Bringing Your Kitten Home
You are now the proud adoptive parent of a brand new ball of fluff and you can’t wait to welcome your new kitten as a member of the family.
Just as bringing a new baby home involves a lot of preparation, so does the welcoming of a new kitten.
Your young kitten will be making a transition from our nursery where he or she is comfortable, to a new and even a little scary (but loving) environment. There are many steps that you can take to make this transition as smooth as possible for your kitten.
Pre-Kitten Arrival Shopping List
Before bringing your kitten home, you’ll want to stock up on some necessities. Check with us at Doll Face Cattery to find out what kind of food we feed our kittens and adults. It is recommended that you continue to feed your kitten this brand for several weeks after adoption, before very gradually switching to a new food, if you choose. This will avoid any unnecessary tummy troubles or loose stools to bother your kitten as he or she adjusts.
Buying the same brand of kitty litter that we use at Doll Face Cattery is a good idea as well, as the sight and texture will be what your kitten is accustomed to, and this familiarity could possibly prevent a few accidents.
Here’s a list of some other recommended kitten gear that you may want to have on hand before the big day:
Please bring your cat carrier with you, Make sure to pad the bottom of the carrier for both comfort, and as a precaution towards accidents.
Dishes, Food and Water
Be sure to monitor the kitten closely to make sure that it is eating and drinking, though they might do neither for a few hours after you first bring them home. We recommend both food and water dishes be emptied and washed daily to prevent bacteria and germs from accumulating.
You’ll want to have a litter tray ready and waiting and introduce your new kitty to it immediately. I like the covered variety, as it prevents litter from scattering to the four corners of the room at the first scratch of a paw. If your kitten does have an accident, wipe it up with a paper towel and then place the paper towel in the litter tray. After a little repetition, this will show your kitten that the correct place to use the potty is in the litter box. Don’t punish your kitten, as this will only cause him or her to not go in front of you. Kittens are very sensitive to odors so scooping twice a day will encourage regular use of the litter pan.
A brush, a comb, and nail clippers will come in handy. You won’t be using them during the first week, but after your kitten is all settled in, you’ll want to establish a grooming routine.
A good, sturdy sisal rope or carpet-covered cat tree can be a huge asset to any cat lover’s home, as the scratching post will stand up much better to needle-sharp little claws than your nice sofa or curtains. Make sure to get one that is at least 2 and a half-feet tall with a heavy base that won’t tip if your kitten gets a little enthusiastic. I also use natural slabs of wood for shelving, it still has bark on it and the cats love to scratch it.
Make Sure Your Home is “Kitten proof”
Since your kitten is still technically a baby, you’ll want to make sure that your home is kitten-proofed before he or she gets there. Keep all dangerous cleaning chemicals, pesticides, or antifreeze up and out of the way, or behind child-locked cupboard doors. Child locks can be picked up cheaply at any grocery store and you would be surprised at how dexterous kittens can be when it comes to opening cupboard doors.
In addition, any plants that may be harmful to kittens, such as those listed below should be kept out of reach.
One way to know for sure that your home is kitten-proofed is to stoop to their level, so to speak.
Get down on the floor and check out your home from their point of view.
Your Kitten’s Safe Room
When you bring your kitten home, have his or her own special place (ideally a separate room) set up and ready for them.
First Vet Check
Once you get your kitten home, you should schedule a checkup with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Scheduling a well visit for within the first few days of having your kitten at home will give your vet an opportunity to meet your kitten and record the health information to date that you will receive upon your kitten's arrival. At this time, you will also be able to schedule your kitten’s spay or neuter appointment and administer or schedule the last of your kitten's series of vaccinations. Any other questions about the care of your new kitten can also be answered at this time.
Introducing Your Kitten to Other Pets, Take your time!
If introducing your kitten to the rest of the family includes him or her making the acquaintance of your dog Fred and two elderly cats named Togo and Yoni, proceed with caution. Your other pets have staked a claim on your home and need to be reassured that the newcomer isn’t there to oust them. This process can take a few days to a week to be successful, be patient.
By quarantining your new kitten, your other pets will already have been aware that he or she is there, and had an opportunity to get used to their scent. When the first meeting takes place, keep it short. Let them all get the chance to see what that odd scent in the guest bedroom was, but don’t let your kitten become too frightened or your other pets too aggressive.
From then on, allow the pets to be in the same room together, with supervision, until they’ve all become used to each other. They will work out their issues, given time. This could take a week or more, but exercise patience and be sure to lavish attention and reassurance on your established pets, to stop any jealousy in its tracks.
By following these outlined steps, you will be able to welcome your kitten into your home with a minimum of fuss and stress on you, your new pet, and your established pets. Before long, your kitten will be settled in nicely, and so much a part of your family, it will seem like they’ve been their forever.
I hope you enjoyed this newsletter.
Have you hugged your pet today?
You may print this newsletter for future reference.
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You did What?
How many times have I heard the phrase “you did what!” followed by “no I don’t want another pet for Christmas”. The holidays are a great time to get reacquainted with family members that you haven’t see in a long time. The last thing you want to do is upset your family by giving a pet as a gift without talking to the family. Here is what happens to at least 50% of the pets given as gifts for the holidays.
About half of the pets weren’t wanted in the first place and they eventually wind up going to animal shelters for one reason or another.
A pet is given to a child that doesn’t have a clue how to care for a little pet, or is really not ready to be kind to a pet. Small children want to love a kitten or puppy so they often squeeze them out of love.
The little animal struggles to get away and scratches the child.
Now you have a crying child and a little animal that is scared to go near the child.
I know in many families they are so busy that a pet is just another chore for someone to do like mom or dad. Leaving a little pet alone to it’s own devices is not good, a pet that is no longer getting hugs and kisses will soon become lonely, bored, and misbehaves out of loneliness. The puppy or kitten is now viewed as a bad pet. Here is some practical advice for a holiday pet. First sit down and talk about getting a pet, plan a trip to meet the owner and to view the little pets surroundings.
Make sure the puppy or kitten has been to the vet, shot records, contract, and that a certificate of health are made available to you. Now decide when to bring a new pet into the home.
I tell mom’s and dad’s give your child on Christmas day all the equipment for a puppy or kitten, and a picture of the new baby to be adopted.
Tell your child that you will both be going to pick up the pet a day or so after Christmas when it is calm in the house and all the company has left. This will give you a quiet environment to bring the kitten or puppy home to.
Less people to handle the new member of the family!
Go over a schedule for the new arrival, who is going to feed the kitten or puppy, who is going to clean up after it, walk it, give it a bath and where the little baby is going to sleep. Keep in mind that this is a living, breathing, loving creature and not a toy.
Kitten development 101
From birth to about 10 days old, the kitten is totally dependent on mom and myself for all it's needs.
As the kitten grows it will learn everything it needs to become an
When a kitten is 10 days old the eyes start to open. It will take a few days for the kitten to adjust to the light and surroundings.
Kittens navigate by the sound and vibration of their mothers purr.
It acts like Morse code for kittens.
Now it's time for the kittens to get up and move more.
This is so cute to watch, they wobble around checking out the surroundings.
By the time they are 3 weeks old, babies are able to walk around the nursery. The kittens love to investigate their nursery bed.
Between 4-5 weeks old the kittens are put on a soft kitten bed during the day so they can get to know the other cats.
Soon they will be introduced to a special baby cat food from Royal Canin. Before you know it they are eating solids.
7-8 weeks the kittens are eating dry baby cat food along with nursing from the mother.
Mom will set the pace for weaning her babies. Most of them wander off before 8 weeks old and no longer want to nurse.
However, I had one kitten that would have nursed till it was 6 months if mom let it.
If you are on the baby list, please call me.
HIMALAYAN COLOR DESCRIPTION
This month I thought I would address the Himalayn color patterns and the variations.
This is a CFA chart and has very helpful to me in the past when explaining the colors to an adoptive parent and how I know the color of the kitten when it is still so white.
Hint: I check the color of the feet, you will read about this in each color group and every kitten pattern is a little different.
The points refer to the ears, face mask, legs, feet, and tail color. The ideal face mask extends from above the eyes and stretches beyond the eyes from side to side and down through the chin. Body - clear color is preferred with subtle shading allowed. Allowance for darker color in older cats as long as there is contrast between the body color and point color.
The body should be ivory and the points milk chocolate. The nose leather and paw pads cinnamon pink and the eye color a deep vivid blue.
The body should be even pale fawn to cream with gradual shading into lighter color on the stomach and chest. The points, nose leather and paw pads deep seal brown and eye color deep vivid blue.
The body should be glacial white and the points frosty gray with pinkish tone. The nose leather and paw pads a lavender pink color and eyes a deep vivid blue.
The body should be bluish white and cold in tone. The points blue with nose leather and paw pads slate blue. The eye color deep vivid blue.
The body should be creamy white and the points deep orange flame to red. Nose leather and paw pads flesh to coral pink and the eyes a deep vivid blue.
The body should be creamy white and the points buff cream. The nose leather and paw pads flesh to coral pink and eyes deep vivid blue.
SEAL TORTIE POINT
The body color should be creamy white or pale fawn. The points seal brown with unbrindled patches of red and/or cream. The nose leather and paw pads seal brown and/or coral pink. The eyes deep vivid blue.
BLUE CREAM POINT
The body should be creamy or bluish white and the points blue with patches of cream. The nose leather and paw pads slate blue and/or pink. The eyes deep vivid blue.
CHOCOLATE TORTIE POINT
The body should be ivory and the points chocolate with unbrindled patches of red and/or cream. The nose leather and paw pads cinnamon pink and/or coral pink. The eyes deep vivid blue.
The body should be glacial white and the points lilac with patches of cream. The nose leather and paw pads lavender pink and/or pink. The eyes deep vivid blue.
HIMALAYAN LYNX PATTERN
The mask must be clearly lined with dark vertical stripes as well as form the classic "M" on the forehead and horizontal on the cheeks. The mask includes light rings around the eyes and dark spots on light whisker pads. The inner ear should be light with ticking on the outer ear. The legs should be evenly barred with bracelets and the tail barred with a lighter underside. There should be no mottling or striping on body.
Becoming a breeder!
The beginning of becoming a breeder is very important, you need to make a plan as to how many cats do you want to start with, do you have any experience with birthing kittens, have you read everything you can about the breed that you are interested in breeding, do you have support if something goes wrong during birthing and is your newly acquired cat up for the task?
All cats are potential breeders, this means that you may have kittens and you may never have kittens. Only time will tell if you have a successful breeder. Make sure if you have a successful breeding that you have the support of your local veterinarian, have an extra veterinarian number handy incase you can’t get a hold of your regular veterinarian.
“I will do an article for February all about how to take care of your queen, assisting in the birthing and care of the babies. “
The guidelines of this article deal with creating acceptable cat housing then managing the environment effectively should be every breeder’s goal.
Where to put the cat room!
The primary considerations for proper housing of the multiple cat households are space, air, light, food, water, sanitation, and husbandry. Husbandry is defined as "the control and management, including production and care, of a branch of agriculture, and especially of domestic animals". In simple terms, it means putting all of the foregoing factors together into proper daily care of the animals.
As you begin planning construction of your cattery, it's helpful to be clear on your goals for your cat owning-breeding experience. Will you keep a limited number of females and purchase your own stud for your own cattery? Start with one male, never breed in and never breed out of the cattery! You must have a closed cattery to prevent the spread of unwanted problems.
Ask yourself what size cattery do I want, how will it grow? Will I add a second breeder? Your questions will be almost endless, but time spent pondering them in the beginning will eliminate many problems later on. Once you feel that most of your goals are clearly defined, it's time to begin.
The first big step is finding a place to put the cattery. First, you'll need 30 cu ft of space for each cat, plus free play space, and grooming and maintenance areas.
For your cattery, decide what area can be given up entirely to the cats.
The cattery must be able to be closed off from the rest of the house from time to time. If you have company, new babies, or a pesky dog in the home. (My little dogs try to sneak in to eat the cat food or sniff the cat boxes).
This provides climate control, sanitation, privacy, security, and breeding control, for the sake of both the cats and the family.
A room 8’x10’x 8’ high is perfect for 6 to -8 cats Any more than 8 adults means more litter boxes, food, time and more cleaning Not to mention a lot of time grooming and playing with the cats. Do you have the time to spend 4-6 hours a day devoted to your potential breeders?
Proper ventilation, the flow of fresh, oxygenated air, through the cattery is essential to the cats' cleanliness and health. A supply of clean, outside air builds natural resistance to airborne pathogens; germs and viruses that closed spaces don't permit. Fortunately, good ventilation is relatively easy to achieve.
Screened windows in warmer times of the year are the simplest means of "airing" the cattery. Screens must be sturdy and in good repair. If your cats enjoy snagging and pulling the standard screening, a product called hardware cloth can be used as reinforcement. It is essentially a heavy screen with openings 1/4" square. While it is much stronger than window screen, it does not keep out insects. It should always be used with the standard screen to keep the flying and crawling visitors outdoors where they belong.
Sometimes, windows are not available or the best option, and powered ventilation, vent fans, must be used. I have a bathroom fan installed over the cat boxes, a flip of the switch and it is vented out. Some are easy to install, some quite complicated and expensive. The simplest is the enclosed window fan fastened to the window frame. It moves the air and provides a sturdy barrier in a window that you may not want opened.
Windows are perfect for cats; they can lie on a shelf and sun themselves in the winter, catch a breeze in the summer and just lay and smell the air. If you are limited then install florescent lights for the cats. They like us humans require as much light, it helps their disposition and keeps them alert and healthy. Just like humans, some animals feel a sense of depression in the darkness of the winter. Sunlight kills germs and lifts the spirit!
The importance of wholesome, nutritious food cannot be stressed enough. Ask your breeder what the kitten or cat has been eating, they have been doing this for a long time; trust their opinion on the type of food a Persian or Himalayan cat should eat. Remember they have shorter mouths and require a type of food that they can scoop from left to right. I like Royal Canin Persian 30.
Even more important than good food, an ample supply of fresh, clean water is absolutely, positively, unequivocally, the most needed nutrient for the cat. Wash their dishes daily and replace the water, I use the ½ gallon water dishes. They work well for multi cat homes.
Sanitation can most easily be thought of as cleanliness; clean air, clean food, clean water, and clean cages, clean everything. Come to think of it, that's a good motto for running a cattery, "Clean Everything!"
We have an abundance of litter types available, most of it suitable and sanitary when used correctly. Fecal matter must be removed at least once a day, if not more often. When litter becomes urine-soaked it must be dumped and replaced. Along with removal, cleaning and disinfecting of litter pans is essential. I also use sifters in my large boxes; they make cleaning up quick and easy.
Fortunately there is a cheap, easily obtainable solution that eradicates most microscopic pests - I like vinegar and Dawn dish soap for washing down everything. Vinegar sanitizes very well, Dawn is used by all the animal rescue workers because it does a good job and is safe.
Surface sanitation is accomplished by first scrubbing with a good detergent solution to remove visible stains and dirt, and then you should rinse with clear water.
Dishes can go into the dish washer.
The same process is used on cattery surfaces, food dishes, and water bottles and bowls. Don’t for get to use it on all the cat laundry!
If you have any questions please e-mail me and I will be glad to answer them for you.
Have a great day! Elly May and the critters