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What Do I Need?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey ya'll!

Okay, so we have a new kitty, Zoe. We have never had an indoor cat before, but she's white, and out on the ranch, something will get her at night if we leave her out; she's too easy to see. So she won't be a completely indoor cat... pretty much only at night for the first couple of weeks. As she gets a little older, she'll spend more and more time in here and she'll end up being all-night/half-of-the-day indoor cat. So she won't live in here... her claws won't be removed of course, so if she starts clawing we'll get her a scratching post. (Mom keeps complaining about not wanting another house cat, but she's in love with Zoe too, so I think our chances are definitely high. )
So... what do we need? I know vaguely, but what brands are good?

**Kitty Litter: I'm pretty sure we're gonna pick up Tidy Cats, but I wanted the experts' advice on this

**Crates/Beds: right now she sleeps in one of those collapsable plastic crates, that you carry stuff in ya know? It has holes in the sides all the way around about 1/2 an inch wide. Right now we have a Rubbermaid lid laid over the top with the Dictionary on top so she can't get out... Inside are an old towel, an old white t-shirt, a fuzzy stuffed fox, and some crazy button-on faux fur coat collor I will NEVER wear... But it feels like momma. And she just naps wherever she is, which is generally in my lap. She'll be playing like there's no tomorrow, and then she'll just all of a sudden calm down, law down, and start snoozing. So cute!

**Toys: okay, so she doesn't need these obviously, since she won't be spending much time in here to start out with. But she will be in here alot later on, and do you seriously expect for me not to spoil her?!?! I have a Beagle (Tucker) and a hamster (Sassafras) and they are both spoiled rotten! What are good toys for her. I've tried dragging a string but she's not paticularly interested in that, but she is very playful, she loves attacking clothing, rags, etc.

**Tick/Flea Repellents: on our ranch dogs, we just use 7 Dust. On Tucker, I bathe him with Adam's Flea & Tick Shampoo and he wears an Adam's Collar, which works great! But what about Zoe? What is good stuff to help repel bugs?

We already have her on Kitten Chow (Purina). Is that okay? And I've been warming up some milk with it too, though she eats dry fine.
Oh, and currently, her litter box is a shoe-box filled with soft dirt just from outside. She peed lastnight after she ate (about 9:45 is when she went.) This morning at about 4:45 she pooed, alot too! So anyway... any paticular brands you suggest?

Thanks again! I really appreciate it ya'll!

*--KK
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
Hey ya'll!
Hi! Welcome to TCS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
Okay, so we have a new kitty, Zoe. We have never had an indoor cat before, but she's white, and out on the ranch, something will get her at night if we leave her out; she's too easy to see. So she won't be a completely indoor cat... pretty much only at night for the first couple of weeks. As she gets a little older, she'll spend more and more time in here and she'll end up being all-night/half-of-the-day indoor cat. So she won't live in here... her claws won't be removed of course, so if she starts clawing we'll get her a scratching post.
So... what do we need? I know vaguely, but what brands are good?
Based on past experiences with having indoor/outdoor kitties, it's not my recommendation to let them out, but, I've done it in the past, so I completely understand.. of course, my biggest threat around here before the fox that roams the complex... are the three or four red-tailed hawks that continually snatch squirrels from my deck and fences.. then the Perrigrine Falcons.. then the fox, then the street.. but I worried to death with each kitten that they would get out.. they're just such tiny targets. Perfectly hawk sized. But.. anyway..the best way possible to keep them safe outdoors is to make sure you get her all the shots that she needs to ward off infections that might be spread from other kitties... I wouldn't suggest vaccinating against FIP, but I would vaccinate against Feline Leukemia, FIV, distemper, and all the basics. Also, invest in a high quality flea repellent/protection like Frontline, or I think Advantage is also made for cats.. but make sure it's got protection against things like heartworm, since she's going to be exposed to things like that.

It would be my suggestion to get one of the cardboard scratching pads (available at PetSmart, and the price around here is about $10) before scratching becomes an "issue" and just teach her from the start that scratching the kitty scratcher is the appropriate thing to do. Much easier than teaching after they discover your sofa is a great place to sharpen their claws. They're fairly simple to use, just sprinkle the enclosed catnip on the corrugated cardboard and they generally teach themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
**Kitty Litter: I'm pretty sure we're gonna pick up Tidy Cats, but I wanted the experts' advice on this
Tidy Cats is pretty good.. my only suggestion here is get something that clumps, and scoop the box once a day. Other people will be along, I'm sure, with more suggestions and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
**Crates/Beds: right now she sleeps in one of those collapsable plastic crates, that you carry stuff in ya know? It has holes in the sides all the way around about 1/2 an inch wide. Right now we have a Rubbermaid lid laid over the top with the Dictionary on top so she can't get out... Inside are an old towel, an old white t-shirt, a fuzzy stuffed fox, and some crazy button-on faux fur coat collor I will NEVER wear... But it feels like momma. And she just naps wherever she is, which is generally in my lap. She'll be playing like there's no tomorrow, and then she'll just all of a sudden calm down, law down, and start snoozing. So cute!
Pictures!! Give us pictures! Aren't they just adorable at that age? Mine is doing the same thing right about now... play play play play play play plop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
**Toys: okay, so she doesn't need these obviously, since she won't be spending much time in here to start out with. But she will be in here alot later on, and do you seriously expect for me not to spoil her?!?! I have a Beagle (Tucker) and a hamster (Sassafras) and they are both spoiled rotten! What are good toys for her. I've tried dragging a string but she's not paticularly interested in that, but she is very playful, she loves attacking clothing, rags, etc.
I'd buy her some. It gives them something to do while they're inside. Da Bird comes with 20 paws up from my crew. They love it. Also, the little *rabbit fur* mice. Some places have these in Alpaca.. these are also acceptable. It's 20 paws up for the real fur and/or the alpaca, and 20 paws down for the fake fur. Anything with feathers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
**Tick/Flea Repellents: on our ranch dogs, we just use 7 Dust. On Tucker, I bathe him with Adam's Flea & Tick Shampoo and he wears an Adam's Collar, which works great! But what about Zoe? What is good stuff to help repel bugs?
I honestly don't suggest a flea collar or flea spray/powder.. in my experience they've been ineffective at best, but the bigger issue is the cats can lick their fur and ingest the poison. Also a big no no (found out much to my dismay) is Hartz flea products that copycat the better repellents such as Frontline... the ones that you drop on the back of their neck... the chemicals are really bad for the animals and have been known to cause nerve damage and seizures (as well as death), and I can't remember what all else.. but the over-the-counter cheapies aren't worth the savings. Again, I'm sure someone else will have good advice here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
We already have her on Kitten Chow (Purina). Is that okay? And I've been warming up some milk with it too, though she eats dry fine.
What you feed her is up to you, basically. I personally tend toward higher quality dry foods, although I had to argue with mine about whether or not Meow Mix or Royal Canin was better... they were voting for Meow Mix... now I feed them Innova Evo, as I'm turning more and more to the raw diet theory, but... basically, it's whatever you feel is best. There are a number of nutrition threads on here and questions concerning diet, so lots of information to go by.

I wouldn't feed her cow's milk. It's not good for them. They do sell "kitty milk" in the stores that is much safer for them, and if I remember it was fairly inexpensive for a box of six containers. I don't remember what else was suggested instead of cow's milk, so hopefully someone else will have a good idea.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty
Oh, and currently, her litter box is a shoe-box filled with soft dirt just from outside. She peed lastnight after she ate (about 9:45 is when she went.) This morning at about 4:45 she pooed, alot too! So anyway... any paticular brands you suggest?
It's great that she's pottying well. Some people use dirt for their kitties, some use sand.. my personal preference is for clumping clay litter. Although if she's going to be an indoor/outdoor cat, you may find that she prefers dirt, or simply to go outside to potty and then come back in.

When we had our indoor-outdoor kitties, we didn't even keep a litter box. They went outside and never pottied in the house. They'd just indicate when they needed to go outside, like a dog would.. and that was all there was to it.

Anyway, best of luck with the little darling! And post pictures soon!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the reply CatsAreBetter!

I was a bit worried about the indoor/outdoor situation, I must admit. But I'm leaving her all day with her mommy, so she will be taught survival skills, and she will have her claws, etc. I'm pretty sure she'll be able to survive very well. Our only concern is at night, because we don't have any predators around the house during the day. Owls are gone, hawks are gone, coyotes don't come close, but some of the cats wander into the pasture and that's the end of them...

I will see if I can get my hands on Frontline or Advantage, thank-you for the heads-up on that. And we have not had problems at all with any sorts of diseases or infection. I keep tabs on all the cats (yes, I know every one of the feral cats and most are named) and the only time any of them disappear, it's when they were really old, or I find them out in the pasture somewhere, due to coyotes or owls. But I'll see if we can get her vaccinated anyway, though that is the least of my concerns, I am well aware it is a constant danger.

I'll look for the cardboard scratching pad, appreciate the tip. And I'll just look and see what there is... we want something that deoderizes, atleast as much as possible. We're looking at Tidy Cats or Arm&Hammer. I'll wait for some more suggestions.

I'll see if I can get pics up! It's SO hard to get pics of her, because she's such a bright-white. They all turn out blurry or too bright!! I think we'll invest in a cat carrier.

I'll look for toys you suggested, thanks! I'm sure she'd have fun with the mice, she loves tossing things in the air then pouncing on them!

We've always just bought Purina and all of our kittens have done well on it. It may not be the most researched, top-of-the-line brand, but the kittens like it and do very well on it, and as much as I love Zoe, I can't break my budget, so I'm trying to limit what I get her. It's so hard! And I had no clue cow's milk was bad for her! Why? What does it do? All my life we've used it for kittens and they've always been strong and healthy. We feed it while their nursing, though. When they're weaned, we just do dry cat food.

That's a great suggestion for just letting her go outside to potty. But, if she's indoor all night, she needs a place to go right?

Thankyou again for the reply, it's greatly appreciated! Zoe thanks you!

*--KK
post #4 of 18
As far as the cat litter goes.. I buy whatever is on sale at the time, since I have to buy so much of it... but I find that as long as I scoop frequently I don't have any "inappropriate" potty issues, and the smell is nominal (it does stinky a little bit when someone goes poop, but then fades away, much like the human bathroom).. but generally other than the 10 minutes following a solid deposit... the boxes aren't stinky.

As far as being indoor/outdoor, vaccinations are fairly inexpensive and all it takes is for one stray cat that has been exposed (someone may dump it in the area or something) or to develop one of those illnesses. They might be unneccesary, but they're also one of the easier things to do to help protect her. I was just looking earlier, and considering this for when I buy a home at some point.. I'm definitely going to get one of these.. but this was something I was checking out earlier and thought *wow* that's awesome... I considered building a pen out of it or something, that mine could come and go in, whenever there is actually an opportunity for me to put one up.. http://www.purrfectfence.com/ especially if I couldn't afford to enclose my entire yard with it. No idea what the price is on it, though, but thought maybe it's an option. It supposedly keeps predators out. This is totally something I'd love to do for mine, but you know, price is always a concern for me.


Noel did great on Meow Mix for the longest time. I couldn't have asked for a healthier cat. When I finally had money, I had to convince her daily that she should eat the higher quality foods. It was a constant argument, lol. Many people swear by Purina.

You can usually get Frontline or Advantage from a vet's office. If you have a PetSmart near you with a Banfield in it.. they usually have it there. I'd call around to the vets near you and ask for pricing, though. You may want to pick up your initial pack there, if you want to start off really soon with flea treatment.. but look online for it. I did find a site in the UK a few years back that sold to the US, and the price was phenominally lower than it is here. It did, however, take about two months to get it. Still, though, you can often find it on ebay or other places online that's nominally cheaper than you pay at a vet's office.

I'm not sure why cow's milk is bad? I think it may have something to do with the lactose, but.. from what others have said, it's not good for their digestive systems. It apparently can cause either/or "the runs" or constipation. I think they said that goat milk, yogurt, and "kitty" milk is good for them, or potentially like if you get the kitten milk replacement (KMR?) which I think is available at the petstore usually.. I'm definitely not well-versed on why not cow's milk versus other things. Milk is generally something that mine won't touch, so.. I haven't given milk out in many many years, lol. I get that "what the heck are you trying to feed us" look of disdain from mine.

With my mother's cats who were indoor/outdoor, they would hold it overnight until morning, and then go outside in the morning to potty. She refused to keep litter boxes, and there was never any issue with them pottying in the house, but in all honesty, I can't remember how she taught them to only potty outside or if they just naturally did it that way. I definitely don't see a problem with keeping a litter box, just in case. If she doesn't use it, that's just less scooping!
post #5 of 18
IMO she shouldn't be outside unsupervised (especially at nite), but that's your decision. And don't bet on coyotes not coming close to the house - coyotes come into the cities! And will kill small dogs and cats if they can.

But if you really must let her roam unsupervised, then use Frontline (for cats). No collars (and I also would change the flea stuff for the dog too - flea collars are poisoneous if chewed on - so your cat is in danger if she bothers the dog's collar).

Also you have leg-hold traps that people put out in the fields. So IMO if you have to let her out, then do so in the daytime and keep her in at night when its more dangerous.
post #6 of 18
Couple things to add or repeat for importance!

1) Frontline or Advantage only, no OTC flea products

2) No flea collars!! They cause more harm then good, they can be poisonous, cause hair loss and irritation to the neck.

3) Make sure she is spayed before 5 months old and vaccianted as well as dewormed!

Good luck and please post pictures!
post #7 of 18
One more thing to add....white cats outside in the sun, burn like there's no tomorrow. She will sunburn & if outdoors, her chances of skin cancer are pretty high. Please PM hissy about white cats & sunburn.

No flea collars, as said. Try Frontline, Advantage....get something from the vet, not OTC. She'll need to be dewormed regularly....do not use OTC dewormer, go to the vet for that. Keep her UTD on shots & fix her ASAP. Basically, what others have already told you!

I myself have 2 white housecats. One of which has sunburn & is high risk for skin cancer. I use Baby sunblock on them every single day. And they never ever go outside.

Is Zoe solid white? What color are her eyes? I ask because deafness is common is solid white blue eyed cat(well, solid white with any color eyes, but mostly blue eyed beauties). If Zoe is indeed deaf, she will need to be indoors only.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank-you everybody for the honest advice!

We live about 35 miles from town, and 2 1/2 miles from the highway. No new cats have ever appeared. And see, the reason I can't really start getting her all these vaccinations and dewormers, and etc, is not because I don't love her; I do! But we have 35 cats, and I can't vaccinate them all and deworm them all- I love them all equally, even the wild ones have the most adorable personalities, but I can't catch them nor afford to vaccinate them. I love Zoe very much, but all of the cats are safe as far as any fatal diseases, I am pretty sure. I hope this doesn't sound like I don't love her, but I can't afford to vaccinate all these cats!

Tucker has used a flea collar for all of his 6 years, and no skin irritations have ever occurred. The cats won't chew on his collar, he won't let them that close, or any other creature. On her though, since she is partially indoor, I will look into Advantage or Frontline, so she is safe from worms, fleas, ticks, and other pests.

GoldenKitty: she does not get let out at nighttime, that's why we started this, that is where all the predators are. And my dad manages this ranch, so I assure you, there are no coyote traps out anywhere near. And our docile cats never venture that far, except for Sylvester, who is a Tom. Also, we have 4 dogs here, they won't let even a rabbit come close without raising a ruckus, everytime a coyote comes close, they let us know and we can take care of it so we don't risk the lives of our dogs, cats, calves or colts.

white cat lover: Thanks for the heads up! But Zoe is not pure white. In fact, she is Siamese marked. She is white, with very pale grey splotches on her back, you can hardly notice. She also has black points: black tail, feet, ears, and a black nose that looks like she stuck it in soot. So I don't think she'll sunburn... But just in case, I'll start checking her skin to make sure she doesn't. And she does have blue eyes, where her two siblings Kaleia/Chloe (haven't decided) and Fuzzy Bucket aka Chubs, already have green eyes. I think hers will stay blue...

Again, I truly love Zoe, and I want to take care of her, but I love her no more than any other cat, dog, or horse on this ranch. We have had cats all our lives and never before have they died of any kind of disease or worm; always old age or a predator got them. I am fully aware it can happen, but it is a very low chance. There is also less chance of her catching something than cats in the city, because cats here have dwelled for a long time, nothing new, they are probably almost all related distantly, and they are all clean.

So I went shopping for Zoe... This is what I picked up:

Fresh Step Kitty Litter
Kitty Litter Box (came w/ food & water bowl, scoop, and litter bags)
Kitty Crate
Kitty Treats
Purina Kitty Chow
Toys (a fluffy little frog you put a packet of cat nip in/this cute fuzzy ball that looks like rabbit fur kind of, that color, at the end of a stretchy string with a loop at the end so she can chase it)

Her crate and litterbox are all set up, so she is set when I bring her in tonight! I can't wait
post #9 of 18
I thought perhaps you had farm experience. If you do a little bit of research, you could conceivably order your meds online, and adminster them yourself, if you were wanting to do anything with the other cats as well. Most of them are subcutaneous, although you can often get them either as subcutaneous or intermuscular. There would also be a wormer available. Wormer is fairly easy to adminster, often it's just getting them to eat it (hiding in the wet food is easiest), but it's a lot like pilling.
The shots are actually pretty economical when you buy them online. I'm sure someone knows where the spots are to administer them.. it used to be all back of the neck, but new research has now shown that it's safer to adminster them in different places, as sometimes they can cause tumors.

Anyway, it sounds like you got stuff she'll enjoy!
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thankyou CatsAreBetter! You have been extremely helpful!

I will definitely be getting her either Frontline or Advantage (have't decided) for her. She will get spayed in about 3 weeks, and I will ask the vet then if there are any in stock and which she prefers.

I hope she enjoys the toys! I just fed her and let her back out with her siblings to play until I get out of the shower. Then I'll try out the toys on her! Try to tire her out a bit. Then put her in the new crate and see if the meowing has decreased any from last night... I feel so guilty pulling her away from her family; she calls them all night, and I am what is keeping them away! But in the end, I know it is best for her, I am only protecting her.

I'll keep ya'll updated!
post #11 of 18
It may help if you put a litter box in your room and try to have her curl up and sleep with you. Sometimes :glances at the Tonk: this backfires and they just want to play in your room, but, often they'll curl up and sleep. They seem to do better with some company... when I put the Bengal kitten in the bathroom at night, she wasn't having any of that.. and she tore apart my entire bathroom, but then she was a bit over the top. Most of them don't do that.. she knocked everything off the counters, knocked over my little toilet paper stand and storage cabinet, managed to take down the shower curtain..hehe, and then promptly jumped into my arms and purr purr purr purred and went happily to sleep like she wasn't the cause of so much devastation. She was nicknamed the Marbled Menace. They do seem to do better with company, and they seem to bond more if you take them to bed with you, but I also like having my kitties sleep on the bed. They're good to cuddle with. Especially if you're sleeping in.

Anyway, if you need anything, feel free to PM me and I'll help to the best of my ability.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
I guess I could try... my only concern is, right now, she doesn't care where she pees really! I don't think she'd go to the litter box if she had to go in the night. Plus, she is all over the bed, and if she falls off, I don't think she can get back up.
post #13 of 18
I know many farmers who mass stock their own vaccines at a deep discount. Talk to your vet, see if there is any place you can order vaccines. That way, you could vaccainte as many cats as possible. A good vet will also show you how to give shots yourself.

As for dewormer....I get enough to deworm 20 cats 3x for about $25.....I believe Imathal is the one I get often. Otherwise Pyrantel. I've got farm cats as well, so I've got a little experience there. Otherwise, I pay through the nose to take them to the vet for shots.
post #14 of 18
How old is the kitty? Mine were 8-10 when I started taking them to bed with me.. I did have one incident with Joyeux and the bed.. but it was due to the type of comforter that I had on there. Once I changed it, there was no issue, and when she got out of the habit, it was no issue to put the original one back on. With Pogue.. I set up a little set of "steps" so that he can get up and down.. they consist of an empty litter pail turned on its side, my nite table, and then my bed. He uses them, whereas Joyeux ignored them.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
I posted a thread in the proper forum for this; the Behavior forum. Maybe I can get additional help there. [And if she had to pee, I'll bet you anything she'd just wake me up screaming and make me take her to her litterbox. )
post #16 of 18
Yeah, they can be pretty demanding when they want something. And at least mine have absolutely no issue telling me what they want, they pantomime well.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
LOL! Can you please reply to my thread in behavior? I'm desperate; I do NOT do well on 5 hours of sleep!
post #18 of 18
Oh, sure, I'll go look at it. OMW.
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