little black cat

My brother is checking tonight to see if he could cat-sit for me while I’m gone, and if the answer is yes, then I am going to take the stray that

 has been currently looking after.

The thing is, I’ve never had a cat. I’ve never really even thought about having a cat. I always assumed that I would get a dog before getting a cat, but this little cutie needs a home.

So …  can all you folk out there on my f-list who know anything about cats please give me some info? Like, what kind of food do you give your kitties, what kind of kitty litter, how often does one have to clean out the litter box, anything about scratching posts, climbing trees, etc etc. This kitty will be an indoor cat, just in case that info influences your answers.

Thanks guys! Keep your fingers crossed that my bro can help me out.

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11 Responses to little black cat

  1. arwenoid says:

    Pet food is very much “you get what you pay for”. Cheap food is like McDonalds. Don’t buy the stuff from the grocery store, go to an actual pet store. And always, always, always have water available.

    Litter box: With gravel… change roughly weekly, for one cat. Prepare to sweep the litter box area on a reasonably regular basis, they track. (A little mat in front can reduce that, but it won’t eliminate it.)

    For litter: I actually don’t like the gravel, but I’m influenced by having ferrets for whom the clumping stuff was bad. The gravel will keep the smell down the most, and is the easiest to scoop from the box. Pain in the butt to dispose of, though. I particularly like recycled newspaper like Yesterday’s News, but you’d have to scoop more often.

    Toys: Forget toys and buy a laser pointer for $2. Best Cat Toy Ever!

    Scratching post: They seem to be hit or miss. Some cats love ’em, some cats refuse to acknowledge they exist and would rather destroy your furniture. (Incidentally, if you have a cat trying to destroy your couch or bed, put some tinfoil in the place they’re scratching at. It stopped Nala from further demolishing my box spring, it can stop anyone!)

    The best thing I can suggest for any pet… bring kitty home when you have a day or two to be there with him. He’ll be stressed, and if you’re around, he’ll have a chance to get used to you faster and hopefully not pee on or demolish things in fear. 🙂

    And hope to god you didn’t get one of those toilet cats. Damned toilet cats. Want this one?

  2. dw00 says:

    I’ve been using clumping litter for him so far – just the cheap supermarket stuff. It clumps fine, but the better brands also have odor absorption which his ass seems to need. I lived with two cats (both female) and litter was a once per week task, whereas this guy needs a change about every two days. This could be the food he’s on though.

    A scratching post seems like a good idea for this guy, and they’re easy enough to make. 1 2×4 + 1 base + 1 spool of thick gauge twine. So far, he’s picked up fairly quickly that I only allow him to scratch one blanket and my ottoman. Of course, I voice my displeasure loudly then move him to the place where scratching is allowed.

    Laser pointers are the goodies, provided he’ll only be an indoor cat. If they’re outdoors, it can create a bad association (chase the fast moving red light, cat!).

    He’ll eat whatever you put in front of him, but I echo what D said about buying from a pet store. There’s a lot of filler in supermarket stuff, and finding a food that he likes which also reduces bum stink can be a process of trial and error.

  3. dekucat says:

    kitty! so exciting.

    I’ll ditto what everyone else said, and add that it helps if he has a familiar toy or blankie from his current place to help him settle in.

    When you bring him into your place, I recommend showing him where the food and litter are located, then letting him do his thing. It’s not unusual for cats to hide for a day or two, so don’t panic if he promptly disappears. Keeping the environment peaceful and quiet will help. You can also try to tempt him with especially delicious kitty treats, but keep in mind that some things commonly given as kitty-yummies aren’t very good for them and will create litterbowl stink (ie, milk or cheese). The kitty-treats you can buy at pet stores aren’t as dangerous for that sort of thing.

    Also, make sure your toilet seat cover stays down, lest you end up with a dreaded, vile toilet cat.

  4. rock_grrl says:

    Yay! Home for a cute kittie!

    I agree with Donna about the food – the cheap stuff is BAD for healthy cats, especially boy cats who tend to be a bit more sensitive. I would suggest going to an actual pet food store and getting a big bag of some high quality food. Don’t ever buy Iams or Science Diet. They *used* to be good food but then the companies got bought out and now they are made with sawdust.

    Litter is a matter of taste – for you and the kittie. We stopped using the clay stuff in favour of wheat stuff. I forget what it’s called but it is flushable, doesn’t leave marks on the floor, and clumps just fine. Again, it’s all a matter of taste. Try a few brands out to see what you like.

    The litter box should be cleaned once a day (ie, all the pee clumps and poos should be scooped out) with a top-up of fresh litter if it’s needed. The actual litter should be changed once a week (or two), depending on how stinky it gets. Generally though, if the clumps are removed and fresh litter is added as needed, it should be fine for a few weeks. Baking powder can also be added if it gets too stinky. Buy a metal scooper – the plastic ones suck ass and can’t be cleaned as well.

    I highly recommend a scratching post – either large or small – just get *something*. If the kittie ignores it, sprinkle catnit around/on it. He’ll eventually figure out what it’s for. Actually, we have an old one that our cats don’t use if you want it? It’s not very pretty but if you want it, it’s yours. 🙂

    Cat toys are good. The cheap little toy mice tend to be a favourite with the cats I’ve had. Laser pointers are kick ass. And black string (an old shoe lace) are also popular.

    Also, you may want to get a good brush, a collar and name tag (in case he escapes) and a water dish that is always filled with fresh water. If you bring him to the vet, make sure he is fixed (spraying cats totally suck) but don’t bother with shots as they are a waste of money with indoor cats.

    Cats = love

    🙂

    • Erin says:

      I would love to take that scratching post off your hands! However, I’m leaving the country next Monday for 10 weeks and probably wouldn’t be able to take it until I got back. If you still have it kicking around when I got home then I’ll grab it.

      Thanks for the advice! 🙂

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