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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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Helping new kitty adjust to inside life

Hello! I am new here.

Here's our story, I need some advice.

A few months ago a stray cat showed up at our doorstep. We live out in the country so it's not entirely unusual and we didn't think much of it. Sometime around the end of May my husband was out in the garage and heard some noise. He found 6 tiny kittens and the mom (the stray) hissing at him like crazy. I have 5 kids and we begged and begged my husband to allow us to take one in as a housevcat but he said no. Two of the kittens went missing over time but 4 stayed around although 2 of them absolutely hate people and run whenever they see us.

My oldest boy (age 8) fell in love with one of the nice kittens and named him or her (I have no clue how to tell) Locky. Locky is the sweetest kitten ever and even started following my husband around until he fell in love with him/her as well. Finally just this past week he agreed to let us take Locky in as a pet one one condition - we get it declawed. See, we live in a farmhouse that has lots of wood trim inside and when we had a cat a long time ago she scratched up all the wood no matter what we did. It drove my husband crazy and he swore no more cats after her.

I called the vet today to get Locky in for shots and wormed as well as declawed and they can't get the cat in until next Friday. My husband agreed to let us bring him/her in today as long as we put it on the porch when no one is home. I did buy a cheap scratching post to use until we can get the declawing done.

I bought one of the litter boxes with a door and filter since it will have to be in the kitchen and I don't want it to smell too bad. I'm just curious how to get a kitten used to it that has never had one before. Our house is pretty large and I'm worried the cat will get lost and be unable to figure out where the box is. Do I just keep putting it in the litter box from time to time for awhile? Should I expect accidents? Also, is it the same with the scratching post? Just show it to the cat from time to time or if I see it scratching on something else?

Anything else I should know or do when bringing an outside cat in as a house cat?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 01:31 PM
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my recondmedation is to limit the rooms it can go to untill u have it littered trained and keep putting it in the litter box. if you do that the kitten should eventually figure out what it is suppose to do and where to find the litter box then u can allow it roam the house. With the rooms limited u won't have to worry about accidents threw out the house and will make it a little easier for you to keep an eye on it. the other thing withthe litter box is u have to make sure the sides aren't too high for the kitten to get in to it and u may not want to have the door on it for the first bit so you can make sure it is using hte litter box. I would also suggest another room to but the litter box since they like their privacy when they do their business just like us and the kitchen is usualy a busy room in the house and that may prevent the itten from using the litter box. I also read some where to keep spray bottles of water threw out the house so that u can spray the kitten for scratching on the wood work and what not. I used the spary bottle to keep mine off the table and it does work. Just have patience, it is just like tolet training you child or so my brother told me.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 01:40 PM
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yes, a spray bottle is a great way to stop a cat from doing what it shouldn't, and its not abusive.
We used one on occasions with our kitten to teach him right from wrong, and it worked really fast.
They absolutely hate getting their faces wet, but they do look cute when wet though
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2006, 02:18 PM
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Consistency is key when litterbox training, and limiting your new addition to a small area is an excellent idea. Just don't put his/her litterbox too close to the food/water dishes; it's unsanitary, and they don't like it (neither would we!) and will likely cause kitty to go somewhere else. Placing kitty in the litterbox several times a day, especially after you see him/her eating, is excellent, and giving lots of praise when the business is done correctly should get you well on your way. Just remember, that if your kitten does have an accident be sure to clean up the area completely with something like white vinegar or the cat will be drawn to that area again. Depending on your cat's personality, the kitchen may end up being too busy, but then again it may be just fine.


A word of caution: if you're going to be using standard clay/clumping type litter, you'll have to stop for a while after the declawing (it is not safe for the wounds - you'll have to use something like Yesterday's news). That may throw a bit of a wrench into things since kitties tend to not like changes anyhow, and if your baby is just learning he/she may get a little bit confused. Just be prepared for that. We had a cat declawed once and she hated the feel of the approved litter so much that she would stand on the edges of the litterbox. It was just one more thing in a string of horrible experiences. I'll actually never have a cat declawed again. (Not trying to dissaude you from it - I'm glad you're providing a home to a kitty - Just saying my experience with it was bad).

edited: by the way, I was laughing picturing your husband being won over by a little furball. Aren't all guys funny that way - pretending to be all big and mean...LOL.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 04:05 AM
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also, when you clean up the kittens potty accidents, sometimes it helps to put the tissue or whatever you use to clean it up in the litter box, so it will smell it in there, might catch on faster, thats how we trained a stray kitten. after doing that once or twice they figured it out pretty quick



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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! We had a pretty good day and night with kitty. He (finally my mom looked lol) hasn't had any accidents but so far has only gone when I actually put him in the box. When I got up today I noticed he hadn't gone all night so I placed him in there and he finally went #2 for the first time as well. But like I said, the times he's peed have also only been when I place him in there. Not sure if I should just keep doing this or just wait and see what he does on his own.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2006, 08:27 PM
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you mite want to keep putting him threw out the day and just before you go to bed and when u get up in the morning just to help re-enforce that is where he needs to go and praise him when u seen that he did what he is suppose to. Is he able to get in to the box by him self or is it too high for him i know if it he feels it is too high he might not go in to the litter box on his own. Remeber he has short little paws and it may be hard for him to get in if the sides are too high. I know my covered box the sides are really high and my runt has a lil stuggle getting in to it and she is a year old. remeber he is just a wee one and it is going to take heaps of time and patience to get him trained.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-11-2006, 09:23 PM
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If the box has a cover you may not want to use it at first. He may not like the feeling since he is used to being outside.
Good luck with him. It's wonderful that you are giving him a good home.
As for litter I have been using Feline Pine and I really like it. I feel it does keep the odor down. I think it's on the approved list for declawing but double check that.

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 09:38 AM
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as for the clawing problem up until u get him declawed, i was reading on a site somewhere that cats don't like the smell of oranges so if u hang an orange peel aroudn wher ehe scratches and shouldn't be for a few daysit will keep him away and he won't scratch there. I will try to find that site again and post a link to it here.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2006, 06:21 PM
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I'd keep reenforcing your litter habits. Good suggestion to check the height of the litter box. Many covered boxes are deeper than others and a little kitten may have trouble. Also, some cats do not like and will not use a covered box. So maybe while getting him used to it, take the cover off completely. Be sure it is in a place where there is little chance of being disturbed, especially if eh does choose to use it with teh cover. Any loud noises may suddenly frighten him and detour him from using the box at all...

litter training is about the biggest change from outdoor to indoor... that nad teaching them to stay indoor. But he sounds young enough he'll get used to it and should be fine.

If the cat won't use a scratching post you can provide other things. Things we've used in the past, old leather purse, scrap of carpet or rug, newspapers... if you catch them clawing, place them with the thing you will allow them to claw. Once they start clawing that then continue reenforcing and eventually perhaps a spray bottle to detour from clawing other places.

Most of all, just let the kitty be. Let him get used to his new place. Dont' take him out and play with him much. Maybe in the evening and offer him treats and such when you do. But if he doesn't want to be handled, let him go. He'll eventually come around once he gets used to the new and probably right now scary place he's been brought to.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2006, 08:46 PM
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For clawing you can also put packing tape sticky side out on whatever he is clawing. Needless to say he won't want to be stuck to anything. My dad and his girlfriend also used well basically it was saran wrap. They had it for moving and left it on the furniture. It works!

mommy to
Tyler - kitty
Oscar - water turtle
Bean - kitty
Frankie - dachshund
Belle - dachshund
Oliver - bunny
Ophelia - bunny
Penelope - bunny
Teddy - bunny -ok I have given up on 4 of a kind and am willing to settle for 2 pairs.
8 fishes - RIP Little Guy and Greta
and Tabatha - October 11, 2006 - rest in peace our sweet angel bunny
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2006, 11:03 AM
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That double sided sticky tape works great and rather than declawing, why not try soft paws? They also work great.
http://www.softpaws.com/


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