Kitty Kare

Welcoming your NEW Kitten/Cat home

You thought long and hard about welcoming a kitten or cat into your family and home. Congratulations!! I hope the following information will make the transition to your home as smooth as possible.

What You will Need:

  • Cat litter box, litter and litter scoop (I use Tidy Cat extra hard clumping)
  • Food Dish
  • Water dish or dispenser
  • Scratching post or platform (best buys are found on ebay under cat trees)
  • Cat Food (kittens are eating science diet kitten)
    along with a bit of wet food twice a day (not particular on brand of wet food)
  • Cat Toys, laser light,  toys with feathers etc..  paper box with holes..  they love everything!
  • Squirt Bottle
  • Catnip/wheatgrass garden (optional)
  • Travel Carrier – If traveling to pick up your kitten a car travel carrier works great. it is large enough for a small litter pan and bed these are collapsible nylon crates that I have found similar ones in pet section and are basically 22″ long and 18″ wide.
    I found one similar in Wal-Mart for under 35.00. you can carry the new arrival in and out of the car in this and never have to change carriers. it fits on the back seat of most vehicles

Getting Acquainted:

Cats have a well-earned reputation for being curious, independent and sensitive. They’re so sensitive to their surrounding, in fact, that they require a great deal of time to adjust to the new environment. You can do a lot to help your cat companion feel secure in his/her new home.

We’re Home!

Keep the cat in his/her carrier until you’ve brought the carrier into a quiet room where the cat can be confined for the next day or two. I have kept your kitten in the carrier at various times to make it feel secure. This will be your cat’s “safe” room. Have a litter box prepared in that room, as well as a scratching post and bowls of food and water. If you want your cat to feel especially at home, purchase a cozy cat bed ahead of time and place it in the safe room. Be sure that all the windows and doors in your house are closed, that loose electrical cords have been secured, and that any spaces behind appliances or large pieces of furniture are blocked off.

Once in the safe room, open the carrier and let the cat come out in her own time. Keep the noise and bustle in your house to a minimum while the cat orients herself. My kittens have had a month or more living in a busy veterinary clinic so they tend to adjust to new things quite readily. But, stay quietly in the room while she explores, offering attention and gentle stroking if she seems to want it. If there are no other animals in the house it’s all right to leave the door to the cat’s room open slightly when you leave, but don’t be surprised if she stays in one spot for a few days.

Hiding:

Hiding is normal. Some cats spend their first few days, weeks or even months in a new home in hiding, usually under beds or in closets. Hiding is how some cats adjust to their new environments, and it does not mean that the cat is unaffectionate, unsocial or sick. Few cats repress their curiosity enough to stay under a bed for more than a few days, but if your cat requires more hiding time, make sure she’s getting food and water and if getting out at some point to use the litter box. DO NOT attempt to forcibly pull or drive a cat out from a hiding place, as this will only intensify her fears and make her adjustment harder.

Introducing your new cat to other pets:

If you have other cats or a dog living with you it’s best to keep the new cat confined in the “safe” room for a few days while your established pets get used to her smell, and vice versa. When you bring cats together for the first time it would be best to choose a day when you can be around the house, encouraging friendly behavior with praise and affection.

A dog meeting a new cat should always be leashed. Supervise the encounter, and watch your dog for signs of aggressive behavior towards the cat. Curiosity is normal, but a dog who lunges at a cat is not safe to be off-leash with the feline. If your dog gets on well with the cat but the cat shows you that she’s feeling extremely threatened during this experience, let her retreat to her “safe” room until she’s willing to try again.

Kids and Cats:

There is no reason why young children and cats cannot be the best of friends, so long as your kids understand some simple facts about cat behavior. Kids and Cats are the perfect Match!

Keep in mind these important reminders:

  • Cats DO NOT like to be squeezed, picked up by the neck or have their tails pulled. Cats are sensitive to loud noises and sudden movements, and will feel threatened if they’re chased or lunged at.
  • Cats DO NOT like to disturbed while they are eating.
  • Most cats DO like to scratched gently under their chins or behind their ears and enjoy having their coats brushed.
  • Making the adjustment from my home to yours physically is important, but you must also keep up on their health plan. I have given wormer starting at two weeks of age and their first vaccinations. The following is the recommendations from the American Association of Feline Practitioners, a veterinary specialty group, on cat vaccines:

Kittens:

  • Vaccinations are starting at 8-9 weeks of age a booster is given 4 weeks from the date of the first vaccination then possible a month later depending on your vet’s recommendations.
  • Use FVRCP and leukemia (only given when your veterinarian determines it is necessary)
  • Rabies can be given after 12 weeks of age.
  • I worm when I vaccinate a kitten.
  • Droncit is given yearly for tapeworm or more often if fleas have been a problem.
  • Frontline, Advantage or Revolution is used monthly to help with fleas if a problem in your area.

Adult Cats:

After the initial kitten vaccines or first adult series, rotate the FVRCP, leukemia and rabies on three year cycles. Your cat gets it’s yearly physical and we minimize vaccine reactions.

I, personally, bathe our cats as needed with a aloe and oatmeal shampoo. This helps keep the hair shedding down. I also treat for hairballs once weekly with an oral medication. Lately, I have added a teaspoon of optima 365 which has not only helped with reducing shedding but also has helped with hairballs. Hairballs are natural and occur due to the great grooming practices of our cats!

Another Great Source for Questions/Suggestions is the OSU site Indoor Pet Initiative