The Best Tip For New Cat Owners…

We got pretty lucky with Cole & Marmalade, not only are they extremely cute, playful, funny and affectionate, they’re also relatively easy going when it comes to the not so pleasant moments of being a cat, like having their claws trimmed and being groomed.

They also got along very well from the get go and here’s how we introduced them:

 

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Of course they’re not purrfect and the thing they dislike the most is having their teeth brushed… This was something I didn’t even think about doing for younger cats until our vet suggested that Marm should get a dental cleaning when we discovered he had the beginning stages of Gingivitis 

Because Marm is FIV+ dental problems are common and so after his chemotherapy treatments were over with and he was cancer free (YAY!), we scheduled his cleaning so we could better manage his dental health too… This is when we began to regularly try and clean their teeth.

The first product we tested was a dental spray and the boys were unamused by this method, it sounds quick and easy in theory but the sudden shock of the dental spray to their mouths was obviously not very pleasant at all!

Next up was a dental gel which you apply to their teeth and gums with your finger and the cats then work it around even more themselves when they lick their lips and try and get rid of the (more than likely) awful taste… This then works to remove plaque/tartar and freshen breath, you also have to keep your cat from eating 3o minutes before and after the treatment.

When we kind of had a routine figured out we took the next step by introducing them to a brush and kitty toothpaste! Obviously this was going to be more challenging, but it was also going to be the most effective, so little by little we started brushing their teeth.

It’s not something I look forward to doing and I know the boys would definitely rather be playing with their favorite toy or taking a catnap! … Nevertheless it’s something that we need to stick with to make sure we’re being good cat guardians. Now we try and brush their teeth 3 times a week and then on the other days use the gel instead.

It seems we may have started too late with Cole as well, since during his annual physical our vet suggested a dental cleaning would leave us with a nice clean base to work with moving forward… I kinda feel bad about not getting on top of this sooner but like I said it’s something most cat servants just don’t think about when their cats are only a couple of years old.

So in my opinion the best tip for new cat owners would be to get your cat used to being handled/examined on a regular basis and start hands on treatments like grooming, claw trimming AND dental cleaning early on… Always try and make these interactions positive by talking to them in a soothing voice, praising them afterwards and then having fun with a play session… (or if suitable dispensing cat treats!)

Sure there’s lots of other stuff to think about when a cat first comes into your life, like parasite control, spaying/neutering and diet, but to have a cat that is relaxed and used to the day to day care later in life is wonderful and I’m sure your cats would agree too! 🙂

Poor Marm! He’s spent so much time at the vet in his first 2 years of life, I’m determined to keep him cancer free, happy and healthy for as long as possible!

1 Marm beat cancer copy


37 thoughts on “The Best Tip For New Cat Owners…

  1. Beautiful kitties. My Zoey is a year old and has spent much of her short life in the vet too for severe food allergies. Very expensive but very worth it!

  2. And then there are others….:( Our girl was feral when we got her, at five weeks old. I started trimming her nails then, and now, 18 years later, I’m always afraid the ASPCA will be knocking on the door because of the caterwauling. Maybe too spoiled, since she gets her way in almost everything else?

  3. Great article Chris, do you plan on making a video on how you brush Cole and Marm’s teeth?
    Another thing that would be cool to make a video or an article about is Cat nutrition, Cole and Marm look super healthy I’m sure you take great care of them, but it still worries me that there are so many misconceptions about Cat Nutrition. Because of films and tv shows people got used to believe that feeding Milk, raw fish or dry food only to a cat is normal, when in reality most of them are prejudicial to them. 🙁

  4. The teeth cleaning thing is interesting. Hugo and Thomas have longer hair like Cole (dumped kitties I found at the beach as babies so no idea of breed, but Persian or something def there!) and hate being brushed, but now a year old their teeth are not something I had considered being an issue! I will look into a way to clean their teeth, this should be a fun experience lol

  5. I am so lucky with my 3 boys a yearly check for their FIV boosters and general health checks and that’s it for now . The only other time I’ve had to take 1 of them was rough play with his brother caused the little tabby to catch a claw in the carpet and strained his fore paw

  6. My tip (based on my current four) would be to start paying for pet insurance as soon as you get them. Three of mine are healthy and only go for a check up, the fourth turned out to have high medical needs and is at the vet at least once every two months for various things. People laugh at the idea of pet insurance – until the vet bill runs into the thousands for something that seems very simple.

  7. My boys Tigger and Moonlight have a routine that they stick to and I’ve only had them for a week now. Routine is good when it comes to cats, start bright and early with my boys starting them off with a small scoop if dry food in the morning, play time, cat nap then when 10:30am comes along both my kitties are waiting for me to open the blinds for window time which ranges from an hour to 2 hours of relaxation in the sun, then lunch time a nice feed of wet food, cuddle time, cat nap, free roam of the house after that. My boys enjoy their love filled lives.

  8. Love Cole and Marmalade!!! Enjoy watching all the cute things they do. What kind of cancer did Marmalade have? So glad to hear he is cancer free!!! Great job with the cat work you do with them love all the videos,pics advise etc!!! Thank you for sharing them!!! I have a rescue Tabby she is 5 and the best thing that ever happened to my husband and I. We also have regular outdoor neighborhood cats that come by for food that we love also.

  9. Glad to hear Marm is still cancer-free! I think being a good cat servant means spending lots of time with your cat, giving it plenty of attention. Also you should schedule regular vet visits (which they will detest) to keep them healthy.

  10. We have 4 indoor cats. I introduced them by saying, “here ya go!” I trim claws and take them in the shower by acting like it is perfectly normal – so far, I’m still alive. Tarzan, our 19 year old alpha male, takes in the kittens. He is gentle with them, and even teaches them how to fight. We love watching fight school where he teaches them to stare first, then hold a paw up and stare, and it progresses on from there. In short, we got lucky! As for the vet…I catnip them first. I give treats like mad. I wish someone would give laughing gas before the doctor, and brownies after! I am a pet lover. I have literally stood down a gang of thugs for a kitten before. I’m a middle aged housewife, but I don’t stand in the wings. I have 3 dogs and 4 cats. Any vet that makes them truly frightened, isn’t my vet anymore. My vet has treats that are for any animal that comes in, so I can get my guys used to go in here and get a treat time by taking them in over and over again for no other reason then to get a treat. If you feel odd about a vet, just try another. My grandchildren, and my pets … 2 groups I will stand up for even if means being harmed. I keep in mind, Tarzan insists on harmony, so we have harmony. The vet is hired to make my pets healthy so they can enjoy life fully, but if the vet causes them any problems, well, my money can pay another vet just as easily. Crazy pet owner? Oh yes! Proud of it!

  11. We had a cat that we found as a kitten that by the time he was one he developed megacolon. He had monthly vet treatments that were quite expensive. We started feeding him pumpkin and mineral oil to help with the constipation. We had him for a beautiful 4 years before his heart finally gave out. Dilly was the love of our lives and I learned a lot from him. Since then we have rescued 9 lovely cats who are all very healthy.

  12. I’m glad you addressed this topic because their teeth have seriously affected both my cats’ health. Bear was one when he started having problems – and it’s easy to dismiss because you can’t imagine a cat that young having problems. I don’t do many awareness-type posts on my blog (it’s more humorous), but I wrote a post about this subject (though not nearly as eloquently as you did) a few months ago because of how little people know and how much it really matters. I’d like to think I’ve learned from my experiences though I’m still ashamed and feel horribly for how little I knew and how much much my cats suffered for it. http://mommakatandherbearcat.blogspot.com/2015/10/watch-out-for-teeth.html

  13. I’m glad you addressed this topic because their teeth have seriously affected both my cats’ health. Bear was one when he started having problems – and it’s easy to dismiss because you can’t imagine a cat that young having problems. I don’t do many awareness-type posts on my blog (it’s more humorous), but I wrote a post about this subject (though not nearly as eloquently as you did) a few months ago because of how little people know and how much it really matters. I’d like to think I’ve learned from my experiences though I’m still ashamed and feel horribly for how little I knew and how much my cats suffered for it. http://mommakatandherbearcat.blogspot.com/2015/10/watch-out-for-teeth.html

  14. Getting your furbabies into a routine like vet visits, teeth cleaning etc is so important but I’ve learned that it has to be when they are younger. We adopted a 3 year old and a 6 year old that spent a lot of time at the shelter and may have been abused at their previous homes because it is a fight like none other to even get them in the carrier. We had a vet dr even make a house call and that was a nightmare. Our kitty had to be sedated just so a regular exam and a few shots could be given.

  15. I never realised Marm was FIV+. What a good example he is of a cat with FIV living a realitively normal cat life!! I was so pleased to hear he is cancer free!! Go Marm!

  16. Hi Chris and Jess, we enjoy your delightful videos, they really cheer us up! I have been researching dental care for years and trying so many things. One idea some cats do well with is Hill’s® Prescription Diet® t/d Dental Health Adult Cat Food given as daily as TREATS. This food needs a Vet’s prescription and then can be purchased at a local pet food store. I have also read gently offering a cat water to drink after a meal can, especially a dry meal, may help to rinse bacteria out of the mouth. Cat probiotic powder given daily can help balance the mouth flora also. Just ideas I’ve read on-line. Best wishes and praying Marmalade’s eye heals soon. Katie & Mark P.S. Lets all adopt an indoor cat or two, many wonderful sweet loving adult cats are at the shelters now, see Petfinder.com too!!!

  17. Hi Chris and Jess, Just a quick correction to my last comment on things I’ve read that help cats with dental health. I’m sorry, I forgot to mention the Digestive Enzymes & Probiotics for cats in their food is supposed normalize the oral flora for less bacteria accumulation in the mouth for dental health. Great Videos and Best Wishes Always, Katie & Mark

  18. Excellent article. Thank you for sharing all the cool things you do and the great ideas thru videos. I am going to try this dental product http://products.mercola.com/healthypets/pet-dental-gel/ It has good reviews on amazon for removing tartar with only wiping on the pets teeth, lips or whiskers for the cat or dog to lick off it’s mouth. It is 100% natural plant derived essential oils, but it is peppermint flavored. If anyone else has tried this dental gel by Dr. Mercola I would love to know what you thought and if it removed tartar from the back molars. Thank you in advance : )

  19. Wow, I didn’t realise it was so important to start early!
    I now have 2 kitties, one I suddenly found on the street at about 3 weeks old and had to bottle feed for a while, and another which we got from a shelter/foster family type set-up, to be his buddy. They’re both just over 6 months old now and just been done, but the second one was probably attacked by some humans when he was on the streets, apparently he was in bad shape when picked up, is terrified of most people (except me, who he pretty much clings to), especially men, and is still scared of my boyfriend, despite being in our house for around 4 months now.
    Luckily, they’re both pretty much ok with nail trimmings (something my family never really needed to do with our outdoor cats), but I was a bit worried about their teeth as their breath got really bad when they were losing their baby teeth. I noticed the loose teeth were in really bad shape, but figured when they fall out it’ll all be better…
    Glad I saw this blog, it’s interesting and helpful!

    1. Glad they both found a home with you and I hope the second kitty becomes more relaxed with time, yep once the baby teeth are gone, start a dental routine early, I wish we had!

  20. I am a catless cat lover….so sad. We have rented a house with a garden, we have no kids…so actually the perfect people for cats. The problem is our landlord (which is also our neighbor) who does not allow us to keep one…but they do have one. Strange people. Their cat is always coming over to us and she stays, plays, sleeps and eats (little bit…not too much of course) here. I think if she is so affectionate to us there must be a reason. She waits for us to come home. We went on holidays over 3 weeks in January and we thought she would not come again. Well, just one day after our arrival from holidays there she was. I think, they don’t really love and understand her, otherwise she would not be here. Not having a cat for me is very frustrating so I spend a lot of time watching cats videos on youtube and reading stuff about cats. Isn’t cruel? I think we will move as soon as we will be able to. Actually, there is no law ( in this f….g country Germany) to forbid us to have a cat even if it is stated on the rent contract. The only way a landlord may forbid it is by giving a real important and heavy reason for that. For example, one of neighbor is affected by really bad cat allergy and if a cat gets close to him, he would die. They may not even say because the cat might ruin the house…because we have a rent deposit and to be honest when their cat is here…she does not scratch or ruin anything….as we are peaceful people, we decided not to fight against their decision and just leave it as it is as long as we can afford another move….
    Thanks for listening to me.
    Stef

  21. Hi Chris & Jess,

    I love Cole and Marm and i especially enjoy watching all the videos you made – they are fun to watch and filled with love and affection! Thank you for sharing your family life with us and for bringing awareness to important topics such as spay and neuter cats.

    My husband Russ introduced me and my daughter to the wonderful world of cats! I’m proud that I’m a crazy cat mom to my 2 furbabies – Midnight, a black boy cat who is 2 years old and Twilight, a grey girl cat who is 3. I adopted both from the Animal Shelter separately. They were already spayed and neutered before adoption.

    When i first took Midnight home, he was only 3 months old. As a new cat owner, I tried to learn as much as i can about how to care for my kitty. One of the important things i read about was on oral hygiene for cats, which i found that a lot of my friends who have cats are not aware of or are not practising. I feel sad when i see cats in the animal shelter who have lost their teeth or suffered from gum diseases such as gingervitis.

    Honestly, brushing my cats’ teeth is not easy at all! I can bribe Twilight with her favourite treats and she’s usually quite ok to work with on my own. However, i need Russ to hold Midnight still with his arms tucked in so he can’t scratch me… i’m talking about doing this 2 to 3 times a week. Still sometimes, my boy growls at me, struggles and tries to escape. However, i truly believe that brushing our cats’ teeth is a labour of love and they usually forgive their human parents right after.

    I’m proud when my babies receive a good report from their vet about how healthy their teeth and gums look every year!

    Keep up your good work, Chris, you are pawsome!

    Maggie

  22. Interesting article. I use feline greenies dental treats on my cats and their vet commented on how nice and healthy their teeth are.

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