Food: Performatrin dry foods, Wellness (if you prefer to feed ONE type of food, make it grain-free, Hill’s (grain-free) Solid; otherwise, choose two or more to mix together). Mix any new foods in gradually. Your kitten use to eat Royal Canin kitten dry food.
Kittens need more proteins than adults, so they eat kitten's food until they are one year old. Then you switch to an adult food.
Our cats are free feeded. Usually cats don’t over eat. They should be limited in food for medical reasons only
Food/Water Dishes: Heavy crockery or ceramic is best. Water should be always accessible
Carrier: A hard-sided carrier of a size in which an adult cat will be comfortable for a trip of 2-3 hours is the best choice. Whenever you take your cat out of the house, it must be secured in a carrier (including while in the car).
Litter: Clay, scoopable (please, start with the clay one. Look for a no dust.) Arm & Hummer is a good brand
Any others,(for example corn or walnut based) mix in gradually over a few weeks
Litter Pan: Covered or uncovered, larger is better
Scoop solids and ‘clumps’ daily, clean completely weekly and replace litter. Disinfect with mild bleach and water solution—no harsh chemicals; rinse well.
Scratching Post: cardboard any shape, comes with a cat nip
Claw clippers: Wahl is a good one
Cat tree: 4 feet high is sufficient with 1 or 2 shelves made from a carpeting or sisal
encourage kitten to use by putting in front of window and using toy or teaser to get him/her to climb
Toys: ping-pong balls, wine corks, crumpled paper, aluminum foil, plastic bottle caps, plastic straw, etc.
CAUTION: anything with string or feathers should be used interactively; do not allow kitten to play with alone as he or she may ingest.
AVOID: toys with small attached pieces that might come off and be swallowed (or remove those parts first).
Cleaning products with phenol's (Lysol, Pinesol, etc.)
Rubber bands, string, yarn, needle/thread, Xmas tree foil decorations
Houseplants (link to the ASPCA for a list of poisonous plants)
Hot stove tops, burning candles
Rugs, throws or bedspreads with loops or knotted fringe
THE DRIVE HOME
Meanwhile, secure but frightened in it’s carrier, your new kitten is wondering what these new voices and strange mechanical sounds are that surround it. It reacts either by cowering in the back of the carrier or frantically trying to escape.
DO NOT attempt to calm the kitten by removing it from the carrier--under no circumstances should a cat or kitten be allowed to run free inside a car nor should any attempt be made to carry a kitten from the car to the house without a carrier. This is for the animal's protection as well as yours--a frightened cat can leap from your arms and be seriously injured --and even cause an auto accident if it startles the driver or interferes with the brakes.
While the kitten or cat may seem frightened inside the carrier, it will be even more frightened outside of it--remember, cats seek security--that's why they hide in small, dark places!
THE "INTRODUCTION" PROCESS
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOUSE
Talking to the kitten on the drive home so it gets used to your voice is a great idea. A calm conversation among the passengers in the car will also be soothing.
When you reach home, resist the temptation to let the kitten/cat out of the carrier as soon as you get in the house. Instead, put the carrier and cat in a small, secure room (powder room, laundry room, etc.) where there's not a lot of hiding places. Place a litter pan in the room and food and water near the carrier. Sit next to the carrier and carefully open the door. Let the kitten emerge on its own. Over the next few hours, the kitten will explore quietly. During this time, leave the kitten in the room by itself. Then, return quietly. Sit on the floor with a kitty toy and, speaking quietly and gently, coax the kitten to you. Grabbing the kitten will startle it and you'll have to start all over. Pet the kitten gently but firmly, talking to it all the while. When the kitten seems comfortable with you and is playing with the toy or nibbling on food, leave it along again for an hour or so. Repeat this process until the kitten responds to your voice and seems comfortable in the room. If you have no other pets, you can now leave the door to the room open and let the kitten explore on it's own, remaining nearby for encouragement. Do not allow access to every room in the house (including the basement) until you're confident the kitten can find it's way back to it's litter pan.
INTRODUCTION TO OTHER PETS
If you have other pets, keep in mind that they may not be overjoyed to have a newcomer in their midst! This is particularly true of other cats. Let your other cat get to know the kitten under the door of the secure room for a day or so before making introductions. Also, it's very important to supervise any encounters for the first week or two--do NOT leave a new kitten alone with other pets unsupervised.
Separate litter pans and food and water are highly recommended until equanimity is achieved. Expect some hissing and spitting at first, but within two weeks, cats will either accept another cat graciously and agree to share or they will agree to avoid each other. An adult cat can intimidate a kitten or a cat just by staring--so just because there's no hissing doesn't mean all is well.
No matter how gentle your dog is, expect your new kitten or cat to be frightened at first. Dogs should be restrained around cats until the new pet is comfortable with you, your house and the dog. Keep kittens away from the dog food dish--even the most gentle dog will snap if his dinner is threatened!
The easiest introduction is one kitten to another; the most difficult is one adult cat to another. The latter can be achieved by carefully monitoring the process and backtracking when necessary. Providing extra attention to your resident cat(s) will be extremely helpful.
One of the most common ways for a cat to express it's resentment of a newcomer is by breaking litter training. That's why a slow, careful introduction with lots of TLC is necessary. It's also why separate litter pans are recommended. Remember, your resident cat(s) are convinced that there's no other cats in the world but them--so it's a rude awakening when you correct this perception.
Even if you have no other pets, careful attention to the initial introduction of a new kitten will pay dividends--instead of a kitten frightened by strange voices and large spaces, you'll quickly have a companion who responds to you with purrs!
INTRODUCTION TO YOUNG CHILDREN
Young children are often anxious to play with a new kitten. Its's important to realize that while a cat rarely exhibits stress, a new environment is extremely traumatic and stressful (remember, cats like everything to stay the same!). Limit the amount of time your child or children play with the new kitten to 15-20 minutes two or three times a day until the kitten is 5 or 6 months old. Kittens, like children, don’t always know when to stop and an exhausted kitten may not eat well. Children should also be cautioned not to over-handle the kitten for the first month or so; while the kitten may be amenable to being carried around constantly, it’s more important that it get around on its own four feet!
Rough play (including encouraging the kitten to jump high in the air or from a high place) should be firmly discouraged. While it’s true that cats usually land on their feet, any cat or kitten can be seriously injured when jumping in the midst of play. Also, while a cat or kitten will rarely use its claws, that is its defense system and if pushed to the limit, it will scratch to get away. A young kitten will also use its claws to climb--and a pant leg is the same as a scratching post to a kitten!
Children AND adults should not wrestle with a kitten to get it to claw and bite. This behavior may be cute in a 4 month old kitten, but isn’t appreciated in an adult cat. If a kitten attempts to roll over and chew on hands or fingers or kick with its hind legs, immediately say a sharp NO and walk away from the play. Distract the kitten with an appropriate toy.
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