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Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, it fits here

Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby pjbogart » Wed May 22, 2013 11:38 pm

As the proud new parent of an affectionate and (now) healthy tabby cat, I've found the internet to be an amazing resource for all things pet-related. But just because lilacs aren't poisonous to cats (I adore the smell of lilacs) doesn't mean you can bring them into your house when your cat basically treats them like a lobster dinner. She literally pounces on anything growing and I've had to move all of my plants to the balcony, for her safety and their's.

My brother told me she likes Meow Mix, and he was correct on that, but the vet wrinkled his nose and suggested one of the "big three". No, I'm not feeding her Ford Explorers, but I bought her some Iam's and she doesn't seem to care for it much. I mix it with what's left of her Meow Mix, but she's definitely eating less, though perhaps the shots, nasal vaccination, and the majority of a pilfered branch of lilacs reduced her appetite. Should I try out different flavors? She likes wet food but seems to like dry food even more, as I've been feeding her both and she rarely eats more than half of a small can of cat food in a 24-hour period. I always toss it after I get home from work figuring that it's growing bacteria after 24-hours.

Should I let her eat plants? She's only thrown up once in the last three weeks and that was after her vet visit, so I'm thinking it was either the vaccines, lilacs or the liquid medicine I had to squeeze on her neck while she made valiant efforts to consume it. Too much catnip is out of the question... it turns her into a complete basketcase. They sell "kitty grass" which looks pretty harmless, but wouldn't the vitamins she seeks in the grass also be in her food (in safer quantities)?

The kitty litter box in front of the toilet was a stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. Basically, while you're taking a crap you have nothing better to do than clean her litter box so it gets cleaned a couple of times per day. I bought some cheap sandwich bags to fill with her litter and it takes a few days to even notice the odor in the bathroom, which indicates that the garbage needs to go out. I need to wipe down my toilet regularly now, though, because she seems to like the cool feel of it and rubs against it, especially while I'm using it, which is kind of awkward. I'm not used to being watched in all my glory, but kitty finds crapping and showering positively mesmerizing.

My mother forbid me from putting a collar on kitty. Apparently my mother had a beloved cat strangle itself on its collar when she was a girl. The vet seems ok with collars, as long as they aren't too tight or too loose. Do you guys collar your cats? She doesn't have fleas or anything, but I feel like she needs a tag in case she escapes somehow. What about a harness to take her outside? Cats hate leashes, I know, so is it even worth the trouble to try?

I can't smoke in the house anymore. She puts her ears back and squints at me and though the vet says she's healthy (now), she scratches her ears a lot, so I don't think smoking will do her any favors. I guess that makes two of us.

I was torn between giving her away after her vaccinations or just keeping her for myself, but I think now that I'll keep her. She's pretty good for me, except when she wants to burrow under my chin at 4am. And I think I've made a pretty good parent, despite my lack of training.

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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby sallybell » Thu May 23, 2013 12:32 am

Aw, what a pretty girl!

For cat (and dog) questions, Mad Cat is a great resource. http://www.felineunderground.com/ Visit the store(s), ask away--I've always found the staff to be super knowledgeable and friendly--and it's fun to visit the store cats and fosters. They also sell refillable cat litter containers, which is much less expensive (and better environmentally, of course) than buying new every time.

I think collars are fine, they make ones that have a little stretchy bit so that if your cat gets caught, they theoretically can get out. I don't have collars on mine, though, because...well, I'm not sure why, I just don't. If your kitty isn't microchipped, I'd strongly recommend doing so. I think you just missed the Humane Society's cheap mircochipping weekend...

I hear wet food is good for cats, because they tend to not drink enough water...but I, too, got sick of dealing with left-behind wet food so just feed dry now. Grain-free is good, I feed Taste of the Wild, which is moderately spendy--but my childhood cats lived on Meow Mix, and they both lived to be 20plus. Some cats seem to really like water fountains--I tried one for awhile, but had a hard time keeping it clean, so now kitty 1 drinks from a bowl, kitty 2 from the bathtub.

I give my cats cat grass every once in awhile, because they seem to like it--although some generally does get puked up. Living with cats = living with puke, at least for all the ones I've ever lived with.

Welcome to living with cats! You'll spend the next umpteen years cleaning cat hair off your clothes, but it'll be worth it, I promise.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby Mad Howler » Thu May 23, 2013 1:30 am

Sorry, I don't know squat about cat's.
Other than to keep a watchful eye about when cracking a can of tuna, just make sure to chuck the tin outside (they make quite a mess fishing it out of the trash can).

It is good to hear your 'voice'.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby wack wack » Thu May 23, 2013 8:18 am

I'm not a cat expert, these thoughts are just the way I handle things with my two cats:

My cats are indoor cats, so no need for collars. If I decided to walk them I would use a harness, but I've been warned: taking an indoor cat outdoors can create a desire in them they've never had before and can lead to behavior changes. I don't know how true this is, I've never tested the theory.

I don't let them eat plants (or anything unidentified) that isn't meant for cats, but cat grass is fine if they take to it.

Puke: some cats puke every day, others never, most in between. Not surprised to hear she was sick after the vet, that's pretty common and is a function of stress more than a reaction to treatment or medication. Cats are very sensitive to stress.

My cats eat dry Purina indoor formula. I've asked multiple vets about switching to better to food, and they've all been surprisingly ambivalent about it, summarizing with, "if they like what they're on now, keep them on it." Top be honest, the only time I ever encounter people who are insistent on giving them premium food is when I'm in stores that sell premium food.

Do you feed her first thing in the morning? if you want the 4am burrowing to stop, try moving her feeding time as far away from your waking time as possible!
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby snoqueen » Thu May 23, 2013 8:48 am

Having an indoor cat is far safer for the cat, but just a few visits outdoors will change her attitude from "I live here and it's fine" to "I'm goinig to spend the entire rest of my life trying to get back out there again." In other words if they don't know what they're missing, they're better off.

And changing an outdoors cat back to an indoors cat is close to impossible.

I've been there done it all with cats and that's my experience, anyway.

I believe good quality food (like from Mad Cat or Mounds Pet Food Warehouse or whatever store is near you) makes a huge difference. My last cat lived to be a few months short of 20, in good health right up until her last days, and she was an indoors cat who got top quality food.

Cat grass is pleasing to them, and if you can recognize catnip (which grows outside all summer) and bring her a few leaves each day (from an unsprayed, clean area) she will probably have so much fun you'll be laughing for hours. I do believe cats are healthier with a tiny bit of cat-safe fresh greens, which can't be put in a can, in their diet. They evolved with access to greens and it makes sense to offer them some in the house. It's also fun to let them try bits of whatever vegetables you're cutting up. One of my cats loved the slimy stuff from inside a canteloupe, for some reason. Run this by your vet because a few human foods, along with some house plants, are not good for cats -- I can't remember which ones any more -- onions? cabbage? It's just another way to interact with your cat so you have some little routines you both enjoy.

If your cat pukes up hairballs a lot, the best solution is to teach them to allow you to comb their hair. Some of them just love this and will come over and solicit a combing once they're used to it. It's another nice cat-person-bonding-behavior thing. If your cat has long or very soft hair (I can't tell from the pic) it'll be more necessary than if it's very short coated like a Siamese.

A cat can be a such wonderful little friend and I hope you enjoy yours for many years.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby rabble » Thu May 23, 2013 10:00 am

We're lucky enough to have a fenced yard so the dog can go chase a squirrel over the fence and come back secure in the knowledge that he has protected us all.

None of the cats we've ever had have wanted to be outside cats. They love going outside in the summer when it's not raining and there's no loud noises and if they wouldn't rather lay on the rug in a sunbeam and no one is near the refrigerator. Otherwise yeah they love it outside. One loud motorcycle two blocks away or a jet coming in to the airport and they're bounding towards the back deck, even if they've almost caught that bug they've been stalking for the last ten minutes. They sometimes sneak out a hole in the fence but have never gotten further than the front yard before running away from street noise. And they know exactly which part of the fence probably has a dog on the other side.

Snow? Water? Get real. Sure, open the door so I can stare at it for a while but there's no way I'm putting my feet in THAT stuff.

I have to admit it's a pleasant thing to sit in the chaise lounge with a beverage watching the dog and the cat sit there attentively staring through their own peepholes at the neighbor's chickens. They never get tired of that.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby Ttusker » Thu May 23, 2013 10:17 am

I like cats, though I don't currently have one. When I was a kid, our first cat Fuzzy was an indoor/outdoor cat. She was an absolutely gorgeous pure white part-Angoran with fairly short hair. Anyway, indoors she was an angel (she liked to listen to Vivaldi!) and was gentle as could be, but outside she was a killer, and would go after anything her size or smaller. She killed 12 moles one summer.

One time, despite our efforts to stop her (spraying her with the hose when we saw her stalking birds), Fuzzy got sick from eating too many birds, and we had to give her some sort of medicine, and keep her away from birds. We decided to put her on a long leash attached to a revolving clothesline thing, giving her a bit of room to walk around. This was a mistake. The leash (a length of clothesline) was just long enough to reach a tree in the yard, which she climbed. She got on the other side of a branch and nearly hung herself. I came out to get her and found her little red collar and bell hanging there about five feet off the ground. Fuzzy had somehow gotten out of it, and was nowhere to be found. When she came in the house later she acted just fine, no harm done. But it scared the hell out of me.

The point of this story is that I remember wishing then that there was some kind of breakaway collar that cats could wear to prevent accidents like Fuzzy had. Now you CAN buy such a collar; just google "breakaway collar."

If I get a cat in the future, I don't think I'll allow it to go outside, for the very reasons people have posted above, and because I don't live on the outskirts of a small town anymore. There's just too much trouble that can come from letting a cat out.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu May 23, 2013 12:39 pm

Lots of reasons to keep your cat indoors. The lifespan of outdoor cats is much shorter than for cats that stay in the house. Free roaming cats kill a lot of birds. And Madison has a law against allowing your cat to roam, which carries a fine that increases for multiple offenses.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby minicat » Thu May 23, 2013 1:41 pm

snoqueen wrote:
Cat grass is pleasing to them, and if you can recognize catnip (which grows outside all summer) and bring her a few leaves each day (from an unsprayed, clean area) she will probably have so much fun you'll be laughing for hours. I do believe cats are healthier with a tiny bit of cat-safe fresh greens, which can't be put in a can, in their diet. They evolved with access to greens and it makes sense to offer them some in the house. It's also fun to let them try bits of whatever vegetables you're cutting up. One of my cats loved the slimy stuff from inside a canteloupe, for some reason. Run this by your vet because a few human foods, along with some house plants, are not good for cats -- I can't remember which ones any more -- onions? cabbage?


I loved it when my owner cooked green beans and had to have some of my own every time. True story.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby Ducatista » Thu May 23, 2013 6:32 pm

We were a three-indoor-cat family until a year and a half ago, when one of two brother tabbies died at age 18. Brother number two died this week :(, just shy of 20. Still have a 9-yr-old girl, a 20 lb black Bombay. That's a lot of cat.

A few things I wouldn't want to live without:

Stainless steel pet fountain. It's quiet, easy to clean (I do it once a week), and reasonably attractive. I fill it with water from a filter pitcher so it doesn't get lime scale.

Lucky Champ poop container. It's like a Diaper Genie for cat poop. No smell, no lie. Even emptying it isn't that bad, and you don't have to do it very often.

World's Best Cat Litter. Made of corn, so there's no perfume-y chemical smell, and it clumps like crazy so there's no sludgy clay stuck to the bottom of the litter box. And it's flushable, which would be great for you, pj.

Feline Greenies dental treats. They've got the vet equivalent of the ADA seal of approval, and all our cats love(d) them.

Other things:

For many years we followed the one-more-litter-box-than-you-have-cats rule, but we didn't add a fourth box when we got the third cat and it wasn't a problem.

Scoop once a day AT LEAST. (Sounds like that's not a problem, pj, assuming you poop at least once a day.) I prefer to scoop twice a day. Quick, easy, cat's happier, and things don't get stinky.

Our cats have always eaten dry food. I starting buying Natural Balance Limited Ingredient about a year ago when the old guy's stomach got iffy. Now that he's gone I'll probably gradually switch to Natural Balance Indoor, because the 20-pounder could stand to lose a couple.

I second the Mad Cat reco, especially the Willy St store. I also like Tabby & Jack's on the Square. Developing a relationship with a neighborhood store is a really good idea, IMO.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby pjbogart » Thu May 23, 2013 9:15 pm

Thanks for the tips, guys. Lots of good stuff there. But Henry, if I was sure my cat would eat all of the Robins in the neighborhood, I'd have her re-clawed and outfitted with a cloaking device.

Everyone talks about their puking cat but I've yet to have that problem. I've had her almost a month now and she's only thrown up once and that was after her vet visit, so I think I have a non-puker.

As to the alternative forms of kitty litter, will she be less likely to get it on my bathmat? The only real problem I have with her litter is that I have to shake it off my bathmat and toilet mat. And a bit gets tracked on the carpet as you exit the bathroom, by either me or the cat. Will she do that with other forms of litter too? Are they perhaps easier to clean up? The little grains of litter can be broom resistant, you basically need to get on your knees with a dustpan and hand brush to clean around the litter pan. I bought her a second litter pan with lips on the walls, but I think maybe I should have sprung for one of the enclosed models. But odor really isn't an issue at all. I'd say I probably clean her litter pan every time she uses it, not that I'm watching her and waiting for an opportunity, but I just use the bathroom enough that she doesn't have much time to mess it up.

Against all of your recommendations, I bought her a harness and retractable leash because she seems so delightfully fascinated by the lawn, which she only gets to see out of the window. She seems ok with the harness, less so with the leash, especially the tugging part, and frankly I don't think she's up for a walk, unless it's me walking and her just being dragged down the street. But she definitely likes the grass even if she was pretty frightened and just sat and chewed on what was in front of her face. She stopped to watch cars go by, but I didn't see any Harley's or 747's with their landing gear out, so nothing too scary for her sensitive ears.

Good call on the feeding time, Wack Wack, but I had already thought of that so I feed her when I get home from work. I think the morning thing is just boredom and she thinks I've been laying there too long. She doesn't have a job yet, so her schedule is less regimented.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby Remember_Me » Thu May 23, 2013 10:07 pm

The best website you'll encounter:

http://www.catinfo.org/

Read the WHOLE site.

Your beautiful girl deserves it.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu May 23, 2013 11:36 pm

If your cat's healthy (weight, temperament, allergies, etc.), no need to change her food to something pricier and "better." But if she has a poor appetite, or starts horking or sneezing or displaying other minor symptoms, consider dropping a little more coin on a high-grade food. (That itchy ear thing is something to consider.)

Our 10 lb. cat finishes her bowl of Wellness Core every day (1/3c dry topped with a little wet, maybe 1/6 of a small can), and we made that food choice from the get-go because our dogs have done well on that brand and other similar foods. With our dogs, we change foods now and then to vary their primary protein source. Haven't decided whether or not we'll do this with Willow (a five year old Snowshoe).

Regular brushing is key to fewer hairballs. Wife picked up a tube of Laxatone just to be extra sure, and Willow likes it fine.

Second the Diaper Genie style litter locker recommendation. It's pretty amazing. You just never smell it, and empty it when it's full.

You'll want to make sure your litter is a fine grain; our adoption people told us that declawed cats can find bigger-grain litters uncomfortable on their toes. EverClean has worked very well for us.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby wack wack » Fri May 24, 2013 9:49 am

pjbogart wrote:As to the alternative forms of kitty litter, will she be less likely to get it on my bathmat? The only real problem I have with her litter is that I have to shake it off my bathmat and toilet mat. And a bit gets tracked on the carpet as you exit the bathroom, by either me or the cat.


On this aspect I pretty much gave up: I got rid of the toilet mat completely, only put the bath mat down when I'm going to shower and sweep before I do so. Then hang it back up over the curtain rod again when I'm done.

pjbogart wrote:Good call on the feeding time, Wack Wack, but I had already thought of that so I feed her when I get home from work. I think the morning thing is just boredom and she thinks I've been laying there too long. She doesn't have a job yet, so her schedule is less regimented.


Yep, sure could be boredom! The other thing to consider here is your sleep: are you a restless sleeper? Deal with sleep disruption issues such as sleep apnea? I've found my cats to be an incredible reflection of me, my habits and behaviors as well as those things of which I might not be completely aware. I know from my previous life as a married man that I snore and apnea has always been a concern; anytime I wake up at 4:30am with a cat face an inch from mine, I wonder if it's about me, not them.
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Re: Kitty Cooters Tooter Pie

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 24, 2013 10:01 am

Ducatista wrote:We were a three-indoor-cat family until a year and a half ago, when one of two brother tabbies died at age 18. Brother number two died this week :(, just shy of 20. Still have a 9-yr-old girl, a 20 lb black Bombay. That's a lot of cat.

Sorry about your recent loss.

That sounds a lot like our story. We had three with only one now remaining, a 17-year-old gray shorthair. I hope Sadie lives through the summer. She is not in the best of health.
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