I just got a kitten. Advice?

I just brought home a 10-week-old female tabby kitten. Her name is Daisy. I’ve always been a dog person and have had puppies. I’ve also done cat-sitting. A kitten, though, is new to me. She’s settling in nicely and has been fed and used the litter box. I’ll call the vet on Monday to get her in for shots and to get her get spayed. She’ll be strictly an indoor cat.

Any hints, advice, or words of wisdom?

I shall deem you wonderful. Yes, and I will remember Daisy forever. You are in for some fun and games. Get Daisy a scratchy pad if you value your furniture. And don’t fall victim to the kitty treats. Once they taste them, all other food is bad, in a cats mind. Good luck.

Also, feed her a lot of different brand/flavours of food so she’ll eat anything and not get “addicted” to just one thing.

Oh, like that’s going to work. :smiley:
Any boxes are the kitten’s property once the contents are emptied. This applies to Amazon boxes, too.

You’re relatively new here so you may not know. Kitten/cats threads require pictures so we can go all gushy.

Welcome to the lovely world of being owned by a cat. :smiley:

Seconding Beckdawrek; get Daisy some things to scratch on - I recommend both a flat cardboard scratcher and an upright post, since some cats prefer one over the ither, and once you see which she prefers you can stick with that type. (You can also get catnip spray to make them more attractive but tbh, it’s very hit or miss whether that will actually help, and she may be too young for catnip.) You may have to “train” her into using it by redirecting her whenever you catch her scratching inappropriate things - pick her up, take her to the scratcher, gently put her paws to it and move them along it in a scratching motion. This may or may not work but is worth trying.

You may also, if you decide you want to trim her claws at some point in the future, want to start training her now to get used to having her paws handled. Or you can always have it done at the vet’s. Probably the safer bet.

Kittens like to play. A lot. Kittens especially like to play in the wee hours. A lot. Get her some quiet toys - plush mice, etcetera - that she can bat around to her heart’s content when you are committing the grave sin of not entertaining her. As for playing with her yourself, those “cat dancer” wand toys and laser pointers are always a good bet (though you have to be careful with the latter; if she seems obsessed with the red dot to the point of freaking out over it, you will not want to play with a laser pointer.) Do not give her anything with tinsel, lots of loose strings, or small bits that she could potentially chew off and inhale or swallow. Mylar foil balls are good if shiny crinkly things are desired.

Get her used to being groomed now, while she’s still young. Is she a shorthair or a longhair? If shorthair, just get a plain old slicker brush and gently brush her every so often. She may try to eat your hand, the brush, or both. Giving her some sort of toy to chew on while you torture, erm, brush her may help. If longhair, you likely want to get something like a Furminator or a comb, and she’ll need more regular grooming in that case than a shorthair would so she doesn’t mat up.

Having had cats that were extemely picky about drinking, I’d recommend you keep an eye on how she likes to drink water. If she seems to prefer a running faucet over a bowl, you probably want a dish that circulates water to make sure she drinks enough.

I’m sure more will come to mind later, but this is al I can think of at the moment.

Until they are too heavy to do so, kittens will also climb draperies, so watch out there.

Don’t declaw her unless it’s medically necessary.

Don’t use your hands to play with her; If you do, she’ll come to associate hands with toys and you’ll get scratches.

If you need to get her away from something she’s not supposed to do, grabbing her by the scruff of the neck while supporting her weight with your other hand may help drive home the message that she’s not supposed to do that. Using the scruff is ok if you support her weight with the other hand, otherwise it will hurt when she’s older and bigger.

Play with her a lot with various toys.

Kittenhood is the best time to instill the habits you want her to have so you may want to spend some amount of time thinking about that and teaching it.

Post pics of her using Imgur.

Oh, SO much great advice! I’ve already used several suggestions. I almost got her a scratchy pad today, but I wasn’t sure if upright or flat ones were better. It’s looking like upright.

I’m new to using Imgur, too, but I succeeded there, I think. Her coat has more amber in it than the photo shows, and her eyes match the amber in her coat. Sorry it’s a bit blurry. Did I mention she’s a kitten? :slight_smile:

Here she is:

Yup, you’re owned. Her stance says it all.

She’s very pretty. Please post more of her. You can keep clicking & dragging pictures then post the gallery link. Once you get used to Imgur, you won’t want to go back.
Keep in mind that scratch pads may go unused in favor of some box or furniture corner. Others may offer more suggestions but one of them is to harden their favorite scratching spots with tape/cloth.

Getting her used to water and perhaps exposing her to friendly cats may be a good idea.
Tl;dr: Treat her like a fluffy toddler.

If you’ve got room, get her a tower. Cats like to sit up high (to survey their kingdom)

Or just a desk with a computer. Our kitty (aged 5) has decided recently that my workstation is just the BEST place to take a nap. :smiley:

Very pretty kitten by the way. Is there a bit of Abyssinian in her?

Establish a ‘no’ phrase or two, possibly accompanied with a hand gesture. For instance I use something like ‘not that!’ or ‘uh-oh!’ in a rather strict tone and I raise my forefinger straight up.
I also have some phrases like ‘out of the way’, ‘watch out’ , ‘hot!’ ‘come inside now’ and some others .

I use a rather limited vocabulary with them so they can know what I am talking about rather than speaking a stream of gibberish (to them) and hoping they pick out the relevant/ key words in the message.

You need to be consistent with using the phrases, and I have found I don’t need to be scary or aggressive when getting them to stop messing with something or come inside etc. I always praise them when they (eventually) do my bidding, even if I have to tap them on the bum/ guide their front legs towards the balcony door etc. It pays to be gentle with cats.

Cats aren’t dogs and aren’t motivated by a desire to please their human. You can get them to trust you and cooperate with you even if it makes no kitty- sense to stop gnawing on the yummy phone charger!

Also, in the same vein: I would suggest that you adapt your house to the cat rather than expecting the cat to, say, not hop on the shelf with the china vases etc.

Oops, got to run, vet coming to put my human-phobic cat under in order to take him back to his office and do some tests. So nervous, got to go, will check in later!

Don’t put her in the microwave or the washing machine.

It’s more like - watch out! Your kitten will climb into the dishwasher, the microwave, and the washing machine. Check your appliances before hitting start. They are very inquisitive little things.

Um, yeah. Sure. That’s what I meant.

She is glorious. :smiley:

If she turns out to be a cord-chewer - some cats are, some don’t even give cords a second glance - look into Bitter Apple spray, you can get it at any pet store. It’s a non-toxic solution you spray on things you don’t want chewed; the idea is that the terrible taste will prevent whatever it’s sprayed on from being chewed after the animal gets a good mouthful. It can bother a sensitive nose, though, so if you have an overly useful sense of smell, it might be a bit bothersome.

I want YOUR cat/s. In all of my 58 years, I have never met a cat who, when given even the most simple of verbal instructions, proffered nothing more than a feline FUCK YOU in reply.


Don’t buy a cat expensive toys. I have a friend who spent $175 on a cat tree and he complains so far all the cat does is sit in the box it came in.

Really, cats are happy with boxes, scrunched up paper, empty thread spools or any cheap things. As long as it makes noise and they can play “Hockey” with it, they’re fine.

She’s gorgeous! Give her a snorgle for me.