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Thread: Getting a kitten for Xmas..any advice?

  1. #16
    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    Awww, if you take two, you can name them George and Ringo.
    And 2 kittens have much more fun with each other, chasing and playing and wearing each other out.
    As for scratching, you can get nail covers at the vet, or you can train them to have their nails trimmed once a week. Works fine for us and doesn't upset them because they are used to it.
    I hope you'll post pics.
    I've never heard of these, how do they work?

    Quote Originally Posted by msdeb View Post
    i gotta disagree with getting them declawed. A friend of mine had her cat declawed, and it got out and got into a fight with another cat. She could couldn't defend herself, and got her ass kicked badly.

    i've owned many cats over the years and have never had a problem with them clawing the furniture. we learned from a vet that if you put something citrus smelling near the area they claw, it will deter them. Its always worked. but do get a scratching post.
    I will try this, thanks for sharing that. I also do not believe in declawing, but although I have a cat tree, they sometimes claw at the furniture.
    See, Whores, we are good for something. Love, Florida
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  2. #17
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    I'm against declawing and as the slave to five cats who don't claw the furniture I can definately say that there are other ways of discouraging it, most of which have already been mentioned but the simplest and cheapest is to use your voice. Cats are not dumb and probably understand a lot more of human language than we think. From the moment each of mine came into the house they were trained to react to voice commands, specifically the word No. It takes time, repetition and patience but the end result is that I can stop mine dead in their tracks whenever they are up to mischief by saying it in a clear, authoratitive tone. If kitty starts climbing/scratching the curtains/furniture/carpet/trying to jump onto a work surface then you say no and move them away or put them back on the floor. You do this again and again and the message gets through and they learn that when you say it you mean it. The same method can be used when they try and beg/steal food. Whenever they tried they would be told no and if they tried again they were removed from the room and shut out until after we'd finished eating and wouldn't get any tidbits after we had finished. My cats now know that if they don't beg or try to filch anything and wait patiently they'll probably get something nice, even if its just a cat treat each. Pets are pretty much the same as I think kids are - lay out the boundaries and expectations from the start, enforce and reinforce them and you save yourself a whole lot of hassle later on.
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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Congrats, Lynnie! Kittens are so much fun!

    Some great advice already (except the declawing, I've never found it necessary and have had many cats in my adult life--it would be one of those "last resort" things for me anyway)

    I've had cats who really bonded with the new ones, and some who only tolerated each other after years together, so it's hard to tell. I would try to keep the little one isolated a bit at first, and I agree you should lavish as much attention as possible on the older one. I've also heard it's good to pet one cat and then the other, it gets their scent on each other. Use separate food dishes and litter boxes during the adjustment phase.

    Expect some growling and hissing from your older cat--as long as it doesn't get into a murderous brawl, it's expected--to show who's boss and to teach the kitten some manners.

    Good luck and keep us posted! And pics, of course!
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  4. #19
    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHELLEE View Post
    I've never heard of these, how do they work?
    They're called Softpaws and are non-toxic, glue-on nail covers. They are pretty cheap, a 6 month supply costs around $20. They also come in really cool colors, so kitty's nails can match your manicure.


  5. #20
    Gold Member VeraGemini's Avatar
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    Cats, persnickety little divas that they are, do not all share the same scratching preferences. Some like to scratch vertically (ie: a post) and some prefer a flat surface. Some like carpet, some like sissal or rope, some like corrugated cardboard, I even had one that preferred raw wood. So, if you've got an incorrigible scratcher, try giving them a different surface. It's pretty easy and cheap to get a piece of wood and staple a carpet remnant to it or wrap it in rope until you find what your cat likes. I've known multiple cats that just go nuts for this thing called a "Bizzy Ball" that's easily found at big pet stores, Walmart, Target, etc. It's a plastic disc with a corrugated cardboard insert that you're supposed to sprinkle catnip under. The outside of the ring has a little ball trapped in it that goes around and around when they bat at it. It creates a blizzard of little cardboard shreds that must be vacuumed up, and you have to replace the insert every couple of months, but better than the furniture, right? But the best scratching post I've ever had was a hollow wooden triangle about 4 feet tall. One side and half the base was covered with carpet, the rest with rope. Worked for both the vertical and horizontal scratchers, and also gave something for little kittens to climb like a tree.

    And in the meantime, there's several things I've used to discourage them from scratching where I don't want. Cats don't much like things that crinkle. Cheap plastic tarps crinkle. Cats also don't like having things fall on them. A cheap plastic tarp thrown over the couch or chair, with small, empty carboard boxes balanced on the arms both crinkle AND provide a nice reinforcing avalanche that won't crush your kitty. Unsightly, but temporary.

    Cats also don't like a LOT of strong-smelling things. I'm allergic to the citrus peels another poster mentioned, but I've used cinnamon candles and dry mustard to discourage feline delinquents. Note that minty smells do NOT work... they like those. Catnip is in the mint family.

  6. #21
    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConstanceSpry View Post
    They're called Softpaws and are non-toxic, glue-on nail covers. They are pretty cheap, a 6 month supply costs around $20. They also come in really cool colors, so kitty's nails can match your manicure.

    Thanks, they are very cute, I wonder if my cats would let me apply those.
    See, Whores, we are good for something. Love, Florida
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  7. #22
    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    I am planning on going kitten shopping after we get her....I'm going to enlist my kids to help and get a scratching post, some new toys and kitten chow. Make it an event!

    Was just talking to my neighbor and she might take one of the kittens too! She was so excited, she got me really excited!

  8. #23
    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Awwww congrats Lynnie! Your girls are gonna be so excited. I have three cats myself and they are horrible scratchers but not all cats are like that. I've never heard of the citrus smell thing so I'm gonna try that out for size!!!
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    Hit By Ban Bus! AliceInWonderland's Avatar
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    good for you lynnie! Thats amazing Well I have a 6 month old now and she's a handful, have you considered getting 2 so they can keep each other company and busy. I haven't been able to sleep most nights b/c of her either, she likes to play all night all over me and the room and if I shut the door, she begs to come in for the longest time.

    also, don't declaw, thats awful, cats need their claws in the litter box among other things. Get tested for kitty leukemia and FIV, they need flea prevention treatment and to get fixed, and de-worming medicine too good for you!

  10. #25
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHELLEE View Post
    Thanks, they are very cute, I wonder if my cats would let me apply those.
    You have to get the cats used to you handling their paws. We use them on an older stray who adopted us who has no respect for furniture. I'd pet her and play with her paws, gently extending the claws, then more affection so it became part of getting love for her. Then trimmed the claws when she was used to that (being super careful not to cut into the pink bit, just dulling the ends). Then applying the Softpaws a couple at a time(depends on her mood how many I can get done in one sitting) so it isn't a giant deal for her.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    My cat LOVED crinkly things. It loved laying on plastic bags.
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  12. #27
    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Twitchy. I shouldn't have too much trouble because my cat is VERY affectionate and has no problem being touched.
    See, Whores, we are good for something. Love, Florida
    #fingersinthebootyassbitch

  13. #28
    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Love it - a Christmas kitty. Give it lots of love and don't be afraid to say "NO!!!".
    Life is short. Break the Rules. Forgive Quickly. Kiss Slowly. Love Truly.
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    Elite Member SuriCruise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    My cat LOVED crinkly things. It loved laying on plastic bags.
    My cat was the opposite, if you picked up a plastic bag or anything she'd shoot off. I think she was probably abused as a kitten and left in a plastic bag or something it took like 10 years before we could use plastic bags and the crinkling noise wouldn't make her react in fear.

    When your kitty gets a little older and can understand your voice more, just sternly say NO if they scratch the furniture or anything. My cat learn pretty quickly that she wasn't allowed upstairs past the landing, not once in like 15 years did she dare go past the landing until she was old and sick so we let her go upstairs as she wanted so she could sleep on her bed next to mine.

    Good luck!! I feel excited for you. It makes me want to get a kitty!

  15. #30
    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    My cat LOVED crinkly things. It loved laying on plastic bags.

    Mine too - one likes to stand on them with her front paws and then slide across the room on it.

    Big paper bags are also a favourite with my cats. Just open them out and put them on the floor and within 30 seconds there will be a cat lurking inside it. Sometimes I throw a small toy in with them but the majority of the time they prefer to simply lay in wait for one of the others to arrive and try and look inside before doing an impressive trapdoor spider impression.

    Oh, and best tip I can give anyone who has never lived with a cat before is to forget expensive toys. I've done this in the past and they have always preferred things that they have found themselves or home made toys such as a scrunched up ball of paper or a jumbo button on a piece of string. The only toy I actually pay for is a laser pointer. Mine get hyper as soon as they see it come out of the drawer.
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