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New kitten owner - advice appreciated -long

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, I am Kabuki's dad. I found her yesterday at the edge of the woods near my house when I was walking one of my dogs, she was crying so pitifully but I thought perhaps her mom would come and get her. About a half an hour later I walked by with another one of my dogs and she moved about 10 feet still crying. I finished my walk and went to pick her up. She was so dehydrated when I did a skin test on her, I immediately ran to the local petstore and got her formula, some litter and some soft kitten food. She drank about 1/8th of a cup in minutes, tried to eat the kitten kibble but it was to hard, she devoured about 1/4 of the 3oz cans of kitten food. I put her in a bathroom with a nice box and quickly read what to do on the internet. I think she is feral because of the woods and the number of cats that live around the area, I also think she was abandoned because f hour and a half time frame from when I saw her, her mom would have heard her cries. She was also so hungry and thirsty. It was about 40 degrees outside when I found her, last night it was 33 , so I am glad I found her when I could.

She was a bit constipated but I read about the warm rag and she seems to have no problem going? I am allergic to cats but after a benadryl, they seem ok. She slept in a little box with a blanket and a heating pad on low. I shut it off but got up twice to turn it on and warm her up. The vet was closed by the time I got her settled on Saturday so I will call my vet to see if they can squeeze her in, I am sure she has worms.

I called around yesterday and last night, and this morning to find her a home but no one was interested so since I can't send her to a shelter, and not willing to craigslist her, I have decided to keep her. I have never had cats, I am a dog person. I introduced the dogs to her and they were fine with her, a few snifs then boredom. I will never leave them alone together. I went back shopping got her a bed, she prefers the box, some toys and a scratching tower, the condos are too pricey, I can make one for 1/4 of the price.

finally the questions

What is a good brand to feed her? right now I have Iams kitten dry, which is too hard for her, she has teeth but she can't chew it . Fancy feast soft kitten food in the can, and also kitten nursing formula which she gets from an eye dropper but can also drink out of a small dish, she hates water

I believe she is about 4-5 weeks old, her eyes are blue and she is a bit larger than a U.S. coke can, I am sure my vet will tell me. Can I leave her home all day with a dish of soft food, formula and dish of soaking Kibble? I am worried about spoilage.

she is so playful and loves to be held, given tummy scratches and explore. The toys I bought for her, are too big, any good toys to keep her busy during the day?

I have found a place to neuter her on line for 40.00 which I believe is very cheap. How old should she be?

Because of the dogs, she will have to stay in a mediums size room with a window and her toys, bed, food, etc. Is this cruel? or will this be ok. I will play with her everyday and it is my sons room, so she will have company all night and when he does his homework

here are 2 pics, she is part calico one side, blackish gray on the other



thanks for reading
post #2 of 22
What a cutie!

She's not feral. You would not have been able to pick her up if she was. Even at that age, they can be fierce if they have no experience with people. From what you say, I'll bet someone dumped her, or her mother lost her.

Yes, food spoilage can be a concern. Some "softish" food might be the hot ticket.

Keeping her in a small room until she has grown a little and settled in is not only not cruel, but probably the best way to get her acclimated to the house.

Rubbing her down with distilled water every few days is said to help the allergy problems a lot.

Keep asking any questions you'd like. We love talking about kittens!
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
What do you mean by softish foods. She hates water, can I leave her formula out? How about her soft fancy feast. I just want to make sure she doesn't starve. Here is a really noob question , how often do you scoop the litter pan and how often do you replace all of the liter and sanatize the container? Also where do you dump it when you are done with the older kittie litter

thanks
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KABUKIDAD View Post
What is a good brand to feed her? right now I have Iams kitten dry, which is too hard for her, she has teeth but she can't chew it . Fancy feast soft kitten food in the can, and also kitten nursing formula which she gets from an eye dropper but can also drink out of a small dish, she hates water
Fancy Feast is sometimes called Kitty Crack - they put something in that cats love but its loaded with carbs and other poorer quality stuff. Iams is also lower grade food. If your choice to shop is pet big box stores (Petsmart), look for brands like Authority. If you can get to a pet health food store, Wellness is a good choice.

I believe she is about 4-5 weeks old, her eyes are blue and she is a bit larger than a U.S. coke can, I am sure my vet will tell me. Can I leave her home all day with a dish of soft food, formula and dish of soaking Kibble? I am worried about spoilage.
She looks like she is 4-5 weeks old and I'm surprised that she is lapping at all. She must have just been weaned when you found her. Soft food and formula will spoil. Try packets of soft food (ask at the pet store) - it will harden over the course of the day but won't go bad. Leave water even though she doesn't like it right now - she will learn to like it. Ideally at that age, they should be fed every 4-5 hours. If you are gone at work for long times, feed her right before you leave and immediately when you get home.The older she gets, the longer the time between feedings.

she is so playful and loves to be held, given tummy scratches and explore. The toys I bought for her, are too big, any good toys to keep her busy during the day?
There are a lot of small toys out there, but watch out for a toy where parts can come off and be ingested. For wee ones, I've actually given them logs to climb on (wedge them in so they don't roll), build ramps out of wood (not too tall yet in case they fall off), and boxes turned on their sides. All cats love boxes. Toys can be very inexpensive.

I have found a place to neuter her on line for 40.00 which I believe is very cheap. How old should she be?
The earliest you can spay a kitten is when they are about 8 weeks old or 2 pounds. Many vets will suggest to wait until they are 6 months old, but it has been common practice for the last 25 years to spay young - shelters don't like to adopt out a kitten unless they are fixed, thus the practice was born. $40 is a very good price for a spay these days.

Because of the dogs, she will have to stay in a mediums size room with a window and her toys, bed, food, etc. Is this cruel? or will this be ok. I will play with her everyday and it is my sons room, so she will have company all night and when he does his homework
While she is that small, it is a good idea to keep her separated. You may be surprised to find out that she will befriend your dogs. My dogs and cats all interact with each other. A medium room is fine. A very young kitten often has trouble realizing when they have to go, and by the time they realize it, its too late to get back to the litter box. A smaller room helps you until they gain more self control (just like a puppy).
Quote:
Originally Posted by KABUKIDAD View Post
Here is a really noob question , how often do you scoop the litter pan and how often do you replace all of the liter and sanatize the container? Also where do you dump it when you are done with the older kittie litter
The rule of thumb is 1 litter box per cat plus 1 more. A lot of cats do not like to pee and poop in the same box. She's so young that it probably doesn't make a difference, but if you overcome your allergies and keep her for a long time, then you will want to have 2 boxes. At this age, do not use clumping litter - buy clay instead. Kittens tend to eat litter and the clumping kind can clump in their stomach and cause serious harm. Scoop litter daily. I line a lidded bucket with a plastic grocery back and scoop into that and close the lid to seal in the smell. I just tie up the bag and toss it in the outside garbage on garbage day. Ideally you wipe down the sides of the box each time you scoop but honestly most people don't do that. I keep a spare box and rotate it in at least once a month (more if they pee on the sides). Clean the dirty box with a very diluted bleach solution and rinse thoroughly.

thanks
You are so wonderful for taking on this kitten! I too am a dog person, but love my cats and how they all interact.

And I say this to all the dog lovers that are trying to take on a cat for the first time. Dogs do things to please you. Cats do things that please themselves. You can train a cat, but you have to understand their motivation and adjust your behavior accordingly. I want you to come back when she is a little older and starting to scratch things. Training is easy if you apply similar rules that you used to housebreak a puppy.

Oh, and she isn't really feral if you caught her so easily. All 10 of my cats were born feral and that's not how they came into my life!
post #5 of 22
Good for you for saving this baby, and for taking her into your life. Sounds like you have a good idea of what to do for her. She is a cutie. Have you thought of a name yet?
post #6 of 22
Good job for taking her on! At the pet store, ask about Royal Canin Babycat dry food. It's very small kibble, and quite soft - perfect for 5-6 wek old kittens! It's a little pricey, but perfect for this age and should last until she's a fair bit bigger. A reasonable food that isn't too expensive is Nutro - they do wet and dry food, but make sure their dry food isn't on the current recall list... http://www.nutroproducts.com/press-r...ss-recall.html

I've got a litter of foster kittens that turn 5 weeks old tomorrow. They're currently playing with soft toys about a third of their size - they love bunny kicking them and wrestling with them. So anything they can wrestle with, and anything they can climb on is perfect.

Like has been said, a small room is perfect. She doesn't need much room at the moment and as she gets bigger she can slowly be introduced to your dogs, and before long you'll find they're all good friends

If you brush her regularly, and give her coat a wipe down (you can use a damp cloth, or buy specific cat wipes), you'll keep her allergen levels down, while at the same time building up your tolerance to the allergens. I have cat allergies, and while I wasn't around them they got REALLY bad. When I started volunteering at a shelter by allergies were incredibly bad, but my tolerance has built up and I'm fine again Just make sure you wash your hands after playing with her, and don't rub your eyes.

It looks like you're using crystals for litter at the moment, which won't expand in her tummy if she eats it. Personally I prefer clumping litter because the wees turn into clumps too, and you can scoop everything, and keep the litter box cleaner.

At the moment, you can just scoop once a day, and stir the litter up to distribute the pee (it needs to be stirred for the crystals to "soak up" the pee. Different litters need complete changing on different schedules. Clay litter needs to be changed every few days, crystal and clumping litters can last up to a month. For a kitten, she won't be making much of a mess, so you can go for probably a month before you do a complete change, but you may want to get a second litter box so you can pour the litter into the other box once a week or so and give the other box a wash. I use a bit of pine-o-sol with boiling water and make sure I rinse and dry it well before use again.

We have a litter locker - http://www.petguys.com/-029695225010.html You just dump the waste straight into the locker, turn the handle, and it wraps the waste around itself. It's great because it keeps everything sealed so it doesn't smell, you don't have to go the trash each day, and once it's full you just take the whole bag to the trash, and it's still all sealed.

You're doing a great job, and it sounds like she's pretty happy with you!
If you can make a cat tree, then that's great! All you need is some wood, and cover it with carpet and you will have a very happy kitty! Have a look online for ideas for designs.

$40 is a very good price for a spay, and as momofmany said - 8 weeks/2 lbs they can be spayed, and if you do it around then, they are generally all recovered and ready to play again by the time you pick them up from the vets
post #7 of 22
Everyone here has given you some great advice!

The only thing I can add is about cat food - and this is from my first cats were 5 weeks old and the vet gave me this advice. Feed them an organic baby meat baby food (I used Beech Nut) that has no onion in it mixed with KMR. Since she is eating the moist, I would keep her on that or mix in a little dry with it. I've only ever fed my cats Wellness and Innova and I swear by it.

My older cats were fixed at 8 weeks and recovered well from it.

Good luck and keep us posted!
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
WOW thanks for all the replies. I was late this morning getting to work because I was taking care of Kabuki. She is so funny she makes clicky purr sounds and loves tummy scratches. after I fed her, she did her business by herself, Someone is checking on her at lunch time and Made the vet appointment for Thursday, it is the soonest I could get in. She is so cute, when we say goodbye she goes in her little box or cat cave and then when she hears us open her door she comes out to greet us.

I do have one question. Can I give her a flea bath, I am not sure if she has them but she probably does, If so what kind would you reccomend

thanks
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by KABUKIDAD View Post
I do have one question. Can I give her a flea bath, I am not sure if she has them but she probably does, If so what kind would you reccomend

thanks
Don't ever use over the counter flea products on a cat, and never ever use a flea collar. I would ask your vet about this when you have her in on Tuesday. Small kittens can't tolerate most flea products and your vet will have something you can use on your kitten.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks I won't
post #11 of 22
If the fleas are bad now and you want to do something before you get to the vet, you can place the kitten in a warm bath of water (some people say to add a couple drops of Dawn, but I used water). Have another cup of water nearby and run a fine tooth comb over her. Dip the comb in the cup of water between each stroke. This should kill some of the fleas and offer your kitten a little relief.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragulescuGirl View Post
If the fleas are bad now and you want to do something before you get to the vet, you can place the kitten in a warm bath of water (some people say to add a couple drops of Dawn, but I used water). Have another cup of water nearby and run a fine tooth comb over her. Dip the comb in the cup of water between each stroke. This should kill some of the fleas and offer your kitten a little relief.
This is probably obvious, but if you do this, just make sure you don't get her head too wet - you don't water in her ears, eyes etc.

You can also get Advantage flea treatment and put a very small amount on her - about .2ml (normal cat dose is .4ml for a small cat, and .8ml for a large cat).

If you already have it for your dogs, you can use the same stuff - just use a very small amount (.2ml) for her.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks, she isn't swarming with them but She is scratching, which makes everyone in turn scratch

David
post #14 of 22
If she is scratching her ears she could have ear mites, which the vet will diagnose and give you ear drops if that is the case.
post #15 of 22
Oh my goodness she is aborable.....Seems like u got alot of advice I don't have much to add...but good luck.. I've had cats and dogs all my adult life....and they usually all got along fine...I have 2 chihuahua's now and the newest kitten we got loves the dogs so much she thinks she is one of them.....
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
She is adorable and that is saying alot from a life long dog lover. She left me 2 surprises in her litter box. At lunch I picked up a carrier and some royal Canin mini bite Kitten food, It is easier for her to eat.

I have yet even more questions. Does anyone care to guess how old she is,
She doesn't play with toys, her eyes are still blue, she likes to crawl around and get tummy scratches. She can eat semi soft and hard cat food. She drinks formula from a bowl but not water.



with Maxine, the girl who found her and watches over him

She goes to the vet on Thursday, what shots should I get and when
I didn't get her a collar yet, I forgot. She will be indoors but she should have at least a tag just in case.

How long should I feed the formula, I think she is ready but ignores her water.

thanks

Kabukis dad
post #17 of 22
First off ... the kitten is adorable!

Second - she is a tortoiseshell marked cat. (All torties are female - genetic thing!)

Third - if she is eating wet food and drinking KMR she doesn't really need water. If you wanted to, you could thin out the kitten wet food with a little warm water... more gooshy ... and she can lap that up.

Your vet can tell you more definitively how old she is ... I would say likely 4 weeks... but I am not a kitten age expert.

I think shot series start at 6 weeks. She may not be able to see the toys too clearly yet. You can try a dangly toy - a heavy, knotted cotton string works well... dangle, wiggle - cats eyes are attuned to movement.

You can also get her a cuddle buddy stuffed toy.. something about her size or a little bit bigger - it will make her feel less alone too.
post #18 of 22
I think she is closer to 5 weeks than 4 weeks. Their tails tend to start growing to normal proportion about 6 weeks, and hers is still fairly short. And their ears are still slightly folded around 4 weeks and hers are not. I don't recall when their blue eyes change to their real color - someone might help with that.

She is a cutie pie, and I suspect she just won the lottery when you found her.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks for the information, Kabuki likes to cuddle and purr, even dangly strings aren't doing anything for her. I gave her a little stuffed animal in her covered bed, hopefully it will keep her company. Her tummy is still bloated so I am sure she has worms. Thursday can't come soon enough. I am suprised how quickly she one over our hearts

Kabuki's dad
post #20 of 22
When you say Maxine found her - do you mean the Chow/mix in the photo? Looks like Maxine is kissing or cleaning Kabuki. A dog is perfectly capable of mothering a kitten, BTW!
post #21 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes that is Maxine, she does kiss Kabuki, Maxine was a rescue so maybe she knows what it is like to be motherless.
post #22 of 22
Our OTB Ellie Mae (dog) simply doted over kittens. When we found her abandoned on the side of the road, she had just finished nursing pups, her teeth were kicked out, had every parasite known to dog and was obvious that she was physically abused. When feral cats were born on the property, she would lead us to them. I think she had a strong mothering instinct, regardless of species. It built her confidence in herself to mother the cats. Sounds like Maxine and Ellie Mae might have a little bit in common.

Some dogs do amazingly well with cats.
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