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Kitten Adoption Questions

I have been thinking about adopting a kittie for a little while now, but I don't know too much about what a cat would need besides a litter box, food, and bowls.  I'll probably need some type of scratching device as I don't think I like the idea of declawing cats.  Does anyone have any useful suggestions or unknown problems they encountered?

Can't you ask Baypuppy?  I'm no help. 

Edit to add:  I'm not being mean. 

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Awww...  :)

I would suggest getting a covered litter box for two reasons: 1) cuts down on the smell, and 2) kitties like to bury their "excrements" like there is no tomorrow, meaning litter gets EVERYWHERE!

Also, make sure you have LOTS of toy-like things (this doesn't mean that you have to go and buy a bunch of stuff--balls of string have been the most popular toy around here followed by stuffed mice). If kitties don't have toys to occupy them, they will make their own toys out of your belongings that you may or may not want them playing with.

As far as a scratching device, my cats like to be able to scratch horizontally and vertically. You can get these really cheap cardboard scratching pats for the horizontal and I would recommend something with rope (rather than just carpet) for a vertical scratcher. If you have the patience, I would recommend getting some kitty claw clippers and start trimming his/her nails from the start. Your skin will thank you for this because just trimming that lethal "hook" off makes playtime much less painful for you :)

Also, with bowls, don't get the plastic things that have two bowls connected (one for food, one for water). When the water gets dirty, it is a pain in the rear to change it with food in the other side. Get two separate bowls, preferably something heavier (like ceramic) in case kitty thinks it's fun to knock things over :)
Seems like there are a lot of cat people here, so ask if you have any other questions.

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Oh, yeah.  Be careful with plants.  Make sure they aren't toxic.  Old socks are great kitty toys.  I agree with the 2 dishes. 

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I have asked Baypuppy, but I want to get differing opinions.  Puppy lives with 3 kitties and I lived with 4 not too long ago, so I'm not sure about having just 1.  I also think that this could be a nice tutorial for other people considering getting a cat.

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Woot!  1000 posts for Tkittie!  Congrats!  And on my thread too!  I rock!

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Oh, yeah.  Be careful with plants.  Make sure they aren't toxic.  Old socks are great kitty toys.  I agree with the 2 dishes. 

Here's a site that someone else posted about toxic plants--it's probably a little *too* extensive, but better to be safe...

http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html[/url

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Yeah, I see.  Just 1 is kind of tricky.  Cats do, I think, like to have company.  

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Arrgh.  I didn't notice that!!  Well, thank you.  And, yes, you do rock!

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I'll second the ball of string toy.  My twin's cat also likes to play in paper bags, cardboard boxes or even just a laundry basket.  If you want to go the more expensive route...one of the continous filtering water bowl is good.  They like to drink from the waterfall.  I would recommend getting two kittens so that they will be able to play together when you're not home. 

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Careful with the ball of string!!!!!! The cat can swallow a section of string and it will lacerate its intestines. Ive known a cat who died just this way...same goes for tinsel!

Mirrya...Ive been meaning to ask about the kitty in your photo. The quality of the photo suggests vintage...or is this your twins Kitten? Cute either way!

Cats are fun! They have these window boxes that cats love, it sits int eh window like an AC would and is glass so the cat can see all around it...

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i second the idea of nail trimming. making a scratching post is super easy, don't waste your money. a boards like piece of wood, a tallish piece of wood, and a piece of old carpet. same idea with toys-they always play with the stuff that didn't cost anything. paper bags especially.

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Mirrya...Ive been meaning to ask about the kitty in your photo. The quality of the photo suggests vintage...or is this your twins Kitten? Cute either way!

VegHeadZealia....this is the "baby" picture of my twin's cat.  She's about 3 years old now.  And, yes, you could call it vintage.  I am behind the times and still use a 35mm camera.  ::)  The one I only bought 2 years ago.  I'll probably get around to a digital in about 10 years.  j/k

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i second the idea of nail trimming. making a scratching post is super easy, don't waste your money. a boards like piece of wood, a tallish piece of wood, and a piece of old carpet. same idea with toys-they always play with the stuff that didn't cost anything. paper bags especially.

Yes, definitely make one. The ones at pet stores are crappy and expensive. We actually got ambitious one weekend and made a whole kitty condo thing. We went to a carpet store looking for cheap remnants and the guy just gave us a bunch of those rug-sized sample things for free because they were just going to throw them out. They were all different colors, but we got creative and made a pattern out of it. Also, I recommend using sisal rope--this wrapped around a 2 x 4 attached with a staple gun works great!

Careful with the ball of string!!!!!! The cat can swallow a section of string and it will lacerate its intestines. Ive known a cat who died just this way...same goes for tinsel!

Also, be careful of stuffed toys. My parents' cat swallowed some of the stuffing as a kitten after ripping open a stuffed toy and it blocked his intestines. He came out of it and is like 9 years old now, but he was really, really, sick for a while.

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Wow, that is a really cool cat house!  I could probably do something a little more basic than that, but I'm not too sure about a cat carrier, I might have to purchase one of those. 

I probably should know this, but is there a special way to potty train a cat?

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Wow, that is a really cool cat house!  I could probably do something a little more basic than that, but I'm not too sure about a cat carrier, I might have to purchase one of those. 

I probably should know this, but is there a special way to potty train a cat?

Likely they will already know how to use the litter box. Just make sure that when you bring him/her home, you show them where the litter box is and (if it's a kitten), maybe make a digging motion with their paws just to make sure they "get" it.

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You can certainly try SoftPaws for the claws.  They work pretty well, according to friends who use them exclusively.

Please be aware that you will want to spay or neuter your pet very soon... you don't want to wait, as it raises the chances of many illnesses (including breast cancer) and behavioral difficulties. 

Lots of fresh water, and high-quality food, are the key to a healthy pet.  Be wary of dry kibble, as it is a bacteria holder and often laden with indigestible vegetable fillers, which cats can't use.

Beware of flea control products, which are often toxic. 

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If you can get the kind of food and water bowls that are stainless steel and sit in a little "rack" with feet, the food is up off the floor (a consideration in summer with the "ant factor.") Also the bowls can be washed again and again in the dishwasher without fading, leaching or getting deformed, or scrubbed, ditto.

I always put the litterbox INSIDE a large size trash bag, smooth the bag down so it makes a "lining" and then pour in the litter material. That way, when it's time to change the litter you don't risk spills--just turn the bag inside out and the dirty litter is inside, ready for the trash. You don't get your hands dirty that way.

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The cat box in a bag idea is one that I used to use when I had two declawed cats.  It worked great! But now I have one declawed cat (one died  :'( was a very sad thing) and one clawed kitten whom I haven't gotten declawed because I haven't found a vet that does the right kind of declawing.

There are two different kinds of declawing, one way (old fashioned and still mostly used) is using little snippers to clip the claws off.  This leaves a horrible scar, and the poor cat has to wear a funnel around it's neck for a week and it seems very painful.

Another kind of declawing is lazer declawing.  My second cat was declawed this way.  He recovered in two days, never had to wear a cone, and was running around playing with toys the very day I brought him home from the vet.  There was almost no bleeding and he seemed to be in no pain.  As a result, I fully endorse the lazer declawing, but if declawing, then the cat can not go outside.  It is a personal decision I think. 

Just to let you know, your kitten will still scratch your furniture even if you have scatching posts.  Your kitten will play with anything that is there so if you don't want her/him to play with it, then don't leave it out.  Kitten are a pain in the neck, but they are so cute that it is impossible to be mad at them. 

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Also, make sure to get a clumping litter--otherwise, the urine will just disperse and you'll end up having to buy a TON of litter. I love World's Best Cat Litter--it's made from corn, clumps, is eco-friendly, and is flushable. It's a bit more expensive than the clay stuff, but I don't have to change the whole litter box as often, so I think it balances out.

I'm not sure if the plastic bag thing would work for every cat. My cats dig to China when they use the litter box and they are not declawed, so the plastic bag would be torn to shreds and defeat it's original purpose. It's not too much of a pain to do it without the bag, though, if the bag thing doesn't work for you and the cat.

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Have you given any thought to adopting an older cat? Kittens get adopted out quite easily but the shelters are filled with cat that have been abandoned by their owners after they get out of that cute kitten stage. I adopted both of my cats as adults and they were just as loving and affectionate as could be. Just a thought.

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