It be a Meezer!! My sister has a Meeze and I [heart] her muchly. Congrats on becoming a cat mum
It would be a good idea to worm him and check him for fleas – and of course treat him if he has them.
Thanks everyone for the congrats and support. I really do appreciate the help!
I checked for fleas when I bathed him and didn’t find any.
Are kittens too young for flea collars?
I’m going over to Target in about 1/2 hour to get his stuff.
Treating him for fleas is especially important if he sleeps in your bed! :eek:
More advice: for kittens, a brown paper bag is the most amazing toy imaginable. (Grown up cats may become blasé about them.)
Yes, the age minimum will be listed on the package, usually 12 weeks. If he’s kept indoors, he won’t get fleas. You can also bathe the cat with regular soap to kill and remove fleas, if he gets any, just let the lather sit on him for a few minutes before rinsing.
Hah, not likely. If it crinkles, mine love it. But their favorite toys are my hair clippies - they steal them all the time and play hair clip soccer all over the house.
::ded of kyoot:: AGAIN!
He’s so cute! I love meezers- my Luna is a Siamese mix.
Flea collars are passe. What people do for fleas now is get some goop that you put on the back of the cat’s neck every few weeks or so (the Neville kitties don’t have problems with fleas, so I don’t do this). Advantage, Frontline, or Revolution are brands of flea goop. I’ve heard bad things about other brands, so I would only use one of those three if my kitties needed it.
If you’ve got Petco or Petsmart in your area, they will have a better selection of cat stuff than Target will. You can probably get flea goop at one of those stores- if not there, then you can get it from your vet.
A lot of Petcos and Petsmarts have animal adoptions periodically, where people with animal rescue groups bring in animals that are available for adoption. You might want to go there sometime when there is a cat adoption event. You don’t need another cat, of course, but people involved in cat rescue could give you some good advice on caring for your kitten and what stuff you do and don’t need to buy for him. They can also recommend a vet, possibly even one who will do low-cost shots and spaying/neutering.
I’d recommend against this if you don’t want him to wake you up by meowing at you to feed him. We don’t feed the Neville kitties when we first wake up, so they don’t bother us in the morning. This is important if you sleep in on weekends, like we do.
Different cats like different toys. We have two cats, and it’s quite common that Katya is “meh” toward a toy that Luna loves, or vice versa. Get a variety of toys at first, and see which ones he likes.
Most cats do seem to like the fishing-pole type toys with a feather or other toy on the end. It’s so cute to watch them jump after the toy and then attack it when they catch it, too. Watching them scamper after a laser pointer is fun, too.
Siamese can really yowl. You better keep him happy. They are very verbally expressive. You will soon know what he wants. Get him fixed as soon as possible.
This is good advice. Cats are very much creatures of habit - now is the time (or very soon) to be setting the habits that you would like your cat to have. You can let him sleep with you if you don’t mind being woken up in the night; we have trained our cats to not sleep in the bedroom, because when they decide to play at 3 am, they can do it without us. Our cats are also trained to not go on the kitchen counters, table, or coffee table (anywhere that we have food). Due to this training, I can leave a plate of food out and go back into the kitchen to get a drink without having a cat chowing down when I come back.
Get a scratching post (or other scratching device) right away. If he doesn’t like it, try different kinds. You have a golden opportunity, now, while he’s a kitten, to get him accustomed to scratching approved objects rather than your furniture.
You’ll want to kitten-proof your house or apartment. The fragile knick-knacks should be put away, or in a hutch or curio cabinet with a glass front, so he can’t knock them off a shelf or end table. Make sure all the furniture is sturdy and stable enough to withstand an impact from a flying kitten. If you have lace curtains, you may want to take them down. You will be able to bring at least some of this stuff out again once he grows up a bit, but it’s chancy with a kitten.
As a cat owner, you must never, ever, leave a lit candle unattended, out of sight and out of earshot, for what should be obvious reasons. I wouldn’t recommend relaxing this standard when he grows up, either.
You also have to be careful about string and rubber bands. These are not good things for cats to play with. If they swallow them, the string or rubber bands can cause all sorts of problems in their intestines, possibly resulting in a really expensive (possibly to the tune of several thousand dollars) vet bill, a dead kitty, or all of the above. Never leave string, yarn, thread, or rubber bands out where he can get them.
If you have any houseplants on this list, put them where you are 100% sure the cat can’t get them (and cats can jump higher than you think), get rid of them, or plant them outside. Some cats love to nibble at plants. Don’t have cut flowers or leaves from that list in your house, either, for the same reason. Some cats will also use the dirt in a plant pot as an alternative litter box.
If you decorate for Christmas or Hanukkah (and possibly other holidays, too- I don’t know enough about other traditions’ holidays to know how cat-safe any decorations are), you will need to take extra care when you put up the tree or menorah.
Menorahs fall under the “lit candle” rule. If you have more than one, the ones you light should all be in the same room, so you can keep an eye on all of them. And of course you should not leave the room while they are burning, not even just to run to the bathroom for a minute.
Christmas trees are very attractive to cats, and you should take precautions. Those tinsel “icicles” are out- they’re dangerous because they are like string. Breakable glass ornaments are not a great idea, either- cats love to bat at hanging, swinging things. If you do have breakable ornaments, they should not be on the lowest few branches of the tree. Putting the tree in a room that you can shut the cat out of would not be a bad idea, nor would tying it to a hook or nail in the wall with some twine. If you have a real tree, don’t put aspirin or any of that stuff that is supposed to extend the life of the tree in the water at its base, since your cat might drink from that water.
Yeah, there’s nothing like chasing a cat with tinsel hanging out it’s ass - not the most fun thing ever…
Cats love string and rubber bands, so this is a real problem. What we do with string-type toys (shoelaces, “jingly birds”, etc.) is keep them in a drawer that the cat can’t open when we’re not playing the cat-fishing game. It’s easy to prevent a cat from eating a string as long as you’re holding the end of it.
As for rubber bands, some cats will play with them all day but never try to eat them. Other cats will gobble them up. The thing is, you never know whether your cat is a rubber band eater until it happens. One of our cats turned out to be one, and we were halfway to the animal hospital when she barfed it up in two pieces. After that, we have never let any of them play with rubber bands, even though it’s really really cute.
Our cats have also eaten small bits of ribbon and passed them out the other end without harm, but I’m not about to take chances. I put away any rolls of ribbon I find.
If you don’t already have a kitchen trash can with a lid, you’ll need to get one. Cats getting into your trash can make an unholy mess, and they can find stuff in there that they shouldn’t be eating.
If you tend to leave partially-full drink glasses on the floor or sitting around unattended, you should probably stop doing that. My Luna used to bat ice cubes out of glasses, generally spilling the drink in the process. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are poisonous to cats. Milk can cause diarrhea, more often in adult cats than in kittens- lactose intolerance is common in cats.
Don’t give your cat people food unless you know it’s safe. Onions, garlic, and chocolate are just a few examples of foods that are fine for people but poisonous to cats. Bear in mind also that, if you often give your cat little tidbits of food while you are cooking or eating, it’s going to pester you (and probably also guests in your house) all the time when you do those things. Meezers have loud voices and are good at pestering.
Never give your cat any medication unless your vet tells you to. One extra-strength Tylenol can kill a cat. Medicines that are safe for dogs are not necessarily also safe for cats.
Keep the toilet lid down when you’re not using it. A kitten can drown in a toilet, and a cat or kitten might drink from it. Don’t use 2000 Flushes or any other toilet sanitizer that you keep in the tank- if you forget and leave the lid up, or a guest leaves the lid up, those can be poisonous to cats if they drink from the toilet or fall into the toilet and then lick the stuff out of their fur.
If you have an in-unit washer and dryer, always check for cats before starting either. Kittens have died in dryers. Discourage your cat from hanging out in the washer or dryer. Keep the lid or door closed when you’re not using them. If the cat ever does zoom into the washer or dryer, close the door or lid, bang on the outside of the machine as hard as you can for a few seconds, then release the terrified cat. It seems cruel, but it’s worth it if it saves your cat from scalding, burning, or other injuries or death in a running washer or dryer.
If this ever does happen to you, whatever you do, don’t pull on the string hanging out of the cat’s ass. If you do that, any string that’s still in the intestines can cut through them, causing serious problems. Get the cat to a vet ASAP.
Check out your local branch of the Humane Society. Thor was neutered, given a rabies and some other shot, and they installed a microchip in his neck, all for under 50 bucks. I had to take him to the vet the next month to get his boosters, but that’s a great cheap way to start.
I give my plants the cat test whenever a new plant comes in the house - I put it down and observe their behaviour with it. If they completely ignore it, it can stay on a shelf. If they start chowing down immediately, it’s a hanging plant. I’ll give them little snippets of the spider plant they love so much as a treat.
Oh yeah, you’ll want to get your new kitty used to having his nails trimmed regularly. You just trim off the tips - don’t trim too far and hit the quick. Here’s a good article on trimming claws. Hopefully if you get him used to it early, it won’t be an issue. My cat is good for trimming if I don’t pick her up - just pin her down and trim 'em up. My husband’s cat needs to be bribed with food, and he only gets one claw per session.
ETA: I forgot to say, everyone recommends getting proper trimmers for trimming claws, but if you are short on cash, toenail clippers seem to work fine, too.
I agree with so many posts in this thread! I started handling my cats’ paws when they were small and now they don’t mind getting their nails clipped once a week. I trained them to scratch a post by rewarding them lavishly with Bonito fish flakes and now they will scratch on command and never scratch furniture.
Get some Nature’s Miracle or other product designed for removing pet odors, just in case of litterbox accidents, vomiting, or diarrhea. Petco or Petsmart would have them, Target might. Use it to clean up after any accidents.
Never use bleach or any product containing bleach to clean up cat messes or to clean the litter box. Cat urine contains ammonia, which is not a good thing to mix with bleach indoors. Never wash any cloth you’ve used to clean up pee or poop using a detergent with bleach, either. There’s also the danger that the cat would not like the smell of the bleach (or the chlorine gas from the combination of bleach and ammonia) and would stop using the litter box because it can’t stand the smell. You don’t want that.
Don’t use any product containing ammonia to clean up a cat mess outside the litter box. Also don’t rub the cat’s nose in the mess. The cat will smell the ammonia and think “this place smells like pee, this must be where I’m supposed to do my business”. Don’t use vinegar, Febreze, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide on a mess outside the litter box, either. Those will cover up the scent so that you can’t smell it, but cats have a better sense of smell than humans, and can still smell the pee there.
Mixing a tiny amount of ammonia with a tiny amount of bleach is not going to kill you. Fresh urine has little ammonia in it, and some cleaning products contain bleach in very low concentrations. I have often used Clorox Clean-up to clean dog puddles and have never noticed even a bad odor from the combination.