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Some questions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I have some questions...
Zoe is only 5-6 weeks old. Should I give her a certain amount of catfood to eat (she only eats at night, she nurses Bobby during the day) or just give her as much as she wants, at this age? If so, when should I start limiting her food rations, if at all?
Also, I was curious about shedding/slick brushes. Is there a better-than-the-rest brand or specific type that works best?
And also, what toys does your cat like best? That she'll play with by herself?
And should I bathe Zoe now, as a kitten, so she's used to it when she gets older? What kind of shampoo works best if the answer is 'yes'?
post #2 of 11
Its safe to give her baths, so you can it you want to. When I wash anyof my cats I use baby shampoo, so incase it gets in their eyes (since they squirm so much) it wont sting. I'm not sure about your other questions, but i'm curious to hear the answers.
post #3 of 11
At this age, you should pretty much let her eat as much as she wants to. She's growing, so she needs plenty of food. Also, be sure you're feeding her kitten food (as high quality as you can afford) because it has different nutrient levels than adult cat food. As far as limiting her intake goes, it might depend on her. I free-feed my boys (food left out all the time) but they're both at decent weights. If she turns out to be the type that will eat all the time and gets overweight, then you would want to limit how much she gets. But I don't think I'd do that until she was past a year of age, though others might disagree.

As far as brushes go, the Zoom Groom is popular in my house. Its a rubber brush with big "teeth", and the cats love it, though its messy with shedding hair. Shed Ender works pretty well to help shedding here, and I know others have recommended the Furminator, though I haven't tried it.

With toys, it really depends on the cats. My two won't play with half of what I buy them, but feather toys and catnip filled balls tend to be a hit. I would just try a few things and see what it is she likes. Also, the cheapest things tend to be the best toys - foil balls, the rings off of plastic milk containers, pipe cleaners, little pom pom balls from the arts and crafts sections, etc.

Bathing at a young age can certainly help with bath time later on, but bathing too often can also dry out the coat, so I'm not sure that you'd want to do it anymore than biweekly or monthly. My breeder recommended Dawn dish soap (the regular blue stuff) first, then a high quality human shampoo like Redken to restore some moisture to the coat. Be sure to keep the kitten warm afterwards though - like warm the towels up in the dryer during the bath, and use that to dry her off.

Good luck with the little one!
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
(I just realized I've been telling people Zoe is 5-6 weeks, then checked the calendar, and really she's eight! )

Okay, I will end up bathing her. I think I'll try some baby shampoo, or see what's at the pet store as far as "cat shampoo". I will only bathe her about once a month, just enough so she's used to it...
I just was recommended a toy I will get her called the "Cat'N'Mouse" toy. But she does love pom-poms, foil balls, and yarn! But I was looking for something she would play with by herself... I also plan on making a polyfill & catnip filled fabric tube toy...
I will look into all three of those brushes, thankyou very much for the advice!
And she is on kitten chow right now. She is just on Purina, which may not be the best quality food, but we have fed it to probably 50 kittens in my lifetime, and they all have grown up to be big, strong, energetic cats with very healthy coats. I can afford a higher-end food, but I don't really see why I should transfer when she's doing fantastic on this! And I will continue to let her have "free food" unless she starts getting fat... Then I will begin to ration. She is fat right now! Lol, but as you said, she is a growing kitten, so when she's about 3 months, I'll start watching her weight.
When I bathe her, I will warm up some towels to dry her off with. Thank-you for the suggestions and the response, and you too Keisha!
post #5 of 11
You should be able to find a tearless kitten shampoo at the pet store so you don't have to worry about it stinging. I don't know about cats.. but with dogs I've always been told to use shampoo for pets specifically because the pH is different than in human stuff.
post #6 of 11
The problem with leaving food down at this age, is mom will eat most of it. So when I was weaning kittens, I'd put mom out of the room for about an hour and feed the kittens a soupy canned kitten food and sit with them while they ate. Remember they are not very big, so they might only eat about a teaspoon full of food. Feed on a paper plate or shallow plate at first.

I offer them canned food about 3 times a day at first. When they are weaned from mom (about 8-10 weeks), then they get free feed of kitten dry foods. When they are eating well, start mixing the dry food in with the canned so they will get used to it.

You can wash them in warm water now with a little bit of mild shampoo. Just wrap them in a warm towel and keep them away from any drafts till completely dry.

Also you can start getting them used to nail clipping (I do my kittens at 3 weeks old). Just nip off the sharp tip on their tiny nails. I'd get a fine-toothed flea comb to start grooming young kittens. Any other brushes/combs would be too large.

As far as toys.........don't even bother at this age - their best toys are brothers/sisters. My kittens didn't really play with toys till about 8-10 weeks old. Then it was mainly paper balls, paper bags, ping pong balls.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
GoldenKitty- I will look for a kitten shampoo. And actually, she is 8 weeks old, I just was thinking about it, and she is 8 weeks. She loves playing too!
I will look for a shedding brush so we'll have it when we need it and a flea comb. Also, I will not clip her nails, because she will be an outdoor cat too, and she needs to be able to defend herself. But I will mess with her nails so she's used to that anyway...
post #8 of 11
Why does she need to be an outdoor cat? Can't you have some supervised time outside instead? By letting her roam around, you are putting her at risk for FELV, mean dogs/cats/people, poisons, leg hold traps, fleas, etc.

And you still can clip an outside cats nails - just not as much as you would inside. I've done the barn cats nails from time to time - no problem
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Because I believe that a cat shouldn't be restricted from the joys of nature, just my personal opinion. Yes, there are dangers out there, but there is for every critter, and many of them survive, and we can't keep them all in. The only reason she has even begun to be an indoor cat is because she is white and too easy to see at night. We have 35 cats and the only cat fights we ever get are between Toms and at breeding season, but those are only at nights, don't ask me why.
And I mean, by going outside ourselves, we are putting ourselves at risk for an unending list of fatal diseases, we could get shot or kidnapped or seriously injured, but we can go outside can't we? (Not trying to be harsh, not at all, just saying..) Plus, there are no "leg traps" or coyote traps as we call them, out here because my dad manages this ranch and we currently have no traps out ourselves, and no government traps within many miles of the house. The two yard dogs do not terrorize the cats, in fact, the cats often rub against them and they do not respond. The only cat terrorizing dog we have is penned up and only let out under supervision, and the cats steer clear of the yard they are in when they are out.
We have lots of cats and they are all in risk for many things, but they all do great. The only time we ever have a cat die is from either old age or a coyote/owl got it, and this always happens at nighttime, when Zoe is in the house. We never get any cats from town or anything, we live 35 miles from town and 3 miles from the highway. I keep track of all of our cats, we never get any new ones except for kittens. I assure you, it is much safer for her out on the ranch than it is for a partially-outdoor cat in town. And she won't stray far, I assure you. She gets fed well here. But I think she should be let outside to play with other cats. I am lucky I get to keep her indoor as much I do, cause Mom didn't want an indoor cat, but she took pity on the poor thing, didn't want anything to eat her. But I don't really see the point in clipping her nails, as she will be under semi-supervision in the house so she can't tear anything up, she'll have a scratching post and mat, and she doesn't claw us except for in play and then it doesn't even hurt. But as I said, I am messing with her ears, teeth, and claws now so she is used to it.... (Wow, sorry for the long response, just wanted to give you plenty of resons to back up my opinion. I hope you understand...)
post #10 of 11
Ok, I understand - didn't know you lived on a ranch. But I erge you to get ALL the cats neutered and spayed. Not good for the females to keep having litter after litter and the males fighting between themselves.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
The females have one litter a year (I keep track), that's why they get in fights during breeding season. I guess they know they're already bred, or they've already had a litter, and they don't want any more babies, too much trouble! But I don't want to totally kill the whole cat population, they keep snakes and mice away, but we are neutering and spaying all the kittens we can catch, since we can't catch the wild cats, and it would be very stressful on them. But spaying and neutering the new litters will help with our population tremendously. The only kitten I am not going to neuter will probably be either Kaleia (a really gorgeous calico; she's grey, yellow, and white just like her momma and aunt, not the standard brown, black and white) or Zoe, since Zoe is such a pretty color I think it'd be neat to see what her babies look like. But I will leave only one of them still able to breed. The great thing is, in our town, every vet clinic will take males or females and spay and neuter them, all for free! Because of this, more cats get fixed, which helps the town population greatly.
As for the males, they only fight in breeding season, over the females. It's just nature. And generally they aren't serious, but we are gonna get them fixed anyway, well most of them. After we get down to one tomcat, I'll leave one of the tom kittens not fixed, so we can still have cats around here, just not so many! They're taking over the place!
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