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0 to 5 cats in 2 days

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have never had a cat before, so this is initiation by fire. I have been doing some research, but any experienced input would be welcome. This is how it happened (bare bones version)

A stray cat kept turning up at my door when I was going to work. She was little and sweet and pathetic, and suckered my into feeding her. I took her in before we were hit by a hurricane (I live in FL) and made an appointment at the local spay neuter clinic to have her fixed. Before she could be fixed, she had kittens under my desk. The kittens are now just over three months old. The whole crew has been to the vet, started their kitty shots, and will all be altered next month. I understand it it not safe to alter earlier than this. Andy (my dog) and I have made the adjustment quite well, considering neither of us had ANY previous experience with cats, and I think Alexis (Mother cat) found a good sucker. The kittens are Ebony, Jericho, Nimitz, and Heidi. I will adopt out Heidi and Alexis if I can find good homes, as I think they would benefit from a less stimulating environment (they want to be only children.) If not, I am happy to keep them all.

Here are a few questions. Any input would be helpful.

1. Why do they love to run around in the bathtub? My dog has always done this, but we always thought is was his behavior quirk. Now, ALL the kittens do it!

2. Is there any way to train them to stay off the kitchen table? I put them down immediately and say "no" sternly. This has had no effect.

3. Why does Nimitz want to crawl in plastic bags? I have to put them on top of the fridge to keep her out of them! I read the warning label to her, to no affect. When I am scooping the litter into a plastic bag, she either tries to climb in the bag or tear the bottom of it out to get inside.

None of these are major issues, but I thought perhaps some experienced reflection could help me understand better. This has been a truly remarkable experience (not to mention an expensive one) for me, but I have found I really enjoy the (rather large) addition to my family. Thanks for any ideas or insights. Autumn
post #2 of 21
Hi there! Welcome to TCS!
post #3 of 21
2. Is there any way to train them to stay off the kitchen table? I put them down immediately and say "no" sternly. This has had no effect.

Cats typically do not like the feel of stickiness under their feet so using Sticky Paws (which is essentually like double stick tape that won't damage your furniture) may help.

You can also use a squirt gun to discourage them from getting on the counters.

post #4 of 21
Hi welcome to TCS!! Bless you for taking in the Mommy cat and her kittens, AND for taking such good care of them!

1. My cats think the bathtub is the perfect place to have a nap Its best if all three are in together

2. Try TNR's suggestion

3. Take a look here, info about the plastic bags
post #5 of 21
Congrats on adopting these cats. I always had dogs until my first cat and now I will never be without a cat.
3. Why does Nimitz want to crawl in plastic bags? I have to put them on top of the fridge to keep her out of them! I read the warning label to her, to no affect. When I am scooping the litter into a plastic bag, she either tries to climb in the bag or tear the bottom of it out to get inside.
I would not let him do this, my Zeus got his head stuck around the plastic bag slots for carrying and after that has become terrified of bags, also it is dangerous for suffication.
Good luck with these cats and please post any questions.
post #6 of 21
Welcome Autumn!! Do you have any pictures of your fur family that you can share with us????
post #7 of 21
Hey and welcome! You've already got some great answers to your questions so I won't repeat them! We're glad to have you and your gang here!
post #8 of 21

For you and your new babies!
My cats never liked the kitchen counter. Bathroom counter is something else.
My cats seem to like to get into the tub and wait for a drip from the faucet.
A friend told me that they like the tub because it is cold.
You are an angel to adopt those kitties.
Do you have human family?
post #9 of 21
Hi and welcome to the site....can't wait to see pictures of your beautiful babies.
post #10 of 21
Hi there Autumn---Welcome to TCS! And hugs to Alexis, Ebony, Jericho, Nimitz & Heidi!!

My Dudley has always loved the bathtub! The way I found this out, after adopting him, was to be woken up suddenly @ 3 AM one morning. It sounded like someone banging their fist on the outside of my house or something! I was really kinda scared, until I got the nerve to go investigate.....Dudley was inside the tub playing with a milk-jug ring!!! He was throwing that thing around SO hard & was literally banging into the sides as he played. He'd pick it up in his mouth & fling it,.....well- you get the picture!!!
Re: the table---my 3 oldest never get on counters for some reason. However, little Hazel is another thing!!! hooo boy! The only thing that works w/her, is the sqiurt bottle. I try not to let her see me using it- the warning seems to work better when appears to come out of nowhere!
Plastic bags...you can buy, or make a dipenser for them, so they would be out of harm's (& your!) way.
post #11 of 21
Hi Brown, welcome to TCS and I applaud you for taking in these kitties! I know how you feel- Just last year I started a liking for cats after rescuing an orphan kitty and now couldn't live without one. I don't know what's with cats, I have always loved dogs. I think they're the best eventhough (well, most of the time) they'd ignore, hate being held (mine are), and can cost quite a fortune. Everytime I see their pretty faces and their stretches it's enough to make me smile! Sorry for rambling on, but again, welcome to TCS and you've got great people here to help you become a responsible cat owner!
post #12 of 21
You can also put aluminum foil on surfaces you want to keep them off of, they really hate that. But to be honest, most people with cats eventually give in and just keep them off during meals. But good luck. Becky
post #13 of 21
I think you are priceless. I thought I was the only one who read to my kitties. Maybe your babies are too young yet, try again in about a month. Welcome to TCS from KittenKiya's Clan!
post #14 of 21
Since you said your dog loves to run around the bathtub, I'm wondering if the kittens haven't learned it from him??

Pipsqueek loves to stretch out in the tub, but Frantic will pull the drain stop out and chase that around the tub.
post #15 of 21
Hi & Welcome to TCS!!!!!!
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Wow, thank you for being so friendly and supportive. I will try the aluminum foil trick for the kitchen counter. I already gave up keeping them out of my bed.

I do have quite a few pictures, but have no idea how to post them. I just figured out how to print them about 2 weeks ago. I will see if I can figure it out this weekend.

I have managed to figure out how to keep them out of the fire place (I have to buy a new screen) and I figured out how to keep Andy out of their food and litter ( I turned my library into the 'kitty room' and installed a cat door into the regular door. The cats can fit through the opening, but Andy can't - he did try once, but could only get his head through.)

Is it safe to put collars on cats? My dog has always worn one, and runs around in a frenzy when I take it off to wash. I am afraid the cats will get caught on something, or hang themselves.

Oh, I DON'T allow them to eat plastic bags, I just find their desire to do so rather odd. I read the article that was suggested. Although plastic bags are her favorite, Nimitz likes to 'get into' anything, including the laundry basket, the dishwasher, - once I woke up with her up my pants leg. Everything plastic is safely out of reach.

Thanks for the warm welcome Autumn
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay, I tried this reply once, and aparently messed it up. I will try again.

Thank you all for the warm welcome.

I will try the foil trick for the kitchen counter. I have pictures but have yet to figure out how to post them. I will play around with that this weekend.

I appreciate all the ideas. This is fun

post #18 of 21
Hi, Autumn! Wow - you did get an instant family! That's an expense. First of all thank you for adopting Mama and her babies. My parents kept a mother and a litter of kittens and it has been very rewarding. Ebony (the mom cat) is now 16 and the babies are 14-15 and they still sleep in a big pile like littermates. First of all, I don't know about the tub fascination, but it's quite common and they can keep themselves so amused - it's like it's a little race track.

Plastic bags -- I don't know, just any bag. I've had two of mine now get into these bags while I'm unloading stuff . It's quite scary as they get it caught around their heads and the bag chases them. Please, please, be careful!

The kitchen counter trick sounds logical (foil) I have the same problem with my youngest one. I know it's because I allow her on certain places (i.e. a table in the family room, the bathroom counter) she just doesn't know the difference. I'm hoping one day she will catch on.

Make sure that if you do get collars, you get breakaway collars that will release it they catch it on something. I'm so excited to see them. You must be going crazy with four little nuts running around. They do calm down after they are fixed.
post #19 of 21
Hi, welcome to TCS, Autumn, to you and your family!So glad you've joined us and look forward to getting to know you better! Congratulations on your new additions, I know you will all greatly enrich eachother's lives! I would be so happy to help you in any way as you learn your way around the site. Please, simply click on my user name and send me a Private Message!
post #20 of 21
Hello and welcome!!! Congrats on your instant furfamily! I can imagine it can be a bit overwhelming at first but you'll be sure to get all of the help and support you need here.

post #21 of 21
a bit belated but....


what a wonderful person you are for taking all these kitties in - I promise you wont regret it !!! everyone seems to be giving some great answers to your questions - please feel free to pm me if you need any more help with anything!!

so glad you joined us looking forward to getting to know you all better
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