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Getting a kitten

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone!
I posted a topic a while ago deciding whether to get a dog or a cat... I've actually since discovered that the unit I was going to move in to (which had a backyard) isn't available til July so I'm moving into another unit in the same block, which has a bonus veranda, but no backyard. This rules out the possibility of a dog for me, as my landlord won't allow a dog without a backyard.
So, I've decided to get a kitten!
I'm getting it on the 28th Feb, in like a month's time, so I'm in preparation phases now.
I have a few questions for the experts:

I want this cat to be a definite inside cat. This is why I'm getting a kitten rather than a cat (although if the pound has an adult cat that's definitely only used to the indoors I will definitely consider it)... I don't want to go through the whole scratching at the door to get out thing, and my past 2 cats have been hit by cars. Granted, they were both very old and would have died of natural causes soon after anyway, but I don't like it when the cat drags in a beautiful rainbow lorikeet and expects me to praise it!

Secondly, I have a window that will be open. It's a 15foot drop from that windowsill. Should I get a screen fitted? I know Memphis wouldn't dare jump from there, but maybe other cats would...

Thirdly, the unit will get quite hot during the day, probably around 45C in the very hottest time of Summer (Most of the time it'll be fine, but I'm preparing for anything. I mean there's a very good chance it won't get this hot at all, any time. So don't get freaked out!)
If I have wooden floors and a few fans on that the cats can lie in front of and keep the window open, will that be sufficient? I mean, the weather here gets that hot anyway, but I'm worried about the lack of air flow and stuffiness through the place. I'm hoping a few fans and the window open will suffice. It's not a big unit.

Can anyone recommend an awesome kitty litter tray for me that I can get in Australia? Something classy that doesn't stink too much!

Some cute kitten name suggestions might be appreciated also
post #2 of 25
Congratulations on your new addition to be

I would screen the window, just to be safe.

I leave the windows open a bit during the day and if it's really hot I'll set the a/c to come on early afternoon, the cats have been fine with this so far. I have wooden floors too.

Litter tray - I use a large 60lt storage container from the reject shop ($10) stops litter getting all over the floor because of the high sides. The smell is more related to diet than the litter.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh that's a really good idea with the high sides! I'm a clean freak, and have never had kitty litter in the past apart from when my other cats were little... but I was living with my mum then so I didn't deal with it!!
I was thinking of something covered though, for when I have guests over... No one wants to go to the bathroom and see a nice new bit of "business"
post #4 of 25
Just keep in mind that some cats won't use covered boxes as they hold the odours in, which often they don't appreciate.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
hahaha that's a good point.
Now that you mention that I can't imagine my old cat Jayjay ever setting foot inside one... She was the most snobby cat I've ever met! I could just imagine her saying "Oh, darling, you just CAN'T expect me to step in HERE."
You'd think they wouldn't mind though... I'd like a bit of privacy personally.

I might as well just get an ordinary tray with higher sides to minimize mess. I don't wanna get a big fancy thing if they're not going to use it!
Has anyone tried training their cat to actually use a toilet?
I always see those toilet training kits in the pet store... but doubt their success rate personally...
post #6 of 25
The breeder of my cats uses the LitterKwitter and many of the new owners keep it up with success (I didn't continue).

If you want to go that way you can get it much cheaper off ebay or dealsdirect, about 1/2 price as the shops.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Oh my god it looks like it actually works! Sweet! I'm going to get one of them for sure.
post #8 of 25
Congrats on the new kitten You may want to kitten-proof your home. Much as you would for a toddler. They are balls of endless energy and entertainment. It will get messy though, just so you are prepared
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Can anyone give me advice as to how to kitten proof my home? I haven't had a kitten since I was a kid so I guess my mum did all that. Now I'm on my own!
I'm not much of a kid person so telling me to do it like I would for a toddler is pointless!
I'm thinking... electrical things turned off... lid on the fish tank... screen on the window... perhaps sticking my vases and things to shelves so they can't be knocked off?
I've already learnt to protect paper... Memphis LOVES to chew paper.
post #10 of 25
Hmm...Having 2, 8 month-old kittens right now I can give a few suggestions:
1. Think of having a toddler that can jump on counters, etc. to give you an idea of what you need to kitten-proof.
2. Buy outlet covers, wrap cables in heavy duty electrical tape (or use cord protectors).
Baby latches on lower cabinets wouldn't hurt.
3. COVER ALL TRASHCANS! or put them in a cabinet the cat can't get to. I use the cans with the lid that opens when you step on a lever.
4. Put up ALL food off of your counter tops.
5. Secure their food, toys, and catnip in air tight containers (I use a cereal container for the food) so that they can't chew through the bags, etc.
6. Push all items to the backs of shelves and put away any important/expensive breakables (either in storage or behind glass) until the kitten is older.
7. Check you houseplants to make sure they are not toxic (do a search for toxic plants on here and it should give you results).

More later, but I'm off to work!
post #11 of 25
Its much safer to have a screen in the window - you don't want the cat to accidently fall out and get hurt or escape.

And one very important thing - please do not adopt kittens under 10-12 weeks old - they really are not ready to leave mom/siblings till older. A 12 week old kitten will adjust to things faster and better then an 8 week old kitten.

Personally, I recommend males rather then females, as they are usually more outgoing, friendly and accept newcomers in the house better. Females tend to be more territorial and want things on THEIR terms - not yours. Are you able to adopt 2 kittens together? That would be ideal since they would have someone to play with when you are not home.

Be sure to get a good size treehouse scratching post (minimum of 4 feet high) and learn how to trim the nails. If you do it when young, and do it once a week, they will be more cooperative when adults.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
haha I'm not first time cat owner, I have a cat! I just haven't had a kitten in years. So I do know most of this =]
Memphis will LOVE someone to play with when I'm not home, but you have NO idea the process I had to go through for my landlord to allow me to adopt ONE pet. Asking for two kittens is pretty much like asking if I could please have a German Shephard that lived in my bedroom.
I hear you on the covering trashcans... I learnt that the hard way with a puppy...

I also agree with you on the female thing... I've always prefered male pets, that goes for dogs too; they always seem so much more loyal... like they rely on you more than females do. Not to say that I don't love my female cats of course, but I am planning on getting a male... If there's a female kitten that I fall in love with though, I don't think I'll be able to help myself.
The only circumstance in which I will adopt a kitten that's considered too young to leave the mother is if there is no mother, which is a situation I know happens all the time at the shelter. The kittens are always desexed before leaving though, so I doubt that there would be any under 10 weeks or so.

Okay. So I think in my house my only dangers will be electrical chords, and I'll restrict kitty's access to them... And shelves. But I might lock the cat out of my bedroom during the day, because that's where I keep all the things that might get wrecked.

I'm so excited! 4 weeks to go! I wish I wasn't so impatient so the time would go quicker!
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
I'm just wondering,

Are ginger cats less affectionate and less people-orientated than other cats?
In my experience long haired cats are usually more affectionate, but I don't want to be generalising. I just know that a whole heap of cats at the shelter are ginger... and I want a really affectionate kitten.
post #14 of 25
I think that individuals vary more than if you categorise by sex or colour. My Dushka is the most laid-back cat you can imagine, and incredibly affectionate. So is Ellie, though much more active than Dushka. Some people say tortoise-shells have 'attitude' but I have known really gentle sweet ones. Your cat will find you, regardless of any other factors!
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Man, one of the sweetest cats I ever had was a female tortoiseshell... she was manx though and I've never met a nasty one of them.

I should stop worrying and being anxious... I should just go along on the day... look at the 30 odd cats they have... and the right one will jump out at me. I know it. I'm just obsessive and paranoid
post #16 of 25
All the "ginger" red tabbys I've own are nutty, friendly, and sooo cool That's one of my fav colors.

I'm sure they have something similar to Bitter Apple spray you can use on the cords. Its great stuff and will stop both cats and dogs from chewing on things. Check in your pet stores for it.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your new baby when you get him.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
This makes me so mad. I called up some places today to see how many/what sorts of kittens they have/would have available. I found one ad for a ragdoll x manx. Now, we all know ragdolls are gorgeous, and one of the nicest cats I ever had was a manx... so I thought, score! It was only 5 and a half weeks old so I wouldn't want to be taking it home for another month anyway.

I called the number, expecting a foster carer or something (it was on a pet rescue website).

This is how the conversation went:

me: Hi, I'm just calling about an ad for a kitten I saw... when will he be available? He's only a little one so I thought it might be good cos I'm looking for one in about a month's time.

Some weird bogan guy: Yeah, mate, ah, you're too late mate, someone came picked him up yesterday, they like em small ay, they're just cuter ay. But don't freak out cos she's preggers again, yeah, we gotta keep a better eye on that girl ay! Yeah, she's the ragdoll, well actually a ragdoll cross, she's a pure black one, there aren't many of them so she's pretty rare, yeah, but she's a special girl ay. Yeah, the next ones will be black too cos there's a black cat that hangs out and we think its his, he's just a normal cat, those manxs are a bit weird lookin ay, bit wild he was, but yeah, ay, call in like 6 weeks or so cos she been preggers for 2 now, so we'll keep one for ya ay

Now, if I wasn't a shy idiot, I would have said: "Get your cat desexed or keep her inside! You let her get pregnant 2 and a half weeks after giving birth! You IDIOT! You sold a 5 and a half week old cat! Go grow a brain and give your poor cat to me!"

what I did say was "Oh never mind, I'm looking for one sooner than that" and hung up before I could listen to him anymore.

People like that really disgust me. I'm even going to post another thread about it. Have they never been to the RSPCA?!!
post #18 of 25
That poor momma cat. She is a breeding machine for this bleeping fool
post #19 of 25
Originally Posted by Tobi View Post
(it was on a pet rescue website)
If it's the same one I know of it's notorious for this kind of thing. Selling mixed breeds for a big price with nothing included or creating new 'breeds' altogether.

I know some people who send off friendly educational emails, unfortunately it's doesn't help much as it's hard to change peoples minds when they never seem to have trouble getting rid of the kittens each time.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Would you be able to PM me the website you know of? So that I know to avoid it when I'm looking for my kitten... Because as particular as I am I don't want to fall into any traps!
post #21 of 25
I didn't mention this in my last post, so I thought that I'd post again...
It was REALLY nice for me to be able to confine my two monsters in a single room while I wasn't home. I used the bathroom when they were ~5-7 weeks and then moved them into the guest room. I was able to take out all electronics and put away cords, breakables, etc. from the room so that I knew they were "safe" in there while I was away. It also gave me time to kittenproof the rest of the house.

While they were staying in their room, I'd let them come into the rest of the house while I was at home. After about 4 weeks of that they "graduated" to being left out full time.

As to "ginger cats", I've known two brother had a female red tabby that was/is very people friendly, outgoing, affectionate, and hyper. The other "ginger" I know is one of my two kittens. He is very active (by my standards at least), and only affectionate ocassionaly although he loves to play. So yes, I think it goes more by the cat verses the color/sex.

I have heard that males are more accepting of new cats, which you might want to take into account if you're planning on getting another cat anytime in the near future. That was true with my three males (kittens and an adult) when my sister-in-law's cat (female) came into the house...they ignored her while she hissed and threw a fit. It took her about 1 month longer to "accept" them than the reverse.

post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well the cat I have now is male, and he loves everything and everyone. He didn't blink an eyelid when he saw a little poodle mix in the house, he just wanted to go play with him. I don't think I'll be getting another pet for another 6 years (when my degree finishes... ridiculous I know) unless I find another place with a more pet-friendly landlord. But I don't like my chances... Though I could always sneak one in...
I think I'm leaning towards a male anyway.

I reeeeeally want a maine coon or a norwegian forest cat... but I just can't justify spending $600 on a cat that's not desexed or anything when there are desexed abandoned kittens in the shelter. Hopefully they'll have a massive little fluffy monster for me. hahahaha
post #23 of 25
Have you looked into breeders in your area? Many times they will have altered males and females that are " retired" and here, (in the us) you can usually get a retired adult for around S100-S200 altered. Sometimes these are even "show cats", but usually "breeders" and are usually around 2-5 years old. So, not bad.

When I have more space, money, and one of my cats passes, I am thinking about getting a retired of one of the breeds I'm looking at... It's great to already know the personality of an adult and not to have to go through all the kitten-work.

post #24 of 25
Originally Posted by Tobi View Post
I reeeeeally want a maine coon or a norwegian forest cat... but I just can't justify spending $600 on a cat that's not desexed or anything
If you go through a registered breeder it will come desexed, vaxed and with a health guarantee

Going back a few posts, I can't send you a PM
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
that's weird...
but yeah, i've considered that - the getting a retired cat thing. if it was a strictly indoor cat i would consider it. i'm sort of glad i have a month to think it over now... hahaha

well, 3 and a half weeks
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