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A new kitten owner needs advice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi, i'm going to be getting a traditional siamese kitten soon between 10-16 weeks of age.

I'm completely new to cats so i need some very basic advice.

Vaccinations: What vaccinations should the kitten get and at what age should they get them?

food: how much should a kitten eat at different ages and what kind of food should it be?

to buy: what should i buy to make my home ready for the kitten? ie litter box and bedding.

tips: i'm clueless but want to be a good owner. Any thing else i should know or tips?

(sorry about these daft questions but the search function was not very useful)
post #2 of 13
Originally Posted by baobei View Post
Hi, i'm going to be getting a traditional siamese kitten soon between 10-16 weeks of age.

I'm completely new to cats so i need some very basic advice.

Vaccinations: What vaccinations should the kitten get and at what age should they get them?

food: how much should a kitten eat at different ages and what kind of food should it be?

to buy: what should i buy to make my home ready for the kitten? ie litter box and bedding.

tips: i'm clueless but want to be a good owner. Any thing else i should know or tips?

(sorry about these daft questions but the search function was not very useful)
Welcome to TCS and hello to another Meezer lover.

Re vaccinations - your vet will tell you what vaccinations your kitty will need. In some areas Rabies is required. I'm assuming your kitty will be indoor only so there are folks here with more knowledge re vaccinations for indoor kitties than I am. I tend to take the advice of my vet because I trust her when it comes to issues of vaccinations.

I'm also a believe that a kitten should be fed kitten food until a minimum of 9 months and then if they are getting pudgy switch to adult food. I kept our kitties on kitten food for one year. Sharky is our resident food guru and has much posted about good quality foods so if you do a search on this forum you'll find more information than you might want. I feed Merrick wet and Orijen dry. Bijou was getting a bit "hefty" so I switched the kitties from a more grainy dry and more wet food than dry so he could lose some weight. It's been working nicely. Wet food is much healthier than dry food for kitties too, especially neutered males.

There are as many types of litter boxes as there are kitties almost. I personally have the Booda Dome which has a little ramp that runs up the side for the entry, is covered and when they exit the little bumps on the ramp tends to clean the litter off their feet. For a wee little kitten, the first litter box must be low enough for them to get into it easily so you may want to just use a lower one at first. Also, since he/she will be a baby and it's not always easy for them to make it to the litter when they need to go, I'd suggest several litter boxes distributed around, especially if you have multiple stories in your house. Please don't use a clumping clay litter for your little fellow - it is dusty and if they inhale it or ingest it, it can form clumps in their lungs or bodies. Some folks recommend a non-clumping clay litter, I prefer World's Best Cat Litter. WBCL costs a bit more but it lasts much longer than any clay litter I've ever used so it is cost-effective in the long term and keeps odour down.

A scratching post is essential and kitty should be trained to use one, i.e., if he scratches furniture/rugs, pick him up and place him at the scratching post. I would hold his paws lightly and scratch so he gets the idea. You probably should also play with his paws, gently touching them and feeling them to get him used to having them touched and start clipping his claws so that he gets used to it. The claws should be clipped about every week to 10 days. I use human clippers but you can buy special kitty clippers at any pet store.

Toys - Siamese are very active and can be vocal (although ours aren't terribly vocal). They become very attached to their owners and need and love your attention but they are worth every moment you spend with them. You don't have to get carried away with toys but I would have a couple catnip or stuffed mice, definitely a cat wand type of toy and maybe a few little balls.

As for cat beds, it's more likely your kitty will want to sleep with you. Bijou sleeps with me, stretched out beside me and covered to the neck with his head on my pillow. I doubt he would be happy alone in a cat bed.

If you aren't going to be home all day I would suggest you confine kitty to one room where he/she cannot get into anything that might hurt him/her. Also cat-proof your living space. Kitties are curious and may get into things that are not good for them. After the kitty is a little older then I would allow it free run when home alone.

Your kitty will also lose his baby teeth around 4 months. A great help to the kitty at that time is to just get some of those big, fat, bendy plastic straws and throw a few around for kitty to chew on. When those get chewed up a bit, toss them and give kitty some new ones.

As kitty takes over your life and starts to own you, you will find you may have lots of questions. Feel free to ask - most of us have had much experience with kitties and have learned lots more on this site - I know I've learned a whole lot since coming here. No question is stupid if you don't know the answer.

Lastly, we LOVE pictures and will look forward to seeing some as soon as you can manage it.
post #3 of 13
Congratulations on your kitten

To answer your questions:

Vaccinations: It depends where you are, as different countries have different requirements and schedules may be slightly different. Here in the UK vaccinations are given at 9 and 12 weeks, and should be done before the kitten leaves the breeder - even if the schedule is slightly different where you are, check to make sure whether the breeder should be arranging it with his/her vet and whether the kitten should be vaccinated before you pick him/her up. In some countries rabies vaccine is recommended and in some areas it is mandatory, I can't help with that one as we don't use it here unless an animal is going overseas.

Food: Use whatever the breeder feeds at first, find out beforehand so you have some ready, and some breeders give a sample in their kitten pack. A sudden food change can cause stomach upset, so any changes need to be introduced gradually. Feed a good quality kitten food and I would give 1 or 2 small meals of high quality kitten wet food and leave kitten dry down for him/her to snack on. Make sure that water is always available.

Other: You'll need litterboxes, open topped if the kitten is used to that (unless the breeder uses covered ones and the kitten is used to them), not too high sides. Use the same non-clumping (as kittens may try to eat the litter this is safer for youngsters) litter that the breeder uses, at least for the first few weeks, and if you change brand then mix the new one in gradually - you don't want any accidents or bad habits forming because the kitten doesn't recognise where she's supposed to go.

Toys - make sure there aren't any parts that can be torn off and swallowed, wand toys are great because they keep your hands well away from the tooth and claw action!

Beds - I have never bought a cat bed, but whether you decide to or not, they do like to have lots of comfy spaces to take a nap, some covered and some open, I tend to use cardboard boxes with old blankets in them, but the cats almost always sleep on the laundry or the sofa

Cat tree - at the very least a tall scratching post and some scratching mats are a necessity, scratching is an important territorial marker and providing ample good places to scratch will avoid damage to furniture. An active cat like a Siamese needs to climb and have high places to perch, so a sturdy cat tree is a good investment.

I can't think of anything else right at this moment, but I hope that gets you started
post #4 of 13
You have some really great advice all ready!!! What I have to add is from my own personal experience. When you get a very young cat and bring it into a home with no cats some behavior problems seem to come up. For example most people find the young cat developes a bitting problem. The only fix I personally found was to get another kitten for him to burn energy with. If you have two cats they will play with eachother AND teach eachother manors.

When buying/adopting a kitten it's always best to buy/adopt in twos.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Finally managed to reply to this post with some long delayed pics

There have been a few dramas and they both have a cold. It is a suprise when a cat with a cold sneezes in your face for the first time and sprays mucus every where
post #6 of 13
They're adorable
post #7 of 13
If the kitten is that old and from a breeder, most of the vaccinations should already be given (at least 2 sets). Check with the breeder and find out what shots were given and when. You will need to take the kitten to your vet within 48-72 hrs after getting them and have your vet check the kitten out (and give him the shot info).

As far as food, I recommend Royal Canin Baby Cat food or one of the other better brands (Nutro Max, Natural Balance, etc.) Or ask the breeder what
he/she is using and get at least one bag of the same food to start - if you don't like what they are feeding you can gradually change the dry food.

I'd also get high quality kitten canned food too and give the kitten about a teaspoon or 2 of the canned food. Let him eat as much as he wants of the canned for about 30 mins - then take it up. The dry you can leave out to nibble on.

You'll need:

litter, litter box, scoop to clean the solids out

separate food and water dishes - not plastic

bed for the kitten

Nail clippers (start trimming nails at least once a week)

Tall scratching post/treehouse - minimum of 4 feet tall. While you might think the kitten doesn't need that big of a post - think again. Kittens grow fast and will soon outgrow the little scratching posts.

Medium size hard carrier for traveling.

Toys - lots of them and a variety - but check to be sure the toys cannot be swallowed or little parts fall off.
post #8 of 13

Vaccinations - I would suggest calling all the local vets and asking what they do, at what age/weight they start shots, and how much they cost. I saved myself about $50-$100/visit by calling around to find the most inexpensive vet. (and I love the guy,he's great.)

Food - you'll want to get a bit of the dry kibble food from the place you're getting the kitten from. (See if they'll give you a small baggie full) Mix this with whatever dry food you want to start feeding him/her. Over a couple weeks or so, gradually reduce the quantity of old food and increase the quantity of new food, until the kitten is eating only the new stuff.

There are a lot of different opinions about how/what to feed cats on this site - so you'll probably hear a bunch of different things. Just figure out what makes the most sense to you and your budget.

I free feed Moses (and have since I got him) Royal Canin dry food. This means that he always has some kibble in his food dish. He's a very active cat, and hasn't gotten fat like this, and a lot of other members here also free feed dry food with no problems. I started with Royal Canin b/c it has 2 stages of kitten food - one for kittens under 4 mos, and one for kittens 4 mos - 1 year. I also started giving Moses a little taste (1 Tbsp, or so) of canned wet food as a treat each night at 9 mos. I use just a grocery-store cheap wet food for this. I figure that since Royal Canin is such a high quality food, I can feed him some lesser quality wet food occasionally in small quantities.

What to buy - toys! lots of 'em, but remember that things like milk carton lids, small balls of paper, and chapstick tubes usually become the favoritie toys. I didn't buy a cat bed at first. I just had a few very soft fleecey blankets that I'd arrange in a doughnut shape for Moses to snuggle in. I kept him in the bathroom at first during the nights, but since then he's always slept with me. Find a litter box that will be easy for him to step into. I never had to get more than one litter box, but I have a small place and we were very consistent about "reminding" Moses where it was.

I also agree with a previous poster that its a good idea to keep the new guy in a room or bathroom when you're not there to supervise. This is for their safety and your peice of mind. Kittens get into everything, and unsupervised, can get hurt. I used a bathroom as the "safe room" for moses, with his litter box and food dishes at opposite ends of the bathroom. I also kept a variety of toys in there and a soft blanket for him to lay on.

We got Moses as an only kitten, and we really liked it that way. He really bonded with us. But, we were around A LOT to be with him. Now that my work schedule has gotten more demanding, I'm getting him a friend so he won't be lonely.

Good luck, and keep us posted on what happens. (We all love pics!!)
post #9 of 13
This was, by far, the best investment of a cat toy for me. Its especially great if you can't be home all the time, because they keep themselves occupied.

post #10 of 13
They are adorable. Good luck with them
post #11 of 13
If they have a "cold," they may have a serious upper respiratory infection. This can be a kitten killer, so be sure they see a vet immediately, if you haven't already. By the way, this is not something you can catch from them; very few diseases affect both cats and humans. This infection is common in places that have multiple cats, especially breeders and shelters.

Also, that is not "a" kitten...your plans must have changed!
post #12 of 13
Congratulations!! Same thing happened to us.....we went to get one siamese and came home with two. Enjoy them!!
post #13 of 13
They are adorable. Have you had them to a vet as yet? Their kitty cold (possible URI) should really be checked out. Also, your breeder should probably have had their vaccinations done but you'll need to check of course.

Congratulations on your new kittens. We all expect to see many photos so we can share in your joy by watching them grow into the beautiful Siamese cats they will become.
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