18 July, 2008 at 2:55 pm #18538
Hello! My boyfriend and I just got our first pet together yesterday; he’s a sweet little male kitten. I’m not sure how old he is but I’d say from about nose to butt he’s 10 inches long and 6 inches from paws to back. Here are my questions:
1) Can anyone give advice on how to tel the age of a kitten?
2) Last night was our first night with him and I have various semi exotic plants and I know of at least one he could get sick by nibbling on so we decided to close our bedroom door and leave him out in the living room/kitchen areas (it’s an apartment) so he’d be safe from plants and have litter box access. As soon as the door closed the crying started. We figured he could hear us talking and that’s why he was crying; he knew we were there and wanted to be with us. So we stopped talking and the crying stopped. This was at about 11:30 at night. All through the night I would randomly wake up to the sounds of him crying but I figured he needed to learn that that’s where he’d have to stay at night. At about 4:30 am Dan and I were both wide awake and we decided to let the baby come in. It was his first night and we didn’t want him to be sad anymore 🙁 So he was happy and laid down with us and crawled over us and nuzzled us. Such a sweetie. 🙂 Now here’s my question: Can anyone give suggestions on how to transition him? I don’t want him getting sick but I don’t want him to cry and feel lonely. 🙁 And unfortunately, another cat is out of the question so we can’t get him a companion.
3)If I get cat grass, would that appeal to him more so than munching on my other plants? I wonder if he’ll just think of it as a new addition to his menu. :-/
4)I need name suggestions! My boyfriend were thinking of Java or Bean (he’s all black with one white whisker [the other whiskers are black]). We want something clever but not too cutesy like Fluffy and nothing too long. Our poor baby needs a name ASAP! Also, can anyone give suggestions on helping a kitten recognize his new name?
5)Are kittens known to chew on wires or anything like that? I’m so worried about him and Dan and I are at work until at least 5pm and it’s nerve wracking to think he’s there all by his lonesome.
6)I heard that when you pick up a kitten a lot, they don’t mind it and even like it when they get older. Has anyone else heard this? I give him little kisses on the cheek, rub his belly, and pet his paws which he doesn’t seem to mind but are things most other cats I’ve met hate.
Please let me know of any suggestions or other advice you can give! I want to raise a happy healthy kitty! Thanks!18 July, 2008 at 3:00 pm #251731
First of all Welcome to TDK..Does this kitten have a name??? and as far as the plants go, can you put them in hanging baskets off the floor and out of kitties reach?18 July, 2008 at 3:02 pm #251732
Welcome to TDK. You asked for advice and are about to get lots of it! I am not the advice expert so I leave that to the others. I will say enjoy every minute with your boy and find a good vet. Have him neutered. You will learn a great deal as time moves on. Love him and he will love you–may you have a very long and healthy life together!18 July, 2008 at 3:05 pm #251733
By the way Java Bean would be a great name! My little guy is Deuter Bug, big guy is Basil, and my princess is Rumpleteaser (Teaser).18 July, 2008 at 3:07 pm #251734
Welcome. We have King Humphrey Bogart (aka Bogman), Clarkston Howell III (aka Clark), and Andy Jetstream (aka Andy, the tail-less wonder and ‘nilla Bean)18 July, 2008 at 3:13 pm #251735
Hanging the plants is a great idea; we put our plants outside but living in Southern California almost all plants will thrive outside. We have two cats and they both sleep in our room and always have so your little boy was probably wanting to be with you last night. I agree with soxsmom with the name Java Bean – great name. Definitely have him neutered and keep him inside too. You will love being owned by a kitty.18 July, 2008 at 3:14 pm #251736
Welcome to TDK! I’m a fairly new kitty mom and am dealing with some of the same issues, especially the nighttime crying. If you really can’t get another cat & you don’t want to let the little one into your room at night, everyone says to just let him cry. I know, it’s HARD!
I love the name Java Bean, and he sounds like a cutie. I hope we’ll get to see pictures.
If he lets you pick him up and cuddle him, I say go for it! Then later when you need to clip his claws he won’t be too freaked out when you touch him. Plus, cuddling is just nice 🙂 My Georgie was almost a year old when we got him and he’s not a cuddler at all (we’re working on that).
Enjoy him! And welcome!18 July, 2008 at 3:24 pm #251737
Thank you all for the warm welcome!
SoxsMom, we will definitely get him neutered within the next 30 days. He’s going to be a strictly indoors cat, but just in case… There are too many homeless cats and I don’t want to be responsible for adding to that problem.
Well I’m pretty sure the Passion Fruit plant is hazardous but it needs to be on a trellis so I can’t hang that. This is the plant I know about for sure but that is kept on a windowsill in the bedroom. We plan on making sure the bedroom door is always closed so he doesn’t wander in and munch on it. I really only have one plant that can hang and it’s already up. If anyone knows if these are toxic, please let me know: African Violet (pink), Desert Rose, Purple Horn of Plenty, Cacti, “Lucky” Bamboo, Dwarf Lemon tree, Strawberry plant, Corn Plant (I think that’s the name; it looks like a tropical tree with dark green leaves with light green stripes down the middle), and Wandering Jew plant (this is already hanging but if any leaves drop off I don’t want him to eat any and get sick).18 July, 2008 at 3:30 pm #251738
I don’t know if cacti are toxic, but I know George likes to use ours as a back scratcher.
Here’s a list from the Cat Fanciers’ Association of plants toxic to cats: http://www.cfainc.org/articles/plants.html18 July, 2008 at 3:30 pm #251739
Try this website for a list of toxic plants18 July, 2008 at 3:31 pm #251740
Kilroy, great minds think alike!!! lol18 July, 2008 at 3:46 pm #251741
We are all waiting for the experts come in but here is my 2 cents.
One look at the kitten and a kitty enthusiast (or a vet) can estimate his/her age.
Cat grass is usually more appealing to them but it doesn’t stop munching. Fortunately most of the poisonous plants taste nasty and remain uneaten. Google or a gardener can tell which plants are poisonous to them. Let the kitten sleep with you, you all will be happier.
Some kittens and adult cats chew on wires but most of them couldn’t care less. Drugstores sell stuff that tastes disgusting but is harmless to kitties. (We had a topic about that about two days ago)
Picking up the kitten and handling him often is an excellent idea. Later you need to catch him and put him into a carrier, cut his claws, give him medication etc. and all that will be easier if you get him used to all kinds of incidents.
Name suggestions for a black cat: http://www.google.fi/search?hl=fi&rlz=1G1GGLQ_FIFI276&q=name+black+cat&meta=
I suggest Sooty.
Extra warm welcome to TDK!18 July, 2008 at 3:48 pm #251742
Well, I am just guessing that your new bundle of joy is at least 8 wks. Young enough to miss his siblings and old enough to be independent (uses litterbox, is weaned) but your vet will be more able to evaluate his age.
Since you cannot get him the perfect toy (a brother or sister), get him a nice variety to keep him entertained while you are away. They don’t have to be expensive … An old stocking wadded into a ball and knotted, milk rings (the plastic ring that snaps off when you open a bottle of milk) or plastic caps, and empty medicine bottle with a couple of small metal screws or nuts to rattle, a walnut. You can treat your wires and plants with something non-toxic that kitty will want to avoid. There are also motion-detecting cans of pressurized air that you can place where you don’t want him to frequent. They will hiss at him like his mother saying “NO” when he comes too close. The advantage to these is that he will not associate your presence with the discipline (The I can do this as long as mommy isn’t watching! Catitude).
Java Bean is a good name. Talk it over with him and see what he thinks.
Welcome to TDK!18 July, 2008 at 3:57 pm #251743
He has a few toys that he seems to like and his MOST favorite, the feather duster. I’ve just been thinking all day that he’s probably at home crying right now and I’m so depressed.. If he was so sad when we were in the other room imagine how he feels now! And that pressurized can sounds like a neat idea. Thanks everyone!18 July, 2008 at 4:00 pm #251744
Pick him up and pet him every chance you get, cuddle him, kiss him, encourage his affection. Don’t tickle him too hard, don’t keep playing if he starts to bite or scratch your hand (he may look at it as a monster to attack, but you don’t want to encourage that.) I find a spray bottle of water is one of the most effective deterrents to keeping a little one off a table or away from plants etc. It doesn’t take many sprays for them to get the idea. Toys are crucial, scrunchy balls (light weight, yarn with scrunchy sound when you sqush them) and catnip mice. String toys on wands that you can have him chase as he plays with you. All these things are available at pet stores, you’ll have a hard time not buying all of them. He may not be interested in your plants, my seven cats totally ignore all my plants. Love the name Java Bean. Good luck and welcome to TDK. Oh, and to keep him company all day, play the radio. It has music (pick a mellow station) and voices.18 July, 2008 at 4:00 pm #251745
You’ve already gotten plenty of good advice!
Cat grass is probably a good idea – provided that you keep it near his food & water. If you catch him chewing on the houseplants, a stern “No,” followed by picking him up and setting him down by the cat grass, and petting him, is good. If you catch him chewing the cat grass, tell him what a good boy he is and pet him a lot!
(I have a cat that races up and uses the scratching post whenever I’m walking by… because she knows I’ll pet her if she does!)
Please make sure you play with him with toys, not your hands. Teasing him with your hands gets out of control quickly, especially when he gets older (and claws get sharper, and bites get stronger). If he takes a swipe at your hand, tell him “No” and distract him by tossing a toy across the room.
A favorite cat toy is a crumpled up sheet of paper; just wad it up into a ball.
To get your kitten adjusted to his new name, use it when you put down food, when you pet him, when you give him a treat. He will come to associate his name with all of those good things – and will be responsive when he hears it. Of the two names, Java or Bean, I think a cat will respond to Bean better; it has a ‘harder,’ more definite sound to start the name. Besides, Bean can easily become Beaner, Beanie, BeanBoy, BeanButt…
If he likes being picked up and cuddled, do it. A lot! He’ll become a cuddlemonster. Handle his front paws frequently, and also occasionally his back paws. Touch him all over, when he’s feeling calm or sleepy (not when he’s all revved up to play). He will come to trust you implicitly. Never swat at him, if you can at all avoid it; that will just teach him to be afraid of your hands.
Welcome to TDK!18 July, 2008 at 4:02 pm #251746
Welcome theanimechick!18 July, 2008 at 4:03 pm #251747
I’m betting he’s just sleeping at home, BTW. He’ll be happy to see you when you get home! He sounds like a real talker.
He may cry some if you shut him out of the bedroom, but only at first. From personal experience, and absent any serious allergies, I’ve found my life goes much better if I let the cats sleep in the bedroom.
He wants company; up until now, he’s undoubtedly been around other cats. So he’ll want a lot of interaction with you, to make up for not having any littermates.18 July, 2008 at 4:08 pm #251748
Your good to be cautious, but cats won’t usually eat plants unless their tummy is upset. She will play with it though, so I would put it up too.
Love the name ‘Java-Bean’, I’d use both together.
Welcome to TDK
(((((animalchick))))))18 July, 2008 at 4:19 pm #251749
You know he isn’t at home crying he is at home sleeping so he can play with you all night! By the way the links for plants are great! Thank you for them! I have a plant I had no idea was toxic. This is that learn as you go part. It has been removed to the great outdoors for the time being.18 July, 2008 at 4:26 pm #251750
Welcome, animechick, I love the name Java Bean (I used to have a kitty named Mocha Dot, but that was some years ago).
Good luck raising your new baby!18 July, 2008 at 4:28 pm #251751
Welcome TAC! We use abbreviations alot.
Thanks for the link on the plants ! Chloe never bothered anything… Mili is a different story. I had no idea that pothos were poisonous!! I have 3 three of them in my house, and Mili used to chew on the leaves. I never saw her do so… just the evidence left behind – munched leaves. She seems to have stopped on her own.
Ann… thanks for the info on the cat grass. I will get it from time to time for Mili, and had been putting on the floor under one of the plants she chewed most often – hoping she prefer the cat grass. Seems to have worked… but I’ll know differently should I have another cat that likes houseplants. Mili LOVES cat grass. Chloe – not so much. HA !18 July, 2008 at 4:28 pm #251752
Thank you all for the wonderful advice!
anncetera2, it never really crossed my mind not to swat at a kitty because he’ll become scared of your hands. Thanks for that advice! He was putting his front paws on the toilet rim last night and I sternly tapped him on the head (not very hard though) and I didn’t think twice about it.18 July, 2008 at 4:36 pm #251753
TAC, you may find his interest in the toilet an asset, not a liability! Have you given any thought to toilet-training him? (You’d save a small fortune in cat litter, over his lifetime!)18 July, 2008 at 4:37 pm #251754
Hands are always for food and affection, nothing else. A sudden, loud noise is usually enough to startle a cat or kitten into stopping whatever they’re doing.18 July, 2008 at 4:56 pm #251755
How sanitary is toilet training a cat?18 July, 2008 at 5:22 pm #251756
No less sanitary than having your cat lick your hand, I imagine, or you scooping the litterbox. (Cats lick themselves all over, regardless of their location for elimination.) If your cat doesn’t go outside, the one transmittable disease shouldn’t be a problem (toxoplasmosis), since cats pick it up from eating wild animals (like rabbits).
A pretty thorough guide on toilet training is at:
Please also check out the frequently asked questions section; there’s a lot of information to be found there.18 July, 2008 at 5:24 pm #251757
Very helpful! Thank you! Potty training seems like a pretty good idea especially if the only transmittable disease is something I won’t even need to worry about.18 July, 2008 at 5:43 pm #251758
Welcome TAC! You have found that there are a lot of experience cat lovers on this site. I look forward to seeing some pictures of your kitten. video is fun when he is playing too.18 July, 2008 at 7:44 pm #251759
Welcome to TDK theanimechick!! Your kitty boy sounds beautiful and sweet,congratulations and your new furrbaby.
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