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Myriad of Questions about New Kitten...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Before our kitty comes home (in mid-October), I want some opinions of cat owners on the following topics:

1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

I know I'll have more questions in the very near future.

Take care,

Jenk
post #2 of 25
1. Yes, kitty sleeps in my bed with me. We started out with a kitty bed, but it just didn't work out. If I don't happen to be in the bed at the time, kitty sleeps in nearest basket of laundry (clean or not!) :tounge2:

2. We've found that in our case, it works best to leave dry food out all day, and complement it with a few other meals throughout the day (Tender Vittles, canned food, small bits of cooked rice). However, a lot of people don't recommend leaving cat food out all day as kitty may become fat!

3. Cats are usually pretty good at keeping themselves clean. Socks only had one bath, when she was a kitten and knocked over some juice on herself (sticky kitty). She took several chunks out of my mother's arm that day! She hasn't been bathed since, but we brush her daily even though she is short-haired.

4. Socks was harness trained as a kitten, but we don't take her outside on the harness. We just got her used to the harness for vet trips, etc.

Good luck with the new kitten, I'm sure (s)he'll make you very happy and that you'll do the same for her!
post #3 of 25
Yeah Jenk! This is so exciting!

1) Kitty had his own bed. He liked it when he was a kitten, and when we went to bed we would bring it into bedroom with us and put it on a bedside table. Woke up one night with him on pillows above my head. Didn't discourage it. Now he sleeps anywhere. We often wake up with him sleeping near our feet. Sometimes on the bedside table despite no bed being there.

He loves sleeping on paper. He stopped using his bed for a while, and we put paper in it. He started using it again. LOL! We have cardboard boxes with holes cut in them scattered about. Both kitties love this.

I am very allergic to cats. I take Zyrtec-D and have cream for my arms. Many say keep the bedroom cat-free if this is the case. I prefer to suffer through it, although we are constantly sleep deprived because the cats do wake us up. If you want to NOT be sleep deprived, your bedroom must be cat free. And even then, you'll probably have to suffer through lots of crying before you get there.

2) We leave out dry food all day. We feed them wet food pretty much as a treat. A small amount twice a day. Vet says to move it to once a day after a year, but we're giving them so little, I'm not sure it matters. They love the gravy mostly. We always add extra warm water to mix up and make more gravy for them. Sheldon licks the pieces of meat clean and leaves them in the bowl. LOL!

3) We bathe the cats once a week (my allergies). Our shower closes and has one of those handle things on a flexible hose. I use real low volume water, and hold the handle to the kitties' fur. Lazlo gives a plaintive "meeeoooow" once or twice, but doesn't otherwise complain. Shelly lumps up and waits it out. Neither is mad afterwards, but each then gives himself a really long bath (see the behaviour forum - there's a whole thread on this). http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=11164

3) I'm harness boycotting right now. There's a thread about that in the Health & Nutrition forum. http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=11166

There's also a lot of info about harness training and issues "walking" cats in this thread:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=11143

Have fun!!
post #4 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

My cat Snowball does have a bed of his own that he uses occasionally, he also has several favorite resting places where he can often be found during the day. During the cooler weather months he likes to sleep on my bed. He spends part of the night actually sleeping, and the rest of the night is spent playing and wandering around the house.

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

I have always left dry food out for my cats 24/7. I have done this with both kittens and adult cats and have never had a problem with a cat over-eating and becoming obese.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

Bathing Snowball hasn't been necessary since he is an indoor-only cat.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

I have considered harness training Snowball but have never actually done it. Snowball is perfectly happy sitting in an open window enjoying the fresh air and sunshine while he watches the outside world through the screen.
post #5 of 25
Jenk, feel free to ask any questions you want. Any excuse for us to talk about our kitties is a good one.

1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as result?)

I was kitty ignorant when we got our babies, so they never had their own official kitty beds. Ophelia found nice soft spots to sleep (in my sweaters) and Trent liked sleeping with us from the get go. Now, Ophelia usually sleeps on me (I have the kitty preferred blanket on me at night), and Trent sleeps by my feet or legs. They got used to our schedule pretty fast as kittens, but I also made sure that we had big play sessions before we went to sleep, usually for at least 45 minutes to an hour. By the time we were done with that it wore their little butts out enough to get a good night's sleep. The only problem with kitties sleeping with me is that in the summer it can get really, really hot. Of course, in the winter that's a benefit.

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

We free feed, and neither of them are overweight. Most kitties eat just as much as they need, but some are prone to overeat. Just depends on the kitty.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

I have never bathed my cats, and I dread the day that I have to. If I had it to do all over again, I would get them used to all aspects of grooming (baths, brushing, nail trims, teeth brushing) when they were little, doing it then so they would be used to it now. It is a fight just to get Trent brushed now.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

Nope, living in an apartment complex with kids and dogs isn't a conducive atmosphere to take them on walks.
post #6 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

My cats sleep with me alot, but they also have several cat beds.

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

I have 11 cats, so I bought a self feeder, it's full all the time, and I also have lots of bowls of dry food placed around the house.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

I bathe my cats occasionaly, but only if they really need a bath.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not

Some of them are. All of my kittens are.
post #7 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

During the day the kitties sleep on our bed, but at night they are way too rambunctious still so we put them in the bathroom with toys and a fleece bed. My hubby can't resist them though, so he keeps giving them chances (I don't know which is cuter, him or the kitties )

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

I leave dry food out all day and give them canned food in the mornings and at dinner time

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

My Sr. cat gets baths every month because she has stopped grooming herself and she is actually pretty good about it. She usually purrs through the duration of the bath even though you can tell that she clearly hates it. The hard part is getting her dry afterward since she's got such thick hair. Tabby got a bath when I got her because she was found outside and was covered with fleas. I don't see a need to bathe them regularly unless there is a need (ie: allergies).

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

I haven't tried this yet as our kitties are still so new and so young, but I would like to. I need to do some more reading about it though
post #8 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

Our cats vary in where and when they sleep. They tend to sleep mostly in 1 of 3 bedrooms, mostly cause the dogs don't go into these much. They do sleep on our bed at times. Before we moved, we had a bookcase headboard. It was soothing to have a cat sleeping up there purring.

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

We free feed Nutro Max Cat Adult to our cats. Their food, water, and litter boxes are in the Cat Room.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

We may have bathed each cat once, but its been so long I can't recall specifics.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

We took our adult cats out on harnesses a while back, but we haven't done that for quite some time.
post #9 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

My cat comes upstairs when I go to bed, and spends the entire night asleep on my head! I usually wake up to her chewing my ears



2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

I feed her 4 times a day on kitten food. Dry biscuits and water are down for her all day and night, I re-fill them as and when.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

Ive never bathed Purdita, but I have washed a kitten before, he'd got some gel on his leg, and wouldnt keep still, so I ran the bath (with baby bubbles) and washed him, he loved it. I dried him with my hairdryer, he was fine



4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

Ive no experience of harnesses.

Neesey xx
post #10 of 25
Since everyone else is telling, I thought I would chime in .

1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

Although they have a kitty bed they only take naps in it, and that is only on occassion. For night time, they suaully sleep in the bedroom with me, not always on the bed. Sometimes they start there and then spread out to the dressers or the floor, or the window ledge. Although when it is cold out I am more likely to find them not only on the bed, but under the covers as well. My cutie kitties .

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)


This is a big debate. I free feed dry food. I don't give them any wet food at all, and only the occasional treat. I have one cat that is slightly tubby and one that is very skinny, but there is always food available and I always see them eat. Dunno . I personally think free feeding is best .

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

I do not bathe the girls. I did find pet bath wipes for the times I think they could use a little refresher. I only do that once every three months or so, mostly they take care of themselves, and I keep them clipped and brushed.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

No, I tried it once, but they acted like I was killing them, slinking all over the floor, barely jumping or moving if they were wearing the harnesses. I tried to gradually increasing time intervals hoping they would become used to them, but they didn't like it, and since they are indoor kitties I figured it doesn't hurt not to have them harness trained.
post #11 of 25
I'll insert my .02 as well (any excuse to talk about my babies)

1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

Our kittens don't sleep with us, we usually kick them out as they have a tendancy to play on the bed, attacking feet, etc (my boyfriend works 12 hr night shifts, and needs his sleep) I made a cat bed out of velvet, and they like that a lot! Jorin tends to plonk his bod anywhere that's convienient (middle of the floor, stairs, etc) and tiger generally sticks to the cat bed. Also, they love the windowsill.

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

We free-feed our kittens with dry food. Jorin is getting a little fat, but he's lazy as well, so doesn't get enough exercise. Tiger's nickname is garbage gut, since he'll eat just about anything (even potatoes and eggs with tabasco sauce!)

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

We do bathe our cats about every two weeks, usually with flea shampoo. They're indoor cats, but we have a lot of strays in the neighboorhood, so fleas are a problem

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

Our kittens are harness trained. We don't take them outside very often, but it's useful for trips to the vet. We also like to take them with us to PetSmart and Petco. Any chance to show off the kids!
post #12 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

Spike has two catbeds... both of which he doesn't use. He will play in them if we take out a mousie or jingly ball and toss them inside, but he doesn't seem to prefer sleeping in them. He tends to either sleep at the foot of the bed, on the top tier of his cat tree, on top of the couch, or curled up on the living room chair. When he sleeps in my room (the bed or cat tree), he doesn't cause any problems for me. I don't know if it's because I can sleep through anything or not, but he doesn't try to wake me up, and he can come and go as he pleases through the catdoor (yes, I have one on my bedroom door. )

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

I free-feed using dry Nutro Natural Choice Adult Cat food.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

No, I've never had to bathe Spike at all... he grooms himself frequently. I do brush him daily even though he's a short-haired cat, and I clip his nails as needed (about every 2-3 weeks).

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

No, he's a completely indoor cat, so I never thought to harness-train him. I just stick him in his carrier for vet visits, etc.

I know I'll have more questions in the very near future.
That's what we're all here for.
post #13 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)

Ivo occasionally sleeps on my bed, but usually when it's cold. I've bought her a cat bed, which she ignores (ungrateful wretch). Her usual sleeping place is on the couch or on top of her kitty condo.

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)

I leave out a measured portion of dry all day, and give her 1/3 small can of Fancy Feast in the morning and when I get home from work. She doesn't eat much of the wet, but she does like to have a nibble.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)

Ivo's an indoor cat, so I don't need to bathe her.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?

I have decided not to harness-train Ivo. I live on the corner of two very busy roads, and don't have anywhere to walk her close to home.
post #14 of 25
1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)
Our cats sleep whereever they want to and when they want to be petted, we usually can do that in our sleep anymore so they don't bother us at night. sometimes they will get a rowdy srteak and run across us at night and that wakes us up. but what are you going to do?

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)
We work different shifts and i am the main meal giver so I give then wet food in the am and leave a huge bowl of dry food out for them to munch on during the day.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)
We bathe our cats about once a year. They are indoor cats only and so I don't think they need anymore then that.(and they don't stink! LOL)

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?
three of them will never be on harnesses. I did try Twig on one again but the post LDG is referring to is my post on what happened to Twig when we went out a week ago.http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sh...&threadid=11164
so He is now an indoor cat only.
Please weigh your options on the harness. It might not be worth it.
Believe me, i searched forever to find one for Twig and then that happened( look at the health and nutrition forum under I am a bad kitty mommy!) I will NEVER take him out again.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
I first want to give a BIG thank you to everyone for volunteering such helpful information. I must admit, though, that I'm still undecided about where the kitty should sleep. My husband already wants the baby to have access to our bed from the start. And I'm such a softy, that I'm sure the kitten will find his way into our bed. LOL

Jugen,

I'd already read your harness story; it rather concerns me. Perhaps harness training isn't as great an importance as some books make it out to be. (I'm also surprised that my kitten book suggests that cats be bathed every six weeks! Based on all your responses, I won't worry myself over many kitty baths, either.)

BTW, I'm formulating new questions.

Take care,

Jenk
post #16 of 25
Personally I will never put a harness on my kitties again.
If you do, I hope you have the best of times with your kitty!
Can't wait for your next round of questions!
post #17 of 25
I'm not entirely sure why one would want to use a harness? Is it just me, or does it seem cruel?
I do live in the country, however, which influences my thought. Kittens are raised indoors here until at least 6 weeks old, then we slowly introduce them to the outdoors by just letting them run around for a while. We also made a HUGE pen that they run around in- we let them hang out in there for a few hours each day, and eventually we just let them run free outside, to become indoor/outdoor kitties. But I don't think cats feel deprived if they are indoor kitties only- my future brother-in-law has an indoor cat only and is happy as can be.
It's so hard having new kitties! But they are precious. But someone explain this harness thing to me! Even if they are indoors, they seem to get enough exercize; mine run all over the place and wear themselves out!
-Sixkitties
post #18 of 25
Six Kitties - Many of us city dwellers would never think about letting our kitties outside unattended. Way too many dangers to them, from cars to sick and twisted people to dogs to who knows what. Out in the country, I totally understand indoor/outdoor cats, but not in town. But we also know that kitties love a stroll through the grass, breathing the fresh air, chasing bugs, etc. Since cats aren't well known for their "sit, stay, heel" obedience, we take them out on harnesses that go around their bodies (generally either H shaped or a figure 8) instead of just a collar and leash like for dogs so they don't choke if startled or wrapped up on something (it puts equal strain on the chest area as the neck). Also, in many places leashes are required for any type of animal taken outside. It's kind of just another way to "treat" our kitties, it's something that many cats enjoy. Others can't handle the change, as Jugen can attest to with Twig.
post #19 of 25
Understood! I have just lived in the country far too long; this is good for me to know, for after I get married next year and live in our apartment (which is a pro-pet place, thank goodness) I want to know how to treat my kitties well!

Thanks for the help.

By the way, I guess I should stop being "sixkitties" as I now have only four.

-Mander
post #20 of 25
I live in the country and use a harness when taking Tiri outside. The country can be as dangerous to a cat - in place of cars and people, we have owls, coyotes, coy-dogs, foxes, and bobcats. Any of these find a cat to be a tasty treat.
post #21 of 25
Thanks for the reply. My kittens are outside in a huge "pen" now- it sounds inhumane, but they love it- it's more like a jungle gym for kitties, with a top on it so that nothing can get in to get them. When are they old enough to put outside though? I mean, to let them roam free at will? I don't want them to get eaten, and they can't be inside with our other two cats, and so a harness won't work either. I can't have them on a harness most of the day! Any other suggestions?
-Sixkitties
post #22 of 25
They'll never be old enough to "roam at will" and be safe. Outside is dangerous even in the country. I live in the country and some of the dangers in my area include owls, coyotes, coy-dogs, fox, fisher cats, hawks, and bobcats. Hunting season is just starting so add guns as another danger.

You may want to consider rehoming them so they can stay inside where it is safe. Have you considered posting them on petfinder.org?
post #23 of 25
Hi Jenk!

1. Tink has slept in our bed since the third night after we found her when she was 2 weeks old (she had bad flea problems at first, so we let her in after they were clear). When she was still too small to climb and jump, we'd take her to bed with us every night, and she'd sleep with us until the morning. Now we let her do what she wants, but she's still on our schedule. She comes and sleeps either by our legs (she loves laying between them) or up by our heads. This is actually nice because she's on our schedule and we don't have to worry about her during the night. Plus, she wakes us up when she's ready to eat breakfast. The only problem is that she is the queen of our apartment and we have to move around her to get comfortable..she wouldn't have it any other way.

2. Tink has dry food available to her all day. We give her a pie-shaped slice of wet food in the morning and once around six for dinner. We use Iams kitten food, and if you buy one of the huge bags of dry food, it'll last you forever (we've been using it for about 3 months now). We buy the larger cans of Iams kitten food and put them in the refrigerator after first opened...they last about 3 or so days.

3. Since we had the flea problems at first, up until she was about 6 or 7 weeks old, Tink got a bath once a week to clean her up. It's been about a month since her last bath - we do spot cleaning if she needs it. Since she's mostly white, her fur is looking shabby and she will be getting a bath this weekend. She doesn't like it, but my boyfriend and I do it together and she has to deal with it. We wrap her in a towel afterwards and rub her dry, and she usually goes to sleep on after, so I'm guessing she's pretty forgiving.

4. We have a collar that she wears a lot, and we just bought a harness for her a few weeks ago. She has not yet used it because she's a bit small for it (although now she'll probably fit). It seems as if you'd have more of a hold on her if you have her on a leash. When I drive to Cleveland to visit my family, she is allowed out in the car because she doesn't like her carrier that much. We use the leash to move her between the car and the house, and she doesn't have too much of a problem. I do prefer the harness over the collar, though, because when I use the collar I worry about choking her.

Hope all of our opinions help...just take the feedback and make your own decisions to fit your lifestyle.
post #24 of 25
I have some of those kitty nests and they are used for naps, but only when they are under a table or something. I think they feel more secure that way. If the nest is out in the open, it is not slept in.

At night, my two big cats will sleep all night with me. The kittens tend to stay in the living room where they can wake up and romp around. Be prepared for that at first! Rocket was waking me up at 230 and 430 every night. Playing before bedtime is a good idea!

Also, I think you mentioned you had dogs. You'll want to put kitty's food in a safe place. Cat food has a higher amount of protein (and kitten food is even higher), and it is not real healthy for your dog to eat it. Of course, they will love it.

Good luck with your new baby! let us know how it goes!
post #25 of 25
I live in the UK and it seems that things are done a bit differently here.

1. Sleeping arrangements: Does kitty sleep in your bed or in his/ her own kitty bed? (If kitty sleeps with you, do you have any major problems as a result?)
Gem never sleeps with us at night, she is shut in the kitchen with her litter tray. We bought her a lovely wicker basket type bed (which has a detatchable door for vet visits) but she prefers to sleep on a kitchen chair! She does sneak up on our bed if she can - we said that she wouldn't be alowed (hubbys alergies) but we "forget" to tell her off!

2. Do you feed your kitty separate meals, or do you leave dry food out all day? (My hubby and I work full-time, so I'm guessing leaving out dry food is our best option.)
Gem has half a tin of food in the evening, and biscuits in the morning.

3. Do you regularly bathe your cat(s)? (And do they secretly hate you for it?)
I have never bathed her, and probably won't unless it is absolutely necessary. I do remember when I was a teenager that one of mums cats went missing for a while and when she returned it was obvious that she had visited the pig farm across the fields - she had a bath then but she HATED it!!! Gem is an out/in cat but we treat her with flea drops on the back of her neck every month so no problem there.

4. Is/ Are your cat(s) harnessed trained or not?
Gem can come and go as she pleases, although we have to open the door for her. When we first got her (from a home) she would not go potty at all for the first 24 hours, nothing at all. As you can imagine we were a bit worried! I went and bought a cat harness/lead and took her out and she peed for ages, poor thing. Since then she has been OK, I think she was so used to going outside to potty that she didn't want to use a tray indoors. We did take her out to explore the garden a few times before we let her out alone, but don't use it any more. She didn't seem to mind it too much, but it was definately a case of her leading us!

Hope I have helped a bit!
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