AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and HubrisAlexandria, VA Icrontian
Tomorrow Eli and I are picking up 2 new family members. I've never owned cats and Eli's only ever "owned" practically feral outdoor cats. I know there are more than a few cat people here on IC - tips and tricks?


  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    declaw them

    unless you don't like your furniture
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian
    Get "Laser" declawing at that. It's a bit more expensive, but it's less painful for kitties, less likely to result in bleeding from paws later, and allows them to continue to use real litter that same day, rather than having to use paper litter for a week or so.
  • colacola part legend, part devil... all man Balls deep Icrontian
  • LincLinc Owner Detroit Icrontian
    Noooooooooooooo. :(
  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Has anyone used claw caps? I think we would prefer to not declaw them.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    I have. They work pretty well. Just keep in mind that as the claws grow, you'll need to get new ones.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Not all clawed cats are destructive. I've never had a declawed cat and I've never had anything destroyed.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian
    Annes and her cats:

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    FRONT declaw them. You'll save your furniture, and they will still be quite capable of climbing about as they are wont to do.

    Feed them wet food twice daily about 12 hours apart.

    Cuddle them constantly when they are young, or don't expect them to like any sort of human contact later.

    Get them spayed/neutered ASAP.

    Test for worms, fleas, rabies, feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) ASAP.

    If they get goopy eyes and sneeze a lot, it's an upper respiratory infection. It's not serious, but usually bacterial and should be closely monitored, and treated with an antibiotic if necessary.

    The "cats don't give a fuck" or "don't like people" myths are perpetrated by shitty people and even shittier owners that create such cats.

    Don't be afraid to gently slap, rub, or massage your cat for attention. Any massage you like, they'll probably like too.

    Baby voice (low and high pitch) works for fucking serious.

    Never let them outside. They are domesticated cats. They will be quite fine indoors their whole lives, and much less likely to get fucking demolished by all the feral shit they've spent 6,000 years avoiding. Domesticated cats are bred to live indoors. They are not prepared for the dangers of outside, especially not cars or larger predators.

    Cats will always puke on something soft, like a rug, carpet, blanket or pillow. Prepare for this accordingly.

    Litter train by gently disciplining an inappropriate piss or turd, then moving them to a catbox to finish. Make damn sure that catbox is in its final place when you start, 'cause you'll never be able to move it.

    Brush them every few days with an undercoat brush, doubly so in the winter or if they're long-haired. Some like wire, some like bristle, so have both on hand.

    Change their water every 3-4 days.

    Your friendly local has-owned-about-15-very-long-lived-cats-across-26-years Icrontian
  • AnnesAnnes Tripped Up by Libidos and Hubris Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Why wet food vs. dry?
  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    More digestible, and closer to what a cat is instinctually expecting to receive: warm/room temperature soft meat.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    I agree with no declawing. My parent's newer cat never claws their leather couches to my knowledge (and I've sat in the living for 2 months straight); this is probably directly correlated with them having a "cat castle" structure that my dad built with carpet and a catnip scratching pad (bought, but its basically cat nip underneath corrugated cardboard pieces so they never actually get the catnip but get to scratch away. Some cats also enjoy toys of noisy (bells inside balls) or imitation (fluffy mice) variety. I can also vouch (via a friend) for the claw covers.
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian
    I've always been a dry food fan because my cats have always been grazers (eat a few bites now and then) and wet food will go bad after being out for a while. Truth is ether will work. ASPCA puts it best:
    Please remember that in addition to feeding your feline a high-quality food, kittens, adults and mature cats all have different nutritional requirements. Therefore, it is important to feed your pet a diet intended for his/her life stage.
  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri Icrontian
    For the record outdoor/nearly feral cats are the best cats. My parents had this weird looking orange cat just show up at the house. It will bite you and shit. Pretty awesome cat. As long as you don't live in bobcat/coyote/high traffic area you should raise some feral cats. They'll kill all the shit and give you dirty looks when you feed them and all kinds of other awesome shit.

    You'll thank me later.
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico Icrontian
    Huzzah for your new family members! Good advice all around. All I would have to contribute at this point would be silly trivia.

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    edited January 2013
    Considering that declawing is basically amputating part of the end of their digits, I'm fairly against de-clawing.

    Instead, I'd try to introduce scratching posts of various shapes and sizes (some cats like scratch pads that go on the ground, others like vertical posts, or even diagonal sloped scratch surfaces). You can also get pet nail clippers to manage claw sharpness, which works for my family. Just be sure to not cut too far back to hit the vein at the base of each claw.

    If all of this fails and valuables are still being damaged, de-clawing is an option. But please consider doing everything else first. We have 2 cats with claws, and they love their scratching posts. Never seen them use anything else.
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian
    My cats have always been perfectly happy cats without their front claws. In the end it's up to your preference.

    I've used claw caps for one cat because she was missing one of her front paws, and the vet suggested that it would make it even harder for her to get around if she was deprived of the extra grip of the single remaining front paw. She told me that capping them would be fine, though, so I did that. I can tell you that it does require some maintenance. They have to be replaced every few weeks - or when they fall off - and you have to trim the claws yourself, since they'll have no way to dull or shorten them on their own, and cats hate having their claws trimmed in my experience. I tried doing the caps thing for that kitten's sister, since I would already be doing one paw, why not three? In the end, I decided it would be more humane, for that cat at least, to just have her declawed rather than make her suffer having her claws trimmed regularly.

    As for food, Iams kibble is enough (nothing cheaper), and if you always leave food out all the time, they will moderate their own intake. If you start feeding them only what they need several time/day, like a dog, then you'll have to do it like that forever, and that's a pain, and usually results in fatter cats. Unlike the above paragraph, this paragraph is more than personal experience. I worked at a pet food store once, and had to get a certificate in pet nutrition in order to manage the store. (I can also tell you about stool ratios, if you like :P)

    At the end of the day - as you've noticed in this thread - you'll get a thousand different sources tell you a thousand different 'best' ways to deal with a cat, but honestly, you've got to just go with what works for you and your cats.
  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri Icrontian
    Also if it's an outdoor/feral cat if it dies it's almost not your fault much.
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Declawing is basically like cutting off your finger at the first knuckle as I've been told by numerous vets. We've always wondered what the deal was and our first trip to the vet we asked about it. Tea and I LOVE our cat like a child. He's got huge sharp claws and we've never used claw caps. We clip them on a regular basis and our cat has destroyed NOTHING in our house (besides a few scratches from excessive playing with him) and we've had him going on six years now. We picked him up from an animal shelter (the Alexandria one) when he was 11 weeks old. It's really all in how you raise your cats, as we've discovered. We raised him and treated him with huge amounts of love, a fair amount of discipline, tons of attention, and mass amounts of playfulness. We always played with him when we came home, made sure to have more than 2 scratching posts and cat toys (and a cat age appropriate) available, kept him in a room for 3 days so he wasn't overwhelmed by the size of the apartment (and so he can understand where his food and bathroom were), we rubbed his paws with our hands (so he'd get used to us cutting his nails), held him often, and made sure to call him by his name every chance we got. After maybe 2-3 weeks he was beginning to understand his name (he'd respond to Stripey, but no variations of it), within a couple months he was understanding of the pitch in our voice (such as when he's good and bad), within weeks he was cuddling with us on the couch, and in 3 months time he was beginning to sleep on our pillows with us at night (if you allow that type of thing). Since then we are always greeted by the most loving cat EVERY time we walk into the house, he sits on our laps when we're on the couch or in chairs, and he has always just been a RIDICULOUSLY loving cat.
    As far as food, we started him on a kind of expensive dry food (and he's stayed on it since without EVER needing to go to the vet for sickness or teeth issues). If you want to ask about it or check it out its EVO "The Ancestral Diet" (in a purple bag). The only other food he eats is cheese that we give him, plain table turkey, tuna from a can (his once in a while treat), and the treats called Greenies. It's sound a bit crazy, but our cat really is family and we skimp on nothing when it comes to taking care of him.

    Just a bit of info from these cat owners :) Have fun with the kittens!
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    I've always been less concerned with furniture, and more concerned with my skin. I love cuddling with cats, but every single clawed cat I've cuddled with stretches out their claws when they get comfy and attach them to you. It's not very fun. I've had tons with owners that tried to train them out of it, and it never seemed to work.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    Also, you should give them rad names from nerdy things. My future kittens will be called Starbuck and either River, Arya, or the Tardis.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    (anecdotal, since my cats do not claw me unless I purposefully fuck with them)
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico Icrontian
    Tushon said:

    (anecdotal, since my cats do not claw me unless I purposefully fuck with them)

    My friend LOVES to mess with his cats and doesn't mind the scratches within reason, and they aren't afraid to mess with him back. Should see his arms. Like some weird attempt at cutting.
  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian
    edited January 2013
    Some great stories and tips here. Ultimately, remember that every cat is different. Just like kids, the personality of your cats will be influenced by a mix of their surroundings and upbringing. Do your best, and adjust as needed to meet both their needs and your own.
  • Because @pragtastic is lazy, pics:


  • dawwwww
Sign In or Register to comment.