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1st time cat owner, have no idea why they do what they do.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I have 5 barn cats, but this is the 1st time I'm keeping one in the house. We found 2 kittens in the barn about 6 wks ago. Long story short, I couldn't leave them there, so I brought them into the house due to cold weather. My daughter took one, and I was going to keep the other one in the back bedroom till she grew alittle more. Turned out they were 5 months old and only weighed 3 lbs. Smoke is so small that we decided we couldn't put her back out even tho she was ear tagged and spayed. So...she now stays inside with us. I have 4 dogs that would love to have her for lunch, (main menu). Well, I now keep the door open so she can come thru the kiddy gate and join us if she wants. One of the things she does is to sit on the other side of the gate and just meow, meow, meow. Yet when I go to hold her, she runs and hides. I've taken to holding her on my chest at night when I watch tv, and she seems to love it. I do close her in at night so I can sleep, as the dogs would be up and down all nite. I have to admit, the few times she stops running and turns on the dogs, they slink away from her. She also has a habit of THROWING herself on her side when she wants attention. I don't mean rolling, she throws herself with such force that you can feel it thru the floor. What is she trying to tell me when she meow so much? why does she throw herself on the floor on her side? I never liked cats, but now I'm becoming the crazy cat person. I've been taken over by her.

Mary

ps. she is a beautiful dulited calico.
post #2 of 13
Meowing is just to get your attention, often for no real reason than "pay attention to me" or to say "hey, I'm here". Sometimes you can figured it out due to the context of the situation.
Throwing herself down on her side is much like a dog exposing their belly to you. It's a sign that they want attention or play - even in cats that will not let their bellies be touched it still means they want some attention. And as with dogs, that shows a lot of trust for you.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for the information. She does love to meow, and I think you're right about her throwing herself on her side. She loves to have her belly rubbed and she is a diva for attention. for the 1st time today, when I went to take a nap, instead of staying on my chest, she laid down on the pillow at the top of my head and took a nap with me. The dogs didn't bother her, although one of them did decide to try to sneak up to get her. It didn't work.

Another thing, she sure seems to poop a lot. I don't mean often but just alot. I can't believe that a little 4 lbs kitten can hold that much. The good thing is that from the first day in the house she used the little box. don't know how she figured it out as she was a feral. I leave dry food out for her 24/7. is that ok? How they steal our hearts I don't know, but she has. I'm thinking of getting another kitten to keep her company, as she was found with her sister. Do you think that would be a good idea, or just set up play dates with her sister. See, I told you I'm turning into a crazy cat person.

Mary
post #4 of 13
Sometimes they'll just meow to get you to talk to them.
I have a great talker here and we can converse all day long, she loves it.

A large poop volume is usually caused by a low quality diet full of fillers.
The fewer the fillers, the lower the volume of poop.

Free feeding is ok as long as she has a good activity level and doesn't start becoming fat.
A lot of cats are very good at self regulating, but some will eat themselves obese.
post #5 of 13
Listen to Arlyn about wet food suggestion. I leave dry out, but feed about 4oz of wet a day. once in morning before work, once after I come home and a little bit before night time, so I can sleep unbothered.

as far as meowing, be proud of your talker! my cat will come right to my face, sit down, and while keeping constant eye contact he will meow with dedication for about 5min, just because!
post #6 of 13
Definitely some wet food, even if only a few times a week.
My three split a 6oz can nightly.
post #7 of 13
Your little girl loves you and just wants all your attention! I have one that only talks when she's hungry, but she is loud when she does! She also does the "body drop" where she sorta drops and rolls onto the floor. While she doesn't normally roll over and expose her belly, this is her show of "come pet my tummy".

I have another kitty who is much more talkative. We've been here alone this week (DH out of town) and whenever she can't find me she start meowing this hideously morose yowl as if to say, "Where are you, Meowmy? I can't find you!" It's adorable and so rewarding to see her come trotting to me when I call for her to find me. She's just so dang happy to see me!! We often have long conversations and I'm constantly talking to my girls.

As for the food, I would up the wet and decrease the dry. Also, they poop a lot (in quantity and frequency) if the food quality isn't the greatest. You might want to look into switching to a more higher quality food for her.
post #8 of 13
Actually, if she's around 7 months old a kitten food may still be a good idea.
post #9 of 13
You're better than I am - when my girl kept throwing herself on the floor like that, I called the vet - I was positive there was some neurological issue! They kindly pointed out, as you've been told already, that it means your kitty loves you and is showing you by exposing her tummy to you. Same deal with coming up to you and showing you her rear end - it's trust and love. Only the best friends get to sniff that rear end!

Also, I adopted a second cat to keep my girl company - it can be interesting during the introduction phase, but worth it. BTW, check the lawguy posts about bringing two kittens together - with a happy ending!

If possible, you might look into a good quality kitten food - that would probably help with amount, and possibly, odor of poop. It did with mine. But, most importantly, blessings on you for taking this little one in and giving her such a good home.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for you great information. Her meow is sooooo cute. It suckers me in every time. I guess she will be so spoiled staying here. I never thought about her showing me her belly being like a dog. I've always been told they don't like their belly rubbed. I went to petco and purchased some quality kitten food. I don't think she likes it as much as the Friskies, but I figure that it is the same with dogs as with cats, when they get hungry they will eat what is in front of them. I picked up science diet, but I take it from some of the other subjects that it isn't the best either. I will go back to the store and get another type. I've agreed to socialize feral kittens for our local TNR group. The lady that runs it said that with my success with all the other ferals, that I seem to have a special ability with cats. I don't know about that, but when I go out to feed the horses, I have 4-5 cats walking with me. Even the ferals that just sorta moved in have allowed me to pet them and hold them. (and I still have my hands and face).
Another question, and this is about one of my ferals. He is a big orange tom, I had him neutered about 2 months ago. (I decided that if he was going to stay here and eat my food that he needed to lose his little puppies). Anyway, he always has dried poop on his butt. I thought cats were supposed to be super clean. I've removed it several times, but it always appears again. It doesn't seem to bother him, but it does me. any suggestions?

Mary
post #11 of 13
Get a copy of "Cats for Dummies" and/or "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Living with a Cat."
post #12 of 13
^ Or hang around these forums for free.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostmary View Post
Another question, and this is about one of my ferals. He is a big orange tom, I had him neutered about 2 months ago. (I decided that if he was going to stay here and eat my food that he needed to lose his little puppies). Anyway, he always has dried poop on his butt. I thought cats were supposed to be super clean. I've removed it several times, but it always appears again. It doesn't seem to bother him, but it does me. any suggestions?
It's because he's having some loose stools, most likely. As you've figured out with your kitten so far, cheap foods have their problems. Some cats get diarrhea from cheaper filler ingredients (like corn).
There are some people on here who feed good quality foods to their barn/ferals and manage to do so without spending an arm and a leg.

Other possibilities - he may need to be dewormed, has picked up a protozoa parasite, or could benefit from a probiotic being added to a few of his meals.
Since you have horses I'm sure you shop at a farm and livestock supply store. This is actually a good place to look for reasonably priced cats foods too (Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul is a farm supply type food only - and pretty decent). Next time you're in picking up stuff for the horses look for a probiotic called Bene-Bac. It's made by PetAg and comes in a tube.
post #13 of 13
I just had to laugh when you said she throws her self on the floor. My little girl Maggie does this every day when I come home. Then she will stretch & sigh. I always laugh at her & tell her I know she worked hard to be cute all day long & I wasn't even around to see it. It sounds to me like you've got a little drama queen on your hands (I know my Maggie is). It sounds like you are on your way to understanding her, but I will admit as someone who has owned cats for around 30 years now there are times I still don't know what they are trying to tell me.
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