MTBCP (Mean Time Between Cat Pictures)

kittens.jpg

It’s just a matter of time before any blog contains pictures of children or kittens. Here are two little ladies that we’ll be adopting after Thanksgiving. Any kitten-raising tips would be appreciated :)

22 thoughts on “MTBCP (Mean Time Between Cat Pictures)

  1. The shelter has named them Ewok (on the left) and Sonic (on the right). They’re a few weeks old and they don’t know their names yet, so we’re considering changing them when we adopt them.

  2. Expression: curiosity…

    Crass but true. I lost a kitty that way. :( They’ll get into EVERYTHING. Cats are much more independent than dogs; recognize that, let them have their freedom, but make sure they don’t get themselves into trouble :)

  3. In regards to the comment about freedom, while I agree wholehartedly, I find that it is easier (and less messy) to give them said freedom *after* they have learned all there is to know about the litter box (where it is, how to use it, etc.).

    While they are little, try to block off their access to things that they could get caught under, or behind. My wife and I are usually gone most of the day, and find the bathroom a good place for them to reside (safe, small, dark) while we were unable to be with them.

    I have always enjoyed that period of their development the most. We have two cats now (3.5yrs and 2.5yrs respectively), and they make all the difference in the world in our lives.

  4. I like Ewok, he looks like one, I hope you’ll keep that name :). Sonic… Yeah I agree that could use a change ;p. Maybe Chewie (from Chewbacca ^_^).

    We kept our cat inside while she was little, to keep her from losing her way and being exposed to the big bad world outside (dogs, other mean cats, etc :)). Back then she was very playful. Nowadays she is outside about half of the time, and since she discovered that mice are much more fun to play with than a rag, or a pole, or whatever cat-toys we still have.

    By the way, we have a fake mouse which you can wind up and make it run around. Scares the shit out of our cat ;p.

    Anyways, cats are way cool. Congrats.

    ~Grauw

  5. I think these are going to be indoor cats. I’ve read a lot about the indoor/outdoor issue and I know letting the cats out is probably better for them in some respects, but we live on a street corner where cars come whipping around the bend. From what I’ve read the lifespan of indoor cats is dramatically longer than outdoor cats.

  6. i don’t remember the brand name of the litter i use, but it comes in a box(!) and i get it from wal-mart. 28lbs per box. covers the smell nicely. if you get them declawed, you’ll need a recycled paper litter instead of the regular clay litter for 10 days after the operation. vet will recommend Yesterday’s News, but I do not recommend it.

    my cats were fed dry food for a while, i just kept the bowl full and let them eat when they wanted. they got fat fast. i took them off the dry food and started feeding them canned food twice a day. they ahve more energy, poop a lot less, and are losing their obesity slowly. wal-mart sells these cans for $0.24/can and again I’ve forgotten the name. My cats dislike the brick-type canned food – they like it sliced, or shredded. they’re damn picky these days.

    my cats don’t travel much, so i can’t recommend a cat carrier.

    i regret getting them declawed. they’re not themselves anymore. they lack all the confidence and arrogance they had before.

  7. If you don’t get them declawed, use softclaws. It’s a plastic sheath that gets super glued to the claws. It’s a nice compromise – they get to keep their claws and you get the keep your furniture. Works great on our cat.

  8. keep the catnip sealed in an airtight, unbreakable, unchewable container. putting the bag away in a drawer doesn’t work.

    my friend has a remote control mouse that recharges itself by hooking up to the controller for 30 seconds. great entertainment for you and your cats.

  9. A great book is “Think Like a Cat” by Pam Johnson-Bennett. I read that before my wife moved in with her cat. It has advice like: Don’t get a scratching post that is too short. A cat uses it to stretch their whole spine, so if it is shorter than 3 feet tall it doesn’t work for an adult cat. That’s when they start scratching on furniture. It also has advice on toys and other things.

    Go to your local bookstore and check it out. If you like it, buy it.

  10. Cats deserve to have claws and you deserve to have unclawed furniture. Buy a few $5 floor-standing scratchpads (the kind they can stand on and scratch whilst bending their spine) and don’t let any other bad habits develop, otherwise they will have their favourite pieces of furniture and there will be little you can do to get them to change. One of a cat’s best ways of relieving stress is this form of claw exercise, so don’t deprive them of it.

  11. The three rules:
    1. Check with your vet
    2. Check with your vet
    3. Check with your vet

    I support your decision of keeping them indoors. It’s a hard choice to make, but often the right one. Thank you for looking out for them.

    One thing that everybody screws up is the amount they feed their cats. Your cats should be very slim and trim. Visible ribs are not unhealthy on adult cats. Of course, kittens are more like fuzzballs, so it’s hard to tell.

    We personally like the food brand ‘Science Diet’ (we feed our cats only dry food), but go with your vet’s recommendation.

    Most people don’t know that cats are usually (not always) lactose intolerant. Milk is not very good for cats. Water is perfectly fine.

    Catnip is fun. It is also a drug. Just keep that in mind. In some ways, it’s like baking a batch of marijuana brownies for a class of kindergarteners. Well not really, but you see the point. :p Kittens are enough fun on their own.

    Name your cats. It’s always better when *you* name them. :)

    21cats.org is an clean, informational, and knowledgeable site. Not to say there aren’t others.

  12. Oh, and I second dave’s “Cats deserve to have claws…” Thank you, dave.

  13. Great! Congrats, and get ready for some sleepless nights :p

    We adopted two cats in a span of one month. One is 5 months the latter one is 4 months old. We have been constantly reading and searching the internet as well as the local bookstore, as the latter developed pneumonia and worms. They are very very demanding at first and you should have nerves of steel. But believe me, nothing beats the purring of your cat and his/her thankful looks on you when you take care of him/her. Your vet is you best friend, and as such make sure you have 1. a reputable vet that 2. has a clinic in your vicinity. Make sure to invest in small furly toys that you can buy from the dollar store and in a cat house (buy the best one you can afford) that has plenty of scratching surface (usually posts are sisal rope wrapped around cylinders). Good food, fresh water, clean litter box, lots of love, patience, oh and a air purifier.

    Please, no declawing. If they’re young, they will learn not to scratch furniture, believe me.

    I second (or third?) the “How to think like a cat” book. A bit long winded, but good, easy bedtime reading. Reads interestingly fast.

    Some like milk, lactose-free kind. Either give Lactaid, Lacteeze, or buy milk specially made for cats. Catnip love depends on a gene, interestingly. About 20% don’t have that gene, and they have to be at least 6-8 months old to test this. Don’t worry, it is not addictive.

    Did I say fresh water at least twice a day?

    Saular makes disposable litters. Kitkat or katkit, the name escapes. They are C$2.30 here in Canada and good for one week if you clean it daily (and please do). After several weeks, you can go to regular litter box and litter ritual. Remember: number of litterboxes >= number of cats.

    Cats respond better to names that end with “ee” or “aa”. And it is not that hard to teach them their names.

    Dry food when very young, with occasional treats of wet food.

    If you let them sleep with you at nights, be prepared for ultra-dependent cats that meew and purr when you come home and not let you go and even cry when you go to bathroom even.

    Cat deterrent sprays for cables. Cable covers for cables. A little spray bottle for cats nibbling on cables or jumping on your PowerBook. They will chew. The trick is to stop it before or just after they start.

    They love “cat dancer”, the thing you hang to the ceiling that has an elastic cable with an excuse of a mouse attached to the end.

    You can reach me (or my gf) anytime via e-mail for questions.
    http://thecatsite.com has very helpful forums.

  14. I’m really happy to see so many people advocating AGAINST declawing. It’s an incredibly inhumane procedure, and claws are deeply ingrained in the physiology and personality of cats. People who don’t understand that simply shouldn’t get cats.

    Anyway, I have a 5-month old kitten who eats IAMS kitten food (dry and wet) and uses Tidy Cat nonclumping clay litter. It seems that most cat experts recommend using nonclumping litter if you’re going with clay, since kittens are more apt to experiment and eat their litter. The Tidy Cat isn’t doing a great job of covering up odor, though, so I think I’ll change to one of the more inexpensive premium organic brands, like Feline Pine.

    Finally, here’s a site I found really helpful in adjusting my kitten to her new home:
    http://cats.about.com/od/kittencare/
    Congratulations on the latest additions to your family!

  15. Since you own your own home (I’m guessing since you said you live on a corner etc) declawing is an easier decision. If you don’t mind the occasional torn curtan, corner of the sofa, carpet under a closed door…keep the claws. My 14 year-old Chartreaux was declawed and nuetered at the same time and his disposition has not changed from that of a very inquisitive and personable kitten. It’s a hard decision to make, at the time we were renting and couldn’t have the place getting torn up by an active cat.

    If you get them declawed, you’ll need paper for the box as mentioned before. I used waste paper from a shredder. Worked wonders.

    We use Eukanuba brand food and have to stick to the hairball remedy as a Chartreaux has dense fur and he gets those lovely presents to give us frequently if we don’t. Petromalt is another good remedy for little barfys…

    We’ve had a lot of success with Tidy Cat clumping litter. You do have to clean the box at LEAST every other day, daily is better to keep oder down. Another hint: if the cat doesn’t actually cover his poop, get out the straining scoop and cover it over yourself when they’re done. It’s the clay that drys up the stuff that keeps odor down.

    As for advocating pro or con on the declawing: a lot of people care greatly for cats and sometimes the circumstances they find themselves in dictate that the claws can’t stay. It IS a painful proceedure to most cats and a difficult decision. But also consider: a live cat without his claws is far better off than one at the pound WITH his claws watching the clock ticking down…

    Congrats on the kitties. If they stay inside, they’ll stand a much better chance of living a much longer life. Another hint: Don’t let strange cats touch noses with your kitties. That’s how they can get some very deadly afflictions.

    Have fun!

  16. One more comment about the declawing: if you decide to declaw, the animals must then become indoor cats only. Leave their back claws intact under any circumstance in case they do get out and have their primary running ‘tools’ defense with them and at least will have that escape mechanism available to them.

    We didn’t have claw tips available at the time we had to decide claws or no…That might be a good option and we probably would have gone that way at the time…but the dude is 14. But since we had him done at the age of 8 months, he’s fine with back claws only and being an indoor cat.

  17. bitter-sweet post script: The kitten on the left in the above picture tested positive for Feline Leukimia, an incurable retrovirus, and we made the very difficult decision not to adopt them.

    But we found two other sweet kittens at a local shelter. Hazel and Herman are 11 weeks old and doing great. Thanks all for the kitten advice.

  18. Very sorry about hearing of the FL. That is the primary ‘deadly affliction’ I spoke of when I said to try and keep your kitties from touching noses with other strange cats. But glad to hear you found a couple more.

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