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Old August 15th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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First-Time Kitty Owner Questions!

Hi There

First post for a first-time pet owner! I picked up my very first furry friend from the SPCA about 3 months ago. He's a 3yr DMH named Lancelot, and I just ADORE him- I couldn't ask for a better kitten! He's my buddy when I'm at home, but lately I've been worrying if he's doing alright when I'm at work.

See, some days I come home and NONE of his toys have moved. I've bought him several toys, and made a few home-made ones- he doesn't play with boxes, pieces of paper, springs, jingle/crinkle balls or any of that good stuff. Occasionally he will play with straws and sometimes will use his kitty condo. He does love his tiny mice, and the mouse-on-a-string in the doorway, and will chase the laser pointer when I play with him.

He isn't destructive, though every few days WILL do something he's not suppose to to get my attention. I'm wondering if there are some cats that are just content not playing on their own? Or, at 3yrs old, if he's starting to outgrown the 'playing' stage? I may just be convincing myself that if I'm not there to hang out with him he's going to get bored :P

Thanks!!
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Old August 15th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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Thank you for adopting from a shelter

Do you think he may benefit having another kitty to play with during the day? He may be bored and just sleep while you are away.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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First, full grown cats (and at three years old yours is full grown) sleep approximately sixteen hours or so a day. He may be saving his activity for when you get home. Second, cats can get bored of familiar objects just like people can. I'm not saying go get new toys, but try taking the old ones away and then reitroducing them, one at a time. Rotate which ones he has out, so he has something he hasn't seen in a while. And yes, cats often prefer homemade toys to the ones we spoil them with. Mine have all kinds of bought toys, and yet today all they wanted to play with was a paper bag and each other
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Old August 15th, 2011, 11:21 AM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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Cool that you adopted a kitty!!! I've discovered that most of the time, my kitten prefers stuff she finds around the house to play with. She absolutely loves the little plastic strips from the milk jug lids...she doesn't eat them or anything like that but the second she hears the little noise they make when you pull them off, she's right there, meowing!! You can get a Kong for kitties now! It's cat sized and you can put treats in it. My sister has an older single kitty and she hides little treats around the house for her to find. Everyone here loves boxes, and if they really have to squeeze to fit, then even better. Except, Noella - kitten, everyone pretty much spends the day sleeping. She still seems to be awake more than asleep.
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Old August 15th, 2011, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinaling View Post
...He does love,,,the mouse-on-a-string in the doorway,,,
Welcome to the forum, Tinaling! That part in red caught my eye,,,you might want to have a second look at that...if there's any possibility that Lancelot might somehow get caught up in the string while you're away,,,well, 'nuff said. I've heard of far too many stories of fatal "accidents" that could have been easily prevented.
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Old August 16th, 2011, 08:00 AM
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Thanks everyone! I'm going to try changing out his toys more often and see what happens. It's hard to change them out when he's only interested in 3-4 of them, lol. He WAS going bonkers for a ping pong ball last night, so that gives me hope there are many more options out there.

Thanks again!
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Old August 16th, 2011, 05:56 PM
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I honestly do not think that a 3-year old cat is outgrowing playing,my oldest right now is 14 and playes like a kitten
Of forgot to mention,thank you for adopting
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Old August 16th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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If Lancelot came from a shelter you probably don't know what his home life was like before. While I agree that cats play well into their senior years I find they get out of the habit if no one encourages them by playing with them. If you engage him more yourself he might rediscover the joys of play. But he'll still probably enjoy it most if you are on the other end of that piece of string.

All of my cats love a slender stick moved about under a scrap of carpet. I poke the stick out one side and they pounce. I move it out to the opposite side and they pounce. I move it under and they pounce on the moving ridge under the carpet. Often they dive under and try to catch it there and end up wiggling along under the carpet to the other end. Or they forget the stick and wrestle with the carpet. Takes me to get them going though, usually.

Did you notice the warning about the string hanging from the doorway?
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Old August 17th, 2011, 12:30 AM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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Take a box, cut some holes in it, throw his ping pong ball in the box and show it to him. Make the holes small enough that he can't get the ball out but can stick his paw in. You could always make him a tunnel out of paper grocery bags, if you can still get them. Cheaper than the ones you buy at the store.
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Old August 17th, 2011, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattymac View Post
Take a box, cut some holes in it, throw his ping pong ball in the box and show it to him. Make the holes small enough that he can't get the ball out but can stick his paw in. You could always make him a tunnel out of paper grocery bags, if you can still get them. Cheaper than the ones you buy at the store.
Half the fun is making the toy. For us.
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Old August 29th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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My boy Gizmo just turned a year. I know that's still really young, but he hasn't shown a single sign of slowing down yet. Especially at 3 in the morning when I'm trying to go to bed he currently has two favorite toys: a small ball of thin, crinkly foil and a stick. Not a something I found outside, but one that came inside a bag of fiberfill (the stuff you buy when you stuff your own pillows/dolls) He'll wrestle the stick, toss it up and catch it, and lay and nibble on it for ages. he also likes to play fetch with both it and the shiny foil ball. I'll toss one or the other down the hallway and he races after it, pounces, turns and runs right back to me to spit it out by my hand. And if i try to quit tossing before he's done chasing and pouncing, believe me, I hear about it

but if you're really worried about him being bored or lonely while you're gone, as others have suggested, maybe you could look into bringing home another friend? I have a dog as well, and while the dog doesn't like to share either me or his toys while I'm there, I have reason to suspect he plays a little nicer while I'm not. So if you think you can swing it financially and space-wise, it's definitely something to consider.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 09:18 AM
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More great ideas, thanks so much!

I did notice the on-a-string warning- I've watched him with the mouse for months and think he's okay. It's actually an elastic and springs back, and since he likes to jump at things, the mouse itself is high enough off the ground that he hasn't been able to tangle himself with it yet

I may try the box with the ping pong balls in it. He really likes chasing these plastic Christmas bulbs I have (no paint on them, sturdy) because they change direction. He's since decided he doesn't like the laser pointer anymore, lol.

As much as I've considered another cat, I'm still too new to being a pet mummy right now and not ready for it. And from what my friends have said, Lancelot probably isn't bored so much as being chill. Nothing phases him
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Old September 13th, 2011, 09:36 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinaling View Post
More great ideas, thanks so much!

I did notice the on-a-string warning- I've watched him with the mouse for months and think he's okay. It's actually an elastic and springs back, and since he likes to jump at things, the mouse itself is high enough off the ground that he hasn't been able to tangle himself with it yet

I may try the box with the ping pong balls in it. He really likes chasing these plastic Christmas bulbs I have (no paint on them, sturdy) because they change direction. He's since decided he doesn't like the laser pointer anymore, lol.As much as I've considered another cat, I'm still too new to being a pet mummy right now and not ready for it. And from what my friends have said, Lancelot probably isn't bored so much as being chill. Nothing phases him
Put it away for awhile. They get bored with the same toy just like kids. Give it a rest and I bet he "rediscovers" it. Gosh, I can't believe we even have those things. I used to use a little glass prism with a rose inside it that sat on my Mother's coffee table. When rotated it sent little beams of coloured light around the walls for the cats to chase. Could only use it at certain times of day when the light came in the window.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 09:39 AM
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It was put away for a few weeks but still doesn't phase him. Oh well! Maybe in another month he'll forget it bored him
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Old September 13th, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinaling View Post
I did notice the on-a-string warning- I've watched him with the mouse for months and think he's okay. It's actually an elastic and springs back, and since he likes to jump at things, the mouse itself is high enough off the ground that he hasn't been able to tangle himself with it yet
Tinaling- I'm not sure I explained my concern clearly enough...

I have had a friend lose his cat...his cat died as a result of having slowly strangled when she became "tangled" in the cord from a window blind....he had been warned about the potential danger of those cords when we covered off "kitten-proofing" his place earlier on...I remember that he tended to downplay those dangers...but, of course, the worst possible scenario occurred, and the warnings became reality. He will never forgive himself.
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Last edited by RUSTYcat; September 14th, 2011 at 10:02 AM. Reason: adj
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Old September 13th, 2011, 12:32 PM
pattymac pattymac is offline
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one of Noella's fave toys is the ring that you pull off the milk jug to open it. She thinks that's the greatest toy!! I can't open a new jug of milk without her being right there yelling at me to throw it. Now she thinks that every time I take the milk out of the fridge that there should be a new ring. I thought she wanted a bit of milk so I gave her a bit this morning, she took a little lick and it was obvious she expected a new ring!!
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Old September 13th, 2011, 12:43 PM
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Tinaling Tinaling is offline
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RUSTYCat: I never intended it to seem like I was 'brushing off' the advice- I want to keep kitty as safe as possible. What happened to your friend's cat is heartbreaking :*( I could never forgive myself either if that happened to him.

Really, truly, I appreciate the advice, what can happen to pets in the home is still foreign to me since I've never had one before. I've been told by people with cats that having an interactive toy like that out during the day would be good for him to keep him occupied. It looks like it would be best as an "Only When Mummy's Around" toy instead.


PattyMac: I've heard they love those things, he's played with one once but unfortunately I don't buy the milk with rings on 'em. If they sold them commercially I'd pick some up

Last edited by Tinaling; September 13th, 2011 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Added reply
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Old September 13th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinaling View Post
I've been told by people with cats that having an interactive toy like that out during the day would be good for him to keep him occupied.
A couple of safe interactive toys to leave out would be something like a TurboTrack or Petmate Cat Track, if your kitty likes chasing balls. A Cat Dancer is also a good choice because it's a flexible wire with cardboard bits on the end, that you attach to a doorknob or something. No risk of getting tangled up or swallowing it.
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