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Discussion Starter #1
Help - I've just adopted a cat, never had a cat before and until 2 hours ago never dreamed I'd own one. I'm flying blind.
She is two years old, named Winnie, I was going to change it but I notice she turns her head and looks at me each time I say her name (which is quite cool), so I'll just go with it.
To be honest, I haven't had enough time to think of questions, but, there will be thousands as this is totally foreign to me.
I think I plan to eventually transfer over to raw, or 1/2 raw 1/2 whatever, I don't know. Right now I came home with chicken & rice Nutro, thats what she's been eating (so they said) and I vaguely remembered reading threads here about cats being fussy and stuff, so I went with what she knows.
After her first dump, well, I was quite shocked, all I can say is that it was twice the size of my dog who is 4 x Winnies weight. So, we are going to transition to the best kibble and canned food I can find, then to raw, as long as she will eat it.
I just gave her some canned tuna which she gobbled, but she wasn't too keen on a pork rib. I'm just hoping I don't have a fussy eater here.
My first question I have is, does anyone walk their cats?
She's running around the house, probably because she's been cooped up in a small cage for goodness knows how long, but shouldn't cats get exercise as well? Or am I totally out to lunch here?
Also, is taurine in anything else other than heart? That worries me a touch because I've never seen heart of any type for sale in this part of the world.
I know these are really basic questions, but I'm totally ignorant. Believe me, I will spend tomorrow going back over old threads and learn as as quickly as I can.
Thanks.
 

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Switching a cat to raw is a lot harder than switching a dog. Cats are stubborn to the point of starving themselves into hepatic lipidosis, or liver failure. If she is willing to eat canned tuna that at least is a starting point. Try pretty much anything you can to get her to eat raw meats and organs. Cooking them or mixing them with canned foods or tuna are popular things to try. But you cannot let a cat go more than a day without food. Their bodies are designed to eat several small meals per day rather than one or two meals like dogs.

We get whole frozen small fish and day old chicks from a reptile supply which provide whole prey nutrition so you don't have to worry much about percentages if you feed these types of items regularly. They also get chunks of whatever the dogs are eating. If I give them something like a chicken wing or back I smash it up a bit with a kitchen mallet to help them chew up the bones fully.

Feeding cats raw is a bit different because you don't have to worry so much about the 80%,10%,10% rule. They are pretty adaptable to eat pretty much any kind of meat without digestive upset. You should have all three components into their diet to be ideal. Meats, bones and organs from a variety of animals.

Taurine is found in all kinds of meat but beef has the most available per ounce.

Taurine is essential for cats | VetLord.org
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks so much for that info and the link. After spending so long learning everything I can about dog diet's this is a refreshing change. I've realised that I don't know enough to know I know nothing, if you know what I mean.
Will have to check out the local area a bit more to see what there is for sale as far as natural prey is concerned, plus, totally forgot, there's a canal out the back here with a ready supply of saltwater fish.
Reading through one of your posts, you mentioned that you'd maybe reconsider feeding raw to your cats and wondered if you were serious about that or just annoyed at the time. Last night, after the tuna, Winni was meowing really loud and hassling me for ages, then she kept getting up on the counter prowling round looking for food (she had heaps of kibble in her dish). I know its early days, but I can see this becoming a pain if I have to protect my food all the time.
Do you let your cats outside? Or is that just dumb?
When you fed kibble, did you let them free feed?
Do you clip their claws?
Do you microchip cats?
I'll ask the vet a lot of these questions when I go this week, but just trying to get other expert opinions first.
Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
One more. What is the general consensus about declawing the front paws? Is this considered mean? It sounds awfully painful to me, but she was clawing at the lanai screens last night and there are already little holes and at $80 a pop I can see this causing a problem with my lord here (husband).
A friend suggested declawing, but is this humane? Or, is it something I should consider?
 

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Declawing is almost always only done on young kittens. You are basicaly cutting off the first joint of the toe and it is painful when they wake up. It would be very hard on an older cat. I had three cats that were indoor / outdoor cats and I used to just keep their toenails cut short. They got used to having their toenails cut, just like the dogs do. That's not to say they didn't have a go at my couch. Both sides of my couch are shredded, but that's what the afghans and blankets are for.....to cover that up! Actually, they only scratched the couch when we lived in an apartment and I kept them totally indoors. Once they were allowed outside, they rarely scratched in the house again.

But, we are in an ideal spot.....in the country, on a cul-de-sac, with all twenty year neighbors who watch out for each others animals. I'm not sure if I would let the cats outside in any other circumstances so you have to decide for yourself on that issue. Good luck with your new kitty! Mine ate mostly canned and kibble but caught a LOT of mice, rabbits and squirrels and ate them also, so I guess you could say they were raw and kibble eaters.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Really? They basically amputate part of the toe? Nope, forget it, this topic is over and done with. I'll just have to learn to clip her nails like you do and use other methods to deter her from the screen thing. Like a squirt gun or something.
Thanks for letting me know.
 

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Help - I've just adopted a cat, never had a cat before and until 2 hours ago never dreamed I'd own one. I'm flying blind.
Haha, I was in the same boat when I got my first cat this year.

To be honest, I haven't had enough time to think of questions, but, there will be thousands as this is totally foreign to me.
I think I plan to eventually transfer over to raw, or 1/2 raw 1/2 whatever, I don't know.
That sounds like a good plan, and he fact that she will already eat tuna is a good sign. Just keep in mind that cats WILL starve themselves rather than eat something they don't want, so unlike dogs, you do have to kind of give in to what they want a bit. I've had my cat since January, and she has yet to even eat canned food for me, let alone raw... but will eat any kibble you put in front of her face!

My first question I have is, does anyone walk their cats?
Everyone has their own opinion on if cats should be let outside or not. My cat lets my GSD carry her around by the scruff of her neck, so I personally just don't think she's really cut for outdoor living with more threats.
My sister's cat is declawed, and declawed cats should NEVER be left outside because they are pretty much defenseless. She has a harness and leash and takes her cat out into the yard for fresh air.
I know some people give their cats freedom to roam in and out as they please, for me and the area I live in, the risks aren't worth it. Maybe if I didn't live where I do I'd consider it more, but the few times she's gotten shut outside for a moment, she freaks out at the door. haha.


Last night, after the tuna, Winni was meowing really loud and hassling me for ages, then she kept getting up on the counter prowling round looking for food (she had heaps of kibble in her dish). I know its early days, but I can see this becoming a pain if I have to protect my food all the time.
My cat is a kibble eater for the time being, (by her choice, not mine) and I have one of the auto feeder things for her, so her bowl is always full. I did scheduled feedings at first, because I was afraid she'd get fat, but the constant meowing drove me totally nuts, and I gave in to free feeding. Luckily, she hasn't put on any weight (other than what she needed to from the shelter)
Yes, the constant meowing is super annoying, and in our case, it went on for a month without fail before we finally gave in. Generally I'm not a fan of free feeding dogs and cats, but it's working for her, and for me.

Do you clip their claws?
I do! I put a low-rise sock over her head, which sounds mean, but she doesn't struggle at all, and it takes me less than a minute to clip all her claws this way. "cat muzzles" are pretty much face masks anyway, so they serve the same purpose.

Do you microchip cats?
Yes.
 

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Will have to check out the local area a bit more to see what there is for sale as far as natural prey is concerned, plus, totally forgot, there's a canal out the back here with a ready supply of saltwater fish.
We get day old chicks and other small prey items from a reptile supply. It's only affordable if you buy in serious bulk though, but here is a link to the website:

Feeder Rodents - Reptile Food, Birds of Prey, Aquatic, Feed Carnivores

You could find a reptile supply store in your area that would carry mice and chicks, etc.

Reading through one of your posts, you mentioned that you'd maybe reconsider feeding raw to your cats and wondered if you were serious about that or just annoyed at the time. Last night, after the tuna, Winni was meowing really loud and hassling me for ages, then she kept getting up on the counter prowling round looking for food (she had heaps of kibble in her dish). I know its early days, but I can see this becoming a pain if I have to protect my food all the time.
Honestly? At the time I was annoyed, but the problem hasn't gotten any better. Its impossible to keep him, SideKick, off the counters. He even does it right behind our backs while cooking. I would think that if he had a constant supply of food he would weigh a ton, but would curb his bad behavior. Maybe its just him. Our other cat Kitah went through a phase of this behavior but has since mellowed out. I honestly don't know what to do with him and I have owned cats my entire life. We end up locking him up a lot of the time, which isn't a solution to the problem...

Do you let your cats outside? Or is that just dumb?
This is a difficult question to answer. I grew up with indoor/outdoor cats. Some lived to ripe old ages, others did not. I lost my favorite cat last year to a coyote, but he *loved* being outside. He was always just in his element in his more natural environment. This is true for all cats, or at least most. Most cats thrive in an outside environment. With that being said, I won't let my cats outside again, or at least to the best of my abilities because they still have a drive to be outside. I am trying to keep them in because Kitah went missing for 4 days. We thought she was a goner but she came back to us. And she wasn't in good shape. We think she got hit by a car based on her injuries. She has a 6 inch deep gash in her side and an injured front leg, which was indicative of being pulled because she had neurological deficits and was "knuckling over." She smelled like death because her gash was so infected. Needless to say, I don't have the heart to see another cat injured to that extent again.

I live in the city, around busy streets. When we move out of the city (soon hopefully) I will be more inclined to let the cats out again. But I'm still not sure if I will or not.

When you fed kibble, did you let them free feed?
I did. The only reason why is because Tucker (who died last year) kept himself trim. If he had gotten fat I would keep him on a feeding schedule. Cats are designed to eat many small meals throughout the day. So a meal of ~10 kibble pieces is the ideal small meal. A meal of this size should be offered 6 or so times throughout the day. Giving a cat 1/2 cup twice daily is about 4 times more food than they need. A typical house cat needs ~1/2 cup per day, or one whole can of food.

Do you clip their claws?
I do, regularly too. Every week or two.

Do you microchip cats?
Absolutely. Always have.


One more. What is the general consensus about declawing the front paws? Is this considered mean? It sounds awfully painful to me, but she was clawing at the lanai screens last night and there are already little holes and at $80 a pop I can see this causing a problem with my lord here (husband).
A friend suggested declawing, but is this humane? Or, is it something I should consider?
Declawing must be done before a cat gets over 6 months old. I've never declawed a cat before Kitah. I had it done when she was spayed. Chowder is right, removal of the last knuckle is how its done. She was painful the first day after surgery, but thats to be expected. She healed up very quickly and it didn't seem to alter her personality at all. The reason why we had this done was because she would strike us in the face at random. She was partially feral when she came to us weighing less than one pound and very malnourished. Will I declaw another cat in the future? Maybe. Depends completely on the cat and if they are aggressive to the point where they will injure us.

There is an alternative to declawing a cat which is a product called soft paws. Its basically a sheath that goes over the claw to make it "soft." Link:

http://www.softpaws.com/
 

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One thing you might consider is a cat scratching post. When I had just one cat, she absolutely loved her cat scratch post and would attack it and scratch it all up. Once I added a second cat, she abandoned the post and started going after furniture so I think that is when she started wanting to 'mark' the rest of the house....when I added a threat to her territory. Since you just have one cat, she might be content with a cat post. Be sure and put some catnip on it and show her what it's for....put her little paws on it a few times for her and tell her what a good kitty she is for using it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks guys for all the advice, thats given me plenty to think about. I'm going go get a harness for her tomorrow, as well as a bag of Orijen and some canned food and we'll see if we can also get her interested in some raw. I actually didn't realise cats ate such a small amount of food, so thats interesting. I'll also look at one of those scratch posts and catnip as well. Took her out on one of the dog leashes today, the leash was a bit big for her, but I found out pretty quickly why cat collars are called quick release. Luckily she came straight back, but you obviously can't treat them like a dog.
I must say though that we seem to be very lucky that the cat and the dog are getting along rather well (so far). They are lying together, not exactly relaxed, but its been less than 24 hours, so I'm really pleased with both of them.
Thanks for your suggestions and help. Cheers.
 

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I've never had luck trying to walk a cat on a leash...they are just too independent and headstrong. Any "decision" must be of the cat's choice because trying to get a cat to do something that it doesn't is impossible. You have to trick a cat into thinking that any idea was theirs even if you were the one to make it LOL

That is why "tricking" a cat into eating raw is usually how it goes.

And you didn't realize that cats eat so little, because most cats are morbidly obese and get WAY too much food. I would venture to guess that 80% are severely overweight...at least the cats that I see at work. That is why its ideal to feed a cat many times throughout the day...or they will pester you. If you can get an automatic feeder set up to dispense food every 3 hours or so, but only ~10 kibble pieces that would be ideal. Or if you are going to raw feed, a small piece of meat, small fish, small mouse etc every 3 hours or so. I would probably not have such issues with SideKick if I fed him more often...but I am gone for a long time during the day.
 

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A couple other things to keep in mind with cats: when you buy a scratch post, i don't recommend the cheapest ones... If it's not sturdy they usually won't use them, and they should stand tall enough that the cat can extend full height to scratch. I bought the cat tree at CostCo for about $70 (comparable to ones at petco selling for $200) that has a post on it. It's a hit. Also, interactive toys are really great, too.
 

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One more. What is the general consensus about declawing the front paws? Is this considered mean? It sounds awfully painful to me, but she was clawing at the lanai screens last night and there are already little holes and at $80 a pop I can see this causing a problem with my lord here (husband).
A friend suggested declawing, but is this humane? Or, is it something I should consider?
I haven't read through all the responses yet.. however, my vet suggested to my parents putting "soft paws" on their cats to stop from clawing, wrecking furniture, and swatting at the dogs. Maybe ask your vet about that option? It looks like they painted the cats toenails.. But with rubber. Haha.:rolleyes:
 
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