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New Kitten Coming Home Soon

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hello! As I posted in the "New Cats on the Block" forum ( I'm bringing home an approx. 10 week old orange male kitten I will be calling Dozer.

I just wanted to list out what I've done to prepare for his arrival and see if the friendly people here could give me any advice/criticism/suggestions or whatever.

Funds are a little tight at the moment so I'm going the budget route at the moment, but soon enough this little kitty will be spoiled rotten!

Also, currently living in my home is a 14 year old dog named Piggy who's a Sharpie/Chow mix. So we're taking her into consideration as well.

So, anyway, first I cleared out a spare room that adjoins to my bedroom. I will keep Dozer (the new kitten) secluded in there at night, and when I am unable to supervise the dog/cat relationship -- at least at first. The windows there overlook the bird feeder outside to give him some visual stimulation, and he can be close to me at night. Piggy (the dog) also sleeps right by that door, so during the first few days while everyone is still getting familiarized Piggy can get used to Dozer's scent.

For a litter box I have one of those "Citumax Pop n Toss" boxes to get me through at least the first few days. (My mom has an old litter box I can have, but first it needs to be found! )

I also purchased a pair of ceramic bowls for food and water. I got Purina kitten chow dry food, and Fancy Feast wet food. (The Fancy Feast I got was the "Grilled" variety pack with grilled chicken, beef, and turkey.)

I also picked up a reflective break-away collar with a bell. And, I have one fishing pole toy. (A bunch of feathers, and a bell, on a stick.) And I've made a few aluminum balls in varying sizes.

All of these items are currently set up and residing in the kitten's room for the past two days. I've left the door open so Piggy (the dog) can go investigate all the new items on her own time. (And she has.)

I'm still waiting on a cat carrier. My parents own one that's being lent to a friend right now, and once I get it back and get it cleaned I can go pick up Dozer! For now that's going to double as his bed.

I've been wearing an old velvet t-shirt around the house for today so I can get my scent on something nice and soft to put in his carrier with him. I'm also going to ask his current owners if I can take a small towel or something home of theirs so he doesn't feel too out of whack with his new surroundings. I also plan on asking to take a small baggie of thier current litter to sprinkle over the pop n toss stuff.

I've also read tons of stuff on this and other sites stating the importance of having a playmate for a young male kitten. I considered taking one of his littermate brothers home with me, but at this point having TWO new vet bills would be an outrageous expense. However, I haven't completely ruled out the possibility that he may need to have a playmate of his own species and age. So, I have neighbors with 5 week old kittens at this point, and by the time I've exausted all possibilities of making Dozer comfortable on his own those kittens will be ready to go. So, if he NEEDS a playmate in order to be a happy kitty I still have my options open.

Oh, and of course I plan on making a vet. appointment as soon as I have the little guy in hand.
post #2 of 17
Welcome to TCS. On a fixed income...I would recommend another kitten food....Purina Kitten Chow does not have protein as the first ingredient, so I would suggest buying Purina One Kitten instead because it has chicken as the first ingredient.

I would be very careful introducing your dog to your kitten. Chows are known to have a prey drive. Has your dog been around cats before??

Apart from basic shots...make sure you arrange for your kitten to be neutered at the appropriate age. Also, if you intend to allow your kitten outdoors I would NOT recommend it until he has received all his shots and has been neutered and he will need to be microchipped.

I do hope your neighbor plans to spay the mom cat when the kittens have been weaned. Let them know that cats can get pregnant again as early as a week after giving birth so she needs to remain indoors only until she is spayed.

Below is a list of low cost clinics in New Mexico:

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help TNR1.

I looked at the website with the ingredients, and while the One brand has chicken labled first, the Chow brand does have Poultry by product meal labled first. Does this not also have protein in it, or am I mistaken? Also, both bags claim to have 40% Crude Protein. So, does this mean they have the same amount?

I'm worried about introducing the dog and cat as well. When the dog was younger her job was to keep cats from getting at rabbits that were kept in her owner's backyard. As an adult, however, she lived with MANY cats and kittens with no problems. No chasing or biting or anything. Now she's VERY old (Fourteen) with a multitude of health problems (hip dysplasia, going blind, partially deaf etc.) so she's really mellowed out. Even when she goes outside and sees the multitude of cats running around the neighborhood she just gives a curious glance and goes about her business.

I plan on keeping the two completely seperated at least for the first few days and slowly working up to an introduction. I read on here that taking a towel from the kitten's room to let the dog smell might be a good idea. I'm also considering placing a towel where the dog sleeps and giving it to the kitten.

I think that because of the dog's previous history (keeping cats away from rabbits) that even if in the far future I am completely at ease with the cat and dog together, that I will keep them seperated when no one is home.

As far as neutering goes, I'm with you 100% and will be scheduling that at my first vet visit. And my neighbor had taken her Mama cat in to be spayed and found out she was preggo already. She's very pro-life and therefore the only option to her was to find good homes for the kittens. It's not a very big problem in our circle of friends. We're all avid pet lovers, and most of us have no less than ten animals in our houses. I'm actually considered the oddball for only having the one dog right now! So all will find loving, stable, super-pet-friendly homes. And Mama's DEFINATELY getting spayed asap.
post #4 of 17
Here is what Chicken By Product Meal is:

Chicken By-Product Meal: consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidable in good processing practice.

as opposed to:

Chicken: the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.

This is a good website for what the various ingredients mean:

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Excellent link! Contains a lot of information I didn't know. Thanks so much!
post #6 of 17
Sounds like you are ready to provide a good home. I do wonder about the aluminum balls. If they are made of tin foil, they aren't safe kitty toys. The foil crinkle balls that you get at Petsmart are of mylar, I think. The tin foil balls can have pieces break off that kitty might swallow.

Do you have any straws, like to drink from? Kittens just love to play with straws. They will destroy them, so you have to take them away after a few hours, but at about $1 for 100 straws, make a very cheap entertainment! LOL! The dollar stores and Big Lots have inexpensive kitty toys, too.
post #7 of 17
It sounds like you have done lots of homework. You will be amazed at what will entertain your kitten. I always put an old toilet paper roll or box (12 pack soda size) on the floor. They can play for hours. Good luck, I cant' wait to see pictures.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Will take the advice about the foil balls. I didn't know that they manufactured these, and thought that when people talked about "foil balls" that they just meant they had taken some aluminum foil and crunched it up! Oops!

Love the ideas about boxes, toilet paper rolls, and straws! Will definately get in on these. And I hadn't even thought of going to the dollar store for pet supplies!

I have a bunch of old boxes from moving. Do you think it would be fun for him if I cut out different holes on the sides for him to crawl though? If I make sure the holes are of a good size I can't forsee a problem. Can anyone else?
post #9 of 17
Dollar stores are great places for things like cat toys. They love the fishing rod things.

If you know someone who smokes, and they smoke soft packs, as them to save you some. Crinkle them up in a ball. The absolutely adore those! Another thing that cats absolutely go nuts for (and they are free) are the plastic rings you pull off the tops of things like milk bottles.

Make a little tent out of newspaper. That's another goodie. The toilet fisher also thinks my jeans are his toys. He'

One thing I worry about is putting the kitten alone after being used to being with siblings and mother. You know the saying man plans and God laughs. Do you have a plan if she doesn't want to stay alone and starts to cry and howl and destroy things because she's alone? Cats are nocturnal by nature, and there is thread after thread here about people complaining about their kittens going crazy at 4, 5 am, and after locking them out of their room, being kept up all nigiht by the crying. Realize you are adopting a living thing, and a baby, who is unpredictable and not used to being alone, but instead used to having others to snuggle up with. And it will be in the wee hours of the night that he will react to it the most since during the day he'll do more of his sleeping.

Speaking of unpredictable, with all the fishing rod toys, balls, etc, I have, my kittens (9 months now) favorite toy is watching the toilet flush.

Food. Somebody turned me onto this, and first let me say that their vet saw the package information before he saw the brand, and was VERY impressed by the ingredients (1st ingredient chicken) and nutritional counts. If there is a Wal-mart near you, look at their premium brand Kitten food called Maxxum (or maxxim, i forget the exact spelling). One of the best ingredient and nutritional info around and about $4 a bag.

Do NOT get the special kitty, that is not their premium brand and I would not recommend that in any way. Maxxim will be on the shelves near Iams and products like that. If you are on a budget, my feeling is that's your best bet.

You might also want to check the nutritional info on whiskas wet food (canned and pouches). It is labeled for cats and kittens, so might have a higher protein count than other wet foods. And Petsmart has small cans like the fancy feast that are their brand, but is specifically made for kittens (and said kittens on it) and they are much less expensive than the fancy feast.

As far as shots, are you near a petco or petsmart? They have low-cost vaccinations days where you can save a lot of money on shots. Near me the petco seems to have more days they do it than the petsmarts, but call both anywhere near you and ask.

There are also low cost spay/neuter places, so check those out before you make an appointment with your vet. Depending on where you are, some places even offer it free. So check it out. Here's a listing by states:

So it seems you are all set, even with my warnings. LOL

I did want to add one thing. If you and your friends are pro-choice, then please encourage your friends to be more careful if they have a cat that is not yet fixed. Making sure the kittens are in good homes does not make up for the kittens added to the already over-populated problem. For every kitten that was born and put into a home, that's one more kitten left outside that had already been born, and missed out on a home. And that kitten will go on to have more.

So if you are pro-life, then please don't think that being able to get them good homes makes up for the added kittens. It doesn't, it still adds to the problem. Which means more responsible ownership is the key.

Good luck with your new baby!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that post Charmed654321!

Excellent toy ideas, I've got a list of things next time I'm up at the dollar store for sure!

If Dozer really can't handle being alone after a few nights I really will get him a playmate. Right now my schedule is such that I can stay up till the wee hours and still take care of business, so I hope I can be of comfort to him while he adjusts. But, I'm worried about his littermates being adopted out too quickly, so I'm keeping the option open of getting him a slightly younger new friend from my neighbors. At least there are plenty of options right?

I'll definately be on the lookout for the Maxxum food.

I'm in a small town, so no Petco or Petsmart. My parents have a cat that goes to a good vet here, so shots won't be too bad.

Also, I have no idea why I used the term "Pro Life." I was spacing or something. What I meant was that since the cat was pregnant my friend wasn't going to have the babies aborted in order to have her spayed. She didn't agree with that, but she IS going to have mama spayed as soon as the babies are weened. I hope I cleared that up.
post #11 of 17
I wasn't able to tell if your kitty was going to be indoor, or indoor/outdoor. In my opinion, seeing where you are from, a bell on a cat's collar is like a dinner bell to coyotes. I know it's a nice thing to warn the song birds, but just so you know. It's sad to lose a kitty to coyotes or foxes. Oh, also, about the boxes - I had a whole bunch of girl scout cookie boxes and cut little doors/windows in them and the kittens loved playing in them!
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, Dozer made it home today. Mama came out to tell him goodbye. He cried half the way home, but as soon as I turned the radio to a classic rock station he calmed down. When he "meowed" it was more like a "Hey!" than a "I miss my mommy!" I got him home and took him to his room and my boyfriend and I showed him the litter box and food. He chowed down on some of the wet food and a few pieces of the dry food. He drank some water and played in his dish. We introduced him to a few of his toys and tired him out. I tried leaving him in is room by himself for a little bit, but wasn't even gone three minutes before he started crying. As soon as I brought him to us and set him on the bed next to us he was fine. He wanted to be on our laps for awhile, but soon crawled about a foot away and laid down and was just as content to know that we were there.

I wasn't planning on introducing Dozer to our dog Piggy yet, but they saw/smelled eachother upon Dozer's arrival. Neither seemed distressed, just highly curious, so I decided to see how it would go. Dozer is fine around the dog as long as he's being held or is on top of something. However he hisses and runs away if he's on the floor in the same room as Piggy. I think the size difference is what really freaks him out. Right now though, Dozer's dozing next to the keyboard, and Piggy's relaxing on the floor.

I'm not sure what we'll do about sleeping arrangements for him as he doesn't seem to want to be left alone yet, so I guess we'll play it by ear.

Oh, and I picked Dozer up this evening, so it was too late to call the Vet for an appointment. I have the number though and will be calling in the morning.


kluchetta - Good point about the bell. Dozer's indoor only though. We live on the corner of a pretty busy street, and there's at least a dozen cats that walk the neighborhood and at least a few dogs. Too many chances for him to get hurt or sick by going outside.
post #13 of 17
Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful friendship for all 4 of you!

I think the reactions of Dozer and Piggy began in a very positive way.

I'm glad things fell into place so beautifully. Sounds like everyone's happy.

PS: Toldja he wouldn't want to be left alone. LOL He's got you trained well already and it hasn't even been 24 hours. You're hooked.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
That DEFINATELY deserved an "I told you so!"
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by PoisonedPenny
That DEFINATELY deserved an "I told you so!"
LOL I usually don't say it, but this was a good I told you so!

If you don't mind him sleeping on your bed, it seems he's happy there. Reading between the lines, if Piggy doesn't go on your bed, then Dozer has a safe retreat. Maybe for a night or two you can close Piggy out of your room (if she's okay with it) as long as Dozer can get to his things, and once you feel more comfortable with them co-existing, then leave the door open.

From what you've said, I think you'll have no problem in a very short time. They don't seem really threatened by each other.

If you can afford a small indulgence, in a place like Walmart you can get a small cat bed for about $10. If you get Dozer used to it while it's on your bed, after a few days if you put it on the floor, he might end up sleeping in that and not right on your bed, if that's your preference.

Just an idea.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well, I just got to your post this morning, so I figure I should let you know what I did instead.

My boyfriend and I took Dozer to his little room with his toys and played until he curled up and went to sleep. (About an hour and a half or so!) We picked him up and put him in his carrier and he walked around a little bit before crashing out. We stayed in the room for about 20 more minutes as he slept and then turned out the light. (We got him a nightlight so he wouldn't be totally in the dark though!) We closed the door and went to bed. No whining or crying or even playing all night that I could hear. When my boyfriend went in to check on him he was still sleeping in the carrier. But he woke up soon and came out to play and be cuddled.

I called the vet, and he's got an appointment late this afternoon.
post #17 of 17
I'm really so glad to hear that. The nightlight was a great idea!

Sounds like you guys have a great empathy for animals, and were able to do what he needed to feel secure and safe and trusting right off.

What a wonderful start. I hope it only gets better for all of you from here.
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