TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › First time cat owner...found a stray, HELP!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

First time cat owner...found a stray, HELP!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So glad I came across this board. I have some cat questions since I've never owned one before. Never really been a cat person until now.

There had been a stray hanging around our farm for several weeks who wouldn't leave. He appeared to be looking for food as I found him in my pitbull's yard eating his food. Don't worry, our pitbull is even scared of mice and just sat there as the cat ate his food, he just LOOKS tough. Anyway, after a couple weeks of trying to approach the cat I finally just put some food out and he came around and ate it. Finally I started leaving a bowl out and he would come by and eat it each morning. I was finally able to coax him into a cat carrier and get him to a vet where they checked him out, gave him all his shots, and neutered him. He seemed to be quite content outside but I started worrying about predators and the like so started letting him in at night. He did well so I finally let him into my bedroom and within a week he was sleeping on my bed. Now he sleeps on my pillow next to my head. He still goes out every morning and stays out for part of the afternoon coming in now and then for food. He has been spending more time inside and with winter here and storms coming through, I'm sure that he will spend even more time inside during the day.

My main concern is his going to the bathroom. He has only gone once in the house and that was early in the morning about the time he goes out. Nowadays he comes in anywhere from 2-4PM and doesn't go back out until 5-6AM. Is it normal for a cat to hold off going to the bathroom for this long? I bought a litterbox for him and have it in the laundry room. He knows where it is and today even saw him in it but he didn't go to the bathroom in it, in fact I've had it for weeks and as far as I can tell, he's never used it, he just goes outside. Will he learn to use it eventually on his own or do I somehow have to train him to use it? If he would just learn to use it, I would feel OK leaving him in most of the day or even all day, especially with winter here.

My other question is about grooming him. I tried to give him a bath only once and he FREAKED. I take my dog to a local groomer and they also do cats so I was thinking of taking him there for a bath and to get his nails trimmed. Anyone take their cats to a professional groomer? Is it ok to do?

This lil guy has really turned me around on cats.

Here he is... Sammy...can anyone tell me his breed?

post #2 of 22
AWW, what a pretty cat!! I have never given my cats a bath, my husband does do their nails though..

Sorry, I don't have the answer about the litter box, but I hope that he does start to use it.. and hope you keep him..
post #3 of 22
Quote:
My main concern is his going to the bathroom. He has only gone once in the house and that was early in the morning about the time he goes out. Nowadays he comes in anywhere from 2-4PM and doesn't go back out until 5-6AM. Is it normal for a cat to hold off going to the bathroom for this long? I bought a litterbox for him and have it in the laundry room. He knows where it is and today even saw him in it but he didn't go to the bathroom in it, in fact I've had it for weeks and as far as I can tell, he's never used it, he just goes outside. Will he learn to use it eventually on his own or do I somehow have to train him to use it? If he would just learn to use it, I would feel OK leaving him in most of the day or even all day, especially with winter here.
Being a stray...he may not be familiar with litter...so instead, I would clean out the litterbox and put in potting soil from one of the garden stores. See if he will go in the box. If not, Hissy probably can provide you with other ideas.

Quote:
My other question is about grooming him. I tried to give him a bath only once and he FREAKED. I take my dog to a local groomer and they also do cats so I was thinking of taking him there for a bath and to get his nails trimmed. Anyone take their cats to a professional groomer? Is it ok to do?
Truthfully, I would take him to the vet first....the vet can sedate him and then give him a thorough exam and also trim his nails. They may also be able to groom him. I wouldn't want him to freak out on the groomer since you do not know his history.

Quote:
Here he is... Sammy...can anyone tell me his breed?
He has some siamese traits....looks like chocolate points to me....but without knowing his parents...I cannot say he has siamese in him. He is beautiful though.

Katie
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
I did take him to the vet just after he first started trusting me. They trimmed his nails at the time but now I'm thinking he's ready for a good bath, even though he doesn't smell or anything. I'm not going to DARE try and cut his nails myself since I have no experience with cats. I have a hard enough time doing that with my rabbit (another stray I found.)


Oh and I WILL definitely be keeping him. He and I are best buds now.
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawdood
I did take him to the vet just after he first started trusting me. They trimmed his nails at the time but now I'm thinking he's ready for a good bath, even though he doesn't smell or anything. I'm not going to DARE try and cut his nails myself since I have no experience with cats. I have a hard enough time doing that with my rabbit (another stray I found.)


Oh and I WILL definitely be keeping him. He and I are best buds now.
That is great that you will be keeping him. That is good you took him to the vet....one thing you may want to do if it hasn't been done already is have him neutered. It will make him healthier. BTW..welcome to TCS.

Katie
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1
That is great that you will be keeping him. That is good you took him to the vet....one thing you may want to do if it hasn't been done already is have him neutered. It will make him healthier. BTW..welcome to TCS.

Katie
Thanks for the welcome.

Yeah, he got neutered on that vet visit.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawdood
Thanks for the welcome.

Yeah, he got neutered on that vet visit.
GREAT!! Let us know how the potting soil goes....Hissy is the one that told me about that trick. She will most likely be on later and she is a wealth of information.

Katie
post #8 of 22
He doesn't use a litter pan because he has no concept of what it is. This is what you need to do and yes, it means it might be a bit of a mess before it is over. Go to an automotive store and get a flat pain- one with low sides. Also buy a small tarp and some organic potting soil and some plain clay litter. Spread the tarp down on the floor and pile some cat litter mixed with potting soil on it. Don't worry about spreading it out, he will do that. Then just step back and let nature take its course. Once he has started using the flat area, put the draining pan in the center of the tarp, put potting soil and clay litter in the pan and let him use that, keep the litter on the tarp around the pan. Gradually give him two litter pans with just unscented clay litter and he will start using that.

He looks like he might have some ragdoll in him- he is a beautiful cross-breed- thanks for saving him
post #9 of 22
He is beautiful! I'm so happy to hear that he has a loving home that is giving him the proper care! I wish you both the best!
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
He doesn't use a litter pan because he has no concept of what it is. This is what you need to do and yes, it means it might be a bit of a mess before it is over. Go to an automotive store and get a flat pain- one with low sides. Also buy a small tarp and some organic potting soil and some plain clay litter. Spread the tarp down on the floor and pile some cat litter mixed with potting soil on it. Don't worry about spreading it out, he will do that. Then just step back and let nature take its course. Once he has started using the flat area, put the draining pan in the center of the tarp, put potting soil and clay litter in the pan and let him use that, keep the litter on the tarp around the pan. Gradually give him two litter pans with just unscented clay litter and he will start using that.

He looks like he might have some ragdoll in him- he is a beautiful cross-breed- thanks for saving him
Thanks for the advice! I will try that!
post #11 of 22
Hello...A few things:

First...I would NOT attempt to try & cut his nails by yourself. Theier nails are very very hard to cut, DUE to the fact that thier veins are located pretty close to the tips of the nails, you cut those veins, it's a never ending blood problem. You would have to take him to the vet if one of those veins was cut open. I am not telling you to not cut his nails, just advising you that it is hard, especially for a first time cat owner. Be very careful if you decide to do that. you can tell where the veins are by looking very closely at the nail, and you can see the light vein...Cut a little before that, not on it.

Second...The groomer. I take my cat and my dog there, and I love it. I really just wish that I could afford to take my pets as much as I'd like to. It is kind of expensive, call around, see which one is the lowest. They do a very good job, your pet comes back smelling like nice stuff, and his nails are trimmed to perfection, and his ears are sparking, and maybe he even has brighter teeth. The groomer, best idea....Giving a cat a bath, is hard sometimes, especially with a cat from a barn.

Third, The litter box....If he is from the barn...I would put some rocks, or grass, or leaves in his litter box. It relates him with outside, and it relieves his natural urge to dig. Or maybe put some straw or hay in there, just get some stuff from the barn. He will learn to like the litter box, and after a while, you can stop putting stuff in there. And he will go in there anyway, because he's learned that that is where to go.

His breed, I agree with the "siamese" response. I am not one to know breeds very well, but I think maybe siamese, mixed with a half-persian or himalayn? I see some persian in there for some reason. Not sure though...Also Himalayan...yea.

wow, I dont know much, and i just felt like I did, because of all the help I got in my first time on here, and I think you deserve that as well. Just tryiin to help.

K talk to ya later, Let us know how he's doing with the litterbox thing, and his first time going to the groomer.

~Leah~
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, no need for trying the potting soil and all...this morning I found a few presents in his litterbox. Guess he figured it out on his own.

My question now is, how often should I change the litter? I scooped out the presents but am just wondering how often the litter itself needs to be changed. I'm so new at this whole cat thing.

Also, another question, at night Sammy sleeps on my pillow. I often wake up with him licking my scalp. What gives? Is he grooming me? Showing me affection? What's up with that?
post #13 of 22
Next time maybe leave one "present" in the litterbox so he doesn't get the idea that isn't where he is to leave them! LOL!

That is one beautiful cat! I have had cats for years, and never bathed them or took them to the groomers. Cutting kitty nails is the same as doing the rabbit, except you give a little squeeze on the toe to get the nail to pop out. Best idea (IMHO) is to take him to the groomers once for just a brushing and nail trim, and have them show you how. I think mainly showcats are the ones getting groomed. Most cats keep themselves pretty clean.

Welcome to TCS!
post #14 of 22
What a beautiful furbaby!!!
Thank you for being such a kind hearted person and taking him in.
Now he will know love.
Too many out there that will never know love.

Anyways, Congrats on your new friend.

~SARAH~
post #15 of 22
He is a gorgeous cat! It sounds as though he has had a family at some time in the past, as he has adjusted so well to you and to being inside, once he trusted you. May you have many happy years together.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawdood
Well, no need for trying the potting soil and all...this morning I found a few presents in his litterbox. Guess he figured it out on his own.

My question now is, how often should I change the litter? I scooped out the presents but am just wondering how often the litter itself needs to be changed. I'm so new at this whole cat thing.

Also, another question, at night Sammy sleeps on my pillow. I often wake up with him licking my scalp. What gives? Is he grooming me? Showing me affection? What's up with that?
Good news on the litter. I scoop at least once per day, add a cup or two of fresh litter daily and wash out the litter pan and use all new litter every 6 weeks. I would say depending on the litter you use, if it starts to smell sooner than that, then I would change it sooner.

Sounds like he loves you and is showing you affection.
post #17 of 22
What a nice looking cat! Looks like blue points to me, not pure siamese because the fur is long. Maybe persian or himalayan.

Litter-no problem. Just scoop it when it stinks, or when it looks pretty clumpy, or every one or two days depending on your schedule.

Grooming- cats groom themselves. Don't really need baths. Long hair, you have to check for matted fur once in a while. I just cut the mats off. Indoor-outdoor cat, you definately need to use Frontline or some vet recommended flea drops once a month.

Claws- not that hard. Squeeze the toe and look at the claw that pops out. You can see through it and see where that vein starts that people told you about. I just cut the very tippy tip of the claw off, and dont go anywhere near that vein! Maybe do that once a month for kittens, and less than that for cats that know how to behave.

Sleeping on your pillow. How cute. He obviously loves you very much and is showing his appreciation and love.

Dont know if you have predators where you're at, but most places he needs protection from those. A collar and tags are a good idea, so if he gets lost someone who finds him can call his vet and track you down.

That sure is a nice looking cat. Definately not your average "mutt".
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice and info everyone!

The vet had me put him on Revolution once a month for fleas, heartworms and ear mites. Seems to work great.

Predators aren't really a problem during the day here, and that's the only time he's out. With the winter weather it's not very much now. But I was concerned about him at night as we do get skunks, raccoons and have heard of the occasional mountain lion or coyote (although I've yet to see one of those myself), that's the reason I started letting him sleep inside and it eventually turned into him sleeping on my pillow. Now that he knows the litterbox, I can leave him in even more.

As for a collar and tag, he's on his second one right now. Somehow he lost the first so I bought him another breakaway and made sure to get a new tag for him. Perhaps I'll microchip him too eventually.
post #19 of 22
I won't tell you how many times I change out my litter (I have 14 cats) Someone with just one cat should answer your question. But congrats to you for taking this cat into your home- He is beautiful-
post #20 of 22
I have 2 cats...I clean out their litterbox once a day.

Katie
post #21 of 22
I scoop the litter once a day, and provide 2 boxes for each cat - one for pee & one for poop (I learned that here at TCS - see how educational it is! ). My cats prefer the JonnyCat UNSCENTED clay litter - fragrance is to please the humans, not the cats, since cats have such sensitive noses - and I mix in a portion of the litter crystals, to keep smell down & to help dehydrate the box. I do change the whole box weekly.
You could consult your vet on bathing the cat, but my experience has been like most others here, that cats generally don't need a bath. However, he will benefit from daily groomin with the slicker brush, to help prevent furballs in his stomach.
He is really a beauty, all right! What a wonderful family you have given him - even his own watchdog! has your dog taken to him yet? I'll bet the predators don't come to your yard much, with a pitbull on duty
BTW, welcome to TCS and we DO love PICS! dog pics, too! *hint, hint*
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawdood
Perhaps I'll microchip him too eventually.

I was just about to respond and ask you if you had considered this. You are quite a responsible new kitty person!
I have my babies chipped, and it helps me rest so much easier. My cats don't even go outside, but I always feel it's better to be safe than sorry. Chipping is very inexpensive too; I believe we paid $30ish per cat, and when you go online to enter their information into the system it's $17.50. Not too shabby.
Here's their site in case you haven't got much information on the process.
http://homeagainid.com/
It sounds like your new buddy loves you. Congratulations!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Caring for Strays and Ferals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Caring for Strays and Ferals › First time cat owner...found a stray, HELP!