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New cat.... a few ?'s

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well I have had my new cat for about 2 weeks now.
I'm guessing he's about 2 months or slightly older.

I will not be de-clawing him.
1. I have a carpet based scratch post, is there something better I can get
to help dull his claws more? Wood or a metal post perhaps?

2. I've been feeding him both canned & dry food. Usually I give him alittle
of both, he eats the canned food first & usually leaves the dry food, but eats
it later. Is this OK? I haven't really concerned myself with how much I feed
him either. I heard that cats just eat what they need & won't overeat like

3. I never took him to the vet yet. I don't see any fleas on him, but should I
be worried about that? Can I wait awhile before I take him to the vet?

4. My plan on training him where he can & can't go is with a spray water
bottle with I heard works well. Is this a good training method?
post #2 of 11
Cats scratch for many reasons. One is to peel off the outer layer of their claws. This leaves a new, sharper claw, not duller. If you want the claws dull, the best way is to clip them. You can do it with special scissors, or with nail clippers. It's best to start young, since many cats don't like their paws messed with. Look through the threads here, and you'll find exact instructions.

Cats WILL overeat, especially if all they have available is dry food. A good wet food is best, but not necessarily the most convenient for the cat owner.

You should have taken him immediately to the vet, since even one pregnant flea on him can totally infest your house. Also, the vet can catch some early problems, deworm him, etc.

You can train a cat not to get on the table, etc., by several methods. However, a cat has as much conscience as a teenaged human, and he'll do whatever he wants to when you're not looking.
post #3 of 11
1. Keeping his claws trimmed is the best way to keep his claws from being too sharp. Scratching posts will usually not keep them as short as they should be. The younger you start this, the better they accept it. My kitties will sit in my lap and let me trim their claws with no fighting, because they've been accustomed to it very young. You can also look into a product called Soft Paws which are nail caps.

2. Not all cats will overeat, but some will. With a young kitten, I keep dry food available at all times, and offer wet food two-three times a day, depending on the age of the kitten. When he is older, he should learn to regulate his dry food on his own, but if he doesn't then you can switch him to scheduled and measured feedings.

3. He really should see the vet ASAP, just for a general check up and vaccinations. Your vet can start your kitty on a flea preventative. Even if your kitty doesn't go outside, fleas can come inside the house on other pets, or even on you.

4. I do use a spray bottle, and it does work to an extent. When they're somewhere they aren't supposed to be, they'll leave as soon as they see me pick up the spray bottle. But it doesn't stop them from continuing to try.
post #4 of 11
Both of the above posters had great advice ...

Has the kitten been to the vet since you got it >>??
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Both of the above posters had great advice ...

Has the kitten been to the vet since you got it >>??

Being a wild cat, I was hoping to domesticate him somewhat first. I think
I've accomplished that. He's pretty comfortable around me. But He freaks
out around other people.

I have nothing to transport him either. Can I borrow a cage from a vet to
take him in?
post #6 of 11
You should get him to a vet ASAP to make sure he is free of parasites (bring a stool sample) and start his vaccinations. Kittens get usually a series of three shots over a period of a few months and than a 'booster' every year to three years depending on what kind of vaccination your vet gives, also they need a yearly rabies shot depending on where you live it's the law.

Pretty soon he should be neutered also. The vet will want to see him first to make sure he is healthy enough to have the neutering procedure done (healthy weight etc.) If you are unsure of neutering or want to wait just talk to "fastnoc" here and he can tell you how much fun it has been cleaning up after his kitten who has started to spray!! There are lowcost clinics for doing this as well if money is tight.

Don't worry too much about fleas in general if he is now indoors only. The vet can detect if there are signs of fleas (eggs or droppings etc) and will give you a regimin to follow till they are gone.

As for food , you will need to feed more often than an adult. Check the packages they will tell you how much. Get good quality food!!! (good nutrition will help keep him healthy and ward of alot of common probelms which translates to less VET visits and bills!!) Feeding him just wet food is fine.

If I do what they call "free feed" dry food, two of my cats get tubby really quick. They eat more out of boredom than hunger. I wish I had them as kittens because I could have brought them up on just wet and forgotten the whole dry food thing.

There are lots of stuff you can get that helps train a cat. You can try double sided tape on counters, furniture etc. They have a thing that blows air at them that they don't like. Water works for some. Every cat is different and you will have to find out what will work for you. They have alarms that get tripped once a cat enters a "no zone" -depending on how high tech you wanna get.

For the claws you can either keep them clipped or get 'soft paws'. My cats like sisal and cardboard stratch mats and posts.

Finally, get a carrier. You'll use it alot. They last forever.
post #7 of 11
wild = feral ... May I point you to lots of help??

this forum is dedicated to strays and feral ...

most vets don't have them to loan.. what you may ask is for a house call

here is a heartwarming story
post #8 of 11
I highly recommend purchasing a carrier - you never know when you will need it.

He needs to go to the vet to start his vaccinations. IMO, he will need a distemper combo shot & a booster, as well as rabies when he is old enough.

I have a variety of scratching posts - scratching doesn't "dull" their claws really - but rather is a "natural" instinct/reaction to mark territory. It does also help remove the dead sheaths of the claws. At his age, it should be fairly easy to train him to use a scratching post - get one that is at least 4' tall. Or maybe he prefers a cardboard scratcher which you can find almost anywhere like Wal Mart. I have wood posts, sisal post, & cardboard scratchers all.

I do not like the use of a spray bottle for cats. If you "miss" & get some in their eyes or ears - you could cause health issues. Lots of people tell me "oh but I never miss, I have good aim", but it only takes once. I found that cats never listen anyways - when you aren't looking they do what they want.
post #9 of 11
You can (and should) get a carrier from Wal-Mart, Petco, etc. They're not expensive, less than $10 (the last time I looked), and in case of an emergency, you would want to be able to get the cat safely out of the house without risking losing him. Just ask all the people in California, lately!
post #10 of 11
Ditto with everything here. "Training" the cat would take persistence and patience and acting every time the cat does something. Some people here take an empty soda can, fill it with dry beans and tape it shut with duct tape, making a rattle. Cat gets on the dining table, scratches the furniture, rattle the can to distract, say "No" firmly but not angrily and redirect behavior... say... with a favorite toy... or to a sisal scratching post.

A puff of air in the face helps. I have been doing that with my rescue kittens. And they have reacted by moving away from the garbage can!!
Tho' it is still a HUGE temptation!!!

And praise good behavior.

And it still may not work. But if it is something damaging - like scratching in the wrong places - really, really try to redirect. And use other aversives (things they don't like) such as bitter apple spray... but give him an alternative.

Other suggestions for kitten-proofing your house: get any blinds strings out of the way with clips that you can get at Home Depot, etc.; remove breakables, get PVC piping as power cord keeper/protectors.. .and make sure he can't get to any of that. Kittens DO CHEW!!!

And cannot urge you enough to get him to a vet as soon as you can. There is about a 99.99 % chance that he has intestinal parasites ... and as others have said, needs a general wellness workup and to start on mandatory vaccines. Since he was " wild", get him tested for FIV and FeLV...
post #11 of 11
in a pinch, you can use a pillowcase, tied shut, for an emergency carrier. after inserting the cat & tying the case shut, carry it like normal, w/full support.
but there are cardboard carriers available at pet stores & places like wal-mart for around $10-$15. they last quite a long time [as long as your cat isn't a cardboard chewer like one of mine ]. i've also seen quite inexpensive carriers at places like BigLots & Dollar General.
i have a carrier for each cat, for emergencies where i'd have to remove them all at the same time. i rarely use more than one at a time, at most i've used 2...
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