貓咪日記07： 理查的 [Silver] – Alyson的信件
A cat is perfect in an apartment. In your 2-bed, 2-bath, you could have two cats comfortably. You can place the litter box anywhere but a bathroom or utility room is more ideal. There are many types and styles of litter boxes choices. Currently we have a Purr-fect Privy which keeps litter tracking down (litter stuck to their paws when using the box). One we used to have was the LitterMaid which is partly self-cleaning and works well but uses a finer litter which tracks more and the replacement containers do add to the maintenance cost. Another new self-cleaning unit is the CatGenie. We have not tried this one yet, but I have heard very good reviews about it. One good non-mechanical one is the Booda Box which does come in various styles. Lastly there are disposable ones in most grocery stores and we have used them with great success.
If you get a kitten, you might prefer to start with the disposables, a kitten pan or an old pan you don’t mind later throwing away. That will give you extra time to decide. I suggest searching around the internet to see what fits your apartment and budget.
As for play, a string, a piece of crumpled paper, a paper grocery bag, a cardboard box are all wonderful cheap toys that cats adore. Believe me when I tell you cats often ignore the best of toys in favor of the free ones. Another great toy is a laser pointer. They will chase it all over until they are worn out. They also love cat wands, owner operated of course.
Cats usually pick their own sleeping areas. If you prefer to have them stay away from some areas, then it’s best to block those areas off. I usually keep an inexpensive blanket or two around to put on a chair, couch or bed for them to curl up in. I have tried beds, but the only one mine liked is a round flat pillow.
Foods are plenty and usually depend on your preference or the cat’s. We normally feed them dry food in a bowl all day with plenty of water and occasionally treat them with moist food (mine loved shrimp!). When they are full grown, try catnip. They love it after a time and you’ll never stop laughing at how each enjoys it.
The only other major decision you will have to make, if it has not already been done, is to neuter/spay and declaw. Unless you intend to breed either for yourself or sale, then I recommend having them neutered/spayed. Many people declaw but we felt, after learning the process, that it was cruel to do and we never wanted our companion to be defenseless should it ever get outside alone. There are many options along those lines to help you keep your home claw-safe.
I hope this helps and is not too overwhelming. I tried to be concise but at least give you a little information on each of the things you’ll need. Please feel free to ask and questions at any time!
No problem on shipping. I know it will arrive soon. I am not worried.
Cats with claws can cause “some" damage, usually to furniture, not personal items. Only dogs chew on things, not cats! I trained my cats to use a scratching post (they are sold everywhere) and never had them damage any furniture. It is VERY easy to train them to use a scratching post. However, if you are deeply concerned, there are options a vetenarian can assist you with in further prevention or I highly recommend getting a cat that is already declawed for your peace of mind.
There is no reason to confine a cat, except maybe as a kitten until you are comfortable it is fully litter box trained. Cats train themselves to use the litter box! They are NOT like dogs. They ONLY go outside the litter box if it is not clean or they are ill! As long as you keep the litter box clean (unless you get a self-cleaning box), it never smells. I clean it daily and keep an air freshener near it and no one has ever noticed it. And you can even teach a cat to use the toilet! They sell a toilet training device for cats, but it is not for everyone. Some people do not like that idea, which is why I recommended the self-cleaning boxes first.
You have more than enouh room for a cat. I have a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home and have had 4 cats without a problem. Trust me when I tell you they are NOT like dogs. They do not require as much room or attention.
Yes, like any other pet they are a commitment, so I can understand your wanting to be certain. Perhaps you have a friend with cats? Perhaps you can visit them, or maybe baby sit for one for a while to see how one would fit into your lives.
Good luck and let me know how you decide!
If you get a cat, share a photo!
Sorry for the delay. The amp arrived yesterday but I was busy in court and suffered hand cramps and didn’t get to respond until today. (The cold weather gives me bad muscle cramps/spasms and I hate it.)
The amp was like an ice cube when it arrived! LOL! By the time I got to hook it up it was room temperatue and works perfetly. It’s just what I needed for my MB Quart headphones (tough to drive!)
I have already left you good head-fi feedback and ask if you will please start a feedback thread for me (DocHamm). I hope you like what I wrote!
As for your cat questions…
Monthy cost varies mostly by brand/size of food, litter, treats and toys. I would say we spend approximately $25 a month on ours, so it’s safe to say between $15-$25 average. We like to give ours extra treats, toys and better food, so we spend more than average.
Only a vetenarian can perform a declaw because it requires surgery. Cost varies per vetenarian. I personally no longer believe in declawing, but check out the link I have included for more information.
Also neutering is less expensive than spaying because spaying involves more surgery, so that may be another consideration for you.
Keep me cat-updated and let me know when you have left me feedback!
Thank you very much for the wonderful feedback! It was terrific and greatly appreciated!!
The amp was not frozen, just really, really cold. So cold, it hurt to touch. I am sure it was from traveling via postal truck in the cold weather. Temperature here has been very cold.
Your packing was fabulous! You pack as I do (another thing in common!). I always pack back into original boxes as things were originally packed so people get everything and it is safe and secure. And yes, it is a challenge to repack! LOL!
Declawing is sad. It hurts the animal and leaves it without defenses. I’m always afraid if someone had to care for my cats while I was away or sick, and my cats got outside, the last thing I would want is for them not to be able to protect themselves.
Cats only damage furniture for two reasons…
1. Their back claws dig in a bit when they jump up onto furniture. Not a problem with cloth furniture, but on leather it can show little holes (pin holes).
2. Cats scratch to remove their old claw skins. Cat claws shed a layer and they claw at things to pull this layer off.
I have never seen a cat chew anything. Cats of course bite food and toys (little stuffed mouse) but never anything else. Cats do not have the same chewing instincts as dogs.
It is very easy to teach cats to use a scratching post. All you do is watch your cat and when s/he starts to scratch at something, you tell them “no", in a firm but calm voice and take them to their scratching post and scratch on it with your fingers, basically showing them how to use it. After several repeats of this process, s/he gets the idea and goes to their post when they need to scratch. On rare occasion they might try to scratch on new furniture, but repeating the training process teaches them not to use the new item and all is good again.
You can trim cat claws, or get covers for them from a veterinarian. I have not personally tried either of these because of my success with teaching them to use the scratching post or because the cat was already declawed by someone else. If you get an adult cat, consider one who has already been declawed.
Neutering (male cats) is easy and the least costly because a veterinarian can perform it with a local anesthetic. Spaying (females) requires the cat to be surgically opened and therefore put under anesthesia, thus more costly. I have had two female cats and they do occasionally caterwaul if not spayed but it only lasts a couple days. Adoption cats from local places [PetSmart] are usually neutered/spayed when you get them. For a first cat, I recommend a male cat, but it is a personal choice.
Kittens are fun, but so are adult cats. I have taught both with success. A little patience and time and you can teach cats anything. We (my husband and I) taught two of our cats to play fetch! We would crumple a piece of paper into a ball and toss it back and forth between us and, after a time, the cat would catch it and bring it back to one of us. One of our cats taught himself how to open a doorknob! Domesticated cats are very intelligent and great fun! If you give them lots of love and attention, you will be greatly rewarded.
Keep in touch! Send cat pictures!!
02/03/2008 ～ 1
Every cat has a different personality. Out of the four we have had, only one ever tried to get outside and he would only go just outside the door and sit in the grass. Once they get accustomed to their new home, usually they are happy and prefer not to go out.
You will have to train yourselves to remember to look down when you open your door. It helps to put a collar on them with a bell, so you can hear them. We also put a small name tag with their name and our phone number, in case they do get out.
I suggest you let your manager know you have a cat so s/he can be careful. If possible, perhaps they can let you know when they will come to your apartment and then you can confine Silver to a bedroom just for that day.
02/03/2008 ～ 2
Silver is BEAUTIFUL! Truly Purr-fect! Thank you very much for the pictures. I think his name is wonderful. Yes, he appears to be an American Shorthair… a handsome one!!
Silver will be shy for a while. He is in a new home and feeling lost. It will take a few weeks, but he will adjust. Just keep giving him good care and lots of love and attention. A laser pointer it a great cat toy. They will chase the little light pointer until they are tired. Try using one to get Silver to play and once he plays and realizes he is in a safe home, he will stop hiding.
His bed and scratching post looks great! He will use the post in time. Just remember, if he tries to scratch somewhere else, gently say no and take him to his post and show him he can scratch there. It helps to show them how to scratch by doing it yourself with your fingers. It takes time, but he will get the idea. You can also put catnip on the post. Cats love catnip and he will be drawn to the post because of the catnip.
Leave his post and bed where you feel is fine now. In time he will get used to it and, should you or he prefer another place, you can move it later. We kept our post in our living room so they could play while we watched television.
All you have to do with the litter box is show it to him. They can smell much better than we can and he will know where to go once he has been shown. If you are concerned, you can always get a couple disposable litter trays from the grocery store and put one or two out. I have only ever used one, except when ours was ill and had trouble walking and then I put another close to him. Cats are wonderful in that they instinctually know where to go and how. The only other thing to remember is if you decide to change the type of litter you use, it may take a while for them to adjust. Our cats preferred clay litter and not the clumping, sandy kind.
I am sure you are going to have wonderful fun and love from Silver. He looks very sweet! How old is he? When cats are young, they tend to play more. After age four (varies from cat to cat) they start to slow down a little. They usually love to look out a window, especially if they can see birds and or squirrels. You will see, Silver will adjust soon.
02/03/2008 ～ 3
Wow! A BIG letter!! Ok, let me try to answer as much as I can…
First, I am glad your wife likes Silver and that your choice was a joint choice. I am sure you will both be happy.
It takes time for animals to adjust to a new environment. It will take time for him to learn his name and to get comfortable with you and yur wife. Really, this is going to take weeks, not hours or a few days. Let him get used to your apartment and he will come to you more and more. Young cats tend to be more independant, but as they get older, they desire more attention and petting. If he tries to run away when you go to pick him up, just be gentle and pet him softly and talk calmly. He will calm down and adjust, it just takes time. Try not to pick him up too much until he adjusts to his new home.
Cats do not like their litter box near their food, so it is better you have the food in the kitchen. Cats can go several days without food, so don’t panic. Just make sure he knows where the water and food is and he will find it on his own when he is hungry. He is probably still unsure of his new home. However, if he has not eaten after 3 days, I would definitly call the pet store and ask then about him and explain your concern. Is he eating the food they were giving him in the store? You should not force him to eat or drink, just take him to the food/water dishes. If he is healthy, he will eat/drink and use the litter box on his own. Try putting an ice cube or two in the water bowl and show it to him. Often they like to play with the ice cube. Make sure the water bowl is clean and rinsed of all soap. Cats don’t drink when they eat, but when they are thristy. Make a mark on the bowl where the water level is and you can then watch to see if it goes down and know for sure if he is drinking at night or when you are not home.
If he has not eaten much, he will not use the litter box. As I said earlier, give him at least 3 days and if he is still not eating or drinking, contact the pet store. Cats often lay in their litter box, but he will use it when he has to go. Just give him a few more days.
Remember, cats are very differnt than dogs, so don’t compare. You are going to see him change a little every day, so be patient.
PS: Glad you got the bell/collar. Do you like hearing him??
02/03/2008 ～ 4
Woot! Congrats!! See, I told you! It just takes time and patience. Don’t force him, be gentle and he will love you and give you lots of pleasure. He is just confused and afraid with being moved around, first to the pet store, then to your home. Watch and you will see, by the time two weeks have gone by, you will see a big difference. And remember he is young, and he will be curious, energetic and independent. All of my cats didn’t start to really want to be on our laps for the first two-three years, but as they get older, they realize they want the love, warmth and security of a human. You’ll see.
Cats learn their name, but some remain stubborn about coming when called. They are not like dogs, they are independant. Most of ours would come, but only after a few calls, and sometimes only then with a treat, like catnip. He is young and might not like catnip yet, but perhaps a treat will entice him to learn faster. Have you played with him yet? A piece of paper crumpled into a ball, a laser pointer or even an empty box or paper bag is a fun toy for them.
Our cats loved the toys that hang on stings… like a thin stick with a string and some feathers… they are usually called wands. Usually they are about $3 in the pet store and worth the fun.
And I love the pictures! He is adorable in his cat tree!
Thats great! Perhaps not so much for your wife… lol! All animals tend to choose their human, but they still love attention from others.
Sounds like he is starting to know his name. He will learn his name, but remember, they are independant and tend to do what they want when they want, so might not come when called, at least not always.
I am very glad to hear he is eating, drinking and doing things normally.
He is young and might not scratch much yet.
Toys take time, but if you keep at it, he will start to play. My cats loved feathers or mylar strips (like your fishing pole toy), a laser pointer, paper bags, cardboard boxes and crumpled paper. One loved water! Wolfgang, even as a kitten, would get into the tub while we were in the shower!! He would sit in the tub and watch us and be fascinated by the water. Often we would hear him get into the tub during the night and smile, knowing he was looking to play with the water. [We both miss him very much.]
Silver is starting to feel more secure in his new home. Keep up what you are doing and he will continue to open up to you both. I am very happy you are having so much fun with him.
Thank you for the love pictures! He is just adorable!! He really seems to like his little bed and looks cute in it.
PS: I never minded ours with or without bells, but my husband insisted upon having them wear bells. They would always sneak up on him and he’d get scared… lol!
Please also tell your wife I said hello and congratulations on her new kitty!!
Silver is confused and upset. He is still getting to know you, your wife and the apartment. After roaming the apartment freely he is suddenly confined, it confuses him, especially if he hears people and noises. He probably poo-ed on your rug because he is confused, frightened and he wanted to let you know.
Is your construction going to last long?
Is your bathroom attached to your bedroom? If so, can you confine Silver to your bedroom and bathroom together? Our bedroom/bathroom is like this and it has worked for us.
Once we had a similar problem. When we first moved to Ohio we stayed with my mother-in-law, who has dogs. To keep the dogs away from the cats, the cats were put in the basement. Our female did not like this and later that night, when we got home and let her out, she peed on our comforter on the bed. She was confused and angry that we locked her up in a strange place. She was used to being and sleeping with us all the time. After that we kept her in the bedroom and she was fine.
Tell your wife the rug and such is not ruined, it can be cleaned. If you are concerned, I recommend temporarily moving or picking up anything on the floor you do not want soiled, at least during your construction.
Here are some links that I think will help you as new cat-parents…
This information will help you understand how cats think and what they prefer. Let me know how it goes!
PS: I think PetVideo.com is very cool!
I forgot to add this link!
Check out more of the videos on PetVideo.com. They are part of Animal Planet and have come really great information and tips on cats.
Glad to hear Silver is doing better. Yes, cats are VERY finicky about their litter box. Only one of our cats was so finicky.
I am glad he is getting attached to you. I am sure he will open up to your wife in time. Animals sense emotions, so if she is unsure or not as open to Silver yet as you, Silver will sense this and not bond as strongly with her.
He might not like some smell in you bedroom? Do you have an air freshener in there? Or perhaps some item frightens him there? You can try using treats to slowly get him into the room a little at a time.
Cats generally choose where they want to sleep. Ours slept on the floor, couch, his bed and more often, our bed with us, especially in the cold winter months.
Places you do not wish him to go, or sleep, you have to teach him to avoid. We do not allow ours on tables or counters, only furniture for sitting, our bed and his bed. To teach them this we used a small spray bottle filled with water and a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar. If the cat jumped up on the table or counter, we would say no and spray them from the bottle (just a squirt or two). They do not like the taste or smell of apple cider vinegar and usually get the idea not to go in those spots they may get sprayed. Another way is to put a penny in a small metal or plastic box and shake it loudly, tell them no and to get down. Usually they are afraid of the noise and learn to avoid it.
I would first try these ideas, or check petvido.com for more ideas. If that doesn’t work, I have more ideas.