As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Emergency Kitten Adoption [1st Vet visit oh noes]

DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss.Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Just got a kitten less than 30 min ago, pics incoming

No name, but wife wants to see what he's like before naming. She had an unavoidable engagement, or she'd be here helping. I've been calling him Eschaton for now.

I've got a litter pan and litter, and I've placed him in that setup, but I've never owned a kitten before - what should I know? How do I make sure he doesn't go to the bathroom anywhere else?

Edit: Oh my god, he's sitting on my knee quietly watching me type. *uncharacteristic glee*

Delzhand on
«1

Posts

  • Options
    28682868 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    It's been my experience that you just show the kitten the litter once or twice and nature does the rest.

    Cats are pretty easy to housebreak.

    2868 on
    Warhams. Allatime warhams.

    buy warhams
  • Options
    odiugodiug Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Make sure you have set the kitten in the litter box. Then you might even want to 'paw' around in it a little yourself with the critter there. This is all I have had to do in the past for all of my kittens.

    Things to keep in mind are not moving the litter box around much after introducing it. Keep it out of tightly confined spaces as this has seemed to encourage cats I have known in the past to start going in closets, cubbies, and other places.

    Food near by, but not too close, has also seemed to act as a reminder.

    I personally steer clear of the covered litter boxes for the same fear as mentioned above.

    If you ever decide to discipline the cat (most people use a squirt gun) always do it RIGHT as the crime is being committed, and never at a later moment, for worries of confusing the cat.

    I also suggest looking through cleaning options at your local pet store. There tend to be items specifically for cleaning up urine, this is very important because cats will use odor to determine where they can go (and the odor really sets in, and is on a level we can not smell)

    I hope this helps.

    odiug on
  • Options
    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If the cat is not a newborn kitten, it should use the box just fine.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Options
    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah, cats just know. Just put it in the litter and it'll figure it out.

    Esh on
  • Options
    CimmeriiCimmerii SpaceOperaGhost Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    How old is he? Was he with his mum before you got him? He may just need to know where the litter pan is, and where food and water is. I'd suggest keeping them in separate rooms if he's up to bouncing around the house or whatever, since it is icky to get litter in your food and so on.

    Get him some good kitty food, like, not some crap you get at the grocery store, I can't remember the brands we get our cat but we get two and mix them together, so that if one is discontinued we can switch to another and it will be a gradual thing and not screw up his intestinal tract. Make sure he has a bowl of water and dump it and refresh it at least once a day... cats like fresh water.

    Get him a scratchy post and teach him to scratch that and not your furniture, put his paws on it and make scratching motions, or scratch on it with your nails when he's looking.

    He's a kitten, there will be accidents. It works best to encourage behavior you want, since you can't always catch him doing something he's not supposed to.

    Find out what he likes to play with. Our cat has a few balls he bats around, and a mouse, but for just playing by himself he thinks a wadded up ball of paper is amazing. We also have a mouse on a string to drag around for him to chase, which he loves. (He will stand in front of the shelf we keep it on and stare at us and meow until we play with him)

    There is nothing better about cat ownership then settling down somewhere and the cat planting himself in your lap. :) It's great that he's comfortable with you already and not hiding under the couch or something!

    Cimmerii on
    *Internally Screaming*
  • Options
    JudgementJudgement Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yep, as been repeated, put him in the litter box and he'll learn quick.

    Also, cats are great with computers. Mine just helped me type this. :D

    Judgement on
    309151-1.png
  • Options
    EchoEcho ski-bap ba-dapModerator mod
    edited January 2010
    Esh wrote: »
    Yeah, cats just know. Just put it in the litter and it'll figure it out.

    This. It'll go "oh hey, you can dig in this stuff!" and remember that for when it needs to go.

    Echo on
  • Options
    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    For accidents (only hairballs/throw-up for me so far), I've had good luck with Shaw Carpet Cleaner. Got it at Menards.

    As for training, the litter box should mostly take care of itself. Is he a longhair? You might want to start brushing him now, even for just a 30 seconds or whatever so he's used to it.

    MichaelLC on
  • Options
    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    For accidents (only hairballs/throw-up for me so far), I've had good luck with Shaw Carpet Cleaner. Got it at Menards.

    Nature's Miracle is also amazing. We should probably own stock in them with how much we buy (4 cats), but it is awesome for hairballs and other assorted messes.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Echo wrote: »
    Esh wrote: »
    Yeah, cats just know. Just put it in the litter and it'll figure it out.

    This. It'll go "oh hey, you can dig in this stuff!" and remember that for when it needs to go.

    Genetic memory. Tada.

    Esh on
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Cool. I've had an adult cat before, so I know most of this stuff. We're not sure how old he is. Apparently he belonged to a young girl who was adopted by a foster family, and they didn't want her to have a cat, so they left it with a friend of theirs, who abandoned it (in Iowa winter :x ), and a friend of ours found it and called us.

    Or something like that. Our friend gave us a 2 month age estimate, but honestly it only looks like 5 weeks. Probably because it's so small.

    So the poor thing was starved for food and attention. It ate probably 3 servings of food at the friends house, but she couldn't keep it because her cat was freaking the fuck out.

    So after my wife and I saw it at her house, we agreed to bring it home. It's asleep on the couch right now. As soon as I find my usb cable I'll upload the required materials.

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    jedikuonjijedikuonji Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    While not housebreaking advice, I remember when I was young and we got our first kitten (barn cat from grandparents farm) my mom would put it in a box at night with a ticking clock and a warm water bottle under a blanket to give our little Friskey a warm "body" and a "heartbeat" to cuddle up with. Pretty adorable stuff and it seemed to work amazingly well.

    jedikuonji on
  • Options
    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited January 2010
    5 weeks is waaaaaay too young for it to be separated from its mother, and even 8 weeks is kind of pushing it. Make sure you get it kitten food; your best bet is to call a vet and ask their opinion on the best thing to feed it.

    A good estimate for kittens under 6-7 months is 1 pound/month old. My cat was feral when we got her, and at between 3 and 4 lbs and the fact that it was winter when she was picked up, the vet estimated about 4 months old.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Options
    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Don't leave the cat alone for long periods of time. In fact, you could probably keep it with you all the time unless you're moving around a lot (at which point it's better to just let the thing rest on its own). When it's not with you, confine it to a single room in the house so it can get used to its surroundings. Slowly start expanding its range (doesn't have to be contiguous - you can take it to the kitchen for a few hours each day then bring it back to the holding room, for example) every few weeks until it has been to each room at least a few times. Then it should be good to have free roam after a few months.

    Cats instinctively want to bury their urine and feces, so as long as there's fresh litter it'll go there as a matter of preference. If you have potted plants and the like, keep in mind that those might compete for attention in that field. "Bury" is a relative term. Some cats will just move their paws after they go, like that somehow magically counts. I've seen other cats kick up a shitstorm, which is why there's a market for those covered litters. You'll find out soon enough what you need when it gets older and gets some habits.

    Costco actually sells high-quality pet food, so if there's one nearby and you have membership I'd get it from there. You want to avoid stuff that's high in corn. It is basically indigestible, and is an indication of poor-quality industrially-produced pet food (i.e., it's the same stuff they feed Holsteins, and they have to pump those things full of antibiotics largely for that reason).

    I'd highly recommend looking into getting another kitten at around the same age. It's not much more work or food, and two cats will keep each other company and play with each other, especially if they are familiar with each other when they are young. Exercise and companionship, even for "independent" animals like cats, are important. Unfortunately it sounds like you can't get one from the same litter, but the sooner you do this the better, as the longer you wait the harder and less possible it becomes (if they're too old they just won't get along and the best you can hope for is that they stay out of each other's way).

    Inquisitor77 on
  • Options
    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Once it eats just pop it in the litter box.

    Most cats are smart enough to get the message.

    Blake T on
  • Options
    RainbulimicRainbulimic Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'll second that warm water bottle under a blanket. Perhaps stick a cuddly toy in there too if you've got one (make sure the fur on it isn't too long though, you don't want him chewing it) for him to snuggle against. It's just comforting, otherwise kitten will seek you out to sleep on you because he's lonely.

    Rainbulimic on
    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'll second the advice to start brushing the kitten soon. I didn't really brush my cats until they were a couple of years old, and it took some getting used to. Same with clipping their nails - mine still haven't gotten used to it, so I really wish I had started when they were younger.

    Zul the Conqueror on
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    cat1.JPG
    cat2.JPG
    cat3.JPG
    cat4.JPG

    So far, this is the gassiest cat I've ever seen/smelled. My wife wanted to wait to name him, see what he's like, and if this keeps up he's going to be Gasbag, because seriously, wtf. I expect this is because he was starved for so long that yesterday he gorged himself. He's also really small, except for his big gut.

    We're taking him to the vet on Tuesday to get him checked out. We think he has ear mites and some sort of eye infection, because he squints.

    We clipped his nails - not much, just enough to take the points off so they don't go right through our clothes and flesh. He didn't object too much.

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    At that age you might need to rub its crotch/ass area with a warm wet wash cloth. This mimicks its mothers tounge saying "hey, do your thing".

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Options
    oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If you start handling his paws a lot it will be easier to get them clipped for the rest of forever. Even just pretend to do it daily, life will be way better.

    The gas is probably from crap previous food, its going to continue for up to a month, but it will get better. What are you planning on feeding? Quality of food will factor in how stinky this cat will be for the rest of its life.

    onceling on
  • Options
    shugaraeshugarae Phoenix, AZRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    d'awwww he's so cute!

    I would have to say that he definitely looks older than 5 weeks. IANAV, but I'd say he's around 10-12 weeks old.

    As for the gas, it's probably because of the quality of food he's been eating, but it would be a good thing to bring up during the vet visit.

    shugarae on
    Omeganaut class of '08. Fuck Peggle. Omeganaut class of '17 West. Fuck Rainbow Road.
    The Best in Terms of Pants on JCCC3
  • Options
    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yep, definitely older than 5 weeks. Likely around 3 months. He probably knows how to use a 'box at that age, so you should be fine. He will be gassy until he's used to the food you're giving him, so you should expect him to be less farty after a few weeks.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Options
    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thats a seriously cute kitten.

    Fallingman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Options
    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    shugarae wrote: »
    d'awwww he's so cute!

    I would have to say that he definitely looks older than 5 weeks. IANAV, but I'd say he's around 10-12 weeks old.

    As for the gas, it's probably because of the quality of food he's been eating, but it would be a good thing to bring up during the vet visit.

    Not necessarily the quality of the food, but the cat's digestive system interacting with the food. Let him get used to whatever you're giving him and he'll be fine.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    At that age you might need to rub its crotch/ass area with a warm wet wash cloth. This mimicks its mothers tounge saying "hey, do your thing".

    You're totally fucking with this guy, right? I mean, you're not serious, ya know?

    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • Options
    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I started to reconsider as soon as I posted it. It was something I got from my bat shit insane ex and I guess it still hasn't processed that everything she said is a lie.
    Sorry about that. Kind of a bizarre moment for me.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Options
    underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    Oh, it's cool. I don't know shit about cats. It just seems that rubbing any mammal's butt and crotch with a warm washcloth, to make it do stuff, would be unnecessary at best and illegal at worst.

    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • Options
    DunxcoDunxco Should get a suit Never skips breakfastRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    underdonk wrote: »
    Oh, it's cool. I don't know shit about cats. It just seems that rubbing any mammal's butt and crotch with a warm washcloth, to make it do stuff, would be unnecessary at best and illegal at worst.

    I think what he was getting at is when young, the kitten relies on its mother a lot for cleaning, and learns by example when it gets older. In absence of the mother, a warmish washcloth to step in for the mother's role would be teaching it to do the same thing. It's a substitute.

    Dunxco on
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    We've decided to keep it. Now we need a name. So far, I've put forth Eschaton (wordplay lol), Squint (eye infections are hi-larious), and Particle (I just like it, but no one else does).

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Delzhand wrote: »
    We've decided to keep it. Now we need a name. So far, I've put forth Eschaton (wordplay lol), Squint (eye infections are hi-larious), and Particle (I just like it, but no one else does).

    Vargoth: Destroyer Of Worlds

    Mr. Pants

    Esh on
  • Options
    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I love Particle Cat.

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Options
    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Dunxco wrote: »
    underdonk wrote: »
    Oh, it's cool. I don't know shit about cats. It just seems that rubbing any mammal's butt and crotch with a warm washcloth, to make it do stuff, would be unnecessary at best and illegal at worst.

    I think what he was getting at is when young, the kitten relies on its mother a lot for cleaning, and learns by example when it gets older. In absence of the mother, a warmish washcloth to step in for the mother's role would be teaching it to do the same thing. It's a substitute.

    Yup. Mama cats tend to actually lick the base of the tail on the topside of the cat, rather than the anus directly. Which is also why grown cats tend to like it when you scritch the base of their tail -- it reminds them of mom. Thankfully it doesn't also remind them of pooping.

    EggyToast on
    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • Options
    xa52xa52 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    IANAV but the squint could be a symptom of cat herpes. If that's all it is, the vet will get him straightened out.

    xa52 on
    camo_sig2.png
  • Options
    mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    the whole licking thing is really only for super young cats. like 1 to 2 weeks old. that cat is probably 10 weeks or so based on that picture. i find with the young cats, plop em in the litter box and use your hands to dig their paws into the litter. repeat that every so often and they get the message. i would limit the space he has acces too for now but that is more so he doesn't freak out

    mts on
    camo_sig.png
  • Options
    oncelingonceling Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Dunxco wrote: »
    underdonk wrote: »
    Oh, it's cool. I don't know shit about cats. It just seems that rubbing any mammal's butt and crotch with a warm washcloth, to make it do stuff, would be unnecessary at best and illegal at worst.

    I think what he was getting at is when young, the kitten relies on its mother a lot for cleaning, and learns by example when it gets older. In absence of the mother, a warmish washcloth to step in for the mother's role would be teaching it to do the same thing. It's a substitute.

    Yup. Mama cats tend to actually lick the base of the tail on the topside of the cat, rather than the anus directly. Which is also why grown cats tend to like it when you scritch the base of their tail -- it reminds them of mom. Thankfully it doesn't also remind them of pooping.

    This is required until about 4 weeks, sometimes longer if the cat is having problems with their food. As others have said though, the cat in the picture is quite a bit older but this is very solid advice if the cat was in fact very young, too young to be taken from mom.

    onceling on
  • Options
    DelzhandDelzhand Hard to miss. Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    We settled on the name Caliph and bought him some toys, a better litterbox, and some other essentials. He seems to really like this catnip mouse.

    Really like it.

    Caliph's First Catnip Bender

    Delzhand on
  • Options
    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I WANT IT ON MY FACE

    Improvolone on
    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • Options
    VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My old roomies kitten had ear mites, it just needed some drops once a day or so and then cleaning the outside a bit with a Qtip but was pretty easy to handle.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • Options
    SpacemilkSpacemilk Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Awww, so CUTE! I love it! Post more pix and vids, please! It's really great you guys adopted him. :)

    I went ahead and spoiled my advice because, let's face it, a former PetCo worker is going to know all this stuff. :)
    Advice: He looks to be at least 2 months old. Did your vet speak to you about getting him the necessary shots? Are you planning to get him neutered? (you should, imo!) Please don't declaw him. As far as gassiness goes: As others have said, this is likely a side effect of a malnutrition and a diet that changed rapidly. Keep him on the same food for a bit, and he'll come off that. Don't give him milk. Kittens should really only drink the milk of other cats, and besides, cats actually become lactose intolerant to all types of milk as they get older. A bowl of milk, even though he will like it a lot, and even if you only give it to him occasionally, will actually give him gas and might make him sick.

    Litter: I haven't seen anybody say this yet, apologies if I'm repeating, but be cautious with the type of litter you get. At a young age you do NOT want to get clumping litter. Kittens will play with it and possibly eat it, and then it will clump in their stomach and cause a lot of problems. (possibly killing them) There are special kinds of non-clumping "kitten litter" or there are options like recycled newspaper bits. (environmentally friendly!) Once the kitten is older you can move to clumping litter if you like.

    However, I too have gone through the kitten adoption process and litter training (starting at 4 weeks, yipes) and this is what I did: A friend gave me clumping litter and I wanted to use it. I also had some non-clumping litter. So I layered the litter box: Clumping on the bottom, non-clumping on the top. As a result, when the kittens peed, the clumping layer would clump up and make it VERY easy to clean (non-clumping IS harder to clean, the only downside) but since the non-clumping was on top, anything the kittens ingested wasn't a danger. It worked out very well.

    Also I highly recommend getting a litter box spray. Personally I used this Arm & Hammer stuff. I had a tiny apartment so smell was a slight issue, but that spray took care of it extremely well. Also there are smelly beads that you can add to litter, these work decently well but I felt that using the spray immediately after cleaning the box worked the best. However completely eliminating the smell can, at first, be a bad idea... more on that below.

    Litter box training is extremely easy (compared to training dogs) because cats are instinctively good at it. They WANT to go in the same spot, they want a spot where they can dig and at least pretend to bury it, and a litter box fits that.
    -Pick a location for the litter box and then DON'T MOVE IT. Some cats are also naturally shy, so if his box is in a high-traffic area and he's having problems sticking with it, consider finding him a more out-of-the-way spot.
    -If he goes anywhere else, CLEAN THE SHIT OUT OF THAT SPOT. When cats pick a new spot, they'll want to return there, and also they'll return there by smelling it out. He will "forget" it if you clean it well enough. This ties in to the litter box spray: Don't clean it *too* well until he's learned the location of the box really well. Then you can clean it as much as you want.
    -Make sure you remove the poop at least once a day. If the litter box fills up, he'll pick a new spot.
    -If you have a multi-story house I highly recommend getting a box for each floor. If you get another cat, each cat will probably want their own litter box.
    -As you are training him, keep him in an enclosed area around his box right after he eats. If he has fewer spots to choose from, and one of those is his box, he'll gravitate towards his box. Once he learns his box location, you can let him out after meals and he'll naturally return to it. This takes a week or two, usually.
    -If he makes mistakes (and he will) do NOT shove his nose into the "mistake" which is what some idiots recommend. Just clean up after him, and make sure you babysit him after his next meal to make sure he goes in the right spot. The whole punishment mentality DOES NOT WORK.
    -Litterbox training is very easy. At most he should be completely good to go within 3 weeks.

    Someone mentioned getting him a "kitty companion" - great idea. I would recommend doing it soon while he's still young.

    If you have a PetCo near you, they are EXTREMELY good at giving great advice. I spent about 50% of my time there in the few days after I did an emergency adoption, and ALL their advice was great and extremely helpful. You can bring little Caliph with you, too (might need some sort of collar and leash or a carrier at his age, my kittens were young enough that I just kept them in a cardboard box until I had a carrier). This is also a great way to "test-drive" toys, or let him interact with other animals in case you guys get another pet in the future.

    Best of luck to you!!!

    edit: my god I wrote a lot. Sorry... but if you need any more advice, feel free to ask. Also, a lot of vets are great about answering quick questions if you just need to call and ask something. If your vet always gives you crap like "make an appointment and pay for it to ask me something" then just call around to other vets until you find someone who will answer a simple question over the phone.

    Also - have you checked him for fleas? You'd be surprised at how easily those little buggers can hide. They can be tough to get rid of, too. If he was living outside for a good period of time he might have them. Most flea sprays or flea collars have a minimum age of 12 weeks, so you might want to wait a bit before starting those unless your vet has definitely said he's older than that. Other options are to find an herbal flea spray that doesn't have the minimum age (those tend to be a little more expensive) or you can give him repeated baths with dial dish soap which works REALLY well on young kittens (but they do hate it :( ). Make sure that when you give him a bath, you dry him off really well and keep him bundled up til he's dry. I would also sometimes use my hair dryer on a medium-low heat setting and not the highest speed until they were dry - this works well. Basically don't just make him sit there and shiver, he might get sick.

    Spacemilk on
  • Options
    SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If you have any electronics that have the venting on top (like, say, a stereo receiver) make sure there's either a cabinet involved or something on top of the device to prevent Mr Caliph from laying on the amazingly warm spot. We got a new receiver for Christmas, and all was well until our older cat yukked up a hairball while lying on the thing while we were away.

    Best Buy gave us fabulous return service, since we were in the 14 day window.

    Solandra on
Sign In or Register to comment.