Author Topic: First time cat owner need help with kitten  (Read 4303 times)

Offline DeeDee

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2016, 06:16:47 PM »
If you can't have a friend, then something like this might help if you can find one:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=29909&cmpid=02cseYY&gclid=CjwKEAjw7svABRCi_KPzoPr53QoSJAABSvxfEDSAUvBPw3kGJcmkJ4YDb6nWoSz4Fx-CzjhDP_pDLBoCyl7w_wcB

But it has drawbacks since it's something you can't leave the kitten alone with.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Pookie

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2016, 09:26:28 PM »
Also, do you have a feather toy?  This is a fan favorite at our house!  Jenkins was/is very comfortable playing with us and this toy.  He has a blast and it gives him a comfortable distance from the humans. 

WARNING:  I do know an acquaintance that didn't put the toy away after playtime.  Her cat got the string part wrapped around a chair leg and the cat's leg.  When her cat panicked and tried to get away, the sting tightened on his leg.  A very dangerous situation.  He had to have surgery. Soooooo, if you decide to get one... put away after play time.   :)

To add to Lola's warning about toys with string (or any string, for that matter):  always, always ALWAYS put them away when done.  Pookie was a "string-eater."  One night I left a toy out, then next morning saw the string portion was gone.  Yep, he ate it.  At the vet, he was so scared that all the hydrogen peroxide they gave him wasn't enough to get him to vomit.  I think they ended up giving him something else.  After I brought him home, he couldn't stop vomiting, so he was at the vet for several more days.  It was not a good situation for anyone.  And as that vet told me, "once a string eater, ALWAYS a string eater."  In fact, I had to cut the tails off of his toy mice because he would eat those, too.   :( ::)

That's not to say your kitty is a string-eater, but you really don't want to risk it.

As for food, Dee hit the main points and gave you a GREAT website.  Any wet food is better than dry.  Dry food does NOT clean teeth, no matter what the ads and vets may say.  Popcorn doesn't clean human teeth, and kibble doesn't clean animal teeth.  Wet food is better for cats:  more moisture (they get water from their diet); higher meat protein; lower carbohydrate.  They are the ultimate "Atkins" dieters.

You may also want to check your local library for Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins' book:  Your Cat:  Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life.  Tons of great information.  But definitely start with the link DeeDee posted.  That website sparked a lot of epiphanies for me as to why my cats kept vomiting and regurgitating their food.  If you start Lea off on wet food now, you will be doing her a HUGE favor in the long run.

She may hiss and be scared for a while.  As Middle Child said, a few days is not a long time to Lea.  Give her plenty of time.  Patience is essential.  She needs to get used to you and everything else, and that's going to take a while.

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Offline Middle Child

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2016, 08:45:34 AM »
Good morning, how's little Lea today?

Can you answer some questions, it will help us see how she is doing.

How often is she left alone in your room, and for how long?

Does she have a box fort of some kind for hiding in?  If not, do get a box for her and line it with a shirt you have worn.

Is she eating well?  Kittens eat a lot, she should be eating at least 9 ounces of canned food a day. You can get the kitten versions of canned foods if you feel more comfortable doing that, but it doesn't really make much difference I don't think.

Was she spayed before you brought her home from the vet?

Do you have scratching posts for her? It is important to give her something to scratch on right away. This will prevent problems with scratching furniture as she gets older and bigger.  Once she is roaming the whole house you will want scratching furniture for her in every room.

Right now you can give her one of those little posts if you want, but cats need tall sturdy pieces, or curved, or horizontal.  Most cats prefer a variety, and there are plenty to choose from.

Cardboard and sisal are the most effective and popular with cats.

Has she been to the vet for a check up and to start her kitten series of shots? I am not a fan of over vaccinating, but she does need her core vaccines.  And you will need to talk to the vet about her spay, if she isn't already done. Some shelters do those early spays before releasing kittens, but many vets, for some reason, don't like to spay before 6 months.  I think 4 months is better.  Get her done before she has even one heat cycle.

I think someone already posted the catinfo.org link. to help you understand the kind of food Lea needs to thrive.

Here are a couple other links.

www.kittyshark.net

www.catcentric.org

That snuggle toy Dee linked to is adorable.  Or you can get a wind up alarm clock (the kind that ticks) and wrap it in a soft blanket and put it in her bed.  A bottle with warm water in it will help too.

She's so tiny and used to having other kittens around her, she may be cold.  Make sure she has a warm snuggley bed to burrow in, until she gets brave enough to snuggle with you!

Please don't ignore her.  Don't force yourself on her, but that doesn't mean ignoring.  You want to sit quietly and talk to her, so she knows your voice.

Remember, patience patience patience!  She is just a tiny baby suddenly finding herself in a huge scary unfamiliar place.

Offline DeeDee

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2016, 10:23:18 AM »


Does she have a box fort of some kind for hiding in?  If not, do get a box for her and line it with a shirt you have worn.



I wish I could find the post that someone made after she made something similar to this box/bed, but I can't. I think it was Lola that made it? I've always thought this was a neat design for cats to hide in:

« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 10:26:06 AM by DeeDee »
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline LeFlame

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2016, 02:53:41 PM »
When we got Lea the day before she was neutered she had all her shots and vaccines I made her a little box yesterday and put a an old shirt of mine in there.found her in the box this morning in the bathroom she is alone in my room from 7am to 2:30 when I come back home from school right now I have her in the bathroom for a bit until I'm done clean my room then IL let her back out.she is eating 1  Can a day.i feed her half a can in the morning and the other half at night.Lea let me pet her a bit but was hesitant at first and hissed of course I was only able to pet her because she was in the box and I could get near her.Ive been trying to meow at her when she is under my bed it seems to calm her but Lea won't come out from under the bed to play with me.As for a  scratching post Lea is using my bed but I just got her a  scratching post so who know she's might stop and  transition to the scratching post.

Offline Middle Child

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2016, 05:49:09 PM »
How big of a can?  5.5 ounces? That's not really enough for a tiny kitten, and two feedings a day is not enough meals.  You need to feed her multiple meals a day, as much as she will eat.

Feed her in the morning before you leave for school.  Then ether leave another plate of food down, or have someone else in the household slip some food in to her in the middle of the day, around 11:00 a.m.  You can get it read and put it in a covered container in the fridge, all they have to do is take it out of the fridge, open the door and push the dish in, and shut the door.  Then feed her again when you come home, and then again right before you go to bed.

Remember she is just a little baby and babies need to eat very often. 

She had her spay the day after you brought her home?  I wonder if she is in pain.  The hissing often is an indication of pain. I think you better bring her in to see the vet to make sure her spay incision is healing okay.

That's great she is using the box with your shirt in it!  this will help her associate you with safety and comfort.

Offline LeFlame

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2016, 05:57:41 PM »
I don't think she is in pain she seems fine.I'm sure she is just scared of me she only hisses when I get near or go to pet her.I'm not sure if we can afford to feed her that much besides she is eating well but I think 4 feedings is a bit too much for her.IL see if we can buy more cans and start to feed her more more.As for feeding her at 11am that's not really possible in my household I'm the only one caring for little Lea my mom doesn't like animals that's why it took a WHILE for her agree to get me a little kitten.On the bright side I may be the only one looking after Lea but she get all my love and attention as soon as I get home from school.

Offline DeeDee

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2016, 06:11:43 PM »
I just remembered something. Vaccinations. Rabies. When she needs the rabies shot she's supposed to get a specific brand that's safer. If your vet doesn't have it, I know Tractor Supply clinics have them. It's Purvax if I'm remembering right. But sometimes you have to get pushy with vets to find out exactly what they're using.

I get my dog's rabies at Tractor Supply now b/c they have the 3-year rabies vaccine when none of the vets in this county will get it--though it's legal.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/landing-pages_pet-vet-clinic
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2016, 06:20:16 PM »
A 9 week old kitten has a very tiny stomach and needs to be fed often, just like any baby. yes, she needs to be fed four times a day. 

It's not about whether you can afford it or not, it's what a kitten needs.  You can't starve her just because you can't afford to feed her more than one can a day.  This is about what she needs to grow up healthy.

I will reiterate that she may be hissing because she is in pain and that makes her feel vulnerable. It is a common way for a cat to show pain.  IF she is in pain she will hiss to warn you away from her because she feels vulnerable.  Please check her incision to make sure it is not leaking or inflamed or red or split.

If you see anything like that you need to get her to the vet immediately.  An infection could kill her.

You have said this is your first cat and you don't know anything about cats.  We are experienced pet and cat owners and DO know. That's why you are here, to learn how to raise her and take care of her.

7-2:30 is a very long time for a kitten to be all alone. I am glad you stay with her the rest of the time, but it is going to delay her socialization. 

I can't stress this enough, you need to feed her more than twice a day.  When her tummy is empty it causes her pain.  It makes her feel sick.  Feed her before you leave the house, and leave another dish of food down for her, and feed her as soon as you get home and again before you go to bed. Her body is growing and is using enormous amounts of energy to do it. 

And kittens are very active. Once she has started to settle in and feels comfortable with you it will be time to start letting her explore the rest of the house. :)

Offline LeFlame

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2016, 06:35:25 PM »
Well the good thing is we have plenty of food so I will start to feed her more.Also I know kittens need lots of attention but it has to get use to not seeing me all the time.The incision seems fine you can barley tell its there.Im sure the hissing is just because she is scared of humans.If I recall right this kitten was a feral the shelter grabed not too long before I got her.I don't mean to offend any of you I know your experts at cats and I'm just here to learn and I'm grateful that you guys are helping me though this experience.

Offline LeFlame

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2016, 06:44:05 PM »
Also from what I'm seeing Lea is not starving she always leaves some food leftover so I'm sure she has plenty but hey why not I'm going to start to give her more if you guys think it's best

Offline Middle Child

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2016, 07:00:34 PM »
She may be leaving it because it's too much all at once. :)  That's why it's important to feed her more often.  Her tummy is tiny and can't hold much.  A growing kitten will need up to 10 or 12 ounces a day.

Thats great that her spay incision is okay! bananamiddlechild

would love to see some pictures of her!

Offline Pookie

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #27 on: October 29, 2016, 08:52:36 PM »
Quote
  Lea let me pet her a bit but was hesitant at first and hissed of course I was only able to pet her because she was in the box and I could get near her.

Hold your hand, palm away from her, near her face and let her sniff you so she can get used to your scent, then see if you can lightly pet her.  I would suggest just starting with one brush of your hand, again to let her get used to you.  Too much might make her uncomfortable or more stressed.

Quote
  A 9 week old kitten has a very tiny stomach and needs to be fed often, just like any baby. yes, she needs to be fed four times a day. 

It's not about whether you can afford it or not, it's what a kitten needs.  You can't starve her just because you can't afford to feed her more than one can a day.  This is about what she needs to grow up healthy.

Plus, she needs the food to help her heal from the spay.

Quote
  I just remembered something. Vaccinations. Rabies. When she needs the rabies shot she's supposed to get a specific brand that's safer. If your vet doesn't have it, I know Tractor Supply clinics have them. It's Purvax if I'm remembering right. But sometimes you have to get pushy with vets to find out exactly what they're using.

I get my dog's rabies at Tractor Supply now b/c they have the 3-year rabies vaccine when none of the vets in this county will get it--though it's legal. 

What DeeDee is referring to is the Purevax vaccine by Merial.  It doesn’t include the adjuvants, which are chemicals that help stimulate the immune system.  Vaccines that contain adjuvants can cause VAS (vaccine-associated sarcoma) at the injection site, and the rabies vaccine is one of the biggest offenders.  Purevax is now available as a 3-year vaccine, which means less vaccinating over her lifetime.  Always a good thing, IMO.

Quote
  She may be leaving it because it's too much all at once.    That's why it's important to feed her more often.  Her tummy is tiny and can't hold much. 

Agreed.  Just because she’s leaving the food out doesn’t mean she doesn’t need it.  Smaller portions and more frequent meals during the day would help, if that would be an option for you.  But MC is correct that she needs more food (total) during the day to help her grow.  Keep in mind, she won’t always need that much food.  Once she’s fully grown, she may only need 4-5 oz of wet food a day (again, multiple meals during the day), but for now, she needs the “extra” food.

Quote
  If I recall right this kitten was a feral the shelter grabed not too long before I got her. 

If that’s the case than that would explain her behavior A LOT.  As MC said, patience.  It’s especially needed with ferals.  If she didn’t have any (or much) contact with humans until the shelter got her, it’s definitely going to take time.

HangInThere

would love to see some pictures of her!

 withoutpictures
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Offline Lola

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2016, 08:56:16 PM »
Good job thinking of putting one of your shirts in a box for her!  The smellier (your body smells) the shirt, the better.  :) 

Think of the kitten as a human baby, as far as feedings.  She will need to eat often and lots of it.  If she can't be fed often...  I would leave food out for her.  When you get home, if the food is nasty looking (and it will be)... dump it and open a new can.  Some food will be wasted, but you want her eating at least 10 oz a day. 
Half the world says canned food can't be left out for 10 to 12 hours.  The other half says it is okay.  You can only do what you can do.  I would go with leaving food out while you are gone. 

Edit to explain "smellier."  :)

« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 09:13:43 PM by Lola »
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Offline Pookie

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Re: First time cat owner need help with kitten
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2016, 09:03:34 PM »
Half the world says canned food can't be left out for 10 to 12 hours.  The other half says it is okay.  You can only do what you can do.  I would go with leaving food out while you are gone. 

Agreed.  I did that with Pookie, who was an adult when I got him on an all-wet diet.  There were many times that the food was gone when I got home 10 hours later.  I don't know when he ate it, obviously, but he did, and so far as I remember, he was fine (as much as he could be.  He was kibble-damaged since that's what I fed, with some canned, until he was almost 7 years old when I learned that the kibble was making him sick.  That's when I stopped the kibble completely).
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