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Advice on caring for my new cat :)

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dmj | 11:02 Wed 08th Oct 2008 | Animals & Nature
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My new kitten marley acquired me a couple of days ago :) whilst I was at my friends house, ( her cat had a litter)He is 8 weeks old and totally adorable, If I am being honest I was not a cat lover in the slightest until he came home with me but I have really taken to this little fella, anyhow, not being a cat lover I dont really know how to look after him, I have a few ideas but want to make sure this is the right thing to do...
As he's only little at night we shut him in the kitchen with food, water and clean litter tray, I also bought a kitten bed yesterday along with lots of toys, however he's not interested and has found a way to get under my kitchen cupboards by going down the side of my cooker, he sleeps there all night and I'm worried he may get cold or stuck! I intend to keep him in until he's 5 months and then I was going to get his injections and get him fixed, when he is old enough to go out I thought about letting him out in the day but keep him in at night? Will he come back around tea time if I time it right with his feeding? I have thought about keeping him as a house cat and letting him out in the garden while I'm with him? My main reasons for this are I REALLY dont want him bringing me gifts, I honestly couldnt bear it even though i know its a term of affection, another idea was to lock the cat flap so he cant get in and then I can see if he's got anyhting, although does this offend the cat and then they go off? I'm used to having a dog and I realise its very different looking after a cat and I just want to do the right thing, also I will be back at work next week as will my husband so marley will be on his own, I dont want to give him the run of the house yet as he's only a kitten and obviously there are lots of perils in the house if he's on his own, will he be alright just in my kitchen and hallway? I live in a victorian house so my hallway is very long plenty of room for him to run around :) Any advice would be great, thanks xx

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i have 5 cats and they get into the strangest places.i would just give him lots of cuddles and affection although he may have to decide when this is instead of you as cats can be stubborn.my cats dont bring presents home but i think some cats do and some cats dont cant really do much about it.i have always let my cats have the run of the house and they have never come to any harm although one of my cats pulled the christmas tree over but only the tree was damaged.a cat bed is a great idea although mine prefer a bed or the seetee.sounds like you are doing all the right things for the little fella.a kitten given to a person who isnt a cat lover per se often manages the melt the persons heart as you have found.although cats arent obedient like dogs but are just as loving.if he is a bit bonkers like most kittens he should calm down when he is a few years old although my cat who was 14 when she died still had a few bonkers moments :-D
hope this helps
When I first got my kitten, I did the same as you, shut him in the kitchen at night. He got into the smallest gaps and so I had bits of carboard boxes taped over all the gaps (back of the cooker, side of the washing machine, back of the fridge etc) and it stopped him.

I already had a cat flap and I used to leave it open dureing the day and then lock it at night so he had to stay inside. I don't bother now though it is always open and he doesn't really go out at night. So far (he is 5 now) he has never brought me any 'presents' thank god!

I don't think you can have him as a house cat and then expect him to go into the garden with you, he will probably leg it! If he is a house cat, he would need to be indoors all the time. You don't even need to get a cat flap though, my brother has 2 cats and when they want to come in, they sort of 'knock' on the patio doors! Also that way, he can see what they have got in their mouth before he lets them in! He still ends up with the dead bodies of various rodents, frogs and birds on the patio though :-)

I my cat his injections done pretty much straight away (I think he was 12 weeks) and then got him neutered when he was 6 months old.

I got my kitten from the cats protection league when he was 16 weeks - he'd had all his jabs and was neutered just before I got him. I also kept him in the kitchen overnight and when I was out for about a week, then gradually let him have the run of the house. He now just comes up at night and sleeps under the duvet with me! I started letting out when he was almost 5 months after I had him microchipped - just in the garden with me. He's not big enough to get over the fence yet so I just leave the patio door open while i'm in and bring him in if I go out. I don't have a cat flap so I'll be able to monitor any 'presents' he brings me - my Mum's cats used to bring home rabbits through the cat flap and proceed to kill and eat them in her kitchen - she now locks the flap so they can only get out!!

Good luck!
Question Author
Many thanks for all of your advice, as we speak Marley is sat on my lap trying to type! lol! I cant really block off the gaps so I have put an old dressing gown under there to at least keep him warm, hopefully as he grows and stops chewing all my TV wires etc, I will be able to let him sleep on the sofa as he seems to prefer this over anything else!!! I cant beleive that overnight I absoloutely love him to bits when I really wasnt interested in cats before, its amazing how intelligent they are, much easier to train than a dog! Defo gonna get a cat flap and then lock it so he can only go out and I monitor what he's got in his mouth, I will be only letting him out in the day anyway so hopefully it will be ok, I've heard cats do most of their hunting at night and most presents are brought to you first thing in the morning.... nice..... :) :)
Welcome to the joys of being owned by a little furry bundle of happiness, we who are owned by these furry masters/mistresses are here to ask for any help you might need and we will try to help you any way we can, cant really add onto what good advice you've been given so far, except enjoy every moment you spend with marley, he'll have you wrapped round his paws in no time.xx
Question Author
Too be honest madaboutcats he already has!! lol, he is soooo adorable thanks for your comment though, its nice to know theres advice when I need it which I no doubt will! xx
He will do what he wants to do, not what you want.

If he wants to go out when you want him to stay in, he will wreck the joint and deprive you of sleep.

You may think you are in control, but that's just what he wants you to think.
My kitten Lucy is 10 weeks now, we have had her since 6 and a half weeks - she totally shuns the lovely bed we bought, the basket we bought her, the little cosy bankets my mum crocheted for her - in the end I cut a hole in a smallish carboard box and put one of kids old fleece jumpers in it and she loves it .

we shut her in the playroom during the day and at night with all her food toys and beds, she gets the run of the house the rest of the time. my husband is home for lunch and I am home at 3 so it is not too long for her.

She has a few stuffed toys that she beats up and drags up to her "lair" on the back of the sofa - together with whatever socks she can find. A bit like a leopard dragging its kill into a tree. Maybe Marley would like a little stuffed toy companion.

She has had her first set of jabs - 2nd set next week and then she will be neutered at 6 months - we will probably keep her in till then - my OH reckons that she is so bold that she will be lucky to survive outside - she has already lost about 5 lives hanging from the curtain poles and jumping in the bath and getting caught up in the kids school bag.

Best of luck!!!!
Question Author
thanks Annie thats a really good idea about the box, I will give it a go, and panic button thanks for your answer but I am going on the advice of friends who have cats and their cats are happy to stay in at night so I can but try....
dmj my mums cat big ginge stays in at night and she has no problems with any wrecking of house, my much missed patch also staid in at nights and there was no problems there. If you start him off now staying in at nights he'll never know anything different and also for your own piece of mind you will know he's safe in the house with you,as long as he has his litter tray he will be a happy boy. I remember that patch used to lead us a merry dance if he staid out after it started to get dark but once he was indoors he'd spend nearly all night (when he was younger) tucked up in bed with me, as he got older he'd sleep the night away on the sofa. Hey marley welcome to answer bank, lots of love cupar cat and margo cat.xx
Hello Marley....

Hey, Marley Mate, if you are really clever, you can train your slave to do anything you like - be a slave, buy you the bestest most fabby cat food and open those darned tins or pouches of food, make sure you have somewhere lovely and warm to sleep (if not, then their bed will be just fine) and just generally be available for cuddles and soft purry strokes... All you have to do is go ciao miaow and keep your fur in tip top silky condition, then these slaves will do anything for you, honest ! We also enjoy toys - especially those with fresh catnip inserted, balls of aluminium foil or wire tags, but bestest of all are empty cardboard boxes left hanging around the lounge for us to jump in and out of.... we don't mind what size they are.... the smaller the better sometimes (shoe boxes are good fun, as are bigger ones).

Love from Floss (aka Dental) and Ruby - good luck with the slave training !

Question Author
aww thanks guys! :), I actually have a bit of a concern about Marley. its only been the past few days, but he is REALLY into EVERYTHING!!!! He is always climbing up my dining room chairs, the covers are wicker! :) He's also started getting a bit lairy??? His back goes up quite a lot and he keeps " biting" me, its not that it hurts but he will just do it at random? We all play with him loads, he is well fed and gets lots of cuddles so I dont understand why he appears to be turning on me like this? If I'm honest its unnerving me a bit? He's 9 weeks by the way I dont know if that haves any bearing on it? Thanks :) xxxx

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