WELCOMING HOME YOUR KITTEN
Congratulations on your new kitten!! I know this is a very exciting time welcoming your new kitten into your family and helping them get comfortable in the new environment that will be their very happy home for many years!
I wanted to put a few things in writing so you can be a bit more at ease with what to have on hand and some ideas about how to help with this transition. This is just a starting point for your kitten, so please never hesitate to call, email or text us for any concerns you have now or at any time in the future. We keep all of our kitten families on caller ID, so you won’t get overlooked.
Kittens have been eating a variety of dry kitten formula kibble. We soften or reconstitute it with a bit of warm water for a little extra hydration, which makes a softer food that's easy to add in a few kitten-boosting supplements. Kittens will need a kitten-specific kibble for at least their first full year. If families choose to offer canned food, please limit it to a treat size portion as opposed to a meal size. Overeating the extra richness of canned food too quickly often leads to some tummy irritation for young kittens. Honestly, the tail wags the kitten on which kibble we feed. It varies almost seasonally, it seems, on what we think kittens should eat, what Momma Cat thinks kittens should eat, what kittens think they should eat and, no small part, what kittens tolerate eating!
We have experimented with the raw diet and found excellent results for ourselves. However, it proves to be a challenge for many families for various reasons -- from having very young children in the home, to having other pets currently on other deliberate diets, to issues with boarding facilities and/or veterinarians. Our goal is to have your kitten's transition to home be as comfortable as possible. We will leave the choice of adding raw or canned to your kitten's diet to each family as they see fit. We strive to help your kitten's transition into your family and home be very successful, so let's keep it simple, right!
Please keep your kitten limited to one bedroom at night time with at least one person to sleep with. If you have a kitten carrier from their trip home, this works as a very secure place for them to curl up to sleep, along with their blankie from home. It smells familiar and will help them feel secure in the new surroundings. If the height of your bed is high, you may want to put a stool or box next to you so they can hop up to bed, as opposed to climbing up by grabbing linens. Kittens are used to sleeping with other kittens, as well as people. You want them to know night from day and your routine. Food and water should be in the room also, along with a litter box. Please have food and water at least 3-4 feet away from litter. Kitties can find it stressful to have litter and food close to each other. We don’t eat in our bathroom or go to the bathroom in our kitchen! Introductions through the bottom of the door are usually a nice way for kittens to get to know existing pets without feeling threatened. When your kitten is ready for a meet and greet of another pet, please hold them in your arms while they first see the other pet. They will feel much safer in your arms and at your height than if they were down at floor level. Please contact us if you have this transition ahead of you for more ideas of how to help introductions go well. Please take precautions to kitten-proof your home -- again, the kittens are still very much babies and will investigate everything! Electrical cords are unforgiving and, unfortunately, rather interesting to kittens. Most of us have phone/computer chargers everywhere, and they look so much like dangling toys to kittens. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stop this behavior before it starts. “Monkey cord” wraps are a nice way to cover cords with a tough outer shell, but catching kittens in the act is always preferred. Squirt bottles, honking horns and whistles are all very startling, but not painful, and a very effective deterrent to unwanted behavior. Please use tough love on this issue -- your kitten will thank you!
We use clumping clay litter. We use non-clumping when kittens first litter train, but they advance quickly to clumping litter. Very little fragrance to it for those who don’t appreciate the special scented litters. Arm & Hammer Multi-cat in the black box is fabulous! It’s very heavy, so less tracking. If you do want to change your litter box to some of the self-cleaning ones available, you’ll need to put a regular litter box next to the self-cleaning one and let your kitten get used to the noise and action of it while having the safety of a regular litter box still available. You’ll know when your kitten has transitioned to the new box easily enough.
COMBING AND CLIPPING
Kittens are used to a gentle combing. Your kitten is a long-haired kitty and will seasonally lose some extra coat. A nice all over the body comb weekly will help your kitten learn to enjoy grooming since the coat is a kitten coat right now and most likely will remain very low maintenance into adulthood. The combing is a good way to get to the roots and gently get rid of loose fur. Common areas to watch for mats are under arms and legs, middle of chest, behind ears and the haunches. If you find a mat, often you can gently comb a few times and loosen it out. If not, work the comb under it gently to make room between the clump and the skin, and then scissor it off. Nothing wrong with making it easy for both of you!
You’ll want to keep track of their nails for their safety. If kitty nails get too long, they can get caught in carpets and blankets, causing the kitten to pull hard and cause an injury, or they can even grow into the paw pad, causing pain and infections. The cardboard scratchers we mentioned in “Playtime/Toys” are helpful for your kitten doing their part to maintain their nails themselves, but they will still need trimming regularly. I like to use baby clippers, but there are kitty nail clippers, too. Use whatever you're comfortable with. Kittens do not mind this at all! They’ve had their nails trimmed about every two weeks since they were a month old and have done great. If your kitten is very squirmy when trying to clip their nails, it's usually because they were playing and don’t want to stop just yet. Talking softly and making it part of your together time will help your kitten trust that this is a bonding time, not a punishment. I’m happy to show you how to trim your kitten's nails, but if we don’t get to do that, please consult the professionals on “Youtube” where all the answers are….
Kitties don’t need regular bathing. If you want or need to bath them at some time, Dawn dish liquid, diluted with water, is a safe choice and something you can find easily.
Kittens for sale become your kitten baby coming home and will be a baby learning how to play. Offer vertical space such as cat trees and shelves so they have an opportunity to overlook their new home from a place that feels safe to them. They are very used to playing and napping on cat trees. Cardboard scratchers/loungers are an inexpensive but enjoyable tool for your kitten to stretch, scratch, lounge and play on. If you find your kitten beginning to play biting games, please don’t allow that! Offer kick toys they can hold in their paws, bite and bunny kick all they want. This helps them get their excitement and fulfills their need to chew and play bite without confusing hands, fingers and toes with toys. Once they are focused on the kick toy, you can pet them on the back of the neck and ears, reassuring them that you love them but that biting is for toys, not people.
THE RIDE HOME
Please be sure to bring a carrier, hard or soft-sided, for your kitten's travel home. Kittens do very well with traveling, it's being confined they get cranky about. We like to have kittens in the carrier from the house to the car and for the first 20 minutes or so of the trip. We usually open the front of the carrier fairly soon and let them walk about the inside of car. Most likely your kitten will check out the travel situation and decide it likes your lap the best. They are adventurous -- you won’t have kittens hiding under the seats, I promise that. Your kitten, your choice -- whatever you feel comfortable with in terms of in/out of carrier during your ride home. Depending on how long your trip is, you may want to bring a small litter box to put on the back seat floor or way in back if you have that kind of room. Most often, kittens will like to lay in the clean litter. It feels cool to them, and it’s a familiar place -- even if it's not their own from home. They will not lie in the litter recreationally once it used, promise. Kittens will rarely actually need to use the litter on the ride home, but it’s peace of mind for you to know the exploring and meowing is good kitten chatter and not a distress kitten call out for the potty! Please don’t let your kitten get chilled during the ride. Your kitten is still a baby, and the ride home is good stress, but it’s still stress. Temperature in the car should be a bit warmer than most of us find comfortable, about 70-72 degrees.
We included your kitten's health record in your kitten folder. We’ve given permission to our veterinarian to give any information to our families about their kitten they may find helpful. As for vaccinations -- this is a very dynamic topic. WE ENCOURAGE OUR FAMILIES TO REQUEST TITERS BEFORE VACCINATIONS YEARLY. We don’t continue throughout our life to get vaccinations because we know after our initial injection and maybe a booster at college age that we have antigens against many viruses, so why are we annually vaccinating our pets? It is a bit more costly, but you’ve spent a lot of money on your kitten, and the long-term health complications from over-vaccinating far outweigh the cost of a blood test before re-vaccinating! Rabies is included in the titer. YOU CAN REQUEST A RABIES TITER YEARLY TO BE COMPLIANT WITH THE LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR RABIES. FAMILIES DO NOT NEED TO RE-VACCINATE FOR RABIES IF YOUR TITER IS POSITIVE!!! Your kitten is a very special addition to your family, and we know the care and love you have waiting for them. If at any time you would like copies of your kitten's parents' genetic testing results, we are happy to give you those. I used to include those in the kitten folders, but families often saw the parents' test results and thought I put the wrong kitty information in the wrong folder. More confusion than it was worth.
ENJOY YOUR KITTEN
Enjoy your kitten! They will become a truly amazing part of your family for many, many years! We sincerely want you to reach out to us for any questions or concerns you have at any time. We guarantee your kitten's health for a year, but we honestly want to know well into their adulthood and beyond about their health and happiness, as well as yours! If at any time you find our kitten in the very unfortunate situation of no longer being able to enjoy life with your family, we will always want them back home with us!