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Advice and Questions before getting Kittens

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Hoping people are able to answer some queries I have. I have not looked after a Cat or Kittens for around 5 years when a former hosue mates cat had kittens which i spent a lot of time looking after.

I will be moving in a month or so to a new house with my Girlfriend where we will finally be able to settle down instead of constant moving due to ourselves renting.

Haveing a Cat has been something we both have wanted for a far few years but have put off whilst renting and moving alot. Now the time has come but I do have a few queries (have researched alot on the net and most things have been ansewered).

1) My Main concern is the house we will be moving into is all on the 1st floor (similar to a flat) but with stairs going from the ground floor direct and openly to the living room. I am wondering how Dangerous is this for you kittens (with possibly falling down) and would it be worth using something like a childs safety rail (with gaps blocked out) to prevent them from going down whilst young.
2) Also our living room connects straight to the kitchen which is completly open (no doors) we do keep this very tidy but is there any preperation worth taking ie child safty locks on cuboard doors ?

3) I understand kittens need to be fed 3-4 times a day. My thoguht was upon wakign / leavign for work upon returning home and using a pet feeder on timer to provide a meal in the afternoon. Is this a suitable solution ? also would a kitten need a 4th meal prehaps before going we goto bed.

4) We are planning on getting 2 kittens so they have a playmate and to alleviate boredom whilst we are at work. If food was left for during afternoon how likley is it for one kitten to "take" the others food ?

5) Whilst at work is it better to keep the kittens confined to a room, at least until they are older ? The house we will mve into will have a central corridor though i fear this may be too small to keep them cooked up in during the day. - another thought was to give them access to that + the connecting spare bedroom which only contains my computer (all cables are tied to stop from getting tied up etc) - I have also heard there is something you can spray on cables to deter from eating them ?

Hope some one can help, any other comments or advice is greatly appreciated and thanks in advance.

post #2 of 5
If you live in the US, you can get Bitter Apple spray to put on cords, wires, etc (computer, lamps, phone)

I was gonna suggest 2 kittens. Please don't adopt kittens younger then 10 weeks old as you may wind up with more behavior/social problems. I recommend adopting males over females as they tend to be more outgoing, but it probably doesn't matter too much if they are both spayed/neutered. If you get a M/F, then be sure they are done early because kittens as young as 4 months old can mate and have kittens.

Maybe get same sex if your vet will not neuter/spay before 6 months.

I would confine them to one or two rooms while you are not there to supervise, especially young kittens. I would not worry about them sharing food right now, unless its obvious that one is getting a lot bigger then the other. But have 2 food bowls anyway.

I recommend a mixture of dry and canned foods - you can feed the canned foods when you are at home to watch them.

Make a list of all necessary equipment before you bring them home.
Litter pan, litter, food and water bowls, nail clippers, combs/brushes, toys, scratching post (at least 4 feet high), beds - they like the more enclosed ones better then open ones, cat food (dry and canned).

Let us know when you get them and post pictures of the babies
post #3 of 5
The stairs shouldn't be a problem especially if they're carpeted. They've got paws like Velcro. Even if they're not carpeted older kittens shouldn't have trouble. Just keep them confined to a room when you're not home until they've had time to practice.

The child safety locks aren't a bad idea but I might wait before investing in them. Some cats won't pay your cabinets any attention. However, if you're going to keep cleaners or other poisonous chemicals in your cabinets I'd go ahead and secure those just to be safe.

Pet feeders on a timer are a great solution but try it first while you're home so you can make sure it works properly. Occasionally some specific feeders don't work properly. They get stuck closed. If you leave two dishes out they should be ok food-wise. Just watch them when you feed them while you're home and you'll get a good idea about whether one is going to take the food of the others.

One of my cats is a real cord chewer and I've found for him the only solution is plastic tubing around the cables. There's a thread on this topic under behavior where someone posted a helpful link to a company where you can buy the tubes.

Good luck and send pics!!!!
post #4 of 5
As far as the food goes, I would give them wet food before work and after work, and while you're at work and at night just leave dry food out for them - it's very rare that kittens will overeat and become overweight as they are very active. The only reasons to limit the food availability of young kittens would be if they were unusually gluttonous, or if they had previously spent time on the street as strays and gone hungry, in which case it may take them time to adjust to having food available without gorging themselves and making themselves sick, in which case regular set mealtimes of small amounts of food is better.

And yes I would initially confine them to a safe room while you are not around to supervise. Watch how they cope with the stairs and make sure they have got the hang of them before leaving them in that area unattended. It shouldn't take long though, cats are naturally agile. Some kittens do go through slightly clumsy stages when they have a growth spurt, it's as if they don't immediately take into account their increasing weight and size!

I agree with Goldenkitty about making sure not to get them too young, they learn a lot from their mum and siblings between 8 and 12 weeks of age and will make better pets if they have that learning time with mum. Of my cats, I got Radar at 8 weeks old, not knowing any better then, and he is now a year old and has never learned that feet and toes are not prey/toys, whereas Sonic came to us at 13 weeks and he had already learned not to pounce on hands and feet. Radar also, despite being an adult now, still exhibits some very babyish behaviour such as suckling on fingers which sounds cute but when they have their adult teeth it is painful.

Good luck with your search for kittens, and also with the move to your new home!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replys. You all have given me alot of usefull information, to get me started when the time comes.

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