Ok, I’m not a pet person at all but I love animals from a far. So of course now I have a fish and a kitten living with me. Today my neighbor gave me a kitten and I don’t know if I can live with it. Of course it’s cute but I am not used to this little bundle of ... something. It follows me around constantly which I understand is because it’s a baby and needy but it gets annoying when I almost trip over it. And it wants to climb up on me and those little claws scare the crap out of me. Oh and it peed on my bed!!! I am afraid to go to sleep for fear of what he/she’ll do to me. Anyway I know there tons of cat owners here, so any advice?
I have all weekend to go out and get cat stuff for it and I will take it to the vet I guess Monday for shots. Or should I just be smart and give it back before I get too attached? It’s curled up at my feet right now sleeping. Awww poor kitty.
I just read your OP and thought I’d try and help out… it is a little known fact that I am one of the leading experts on feline psychology and behavior, so little know in fact, that I was not even aware of it until I made it up a few seconds ago.
First off I’ll address your initial statement… it is perfectly okay to not be a “pet person” and to still love animals “from afar”... well, as long as you don’t take it too far and get caught stalking them… let me tell you… the legal problems one stupid little kangaroo can cause you by filing a restraining order… but thats another issue all together.
You also mentioned having a fish living with you… assuming that you are speaking of a “pet” fish and not an aquatic roommate or “significant other”, it is important to note that cats are non-aquatic mammals and require oxygen most of the time, so having them share the same living space would usually not end well… unfortunately, many people, confused by the distinction between cats and catfish make this mistake quite often. So remember not to submerge your kitten underwater without it wearing the proper ANU approved feline SCUBA gear.
I had a link for a feline SCUBA gear sites somewhere, but all I can find is the one for hamsters and they are totally different because they require tiny weights for the cheek pouches and hamsters are usually smaller ( except of course for the Okinawan Sumo Hamster, which can weigh up to 300 pounds).
I’d also like to take a moment to ask in what manner in which you were presented with the kitten by your neighbor.
In certain parts of the lower Amazon basin, presenting someone with a bouquet kittens can be a symbol of romantic intent… so if the kitten came in a vase with some ferns (some people are very cheap with their kitten arrangements, usually 5 or 6 kittens are the norm in a decent bouquet), you may or may not want to clarify your stand on this subject to avoid confusion. On the other hand if the kitten came lightly seasoned in a tray with assorted sliced vegetables and some portabella mushrooms, it could have been and invitation to a barbecue.
Either way it might be a good idea to check and see.
Throughout the world cat gifting has many different meanings depending on presentation and wrapping methods. Many famous conflicts throughout history have been started by poor presentation methods. For example the initial hostilities in the First War of Scottish Independence can loosely be traced back to John III Comyn, Lord of Badennoch stuffing an unbuttered cat into the kilt of Robert the Bruce, leading to his subsequent stabbing and death. Had Comyn taken the time to properly place a silken a ribbon around the cat’s tail, he probably would have lived a bit longer.
Hopefully, this cat you received was not “re-gifted” either… this can be a very clear sign of disregard for one’s relationship with someone else if they pass on a cat they received as a gift. Check to see if the kitten looks as if they had any iron-on lettering such as “Happy Graduation”,“Happy Hanukkah 2011” or “Las Vegas” removed from its side.
How you handle this is up to you, but it is best approached delicately… from behind… with a club.
As to whether or not you “can live with it”... that is up to you and the kitten… traditionally, cats rarely contribute much towards the rent and utilities and often can cost their housemates thousands of dollars in expenses related to “inadvertently” purchasing all sorts of odd and embarrassing items via the internet by “accidently” walking across the computer’s keyboard when no one is looking.
It would be good to discuss this early on with the kitten and make clear your expectations and rules. If the kitten is not willing to follow your demands, you can always regift it to someone you dislike. Remember to remove any lettering, monograms or logos beforehand though.
98% of all cats are a bundle of something… mostly of cat flesh,cat fur,cat bones and 10% slimy cat fur balls… in some cases, lots of cat fat too.
The kitten is in fact following you around because it is a baby and it is needy… it is also trying to learn from you the many things it will need to survive in this world… how to hunt, how to eat it’s prey, how to interact with other cats and your personal identification codes to your finances.
It is important that you teach the kitten well, what is proper behavior for a domestic feline and to make certain that the kitten NEVER has access to your PIN numbers. Many feline crime rings use innocent kittens to collect personal information from humans, all to fund their ultimate quest for world domination. You might want to check if the kitten has a Russian accent, as several of these groups operate out of Russia and formal Soviet Bloc nations and it would be a good idea to know this in advance and alert the proper authorities as soon as possible.
I understand your frustration with the kitten getting underfoot, it can be quite annoying to constantly find the little fur ball standing just behind your heels or slightly ahead of your feet… this can be even more frustrating if you have freakishly large feet or flipper toes.
As long as your toenails are not overly long and sharp it is perfectly safe to gently nudge the little kitty out of the way so it is not stepped on. If the kitten covers more then 6 feet in one nudge you may be nudging too hard though, so remember the 4 foot rule: “More than four feet in one shove is not how we show love”... or something like that.
It is also important at this moment that I point out that if the kitten starts to use mechanical methods such as wires and complex series of roller bearings and slide cams to trip you, you may be facing a different problem altogether.
Recently in Ohio a feline crime ring was busted that had been sending out members to be adopted by crazy old rich women, the cats would then convince them to make them the lone beneficiaries of their estate at which point the cats would literally bump them off. The scam was revealed when hotel security caught two cats at the Ashtabula Ritz-Carlton trying to shove their owner down a laundry chute.
You may want to check through whatever papers and personal records the kitten keeps to see if it is up to anything, just to be safe.
Don’t be afraid of the kittens claws, unless it is a baby mountain lion it will generally draw very little blood, usually no more than your body can replace in a 24 hour period. The kitten is climbing up you so it can be closer to to you and also because your flesh is fairly easy to get a good grip in, making you an excellent perch. Cats are natures best snipers and will instinctive seek the highest spot from which to pick off their prey, so it not unusual for your kitten to wish to sit on your head as you go about your business… this can even be beneficial in colder weather as cats also make excellent hats.
The kitten peeing in your bed is a serious matter and should be dealt with early. First thing you should do is clean it up and do not sleep in the cat pee, as this is an invitation for your cat to start peeing on you… before you know it cats from all over will be peeing on you and you will have a hard time being treated properly in social situations. First off you can try telling the kitten “NO we do not pee in the bed!” then take the kitten, give it a few beers and bring it to the toilet and hold it over the bowl until the kitten eventually urinates. this can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours, so be patient and try and not drop the kitten in the toilet. After the kitten has expelled urine, praise it and sing some popular feline ballads to it… remember to hold on tightly to the kitten when flushing the toilet, as most kittens are quite flushable at this age and can be expensive to have unclogged professionally. If the kitten persists in this behavior, you can try peeing in your own bed to mark your territory, peeing on the cat’s possessions, or adding two or three layers of cat litter on top of your covers and pillows.
Never pee directly on the cat.
The worst thing a kitten will do to you when you fall asleep is is eat you or draw a mustache on you with a permanent marker.
As long as you don’t bathe in seafood chicken combo sauce before going to bed and make sure the Sharpie markers are locked away, you will be fine. Mostly. Probably.
The sex of kittens can be determined by the color of the ribbon around their neck, Male kittens are born with light blue ribbons and females with pink. After 6 weeks the ribbons drop off and the mother cat will mail them back for a refund, so note this early on.
Be very careful when implying that cat owners can weigh “tons”. This can be a sensitive matter in the felineophile community.
Kittens need very basic care supplies at first. You should initially purchase: a water bowl, a food dish, at least 6 pairs of mittens (they lose them a lot), a small saddle if you have a hamster or gerbil, a small soft, non-flammable bed for the kitten to sleep in, playing cards, at least one sailor suit or victorian dress for formal occasions, SCUBA gear if you live underwater, a cat litter box low enough for the kitten to climb into as well as cat litter to fill it and at least one tiny unicycle for the kitten to get around on.
Later on as the kitten grows you will probably need to get them a bigger food bowl, a larger litter box, their own computer or laptop, boots, a bicycle with training wheels, a sniper rifle if you have mice or other household rodents, a subscription to “Cat Fancy” magazine, their own cell phone and eventually roller skates.
I would think twice about taking the kitten to do shots with a veteran. Most ex-service members can drink much more than a cat (especially Marines), and it is not very good to get the kitten drunk at an early age. Alcoholism in cats, although very comical can lead to very serious consequences such as teenage pregnancy and DWI. If your cat must drink, I suggest you only allow it to do so when it is older and in social situations and in moderation. Keep in mind the “Cat in the Hat” movie if you want to understand the far reaching consequences of feline alcoholism.
Do get the kitty vaccinated for heartworm, malaria and feline vampirism as soon as possible.
Whether or not you choose to keep the kitten is something only you can decide. Cats can be loyal and loving companions, skillful accomplices in crime, and cunning warriors hell bent on revenge for being rejected as a young and loving kitten, dedicating their entire lives to tracking down and murdering the person they thought of as “Mommy” or “Daddy” who quickly sent them away to live a horrible life sewing cheap sneakers in a Vietnamese shoe factory.
Lastly curling up at someone’s feet is the ultimate sign of feline trust… a sign that they have accepted you as their own family. That they trust you with all their tiny little heart, that you are everything to them and that they will probably never deplete your bank account, gamble away your life savings, or shoot you in cold blood in some dark urine soaked back alley. Probably… mostly.
Well, I hope you found this of some use.
Good luck with you little bundle of furry joy!