Dog Person With New Cat Who Knows Nothing

Isabella SmithIsabella Smith SeattleMember Posts: 308
edited 23 July, 2011 in Choosing the Right Cat
Hi, This cat has been hanging around my yard for a few days. I've been feeding it, and today I decided to offically adopt it. I bought food, a litter box, litter, flea meds, and a cat toy. He is inside my house right now, sleeping on the couch. He's really friendly and gets along with everyone, so I think he (she?) is here to stay. However, I do have a few questions...:)) How do you tell the difference between a girl cat and a boy cat? I want to see if he's spayed/neutered, and I tried to roll her over but she wouldn't let me. She has little nipples, but I know from dog experence that both genders have these. There were no boy parts or anything. How can I tell if she's spayed? What kind of shots do I need? When should I get them? The local pet store is have a kitty shot and microchip clinc. I was going to get the rabies and the Feline AIDS shot, but is this an OK place to get them? How do you tell a cat's age? I was just going to ask the vet when I got her shots. My guess is anywhere between 2-14. But if you can tell from the picture that would be helpful. What breed of cat is she? Is she a mix? I'll try to post more pictures soon. She doesn't have hair on the back of her ears... Is this normal? Will it grow back, or will it always be like that? Some one saw her picture and told me she a too skinny. How can you tell when a cat is at a good weight? Thanks for the help! Any other advice is helpful. :q

Comments

  • Christie BrownChristie Brown Member Posts: 231
    edited 17 May, 2011
    Hi. Leo's mom here. Thanks for helping this kitty. My family just got our first cat in November. (Then added 2 more since we loved the first one so much.) So, I know there is a lot to learn. There is so much to say, but the hair missing on the ears caught my attention. We are dealing with ringworm right now, so I just wanted to mention that as a possibility, as hair loss can be a symptom. It is highly contagious to other pets and humans. I would take him/her to the vet for a health check before letting it be around other pets. Of course, it could be something else...just thought I'd mention it so you could take precautions since it is so contagious. Good luck!
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 18 May, 2011
    The cat knows nothing? :lol, just teasing. If you are that unfamiliar with cats, you should know, if it's a boy the testicles etc are on the rear of the cat, not under hm like a dog. If you see 'nothing' back there, it's probably a girl kitty, Even a neutered male appears to have small testicles, but they are empty. If it's a whole male, you can't miss the evidence. ::o (Come to think of it, almost looks like that scared face smiley... You can't tell for sure a cat is too skinny by looking at a picture usually. You should be able to feel but not see the ribs, and you should be able to feel a small fat pad on the tummy. Don't let her get too fat, though! Google 'how to tell if cat is too thin" for more exact info, there is usually a chart with pictures showing varying degrees of fatness. It's great you've taken this kitty in; before you know it yu wuill know how great kitty love is! Oh, and get a natural fiber or cardboard scratching post or mat and treat it with catnip, bEFORE she scratches anything. (I've found most cats don't like the carpet ones so much) All cats do it. and providing an appropriate spot just for scratching will avoid future headaches.
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Hi! :-h Like Leo said, thanks for helping this kitty! =; Your cat is a DSH (domestic shorthair) black with white. :) Yes, on cats too, both genders have nipples. When trying to tell the sex of cats, the opening under the tail is the ****. In males, the genital opening is round in males and a slit in females. The distance in males is larger. The openings will look like a colon in males and a semi-colon in females. Here is a good article on how to tell males from females. How to Tell a Male From a Female Cat I would take the kitty to the vet to get a full check up. The vet will probably look at the kitty's teeth to help determine age. I have taken my cats (and dog) to low-cost vaccination clinics. If there is a Petco near you, they may have a clinic. Details available at Luv my pet I also know people who go to Walgreens and feed stores when there are clinics there. With the ears, it just may be hereditary or due to age or it could be something else like mites. :-k Welcome to Catster! There are lots of knowledgeable people here to help out. Good luck!
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Like Booboo said, the male cats will appear to have small testicles. One of my cats, Nigel, who passed away in October, was a Siamese and you could tell he was a male because where the testicles were, the fur was darker.
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 18 May, 2011
    We're going to recommend a vet visit right away just to be sure there's nothing contagious going on. And the vet can easily answer the gender and age questions for you. I just wanted to add, please be careful with over the counter flea meds. They can be dangerous for kitties. If you see fleas or flea dirt, ask the vet for something like Advantage to be safer. Good luck with your new addition!
  • Lola GranolaLola Granola Parenting-Furkids.comMember Posts: 88
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Congrats!!!! ;P From reading the other posts, sounds like your questions have been answered and some great advice given. For info about what to feed your new furkid, PLEASE check out Dr. Lisa A Pierson DVM website: www.CatInfo.org for a species appropriate diet (wet or raw). She furthered her veterinary education concerning feline nutrition. PS It is MUCH easier to start with wet food then it is too transition a kibble addict to wet later. BTDT :)
  • Isabella SmithIsabella Smith SeattleMember Posts: 308
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Ooops, I guess I phrased the title wrong, lol. I'll try to answer everyone's questions: I have found that that yes, Jinx is a female. I'm pretty sure she's spayed too. I've looked up how to tell if a cat's at a good weight, and she is. I can feel her ribs when I pet her, but I can't see them even when she is stretched out. I really hope that the ear thing isn't ringworm! I will make an appointment for a vet check-up today, and see what he says about it. I will also get a rabies and any vaccines he recommends. I'm a big rawbie feeder for my dog, so yes, I was planning on feeding that to the cat.
  • Isabella SmithIsabella Smith SeattleMember Posts: 308
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Forgot to mention- I bought a 30 inch scratching post at the store. It's covered with a rough, rope-like material. I've seen Jinx rub aginst it and paw it a few times, so I'm pretty sure she likes it. She also uses her litterbox well ~a~
  • Lynda Van EttenLynda Van Etten Menands, NYMember Posts: 707
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Welcome Jinx! We sent you a star and gave you lots of treats to help you get started. :) Congrats on your furever home!
  • Lisa ProvostLisa Provost Member Posts: 4,486
    edited 18 May, 2011
    I think it's safe to say that Jinx adopted YOU by the sounds of it. :)) Whenever you get a new pet you should bring it to a good reputable vet right away to make sure you aren't spreading anything in your home with the other pets and yourself. It sounds like ringworm to me as well, sorry! :-O Bless you for taking her in and giving her a loving home! ~a~
  • Katie HerrmannKatie Herrmann AuroraMember Posts: 3,681
    edited 18 May, 2011
    I would take the cat in to the vet just to get a look over. I picked up a stray dog who was missing hair on her ears. I think it was a combination of fly bites and frostbite. She also had major fleas and was missing all of her hair from her shoulder blades back. The vet did a scraping for fungus (like ringworm) and mites- both came back negative. 2.5 months later, her hair is looking really good on her back, and she's growing short, soft hairs on her ears :). Anyhow- if there's a possibility of it being ringworm- that stuff spreads like wildfire. I would not want it by me, my family, and especially my pets until it was treated! I've had it myself- ITCHY!!!
  • Isabella SmithIsabella Smith SeattleMember Posts: 308
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Uh-oh, that doesn't sound to good.:( There's no hair loss anywhere else on her body, including her paws and head. The hair on her ears is very fine, and covers all of her ear, and is think at the base. Her skin is velvety and smooth, with no scabs or sign of infection. I will take her into the vet but I hope those are good signs.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 18 May, 2011
    I've known cats who had very little fur on their ears, just peach fuzz. I think that it can be perfectly normal for some cats. I wanted to suggest that, since she's obviously not feral and was someone's pet at some point, you should make sure that nobody is looking for her before you invest too much in keeping her. Get her scanned to make sure she isn't already microchipped. Call some local vets and shelters, check the classifieds and bulletin boards to see if anyone is missing a kitty who matches her description. You might also put up some "Found Cat" flyers around the neighborhood to be sure. I'd hate for you to become too attached to her, only to lose her back to a previous owner! Good luck, and keep us posted! |:|
  • Marta GasperMarta Gasper FairburyMember Posts: 636
    edited 18 May, 2011
    Lack of hair in a stray cat is likely to be earmites,your vet can tell you same for fleas. And you can't tell if a cat is spayed, neither can the vet just by looking, what they do is shave her fur and look for the incision scar. Congratulations and welcome Jinx!
  • JessicaJessica Long Island, New YorkMember Posts: 1,339 ✭✭✭
    edited 19 May, 2011
    Thank you for rescuing an adult kitty! Aging a kitty, especially a stray, can be difficult. When my meowmy found me each vet had a different guess, and I was said to be anywhere from 8months to 10 yrs, mol! Jinx certainly looks like an adult kitty, probably middle aged (5yr ) but its so hard to tell. You can get a rough estimate by checking out the quality of the teeth, if there is any "lacy" texture to the eyes (when cats age, the eye "texture" tends to change as well. if you look at pictures of a young cat vs. an older cat you'll see what I mean), and overall body condition (once you've had her long enough to get her on a good diet.) definitely get her checked out by the vet. FIV/FELV test is important, and Bartonella testing is a good idea, as that's carried by fleas and is more prevalent than people may realize and can be transmitted to people (thats what "cat scratch fever" is!) . plus bartonella is treatable with antibiotic. the FIV shot is not recommended as it does not do anything for the disease. definitely rabies vaccination, the four in one vaccine, and an initial FELV series would be helpful, once she's tested negative.
  • Lola GranolaLola Granola Parenting-Furkids.comMember Posts: 88
    edited 19 May, 2011
    OP said... "I'm a big rawbie feeder for my dog, so yes, I was planning on feeding that to the cat." Kudos to you!! ;c; If you are looking for recipes for a raw feline diet, www.CatInfo.org has one there as well. I know a few people that use her recipe and other vets have recommended it as well.
  • Mary WaltersMary Walters Milton KeynesMember Posts: 6,959
    edited 19 May, 2011
    Welcome Jinx, and love to your mom for giving you a home =D>=D>=D>=D>
  • Jane JohnstonJane Johnston NMMember Posts: 2,957
    edited 20 July, 2011
    Hi there! Glad you adopted your *new* best friend. :D Much of your info on dogs will translate over to cats. You tell if they are the right weight the same way. You should be able to feel the ribs but there should be a layer of fat. Cats also enjoy interactive play. The best toy imo is Da Bird. The cat dancer is a cheap toy that many cats enjoy. If you clicker train your dogs, cats like it as well (they do not have a really high attention span for such things though.) I would personally NOT vaccinate against FIP. Your vet can determine if age and sex better than you can (though the comments re: sex are valid). Earmites are possible. they are very hard to treat but not usually too horrible. They can cause the baldish ears, yes some cats do have those. Also old fighting injuries cause ear loss by way of scar tissue (it doesn't sound like you have a Tom though). Cats and raw, well some will just never like it. You can not play it tough with cats as cats will get a liver disease that way, so gradual si the only way. Some cats do love raw. I had a cat transfer to it very well. BTW, set up a profile. --des
  • Amber MayAmber May HarareMember Posts: 60
    edited 23 July, 2011
    May\'s mother is here. By now I\'m sure you know all the answers, which from above posts are plenty and brilliant. Just some information on a ring worm: I worked on farms some time ago and know all about this ring worm - it\'s terribly itchy, infectious between all animals and humans, and lethal if not treated, but it\'s very easy to treat. And everyone is right about fearing it. The hair loss is not really an indication of it. The ring worm on skin is like that: There are scabs that spread around the skin - they are very round patches without hair indeed, hence the name - they look like rings and yes, this skin disease is caused by a parasite. These rings are scabbed too and if a scab is scratched off - it\'s wet on skin, no hair. If scratched off without putting a special muti on the affected areas - that\'s when it spreads. The ring worm would not be just on ears. Whole body would be affected in different places and these hairless patches would be seen on more then just one place. Easy to detect them just stroking an animal - the new ones developing feel like round lumps not yet scratched off. But if left without treatment - they will be scratched off - they itch badly, so animals do scratch them and spread that further. I hope that by now your beautiful Jinx has been inspected by vet, and I hope there was no ring worm on her. To me it didn\'t sound like one. Best wishes to you and your new friend!!!
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