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Time for a stray kitten?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm new and in need of some good advice.

This afternoon I saved a tiny kitten from under our front yard bushes. She arrived there last night somehow and meowed all night. I couldn't take it, and after feeding her a bit of tuna and coaxing her, she allowed me to pick her up.

Now she's just exploring in my house, which I know realize probably isn't the BEST idea, seeing as how she probably has fleas (I notice her scratching under her chin a lot). I have some problems:

I'm a college student, and during the week I am at an apartment at school. My parents are both out of the house from 6 AM until around 8 PM. My roommate is allergic to cats; otherwise I'd take her to school with me.

I'm kind of clueless as to what kinds of things I should be doing. I know a trip to the vet for examination, shots and flea control is in order, but that's about it. Can I actually be able to keep this kitten, with nobody in the house during the day? I don't know what will happen if I can't keep her; she's so tiny and helpless I can't bear to just drop her off at the shelter. My mom wants to make her an outdoor cat.

Really, I'd be grateful for some good advice, and costs of keeping a cat. Thank you.
post #2 of 14
Better alone in your house then alone homeless cat - and probably better than in a shelter. Without cat-mom she will probably die soon if left outside... although the vinters in california are not as severe as in some other places, I presume...
Besides, now when she is a young kitten it is fairly easy to socialize them - so it would be wise to take her in even if she had still her cat-mom. And therefore better home with you than among many other ferals in a shelter.

Go for it, I say. It will be OK especially as you seems to be a very sensible person. You are hers big chance in this live!
And who knows. She may be your and your moms chance too...

And if your mother wants to let her go out sometimes when she is domestic and more grown up. Why not? There ARE dangers, but better domestic than homeless...
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ
Better alone in your house then alone homeless cat - and probably better than in a shelter. Without cat-mom she will probably die soon if left outside... although the vinters in california are not as severe as in some other places, I presume...
Besides, now when she is a young kitten it is fairly easy to socialize them - so it would be wise to take her in even if she had still her cat-mom. And therefore better home with you than among many other ferals in a shelter.

Go for it, I say. It will be OK especially as you seems to be a very sensible person. You are hers big chance in this live!
And who knows. She may be your and your moms chance too...

And if your mother wants to let her go out sometimes when she is domestic and more grown up. Why not? There ARE dangers, but better domestic than homeless...
well, she charmed everyone in the house this evening, even my dad, who usually hates any kind of animal/pet i bring in. my aunt, who has an easy laid-back job and is home all the time, agreed to share most of the cat-care and costs with me.

this much i know from reading up on cat care and observing the kitten:

- she has ear mites; her inner ear is spotted with dark areas, and she shakes her head a lot.
- she has fleas; she scratches, bites and i've SEEN them crawling up her back leg.
- her left eye has an infection of some sort, and it must itch rather badly; it oozes pus now and then, seems slightly swollen, and she tends to rub her paw over it to scratch and get rid of the pus.
- she might possibly have worms, as her um, anus is not really clean.
- her coat, although soft and not fully grown out yet, is rather dry, which is probably the result of a weak/unbalanced diet.

otherwise, she seems active, loves to bat her paw at things, pokes her nose into all kinds of corners and wedges herself into impossible places to see what there is to see.

i'm planning to take her to the vet tomorrow; if anyone can give me an idea of the cost of a general round of necessary shots, medication for her fleas/ear mites/infections, etc i would be very grateful. and i don't really know of any vets in the area- our local petco has a veterinary clinic and that's where i'm planning to take her. are petco vets decent?

also, her status as an outdoor cat seems to be established. she has a box on our back step lined with towels and she seems to be resigned to the idea of sleeping in it, at least for tonight.
post #4 of 14
You are planning well. Hope others will help you for the US-typical questions.

But: - when she is flea-free, you should have her as indoor-cat!
Only later, when she is fully domesticated and more grown up, you may consider if you want if she will be allowed to get out.
This is my advice.

A couple of home remedies:

Against mites in the ears is baby-oil, or even oliv-oil is good. See the oil is spread in the ears - not too much. The parasites drown/suffocate in the oil.

The eye should a vet look at, as there is pus.

But if you want to clean it yourself or the vet says you should buy something to rinse it with every day:

1 liter water
1 teaspoon kitchen-salt.

mix up by cooking up. cool down preferably to finger-warm or somewhat warmer.
Use at will.

good to cleaning eyes, scratches and wounds.
It is essentially the same as sold in the pharmacy-drug store or used at the hospitals.

Dont spare too long, maximum 24 hours, better to make new - it is practically free!.

good luck
and keep up the good work!
post #5 of 14
Try convince your Mum to keep her as an indoor/outdoor cat, it is much safer for kitty if she has somewhere to hide away
post #6 of 14
Quote:
I'm kind of clueless as to what kinds of things I should be doing. I know a trip to the vet for examination, shots and flea control is in order, but that's about it. Can I actually be able to keep this kitten, with nobody in the house during the day? I don't know what will happen if I can't keep her; she's so tiny and helpless I can't bear to just drop her off at the shelter. My mom wants to make her an outdoor cat.
Welcome to TCS...definately have her looked over by a vet. Also, until she has been spayed, I wouldn't allow her back outdoors...for one thing cats can get pregnant as early as 4 months of age and with the numerous dangers cats face outdoors, it would be better if you can find a way to have her a strictly indoor only cat. If you need a low cost clinic to have her spayed, you can click the link below for a list in California:

http://www.lovethatcat.com/stca.html

If you cannot keep her...then I would try to find someone else who is willing to adopt her as an indoor only cat.

Katie
post #7 of 14
She should be fine staying alone in the house during the day. Nobody is in the house with my cats during the day, and they are fine. You might think about getting her a companion later on when you get her healthy, if you are concerned about her being bored. But she should be o'key just by herself in the house.
post #8 of 14
Hurray for your family on looking out for your precious new kitten!! I'm so glad that your aunt has the time to help out! With only one kitten, she would be very lonely. Besides, she will get more socialization this way. Learn the daily routines of housekeeping, TV sounds, etc.
She sounds like she's personality +. what with charming your dad like that! What a great addition to the family!
As for having her outside, please have your folks consider that fleas become a much bigger issue if she goes outside!
post #9 of 14
Welcome to TCS!!! It sounds like you are doing a GREAT job!!!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
hello again everyone! thank you for the advice, especially about the home care. the kitten's eyes were getting better anyway, so the saltwater just speeds the recovery.

my mom and dad have resigned to the idea that the cat (i named her "Pouncer" thanks to her frequent pouncing movements on toys, hands, inanimate objects, anything, really...) is now a permanent part of our home. mom said- "well, happy early 21st birthday". :]

the vet visit went well. she got de-wormed. the bill kind of floored me, as i didn't realize it'd be so much, lol, but i'm willing to foot the costs for this kitten. it turns out that she is around 5 weeks old, indeed had fleas, a rather horrible case of them in fact, and her rounded tummy signified worms. amazingly, the vet said she didn't find any ear mites, but Pouncer is still constantly shaking her head and scratching at her ears. i'll be giving her an ear cleaning with a cotton swab tomorrow- maybe it's the earwax and dirt that's making them itch. since she's so young, the vet said she couldn't give her a proper flea-medication. i'm going back to their clinic in two weeks to get Pouncer her first shots.

Pouncer's new home is our laundry room, with a bell, a stuffed mouse, a ball of yarn, a litterbox and a bed of towels. :]

the only thing is, she seems to like her litterbox too much. either she's trying to go to the bathroom all the time, or she's actually finding the litterbox comfortable enough to lounge in. should i be worried?
post #11 of 14
Congrats on making Pouncer a permanent member of your household.

Quote:
the only thing is, she seems to like her litterbox too much. either she's trying to go to the bathroom all the time, or she's actually finding the litterbox comfortable enough to lounge in. should i be worried?
You don't have to be worried at all...it seems rather strange..but some cats really do prefer to lay in a litterbox. Don't know if it's the texture of the litter or the box itself...but you may want to invest in a second litterbox to give her an "alternative" to laying in the one that she is using for her poop and pee.

Katie
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
hm well, this morning she seems to have understood the literrbox is not for sleeping in, lol. she's using it properly now. is there a way to teach her to wipe her paws after she climbs out, to prevent tracking litter all over the place?

i finally got some pictures uploaded. i need picture-taking practice, lol. these are fuzzy because she moves so much.

she hid in the space between the refrigerator and cabinet the day i got her:



and this is her this morning, wrestling with a pair of my mom's old shoes:

post #13 of 14
Awww..she's a cutie.

Quote:
is there a way to teach her to wipe her paws after she climbs out, to prevent tracking litter all over the place?
There are mats you can buy that spread the cat's paws so less litter is tracked..you could also switch to clay litter which I believe is finer and doesn't get trapped inbetween the toes like regular litter does.

Katie
post #14 of 14
Oh, what ADORABLE PICS - Pouncer is ADORABLE!!
Those little mittens, the big round eyes, ohmigosh, Pouncer is just too cute for words!!
I'm very happy that things have turned out so well! Your update really made my evening cheer up!! Thanks for sharing the joy! Susan
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