Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS) (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Tell me about life with kittens (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=889751)

elfkin477 02-08-2020 03:07 PM

Tell me about life with kittens
 
I have lived with kittens before but a. I wasn't responsible for their care, and b. at the oldest I was 15 the last time we're talking about kittens plural, and 18 the last time I lived part-time with a singular kitten who belonged to my mom and I saw only on weekends because I was in college. Since then I've only lived with adult cats. So, I'm sure there's a lot kitten-related I've either forgotten or never had to deal with personally.

I won't be getting the kittens until late spring or early summer, but I'm the type of person who likes to know as much as possible in advance, so I'm trying to think ahead. With luck I'll be getting three little fuzzballs within at most a few weeks of each other: another Maine Coon like my late Shamus, a Balinese or Siamese, and a rescue kitten about the same age as kittens 1 & 2 who is negative for FIV/FeLV. They will most likely all be male (and of course neutered) and strictly indoor only.

Kittens are cute and I'll be happy to be responsible for their raising, but they also are worrying because they get into so many things. What exactly should I be worrying about, though? I mean, I know you need to be careful not to step on them and to shut them in another room when putting wet clothes in a dryer, but what else?

Are they strong enough to knock over a flat screen TV onto themselves/their buddies? If so, I guess I'll need to wall mount.

Will they try to eat my Christmas cactuses? I don't have any other indoor plants, but given they're the only plants I've ever managed to keep alive for multiple years, I'd rather not give them up if I don't have to. I've read that they're not especially toxic to cats but I don't want them dead like the spider plant my late ferret killed, either.

Will cats who are kept inside all of the time try to escape like Shamus did? He'd been kept inside from the age of 20 months on, but I don't know if his first owner let him out or if he just was built that way.

What unexpected issues have you had with kittens?

TheMysteryWriter 02-08-2020 03:25 PM

I currently have two cats, who we rescued from being homeless when they were kittens. There is a one year age difference, so we didn't have them as kittens at the same time. I think getting 3 at once is great because kittens love to play, and they really love to play with other cats. So that will be a great thing.

Kittens are very active and crazy. They run and jump around, and want to either play or snuggle with you when they aren't sleeping or eating. They jump all over you, and want to sleep under your chin or on your neck. And Smokey mewed pretty constantly. But Patches was quiet. She didn't start getting meowy until after she was fixed. Alos, my kittens were both quite fond of chewing through my headphones and trying to break my laptop.

And yes, they do love plants. Chewing them, digging in the dirt, tossing it all out onto the floor, and sometimes peei'ing/poo'ing it. If they're going to be inside all the time, maybe get some plants that are made for cats to chew on. And keep everything else out of their reach. Have lots of toys, and places where they can climb and jump. Kittens aren't that different from adults just waaay more hyper and crazy. And they need a lot more attention, just like human babies do.

The male kitten took to the litter box right away and now he goes outside. Never had any problems there. But the female would only poo in her box, and preferred to pee on my bed. She liked going on soft things like towels, and so for almost a year I had to put up with her pee'ing on my bed and sometimes me. *shudders* But now she goes outside, too.

Patches, the female loves outside to death and we could not keep her inside. We managed to keep her inside until she was fixed, but it was a struggle. I think Smokey could have been okay as an outside cat, but with Patches being indoor/outdoor we couldn't keep him in. But he still spends a lot more time inside than out.

One trick to keeping kittens/cats away from the door when you have to leave is to feed them right before you leave. They tend to hyper focus on their food and don't pay any attention to you.

I love how cuddly they are as kittens, but it's nice when they settle down and don't demand your attention all the time.

Elmer J. Fudd 02-08-2020 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elfkin477 (Post 22127875)

What unexpected issues have you had with kittens?

They turn into cats.

TheMysteryWriter 02-08-2020 03:36 PM

Smokey knocked over the toaster oven once. We think the door opened, and he stood on it, which made it tip onto the floor. Freaked the little guy out. But he wasn't exactly a kitten at the time, more an adolescent. Sorry for the typos in my last post. I tried to fix them but ran out of time.

I meant that I thought he could have been satisfied as an indoor cat if we didn't have Patches, already. I know a lady who kept 3 cats in an apartment. And my brother had a cat who was always inside. He was mean and neurotic and bit everyone. But he was also left all alone all day, every day. The poor kitty.

dwyr 02-08-2020 04:45 PM

They will also find holes/spaces in your house you never knew were there. I didn't know the toekick under my kitchen cabinets had a gap in it until my kitten disappeared one day. Luckily, she came back out and I didn't have to tear up the cabinets.

harmonicamoon 02-08-2020 04:53 PM

Kittens of the same age are a hoot. Play all the time. Mine were litter mates. I built a gym of blocks, PVC tubes and boxes. They were entertained. Now, they are a year old and don't go to the gym.

They sleep a lot. And are loving when it is food time.

Congratulations and enjoy!

Darren Garrison 02-08-2020 06:23 PM

I wouldn't trust a flat-screen TV around them. I strapped my 24" monitor to a cinderblock just to be sure. (It needed something to add a little height anyway.)

Hilarity N. Suze 02-08-2020 06:44 PM

I got two kittens in November 2018. They have knocked over various things including kitchen chairs and, yes, a flatscreen TV (one of them was watching the Australian Open and trying to catch a tennis ball). (Also, it didn't get knocked to the floor, just off its stand.) However, they were somewhat older when they started knocking the furniture down. Like, six months. Oh, they still knock over the occasional chair and once recently they jumped off the couch one after another and moved the couch a few inches (no harm done).

One of them also chewed off the strap on my leather purse. They absolutely destroyed the shoji (but this happens to paper shoji, it's fixable).

All in all they have been quite delightful. Whatever kittens do it really doesn't last long and then they are cats. Still delightful. I am so glad I got two.

Darren Garrison 02-08-2020 06:49 PM

Also, kittens like to climb tall things. You are a tall thing. Hope you have a high threshold for pain.

thorny locust 02-08-2020 06:56 PM

Unplug everything unpluggable when it's not in use; especially when you won't be home to deal with the results before they become drastic.

Nothing will be out of reach on account of height. Small kittens can literally climb the walls. And yes I do mean 'literally'.

Some cats adapt to living entirely indoors with no problem. Some cats don't. No way to tell about these until you have them. Depending on where you live, you might need to keep them in anyway. Depending on where you live, you may be able to build them an outside space, if they don't want to stay in but it's not safe to let them out. Three of them should at least be able to keep each other tired out, which will help.

Give the plants their own room, if you can do that. Give the kittens some cat-suitable plants, especially if you can't let them out.

They'll find places to hide that you didn't know existed, and/or thought that a kitten couldn't possibly get into; and you'll be hunting frantically for the Lost Kitten, who will probably appear yawning at you and demanding food just when you were sure they were gone for good. At two in the morning, when you have to get up at five.

Do not, repeat do not, ever get up extra early to feed them, no matter how hard they're making it to stay in bed. If you do it once, you'll never be able to stop.

You don't need to spend money on toys unless it makes you happy. Kittens will play just as happily with some bits of crumpled up paper. And, of course, with absolutely everything else in the house that either moves or can be made to move.

You'll wind up naming them things like Nuisance and Trouble and Chaos & Destruction. And they will be worth every moment of the Chaos and Destruction.

Beckdawrek 02-08-2020 07:12 PM

Oh you poor thing. I'll keep you in my thoughts:D
The heady days of kittenhood. Babes in the house. So fun. My 2 Siamese bro/sis pair were active, playful and noisy. Never knew something so small could make that BIG noise. They're still noisy. Less active. We still have crazy-cat-chase in the middle of the night a few times a month.
My advice, keep your eyes peeled. Watch for cactus chewing. Lemon peels 'might' stop that. Get some kitty toys. Mine didn't like toys. Be regular in meal and snack times. With that many cats in the house get several litter boxes.
Goodluck.

RTFirefly 02-08-2020 07:33 PM

We adopted two 6-month-old kittens from a local rescue group in October. Wilbur, who died last summer at the age of 19, was the last survivor of our previous generation of cats, so it had been nearly two decades since we'd had kittens.

I'd forgotten how lively they are and how fast they can move. When they chase each other around the house, it's like watching an animated cartoon, it's that crazy.

I've never had a problem with kittens learning to use the litter box. Obviously that's not universal, but every kitten I've ever had has figured out the litter box right away, including Charlotte and Wilbur who'd been barn kittens before we brought them home.

Our cats have always been strictly indoor cats. We've never had a problem with them trying to escape.

Eventually they learn not to get on the kitchen counters or the dining table, but it always takes a while. We've just about trained our kittens to not try to get up there *when we're around*, but even that's not a done deal yet. It'll take a good while longer before they stop getting up there when we're not around.

Kittens adapt to their new people pretty fast. My experience is that on average, they spend a day or so checking things out while trying to stay out of your sight as much as possible. Then sometime during the second day, you'll find a kitten in your lap when you weren't expecting it. Your heart turns to mush and it's game over. They own you. :)

elfkin477 02-08-2020 07:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22128182)
Also, kittens like to climb tall things. You are a tall thing. Hope you have a high threshold for pain.

This, at least, I do remember from the last kittens my family had. It's probably good that I can tolerate wearing jeans even during summer :D

kbear 02-08-2020 09:35 PM

One favourite hiding place for kittens is your box spring. If you have one, make sure the covering hasn’t come away from the frame. First day, first hour even, we had our cat, it was lost. Took me a few hours to remember that hiding place!

chappachula 02-09-2020 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 22128193)
You don't need to spend money on toys. Kittens will play just as happily with some bits of crumpled up paper.

crumpled tin foil works fine too.
And don't forget the ice-cube-in-the-bathtub game. :)

And be careful after opening drawers and cabinets.
When you close them, there's usually a kitty inside.

nearwildheaven 02-09-2020 01:01 AM

Make sure they always have a litterbox available. When we were in college, my sister briefly took in an abandoned 2-month-old kitten, and one night, she took him and her other cat to bed with her, and then shut the door. She was awakened a few hours later by the wonderful smell of fresh cat poop, and eventually found a teeny tiny mound behind her TV.

Lesson learned.

margin 02-09-2020 06:18 AM

Ah, airborne fluffy pointy screeching murder muffins. Bubble wrap all glass and wrap duct tape around every last tiny or large or microscopic thing in your entire house, including yourself. You will fantasize about killing them----until they flop sprawl on top of you and snore those little kitten snores and purr in that bubbly way kittens have. Buy life insurance. Purchase anaesthetic----not for them, but for yourself. It's truly startling how a twelve-ounce kitten composed of six ounces of fluff can destroy dinnerware, carpeting, and small standing structures, like your garage.

thorny locust 02-09-2020 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 22128251)
I've never had a problem with kittens learning to use the litter box. Obviously that's not universal, but every kitten I've ever had has figured out the litter box right away, including Charlotte and Wilbur who'd been barn kittens before we brought them home.

[ . . . ]

Eventually they learn not to get on the kitchen counters or the dining table, but it always takes a while. We've just about trained our kittens to not try to get up there *when we're around*, but even that's not a done deal yet. It'll take a good while longer before they stop getting up there when we're not around.

How to teach a kitten to use the litter box:

Remove all potted plants, or anything similar, from a room. Put a cat pan in the room, with unscented litter of your choice. Put a kitten in the room. Leave kitten shut in room (well supplied with food, water, and pats) until kitten uses pan. Kitten is now litter box trained.

How to teach a kitten to stay off the kitchen counters and tables when you are around: Get a water pistol.

How to teach a kitten to stay off the kitchen counters and tables when no humans are home: This is probably not possible. Keep your butter (and anything else edible you've been in the habit of leaving on the counters) in the refrigerator.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kbear (Post 22128401)
One favourite hiding place for kittens is your box spring. If you have one, make sure the covering hasnít come away from the frame. First day, first hour even, we had our cat, it was lost. Took me a few hours to remember that hiding place!

I had a pair of kittens who took apart a box spring from underneath, pulling out all of its insides. (Box springs of that type, it turns out, work fine even without their insides; it's the framework that was doing all the work.)

Quote:

Originally Posted by chappachula (Post 22128569)
And be careful after opening drawers and cabinets.
When you close them, there's usually a kitty inside.

There may be a kitty inside even if you didn't open them, depending on how they're made. The construction of a lot of dressers allows kittens to climb in from the back.

TheMysteryWriter 02-09-2020 12:24 PM

Squirting with water didn't phase Smokey. He thought it was a game.

thorny locust 02-09-2020 01:42 PM

Yeah, TheMysteryWriter, I had a dog like that. Loved to play with the hose, no matter how strong (within normal areas) the blast was. Definitely a problem when I was trying to wash produce.

Eventually I think she started to associate the hose with being given a bath, which she didn't like, and the problem faded away.

A water pistol (plain water contents) works on most cats. Not surprised to hear that it doesn't work on all of them, though.

TheMysteryWriter 02-09-2020 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 22129167)
Yeah, TheMysteryWriter, I had a dog like that. Loved to play with the hose, no matter how strong (within normal areas) the blast was. Definitely a problem when I was trying to wash produce.

Eventually I think she started to associate the hose with being given a bath, which she didn't like, and the problem faded away.

A water pistol (plain water contents) works on most cats. Not surprised to hear that it doesn't work on all of them, though.


Smokey loves to go play outside, then come back inside soaking wet and jump up in my lap or rub against my bare legs. So I think I dislike being wet more than he does. :D :D

He loves to jump up on the sink when I'm washing dishes and sometimes he helps by licking the dirty ones clean. Luckily, he hasn't yet tried jumping into the sink when it's full of water.

nearwildheaven 02-09-2020 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 22128892)
Remove all potted plants, or anything similar, from a room.

Or wrap the pot in a plastic bag and tie the top shut so the cat can't get in. Adult cats may also mistake potted plants for litterboxes; my sister and I have both lost large potted plants this way.

Sailboat 02-10-2020 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22128182)
Also, kittens like to climb tall things. You are a tall thing. Hope you have a high threshold for pain.

TV personality and cat advocate Jackson Galaxy often recommends making high places for cats to look down on their surroundings -- cat trees, shelves, windowsill rests, and so forth. This improves their environment and often seems to calm down troubled cats. Kittens may need ramps until they are bigger.

Darren Garrison 02-10-2020 01:24 PM

Forget ramps--just hang down a piece of thick cloth for them to climb.

Skywatcher 02-10-2020 02:29 PM

We have three kitties, one old Maine Coon and a pair of littermates we took in as kittens. The little ones had a habit of climbing on things where they shouldn't, like the stove or the toaster oven. Fortunately neither were ever on when they were and their knocking over a bunch of pots & pans put a stop to that. All that racket scared the hell out of 'em!

Skywatcher 02-10-2020 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sailboat (Post 22130945)
TV personality and cat advocate Jackson Galaxy often recommends making high places for cats to look down on their surroundings -- cat trees, shelves, windowsill rests, and so forth.

Don't cheap out on trees! You want one with a solid wood core, not those things with the cardboard & plastic pillars that require assembly. Our trio went through at least two of those cheap things. Thankfully they were never injured when a support collapsed under them due to a plastic end cap failing.

nearwildheaven 02-10-2020 05:20 PM

I have to hang my winter coat in the closet; draping it over a chair isn't sufficient because - you guessed it - one of my cats has tried to climb it.

Inigo Montoya 02-10-2020 06:01 PM

As far as knocking things over, I worked out a rough test for what to be concerned about. Approach the object of concern, drape your arm over/around it at about whatever level a cat is likely to come into contact with it, and then step backwards. Don't grab with your arm, just relax it and drag it away from/over the object. If the object moves or falls over, the kittens will murder it within 36 hours in the course of normal prowling. And don't think for one minute that a shelf might be too high for the kitties, and therefore safe. Cats are driven to occupy for as long as possible the highest point in a room (that's how you can identify today's top-cat).

Which brings me to my second point. Cats growl, hiss, and swat each other as part of their normal discourse. If there is an altercation and neither is trying to escape after 10 seconds, you're just witnessing a negotiation of some kind. It can be alarming, but it's best if you let them sort it out in terms cats understand and don't go imposing monkey rules on them. Cats are great souls, but they really aren't all that interested in what the monkey wants, so much as what the monkey is doing (until they're around 5 or so years old--then they'll show some empathy when it suits them). That's why it's hard to discipline a cat.

Skywatcher 02-10-2020 06:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 22131454)
I have to hang my winter coat in the closet; draping it over a chair isn't sufficient because - you guessed it - one of my cats has tried to climb it.

No concern about that here; the littermates are too afraid of our winter coats! And the Maine Coon isn't much of a climber.

elfkin477 02-10-2020 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 22131126)
Don't cheap out on trees! You want one with a solid wood core, not those things with the cardboard & plastic pillars that require assembly. Our trio went through at least two of those cheap things. Thankfully they were never injured when a support collapsed under them due to a plastic end cap failing.

I've scoped out articles for the top rated cat trees for Main Coons, figuring what's sturdy enough for the biggest cat will be more than adequate for the other two. Besides, you never know how big the rescue kitten will be - Shamus's best friend Sassy was a short-hair tabbyvand she was nearly as big, bone structure-wise, and often heavier than him (at a mere 14lbs he was rather delicate for a Maine Coon, probably the runt of the litter). The cat tree I have in mind looks like it's a lot of fun with lots of places to perch

FEANDREA 67 inches Multi-Level Cat Tree for Large Cats, with Cozy Perches, Stable UPCT18G https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CFXMZG..._VAGqEbMSXCPRZ

Skywatcher 02-10-2020 08:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elfkin477 (Post 22131679)
FEANDREA 67 inches Multi-Level Cat Tree for Large Cats, with Cozy Perches, Stable UPCT18G https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CFXMZG..._VAGqEbMSXCPRZ

That's the sort of thing I was referring to; those plastic end caps will fail eventually due to the kitties jumping on and off the top and side platforms.

This one is nearly identical to what we have now, the only difference is the top platform. We also have this without its top platform next to the big one. The smaller one is cardboard & plastic but pretty sturdy anyway with the opposite corners supported.

thorny locust 02-10-2020 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 22131109)
The little ones had a habit of climbing on things where they shouldn't, like the stove

Especially a hazard if you have a gas stove.

Never leave an open flame, of any sort, unattended around kittens. If you can avoid even having an open flame at all, that's better yet.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 22131454)
I have to hang my winter coat in the closet; draping it over a chair isn't sufficient because - you guessed it - one of my cats has tried to climb it.

Depending on what it's made out of, they may try to eat it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya (Post 22131528)
Cats growl, hiss, and swat each other as part of their normal discourse. If there is an altercation and neither is trying to escape after 10 seconds, you're just witnessing a negotiation of some kind. It can be alarming, but it's best if you let them sort it out in terms cats understand and don't go imposing monkey rules on them.

Very much this; and even if one is trying to escape, it's probably OK. If it really looks out of hand, a human can pin down the aggressor briefly to prove they're not the largest one in the house, and to let the losing kit get a breather; but don't worry about it further than that.

If one kitten's chronically hiding from the others in terror all day long, and not just for the first day or so, then there may actually be a problem. It can happen; though it's unlikely, and very unlikely with young kittens.

But if one kitten's even chronically pinning another down in wresting matches with resulting screeches and hisses and pinned-down kitten fleeing and even a bit of fur and/or blood loose sometimes, but twenty minutes later the kits concerned are curled up together snoozing -- that's just cats being cats. I had a pair of littermates (still have one) who did that every morning for probably ten years. And loved each other to the end of the life of the first one to go, sixteen years later.

Skywatcher 02-10-2020 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 22131738)
This one is nearly identical to what we have now, the only difference is the top platform.

Found the exact one.

Scougs 02-11-2020 09:27 AM

You spend the lifetime of an adult cat saying "Aw - I wish you were still a kitten, you were soooo cute".

You spend the time with a kitten saying "Hurry up and grow up, you total pest!"

My litter-tray training technique: Place kitten in litter-tray. Grab front paws of kitten and show them they can dig in the litter. Training complete.

Be aware that kittens have three operating modes:
Fully powered down: so sound asleep you'll be checking that they are still breathing. This happens anywhere, not just something designed to be a cat bed.
Stand by mode: similar to above, but with added purrs. Frequently on lap.
Powered on: sideways bounce bounce bounce, attacking things that aren't there, shinning up curtains, charging from one room to the other, generally being a little bundle of madness. The simple act of "walking from one room to the other" doesn't really seem to feature.

Toys: It's true that you don't need to spend much, if anything. Shiny bits of paper, bottle tops, plastic straps cut from a parcel just for starters. Mine love the foil lid from a San Pellegrino soda can scrunched up into a little ball and thrown across the room.

However, for my latest little one I got a pack like this from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Youngever-Kit.../dp/B077B9PHKD which is a very worthwhile investment. He loves the tunnel and sleeps in it.

Malleus, Incus, Stapes! 02-11-2020 10:13 AM

Different kittens will also have different... call it avenues of mischief. One might have a tendency to climb on high shelves and knock over your porcelain figurines, while another is safe around shelves but you can't leave your breakfast unattended.

On a more positive note, watching kittens chase each other around the house is some of the most solid entertainment you'll see all day.

DCnDC 02-11-2020 11:42 AM

I brought two feral kittens in from the cold just a couple of months ago. Don't really have any advice to add, but I do have a mess of photos of them being adorable:

https://postimg.cc/gallery/2tvqszgiw/

In most of these they're still wearing their post-spaying kitten onesies in lieu of the "cone of shame."

I love that they're sisters and they're already bonded. Our two older cats barely tolerate each other. They'll sit in the same room together, but they'll always be facing opposite directions like they're pretending the other one isn't there.

Skywatcher 02-11-2020 11:54 AM

Wait 'til they're older. :D

Our brother & sister pair were bonded as kittens but now they sometimes can barely stand each other and have wrestling matches at feeding time. Once in a while they will share the big tree but usually one will chase the other off the top.

Inigo Montoya 02-11-2020 12:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 22132799)
I brought two feral kittens in from the cold just a couple of months ago.

We scooped Bullet and Guillermo The Relentless out of a junk yard this past July 4. About 6 weeks old. They are sweet and cuddly like you'd expect, but there's a level of cleverness to them that, whether true or not, is readily attributed to coming from a couple generations of wild living. I've gone through some cats in 50 years, until now I never had any that worked out how to open the (correct) cupboard, pull down the treat container, unscrew the lid, and gorge on treats. These little monsters have also sussed doorknobs and coordinate attacks with diversion on the dogs: one will sit in front of a dog and coerce it to touch noses...while the other sets up for a pounce from behind on the unsuspecting pooch. Yeah, 7 month old kittens using 100# dogs as toys. I might be in over my head.

thorny locust 02-11-2020 01:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skywatcher (Post 22132826)
Wait 'til they're older. :D

Our brother & sister pair were bonded as kittens but now they sometimes can barely stand each other

Could happen.

But I've had siblings -- and for that matter sometimes cats who met as adults -- who stayed bonded all their lives.

misling 02-11-2020 03:51 PM

Look out for strings, yarns, twine, tasty cloth wrapped wires, stuff like that. My bestie's kitten spent last weekend in surgery for having swallowed some kind of string with a wire core. It did a lot of damage, he's still in recovery.

My kittens used to love origami balls. They are put together out of 12 small folded pieces of paper, and they rattle madly when they roll because of the 12 points, and when you whack them enough, they fall apart into separate paper things. Fun! :)

This is it: Modular 12 Sonobe Unit ball.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwB8OdV2FDM

Darren Garrison 02-11-2020 03:52 PM

I've known groups of cats to get along fine until adults until for no apparent reason one of them becomes the butt monkey and is voted off the island.

thorny locust 02-11-2020 04:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darren Garrison (Post 22133389)
I've known groups of cats to get along fine until adults until for no apparent reason one of them becomes the butt monkey and is voted off the island.

Again, I'm sure that happens sometimes; but it doesn't always.

Often in groups of cats there are some combinations that don't get on well, but IME generally each of them gets on with at least one of the others; and there's often at least one cat who gets on well with all the others. Sometimes I've had three cats all routinely curling up together on one chair, until they start giving out from old age.

When one is standoffish, that often seems to be that cat's choice; not that the cat's been driven out, but is simply the equivalent of a less-social human, who will be neutral with the others but just isn't all that into them.

Darren Garrison 02-11-2020 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thorny locust (Post 22133459)
Again, I'm sure that happens sometimes; but it doesn't always.

Gosh, maybe I should go back and edit out the part where I claim that it does.

thorny locust 02-11-2020 07:15 PM

True, you didn't. Sorry if my post implied that you did; it wasn't meant that way, but I can see how it could be read that way.

Darren Garrison 02-11-2020 10:21 PM

On a different note, I use cell phone cases with hand straps. I get a good isotonic workout trying to steadily read/type on the phone while a cat goes nuts attacking the strap.

carnut 02-11-2020 10:43 PM

Last year, I took in a feral rescue because the friend who had rescued her was dying. Then, I found kitten of about the same age. Good, both girls, which was what I wanted. Moved to my new condo where feral kitty hid for the better part of a week. Then she got more friendly, and more friendly and "Hey, that's not a girl!" I discovered on the same day that girl kitty number 2 was due to arrive. There was no help for it, I would just have to keep my fingers crossed that the kittens were too young for trouble until the boy got fixed 10 days later. Nope. My new girl was up the spout. On December 6, my 9-month old girl gave birth, surgically, to 5 viable kittens and one why tried to be born breech but was too weak and damaged. So, I became a kitten grandma and had quite a fun winter cuddling and playing with little, enthusiastic fluff-nuggets. By July, all but one that I kept were re-housed (and fixed!) in good homes with good people. I even gave the lovely, affectionate dad cat away because he needed more space and entertainment than I could offer. Mom and shyest son are still with me. My legs have recovered from all the scratches caused by climbing and flying kitties. My curtains in the second bedroom had to be tossed out and haven't yet been replaced because there is wall repair to do (kittens climbed jumped and pulled the unanchored curtain rod braces right out of the wall). Etcetera.

Ask me anything.

carnut 02-11-2020 10:58 PM

The kittens will take bites of your cactus but won't actually eat it. My aloe regularly recovers from bored kitten bites.

As kittens grow, they are not really aware that something that easily held them at 10 weeks, will no longer hold them at 16 weeks. In general, they recover just fine.

Kittens see litter boxes as places to play. You may see eye infections, not to mention that you will have to comb litter out of hair, wash kitten butts (or cut butt hair) because of it.

As someone already mentioned, kittens can and do go everywhere. I have a lazy susan cupboard. One of the kittens loved to walk into it and then disappear. In fact, he was sitting in a corner as I turned the lazy susan around and around looking for him.

Keep rubber bands and dental floss well away from kittens. One of mine was very attracted to mint dental floss, which luckily became poop on a rope, but could easily mess up intestines.

Closed garbage cans are much safter than open ones or light flip top ones. You don't want a kitty to fall into the trash and not be able to get back out.

Keep toilet lids down at all times until kitty is big enough to heave herself out of the toilet. My ex lost two kittens (separate incidents) to toilet lids that crashed down, thus trapping the kitten until it drowned.

nearwildheaven 02-11-2020 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnut (Post 22134089)
Kittens see litter boxes as places to play. You may see eye infections, not to mention that you will have to comb litter out of hair, wash kitten butts (or cut butt hair) because of it.

If you get a weanling, you may have them mistaking the litterbox for their food bowl, and vice versa. It takes a while for them to be able to tell them apart for sure.

TheMysteryWriter 02-12-2020 12:03 AM

I'd forgotten all the scratches and bite marks from kitten days until I saw it mentioned in this thread. There was barely an undamaged patch of skin on me for a while there. The worst was when they'd bite/scratch on top of a mosquito bite.

Oh and one night Smokey tried to murder me. He was sleeping on top of my hand so I couldn't move it and he cuddle his little body on my face covering my nose and mouth. *haha*

That's good to know about toilet lids being dangerous. My ex sis-in-law always kept it down cos she was afraid her cat would drown. I'd just thought she was being paranoid. But now I know better.

Darren Garrison 02-12-2020 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMysteryWriter (Post 22134156)

Oh and one night Smokey tried to murder me. He was sleeping on top of my hand so I couldn't move it and he cuddle his little body on my face covering my nose and mouth. *haha*

There is an Old Wives Tale that cats "draw breath" from babies. There is obviously nothing supernatural about it, but cats like to sleep on top of anything warm, so I can easily see a baby being suffocated.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.