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Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: December 22, 2008 01:06PM
So, I'm doing my semi-annual cat duty, where a friend goes off to Sweden for vacation and I get to look after her passel of cats. She has 6. Five are in good health and one not so good. Cat lovers may recall my questioning a couple years ago if they would be harmed living in my Florida room for a week if the temperature in the room hovered in the low 80s (They all did just fine).

Now I have them divided into two groups as they don't all play well with others. The ailing cat and 2 who get along with it are at my house and they're no problem (other than what you'd expect from a dog lover who's allergic to cats). Well, I do have to force a pill down the sick cat every day and hydrate her every other day (read - stick the poor skinny thing with a needle and inject 200 ml of saline solution under her skin. Once (she's really skinny) the needle came out the other side and squirted all over me.

The remaining 3 are at her house. Like Jack Cafferty, here's the question: Do I really have to drive several miles each way, twice a day to feed them and clean the litter box or can I get away with doing it once a day, say, every morning? I feed them canned food when I drive over, but they have access to dry food and water at all times, which is how it works when she's home - except she gives them a small portion of canned food in the evening as well.

She's gone now through the 30th of Dec. If I cut the twice daily run to once a day, am I harming the felines or will they adapt just fine and not rat me out?

Thanks for any advice.



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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: DRR
Date: December 22, 2008 01:12PM
They will adapt just fine. Healthy cats are generally very low maintenance. I would also say that as far as the "attention" goes it depends on the particular cats - but since there are 3 of them there I doubt they give much of a hoot if you're around once a day or twice a day.

Taking care of 6 cats? Wow. You are a good friend.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: December 22, 2008 01:16PM
I'll say you're a good friend. Wanna come live near me? I have a dog that you'd love!

Cats are low maintenance, and they may try to convince their owner that you were extremely mean and rotten to them while she was gone, but they'll be lying. Don't worry about them getting only one meal of canned food a day. What they need to learn is that some cats never get anything besides dry food.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 22, 2008 01:16PM
I'd be most concerned with the litter box.
Some cats won't use a "full" one and poops / puddles behind the couch could rat you out.

Most cats would survive with just the dry food, but some are more finnicky / spoiled / stubborn than others.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: December 22, 2008 01:18PM
Quote
DRR
They will adapt just fine. Healthy cats are generally very low maintenance. I would also say that as far as the "attention" goes it depends on the particular cats - but since there are 3 of them there I doubt they give much of a hoot if you're around once a day or twice a day.

Taking care of 6 cats? Wow. You are a good friend.

Thanks for that - The three off (my) premises were ferals (years ago) but never got real people friendly. When I enter the house they may come out to see who it is and then scurry away - so much for them needing attention anyway.
Regarding being a good friend - I'm starting to think - maybe just stupid.



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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: December 22, 2008 01:22PM
billb - the litter box is one of my concerns too. Maybe I'll do 2 runs a day today and tomorrow and see how full it gets. I know there's an extra litter box in the garage that I could put into service but I recall reading somewhere that advised against more than one litter box in the house. I don't recall what the drawback was.

Of course (thinking here) less food, less poop, right? (just joking)







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2008 01:23PM by olnacl.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: December 22, 2008 01:25PM
Multiple litter boxes are fine, AFAIK.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: Doc
Date: December 22, 2008 01:35PM
Actually, the rule is 1 litter box per cat.

You can get by with 2 cats in one box if you're cleaning/scooping regularly and this is probably what most people do because most bathrooms and laundry rooms aren't built for multiple litterboxes.

6 cats in one litter box is almost incredible.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: rgG
Date: December 22, 2008 01:36PM
We have two kitties and use two litter boxes. The kitties should be just fine with a once a day visit, but I would put out another box. I would put the two near each other and use a little of the litter from the old box mixed with more fresh litter in the new, just so they know it is another of their boxes.

We have left our kitties alone for a few days with plenty of food and water and multiple litter boxes and they have been fine. If I were hiring a pet sitter I would only expect them to come by once a day.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: (vikm)
Date: December 22, 2008 01:40PM
More importantly, what was the understanding you had with the owner of the cats? If they were under the impression you'd make the multiple trips, then that in fact is the "right" thing to do.

We have 4 of the little creatures and to say they are low maintenance is a stretch in some instances. We need to feed them every 6 hours because of differing dietary needs/desires. If we put out all of the food at once, it would be gone. One or two of them would be about 35 pounds and the other two would be about 6 pounds winking smiley

You sound like a pretty good friend. One that should be appreciated. If it were me, I'd just suggest sucking it up and making the multiple trips. If it gets to be too much I'd relay that to the owner in order to not be asked about it in the future.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: incognegro
Date: December 22, 2008 01:59PM
l love puddy.


my late aunt had 12 cats at one point, with 4 litter boxes.
i think she changed/scooped/cleaned them daily.



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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 22, 2008 02:01PM
Once a day is fine. Put out an extra litter box, which can be as simple as a cardboard box, cut down so it's easy for the puddies to jump into, and lined with a trash bag.

They'll be fine fed once a day. You are going above and beyond as it is. You're a saint. Don't worry about them.

Animals are supposed to fit into our lives--only occasionally do we have to do vice versa.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: Pam
Date: December 22, 2008 02:03PM
Good gracious! Scooping more than once a day? Don't let my 4 hear that smiling smiley One trip a day is fine. My 4 do fine when I'm gone for a week as does a friend's 3 when she's gone and we cat-sit.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: (vikm)
Date: December 22, 2008 02:19PM
Quote
Gutenberg
Animals are supposed to fit into our lives--only occasionally do we have to do vice versa.

There are more than a few people in the world that would disagree with that. Call them (and myself) nutters if you will but just know not everyone feels that way. smiling smiley



edit: added the smiley 'cause I didn't want it to come off like I was ripping ya.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2008 02:29PM by (vikm).
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: December 22, 2008 02:22PM
Once a day is fine - I would put out the extra litter box in case any of the cats are super fastidious.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: DaviDC.
Date: December 22, 2008 02:31PM
Six cats here, with 2 large litter boxes. Once in a while one will leave me a present in the bath tub if I haven't scooped to his/her liking.



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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: incognegro
Date: December 22, 2008 02:32PM
Quote
DaviDC.
Six cats here, with 2 large litter boxes. Once in a while one will leave me a present in the bath tub if I haven't scooped to his/her liking.

better than on the floor.

in the dark.



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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: December 22, 2008 02:37PM
OK - looks like the yeas have it. One trip a day and I'll find the extra litterbox and put it next to the regular one. As I mentioned, these are the healthy group, not at all interested in me for companionship - "just put out the food, buster!"

Regarding the obligation of whether I promised to lok inat them twice a day, she actually posed the question regarding her last trip north for a nephew's graduation "did you come once a day or twice then?" Truthfully, I don't recall,but I think I may have stopped on my way to work and again on the way home from work. Then it was less of an issue because it was only somewhat out of the way to make the stops (and I was employed, unlike now). Now each is a distinct trip of several miles one way. Thanks to Exxon & BP for lowering the gas prices anyway (yeah, right).

And thanks to all who responded!

The Puddies








Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2008 03:01PM by olnacl.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: December 22, 2008 03:44PM
They look perfectly happy to me! You are doing a great job, olnacl.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: incognegro
Date: December 22, 2008 05:31PM




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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: kap
Date: December 22, 2008 07:16PM
My friends' cats were particular. Two meals of dry food and plenty of water a day. Litter-box cleaning every day!

I am terribly allergic to cats. I tried to be a good friend to a good friend who is a cat lover. I was to cat-sit his three felines for a week while he was in Europe. I was fine until the 5th day. The allergy gave me severe reactions. I had to let his cat loving neighbor take over. He was to do the second week anyway. My friend and I are still good friends but I stick with dog sitting from here on!



SoCal for now.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/22/2008 07:18PM by kap.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: IronMac
Date: December 22, 2008 08:14PM
Yeah, once a day is fine...you've already taken the pressure off of the litterbox by taking three of them out of there.

Got FOUR here right now...two litterboxes...it's only a temporary situation until my brother comes back and takes his one feline home.
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Re: Puddy lovers - How much attention do cats REALLY need?
Posted by: Wags
Date: December 22, 2008 08:23PM
I was going to say, "Crockpot, not much, but stir fry needs more attention." But then I thought better of it and used my usual discretion. Might be the onset of cabin fever.
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