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New Kitten Care

Cat-Proofing Your Home 

 

Kittens are SO curious and their favorite toys might be harmful to them: things like the cords on blinds, electrical cords, or yummy (and toxic) plants to nibble. They can also do a certain amount of damage with their little needle claws by climbing curtains or your good furniture. Therefore a certain amount of catproofing will be necessary. The first thing you need to do is place yourself physically down at the level of a cat, by sitting or even lying on the floor. Look up and around at all the interesting things to play with. From this vantage point you can make a list of hazards and breakables that you will need to deal with.


Before you bring your new cat or kitten home, there are a number of things to collect or buy, so your cat will feel like a family member rather than a visitor. Do this a few days in advance to save stress on the "big day". In the excitement of bringing your cat home, you don't want to suddenly discover at 8 p.m. that you forgot to buy cat food. Here are the minimum essentials your cat will need: 
 

  • Food 
    Your kitten will be used to eating Blue Buffalo kitten food.  It's best to give your new kitten the food he/she's accustomed to and if you wish to change foods, you can incorporate the new food slowly so their digestive system can adjust. Kittens  
    need more fats and proteins than grown cats, so look for foods specifically formulated for kittens. These can be identified by the words "highly digestible, nutrient-dense and uniquely designed to meet kittens' nutritional requirements. Kittens from eight weeks upward can handle dried food quite well.  They will remain on kitten for for their first year of life.

 

Food and Water Bowls
Although your new cat can be fed on any ceramic (non-lead-glazed) or stainless steel bowls you have in your kitchen, you may feel better with providing her with her very own dishes. I do not recommend plastic dishes for cats, as some cats develop a chin rash from plastic; also, softer plastic scratches, which provides a harbor for bacteria.  There are a number of non-tip stainless steel bowls available for pets. If you prefer decorated ceramic dishes, make sure the glaze is lead-free.    Automatic food and water servers are especially nice if the humans will be gone for lengthy periods during the day. e.g., job or school. Most cats love the pure, fresh taste of running water, and automatic water dispensers ensure a constant supply of clean water.  What ever dish you choose, make sure their water is changed daily.

Don't be alarmed if your kitten chooses not to eat right away.  Despite our best efforts to ensure a smooth transition, this is a big change for kitty and it is normal for them to take a couple of days to feel at home.

Grooming 

Your gorgeous persian kitten will grow long, flowing, soft fur which will require some maintenance to ensure it stays soft.  Buy a metal, wide toothed comb for daily grooming.  I like to do this when my cats are sleepy.  If you are gentle, they will love this daily routine AND as an added bonus for you, this will cut down on the shedding.  Always reward with a treat when they are done and they will look forward to their grooming.  If you neglect this important step, thier fur can become matted and it can become impossible to brush it out!  These knots can also be painful for your cat, so please make a habbit of daily brushing. Your kitten needs a bath at least once per month.  Yep - a bath!  They will have at least two baths before coming to your home so they get accustomed to this. Do NOT use human shampoo.  Bath time is an ideal time to check the length of kittys nails and inspect ears.  A properly groomed cat is a healthy and happy cat.  After the bath, you must completely blow dry your cat then comb out their fur.  This can be scary for your kitty but they will get used to it.  Keep the heat setting on low and be patient till fur is completely dry.  I like to use a soft brush with wide bristles to "fluff" the fur during the blow dry.  A good option is a human "wet brush".  Once kitty is completely dry, use your grooming comb and give a once through combing before letting them run and play.

 

Toys 
All cats love to play, and your bonding time will begin by playing with Kitty and her toys. The "fishing pole, dangling lure" kind of toy is a big favorite for interactive play. Just make sure it is sturdy enough that small kittens won't tear off feathers, etc. from the dangling part. Catnip mice are a feline favorite. Kitty houses and climbing posts can run the gamut from simple cardboard creations, to custom built "cat furniture" combinations running several hundred dollars.  Create a space for them that is both comfortable and entertaining.  It will be just as entertaining for you as it is for your kitty to watch her run, climb and play.

Cat Carrier 
This is a must . Don't ever try to transport a cat without one. A simple cardboard carrier (available from your vet) is fine for bringing a new cat or kitten home, but you'll need to replace this eventually with a solid-bottomed fiberglass or tough plastic carrier with secure latch and a screened opening the cat can look through. A heavy-duty cloth airline-approved carrier is a good alternative if travel is in your future.

Litter Box and Litter 
This is an all-important purchase, and is an absolute must for both indoor and indoor-outdoor cats. Look for a sizable box with high sides for grown cats, as they tend to throw the litter around quite a bit. These can also be as simple or as extravagant as your pocketbook allows, but is perfectly fine start with a basic plastic litterbox. Kittens will need a box that's low enough for them to enter easily but when they are  adult sized, a larger plastic bin works nicely to contain the litter and they are more than capable of hopping right in and out.

 

There are various kinds of litter.  When your kitty is just learning to go potty, we use a safe litter made from recycled newspaper.  New kitties want to taste test the litter, so till they overcome this stage, we do not use clumping litter, but by the time but by the time they get to you, they will be used to clumping litter and it is very easy to use.  There are so many on the market and it will be up to you and your pocketbook to decide on one you prefer.  We like using the arm and hammer clumping litter but that can change depending what is available.  Consider a mat under the box to catch stray litter. You can buy mats for that purpose at a pet store, or buy a few inexpensive carpet or linoleum samples that can just be tossed and replaced when they get too grungy.  

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO SCOOP YOUR LITTERBOX EVERY DAY!!!!!   CATS ARE VERY CLEAN ANIMALS AND DO NOT WANT TO STEP IN THEIR OWN FECES.   KEEP YOUR LITTERBOX CLEAN, AND BE KIND TO YOUR KITTY.....SCOOP EVERY DAY!!!!  


A Bed (Optional, but Recommended)
Your cat may likely sleep on your own bed, however it's still a good idea to provide kitty with her own special, cozy place for napping. The bed should be comfortable, easily washable and spacious enough for an adult cat to curl up comfortably, but not so vast that she'll feel exposed and vulnerable.  Your persian kitten loves luxury and comfort just like we do.

 

Make Appointment for a Vet Visit 
If you are purchasing a kitten from me, your kitten will have already been seen 2-3 times by my  licensed veterinarian and will have received at least two sets of kitten shots.   I still advise you to take your kitten to the vet within 72 hours of bringing home your baby, just for a checkup and most likely, to schedule the next set of vaccinations.   My kittens are from Feline Leukemia and FIV negative parents.   If you have other pets in your home you will want to make sure they are up to date with their shots before you bring home your new kitten and make sure you follow up on all new kitten shots before introducing the kitten to new animals.  It's a good idea to have clean hands before you handle your kitten and keep all areas sanitary at all times, but especially before she/she has all required shots.


Let Your Cat Set the Pace
As your new baby becomes more familiar with his/her surroundings and with the new human(s), your cat may want to try exploring. If his "safe room" is a corner of a larger room, this will progress naturally. If he is confined in a room, you will learn to read his body language. If he regularly rushes to meet you as soon as you enter, it may be time to open the door a crack to facilitate his exploring. However, if you have other cats or dogs in the hope, you'll need to make sure your new cat is fully integrated  with the rest of your four-legged family. As always, patience is the key word.

Laugh, Play, Love