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Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

If your cat is not peeing, eating, or drinking, GO TO THE VET RIGHT NOW. Don't stop to ask the internet, just go. Any of these things can cause liver damage and death, and indicates a serious problem that needs to be treated immediately.

Welcome to the Pet Island new kitten ownership thread. Whether you’re new to Pet Island or not, this is your one-stop-shop for information on adopting a kitten (or two; read further to learn why you should always adopt in pairs), or for advice for new kitten owners. If, after reading this thread thoroughly, you still can’t find the answer to your question, feel free to post for advice from those of us who have owned cats forever.

I know there is a TON of information in here, and I know this much writing can be overwhelming. However, please search through the OP’s for the answer to your question before posting. Because there is so much info here, chances are your question’s already been addressed.

Here are the rules from Gobble’s Kitten FAQ thread; they apply here as well. I’ve taken the liberty of substituting “kitten” for “puppy” and “cat” for “dog” so as to avoid confusion:

GobbleDeGook posted:

First some rules,

1) You should have already read the Pet Island rules.

2) Even though this is a sub forum about pets, this is still a sub forum of something awful. Which means the advice given, while mostly factual and often accurate, is occasionally delivered in a manner which may be construed as "blunt" or "rude." Some people here might disagree with something you are currently doing and they will almost certainly point it out to you. If this happens, I advise you to keep an open mind to what they are saying. It is not usually intended as an insult to your noble visage. However, trolling, beating a dead horse, circle jerking and arguing without having a point is dumb as poo poo not tolerated and should be reported.

3) Debate and discussion is welcome and encouraged but if you are going to argue with someone on a subject be prepared to back up your argument with FACTS, this goes for everyone. Anecdotes are alright but if the only thing you have in your internet arguing tool box are anecdotes then you should probably just not ague. Of course, sharing personal experiences and cute stories on a subject is perfectly fine.

Next, Cuddlebottom talks about some bad reasons to get a puppy. This advice is really really really sound for all animal adoption, so it bears repeating here. Again, I’ve substituted the correct noun for this FAQ:

”Cuddlebottom posted:

Bad Reasons for Getting a Kitten
Besides considering whether you have the time and resources for a kitten, you should be aware that some situations are always a bad idea.

Christmas/Holiday Kittens: Isn't it a wonderful story? The kids rushing down the stairs to find a kitten sitting in a basket with a big red bow? Unfortunately, this is a cute story but a terrible idea in reality. Remember that a new kitten requires a huge investment of time and energy. These are things you generally won't have available during the Holidays - dealing with guests, children and dinner all require your attention. In many areas it will also be cold, snowy and miserable, adding to the fun. Additionally, it sends the wrong message: you're not getting a kitten, you're getting a companion cat to live with you for the next 10-15 years. An excellent alternative is to wrap a box with a collar, leash, kitten books and any other cute accessories. When the timing is more appropriate you can go to the shelter/breeder/rescue and pick out the kitten together. You might not get the idyllic storybook photos, but you'll have years of happier holidays with a well-adjusted cat. For more information, read http://www.petrescue.com/library/no-pups.htm (it applies to cats too, yo).

Gift Kittens: This is a bad idea for the same reasons Christmas kittens are a bad idea. It can't be said enough that getting a kitten is a decision for more than the next decade. For this reason, it is never appropriate to buy another person a kitten as a surprise. Yes, this includes your boyfriend/girlfriend and your parents. If you're getting a kitten for your children, the surprise can be nice, but remember you're not really getting the kitten for them, it's for the whole family. Sticking someone else with the responsibility of a kitten is unwise. Instead, if the giftee does want a kitten, help guide them through the process. Choosing a kitten can be a wonderful experience, so let them pick out their own. Your gift can be the adoption fee or some other type of kitten supplies. Read more here at http://cats.about.com/cs/shopping/a...mas_kitten.htm.

Joint Ownership: No matter how many times your roommate swears they want a kitten, and will help you take care of it, this sort of co-ownership situation is dangerous. All your roommate has to do is change their mind (which they might when they realize that kittens are loud, make messes and chew up things) and you're in a world of trouble. The same goes for your live-in significant others. Ask yourself this question - when you break up or move out, who gets the cat? It's OK to have a roommate help your care for your cat sometimes, but it needs to be clear just whose cat it is.

Impulsive Purchases: You should not make the decision to get a cat lightly, as (have I said this enough?) you will be living with him for the next 15 years. Additionally, most of the places that will give you a kitten on the spot with no questions asked are places you don't want to get a kitten in the first place. (Remember, even shelters ask you basic questions beyond "credit or cash?")

BOrangeFury posted some fabulous information regarding common substances that are poisonous to dogs. I’ve included them all in here; if you know for sure and can show me proof that any of the below substances are not poisonous to cats, let me know and I will remove it from the post.

BOrangeFury posted:


A lot of you might know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but did you know about grapes? Apple seeds? Did you know that dogs and cats love to drink anti-freeze? No joke. Here's a rundown of some very common household and outdoor poisons you will run into.

People Food

-Chocolate. Yes, we've heard it a million times, and yet our stupid dogs are not dead after eating an MnM. Why is chocolate bad for dogs? Theobromine. It's a stimulant found in the cocoa leaf that affects dogs and horses much like caffeine does to us. So don't feed your dog anything derived from the cocoa plant unless it lacks theobromine (unlikely). Theobromine is banned in horse racing. If your dog does ingest significant amounts of chocolate, it will start vomiting up what smells like hot chocolate pudding (and stains just like it!), and diarrhea everywhere. I've seen it, not fun. If you see these symptoms, particularly in an older or very young dog, take the dog to the vet! The thing about theobromine that kills dogs is making their heart beat too fast. A young dog may have an undiagnosed heart problem, or their tiny little hearts might just give out. Same for an old dog. EDIT NOTE: the darker the chocolate the higher the concentration of theobromine.

-Grapes and raisins. Ingestion of grapes/raisins is toxic to dogs. It's still not clear what the toxin is, however. Very odd. So, just avoid storing grapes where the dog can get at them.

-Onions and Garlic. Little bits won’t be harmful (unless you own a little amount of dog), but if a dog ingests a whole onion or a bottle of garlic, it may develop anemia. Anemia is the breakdown of red blood cells, decreasing their ability to carry oxygen around the body. Frequent consumption of large amounts of onion and/or garlic will certainly lead to an unhealthy puppy, and possibly heart failure.

-Avocado. Avocado has Persin in it, which is a fungicidal toxin. It's recently been found to have health benefits for humans, but is poisonous to many other animals.

-And many more! The ASPCA has a handy list, and a terribly expensive poison hotline. Read the list first, and save yourself vet visits later! http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/ask-t...ople-foods.html .

Common Household Poisons and Toxins

Like kids, dogs will get into everything, and try to eat it. Scented soaps? Yum. Anti-freeze? Tastes delicious. Drugs and medicines? Looks like treats! Now, let's go over one very important rule.

-DO NOT GET YOUR DOG HIGH. IT'S DEADLY AND NOT FUNNY. Cannabis causes vomiting and diarrhea, as well as increased drooling, and may result in a seizure or coma. A bong hit may be fun for you, but think before you try to give your dog a shottie. It most likely weighs less then you, and affects them differently. This goes for other recreational drugs. If you want to have fun with your dog while high, do normal dog things. Also, same goes for alcohol. Drunk dogs vomit everywhere, and it's not fun to clean.

-Cabinet Poisons. If a kid would try to drink/eat it, your dog would beat them to it. Child and dog proof the cabinets you keep cleaning solutions, medicines, soap, and everything else YOU know better about ingesting. Also look into securing your garbage can somehow. It can be as easy as a bungee cord. Training animals to stay away from certain areas is also helpful in the long run.

-Outdoor poisons. Dogs love to go outside! Walks, hikes, runs, everything. However, your dog might get loose, and get into something it's not supposed to. Rotten animals, poo, other gross stuff. But here are some things dogs should STAY AWAY FROM. Lawns marked with yellow flags. Sheds that store plant care chemicals, pool chemicals, paint thinner, or fertilizer. Auto-care areas are a big problem too, things like diesel fuel sometimes seem tasty to dogs (pigs love it too!). Places recently treated with pesticides. If you believe your animal has ingested or absorbed any of these chemicals, call a vet!
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/

Alright, now that we’ve shared the cross-thread info, let’s dive into kitten goodness!

Why shouldn’t I adopt just one kitten or cat?

Captain Foxy posted:

If you're going to get a kitten; Get two.
For years, it's been commonly thought that cats are antisocial and don't need or want other cats around, but that is simply not true. Cats live in feral colonies all across the world, and have social hierarchies and interactions on a similar-but-different scale to dogs and rats. So, if you want a cat because you're going to be gone all day and feel that the cat won't care, please consider adding another cat to improve the first cat's daily life/reduce boredom.

Two kittens are about as much trouble as having one; because they'll be spending time play-fighting and grooming each other, they're likely to spend less time getting into/knocking over things that you don't want them to touch. It also means that they won't be bored if you have to go away during the day and you can feel better about leaving them behind. It'll also make you feel better about keeping your cat indoors if you're having issues with it; a cat who has another cat to play with is less likely to 'miss' the outdoors or any of the stimulation (disclaimer: cats are assholes and not all of them are alike).

The pros never stop: kittens are assholes and go through an adolescent stage where they begin to act out and get into trouble. Having two means that the rear end in a top hat stage is limited because they can take out their frustrations and high energy on each other. So, you get cute little kittens but with none of the adolescent angst!

Some people think 'oh but they'll love each other more than me' and that's just retarded. Seriously, it's retarded. Sure, they'll love each other, but my cats actually compete for my affection; if I'm petting one, the other one will come up in my face and demand the same treatment.

They'll eat from the same bowls and will likely use the same litter box (especially if they were from the same litter/bonded at the shelter) but you may want to add another one at first until you're sure they're both using the same box. It does mean twice the poop/pee in the box, which is about the only downside I can think of.


Nonanone and Women’s Rights? give some great reasons to consider adults over kittens:

nonanone posted:

Adult cats are awesome! They're chill and laid back, and adult can mean as young as a year old if you still want that kitten energy. Past the kitten stage, way less work, good for people who have less time or don't have easily kitten-proofed houses, or just don't want to deal with kitten-assholeness.

Women's Rights? posted:

Why are older cats better than kittens? Kittens, for one, are assholes. The only reason they are so incredibly adorable is so that you don't drown them when no one is looking. Kittens do not yet know how to use their claws or have things like bite inhibition, so they will bite and scratch you and it hurts, their claws and teeth are like tiny needles against tender human flesh. Kittens are endless fountains of energy and want to play. A lot. All the time. They will attack your feet or chew on your face in the middle of the night. They will chew on every cord in the house if given the chance. They climb on absolutely everything and constantly test their boundaries.

Older cats, however, don't have the same jerky tendencies as kittens. They still like to play and cuddle, but they have more than the two "sleep" and "loving PLAY NOW" modes that kittens possess. Older cats are easier to train, respond well to treats and praise, and are more interested in just chilling out than being little fluffy dicks that run around your house getting into everything. Older cats are also less likely to be adopted from a shelter since they don't have the immediate "awww wookit da face" appeal that kittens do, so you will always be able to find an ample selection of cats at the shelter to meet your needs and wants in a pet. Their personalities are set, so if you need a cat that specifically needs to be alone, or good with children, or has a lower energy level you will be able to find one. Kitten personalities can change as they age, and that outgoing bundle of fluff may turn into an antisocial rear end as they get older.

Also, I want to add, adopting a pair of bonded cats is a huge blessing for shelters. Cats who come to shelters together or who have grown attached to each other in the shelter often can’t be adopted out together. That’s horrible for the cats, who are used to being together, and it leaves the shelter with an unhappy cat that misses its friend or littermate. So, not only would you be doing the cats a favor by adopting them together, you’d also be benefitting the shelter.

I found a breeder of Bengals/Rag dolls/Persians/whatever cat you adore; how can I tell if they’re reputable?

First off, you need to determine why you want a particular breed. Cats are not like dogs; there are not a zillion different breeds that still fit under the species Felis catus or domestic/house cat. For the most part, there are only small differences, like head shape, between breeds. Most of what distinguishes different breeds is the coat length, texture and color.

That said, the first place you should check is your local shelters and rescues. Start with the shelters, since the cats there are in desperate need of adoption, and may be euthanized if they don’t find a new home. Most rescues will keep cats indefinitely. If neither the shelters nor the rescues yield the variety of cat you’re looking for, don’t forget PetFinder!

If you simply cannot live without the particular breed of cat that strikes your fancy, and you find a breeder, go ahead and post about them in this thread . There are plenty of very experienced folks here who will be able to help you determine if they’re reputable.


All right, I have a couple of kittens or cats. Now what?

The next section includes all sorts of advice in the training, feeding and care of your new pets. There is a lot of great information here; please take the time to read through it thoroughly. Chances are your immediate questions are covered in this section.

Training

”nonanone” posted:

Kittens who bite and scratch hands/feet/body parts when they're young may be cute, but when they are 10+ pounds of pure cat, you will regret it. Usually caused by removal too early from the rest of the litter, but sometimes they just don't get the hint. The best way is to yelp loudly and sharply when injured even slightly, and redirect their attention towards appropriate things like toys.

Susan B. Antimony posted:

"Oh, but it's so cute when he plays with that power cord/my ipod cable!"
If you let or encourage your cat to play with something, it is a toy forever; a cat who chews through electrical cables is a bad roomie and, you know, in danger. Kittens acting like assholes may be cute, but try to think ahead. Similarly, supervised play with string or no play with string; if your buddy eats it (and oh, how the little bastards long to eat it), it's time for a trip to the e-vet! Play with your cats, give your cats toys they can play with alone--but try to make sure the toys are safe and appropriate.

Please note, the above post also applies to your hands/other family member’s hands. If your adorable baby kitten gets used to playing with hands, and it doesn’t hurt now when she does so, guess what? In a few months, it will hurt, and you’ll have a lot harder of a time training her away from it than you will if you start early.

Women's Rights? posted:

Declawing alternatives:

1. Soft Paws. These small plastic tips cover the cat's claws and make it difficult to scratch people, other pets, and furniture. They are available in a wide range of colors and last for about a month at a time.

2. Scratching posts: "But my cat doesn't like scratching posts." Well, just because it doesn't like your scratching post doesn't mean that it doesn't like any of them. Some prefer carpet, some like cardboard, others like sisal. Some like their posts to be vertical, some like horizontal, some like an angled scratcher. Try to have a wide range of sizes and styles available for your cat, and rub them periodically with cat nip to keep them interested. If you cat has been scratching furniture, place the post in front of the area that they scratch and praise them whenever you see them using it.

3. Cover problem areas with tin foil or saran wrap. Cats do not like the feel of either of these and will avoid scratching them. Yes it looks a little ghetto. You only need to keep it in place until they learn the difference between what is and is not acceptable to scratch.
4. Get over it. Your couch is not worth permanently maiming an animal to keep protected, and if you think that it is maybe a cat isn't the best choice for you and you should consider other types of pets.

Unagi posted:

I would like to recommend something for the "Alternatives to Declawing" bit:

Similar to foil or saran wrap, there is a product called Sticky Paws. It's essentially the same as double sided tape but is softer, clear, and safer for fabrics like furniture. You can buy packages of it in strips, or larger rolls of it. I've recently seen an off brand of it at Target for much cheaper, too. It's pretty much invisible, cats hate touching it, it stays on easily, and comes off even easier without damaging your couch. Save your furniture or door frames without people thinking you're a for lining your doorframe with foil.

http://www.petsmart.com/product/ind...oductId=2755193

We used it with GREAT success in my house, and every person I've recommended it to has made an effort to get back to me to thank me for the suggestion. If your cat will tear your arm off before you get some Soft Paws on him, then this stuff is your best friend.

Sidenote: The most commonly recommended place on PI to get scratching posts is Armarkat. I, and many other PI cat owners, have Armarkat posts, and praise them highly. Plus, they’re at least half, if not more, the price of the less cool versions most pet stores carry.

Peech posted:

Some grooming stuff!

Brushing:
This needs to be done daily if you've got a long-haired cat, or even a medium-hair if it has the tendency to shed. Doing this will prevent the fur matting, which is difficult to correct, and hopefully also reduce the amount of fuzz that ends up settling all over your furniture/clothes/carpet. If you do get a severely matted cat, do not attempt to cut the knots away by yourself, since cats can have unpredictable and extensive skin folds which are liable to get damaged by careless cutting. Ask your vet for advice.

Most people swear by the Furminator [http://www.furminator.com/] but if you're a bit wary of spending that much money on (admittedly, a very useful) cat tool, other people say that the Zoom Groom [http://www.mollycoddledpets.com.au/.../category9/p578] or other cat brushes work reasonably well.

If you've got a short-haired kitty, daily brushing isn't as important. However, as long as you introduce brushing quite early on in your cat's life, it can be a stress-free and effective bonding session for you and your cat.

Teeth:

This is easier to do if you've got a young cat, and can save a lot of money on dental bills later on. Like the training sections suggest, it's important to associate teeth cleaning with a good time, so go gently and be liberal with rewards.

You can pick up some pet toothbrushes/toothpaste at your local vet or (maybe) pet store. Small human toothbrushes can be used, but may be more difficult to get used to. Gauze pads, soft cloths or cotton swabs are also acceptable. Never use human toothpaste on your cat.
If you're using the pet toothpaste, put a little on your finger and introduce it to your cat slowly. Pet toothpastes often have tuna or chicken flavor to seem more acceptable to your kitty. The most important part of the process, though, is the mechanical rubbing of your cat's teeth. Aim to accustom your cat to rubbing a few teeth in the beginning, then work up to the whole mouth over time. Focus on the exterior surface of the tooth, as the inside is relatively inaccessible and has less tartar build up anyway.

By brushing your cat's teeth regularly, you can significantly help prevent plaque build-up, which leads to later problems such as gum disease. It also gives you the chance to spot any irregularities in gum appearance early. It is still important to have the teeth examined during your yearly vet check up, but the frequency of $$$$$ scaling and dental work will be reduced.
NB: The supposed benefits of feeding hard 'dental-specific' kibble to your pets have not been proven satisfactorily (unless anyone has any more information about this? I'm doing a journal search now). At most, they may contribute a little to your cat's oral health, but this benefit probably does not outweigh the advantages of simply feeding a good quality pet food (check out the Pet Nutrition Megathread!).

Claws:

Another alternative to declawing (which is illegal in some countries anyway), is simply clipping your cat's claws every few weeks. You don't really need special claw trimmers - a sharp pair of human nail clippers works just fine. Be careful not to cut to the quick (see picture below) - this is easier in cats with translucent claws. If your cat has dark or opaque claws, or you’re new to this, err on the side of caution and just trim the sharp tip.



Bathing:

Avoid. Cats are self-cleaning and prone to tearing the poo poo out of your hands and arms if you try to water them. Seek alternatives like wiping down with a damp cloth.

However, if you absolutely must bathe your cat because she's fallen into a tarpit or a bucket of bleach or something, protect yourself with long-sleeved clothing and/or sturdy gloves, get a really good friend or family member over, try and stay calm in the face of fury and fill the tub before bringing your cat into the bathroom to avoid the cat-doom-sound of running water. Use fairly warm water and a decent pet shampoo. Avoid the ears and eyes, and rubbing down with towels is definitely preferable to blasting them with the hair dryer.
Be prepared for grudges, scratches and severe pain-bringing.

Misc:

Some people take problem cats (long-haired super shedders) to the vet for full-body pussy shaving during hot summers. It looks hilariously undignified, but can be healthful to your mental state (and make the cat feel more comfortable in the heat). It's not recommended to try it at home, since you can cause unintentional damage to your cat and vets typically use a light sedation for the experience.

Also, I trim my cat's long bum furs a little for ease of pooping and to avoid enormous dingleberries, which they then proceed to drag around the house. It may look silly, but it's better than scrubbing out kilometers of skid marks from the carpet...

Edit: This is really long, but it's my holidays! I hope it's useful. If not, then no worries. I didn't go into step-by-step details because the article would have become even more enormous...

Many people, myself included, find that human nail clippers are not as good for trimming cat's claws, as the claws are prone to splinter from the clippers. Unless you know exactly what you're doing and can confidentially avoid causing issues with your kitty's claws, your best bet is to get a pair of trimmers made for cats (the shape of the blades will be different from human clippers).

Shebrew posted:

I thought I would help contribute by linking to and explaining some of the popular cat-related items that PI goers generally recommend.

1. Soft Paws: This has been mentioned twice already as an alternative to declawing. As declawing is a cruel, inhumane procedure (read more here: http://www.declawing.com/htmls/declawing.htm), Soft Paws is a great option as it is a simple cover for cat claws that is cat safe. Not only that, it's fashionable! You can get them in a variety of colors and even embarrass your male cats by getting them bright pink Soft Paws!

You can apply them yourself after trimming your cat’s claws, or you can take your feline friend to the vet and have her do it for a small fee. With a kitten, it's best to get them used to you messing around with their paws while young, as it'll ease the process by the time their adults.

http://www.softpaws.com

2. Ssscat: This has been mentioned before, but I figured I would link it again because, if nothing else, the videos on this site are hilarious. Ssscat is designed to train cats away from certain areas by spraying your kitty with air as soon as it enters the area detected by the motion sensor. This is a great deterrent if your kitty has a tendency to climb on things it should not, annoy you at night, or eat things it shouldn't. Simply set it by whatever you want your cat to avoid, and presto! You have a properly annoyed and deterred cat. Ssscat is great because its motion sensor activated, totally humane, and can be left around problem areas of your house without you having to be present. After a while of getting sprayed with air, your cat should avoid that area.

http://www.multivet.net/en/products/ssscat/

3. Feliway: Feliway is, for all intents and purposes, a de-stressing spray for cats. Whenever there's a change to your cat’s familiar surroundings, it'll sometimes feel immensely frightened and stress. Common situations include: introduction of a new cat, moving, redecorating, or a new baby. Simply use the Feliway spray or diffuser in an area where your cat is displaying signs of stress, and the hormone in it should help ease the process.

http://www.feliway.com


Firequirks posted:

I started writing this and then I had totally different categories than what I had originally wrote, whoops. I hope this is good, but please feel free, anyone, to re-combine, re-write, correct, whatever. Consider this a starting point for this section, I am by no-means an expert. I'm also not as sure about the door part in regards to penny-shaking to startle, as it seems like it might not be loud enough from behind a door, but if you're on the same side of the door then it might be associated with you.

FYI I had included a Tricks! section when I wrote that other post because I know that some people here have trained their cats to do tricks and I just read it recently. Now if only I could find the thread. My hope was that others who have taught their cats tricks could write it up.

TRAINING

Cats can be trained, but they do not have the same kind of psychology as dogs do. Cats seem to have "grudges" -- if something bad happened to them the last time an event occurred, they are strongly resistant to anything associated with it next time. (This is why you have to be careful with cat introductions. If something goes wrong and negative associations are made, you may have to try the whole process again from the beginning -- SLOWLY.)

To this end, if you are going to train behaviors into or out of a cat, you have to be wily about it. You have to somehow make it so that you are not involved in the correction, if it is negative. It has to kind of "come out of nowhere", or else YOU will be associated with the negative part. If you hit or smack your cat, they will associate YOU with the hit. If YOU chase your cat off the counters/couch/bed, they will learn to just get up there when you're not around.

Before we get into this, it should be noted that a tired cat is generally a good cat. Wear your cat out! If they are tired, they are less likely to be bored and get into trouble. Use any toy you can to wear your cat out every day, such as a feather wand or laser pointer.

Get Off of That! Don't Scratch That!

If you don't want your cat to get on the counters/bed/chair/table then you can use objects that the cat really doesn't want to touch to keep them off. Lay some tinfoil across (they hate the feel of it on their paws) or use packing tape (sticky-side out!). Both of these do not involve YOU, but they will make it so unpleasant for the cat that they will eventually not go to or scratch these places, and you can remove the tinfoil/tape/whatever. If it is a scratching problem, redirect your cat to something you want them to scratch, like a sisal rope post. Do not make it rough or a punishment if you redirect them, be calm as you move them. Take their paws and rub them gently down the post. PRAISE them for scratching the right things. Rub or spray catnip on the things you want them to scratch.

Don't Bite That!

Time for taste aversion! If the cat is biting/chewing your cords or whatnot, spray them down with Bitter Apple spray. There are other options out there, such as hot pepper spray. Basically the idea is to make it so completely terrible to taste that the chewing/biting behavior isn't worth it to the cat.

Scratching at the Door

This is more interesting, because there is a door hiding things from the cat's view. You can use the "touching this sucks" strategy, as above (another suggestion is to get those clear office-chair roll mats and turn it upside down, with the nubs sticking out and place it by the door. Cats do not like to walk on this and can't get near the door), or you can use loud noises from behind the door. One suggestion is to have a can of pennies on one side of the door, and if the cat scratches at it, shake the pennies really loud to startle them. I've also read another suggestion is to have a vacuum on the cat-side of the door just sitting out there, with the plug going under the door. If the cat scratches at the door, plug the vacuum in and the cat runs away. Also, there is SSSCAT, which is a motion-detector air spray.

If the door they are scratching at is the bedroom door at night, don't forget to wear your cat out in the evening. They'll be more likely to sleep through the night and leave you alone if they're exhausted from playing.

Biting/Scratching Hands

This now involves you and works a little differently. If your kitten is starting to bite/scratch your hands, you have to curb this behavior. While cute and manageable now, it will only get worse as they get bigger. Kittens learn from their littermates to not play TOO rough when their littermate yelps and walks away, ignoring the rough play kitten for a while. This is what you should do as well. If the kitten is too rough, YELP and put them down and walk away for a few minutes. The purpose here is to ignore, and stop the play behavior. If it hurts and you keep playing, then there is no reason for the kitten to learn to stop.

Stopping Other Bad Things

If there are other behaviors that need to be stopped (e.g. such as trying to eat off your plate at dinner), then may need to be more direct. The spray bottle is your best friend. Turn the nozzle so it's a stream and squirt your cat. LEARN YOUR TIMING! Be precise about your timing when you do this, so the cat learns exactly which undesirable behavior you were referring to. If your cat enjoys water and doesn't mind being sprayed, mix a little vinegar into the water. The vinegar smell oughtta do it. Another option is a can of compressed air, which won't get your cat and your stuff all wet. You can also use other startling tools, like loudly shaking a can of pennies.

Edit: Added bits about compressed air and wearing your cat out.

anachrodragon posted:

On this note, I think this one is fairly common:

My Cat Wakes Me Up in the Middle of the Night!

Does your cat sleep all day, and then harass you all night? Well two can play at that game. Wake that bastard up! Play with them until they're tired out, and they'll be more likely to sleep through the night... and so will you. Laser pointers are great for this.

wraithgar posted:

This is a cousin of the same issue

My Cat Wakes Me Up Before My Alarm Goes Off And Wants Food

Simply don't make feeding your cat the first thing you do when you wake up. You're training them that 'wake up human = get fed' otherwise. Go make yourself coffee, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc to do whatever YOU do in the morning first. Feed them afterward.


Spay/Neuter

Chairman Meow was awesome and made a site with information on free or cheap spay/neuter clinics by state. You can find it here.

Somebody fucked around with this message at Feb 21, 2013 around 19:54

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Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

Food

Fire In The Disco posted:

Let's talk about food. Of course, the Pet Nutrition Megathread has a whole poo poo-ton of food options, but let's focus for a second on why so many PI regulars advocate a grain-free diet for cats.

First off, cats are obligate carnivores. Obligate carnivores, as stated in the Wikipedia link, "depend solely on the nutrients found in animal flesh for their survival. While they may consume small amount of plant material they lack the physiology required for the efficient digestion of vegetable matter, and, in fact, some carnivorous mammals eat vegetation specifically as an emetic (a substance that makes one vomit)."
Cats in the wild consume very little carbohydrate; somewhere around 3%-5% of their overall diet, and this is mainly from the contents of their prey's stomachs. Yet, most cheap kibble, and sadly, some higher quality kibble that contains grain, contains anywhere from 35%-50% carbohydrate. Obviously, that's not ideal for a cat's diet. Thankfully, there are choices for the concerned cat owner in high quality dry and wet foods that are grain free, and raw feeding.

I have no experience feeding raw, so I am going to leave that explanation to somebody else. As for grain free dry and wet foods, there are some great choices listed in the aforementioned Nutrition Megathread. My own beasties eat Innova EVO dry and Merrick wet food. Like everyone else who switches their cats to a high quality food, I have noticed less poop (less indigestible crap in their foods), shinier coats and increased energy levels since my ignorant self learned about better foods and made the switch.

Even though it was made by Purina, who has pretty food, this chart is a good way to determine if your cat’s underweight, normal weight, or overweight, and adjust food accordingly. I like this chart because it shows the top down view, which is sometimes easier for me to use to determine the cat’s body type.



DISCLAIMER: At the end of the day, you should ask your vet if you’re concerned about your cat’s weight, in either direction.

I can't find a brand from the Nutrition Megathread locally, and I don't want to pay for shipping! What now?

Fire In The Disco posted:

Personally, I am a fan of independent pet stores. These are places like small pet supply stores, tack and feed shops, etc. There are a few reasons why I prefer these stores over big box stores like PetCo, PetsMart, etc.

1. Independent stores typically have buyers who are willing to order food for you if you don't see what you want. My anecdote is the following: I went to a tack and feed store near my house, and saw that they have Innova EVO for dogs, but not for cats. I asked the buyer if she'd be willing to give it a try, and she happily agreed to order some bags. Apparently it's been selling well, since they now keep it stocked full-time, and I can buy it locally, whereas it was nowhere to be found in my city before.

2. Independently owned stores are owned by members of your community. These people work super hard to keep their stores open, and your support can actually make a difference for them. With big box stores, they really couldn't care less if they have your particular business; they have plenty more from others.

Mostly I'm just a big fan of a) being able to feed the food you are truly interested in, and b) supporting your community.

Ceridwen posted:

As another bonus, almost all of the independent stores I've had experience with are directly involved in rescue. And they usually have ties with multiple groomers/trainers/vets etc. Where Petsmart et al. tend to direct you to their own services (which are usually not that good).

My local independent store just got to expand (nearly double the old size now) and is now carrying the type of litter I requested. The owner also runs a cat rescue and has even stayed open a few minutes late for me before when I was running late to get to the store and was nearly out of food. And as a bonus, she sells the food I buy (EVO) for LESS than the local Petland.

d8 is our resident catnip expert. He sells wonderfully potent Montana catnip over in SA Mart if you're interested in picking some up!

d8 posted:


Catnip (nepeta cataria) is an herb in the mint family. It has a square-ish stem and lobate leaves that grow in pairs, one on each side of the stem. It grows to about 3 or 4 feet tall and ranges in color from a pale green to dark grayish green. Generally, the darker the leaves, the more potent the nip. The buds and flowers are the most potent part of the plant, though all parts including the stems are enjoyed by cats. Catnip flowers vary from white to blue to a light purple. (The flowers are cool, they look a lot like miniature orchids.)

Catnip grows well in a wide variety of geographic regions and climatic conditions, though the best nip grows where days are hot and nights are cool and rain is relatively light.

The stuff in catnip that makes cats crazy is a naturally occurring compound called nepatalactone. The compound most likely acts as an endorphin stimulator, so cats don't get 'high' so much as they get very happy. Cats get their buzz via olfactory input, so it is not necessary for them to eat it, though many cats do. A catnip stuffed toy will provide the same enjoyment for a cat as a bit of leaf to nibble.

About 10% of all cats lack the catnip gene and are unaffected by it. Some estimates of the number non-reacting cats range up to 20%, but that seems a bit high in my personal experience. There is quite probably to be a link to sexual maturity and catnip reaction, so kittens generally don't react to it until they're about 6 months old or so. Senior citizen cats will sometimes lose interest also.

Tangentially, on the subject of cat years/human years, one scale I found says the first year of a cat's life equals about 15 human years, the second equals about 9 years, and each subsequent year equals 4 human years.

Cats enjoy fresh or dried catnip, though properly dried catnip seems to concentrate the nepatalactone and provide a bit more kick. Give your cat a large pinch (about a teaspoonful) on the floor, or sprinkle it on a cat tree or scratching post, or serve it up in a paper grocery bag or box for added entertainment. The effects (purring, drooling, rolling, getting goofy) of catnip last for half an hour or so, sometimes longer depending on the individual cat.

Humans can also enjoy catnip as tea. It has some mild medicinal properties and has been used to treat nervous insomnia, indigestion, and in a very weak tea to treat colic in infants.

Introducing a new cat to your other cats

Eggplant Wizard posted:

When you bring a new cat into your household, both it and your other cats will probably be upset. You would be too if someone thrust a roommate on you. You can minimize the stress by making the introduction gradually.

Stage 0: Acceptance of terms
There will be lots of hissing. This does not mean you are doomed.

Stage 1: Seclusion
Keep the new cat separate from the other cat(s). Make sure it has all the necessities- food, water, litter, attention. Choose somewhere you can hang out with new cat and get to know it, but not your other cat's favorite hangout, either. The cats will all know the others are there, but this stage allows them to get comfortable with there being other scents around. Try switching out each cat's bedding so they can sniff at it. You might also try giving them their meals on either side of a closed door, so they associate food with the new cat's smell. You can switch the cats out to explore each other's areas and get used to scents & places that way, too.

This stage can last a couple of hours to a week or so. You will have to use your judgment on when to advance. If both cats seem comfortable and curious, rather than totally anxious, continue on.

Stage 2: Supervised introductions
Pretty much what it says. Let the cats meet. There will almost certainly be hissing and maybe even some swatting. It's okay to laugh when their tails puff up. You can let these introductions last as long as you like, depending on how the cats interact. The rule of thumb is not to separate them unless (a) you can't be present to supervise anymore or (b) violence erupts.

Violence is not swatting and hissing and puffing up, or even growling and yowling, necessarily. If blood is drawn or the yowls seem to indicate pain rather than aggression, then it's absolutely time to separate them and return to stage 1 for a while.

This stage might last as little as one or two meetings, or it could go on for weeks. If it drags beyond a week please ask and see if we can make some suggestions to make things go more smoothly.

Stage 3: Kitten piles
As the introductions go better and last longer without incident, you will feel comfortable leaving the cats alone, and from there they'll probably soon reach a level of toleration, if not immediate kitten piles. Kitten piles may never happen, honestly, and that's not your fault. If they do, great!

Lifestyle

”Fire In The Disco” posted:


Ahhh, the indoor vs. outdoor question. This debate has raged on in PI for ages now, and every time someone mentions letting their cat outside, the same information is presented.

1. Predators: Most places in the world, you simply can’t escape predators. They are everywhere. You may think your cat is smart enough to avoid them, and she probably is. That doesn’t mean they’re not wily enough to get her anyway. You may think, well, she’s always made it home safely before. That doesn’t mean she always will, and I know that I, for one, would be devastated if any of my babies didn’t come home one night.

2. Traffic: This one’s self-explanatory. Again, your cat may be able to avoid cars normally, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t get unlucky. This leads directly to the next point, which is:

3. Assholes: Yeah, there are lots of goddamn jerk-offs out there. There are people who will purposely hit your cat with their vehicle. There are people who will deliberately poison your cat. There are just mean people out there. Why take the risk?

4. Diseases and parasites: Your cat has a much higher likelihood of catching something nasty if she’s outdoors than if she’s strictly indoors.

5. Neighborly Politeness: You love seeing your cat sunning herself in your backyard. Sadly, not all of your neighbors do. Not to mention, your cat might be making use of your neighbor’s garden as her favorite place to poo poo, or annoying your neighbor’s pets. Consider keeping her indoors as the nice thing to do as a neighbor.

You might be worried about your cats being bored inside. First off, having more than one helps dramatically with boredom. Secondly, if you provide plenty of places for them to go, especially vertical places like cat trees, tall bookshelves, etc, and you’re willing to provide stimulation in the form of playing with your cats, your cats won’t be bored.

Sekhmet posted:

I think the indoor/outdoor debate is kind of a personal and cultural issue, but I just wanted to link to the Ohio State University CVM's Indoor Cat Initative website, in case you want to add it to the FAQ.

It is not at all a site that is preachy about keeping cats indoors, but rather has well organized suggestions and articles on the behavioral stimulation, nutritional, socialization and other unique needs of cats that are housed indoors.

nonanone posted:

Reasons not to let your cat out:

It's dangerous out there!

In many areas of the US (and the rest of the world), there are large predators such as coyotes, cougars, and even raccoons can gently caress up your cat. Aside from predators, there are these giant metal death traps known as traffic, in almost all populated areas of the world, and crazy people who like to kill/shoot cats (not uncommon in rural areas). In some areas, the average lifespan of an outdoor cat is only about 3 years. Additionally, when a cat goes outside without supervision, it risks getting into trouble like eating garbage, poisonous plants, and other nasty things that may harm the cat.

Adverse effects on native wildlife!

Cats can easily decimate a songbird/native bird population, as well as small rodents that are important to the ecosystem. It's easy to think your cat doesn't have much of an effect when Fluffy brings home only maybe 1 kill a week. However, there is something like 35 million+ outdoor cats. That's a lot of dead birds, amphibians, reptiles, and rodents. And locally of course, if you or any neighbors enjoy listening to songbirds or watching birds, cats can drive birds away from the area. Additionally, when cats catch wild animals, they often bring home wonderful parasites: roundworms, fleas, ticks, mites, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, giardia, coccidia, etc.

Other people!

Despite what some people like to think, we do not each live within a bubble. As people, we know where our yard ends, and someone else's starts, but cats can't make that distinction. When your cat goes to someone else's yard, you don't know if that person has children that are extremely allergic to cats, you don't know if your cat is making GBS threads in their toddler's sandbox. Outdoor cats often poo poo in other people's garden which is unsanitary and dangerous, and some people will be driven to try such tactics as hurting or shooting your cat. When you let your cat out unsupervised, you don't know what he or she is doing, and you don't know who they are interacting with. A dog owner is considered irresponsible when they let their dog out by themselves, a cat owner should be held to the same responsibilities. Just because cats are smaller does not mean that it can't cause plenty of trouble for other people. Many of those parasites listed earlier can also find their way into gardens and people's foods/children playing in the yard.

"But what about their quality of life??"

First of all, cats are often perfectly fine being indoors all the time. Yes, it means that you have spend a little more time amusing them, or making toys and attention available. But if you don't want to spend time playing with your cat, why bother having a cat? Good toys include laser pointers, cat trees so they have lots of vertical room, things on strings, etc, that can allow them to have a fun time. Also, it's not as if you can't let your cat out at all. Take him/her out supervised! Options include a completely enclosed pen (good option if you have a yard), walking jackets (metpet walking jacket for cats), harnesses. Never clip a leash to your cat’s collar though, it can be harmful and/or they can slip out.
Regardless of if you choose to let your cat out unsupervised at an older age, kittens should never be allowed out by themselves until over a year of age.

LoreOfSerpents posted:

If possible, I would like you to add something to your cat FAQ post in PI, related to keeping cats indoors because of predators.

You listed several specific predators. Could you add eagles to the list? Most people don't think about them, but here in Wisconsin, we have a significant population of bald eagles, and they will take cats or small dogs that have been left outside unattended. Some people let their animals out into a fenced yard thinking they're safe there, and it would be nice if they thought about airborne predators as well as terrestrial ones.

Also, thanks for the FAQ!

Crooked Booty posted:

Collars, Tags, Microchips, Etc.:

Cats that go outside should always wear collars, but they're a good idea for indoor cats, too. Indoors or out, cats should only wear "safety collars", which will come off if the cat gets hung up on something.

There are a few different kinds of safety collars, but the most common kind has a special buckle designed to unsnap if it gets yanked on. Because the buckle is typically cheap, variable plastic, try tugging on a few of them before you buy one. Some will unsnap more easily than others. Think about how big/strong your cat is when you unsnap it. It should unsnap easily enough that your cat could yank it off with his own strength if stuck to something -- not just if your cat falls out of a tree with lots of momentum. On these collars the plastic will wear out over time and the collar will start unsnapping more easily, so watch out for that.

Another option is a stretchy, elastic collar that is meant to come off over your cat's head if necessary. Some of these collars are elastic throughout, and others just have a small section that is stretchy. These work great for some people, but the biggest drawback is that the collar can come out from under the cat's chin and get stuck in their mouth (like a bit on a horse bridle). The elastic holds it there and the cat can't do anything to get it off. Some cats never have this problem, but my cats play-fight a lot and always manage to do this to each other with elastic collars. Cats typically freak out when this happens and if you're not there to fix it, they may end up with a bloody mouth, or may even pull their own claws out trying to get the collar off. (If you use a non-stretchy collar and your cat is getting it stuck in its mouth like this, the collar is probably too loose.)

As for tags, if your cat is indoor-only, say so on the tag. Most people who see a cat outside with a collar and tags will assume that the cat is allowed to be outside and not lost ("Indoor cat - I am lost!"). I also like to put "Needs daily medication" on my cats' tags (even when it's not true) to discourage anyone from taking my exceptionally awesome cats home and keeping them. If you still have space on your tags after all that, it never hurts to put "Reward" on there somewhere.

Make sure you put a good phone number on the tags and keep it up to date. It's so frustrating to find someone's pet and call a disconnected number.

Also, microchip your cat. It doesn't hurt any more than a shot, and most shelters will do it for $30 or less. Safety collars are designed to come off, so microchips are a great backup.

A popular variety of tags around here are Boomerang tags, because they sit flush to the collar. Not dangling down means the tag not falling into food or water, and also not getting easily caught.

Susan B. Antimony posted:

I'm going to start a litter box problems section here, but I can't hope to be comprehensive, so any and all of y'all please feel free to add.

OMG HE IS PEEING EVERYWHERE
Yeah, I know, the great thing about cats is that they piss and crap in a box without any training. Fantastico! But now Mr. Whiskers is peeing on the living room carpet.

1. Why is he doing this to me?
Is the new spot near an outside wall? If so, Mr. Hyde the feral cat may be pissing on the outside of your house, presenting a challenge to Mr. Whiskers. Was Mr. Whiskers sick? If he once had an accident, as long as the site smells like pee [and it smells like pee to him even after you've cleaned it with Carpetol], he'll consider the site fair game. Is Mr. Whiskers acting funny at all? He may be ill even now--cats work hard to conceal illness, so litter box problems are a good reason to take your cat to the vet.

2. What can I do to stop this?
First off, you've got to make sure that you're using an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle or Anti-Icky-Poo; if you aren't, no matter how carefully you clean up, IT STILL SMELLS LIKE PISS TO MR. WHISKERS. A soaked carpet may even need to be replaced. Cat pee is some kind of awful miracle liquid. If you suspect that cats marking the outside of your house are setting him off, you'll want to use an enzymatic cleaner out there, too, and possible moth balls to keep them from coming near your house again. [Yes, you will look crazy.]

Some people suggest putting a litter box in the new spot, and then slooowly moving it toward a more acceptable location; if you want to try this, go ahead, although others of you won't be able to bring yourselves to set a litter box in the middle of the dining room. Prudes.
Take your cat to the vet! Whether it's stress, illness, or just your cat being an rear end in a top hat, it's worth getting Mr. Whiskers checked out by a professional. Even if Mr. Whiskers turns out not to be sick, your vet has certainly encountered this problem before and may have suggestions for you.

Try some new product. Feliway is a weird hormonal room freshener that helps de-stress Mr. Whiskers--it is weird and expensive, but it gets great results. DO NOT SPRAY THE LITTER BOX WITH FELIWAY. FOLLOW THEIR DIRECTIONS. Also, Cat Attract litter comes with a money-back guarantee; for whatever reason, cats love to piss in it. Add a second litter box in a new location! If there is a boycott going on, perhaps all Mr. Whiskers needs is a different sheltered place to poo poo. Does the old box have a cover? If so, try a new one without; if it is uncovered, maybe he'd like a covered box.

And finally, TAKE YOUR CAT TO THE VET. Yes, it's worth saying twice; cats get put down over this poo poo, it's worth taking seriously. You can solve this vile problem, but you need to man up and take. your. cat. to. the. vet.

CrispyMini posted:

Also try adding litter boxes with a litter alternative- we had a litter-protest going on that very nearly ended with getting rid of the cat, when we tried out a different litter instead. Oh joy, that immediately solved the problem!! New cat-owners should know that there are TONS of options for cat litters- clumping, non-clumping, clay, biodegradable, flushable, crystals, etc. Expensive doesn't always equal better, but you do need to have some kind of system that works well for cleaning and that you and your cat can agree on.

Above all, if YOU can smell the cat poo poo, you'd better believe that your cat smells it x100 and SCOOP YOUR DAMNED BOX. I think a lot of cat owners think you just need to scoop it once a week or something. Frequent scooping = happy cat, and happy humans too- a scooped box scoops up easier, the litter lasts longer, and your house/apartment smells a LOT less like you are a crazy cat lady. (We have 1 box for 2 cats in a very small apartment, so we generally scoop twice a day.) Covered boxes that just trap the stench inside are NOT good solutions- how much do YOU like to use outhouses/porta-potties??

As Susan B. Antimony mentioned above, Cat Attract litter is amazing stuff. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a case of this litter not attracting the cat to use the box. I’m sure there’s an example out there, but they’re so few and far between that they almost don’t exist.

Aerofallosov posted:

Cleaning up!

Accidents and hairballs will happen. Sometimes kitty gets an upset tummy. A good idea is to gently get up what you can with a paper towel or dedicated rag without pushing down too hard.
Some good products to use will destroy the pheromones in wherever kitty went, so he won't get the idea that's a good place to go poo or pee (Or get sick again) are:
Nature's Miracle. It can be found at Petsmart and other pet suppliers. I've used it for my kittens and it helps, even getting up blood. It's not terribly expensive either. I use the advanced formula.

Simple Solution Oxy Solution isn't too bad, just be sure to test it on your carpet first. Or heck, always test cleaners to make sure they don't fade your carpet.

I've not had any experience with Petzyme, but it seems to get good reviews.

flyboi posted:

Can you put this stuff somewhere in the op? I see tons of posts recently about cats peeing where they shouldn't.


First off rule out any sort of medical problem. A cat pissing out of their box out of the blue and has never had a litter box issue previous is a sign of a problem. You need to take the cat to the vet and make sure it doesn't have a UTI or crystals among other things. Cats are not the brightest creatures so if they're in pain most of the time they think "Oh hey when I'm in this box it really hurts to pee. I'll go pee elsewhere."


Ruled out any sort of medical issue? Great! Now we're down to what are called behavioral urine issues. That means there is no underlying medical condition and the cat is doing it because that's how it thinks it should be doing things. To fix the problem you gotta train the cat to improve the cats behavior.

I am a loving pro at this poo poo, I've spent well over $3000 trying to fix this with my cat. After 4 or 5 years of cleaning up after her we finally figured a way to get her to use the box regularly:

1: Cat attract cat litter. This stuff is like crack that a cat must poo poo on. If you cannot afford the litter they sell an additive you can use with your regular litter as well. Please be aware that the problem could be the litter you're using so it's best to experiment with different kinds to see if you get better results. If you use clay try silica or paper or whatever tickles your fancy.

2: If you have 1 cat make sure you have 2 litter boxes. General rule is to have # of cats + 1 litter boxes in your house.

3: This stuff: plus a poo poo TON of paper towels.

4: Only put enough cat attract in a box so that it covers the bottom. Don't put any more than that, it should be a very thin coating of it. Every time your cat uses the box dump the entire litter out and then clean with the stuff from step 3. You will have to do this multiple times a day at first but eventually they aren't as persnickity about it.

5: Treats. I give my cat a greenie every time she uses the box right after she does and don't give her greenies for anything else. She's figured out that if she does it right she gets a delicious treat! And she's a whore about it too... she'll demand one when I wake up, clean the box, pee in it and get one, clean the box and THEN go poop. Yeah 3 treats in less than 10 minutes. loving whore.

6: Put your cat on a feeding schedule and you should be able to figure out when it has to go to the box. Mine usually goes once at around 8am for pee/poop, once in the afternoon, once before bed and once in the middle of the night. Usually you can tell when your cat is about to go be a bad cat. Mine would start to walk off in an area and if you checked out what she was up to she would dart away and be all OH gently caress I'M FOUND. When she started doing this I'd put her in her box and watch her until she went to the bathroom. When she did this she got a treat. It took a few weeks of forcing her into her box for her to get the picture but yeah.

Cats learn by positive reinforcement and a lot are extremely demanding about the cleanliness of their boxes. These steps should help fix the issue... my cat hasn't had an accident since December!

But flyboi what do I do about all these spots my cat was pissing/making GBS threads on previous?

Quit being such a slob and clean them up. Get an enzymatic cleaner such as Nature's Miracle urine stain & odor removal and get to work. You must use an enzymatic cleaner with a cat because regular cleaners will leave traces behind and cats will think "Oh gosh this smells like a fabulous place to piss!"

If you let it go on for too long chances are your carpet is stained all the way through and you can't do poo poo about it. You have two choices:

1: Put a box right on top of the spot. That's right bitch. You want to piss there? Well you're pissing in this box.

2: Get new carpet.

But flyboi my cat is a horrible male cat spraying on things oh god what do I do?!

First off is the horrible cat neutered? If not you're retarded. Do that. I don't care about your reasoning about leaving an animal in tact if you're too dense to do this you deserve the annoyance.

Second, if the cat sprays the same spot you can do a number of things to deter it. My personal favorite is SSSCAT which is a hilarious product that sends out a shot of compressed air when the cat is close by. You can also wrap the area in tinfoil or double sided tape as cats hate the texture of these things. Another cheap method is to cut up an office mat used for desk chairs and set it upside-down so the spikes are exposed.

Your cats’ health

Crooked Booty posted:

Two health problems all cat owners need to know about :

Urinary Blockage

This is an EMERGENCY. If your cat is making frequent trips to the litter box, straining in the box without producing anything, or is only able to produce very small amounts of urine, your cat may be blocked. This problem is more common in male cats than females, and your cat may exhibit other symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, or generally not acting normal. Blockages can be caused by UTIs, crystals, mucus, or something else, but in all cases your cat needs to see a veterinarian immediately. If your cat cannot produce urine and is not treated, his kidneys will become overwhelmed with toxins and his bladder will rupture. If you absolutely cannot afford veterinary treatment for a blockage, please have your cat put to sleep to prevent a horribly painful death.

Hepatic Lipidosis (aka Fatty Liver Disease)

If your cat does not eat for 3-5 days for any reason, your cat's liver will get really hosed up, and the consequences will cost you a whole lot of money if your cat even survives. If your cat has not eaten in 48 hours, he needs to be seen by a veterinarian NOW.

Unlike people and dogs who can go a very long time without food if necessary, cats absolutely cannot. If a cat does not eat for 3-5 days, his body begins mobilizing fat to use it for energy. Unfortunately cats' livers are very poorly equipped for this process, and the liver will actually get clogged up with fat. This causes the liver to begin failing. Feeding tubes, IV fluids, hospitalization, drugs, and lots of other expensive stuff are typically required to reverse the effects hepatic lipidosis. Don't let this happen.

Not eating is frequently the first sign our cats give us that something isn't right. Even if a cat is perfectly healthy, his liver will be in trouble after he is deprived of food for 3-5 days. If your cat is not eating, do not wait until his liver is failing to take him to a veterinarian. Take him now.


Khelmar posted:

Part taken from my post in the dog FAQ thread. Suggestions welcomed.

Vaccines

In cats, we vaccinate for a variety of diseases. The purpose is the same as in human medicine - to prevent diseases, many of which cause nasty diseases.

Some terms used in talking about vaccines -

Modified live - this means that a virus (or, very rarely, bacterium) has been used to infect cell cultures (or, in the old days, a different species of animals) many, many times, until it no longer causes disease in the original host species. This means that, because it is alive, it produces a much better immune response than a killed vaccine, but there is a slight (VERY slight) risk of reverting to a pathogenic (harmful) state. Rabies vaccines are NEVER modified live for this reason.

Antigen - an antigen is anything the immune system responds to. Our goal with vaccination is to administer antigens similar to infectious organisms, which make the immune system respond and REMEMBER. Then, when the organism is encountered later, the immune system responds quickly and kills the invader before disease happens.

Killed - as it sounds, the organism is killed, and the dead organisms administered.
Subunit - With the advent of gene jockeys, we now can make individual portions of an organism, and administer these. They don't generally produce as robust an immune response, since there's not the interaction between different portions of the organism, but these are extremely safe.
Maternal immunity - many animals (except primates for the most part) get antibodies from their mother's milk in the first 24 hours. This milk is called colostrum, and it only helps in the first day, before the stomach stops being able to absorb antibodies. These antibodies last anywhere from 6-12 weeks, and protect the newborn while their immune system gears up to producing its own set of antibodies.

Maternal antibodies interfere with vaccination, since they will bind to the administered antigens and get rid of them before the immune system can recognize them. This is one reason why we administer multiple vaccines to young animals - we don't know when the maternal antibodies will wear off.

The "distemper" vaccine for cats actually vaccinates for a number of organisms, and may be abbreviated FVRCPC (or a lot of other similar variations).

FVR - Feline viral rhinotracheitis is caused by feline herpesvirus 1, and is a very common disease. The vaccine may not prevent disease, but should mitigate its severity and decrease shedding of virus. FVR causes corneal ulcers, oral ulcers, and conjunctivitis (eyelid inflammation), as well as occasional pneumonia.

C - chlamydia is an upper respiratory pathogen of cats that may be passed to humans (psittacosis). However, bird to human transmission is more common.

P - Panleukemia is caused by feline parvovirus, and is also known as feline distemper. Like canine parvovirus, this tends to cause vomiting followed by diarrhea (which quickly becomes bloody) and bone marrow suppression. This disease is very nasty, expensive to treat, and is almost entirely preventable via vaccination

C - calicivirus is another common upper respiratory pathongen of cats.
Other vaccines

Rabies - rabies is given separately. Rabies is a lethal virus that travels via the nerves to the brain and salivary glands. Rabies vaccination is usually a legal requirement (depending on where you live), and is given at 16 weeks. The first vaccine lasts for a year, and the subsequent ones are good for either one or three years, depending on the vaccine and where you live. Implicated in feline vaccine-induced sarcomas (see below).

FeLV - Feline leukemia virus (feline retrovirus). This used to be an extremely common cause of death in 2-5 year old cats. It's now less common, thanks to vaccination. However, this is one of the other vaccines implicated in feline vaccine-induced sarcomas, and should be administered (or not) based on risk of exposure. If your cat is indoors-only, the risk of FeLV is VERY low, since it's transmitted via bite or scratch of an infected cat. (Another good reason to keep cats indoors!)

FIP - Feline infectious peritonitis is caused by a mutated form of feline enteric coronavirus (FeCV). This vaccine is of questionable effectiveness (see this article), so if you're thinking about it, be sure to talk to your vet about the risks and benefits.

Vaccine side-effects - Vaccines, when they work, are supposed to make the immune system work. Therefore, slight lethargy and a fever for 1-2 days post-vaccination are not side-effects; they're intended! However, vomiting, not eating, not getting up at all, etc. are concerning and should be examined by a veterinarian.

Vaccine-induced sarcomas - A syndrome has been noted in the last 10 years or so, where very aggressive, invasive cancers (sarcomas) have been found in the sites of previous vaccination (usually months to years afterwards). Most manufacturers have changed their formulation to try and avoid this, but it still is a risk. Most vets now vaccinate in specific places to make surgical removal of these masses easier (via limb amputation) if they crop up. This is another reason NOT to administer vaccines yourself. If you feel a mass over the site of a vaccine, have it examined by your vet.


Titers - Titers are very controversial right now. Vaccines can have side effects, and we all want to decrease the number of vaccines we give. However, no one has done a study to prove what titer level is protective for a given disease, which makes basing clinical decisions on titer levels very difficult.

Nosodes / homeopathy / etc. - I can't find any evidence that these are effective; in fact, the only paper that mentions them specifically warns not to rely on them.

So why do we vaccinate so much, especially for diseases that are now uncommon?

Vaccination has two goals. The first, which everyone knows about, is to prevent disease in the animal we're vaccinating. The second, which people don't think about as much, is to prevent disease in the whole population of animals. By providing a "buffer" of vaccinated animals, it prevents large outbreaks from occurring. If we stopped vaccinating for rabies or FeLV (in cats at risk), we'd see a massive outbreak the first time any dog became infected. Similarly, rabies vaccination provides a "screen" to prevent people from becoming infected, since before rabies vaccination was common (pre-1950's or so), pets were the most common way for humans to become infected.


I swear I read the entire zillion-word FAQ, and I can’t find the answer to my question!

Though rare, this might happen from time to time. Meow Cadet sums up what to include in your post when you have a question for us.

Meow Cadet posted:

It can be annoying to ask for basic info over and over someone has a problem. You might think about stressing what standard to provide. Maybe something like:

Please provide the following basic information about your pet to help us help you.

- Age
- Sex
- How long have you had your cat?
- Is your cat spayed or neutered?
- What food do you use?
- When was your last vet visit?
- Is your cat indoors, outdoors, both?
- How many pets in your household?
- How many litter boxes do you have?

There's probably more things to ask, and some of this might be overkill, but I think some sort of structure would help speed things up.

If you're reading this sentence, you made it! You've now finished unearthing a veritable treasure trove of information about cat care. Thanks for taking the time to read this FAQ. Don't you feel smarter already??

Oh, nearly forgot. One last piece of wisdom:

aunt moneybags posted:

We need to add "Cats are weird. Get over it" to the FAQ.

Fire In The Disco fucked around with this message at May 10, 2011 around 04:19

JayJay
Jun 16, 2005

TEHHHHHH Jetplane!



Great job with the thread, just in time for my new kittens arriving monday! I'm thinking about getting one of the Armarkat trees, but I can't choose! Which do you all think would be best for two cats? I was looking at http://www.armarkat.com/classic-cat...02/prod_29.html but it may be overkill.

Also, are the premium versions actually worth it? They claim better materials and sturdier trees.

edit: I also found armarkat cheaper at a few places such as allpetfurniture.com 149.99 for the one I linked vs. 169.99, any downside to buying from a third party?

JayJay fucked around with this message at Jul 12, 2009 around 13:03

Crooked Booty
Apr 2, 2009
arrr

JayJay posted:

Great job with the thread, just in time for my new kittens arriving monday! I'm thinking about getting one of the Armarkat trees, but I can't choose! Which do you all think would be best for two cats? I was looking at http://www.armarkat.com/classic-cat...02/prod_29.html but it may be overkill.

Also, are the premium versions actually worth it? They claim better materials and sturdier trees.

edit: I also found armarkat cheaper at a few places such as allpetfurniture.com 149.99 for the one I linked vs. 169.99, any downside to buying from a third party?
That's the exact tree I have, and I know someone else in PI has the same one, too. It rocks in every way. One difference between the "Classic" trees and the "Premium" trees is whether they use faux fur or fleece, and while fleece is considered to be more "premium", I've heard several people say it's harder to clean. The faux fur really isn't as hideous as it sounds, and you can easily get all the cat fur off of it with a vacuum.

As for third parties, check ebay. You'll find them on ebay for <$20 bid, where the bulk of the cost will be shipping (or so they say). Either way, I got that tree brand new for less than $100 on ebay including shipping, and several other PI people have done the same thing. You can usually save quite a bit of money.

Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

JayJay posted:

Great job with the thread, just in time for my new kittens arriving monday! I'm thinking about getting one of the Armarkat trees, but I can't choose! Which do you all think would be best for two cats? I was looking at http://www.armarkat.com/classic-cat...02/prod_29.html but it may be overkill.

Also, are the premium versions actually worth it? They claim better materials and sturdier trees.

edit: I also found armarkat cheaper at a few places such as allpetfurniture.com 149.99 for the one I linked vs. 169.99, any downside to buying from a third party?

Thanks.

I have that tree too, and my cats adore it. And the faux fur is easy to clean, like Crooked Booty said.

Definitely check out their eBay store, but here's another vote for that particular tree.

HondaCivet
Oct 16, 2005

And then it falls
And then I fall
And then I know


How is feeding kittens different from feeding adults in terms of amounts, timing, etc.? Do they need a different type of food than adults?

Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

Most premium and ultra premium foods are good for both kittens and cats. Typically they'll say it on the bag/can. As far as dry food goes, I've always been a proponent of free feeding kittens until around a year old, because they need way more food in a day than adult cats do, and then gradually weaning them over to twice daily feedings. For wet food, the can will say how much to give the kitten, typically based on weight.

tse1618
May 27, 2008

Cuddle time!

Fire In The Disco posted:

Food
A popular variety of tags around here are Boomerang tags, because they sit flush to the collar. Not dangling down means the tag not falling into food or water, and also not getting easily caught.

Those are fine, but these ones from LuckyPet are much cuter.

Susan B. Antimony
Aug 25, 2008



I mentioned the Cat Attract litter! =p Great Job, Fire. Super awesome OP. Oh, and on the Armarkat thing--I got the premium fleece, and my cat wants to eat it. -.- YMMV.

Trillian
Sep 14, 2003



All of the foods that BOrangeFury listed as poisonous to dogs are indeed poisonous to cats. Another good one to specifically mention might be houseplants. Tons of common houseplants are poisonous, and some cats love to eat plants.

A neighbor of mine just had a near-death kitten experience after their kitten managed to get a piece of a hanging azalea on their porch.

Here is the ASPCA database of plants.

HondaCivet
Oct 16, 2005

And then it falls
And then I fall
And then I know


tse1618 posted:

Those are fine, but these ones from LuckyPet are much cuter.

Oh those are so cute. Do they stay on very well though? It doesn't really show what kind of fastener they have.

tse1618
May 27, 2008

Cuddle time!

Yes, my cat has one and I'd take a picture of it, but personal details and all. The fasteners are like rubber bands that are melded onto the back of it, so you just stretch them out and slide the collar through them. They're pretty thick and strong, so you don't have to worry about them snapping. It doesn't move around on the collar at all or make any noise.

bamzilla
Jan 13, 2005

All butt since 2012.


human nail clippers imo are not ok to clip cat's nails as they'll splinter them.

Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

Susan B. Antimony posted:

I mentioned the Cat Attract litter! =p Great Job, Fire. Super awesome OP. Oh, and on the Armarkat thing--I got the premium fleece, and my cat wants to eat it. -.- YMMV.

bamzilla posted:

human nail clippers imo are not ok to clip cat's nails as they'll splinter them.

Fixed and fixed.

giZm
Jul 7, 2003

Only the insane equates pain with success



A note about laser pointers: use the weakest red one you can find, and don't use them on reflective surfaces like tiles. If possible only use them on carpet.

While pretty much every cat goes nut for the red dot at the end of the session they lack a sense of achievement. So what I do at the end of playing time is throw a small red ball for my kittens to catch.

Beldaran
Feb 21, 2007
Beautiful things can’t help but be stolen, and it’s the nature of ugliness to assume its place.

We found a kitten by the trash about a little less than a year ago. Ever since we got him we can't get him to stop sucking on and licking people. I know this is because he was abandoned by his mother (he was three weeks old when we found him) but its really weird to have your cat lick and suck on your guests. Also, he will only do this to human skin, not clothes or blankets, so we can't exactly spray ourselves down with bitter apple.

He is a male neutered indoor cat, and will be a year old in October we think. We only have the one cat because we are living in a foreign country at the moment and don't think a second cat would be a good idea until we go back to America.

Advice?

Beldaran fucked around with this message at Jul 17, 2009 around 03:28

jacido
Oct 10, 2008

Too much Breaking Bad, not enough Working Out.

Beldaran posted:

We found a kitten by the trash about a little less than a year ago. Ever since we got him we can't get him to stop sucking on and licking people. I know this is because he was abandoned by his mother (he was three weeks old when we found him) but its really weird to have your cat lick and suck on your guests. Also, he will only do this to human skin, not clothes or blankets, so we can't exactly spray ourselves down with bitter apple.

He is a male neutered indoor cat, and will be a year old in October we think. We only have the one cat because we are living in a foreign country at the moment and don't think a second cat would be a good idea until we go back to America.

Advice?


Hwaa! My cat does this too. Except he's 11 weeks old and not abandoned by his mother. I am curious to see if anyone has a super awesome answer to your question as I'd like to know what the gently caress that is about as well.

Number 169
Feb 25, 2007

Let's see if I can guess your function.


Read the whole FAQ, certainly some interesting things that I didn't know about. Thanks! Definitely got to find someone that sells something like SSScat in this country.

Fire In The Disco
Oct 4, 2007
I cannot change the gender of my unborn child and shouldn't waste my time or energy pretending he won't exist

Beldaran posted:

We found a kitten by the trash about a little less than a year ago. Ever since we got him we can't get him to stop sucking on and licking people. I know this is because he was abandoned by his mother (he was three weeks old when we found him) but its really weird to have your cat lick and suck on your guests. Also, he will only do this to human skin, not clothes or blankets, so we can't exactly spray ourselves down with bitter apple.

He is a male neutered indoor cat, and will be a year old in October we think. We only have the one cat because we are living in a foreign country at the moment and don't think a second cat would be a good idea until we go back to America.

Advice?

jacido posted:

Hwaa! My cat does this too. Except he's 11 weeks old and not abandoned by his mother. I am curious to see if anyone has a super awesome answer to your question as I'd like to know what the gently caress that is about as well.

Unfortunately, I have never heard of a way around the suckling, unless you can redirect them to an inanimate object of some sort. Your cats might outgrow it; my kitten Luna did a lot of suckling when we got her at 5 weeks old, but doesn't do it anymore. I also have an adult cat who licks everyone, no matter what we have tried to stop him. So, you guys might be stuck with the habit. Sorry! vv

Helanna
Feb 1, 2007



Fire In The Disco posted:

Your cats might outgrow it

One of my cats suckled everything - including people and other cats - as a kitten and gradually reduced this as he got older. Now he's around 3-4 years old and suckling is reserved only for my soft dressing gown and two particularly soft throws on my bed and sofa. I don't think he'll ever completely stop And he wasn't abandoned by his mother or anything, he was certainly over 12 weeks when we got him.

Puppy Galaxy
Aug 1, 2004

...an entire galaxy? Of puppies?

My cat licks people all the time and they generally find it endearing.

Nicol Bolas
Feb 13, 2009


Puppy Galaxy posted:

My cat licks people all the time and they generally find it endearing.

My cat licks everything that smells like human. She particularly loves our legs right after my boyfriend or I get out of the shower. She's a weirdo. She also is polydactyl.

And a question, because I feel that my cat is bored during the day (I was in college and could give her a lot more attention, but now I'm working full-time and I feel like she's really, really lonely). We're moving into a bigger place in September and I am trying to convince the boyfriend to get another cat.

- Age: Not sure, we found her in the street. Probably around 3 or 4.
- Sex: F
- How long have you had your cat? Almost a year
- Is your cat spayed or neutered? Of course
- What food do you use? Wellness Salmon
- When was your last vet visit? Almost a year ago, time for a checkup once we move.
- Is your cat indoors, outdoors, both? Indoors.
- How many pets in your household? Just her.
- How many litter boxes do you have? One.

The only caveat is that any new cat would have to be a tortie, since my boyfriend is allergic to normal cats but has no issues with torties. So:

1. Is it a good idea to get a companion? (Petfinder seems to have plenty torties around, since it's kitten season.)
2. How old / what gender? I'm not TOTALLY against dealing with a kitten, but if they're agreeable enough I'd want an older cat.
3. How should I introduce them? (As much as I would like to bring her in and have her meet any new cat in the shelter, I feel like she would be way too freaked out about being in a carrier to actually like anyone.)

nonanone
Oct 25, 2007




Well, first off, Tortie is a color pattern, not a breed/hairtype, so your boyfriend probably has just acclimated to your current cat. Having said that, you may want to just want to visit the shelter and see which current cat sets off his allergies the least.

I've had no problems integrating both girls and boys (speuters though), and I find that the most differences come in the individual cat personalities, and gender is a lesser determinant. Age, also, I think it depends on the cat. Some older cats act like kittens, some kittens are quieter and better mannered. A companion for your cat sounds like a great idea though.

Eggplant Wizard
Jul 8, 2005


i loev catte


Seconding what nonanone said about torties not being a breed. That can't possibly make a difference in allergies.

Nicol Bolas posted:

1. Is it a good idea to get a companion? (Petfinder seems to have plenty torties around, since it's kitten season.)
2. How old / what gender? I'm not TOTALLY against dealing with a kitten, but if they're agreeable enough I'd want an older cat.
3. How should I introduce them? (As much as I would like to bring her in and have her meet any new cat in the shelter, I feel like she would be way too freaked out about being in a carrier to actually like anyone.)

1. Always unless you know she has a history of not getting along with other cats.

2. It might be easier to introduce a younger cat to her so she does not feel threatened. I say this based on my personal experiences, which have always been that queens are pains in the butt about other cats. This is only based on four though. Your tortie might be nice.

3. We definitely need an introduction post. I will do my best, but I have less experience than most so I'll be mostly parroting stuff I've learned from PI. Please add/edit as necessary.

Introducing a new cat to your other cats

When you bring a new cat into your household, both it and your other cats will probably be upset. You would be too if someone thrust a roommate on you. You can minimize the stress by making the introduction gradually.

Stage 0: Acceptance of terms
There will be lots of hissing. This does not mean you are doomed.

Stage 1: Seclusion
Keep the new cat separate from the other cat(s). Make sure it has all the necessities- food, water, litter, attention. Choose somewhere you can hang out with new cat and get to know it, but not your other cat's favorite hangout, either. The cats will all know the others are there, but this stage allows them to get comfortable with there being other scents around. Try switching out each cat's bedding so they can sniff at it. You might also try giving them their meals on either side of a closed door, so they associate food with the new cat's smell. You can switch the cats out to explore each other's areas and get used to scents & places that way, too.

This stage can last a couple of hours to a week or so. You will have to use your judgment on when to advance. If both cats seem comfortable and curious, rather than totally anxious, continue on.

Stage 2: Supervised introductions
Pretty much what it says. Let the cats meet. There will almost certainly be hissing and maybe even some swatting. It's okay to laugh when their tails puff up. You can let these introductions last as long as you like, depending on how the cats interact. The rule of thumb is not to separate them unless (a) you can't be present to supervise anymore or (b) violence erupts.

Violence is not swatting and hissing and puffing up, or even growling and yowling, necessarily. If blood is drawn or the yowls seem to indicate pain rather than aggression, then it's absolutely time to separate them and return to stage 1 for a while.

This stage might last as little as one or two meetings, or it could go on for weeks. If it drags beyond a week please ask and see if we can make some suggestions to make things go more smoothly.

Stage 3: Kitten piles
As the introductions go better and last longer without incident, you will feel comfortable leaving the cats alone, and from there they'll probably soon reach a level of toleration, if not immediate kitten piles. Kitten piles may never happen, honestly, and that's not your fault. If they do, great!

Pragmatica
Jul 7, 2008

If I want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet... I'll put shoes on my cats.

Just a note to add to the supervised introduction: Bring some toys as a distraction! I always use a laser pointer during introductions because they are so focused on playing, that they kinda forget the other cat is there or even start playing together. It has always helped in my experience.

Nione
Jun 3, 2006

Welcome to Trophy Island
Rub my tummy


Pragmatica posted:

Just a note to add to the supervised introduction: Bring some toys as a distraction! I always use a laser pointer during introductions because they are so focused on playing, that they kinda forget the other cat is there or even start playing together. It has always helped in my experience.

I usually use treats as well. I'll sit on the floor and put a treat on each side of me and then continue giving treats, moving them closer and closer, until they're sitting next to each other waiting for more treats. This usually either ends up in them being completely unconcerned or one of them suddenly realizing I've tricked them into sitting next to that other cat! and hissing and running off. Over time I've found it to be effective however. I was doing this the other night with Iggy and Ramona and she started cleaning his face for him, whereas the day before she'd been hissing at him if he got within a foot of her and she wasn't on higher ground.

Yawgmoft
Nov 15, 2004

Hello darkness my old friend


I had an absolute breeze of a time bringing in a new kitten a few weeks ago. She actually ran up to one of my other cats and just started licking him. He, and the others, didn't know how in the world to react to it, and they pretty much instantly accepted her as a new annoyance.

It was a little mix of cute and odd.

Yuriki
Mar 27, 2004

Who the hell do you think I am?

Ok I have a question I haven't been able to get answered with google and then a question that I'd like to know about.

It's a 3-4 month old kitten that's currently on Innova. It's an indoor cat, but lives with a cat who likes to stay outside half an hour a day and sit under the porch and a dog who goes outside to poop.

Anyway.

1. The vet says for the entire life of the kitty I have to buy Multi Advantage. When we got him he had a ton of problems, fleas, mites, and worms and still has mites (we're putting 4 drops of tresaderm in his ears twice a day). It looks to be for fleas, worms, ticks, and mites but he's a mostly indoor cat. They said that I have to get it for every single month for the rest of its life.

I don't mind blowing $18 more a month on the kitty to keep it healthy, but if it's not needed then I don't want to bother. It doesn't hang outside but one cat does love to go outside and sit under the porch for a bit and paw at the doors to get back in after he's amused himself enough.

Oh and the kitty had mites cause we rescued him from a house where there were a lot of kittens in dire need of care.

2. The vet said soft paws don't work and come off easily and that declawing is the only option. She said that declawing comes standard when they neuter them and they prefer not to neuter without doing a declawing too and they rarely don't declaw cats. She also said trimming the nails won't work because they'll be sharp within a day, so you'd have to trim them everyday.

I can kind of tell that she's pushing the procedure for the money which I don't want to do or she's just stupid. The big thing is, I can get like 4-5 years worth of Soft Paws for a declaw and if they really do stick I'd prefer to do that. Can cats really sharpen their nails within a day?

So in summary, do I need to buy multiadvantage every month of the cats life and do soft paws work and can cats really sharpen their claws in a even after you trim them?

Hady
Jun 28, 2008


Xerin posted:

So in summary, do I need to buy multiadvantage every month of the cats life and do soft paws work and can cats really sharpen their claws in a even after you trim them?

Even if your cat doesn't go outside you and your other pets can bring fleas and other parasites inside. that's why the vet is pushing that.

As for the declaw thing, I'd seriously change vets if mine said that it "comes standard with neutering." If your cat is still young you can easily train it to let you trim their claws. I trim my tabby's claws about every week just to keep them blunt.

HondaCivet
Oct 16, 2005

And then it falls
And then I fall
And then I know


Xerin posted:

Ok I have a question I haven't been able to get answered with google and then a question that I'd like to know about.

It's a 3-4 month old kitten that's currently on Innova. It's an indoor cat, but lives with a cat who likes to stay outside half an hour a day and sit under the porch and a dog who goes outside to poop.

Anyway.

1. The vet says for the entire life of the kitty I have to buy Multi Advantage. When we got him he had a ton of problems, fleas, mites, and worms and still has mites (we're putting 4 drops of tresaderm in his ears twice a day). It looks to be for fleas, worms, ticks, and mites but he's a mostly indoor cat. They said that I have to get it for every single month for the rest of its life.

I don't mind blowing $18 more a month on the kitty to keep it healthy, but if it's not needed then I don't want to bother. It doesn't hang outside but one cat does love to go outside and sit under the porch for a bit and paw at the doors to get back in after he's amused himself enough.

Oh and the kitty had mites cause we rescued him from a house where there were a lot of kittens in dire need of care.

2. The vet said soft paws don't work and come off easily and that declawing is the only option. She said that declawing comes standard when they neuter them and they prefer not to neuter without doing a declawing too and they rarely don't declaw cats. She also said trimming the nails won't work because they'll be sharp within a day, so you'd have to trim them everyday.

I can kind of tell that she's pushing the procedure for the money which I don't want to do or she's just stupid. The big thing is, I can get like 4-5 years worth of Soft Paws for a declaw and if they really do stick I'd prefer to do that. Can cats really sharpen their nails within a day?

So in summary, do I need to buy multiadvantage every month of the cats life and do soft paws work and can cats really sharpen their claws in a even after you trim them?

Declawing as a standard? What the fuuuuuuuuck? For the MONEY??? PLEASE get a second opinion.

Edit: Sorry, was too miffed to write anything useful.

My mom's cat is psychotic so she gets her claws trimmed at the vet. I think she has to do it every few weeks. So no, they certainly cannot resharpen them in a day.

I haven't used Soft Paws myself but people on the forums that use them have had good results it sounds like. I'd think that just keeping their claws trimmed would be less work but eh.

Why are you asking anyway? Is the cat ripping up stuff already (couches, people)? There are lots of ways to just train cats to not do naughty stuff so if you haven't exhausted those yet, I think there's some help for that posted in the FAQ.

I'd get a second opinion about the flea medicine too since this psycho seems to see your cat as little more than a furry dollar sign.

HondaCivet fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2009 around 03:23

Yuriki
Mar 27, 2004

Who the hell do you think I am?

HondaCivet posted:

Declawing as a standard? What the fuuuuuuuuck? For the MONEY??? PLEASE get a second opinion.

They have a combo package, you get charged more for the neuter if you don't do the declaw. It's like $60 for the neuter and $140 for the declaw or together as a package you get the neuter for $40 and the declaw for $120 (or $160 total saving you 40 bucks). They said it's hard to remember someone who doesn't get the combo because it just makes sense cost wise and it's the right thing to do for the animal.

She actually got testy with me when I said I didn't want to do it and would rather just cover them or trim them. The kitty doesn't mind if I expose his claws. He just looks at me while I press on them.

The cat isn't doing anything with the claws yet, but I live in a house with someone who doesn't want to run the risk of getting their furniture torn up and wants to be sure the cat doesn't start to shred curtains or sofas.

Yuriki fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2009 around 03:26

Ceridwen
Dec 11, 2004
Of course... If the Jell-O gets moldy, the whole thing should be set aflame.



Xerin posted:

So in summary, do I need to buy multiadvantage every month of the cats life and do soft paws work and can cats really sharpen their claws in a even after you trim them?

You do not have to buy Advantage Multi specifically, but you should keep your cat on flea prevention and heartworm prevention as well if you live in an area that has high rates of heartworm (much of the US). This will mean spending $11-20/month.

Yes, soft paws really do work, no cats cannot sharpen their claws in 1 day, and you should be running away from that vet as quickly as you can.

I trim Eowyn's claws about once every 2 weeks and she never claws anything except her scratch posts and the mats we keep by the doors that she's allowed to scratch on ($10 Ikea mats). All it took was a little patience to train her.

Here is the American Veterinary Medical Association position statement on declaws:
http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/apr03/030415c.asp

The position is not even particularly strict (compared to what is acceptable in many countries) but your vet is way outside of this into pushing declaws and denying that it is possible to train a cat not to claw.

Hady
Jun 28, 2008


You might want to just start by trimming the claws and use soft paws if the cats starts clawing furniture. My cats never claw any furniture except a sofa I have from the 70s. Since the cat is already letting you manipulate its paw you shouldn't have any problem trimming the claws. Also make sure you have a scratching post or two and train the cat to scratch that. The only cats we had that scratched furniture were the ones that didn't have scratching posts as kittens.

And your vet sucks. Get a new one.

HondaCivet
Oct 16, 2005

And then it falls
And then I fall
And then I know


Xerin posted:

They have a combo package, you get charged more for the neuter if you don't do the declaw. It's like $60 for the neuter and $140 for the declaw or together as a package you get the neuter for $40 and the declaw for $120 (or $160 total saving you 40 bucks). They said it's hard to remember someone who doesn't get the combo because it just makes sense cost wise and it's the right thing to do for the animal.

She actually got testy with me when I said I didn't want to do it and would rather just cover them or trim them. The kitty doesn't mind if I expose his claws. He just looks at me while I press on them.

The cat isn't doing anything with the claws yet, but I live in a house with someone who doesn't want to run the risk of getting their furniture torn up and wants to be sure the cat doesn't start to shred curtains or sofas.

Wow, she seriously sounds messed up. Does she get off on cutting off little kitty toes or something? I'd go elsewhere. Fast.

Oh, and if you dido't know, declawing basically removes the last digit of their paws, which is like cutting off the tips of your fingers. Many view it as pretty goddamned inhumane. Lots of rescues and shelters won't allow a cat to be adopted out unless the owner agrees not to declaw it. Many countries around the world have made declawing illegal. It is great that you think your cat deserves to keep its paws whole though.

Pretty much every cat owner has to deal with the fact that the cat might think the couch looks like a cool scratching post. There are plenty of tools and techniques available that leave cat, owner and couch happy.

Yuriki
Mar 27, 2004

Who the hell do you think I am?

Thanks for all the comments. So I can just get a flea and heartworm medicine and save a little bit of cash? That sounds good.

Well, I kind of figured she was a 'lil crazy when she told me that you shouldn't feed cats wet food because it'd cause urinary infections and that it won't have his teeth past the age of 3 and the only food I should feed it is Purina Pro Plan. I told her I was feeding it Innova and she told me it might die because that food doesn't meet the proper inspection that Purina gives all of its food, but she'd be there whenever it got sick because of my poor decisions. I shrug'd that off as corporate shilling though.

I'll probably drive 20 miles or so to go to a different vet from now.

ChairmanMeow
Feb 19, 2008

a kitty, in space


This vet is thread worthy, that is batshit

HondaCivet
Oct 16, 2005

And then it falls
And then I fall
And then I know


ChairmanMeow posted:

This vet is thread worthy, that is batshit

Yes, please post every crazy rear end thing she said, she sounds like a goldmine of horrible.

Yawgmoft
Nov 15, 2004

Hello darkness my old friend


It was already bad enough when it was just pushing declawing, but knocking innova for purina? Is there some sort of vet board you can report her to?

Yuriki
Mar 27, 2004

Who the hell do you think I am?

ChairmanMeow posted:

This vet is thread worthy, that is batshit

I made a thread here to avoid making GBS threads up this thread about pyschovet anymore and from the Pet Nutrition thread it seems like a lot of other people have lovely vets who recommend the craziest poo poo.

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Ol Junebug
Jan 27, 2009

Sufferin' succotash


I just wanted to chime in and say Thank You! This thread is better than most "General Cat" info dumps I have found on the net. My daughter would like a kitty, and I would also but I was waiting for her to get old enough to not have to worry about her being over powered by the mighty feline. This has been a huge goldmine of getting me prepared!


I will be getting a Ssscat, that poo poo is hilarious! I would also like to say someone must be pushing the de-clawing info to some vets because we I went to interview and talk to my local vet she also was trying to push it as a "Basically required" form of cat care. What the hell, these people are supposed to be properly informed.

Ol Junebug fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2009 around 14:53

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