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Cats and all that I need to know.


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#1 Jupiter123

Posted 01 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

It's been along time since I have had a cat and DD really wants one so we have agreed that she can have a cat or 2 to go with her imaginary kitten grey kitten called girl.

We will be rescuing a kitten/s and they will be inside only cats as I do not want them roaming the neighbourhood.

So what do we need and what don't we need?

#2 désir d'amour

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:13 AM

Fishing rod toys - stick thing with a chasing thing at the end of it you can swish around
Scratching device - some cats like to scratch upwards, some like to scratch across wards.

If you want, you can get harnesses so kitty can come outside with you. Pretty easy to train cats into accepting them.

Nice deep kitty litter tray.

I would personally put the water bowl in the bath, because some cats like to dig their water

Protect high wooden surfaces with doilies unless you like the idea of claw marks - cats like to be up, and unless you're going to be home a lot to squirt them with a water/vinegar mix each time you catch them in an undesirable area, you're better off being proactive

#3 Holidayromp

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:30 AM

A nice comfortable (snug) bed with old towels etc.
An enclosed scratching post
Plenty of toys
Premium cat biscuits (less odour than the cheap supermarket ones)
Some cats like fish better than meat based tinned foods so get both types and look at having a range of brands in order to find out which one your cat likes best..
A large, dark coloured crockery bowl - it keeps the water cooler and there is always plenty of water on hand - replace daily
I found crockery food bowls are better than the plastic ones because after awhile they become stained and scratched which I felt not to be very hygienic.
Have at least four food bowls - If you don't want crockery stainless steel is great too.
With my cats I had a ready supply of biscuits topped up regularly, fresh water daily.  They got wet food in the morning and wet food at night.
Cat treats for variety - also talking about variety if you are getting kitten make sure you introduce a wide variety of foods early otherwise you wind up with a very fussy, high maintenance cat
Shop around for vets - I found that my best vet was one that offered payment terms because he cared about the pet rather than the money IYKWIM? I am not saying that payment up front terms means a stingy vet either but that is how I found my awesome vet and he certainly was not the closest!
Cats need yearly shots and a check up is included - from memory it is about $45.00.
Make sure it is regulary wormed
Advantage is the best flea treatment - I never saw a flea also Revolution is good too.  Flea rinses are useless and as a vet quipped - they only give the fleas a bath
If you need to bath your cat for one reason or another get a good quality product designed for cats from the vets (dog washes are too strong and you could end up hurting your pet)
Avoid the wormers/flea treatments from the supermarket - they are a waste of money and don't work
Make sure the cat gets plenty of attention - the more handling they get the more friendlier they are.
When you look for a cat get one that likes being handled it is not much point buying a furry ornament that hates contact!

#4 Holidayromp

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:35 AM

Oh and most importantly - Breeders Choice litter tray pellets are FANTASTIC.  They are made from recycled paper - they don't smell and you don't need to change the tray every five minutes.  They are expensive but the cost evens out in the end.
Clumping cat litter is awful and stinks to high heaven and is a bugger to properly clean out the tray.
Also it may be worth kitting yourself out with a cat toilet tray from the vets which works with special litter.  You sieve it I think and you only take away what is being used so nothing is wasted.  It is a cost effective way of doing it.  Speak to the vet about it.  I never got around to getting one only due to my cats advanced age and it wouldn't not have been worth the upfront cost.  I used Breeders choice with her.

#5 ~shannon~

Posted 01 January 2013 - 11:45 AM

Agree with the above, but didn't see if cat grass was mentioned. A little pot plant of cat grass is a good idea as this helps prevent fur balls (though I can't remember if kittens use it ... more for adult cats). They love chewing on it.

Also, when you go to pick out a cat, don't just go for the prettiest. Go for the one that seems the most relaxed around your DD. Our tabby was certainly not the prettiest cat at the rescue shelter, but she laid down on her back and let DD stroke her tummy. This was a great sign that she was comfortable around children. You don't want a cat that is afraid of you (or afraid of kids) or worse, one that scratches to defend itself even if all you wanted to do was pat her/him.

As for litter, we like Catsan as it absorbs odours really well and lasts for ages but our cat hardly uses it now and prefers to go outside to the garden to do her business. We installed a cat flap and she only ever goes outside for a toilet break, then comes straight back in again!

Holidayromp.... if you're feeding them wet food twice a day, I'm assuming you're only giving them small amounts otherwise they could end up overweight. Our cat only needs one wet meal a day, then has a biscuit bowl and water bowl kept topped up all day.



#6 la di dah

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:13 PM

You need a litterbox, and food and water bowls.

I don't have a scratching post but I don't care that much about the sofa (hand-me-down) and the drapes, and we're in a little unit. If I cared more or had more space I would have a scratching/climbing tree, as it is I just try to keep their nails clipped short.

I think we've spent maybe 15 dollars over two years for toys (the swishing featherboa on a stick was a big hit) but that's as much to amuse us as them, they're happy with lengths of string or, their favourite, a powder puff from a makeup set. The laser pointer is good fun though. (We had a laser pointer already).

Cats are cheap to entertain/keep. Spent some on vet bills but not really on "stuff."

EDIT: Forgot a cat carrier, we do have one and it cost about thirty dollars. All respect to PP's but I can't imagine anything we need less than a cat bed. They'd never sleep in it unless it had as much clothes in it as the hamper or unless I joined them in it. And mine don't like being in high places but mine are lazy. They lay on the sofa/bed/floor.

Edited by la di dah, 01 January 2013 - 12:18 PM.


#7 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:23 PM

Be prepared to experiment with your kitty's preferred litter. Mine likes the Chandlers Clay, as it doesn't stick to her paws.

Crystals have risks if kitty's swallow them, so I try to avoid those.

My cat sleeps on my pillow, but she does have a basket in a sunny spot for daytime napping. She's 20, so does a lot of napping.

Grooming equipment - depending on how furry your kitty is, you might want to invest in something to brush her/him with. Mine is a short hair (Korat), but loves to be groomed with one of those rubber hand held groomer things.  I suspect it massages as well as removes hair. happy.gif

Other than the obvious - cat carrier, bowls, litter box, don't forget to get cat microchipped, and consider a collar with a tag, just in case they manage to escape. Better chance of retrieval that way! Oh, mine has never been outside - ever. She does enjoy looking out the windows though.

#8 Therese

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

Our cats prefer Chandler's litter too. It doesn't get spread everywhere either.

Be prepared to spend lots of time just watching the cuteness that kitties are original.gif

#9 MagsJee

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

Accept that you now have a new master (or 2) and your position in the social hierarchy has taken a nosedive, makes life much easier  wink.gif

eta: do your best to train your kitty / kitties into liking car trips if you can.  It sounds a bit out there but there's nothing quite like the symphony of complaints when they need to be taken to the vet.

Edited by MagsJee, 01 January 2013 - 12:34 PM.


#10 Jupiter123

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Thank you ladies. I will go through and make a list of everything that we will need and when we get back from holidays we will start looking for our new kitty.

#11 ubermum

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

You can also get a special cat toilet. It's a litter tray that you fit on your toilet bowl and progressively remove inserts until your kitty just poops directly into the bowl and all you have to do is flush. That's an option if you have two toilets when your cat is training.

#12 JustSmileAndNod

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:23 PM

Pet insurance!!

#13 Holidayromp

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:27 PM

QUOTE (~shannon~ @ 01/01/2013, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Holidayromp.... if you're feeding them wet food twice a day, I'm assuming you're only giving them small amounts otherwise they could end up overweight. Our cat only needs one wet meal a day, then has a biscuit bowl and water bowl kept topped up all day.


I had burmese who were grazers.  They didn't put on weight and it was the way they had been fed from day dot.  It also depends on the cat - if the cat is active you do need to feed twice daily but for a less active cat or one prone to putting on weight I would cut it down to once a day.  Only when you get a cat will you know what is food needs are.

Edited: It was only small amounts probably about a heaped dessertspoon full - they don't need any more than that especially when they have the dry food there.

I found that regular feeding encourages grazing otherwise they would gorge.  but then again some cats are natural guts.

Edited by Holidayromp, 01 January 2013 - 04:30 PM.


#14 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

QUOTE (ubermum @ 01/01/2013, 05:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can also get a special cat toilet. It's a litter tray that you fit on your toilet bowl and progressively remove inserts until your kitty just poops directly into the bowl and all you have to do is flush. That's an option if you have two toilets when your cat is training.

It doesn't work for some cats though, we've tried!

We were using the special cat loo with the sieve tray, but found with all 5 cats that it was starting to smell really quickly despite it not being a problem 12 months ago! So we changed to breeders choice and we find it MUCH better for our cats. It masks the smell of a poo much better so our cats are happy to do multiple poos in 1 tray.

Don't buy expensive cat beds, but a cheap one online and see if your cat uses it. Ours don't use them in summer, so I've packed them up. They do get more use in winter. We have a large cat tree, but make sure it's relatively sturdy because the kittens will chase each other UP the tree.

With our cats, we have food available all the time because we have 2 cats that were pound cats before being in the rescue and if we put a little bit of food out they scoff and then vomit.

Be prepared for cat vomit. Not that it's gross, just that they vomit, and it doesn't necessarily mean they are sick. Ours vomit if they eat too fast for example.

Best cat toys: an empty box, a hair band, ping pong balls etc You will get to know what your cats like. Ours love things with bells and empty boxes or bags.

Also you will need to trim their nails. You can just use normal human nail trimmers, but get them used to it from when they are little and then it's less hassle. Ours are happy to lie on their backs and get their nails trimmed.

Cats can be fussy they know what they like, you just need to figure out what that is hehehe E.g. we have 1 cat that will not eat raw meat. We have another that just licks the gravy off tinned food. WE have another that loves bread. They all like cheese, but most cats are lactose intolerant, so avoid giving them too much. Actually I bought cheese flavoured cat treats from Woolies and they all love them.

#15 mewsings

Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:58 PM

OP, where are you ? I have a litter of rescues and Mum here at the moment...... I'd love an EB home !

#16 Jupiter123

Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

QUOTE (mewsings @ 01/01/2013, 07:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP, where are you ? I have a litter of rescues and Mum here at the moment...... I'd love an EB home !


We live in Toowoomba and regularly drive down to Brisbane.

#17 Feral_Pooks

Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:17 PM

Reading thread with interest as we are planning to adopt a kitty soon too original.gif

#18 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

I'd recommend pet insurance! We will certainly be getting it once we settle in our new house for our young cat, and for a puppy when we buy one. It is when the unexpected vet bill comes along! We've spent nearly $1000 in the last few weeks as said cat somehow injured his paw and ended up having first glue then having surgery to fix it - and finally stitches out tomorrow. Very expensive paw!!

#19 ~shannon~

Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:48 AM

QUOTE (la di dah @ 01/01/2013, 12:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
EDIT: Forgot a cat carrier, we do have one and it cost about thirty dollars. All respect to PP's but I can't imagine anything we need less than a cat bed. They'd never sleep in it unless it had as much clothes in it as the hamper or unless I joined them in it. And mine don't like being in high places but mine are lazy. They lay on the sofa/bed/floor.

Agree! I've had cats my whole life and none of them have liked a cat bed. They sleep where THEY want to sleep (see next comment below...)

QUOTE (MagsJee @ 01/01/2013, 12:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Accept that you now have a new master (or 2) and your position in the social hierarchy has taken a nosedive, makes life much easier  wink.gif

eta: do your best to train your kitty / kitties into liking car trips if you can.  It sounds a bit out there but there's nothing quite like the symphony of complaints when they need to be taken to the vet.

yyes.gif Cats rule their masters, don't you know.  grin.gif  And I agree with getting them used to the car. My mum's cat howls like there is no tomorrow when she is in the car - even before it is turned on!

QUOTE (PussyDids @ 01/01/2013, 04:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also you will need to trim their nails. You can just use normal human nail trimmers, but get them used to it from when they are little and then it's less hassle. Ours are happy to lie on their backs and get their nails trimmed.

Never trimmed a cat's nails in my life and certainly not about to start. That's what the scratch post is for.

Holidayromp... you're so right. If I fed my cat twice a day, she'd get really fat. She doesn't gorge her food, but my Mum's cat does and quite often has a vomit surprise in the morning. My friend's cat is incredibly clever and knows how to open the fridge, cupboards and rubbish bin in search of food!


#20 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:16 AM

When you get the cat(s) home, give them a day or so to settle in in one area then gradually let them expand to the whole house.  

You don't say how old DD is but with littlies it's good if the cat can have a kid-free area to retreat to, where they won't be bothered when they have had enough.




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