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First time cat owner: looking for advice!

8 Aug 2019, 9:21 am
Hello everyone,

On Monday I will be getting my first kitten and I'm super excited! She was born May 23 so she's still just a baby. She is also a rescue who came from a stray. Funny enough the only calico from the litter so that's why I picked her. Her mom and siblings are black and white cats.

I'm looking for advice on taking care of the kitty it will be my first cat ever. I have bought a cat tree and one scratching post I'm wondering if I need more than one? also, where is the best place to keep the food and water bowls? The litter box is currently tucked in the corner of the laundry room.

I also want her to bond with my rabbit and hope they form a friendship too. Also, she will be STRICTLY indoor only! I know how harmful cats are to the environment.

Anyways I would appreciate any advice people have! here is a picture of my sweet girl:


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8 Aug 2019, 9:52 am
You'll probably want to buy a bell ball, stuffed toy (catnip's up to you), and a feather wand/other dangly wand. My cat has a cat tower, but all she likes about it is the cardboard scratching post.

My kitty LOVED playing with a red ribbon, but she kinda like.... ate it. Don't give your cat ribbons, they can't spit things out.

I keep food and water bowls in the kitchen. And you might want two litter boxes? You'll usually want one more litter box than cat but that's up to you I guess. Also most cats are lactose intolerant... so give milk rarely, if even.

My grandma forces my cat to go outside everyday and she never comes in until night, earlier if I'm lucky. I wish she didn't because she'll run everywhere and I don't want her getting hurt. She's gotten a bit bloodied up before outside and I don't want that happening again, but she won't let me keep her inside.

Here are some things my grandma thinks but is wrong about:

-They can and will knock your tvs down at night (no :/ )
-they'll rip up all your furniture and curtains (Not if they have a few scratching boards)
-They need to go outside everyday to see their "buddies" (No. You know who'll she'll find? That one mean cat that's tried hurting her like 3 times already.)
-If they get near wires they'll rip them up and pull them out, causing whatever to fall over and break.(Obviously not.)

She's really annoying, ugh. Always taking her for herself and closing the door and yelling at me when I try getting her. Try not to yell near/at your cat, they will understand you're mad and be scared.

Sorry I ranted about my grandmother but god I just would like to see my cat for more than 10 minutes a day.
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8 Aug 2019, 10:03 am
I'm currently look after 2 kittens and I've had a cat before. Definitely get them more toys! Kittens can be very active. They're also very curious so be sure you know at least what room they're in just in case they get stuck somewhere.

For litter trays, you can probably get away with one but if the kitten isn't litter trained 2 might be a good option.

The kitten might not have any interest in the scratching post and cat tree and try to tear up your furniture/carpet so be sure to repetitively encourage them to use the cat tree and scratching post instead.

I'd keep food and water in the kitchen/dining room, or somewhere near where you store their food so they associate that area with meal time.

Unfortunately I don't know if she will bond with your rabbit, cats are very unpredictable, but be sure not to leave them alone together without a cage between them, just in case!
8 Aug 2019, 10:32 am
I've dealt with some family cats before. I suggest putting the food and water in the kitchen, or something like that. Also, maybe just dedicate some time to having your rabbit and your kitten play together. They should start to bond over time.
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8 Aug 2019, 10:34 am
I absolutely do not recommend trying to get your cat to bond with your rabbit.
I know it seems cute, but 99% of cat-rabbit relationship are not cute at all. Trust me, I say this as an extremely experienced cat and rabbit owner, with family members who are vets & vet assistants.

These animals do not understand each other's body language, and even if they seem to get along, they could spontaneously fall out.

Depending on how big the rabbit is, it could majorly harm the kitten, and when the kitten grows up it could majorly harm the rabbit, all within seconds, even years after they seemed to be such good friends.

Besides the obvious "cats are predators and rabbits are prey", a playful kitten and grown cat can cause extreme stress for a rabbit, even if at first you don't notice how much at first. This in turn can cause long-term health issues for your rabbit, or even a heart attack.

The potential loss of either pets at the hands(paws) of the other is really not worth what us humans perceive as a "friendship", and attempting a predator-prey relationship is not something you should even begin to try if you're not an experienced owner of both animals.
8 Aug 2019, 10:37 am
The food and water dishes for my cat are in her own personal little corner in the dining room so we all eat together and she seems very happy about that.

Her litterbox is also near by across the room. It's cleaned multiple times a day, just so it stays nice and fresh for her. I recommend the same because it makes my cat super happy.

As for toys, mine didn't know how to play when we first got her. But now, her favorites are a child's fishing poll we got that we attach either a mouse, or feather toy at the end of (A toy mouse, don't use a real one.) and fling it around and reel it in and let her chase it.

She also loves toy mice, and jingly balls that she chases around the house.

I also recommend a cat tree, and one of these https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51b%2BB7etTQL.jpg

Those are some of her favorites. Try putting a jingly ball in with the white one in the picture above if your cat likes those.
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8 Aug 2019, 10:38 am (Edited 8 Aug 2019, 10:43 am)
Awwwwww, what a cutie! Here's some advice from someone living with 3 older cats:

-First and foremost: as you bond with your cat, her needs and preferences will become more apparent to you over time. No two cats are COMPLETELY alike. So if any of the advice you're given isn't working with her, don't take it as you doing something wrong. Listen and watch her for what she does and how she does it, so you have future reference and you can adjust accordingly.

Alright! With that out of the way, on to the more apparent tips and tricks! :D

-Claws. They scratch furniture and rugs if they end up getting bored and are not properly guided to using a scratching post at an early age. MY SUGGESTIONS!...well, okay, HALF suggestions, cause one of them is a bit impractical. I suggest looking for specific sprays meant for this kind of stuff. You spritz them along the side of the furniture and the smell steers them away. Most of these I believe have peppermint oil as the main ingredient, which is a rather strong smelling oil that doesn't harm the cats, but it's a pleasant smell to boot. If that doesn't work, the lesser alternative would be taping aluminum foil to the sides of the furniture. Obviously it will look goofy, but it's a safer bet than the spray, so it's all a matter of whether you'd want your furniture to look decked out in foil or not. XDDD

-An answer to your food and water bowl placement! I suggest keeping them in the same room, but not right NEXT to each other. Some cats have been known to go without eating from their food because their water was right next to it. This is because in the wild, wild cats would go and hide their food away from rivers or streams, so it doesn't become contaminated or grow mildew on it because of all the water that would be in the air. BUT, some cats don't mind this, and actually need their water next to their dry food, because eating the dry food and immediately drinking afterwards may help them break down their food better, and keep them from overworking and potentially hurting their teeth. Again, this is based on how you cat acts, so be sure to keep an eye on her and how she takes to the different water bowl placements.

-Be sure that you didn't place your litter box too close to the washer and dryer. Especially if she's a kitten and hasn't been litter trained yet, the noise pollution coming from the washer and dryer when they're running may steer her away from using the litter box altogether if they're too close to one another. And even if they're not, keep an eye on her just in case.

-Introducing cats to other animals!...oh BOI, where do I start with this? Okay...Introducing cats to other animals isn't really easy, especially if the animal in question is considered an animal of prey, like a rabbit. And while a kitten may be easier to introduce, you may need to still let them warm up to each other, specifically for the rabbit's sake. After all, a new animal in the house that will want to constantly jump onto them and play with them can get kinda stressful. So try introducing them in the same room during a calm time, like when they're eating or when the kitten is napping. Getting them acquainted in situations like this can help them associate the other with being nice and calm, which will make them more willing to do things with each other, which will in turn reduce stress and help them form a tighter bond. But still keep an eye of them at all times. You can never be TOO sure that something won't go wrong somehow, and you need to be there to diffuse the situation as soon as you can.

-Since your cat is an indoor, and will ONLY be an indoor, she needs stimulation to keep her from getting bored. Playing with your rabbit, having the scratching post and climbing the cat tree can only give her so much entertainment. So, I suggest finding a pack of different cat toys. Balls, crinkly balls, string, mouse toys, toys filled with catnip, you know, the whole sha-bang. Test and try out different toys, and find out which ones she plays with and likes the most. This will help you not only get her more of those toys to entertain her, but you're potentially saving money by eliminating toys she doesn't care for from your shopping list. Oh, and one more thing! When playing with certain toys, be sure to give your kitten the chance to actually CATCH the toy for a few seconds every now and then. This will give them the idea that catching the toy isn't impossible, and they won't get bored because of it. This can apply with any toy, but it's most apparent in string toys. Even if it's a meager shoelace, make sure your cat is able to catch it every now and then, let them sniff and bite at it before tugging it back for them to try and catch again.

Now...I'm not an animal expert, so PLEASE don't go with what I say to an absolute. I suggest consulting your local vet if you have any other major questions or concerns. :3
8 Aug 2019, 10:47 am (Edited 8 Aug 2019, 10:50 am)
dawwww, kind of looks like the new baby we're getting!

I've always had cats (and am a certified pet nutritionist)
make sure there are place for it to get up high, lots of cats like to look down on the world around em. Walmart has a floor to ceiling 3 platform cat tower, put that right next to the widow they can climb up the tree and get a good birds eye view of the world. The little scratching post, toss catnip on it and put it right next to your couch, if she starts going for the couch, simply give her a small nudge twords the catnip scratching post, after a while, you wont have to worry about your couch/bed/ect. And the post(really anything for them to scratch) should be taller than they are long, and heavy enough they wont be able to move it, its why they go for a bed/couch because they can really stretch out and pull hard with out worry of it topping over them. The more places around your house that are okay for them to scratch the better, we have the tree I mentioned in the office, a cat motel in the living room, a scratching rug in the dining room and a second tree in the bedroom.(if she still scratches please please don't declaw! get nail caps instead!)

the bonding?? if it was an adult cat I'd say barrier feeding, but supervised in the same room, should be fine right away since its just a baby.

kinda nasty, but this is an issue i had when I got ninja, she was too scared to use the bathroom for the first few days we had her. if that happens don't worry! just a little rub(you can guess where) with a damp cloth usually makes the babies go no matter how scared they are. Get her used to the car/carrier/and nail trimming quickly, it'll make her adult life so much easier.

last thing(nutritionist training coming out) avoid auto feeders i know they make life easy but a cat/kitten with a 24/7 access to kibble isn't as happy as they seam(they over eat when stressed like we do), try to stick to a schedual. adult cats only need about a cup of good kibble a day, this can be put down for 2-4 hours in the morning, picked up then put back down for 2-4 hours in the evening. But do use an electric water fountain.standing water(even just a few hours) gets pretty nasty quickly(between dust, their hair/ect) the fountains usually have filters so keep the water fresh

Yikes sorry for long post! I tend to ramble XD

(small edit/add on. they really are like childern lmfao idk about rabbits but I spend about 2 grand a year on my girls for regurlar vet visits/toys/food/litter/ect
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8 Aug 2019, 10:53 am
DON'T declaw the cat..! It'll cause behavior issues and lead to more biting than usual.
8 Aug 2019, 11:48 am
I agree with mzza, please dont try to bond your cat with your rabbit! When rabbits fight, they try to fight to the death. They have really powerful hind legs but are also super fragile, so if they kick the kitten hard enough they could break the kittens bones and their own :(

I know it seems really cute and fun to bond them since you see it on the internet all the time, but it can stress the rabbit out so bad and cause them to stop eating and theyll go into gi stasis which can be lethal. And if the cat decides that it wants to kill the rabbit, it will go for the throat/neck and can easily break it or draw blood. Cats also have a lot of bacteria in their claws so any scratches could get infected. I think its just best to keep predator/prey animals away from each other because no matter how well you know the animal, you never know what they might do. I love my cats to death but im never letting them near my rabbits


As for the cat part, my cats never liked scratching posts, they only like the flat scratching cardboard boxes that you sprinkle catnip on, so maybe try one of those. When the kitten comes home for the first time, she might try hiding under a bed or dresser, and DONT try to forcefully pull her out because shes probably scared out of her mind. Let her come to you in her own time, shes a baby and shes in a new scary place. Make sure the cat food youre getting is for kittens, and make sure its good for them. You can research cat food to see whats good and bad. When youre ready to transition her to adult cat food, you need to do it gradually so you dont upset her stomach.
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8 Aug 2019, 12:26 pm
This has already been addressed multiple times, but do be very careful with your kitten and rabbit interacting. Pets of different species who have been friends for years can suddenly turn on each other. Instincts will override their actions when you least expect it. Never let them interact unsupervised.

Kittens have very small bladders, so if you are giving her access to the entire house you need multiple litter boxes spaced out throughout the house. I'd recommend starting her off in a small room to get her situated, and slowly opening up more parts of the house as she grows more confident and familiar with her surroundings. A huge house is very overwhelming to a tiny kitten, especially if she just wants to hide.

If you are buying dry kitten food (make sure you are getting kitten food, not cat food, btw!), add a little bit of water to it. It's healthier for them as cats fed dry food tend to be dehydrated. Cats generally don't like their water bowls next to food, but since she is so young, I would actually recommend placing water and food close to each other so she can easily find it. You can also place multiple water bowls around the house and see which one she prefers. If you have problems with her drinking from a bowl, try a water fountain as cats usually prefer moving water.

Since you aren't getting her declawed, get her used to having her paws handled as soon as possible. That way, you can trim her claws every 2 or so weeks without much difficulty.
12 Aug 2019, 8:38 am
DON'T declaw the cat..! It'll cause behavior issues and lead to more biting than usual.



Actually where I come from it's illegal to declaw! (And I'm glad too) also thank you everyone for the advice! I pick her up soon and then in a few hours shes getting her first round of shots as well :) my grandma is taking care of my bunny until the end of the month just for the kitty to get used to the house first then bun bun comes back home. (My bunny loves visits with his grandmother) I'll post pictures when I can!
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12 Aug 2019, 8:48 am
I don't have a TON of advice like everyone else is giving, but I just want to say,
Make sure to cut her nails regularly,it's pretty easy to do, just watch out for the vein,
Have LOTS AND LOTS of toys. It doesn't matter how cheap or expensive they are, kitties love toys.
Make sure to play with them a lot, but try not to cuddle the crap out of her or else she will become grumpy and mean towards others fast, don't scare her on purpose for humour or anything, that causes bad behaviour in the cat and trust issues.
Make sure she had vaccines and all up to date!
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12 Aug 2019, 1:05 pm (Edited 12 Aug 2019, 1:07 pm)
I dunno if I can give any advice that hasn’t already be rehashed, but! For washing your cat first time, avoid their face, and try to get them used to being bathed! Be sure that the water is very shallow the first time, and have no taps on, that lowkey stresses em out!
Most cats I’ve seen do NOT like being washed, including my cat. But you can make it bearable! Like giving treats or reassurence if they do well during the bath!

Also if you have roomates try to bathe em with only you if at all possible, but each cat is different so take this with a grain of salt, and best of luck to you!
12 Aug 2019, 2:08 pm
I feel like most advice I have has already been mentioned above. I have two kittens right now so this is some stuff I picked up from having them and experience from my previous kitties.

People are recommending a lot of toys, but I wouldn't give her more than three or four at a time even if you buy a lot. Small animals like puppies and kittens will get bored of their toys quickly and move on to destroying other things, so have a huge reserve of toys and swap them out from time to time. I keep three toys out, then put them away once my kittens are bored and bring out three new ones, and continue the cycle until eventually I can bring back the old toys. They can get tired of their toys in a week or even in days, so you don't want to expend your entire reserve of toys and have to buy new ones because they're bored already.

Small kitties have small bladders, so try to keep the litter box in a place that's easy to find, quiet, and in a place they can access at all times. Kitten accidents smell the worst, ick.

Someone mentioned it above, but definitely get your kitty used to a carrier. I would also try and make sure your kitten gets used to being held and handle. It sounds like a silly suggestion, but I know people who have cats who absolutely will not let them touch or hold them, and that can be an issue if you need to grab your kitty and take them to the vet. Getting them used to a carrier will help when you have to transfer them somewhere too. You can leave a cat carrier in a cozy spot with a nice blanket, stuff they like, and put some treats in there every once in a whiles so your kitty has a positive association with the carrier.

A scratch post is a good idea to save your furniture, and they have scratch posts with feathers and toys on them too. I have a scratch post that has a string with a wooden ball and feathers on it that my kittens play with, and it's worked out well since they'd rather scratch their fun post than my boring couch.

Having a high place to climb or just a high place to sleep is a good idea. Some cats prefer higher places that are kind of hidden, so I'd suggest setting up a spot for your kitten to nap and you'll know where she's at. Nothing too high right now since she's so tiny, but something above the ground for now until she's big enough for a higher spot. I set up a little cubby in the bookcase with thick blankets for the kittens to hide in, and now I know where they're usually at. They also like to sleep on the dining room chairs when they're tucked under the table, so I have one designated for them.

I would recommend against trying to bond the cat to the rabbit, only because it might really stress your rabbit out. It took me a while to get my dogs comfortable with the kittens because their body language is so different and they can't really communicate with each other. It was kind of sad in the beginning because they clearly wanted to be friends but had no idea how. It was very stressful for the entire house until they figured out each others body language, but they're fine now. I imagine with a rabbit it would be a whole lot harder since they're prey animals and probably don't have the desire to try and communicate with the kitten.

I'm excited for you! Kittens are amazing.
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12 Aug 2019, 2:18 pm
cute KITTY! I would place a few water and food bowls around the home,
Don't declaw,
Spend as much time as you can with KITTY,
And as for introducing the cat to your rabbit, go closely. This is how i did it with my ball python and my cat:
So first I just just my cat the snake while the snake was in its cage, then, little by little bring them closer and closer together until they can touch,
My snake and cat are good friends and I hope that this advice was helpful, so sorry if it was not but.. I tried
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12 Aug 2019, 2:20 pm
Keep that kitty away from little trash scraps, I have a stinker at home that I always have to pull from the trash can. If you don't already have one get a can that has a kid a cat can't open.

As others say, do not try to bond the cat and rabbit. They could hurt each other and the rabbit can die from fright. Prey and predators do not get along. This is not a Disney movie
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12 Aug 2019, 2:22 pm (Edited 12 Aug 2019, 2:23 pm)
Cute KITTY CAT!
12 Aug 2019, 3:14 pm
Onix_Angel
I don't have much advice that wasn't said before already but still wanted to chip in with my own knowledge!

For stimulation and entertainment having a few toys around is good, but also try to make places your cat can explore or hide away in! Since your cat is going to be a strictly indoors cat it's good to have multiple things in the environment that they can explore when they get bored of the toys

As for the litter boxes, make sure they're in a place that the cat can easily reach and that it is a spot they like and feel safe in, cats can be picky about where they do their number 1s and 2s so if you notice your cat is refusing to use the litter box try moving it somewhere else!

Make sure that you don't only feed dry food to your cat! Cats need wet food too, it's not just something to spoil them with but something that can keep them healthy! If you only feed your cat dry food without giving it any wet food there's a chance the cat will develop crystals, which you absolutely do NOT want! Crystals will hurt the cat and have them lose control of their bladder so they'll end up peeing everywhere, and it's extremely difficult getting rid of crystals, we used to give our late cat one portion of dry food in the morning and then one portion of wet food in the evening

I strongly disagree with introducing your cat to your rabbit, others have already explained that it can cause the rabbit great stress and that the potential of them hurting each other is too big, but on top of that there's a possibility they'll transfer diseases to each other too if they come in contact with their saliva/blood/other body fluids or when the other gets clawed and an open wound appears in which bacteria from the claw can nestle in, no matter how well vaccinated the animals are, there's still chances that either of them can carry something, the risk that they contract something from one another isn't as big as the rabbit dying from stress or the cat and rabbit fighting each other but it's still a very real risk, what the cat might be immune to could be fatal for the rabbit and vice versa, what AkariThe_Manokit managed to do is still very dangerous to both pets and should not be mimicked, even if you keep a close eye on the two animals when they're together you can't prevent diseases from being transmitted to one another

If you ever want to take your cat outside there's special harnesses for sale that the cat can wear, just make sure to let them slowly get used to the harness first or you'll end up with a cat that's either going to jump around all crazy trying to get it off or a cat that will lay defeated on the ground while you're trying to walk them

Get a collar for your cat too, make sure to attach a charm to it that has the cat's name and home address on it, possibly a phone number as well, just in case the cat manages to escape into the outside world and gets lost, also make sure the cat gets slowly used to wearing a collar or you can get scenarios as described with the harness
Also fun fact, attaching a bell to the collar to prevent cats from hunting birds is actually counter productive as the cat will teach itself how to work around the bell making noise, it'll actually train them to be very skillful hunters!

Lastly, try to research a cat's body language, there's a lot of cat body language that gets misinterpreted by humans, so if you want to know your cat's current mood and needs make sure you look into that!
13 Aug 2019, 5:03 pm
hello everyone,

thanks for the advice! She seems to be doing good. Already took her to the vet for her first shot and got her nails clipped too. The vet told me shes perfectly healthy :) Heres a picture of her being a goofball

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shes been using her litterbox well and hasn't been scratching up all the furniture.
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13 Aug 2019, 5:25 pm
You'll learn so much in the longrun, but here is two things you should 100% know:

- grain free/all natural diets is the way to go. my cat absolutely loves the Purina diet and she's become so much happier on it. petco sells all natural diets for really cheap, and this is the only time I would suggest them.

- cats go crazy for temptations cat treats. apparently its a controversial brand, but my cat is 100% fine, so I suggest them ahaha.

It's called the "drugs" of the cat world- once they eat one they can't get enough. they're very cheap too, and apparently grain free.

note that some cats do have allergic reactions to the treats due to having a corn sensitivity/allergy. if you notice any changes in her after eating the treats, just stop feeding them and talk to a vet about a possible allergy.

wholehearted treats are great too- the food brand is also very nice :)>

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13 Aug 2019, 5:27 pm
OH two more things

1) give your cat a bath- she will benefit from it. if you do it often from when she is a kitten, she will do a lot better as an adult. usually they hate baths, but they're always thankful when they look all nice and shiny later.

2) she may destroy furniture later. our sofa is entirely tore and ripped up and all of our blinds are broken because of my cat. cats can be very destructive.

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