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Thinking of getting a kitten

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey,

First off im new here, joined up to get advice and chat with other feline likers. Anyways my family owns two cats of which we adore but they are getting old and I have never personally had my own cat so I thought I would get my own kitten to raise and see it grow into a cat (we adopted our cats from a shelter.)

First off im 18 and I know a kitten is a lot of work I have done research and looked after my own cats. I just have a few questions before I go into this as I want to be as prepared as possible.

1) I have saved up $600 from my job towards a kitten and hoping this will cover basic vet fees and accessories for a while as my other cash is going towards schooling.

2) Is it okay to confine my kitten to a reasonably sized cardboard box padded down with its litter tray and food/water bowl in it? I mean of course I will play with it and watch it all the time but sometimes it will have to be confined when I pop out of my room for a second or two.

If theres anything else I should know please do let me know as im trying to gather as much information as I can.

Thanks!
post #2 of 17
Quote:
1) I have saved up $600 from my job towards a kitten and hoping this will cover basic vet fees and accessories for a while as my other cash is going towards schooling.
This should be good - If you won't have any other income coming your way, Maybe you want to look at getting pet health insurance for emergencies, so if something happens you are covered...

Quote:
2) Is it okay to confine my kitten to a reasonably sized cardboard box padded down with its litter tray and food/water bowl in it? I mean of course I will play with it and watch it all the time but sometimes it will have to be confined when I pop out of my room for a second or two.
Is this really necessary? Why can't he just be left in the room? Are you going to be in a dorm? Can you further explain this? He should be just fine alone in your room, with a litter box, water and food - no need for a cardbox...

Good luck!!! When are you getting you new best friend???
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
If need be and I don't have the cash my rents will pay for the animals health.

Also the only reason I was thinking of putting it in a cardboard box is to better litter train it so if it pees its not on my floor and stuff. I also don't want it hurting itself running around my room.
post #4 of 17
Quote:
Also the only reason I was thinking of putting it in a cardboard box is to better litter train it so if it pees its not on my floor and stuff. I also don't want it hurting itself running around my room.
Ah... Ok... You probably (very very likely) won't need to worry about litter training - it's pretty much in the genes - as long as you get a cat that has been fixed, you shouldn't have a problem...
As far as the other concern, you can just cat proof your bedroom - If you are worried about that, getting a little older cat (1-2yrs old) will pretty much take care of both issues... Cats are usually pretty good on their feet, as long as you don't leave things around that can be seen as toys...
I don't think the box is going to be necessary - and definitely not an option if you are thinking about living him for long periods of time...

I travel and leave my cat at home, never got back to anything wrong...
Good Luck!
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Ah... Ok... You probably (very very likely) won't need to worry about litter training - it's pretty much in the genes - as long as you get a cat that has been fixed, you shouldn't have a problem...
As far as the other concern, you can just cat proof your bedroom - If you are worried about that, getting a little older cat (1-2yrs old) will pretty much take care of both issues... Cats are usually pretty good on their feet, as long as you don't leave things around that can be seen as toys...
I don't think the box is going to be necessary - and definitely not an option if you are thinking about living him for long periods of time...

I travel and leave my cat at home, never got back to anything wrong...
Good Luck!
to all of the above. if you're getting a kitten, you'll need to 'kitten-proof' your room [kinda like child-proofing!] but otherwise, s/he'll most likely use the litterbox with no trouble, barring any medical problems that may arise. [don't want to scare you - just know that inappropriate toileting is usually a sign of ill health.]
if you're only getting one, i'd get an older kitten - 4 months or so. s/he'll integrate better w/the older cats that way [you are planning on letting s/he out of your bedroom eventually, right?] because s/he won't be quite as annoying [kittens are sometimes a bit energetic for older cats].
if you REALLY have your heart set on a little one [under 4 months] consider getting a pair that like each other. they'll be less likely to get into stuff, because there's a 'built-in' playmate around!
btw - an older kitten will most likely already be neutered - one less thing to worry about!
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Alright thanks a lot for the replies im just trying to do as much research as possible before I get one. Another thing I was wondering is, should I get a kitten from a store like PETSMART or adopt from another family looking to give away its kitten.

Thanks again for all your help.
post #7 of 17
look in here - put your zip code in, and see what they have available for adoption...

http://www.petfinder.com/
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
look in here - put your zip code in, and see what they have available for adoption...

http://www.petfinder.com/
altho my local Petsmart has kittens for adoption that come from rescue groups, so that's a good option, as well. you can usually 'meet' the kitten/cat - be aware that many cats do not 'show' well in those situations, tho.
Petfinder is how i found my Chip - he didn't do well in the shelter, so was being fostered.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borstal View Post
Alright thanks a lot for the replies im just trying to do as much research as possible before I get one. Another thing I was wondering is, should I get a kitten from a store like PETSMART or adopt from another family looking to give away its kitten.

Thanks again for all your help.
I think you should be commended for doing your due diligence, saving and working things out BEFORE getting the kitten.

It's great to see this. You'll love the litter training since all you really need to do is show the kitten where the litter is. they'll do the rest (in most cases) but make sure you get a kitten litter box. they're shorter and easier for the munchkins to climb into.

As for where to get it? PetCo and PetSmart don't 'sell' kittens. They take in adoptable kittens from local rescue groups to help place them. So what you see there is the best bet for selection. HOWEVER, going to the pound might be good too. those animals are almost all going to be killed if they aren't adopted. So by going there it'll be saving a life. (some shelters are no kill) Personally I can't go to a shelter because I'm too soft hearted and it breaks my heart to see all those sad and lonely animals.
post #10 of 17
First off - kittens should be 10-12 weeks old before they leave their mothers. So perhaps look for an older kitten. Keep in mind many 6 month old kittens have grown up in cages at shelters, as everyone wants cute & little. You can raise a kitten any way you want, even if they are already 6 months old.

Your resident kitties will not like the newcomer off the bat - I suggest you search for "introductions" to learn how to properly introduce cats. A kitten won't be happy confined to your room all the time. Kittens are incredibly playful, so will want to play with the older cats no matter what you do (probably thinking "but I love them, why don't they love me back?" ).
post #11 of 17
I also would try not to get one less than 10-12 weeks old... they really need to stay with momma and sibbies for that time to learn "catiquette" (cat etiquette), including how to use a litter pan. I know with our rescue, we don't adopt out unfixed animals... they need to be a certain age and weight MINIMUM to be fixed. So, we don't adopt out the tiny little fuzzballs.

If you go the rescue or Humane Society route -the kitten will have or SHOULD have been tested or FIV and FeLV, deflea'd, wormed, up to date on vaccinations, and in many cases, fostered. If the kitten has NOT been tested for FeLV (feline leukemia), get it done.

If you go the craigslist route, ask for vet paperwork for proof of things that have been done. And then take the kitten to the vet asap to get checked out.

Actually, rescues are a good deal. We charge $120 for a cat or kitten with all the vet work, including fixing. That's only about HALF of what it costs US and we get a discount because we're a rescue.

Also, a lot of rescues are offering two-fers... adopt a kitten get another free or at a reduced price... because of overpopulation. And both will or should have gotten the proper vet care beforehand.

And as others have said, you don't need to confine the kitten to a box... actually no kitten larger than say... 6 weeks is going to stay in a box. You can give him/her a box to play in. I have never met a cat that DIDN'T love boxes.

ETA: Ah, yes - as WCL said - you need to make proper introductions. And the kitten will want to play with the older cats and depending on THEIR age and disposition, they may find this baby to be a big annoyance! Or teach him/her who's boss! Another advantage for getting two-- they can expend their energy on each other and not the older cats.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all your information. I think I will go with the rescue adoption one and maybe get two so they have someone to play with. I will keep you guys informed how it goes, gotta do some talking to the rents but I can't wait.

Thanks again!
post #13 of 17
A kitten will not stay in a cardboard box for long, unless the box is about 6 feet tall. I kept my kittens in a laundry basket when they were first born, but they figure out how to climb out by the time they were 3-4 weeks old. The problem was, they couldn't get back in so ended up lying on the cold tile floor. I had to make a new bed with low sides for them. Your best bet is to kitten-proof the room and let the kitten roam freely within that space.
post #14 of 17
If you don't have a small room like a bathroom where you can confine your kitten/cat at first, you could get a dog crate (like a large cage) and put it there while you're out of the room, long enough for it to get used to using the litter box, etc. A small kitten can have trouble finding a litter box in a big area, but any kitten over about 12 weeks old should not really have a problem.

Adoption fees vary. Our shelter charges $75, but $25 of that is for a micro chip and $25 is a voucher toward spay/neuter. I would take any kitten you adopt immediately to the vet to get it tested for FIV/FELV, treated for worms, fleas, vaccinated against the common diseases, etc. You'd hate to fall in love with another being like that, only to have it die a short time later. Our shelter will take the kitten back if it turns out to have a problem you are unwilling/unable to deal with and give you a refund (or another kitten), as long as you do it within 3 business days.

Almost all shelter/rescue cats have an upper respiratory infection. This is a virus that is ubiquitous in such places. It's like a cold, and your vet will probably give you antibiotics if your kitten gets it, just to control the secondary infections. The three cats we have adopted have all had it. With a neutering, vet visit, adoption fees, etc., we figure we're about $200 into each cat in the first few weeks.

But I wouldn't trade them for the world.
post #15 of 17
If you want to save a few bucks it is actually cheaper to get a rescue kitty than a FREE kitty. A free kitty needs shots, deworming and spay/neuter. I got Brady and Bru from a rescue foster home and for $100 they came dewormed, 1-2 shot series, rabies and already neutered. Brady was 4 months old, Bru 6-7 months old. If they stay well, that's only 1 or 2 vet visits the 1st year. Bru is now all set till March 09 I think and Brady who just had his 1st yearly vet visit about 2 months ago is all set till next year.

Manny was a very young stray that was thankfully neutered.......his ear is clipped. I think he was from a TNR colony. Saved me a lot as all he needed was 3 vet visits, deworming and shots. He's all set till next fall if he stays healthy.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyluvscats View Post
If you want to save a few bucks it is actually cheaper to get a rescue kitty than a FREE kitty.
so true! Chip came from a shelter - he's been [to date] my least expensive cat. Firefox, found in my backyard, has been my most expensive!
all of the girls were more than Chip, because he came already neutered - i paid for all of the spay surgeries.
post #17 of 17
I would whole-heartedly agree that a rescue/shelter kitty would be better than a pet shop kitty. Many pet shop kitties come from places called "kitten mills"...Google that, and you'll see why it's a bad idea. Not to mention, that as others have mentioned, most of the expensive stuff as been done for you with shelter kitties...the major initial vet work, getting the cat spayed/neutered (which is an absolute MUST)...

Cats and kittens generally litter-train themselves, as long as their box is a clean and non-threatening place to relieve themselves. A natural litter (non-clumping and non-clay) can be best for younger kittens that like to "taste test" their litter, but kitties basically go by instinct on their potty habits...spaying and neutering will further help in this department, so that they don't begin to mark their territory.

And while the whole confining the cat to a carrier or box thing may sound like a good idea initially, you'll probably realize VERY QUICKLY how independent your little kitty will be, and that he or she will like to explore and discover things in his or her environment...that's part of the delight of owning a cat...their natural curiosity is one of the things that humans love most about their pets. Be ready to be owned by the kitten, not the other way around!
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