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Old April 18th, 2018, 07:21 AM
Momofall Momofall is offline
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Smile New Kitten Tips(?) and Some Questions

Disclaimer: I have already read the pinned post on introducing a new cat as well as several other articles on bringing home a new kitten and we are doing the majority of the typical things in these early days but just looking for some practical tips for the coming days/weeks.

Our house currently consists of:
Myself and my husband
Our 2 year old son (who has been around cats and dogs from birth)
Our two adult chihuahuas (social, friendly and were raised around cats)

We live in a small town house, so while space is at a premium there are three levels of living space.

We lost our beloved senior cat over a year ago. His health was failing and it was time to say goodbye. He had been with us for 15 years and I was devastated as he was quite possibly the best cat ever. It took us some time to heal before we decided it was time to make our household a kitty+ space again.

So now here we are with a brand new kitten adopted from a friend of a friend who's cat had kittens. He is 9 weeks old.

Despite my fairly extensive pet ownership, raising a kitten is a bit of new territory for us because we have historically always gone with adult rescues. We opted for the kitten because we wanted something that could grow up being used to the dynamic of our house, which could be a lot for an older cat.

Here's what we have done so far:
- Initial vet visit is booked for this week
- Kitten has been set up in his own room with litter, food, toys, bed, carrier, scratching post.
- Dogs are allowed temporary trips to the basement so everyone can smell everyone under the door.
- Kitten has been allowed supervised time out of his room with the dogs and adult humans (no toddler)...which so far has resulted in lots of sniffing and then mutual napping.
- Kitten is put in his own room at night to minimize risk and also maximize our own sleep
- Kitten is put in his own room during the day while we are at work for the same reasons

- Toddler will be introduced to kitten this evening away from dogs to minimize stress. Kitten will be able to escape the room through the baby gate if he wants away from toddler quickly (who won't be able to follow) and we will of course be supervising the entire time.

So far everything has been quite fine. This kitten is very friendly, social and outgoing and hasn't been at all skittish or seemed stressed by this transition. If anything he seems most distressed to be locked up away from the pack when he is.

So here are my questions:

- How long is the recommended time to keep the kitten separated in his own space away from everything else?

- He is litter trained but when we do finally let him out is it still common that he will know to go all the way back down to the basement to use his litter?
(putting a box on each level is a challenge due to our very small living spaces)

- I know with puppies there is a recommended time to keep taking them outside to encourage house training - Is there anything like this with kittens in terms of reminding them where their litter box is?

- At what point is it ok to leave the house with him having free rein? He will always be able to get down to the basement to escape the dogs when he wants but at the same time I don't want to be at work worrying about him.

I think I've covered it all...apologies for the long post but wanted to try to give everyone the appropriate background so you know where we are coming from.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and also any additional tips you may have.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 08:27 AM
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marko marko is offline
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Hi Momofall and welcome to the forum!

People might have different answers for your questions.

But first off - BOY are you doing a lot of great work....you're gonna have great results. Onto the questions:

Quote:
So here are my questions:

- How long is the recommended time to keep the kitten separated in his own space away from everything else?

- He is litter trained but when we do finally let him out is it still common that he will know to go all the way back down to the basement to use his litter?
(putting a box on each level is a challenge due to our very small living spaces)

- I know with puppies there is a recommended time to keep taking them outside to encourage house training - Is there anything like this with kittens in terms of reminding them where their litter box is?

- At what point is it ok to leave the house with him having free rein? He will always be able to get down to the basement to escape the dogs when he wants but at the same time I don't want to be at work worrying about him.

I think I've covered it all...apologies for the long post but wanted to try to give everyone the appropriate background so you know where we are coming from.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and also any additional tips you may have.

The how long - depends on the kitten (some are shyer...some less shy) AND the existing pets in the household. You don't want the existing pets to get too agitated. I'd say around 3-14 days should be fine

Litter - every cat is different. MANY cats like to do their business in quiet low traffic areas which may explain why kitty wants to go downstairs. In my experience...cats adapt well if the litterbox is CLEAN and in a quieter area.
When you change the location of the litterbox....just show them 1 time. They are great smellers....shouldn't take long to adapt to the new box's location.


The leaving them alone....HMMM only when you are 100% sure they get along. Until that time...I'd keep them separate when I'm not around. Also...nannny cams might be a good test when you aren't around.

Hope that may help - and curious to see what others say.

welcome again!
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  #3  
Old April 19th, 2018, 07:48 AM
Momofall Momofall is offline
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Thanks Marko!

So far so good. Things went better than expected watching him and our toddler meet and get acquainted.

Then he had free rein of the house all evening while we were all there.

All was good until the very end of the night when he peed on our bed

I suspect that answers my questions a bit though, he had zero interest in heading back down to his litter box all evening when he could be upstairs with us (even though he had full access to it).

So I guess I will try harder to remind him of its location more throughout this afternoon when he is out and about again.
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Old April 19th, 2018, 10:18 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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Oh, dang, he's a doll! Wish I had some advice for you, but we're totally new to cat ownership and it's a learning curve for us, as well! Maybe I'll pick up some tips following your threads!
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Old April 19th, 2018, 02:28 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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What a sweetheart !
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Old April 20th, 2018, 12:11 PM
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marko marko is offline
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super-cute....
If it's not a big deal for the other members in the household....I'd recommend adding a second litter box upstairs (in a quieter area if there is one) during this phase. You just never know which one kitty will prefer...
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