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One kitten or two?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, I am new to this site.

I am Holly, and our 9 week old kitten is Malcolm, aka Malley Cat. We also have two sons, aged 3.5 and 9 months.

We got Malcolm a week ago. He is a wonderful guy - alternating between fits of truly awe-inspiring energy and snuggle time. He sleeps with us (all of us, as we are a cosleeping family), and we are enjoying him very much.

My husband was reluctant to get a cat. I was the pusher on the issue. But while he is not a cat enthusiast, he has accepted Malcolm into our home and enjoys watching Malcolm and our elder son run each other's crazies out.

I do have a few questions, and I am hoping I am posting this in the right place. If I am not, it's just cuz I'm a noob.

1. Food recommendations! I am currently transitioning from the Iams Kitten he was on at his birth home to Solid Gold dry foods. Is this best? Wet vs. dry? I'd like to offer him a food that is very good for him.

2. Scratching! He's enjoying his claws on our carpet, and launching himself at our wooden furniture and trying to grab hold. I do like our furniture, and I'd like to keep it looking nice. I bought him a sisal-rope scratching post and sprayed it with some kind of catnip spray (as Petco recommended), but no love for the post. What should I do to help him learn to scratch on it? Maybe he'd prefer something wooden? I've read up on declawing and I'm not in favor.

3. One kitten or two? As I said, Malley Cat's Daddy was a reluctant cat owner. I've mentioned two and he's NOT enthused. However, I'd like to get some stats if they exist, and educate him on the benefits of one vs. two. (A possible negative: Do you REALLY need two boxes?)

Thanks in advance - I can't wait to see what the kitty pros have to say.

ETA - A photo of our little guy.

post #2 of 11
On the food thing. I know wet is better. I am having a lot of trouble getting my four to switch to wet food right now. I don't know anything about the brand you mentioned so I can't really comment on that one.

As far as scratching. . . . you said he is having fun scratching your carpet. I am guessing that the sisal post you have is a vertical one, if he is scratching the ground, you could try getting one of those cardboard scratchers that sit flat on the ground. I have the turbo chaser one that has a ball around it that the cats bat around and the center is a cardboard scratcher. Mine LOVE it! Also, if you notice he is scratching something he shouldn't, take him to one of his posts. You might want to even scratch it with your hands so he will get the point that is the ideal place to scratch. I didn't really ever have a problem with any mine scratching things they weren't supposed to but I also have an over abundance of scratchers around my house. Oh yeah, and I have found that those carpet mats that you can usually get at the dollar store are pretty good scratchers too. You just flip them over so that the rough side is up.

On the two cats issue. . . . Well first of all, I have four, so you can probably guess where I stand on the issue. I had some behavior problems with Trinity (mostly, she latched onto me and scratched the crap out of my hands/legs) until Bentley came around. Also, it is A LOT of fun to watch two kittens running around playing. As far as your litter box question, I think it depends on the cat/cats. I only have two litter boxes and four cats. I started with five litter boxes but only two got use anyway so I downsized. As long as neither cat minds sharing the box, and you scoop it out at least once a day, I see no problem with only having one box.

I am sure some of the more experienced people on the site will offer you some more great advice.

Oh and thank you for asking about the scratching and not wanting to declaw your cat!
post #3 of 11
Wow, he is handsome!

I think having 2 cats its the best thing in the world We have 2 and they keep eachother entertained & out of the naughty things most of the time! While we are at work, they have eachothers company & are often found sleeping cuddled up together when we are home at night.
When we just had Harley for 1 year as a single cat, he was very destructive & once we added a 2nd to our household, he calmed down a lot & stays out of trouble (for the most part ).

We have 2 cats and only 1 litter box right now. We used to have 2, but they would really only use one, so we downsized again to 1. Now that Bayley is getting bigger, we'll probably add another one again. BUT - if you keep up on the daily scooping, and they don't mind sharing, I think you should be okay with 1 box, that again all depends on the cats & how they react sharing one.

Your kitten is young yet, which is a better age to get him a companion. If you do get another kitten, I suggest a friend along the same age-range.

Best of luck of adding to your furfamily, if your finances allow it, go for it!

As far as him scratching at things, I would suggest getting him a few varieties of scratching posts. Have you heard of soft paws? http://www.softpaws.com/ , check them out - they are designed to be a nail cap that protects your furniature & flooring. They came in a variety of colors & sizes, and are sold at most petstores

Good luck!
post #4 of 11
Your kitty is adorable.
My Raven is currently an only, she is 14 weeks old now and I love her dearly but I am beginning to think that she needs a friend to play with rather than me to claw to pieces.
post #5 of 11
1. We really liked Innova but it's not cheap.

2. Just try some different things out. My cost a bit at first but it will be cheaper then buying new furniture. For the one we have that doesn't do scratching posts, we got a cheap rug and she claws that.

3. Of course 2 would be much better for everyone involved except for your marriage only you really know. One litter box for two is fine. Just will need to clean it more. The Litter-Robot could be your best friend

good luck and he is cute!
post #6 of 11
I highly recommend getting a second cat. They really are social creatures and while it is great for us humans to play with them, I've noticed that they need companions of their own species.

He is adorable, by the way!
post #7 of 11
I had Matilda for about a month before I got a 2nd cat (Chloe) They just grow on you. I recommend getting another kitten that is about the same age, that will be the easiest and they will keep each other entertained. 2 kittens can really be easier than 1. I would get a little female kitten.

Malcolm is so cute!
post #8 of 11
We just got a kitten two weeks ago and he is guessed at about 13 weeks now--he was a stray.

We are currently switching him over to Nutro Max cat-kitten dry--he was eating Purina One kitten dry.

For scratching or doing anything you don't want we have found a spray bottle with water to be our best friend. Jack is doing great with things. He has scratched the couch a few times but we placed a sisal rope scratcher in the same place and he has been using it. We also stuck our Christmas tree up (fake) and he loves scratching the trunk which we are allowing since he's doing no harm and it isn't furniture.

People say two kittens is better but it isn't an option for us and so far hasn't caused issues. He is very attached to us, yes, but we are able to play a lot during the day and his energy isn't too much to handle. His antics are hilarious and we've found the best toys are things you have around the house. Rolled up paper wads, plastic grocery bags (with the handles cut), empty toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes with holes cut in them. He also loves the laser pointer.

I wish you luck and if you need to compare kitten behavior or just need to kitten vent send me a PM.

Leslie
post #9 of 11
I have a Litter Robot, and three cats share it. This works because there's always a clean litter bed, so it's new for them every time.

If you keep up with the box it shouldn't necessarily be an issue, especially since you would be getting the second cat when they are young and should get along, and hopefully be buddies.

I do believe two cats are easier than one. You're already scooping up litter and dishing out food, your maintenance goes up a tad, and your fun goes up a lot! Also, most cats enjoy a companion, you avoid behavior problems, and they can play with each other. With two boys, you might not always have the time to devote to a single cat. Another cat takes a burden off the rest of the household.
post #10 of 11
I have worked with animals for around 10 years and I think the best advise that anyone can give you is to consult your vet before you make any major changes.

If you are adamant on changing from Iams to another brand do so as a gradual process over a couple of weeks.

As far as types of food are concerned dry food is definately the better out of wet and dry. You will find that wet food provides little nutritional value and is about 80% water (depending on brand). If you are unsure on food do not buy supermarket brands and check the ingredients on the back of the label. Remember the less wheat in the food the less waste to clean up. Also you will find the waste will have a less ofensive odour if fed dry.

Spray bottles are definately a good idea, and dont forget you can invest in nail clippers however have your vet show you how to use them first as you do not want to trim them and cut too far.

Lots of different toys such as Kong toys or activity treat balls where you can put his breakfast into and this will help stimulate his mind as well as keep him occupied for a little while!

Hope this helps, Good luck
post #11 of 11
i'd definitely recommend getting another - they'll keep each other company, & now's the best time - the younger they are, the better they accept newcomers. be sure to do intros properly - look here: I'd like you to meet... introducing cats.
litter boxes - people will tell you you need one per cat, plus an extra, but i've not found that to be true. for years, i had 2 cats & one box. currently, i have 5 cats & 3 boxes [altho i am planning on adding a 4th as soon as i have the money!] if you scoop regularly, you can get by on less boxes.
Malcom is adorable, too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma81 View Post
As far as types of food are concerned dry food is definately the better out of wet and dry. You will find that wet food provides little nutritional value and is about 80% water (depending on brand). If you are unsure on food do not buy supermarket brands and check the ingredients on the back of the label. Remember the less wheat in the food the less waste to clean up. Also you will find the waste will have a less ofensive odour if fed dry.

Spray bottles are definately a good idea, and dont forget you can invest in nail clippers however have your vet show you how to use them first as you do not want to trim them and cut too far.
re the above: i've actually found the opposite to be true, food-wise. there are several food-related threads around the health & nutrition forum that'll help you w/your decision.
also, many people are very anti-spray bottle, altho i like them... i rarely spray the kits, tho, i usually just shake the bottle or spray the wall near where the undesirable activity is taking place. loud noises [coins in a soda can] are also a good deterrent.
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