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Mama_Cakes's avatar

Bringing home a 7 month old kitten. Any tips on starting out on the right foot?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9320 points ) September 21st, 2012

I don’t want bad habits to form.

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15 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

First, pick a name and stick with it. (Hey, Jude).

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@gailcalled The name is Higgins!

tinyfaery's avatar

Frankie is mello. I think you might want to keep them separated, especially if the kitten comes from the street. You should take the new cat to the vet for tests so Frank doesn’t catch anything.

Otherwise, don’t let a kitten do what you would never let an adult cat do. I think you’ll be fine.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My experience has been that there isn’t much that you can teach a cat. I have never had to potty train a kitten. They only have to be shown the litter box once. I do wish I had taught my cats not to get on the table or counters, but it is kind of a lost cause since I am not home all day.

Trillian's avatar

Don’t you mean the right paw? ;-)

gailcalled's avatar

That would suggest neglecting the left one.

anartist's avatar

I named JackyJilly on the way home in the car. [and yes, for many years they were so close they were almost like one entity—hence referring to them both together as JackyJilly]

Gave them lots of love, showed them the food bowls and the litter box and made a nest on my bed of an old blanket shaped into a ring. Next the vet’s at PetSmart and a bunch of learning toys.

They never went on the counters and a distinction was made about tables with or without food. A squirt gun is a good training tool for the table issue.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I did do the squirt gun thing for a while, and on the weekends they would start getting the idea. Then Monday would come and they would go back to it, since I wasn’t home all day to stop them.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I’m calling to make an appt. for his vaccinations/examine right now. I was told over the phone that I’ll have to wrangle a stool sample and bring it in. Two weeks after his shots, he’ll be neutered.

It’ll be interesting to see how old the vet thinks that Higgins is. I’m guessing 4–5 months. Is there any way that you can tell? He still has all of his baby teeth and his “packaged area” isn’t all that pronounced. I thought that I read somewhere that a pronounced package means that it’s time to be neutered.

dxs's avatar

Try not to hold him/her too much. I feel like that’s why my cat doesn’t like being held, but it may just be her personality.

Trillian's avatar

Awwwwwww, kitty bitch slap

Buttonstc's avatar

Make sure the Vet tests for both FIV and FELV and keep him in another room from your established cat until you know the results. FELV is VERY contagious.

When I bring home a new cat, I always keep them in the bathroom with a litterbox (tile floor, easy cleanup) until he makes at least one deposit of each. That way his smell is in that box and no matter where it’s placed afterwards he’ll regard it as his territory.

Of course I also have a food and water dish at the opposite end and a blanket or a towel for him to nest.

I find that being in a small space like that initially keeps them from feeling overwhelmed and gives them a feeling of security and let’s them calm down and settle in before they feel the need to explore the entire house.

And if the cat is the timid sort, at least you won’t have to go around fishing them out from under the bed or whichever other inaccessible area they choose to hide.

You can spend a little one on one time with him in there and get acquainted.

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Dsg's avatar

When I introduced a new cat to my other cat(s) for the first time, I left the kitten in the carrier cage and let them both sniff each other. I did this for maybe ½ hr, as long as they were both happy. Keep them separated. I put the kitten in a separate room with food, catbox, soft blanket & toys. If he’s scared you could put on some music to drowned out the house noises that he’s not used to. Let the other cat sniff under the door over night. Oh I almost forgot let the other cat sniff the carrier while the kitten is in his room. Slowly introduce them, if your cat starts hissing then you need to back the kitten away. Introduce them for a bit off and on all day, but you need to be there just in case a fight starts. I always put the kitten back in the cat carrier for a few days and let your cat come into the kitten’s room while he’s in the carrier. That will help your cat to feel okay about it, while the kitten is caged. Best of luck! A kitten is so much fun!

SuzM122's avatar

Get your kitten on a solid, natural, “all life stages” food that will help him grow, and you can keep him on his whole life. Then you can give him different natural canned and wet food for variety and moisture. I’d suggest Natural Balance Ultra for the dry food, and their Platefulls for wet food in pouches they will love.

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