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Monica

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
603
Points
198
Hola all! So I’m less than one month away from gotcha day. Like many of us, im over the moon with excitement to bring home my first sphynx! I’m stocked up on all kitty things, with little orders of goodies coming in anyway now.

However, I feel slightly anxious in anticipation of the whole “kitten” aspect. I’m very experienced at puppy training, with two extremely well behaved boys currently. I have yet to bring up an indoor kitten, let alone a sphynx. Also, I’m confident that I am prepared for the necessary care, this is about enforcing correct behaviors, and eradicating poor ones.

Please share any and all advice on surviving the kitten-hood. I’d like to avoid as much damage to my furniture/home as possible, and I believe the best way to accomplish that is to instill good behaviors from the start, rather than correcting bad ones after the fact.

Some key concerns:

1. Preventing damage to my couch and plush bed frame. I purchased a cat tree with multiple scratching posts. How do I get him to use only those?

2. Litter box training for a two story house. He will be trained from the breeder, but will he just use it right away, or do I need to do something to enforce that behavior? I’m getting a litter robot, but he will be too small to use it in the beginning. How many boxes should I have to be effective?

3. Where to keep him while I’m away? I was thinking guest room upstairs, however the scratching is, again, a concern. Eventually, I would like to let him have run of the house like my dogs, but I’m not sure how that transition works with a cat. Obviously, I will wait until the boys and him are well acclimated.

4. Kitten hazards. The obvious ones have been taken care of, as I have recently baby-proofed for my 8 month old. Particularly, I’m concerned about things he might swallow or chew.

5. Anything you wish others had told you about before you had your first sphynx. Tips, tricks, advice?

Thanks is advance for anyone who takes on this lengthy thread lol.
 

Anansi

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
527
Points
148
1. With scratching and furniture it's a process, when he scratches something he isn't meant to redirect him to the post. Make a noise to distract him from the scratch and pick him up and put him near his post.he should be able to figure out that he is allowed to scratch the post, you can. Also give a treat when he does scratch the post if you wanted. You can also put double sided tape or a spray (you can buy it at pet stores) and put it on the areas you don't want him to scratch cause cats don't like sticky things on their feet.
2. Rule of thumb is one box more than number of cats so with one cat have 2 boxes. When you bring him home have the room set up for him and have his litter box in an easy to access spot and place him in it a couple times over the day/night and he will figure out that's his box :) we haven't had any problems with litter use but make sure you have a proper enzymatic cleaner for accidents because cats will go in places that smell like their box. We had both boxes set up in the bathrooms, the one we showed him and his second one and Orpheus just found the boxes and had no trouble using his when he found them.
3. A lot of people use a spare bathroom or bedroom as their kitten room and have a litter box, water, food and a comfy bed/blankets and some toys and your kitten should be totally fine. Scratching is one of those things that might happen but may not, another option and something my mum did growing up was put throw blankets over the arms of chairs so the cats didn't hurt the couch and that might be an option while you are training/not home for the beginning.
With introduction take it slow. Swap blankets with the boys scents so the dogs and the kitten can get used to the smells let them sniff under the door, and have supervised play/time together. Take it as slow as you need sometimes it takes days sometimes weeks just don't rush it :) then your boy should be fine to just run around with everyone else.
4. You'll always miss something when it comes to kitten proofing it happens but just make sure anything small enough to be eaten is out of the way. Cords for blinds and string toys just make sure they are out of the way and house plants check if they are toxic a lot are to cats and also those salt lamps are toxic too. But if you have baby proofed in sure you're pretty ready.
5. Don't go overboard with toys. Orpheus hardly touches most of his and prefers to just play with trash :p his favourites are bottle caps and pieces of cardboard. So wait and see what he likes. Lots of blankets and comfy beds :)

Sorry for the essay hope that helped :p
 

Schrodinger

Lairian
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
77
Points
44
1. Scratching is a natural cat behavior. They scratch to mark their space, to keep their claws healthy and to stretch. All cats scratch, it's not a behavior we can stop. However, you can provide appropriate outlets for scratching and teach a kitten what you want them to scratch and what you don't want them to scratch.

Provide lots of scratching options throughout the house, especially in rooms where you spend a lot of time. Basically, any area where your cat is spending time, they're going to want to scratch. Especially in rooms where your cat sleeps a lot, have several scratching options. Cats scratch most commonly right after waking.

Make sure vertical scratching posts are at least 30" tall so your cat can stretch fully, and have some horizontal scratching posts, because many cats want to be able to stretch and scratch long-ways as well as tall. You can also place fibrous mats at the entryway of different rooms as cats will walk across them, scratch away, and then when they properly enter the room, they'll have a reduced urge to scratch other things.

There are two pheromone products that are super useful as well: Feliway Classic spray and Feliscratch spray. Feliway Classic is a synthetic version of the feline facial pheromone. Spray this on the corners of furniture and other surfaces you do not want scratched. Smelling a facial pheromone makes cats more inclined to scent mark via facial rubbing, rather than scratching. Feliscratch is a synthetic version of the feline interdigital pheromone (what's left behind when a cat scratches). It's also colored blue and you want to place a single, vertical line of Feliscratch on items you do want to be scratched, as this product is basically a little kitty neon sign that says Scratch Here.

2. The desire to potty in a substrate that can be used to bury urine and feces is pretty innate in cats, so most will make use of a litter box right off, so long as they know how to find it, can easily get in and out and like the litter you've picked out. The rule is that you want to have as many litter boxes as you have cats, plus one. So, if a one cat household, you're supposed to have at least 2 litter boxes. Realistically, a majority of singleton cats do fine in a one litter box home, but if you run into trouble, one of the first things to try is providing a second litter box, possibly with a different type of litter. Introduce your kitten to his litter box as one of the first things you do when you bring him home, and make sure it's in an area he can always access easily. Consider the layout of your house and where your dogs spend time. If your kitten has to get across the house and through a gauntlet of curious dogs to reach his litter box, he may opt to choose a closer, safer spot to potty, so make sure getting to and from the litter box never feels scary or unsafe.

3. When gone, for now, keep him in a quiet, secure room where the dogs can't bother him, and make sure the space has appropriate scratching options, a water bowl, a litter box and cozy places to hide and nap. Most kittens do best if they're kept to primarily one room to start with and are gradually introduced to the rest of the house. Kittens need time to adjust to change, and having a safe, familiar, inviting room as a "home base" will help your new kitten feel secure. There's a third product, Feliway Multicat infuser, that you can plug into an outlet in this room. This product mimics the pheromone released by the feline mammary chain which makes a space feel safe and welcoming (if you're a cat).

4. Basically anything small enough to be chewed and swallowed can be a potential hazard. Electrical cords can be dangerous if chewed. Careful, too, with string or string-like toys. If swallowed, this can be very dangerous, so make sure you're supervising if you let your kitten plays with such objects. Make sure the plants in your home aren't toxic to pets. Some really common houseplants and flowers (lilies!) can be very toxic if ingested. Basically, kittens are like toddlers. Don't leave them alone unless you know exactly what is around them and what they can access. Babies and dogs can be potential hazards, too! ;) make sure that your kitten is never unattended with the dogs or the baby, so nobody hurts or frightens anyone else.

5. Patience, patience, patience! It's so hard, you want your kitten to be settled in right off the bat, but go slowly and give your kitten time to settle, and you'll be much more successful. The time you put in now will pay off, and it's easier to be careful and gradual at the start than to have to go backwards and undo problem behaviors after they develop.
 

Monica

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
603
Points
198
@Anansi Thank you for taking the time to answer my kitten questions! I know my post was lengthy and tedious to go through, so I truly appreciate the help. I want to be as prepared as possible and anticipate as much as I can. I know there’s bound to be a hiccup here and there because, hey, they’re kittens!

Another question I thought of, if you don’t mind! What food items are toxic for a cat if ingested? For instance, I know chocolate, onions, garlic and grapes are very bad for dogs. Are there any specific foods like that that are harmful? Obviously, I don’t intend on letting Kenzo eat anything other than his own food, but life happens, lol. Like the time I didn’t intend on allowing my dog, Boogie, to run through a pan of purple paint with all 4 paws, then across my WHITE carpet when I was repainting my apartment in college. :facepalm: :p:)
 

Monica

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
603
Points
198
@Schrodinger Thank you for taking the time to answer my kitten questions!! You provided a lot of useful veteran insight and great tips! I office out of my home most days, so I will try to make note of when my kitten wakes from a nap and bring him promptly to one of his posts. I’ll also be purchasing those recommended products!!

I asked the other Lairian who posted if there are any red flag “human” foods that I need to make sure my kitten doesn’t ingest. For example, chocolate and onions for dogs. Any tips?
 

Anansi

Senior Lairian
Senior Lairian
Joined
Sep 24, 2017
Messages
527
Points
148
If you google it you get a list but the ones I know can be harmful for cats are garlic, onion, grapes, chocolate, avocado, nuts, mushrooms, most stone fruits I think, green tomatoes, potatos, citrus fruits, cooked bones, raw fish, raw egg, xylitol (an artificial sweetner), caffeine, alcohol (obviously), too much dairy is also not great and also dog food is as for them so just watch your dog's left overs etc.

Cant think of anymore right now but hope that helps. Just make sure you have an enclosed bin (which with dogs I assume you do) and don't leave scraps around and you should be fine .
 

Schrodinger

Lairian
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
77
Points
44
@Catzzzmeow attached a great thread. You can also check out the ASPCA Animal Poison Control website here: Animal Poison Control. It has guides to poisonous plants, toxic foods and household items, and even has a mobile app for those moments when someone calls from home saying 'uh... the cat just ate X. Is that okay?'
 
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