So, I'm getting a kitten...Help? Poll type

I haven’t had a kitten since I was a child. I’ve always liked cats, but never thought I could have one because I usually have a pet bird or two. After my darling “Doc” got sick and died a few years ago, I went through some life issues which prevented me from getting either a cat, or another bird.

Now I’ve acquired a Cockatiel (I’m getting to the kitten part, really). Well, the guy who gave her to me has several birds AND a cat, and says he’s never had a problem.

And his cat’s mom has a litter, my sister and I met them last weekend, and they’ll be ready to go home not this coming weekend, but next (they as in my sister couldn’t resist either :D).

How can I make my kitten feel very welcome? (she’s already met my dog, and my dog likes cats, so there’s no problem there).

What do I get and do to prepare for a kitten?

Thanks in advance.

Oh yeah, and I was thinking of “Maisie” for a name, she’s an orange tabby with a very marked “M” on her forehead, anyone want to chime in with their ideas for names?

Is the whole litter spoken for? My biggest piece of advice about getting a kitten is never to get just one. Kittens really need playmates. They will teach each other manners (like how to not bite too hard), and keep each other entertained enough that they are less likely to destroy your house.

That said, whether you get one kitten or two, you need a litterbox, food and water dishes, a place where she can get away from the dog, a warm place to sleep, and some toys. Toys can be almost anything - ours were very fond of drinking straws tied in a knot when they were little. She should eat kitten food, and you should keep it away from your dog, because it’s not good for him (very fattening).

I recommend the book How to Think Like a Cat for understanding and shaping behavior.

Good luck - kittens are lots and lots of fun!

You might find some of the material here to be helpful.

I think “Maisie” is a charming name. Reminds me of Ann Sothern, who was a bit kittenish.

If I read the OP correctly - which I may not have done - OP has a bird. As in Winginged Avainan Prey of CATS. I have cats, adore cats, am a slave to cats. Don’t want unwilling poor bird to think " I’m catfood" all the time. Even if cats can’t get to bird, does poor bird know that?

I have catnip plants in a birdcage on my front porch.

I love the name Maisie. Very cute.

I believe it’s now federal law that all cat owners obtain laser pointers with which to entertain their cats. :wink:
“Get the red dot, Maisie! Kill it!” Fun for all involved.

Just be carefull not to shine it in her or anyones eye ferkrissake!

Green dot is better than red (but also more expensive)

Having aquired a kitten recently I should be brimming with advice… but apart from the obvious (feed it, give it attention, don’t squash it) I have not learnt anything unexpected by owning it.

Just remember, the little sonsobitches can live 18 years . . . And they’re not as expensive as kids, but you still have to be able to afford cat food, kitty litter, vet bills, and cat-sitters for when you’re on vacation.

Well, the guy who gave her to me has 4 birds and a cat. The cat is of the original “boneless cat” variety and seems to hardly stir himself to do more than change nap locations, let alone have enough energy to hunt a bird. The birds don’t seem to notice him at all.

He’s assured me that he’s never had a problem with them. And my kitten is related to his cat, and seems pretty quiet herself. I haven’t heard her meow once, though her littermate, my sister’s soon to be new kitten is a real whiner.

“Tweety’s” cage is guite solid and she’d never seemed even remotely nervous around my dog, who is basically an amphetamine on four legs. Plus she’s a bit of a lazy bird, and not a ground feeder as parakeets seem to be, so she won’t be flying down near where the kitten can get her.

I never clip my birds, so Tweety (not her real name) has full flight.

Thanks very much, this is a GREAT site.

A big M on her forehead? Take her to John Edward and watch him say "
I’m getting the letter M…" :slight_smile:
Truly, though, I have found that cats names just come to you. I once named a kitten, but it didn’t “feel” right so I changed it. It will come to you.

Don’t count on your cat being one of those who can mellow out around a bird. She is more likely to have good hunting instincts which will be triggered by the bird’s movements. Kitties are soft and fluffy and all but they are NATURAL BORN KILLERS! Actually I always wante to name a pair Charlie and Caril.

Laser pointer + cat = fun. Best damn cat toy ever. Of couse your cat should have approved laser goggles :wink:

My brother had a tabby with an M on its forehead. At my suggestion, he named it Mmmmm. We had a lot of fun coming up with different scenarios about the name.

“What’s your cat’s name?”
“You’re not talking to me? Well screw you, then, and your little kitty too!”

or, what if he were eating something delicious…“Mmmm, mmm, mmm…hey cat, let me be!”

Or if he had to call the cat in from outside…“MMMMMMMMMM!” It’s really hard to hum that loudly.

Well, I’ll keep a good eye on her and Baby as she matures, Baby has a good strong cage and has full flight capabilities for when she’s out of the cage. So far Maisie seems to be of the lazy cat variety.

Though of course as you said, I can’t know that until she totally matures, and until I bring her home of course.

But at this early age, her sister, my sister’s kitten is already a rambunctious nuisancy type and Maisie is content to be held and cuddled, with nary a meow.

Which brings me to another question for cat experts. Are there cats that don’t have a meow? She’s not made a peep yet. I hope that doesn’t mean her purr-er is broken. A cat’s purr is one of the neatest things about them (imho of course).

Well, we rescued our youngest cat from the shelter, and she’s of the “boneless” variety as well - it’s amusing to pick her up, because she just goes all limp and flexible, and you can hold her like a baby - she trusts you completely (her older sister resists and yowls and kicks if you try to pick her up - sheesh). When we brought her home, she didn’t purr, she didn’t meow, she just slept. She would wake up and be very lovable and sweet, cuddling up to us, and she always wanted to sleep on or near a human.
She was eight months old when we brought her home. She’s almost two years old now… and she has learned how to meow. And chase. And she’s very, very fast.
Don’t get me wrong, she is still that sweet cat, her personality itself hasn’t changed. She sleeps and is lazy much of the time. But for about an hour each day, she perks up, her big golden eyes turn black (think of Puss in Boots from Shrek 2) and she turns into a pouncing, bouncing, meowing little hunter. She is an indoor only cat, and she chases birds all right - their shadows. They don’t have to fly… she will stare intently at the silhouette of a bird on a wire outside, then leap at the wall. Little killer. That’s my girl.

A cat’s personality at kittenhood can change. Also, keep in mind that a kitten that is inactive can sometimes be a sign of sickness. Our girl was very sick when we got her, as we soon found out when we took her to the vet for a checkup. We took good care of her, nursed her back to health, and now she is the healthy, happy, sweet tempered, lazy, little killer you see today. Either way, it is a good idea to get your new kitten checked up very soon after bringing her home, to make sure she has a clean bill of health.

Oh, and she also purrs now. Sometimes. She’s always obviously happy, but she rarely purrs. Some cats only purr when they are hurt or scared. Ours does purr when she’s happy (she rolls around on her back and peeks at you through her hind feeties, making cute little cooing noises - she makes it pretty obvious how she feels!) but it is very rare. But hey, that’s why we have two cats. The oldest one purrs if you just look at her the right way.

Good luck, and proceed with caution. Never leave the bird and cat alone together, unattended. It’s probably not impossible to train your cat to be buddies with the birdy, but it will take some effort and patience, and close supervision.

i believe it was David Byrne who said:

“cats like houses better than people…”

My perennial new-kitten-owner advice is to get the biggest litter scoop you can find. You should clean the litter box every day, and it’s easier to do if you can do the whole thing in a couple of scoops. Swoop swoop swoop, and you’re done.

As the owner of a single, older, overweight, antisocial cat, I second the advice to get two, so that they have another cat to socialize with, and they give each other some exercise. Next time, we’re getting two (which is never ever ever going to happen because our dear Lou is going to live forever and never ever leave us. sniff)

you’ll need to do a bit of kitty proofing.

make sure kitty can’t get to string, ribbons, rubber bands, tinsel, etc. very very bad.

cover outlets.

watch out for things that can be tipped over. they will get tipped during “crazy kitten” attacks.

i have a very quiet kitten. it was due to tummy troubles. once we got that straightened out she is a bit more active, but no where near the perpetual 2 year old that most cats are.

i also have a quiet purrer. she purrs so quietly you have to have you ear on her to hear it. your maisie could be one of those.