - 12:03 AM.


#22 Chicken Pie

Posted 21 September 2019 - 01:11 AM

Scratch poles, climbing trees, spots like boxes they can hide (these can be cat igloo beds etc)

They sleep where they want - we have one sleeping on lounge and one between my legs or around my head as he sees fit

Cats are my saviours

#23 BadCat

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:33 AM

While it is entirely possible to have indoor cats who are happy to be indoor cats, it is also entirely possible to start them as indoor cats and have them never be content with that and tear up your carpet and destroy things until you let them out.

Those same cats, given an enclosure will pretend they like it while you're watching them and the minute your back is turned they will begin planning their escape.

When you give in an get the whole, very large backyard enclosed, they will once again feign gratefulness before oozing through a gap the size of a grape and disappearing into the wild.

What I'm saying here is that we can give you loads of advice but your cat will be it's very own creation and it will behave in whatever way it sees fit.

Some cats are quite compliant and easy, and some will fight you every step of the way for their entire lives.  I find the fighters are also the lovers.  The compliant cats I've had have rarely been in your face loving kind of cats.  The monsters are the ones who will come and give you head bumps when you're feeling down.

#24 kadoodle

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:47 AM

View PostMurderBritches, on 21 September 2019 - 12:02 AM, said:

...don't post after homemade honey vodka..

Recipe?

#25 MurderBritches

Posted 21 September 2019 - 08:55 AM

View Postkadoodle, on 21 September 2019 - 08:47 AM, said:



Recipe?
DH brews and distills his own alcohol and then uses some to rinse out the honey container that we get from a local beekeeper after it's pretty much empty. Is very nice lol Raw honey vodka...




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