How to Welcome Your Kitten to Your Home ...
Taking your kitten home to start its new life with you is hard on the kitten. Why? Your kitten has left behind everything it knows.
Lucky for your kitten, you are available to ease its transition. Using the information provided here will give you a kitten that rapidly bonds with you, sees you as its family, and behaves well. At the same time, you will help your kitten have a happy, healthy adult life!
Set up the Basics Your Kitten Needs
Here is a list of what you need to have in place for your kitten before you bring it home:
A carrier (either adult or kitten size)
Food and water bowls that are heavy and not plastic
Litter box, scoop and litter
Soft places to cuddle and nap
Toys, especially interactive toys where you play with it
A scratching post or board, preferably one with an area wrapped in rope, hemp or sisal
Cat tree (By the time they are grown, the males should have very tall cat trees. Females also need high cat trees.)
Your kitten will need all of these items for the rest of its life.
Introduce Your Kitten to its New Home.
These steps will help your kitten adjust to its new home with you from start .
Before You Bring Your Kitten Home
As it adjusts to a new home and family, your kitten will do best if you initially confine it to a single room for a time.
How long? At least a week, but it depends on your kitten’s temperament. A shy kitten or a female needs more time. Two kittens together need more. More confident kittens need a week.
Set up a one-room space so that the kitten can move in immediately.
Here is what this single room needs:
Food and water
A litter box
Litter box and litter
A soft and warm sleeping place
Toys for fun
A structure for climbing and scratching
Do you have very young children or dogs? If so, you kitten will become overwhelmed at times and will need to retreat from the commotion. Provide a totally enclosed area in this room so that your ktitten can escape. The carrier that you took your kitten home in can be ideal for such a retreat.
Place the carrier in a quiet part of the room. Leave the door open and available for your kitten.
When You Arrive Home With Your Kitten
Take your kitten directly to its room.
If your kitten does not appear overwhelmed and is not cowering from the trip home, reach in to the carrier and gently lift the kitten out. Pet it for a minute, put it in its litter box, and scratch its feet.
If it your kitten appears overwhelmed, open the door of the carrier but do not remove your kitten. Just sit in the room quietly and be still. (Reading is a good human activity for this time!)
This period will allow your kitten to regain confidence (If your kitten remains overwhelmed, Feliway, a pheromone spray available from your vet, may comfort your kitten) .
While your kitten first explores its new space, stay in your kitten’s room passively. Do pick up your kitten and scratch its paws in the litter box.
Once Your Kitten Is Comfortable
Spend as much time in the kitten’s room as you can. Bring appropriate toys with you, and offer to play repeatedly. Tip: A cat dancer is a good toy!
Young kittens on the move have their claws out reflexively, so be sure to dress appropriately.
If possible, sleep in the room with your kitten.
Water should always be on hand. Feed the kitten four times a day at regular intervals. You can start the kitten’s food interval at a time that fits your schedule.
When You Pick Up Your Kitten to Hold It
Pick your kitten up from its side and rear. Do not bring your hands toward its face and eyes. Do not confine your kitten in your hands or lap for long. Provide a short petting session only.
Giving Your Kitten More Territory
When your kitten comes running to greet you and shows no sign of worry when you pick it up for at least 24 hours, you can increase the room range of the kitten.
Do this one room at a time if possible and wait several days before adding the next bit of territory.
Understand the Basics Your Kitten Will Always Need
Here are the basics that your kitten needs now and as it grows to adulthood:
We use a mixture of brands, and provide homemade, wet and dry formulations.
Dry food should be grain-free and provide high animal protein. We mix multiple flavors into our food. One quality brand is Evo Grain Free.
Wet food should be organic and provide high animal protein content. This should be the majority of your cat's diet. The primary wet food we use is our homemade chicken muffins. When we run out, we use canned food. We are currently using EVO Ancestral Diet.
Use heavy bowls that are not plastic. Ceramic bowls are especially good for deterring bacterial growth.
When you bring your kitten home at 8 weeks, feed your kitten four times a day. Each time you start to put a bowl down, call your kitten by its name several times: “Here, [Kitty-Name].” Your kitten will soon learn to come without being called.
Work out the four times a day that you will feed your kitten. Look at the intervals, and identify the longest feeding interval. Usually, your own bedtime. When you wake up, there should always be some kernels left in the dish. Throw them away.
For the shorter intervals that you will feed your kitten, serve wet food. Start with two level tablespoons of wet food. After 20 minutes, pick up the bowl and wash it. Notice how much food your kitten did not eat. Your kitten should leave a small amount in the bowl. If not, increase the size of the feeding.
Once your kitten is 16 weeks old, you can reduce feeding cycles to three times a day. Continue to provide both wet and dry food.
While your kitten is growing to maturity, you must regularly increase portion size. Males at age 5 months are often especially ravenous.
The most important time for the kitten to use its litter box is right after eating. If it is possible for your kitten to wander far, keep your kitten near the litter box for 30 minutes after each meal.
Provide a litter box on every floor of your house. Scoop the litter in each box daily, and change the litter completely once a week.
Siberian Gatos uses Litter Purrfect, because it is a good choice for a breeder. Your kitten is used to this brand but can use other brands.
Provide your kitten with a constant supply of water.
Water fountains are recommended for adult males.
Treats are a way to bond with your kitten and a way to reward good behavior. Young kittens usually do not like treats, and if your kitten does not already like them at about 8 weeks old, you might have to teach your kitten to appreciate them.
Use treats that promise dental benefits. Many brands that provide this are available.
Your cat has claw on each toe and a single claw called a dew claw above its foot in the back.
Take some time to get acquainted with what your kitten’s claws look like. A J-shaped curve of claw should be visible, with the tip white and the claw next to the cat pink, extending to the bend in the J. Cat claws are "flat" from the opposite direction from human nails.
You can start trimming your kitten’s claws once your kitten trusts you. With a young kitten who gets wiggly, you often must be content to do one paw at a time, sometimes a single toe at a time.
Follow these steps:
Make sure your kitten is comfortable. Wait until your kitten is sleepy and you have excellent light, often mid-afternoon.
Use claw clippers or human nail clippers.
Squeeze the paw pad of a toe to force the claw out so that you can cut it safely.
Close the clippers over the white part of the claw only, making sure you will not cut the pink part. For human nail clippers, rotate the clippers sideways to how we humans use them on our own fingernails.
If you see your kitten/cat scratch more than once, presume there are some fleas about. W We recommend Vet's+Best Flea+Tick Home Spray which we have found at PetClub. It contains peppermint oil and clove extract and appears to be quite effective without any drugs. Just follow the instructions on the spray bottle.
Take Care of Your Kitten’s Health
This information will help your kitten have a lifetime of good health.
The immunizations we use are FRCV and FRCVP.
F = Feline.
R = Rhinotracheitis. This a herpes infection in cats, most commonly associated with eye problems. Almost all cats have some form of this virus. The purpose of this immunization is to modify the infection's course rather than prevention.
CV = Calici Virus. This also goes under the name "Limping Calici" as limping is the most common symptom.
P = Panleukopenia. This goes by the name of Feline Distemper or Parvovirus. It is not the same Parvovirus the causes canine distemper. Feline Panleukopenia has a very high mortality rate.
Your kitten has already received these vaccinations:
A 1/6 dose of Heska Ultranasal FRCV (Feline Rhinotracheitis Calici Virus) at around age 2 weeks.
A dose of Heska Ultranasal FRCVP (Feline Rhinotracheitis Calici Virus and Panleukopenia) at 8 to 9 weeks.
You must arrange the following vaccinations for your kitten:
Another FRCVP at 16 weeks or slightly thereafter. This is a good time to meet your vet.
*One more FRCVP after age one year and possibly one more at age four.
Do not let the vet staff remove your kitten from your presence to give the immunizations.
Your kitten may show symptoms of its immunization with the vaccine viruses by being sneezing or by being sleepy. It should not get clogged up eyes or bad shivers. Let Siberian Gatos know if you see such reactions or any other problems.
Stop vaccinations at this point, barring special circumstances. (Some immunizations are detrimental.) In buying this kitten you agree to refuse other immunizations without discussing it with Siberian Gatos in advance.
Schedule an appointment for neuter or spay surgery for one week after your kitten has its 16-week immunization.
Your kitten’s health is guaranteed for two weeks from pick-up time. If something is wrong, let Siberian Gatos know.
Either we or our vet will give you advice, or approve a vet visit, if needed. If you are within two hours of our vet, we will ask that you take the kitten to our vet. We will pay for that needed visit.
Our breeding cats are screened for genetic defects, and those with even a suspicion of a defect are removed from breeding.
If a genetic defect results in death of your kitten before age 10, and a licensed veterinarian confirms this, we will refund your purchase price or provide you with a similar kitten.
Siberian Gatos tries to always be available to answer your questions, either by phone of email. If the phone isn’t answered, please try email instead.