Wednesday, November 12, 2008


This blog gives me an opportunity to share important parts of my life. Whether it is writing about the various sporting events I have attended or trips I have taken, I feel like I can use this space as a forum to chronicle personal events and moments. Therefore, I am proud to announce a pending addition to our family...we’re going to get a kitten. Were you expecting me to write about something else?

Sometime over the next few days, we’re heading to the local animal shelter to pick out a kitten. Perhaps we’ll see the Obama family there. Although I grew up with both dogs and cats, I have never had my own pet. Maybe I didn’t know any better since I was a kid and not responsible for buying pet supplies or paying for vet bills, but things seem much more complex than I remember. For example, prior to the spay/neuter procedure, we have the option of having pre-anesthetic blood testing of the pet in order to detect certain conditions. For $50, we can have a mini blood screening analysis which covers six tests that screens liver and kidney functions. For $98.50, there is a full analysis of 31 tests (does Baskin Robbins perform this?) that screens blood sugar levels, CBC, white and red blood cell count, primary organ functions and liver and kidney functions. Is any of this necessary?

In addition, I remember litter boxes being basic trays on the floor. Now, there are "hooded cat litter pans" like this one pictured below. The first time I saw this, I thought it was a cat carrier. Now cats need their own privacy? Are there cat magazines or newspapers we should put in the hooded cat litter pan so that the kitten could be more comfortable while doing its business?

So to any cat owners out there, do you have any suggestions on, well, everything?


Anonymous said...

we have two cats, crazy bastards. we have two litter boxes, one with a hood one without. they seem to like both, but i have read cats are not fond of completely covered litter boxes. also, brush it and clip the nails weekly so it gets use to it.

lacochran said...

Forget the tests--the kitten will be freaked out enough without undergoing extensive poking and prodding. And the covered litter pan may be more about keeping the litter from dispersing all over the house when the cat scratches in it. But a nice collection of poems for the cat to read/shred might be a lovely thought. :)


Archi said...


Talk to the vet. When one of our cats had to go under for a tooth thing, they did the tests. The vet recommended at least the basic ones, and we did them. It's to make sure there aren't any reasons they could have complications from the anesthesia.

Also, I would *strongly* recommend getting two kittens. It seems like twice as much work, but it is not. Two is really no different than one. Twice the expense, yes. But it is completely worth it, as it gives them a friend for life and you will feel much less guilt when they have to spend time alone. If you end up with a very needy lapcat, this would make its life much better. Plus, it's like having a Nat Geo special in your house -- the wrestling is absolutely priceless.

Also, get a damn TiVo! ;)

Unknown said...

Congrats on the kitty! I've never had a cat so I can't offer any advice:-)

Nichole Fisher said...

I have 2 wonderful rescues from the SPCA. I have a covered litter box - they don't mind it and it keeps the litter from getting everywhere (it still does a bit, but not bad).

Scoop the litter every day.

I agree with the poster who said get 2. I got one and got the second a few years later. I wish I had gotten them both at the same time. Jack and Kate get along well now, but I feel bad that I deprived him of a companion all those years. That and he hissed at Kate every day for 2 weeks.

Start clipping their nails right away, that way they get used to it. While they are sleepy is a good time. Jack just doesn't let me do it, so I take him to petco.

Toys - good toys to stimulate. Ones that rattle and roll are good, with out a lot of frou frou that you need to worry when you aren't there. My cats have learned how to take the toys out of the basket. We're working on putting them back. Somehow I think its a lost cause.

Most shelters microchip as a matter of course along with the spay/neuter. If the shelter doesn't, get your vet to do it, even if they are going to be an indoor cat. You just never know.

I picked up Cats for Dummies right after I got Jack. It was helpful and also had some insight into cat behavior.

If you ever have questions - please don't hesitate to e-mail. A you've seen from my blog my cats are like my kids and want for nothing. And enjoy!!! They are sweet and furry and cuddly and have tons of personality.

Anonymous said...

Wait til they make you do a background check. It makes you wonder why people shouldn't apply for a licence to have kids, too.

I agree with previous posts - get two if you can. You'll have twice as much cute, and twice as much fun. A friend of mine goes by the philosophy that she and her husband will never be outnumbered by things in their house, from birds to dogs to kids. I think that is a good rule to live by.

Thanks for getting Kitty at the pound. I got Tinkerbell at the Alexandria Animal Welfare League.


Sean said...

Thanks to everyone for the fantastic advice and suggestions. I'm not really sure we're ready or have the room for two kittens, but we'll take it under consideration.

This may seem like a silly question, but how does one clip the nails? Is there a special nail-clipper for cats?

Nick said...

You can purchase a special animal nail-clipper, but honestly, it's very easy to clip a cat's nails with a regular 'ol nail clipper.

Nichole Fisher said...

Yeah - I bought clippers at petco. A scratching post is key too. When you clip, just pull the paw back a little to expose the claw and clip to just above the pink part of the claw bed (the quick). If you are unsure about where that is, ask the shelter when you are there. They will be more than happy to show you.

lacochran said...

I never clipped my cat's nails. She scratched everything in sight.

Except the scratching post.

Have fun!

Tom Riker said...

Get a dog.