Before you pick-up your darling Kitten/Cat, make sure you have already purchased:
Carrier (kitty cab to safely transport your Kitten/Cat)
Cat dishes, along with minimum one week food supply, wet and dry food. Kittens need special kitten food until they are at least 10 months old. Buy the best quality food you can afford. This is important for the well-being of your Feline.
Litter box (get largest size because who knows how big this little Kitten will be?), clumping litter, scooper & small plastic bags for what you scoop out of box
Bed (see note **)
Toys (see important note ***)
** At Wal*Mart a cat bed costs less than at pet supply stores. Wal*Mart price in Province of Quebec is approximately $20 before taxes. Make sure bed has a medium-firm puffy pillow that can be removed for easy washing.
Brush your Kitten gently, many short intervals. (I began brushing my 3 cats the moment they came home.) Brushing is essential good grooming for Cats. When you first begin brushing your kitten be extremely gentle because he is a baby, used to his mother cat grooming him gently with her tongue. Short little brushing times once or more daily will benefit kitten greatly.
Brushing (especially long haired or densely furred cats) removes fur that can knot and any fur in the hairbrush is fur not in the Kitten/Cat’s stomach, thus helping control hairballs that felines cough up. Hairballs (also called “furballs”) can sometimes be serious. To read about hairballs: hover over link, and click to open it:
The scratching post is a necessity for Kittens/Cats.
*** Important tip on toys:
NO ribbons, strings, elastics, or 'icicles' hanging on indoor Christmas trees. Stringy things can cause serious stomach/bowl problems requiring surgery should a Cat/Kitten ingest stringy things. Holiday décor is dangerous for Felines. Keeping your Kitten/Cat away from Christmas trees is a very good idea. Naturally, Kitten/Cat will think your lovely Christmas tree is a wonderful new toy just for him.
Bringing Kitten/Cat Home:
When you take home your Kitten he will greatly miss his mother and litter mate(s) so please give Kitten lots of love and attention to allow him to adjust to you — his new litter-mate/“co-cat”.
Rule # 1:
Kitten/Cat is not a Puppy/Dog so please do not think you can train your Kitten the way you can train your Puppy. They are totally different species, with different reactions.
Rule # 2:
Feed Kitten often until full grown. If you work/study during the day, feed Kitten wet food before you leave home and leave dry food in bowl, along with lots of water. Expect that Kitten (who is still a baby) may accidently spill the water and dry food often (so leave other bowls in other places for him).
Rule # 3:
Kitten/Cat is a naturally clean animal. Clean out litter box morning and night.
Most important of all: Play / interact with your Kitten/Cat often. This bonds him to you and you to him. One can never kiss a baby or a pet too much...be generous with your kisses and affection. You replace your Kitten's mother and litter mates and are the Very Important Person in his life. He deserves the same, i.e.: to be the Very Important Purrson in your life.
Do not spank/hit Kitten to discipline him. He will automatically defend himself with the tools Nature has given him: claws and teeth. Kitten's first reaction is to stratch or bite you so by spanking/hitting him, you have taught your Kitten to scratch & bite. If you taught him this, then it's "bad human" not "bad kitten".
With my any of my cats I say “No” while gently picking the cat up and then putting him on the floor where I him want him to be. You will have to do this often until he learns what is expected from him. By the way, when you're not home, you don't know if your dog or cat gets on the counter or table tops. You only know if you see a pet there. My policy is to simply wash counter and table tops before using them. So much easier and less stressful all around.
Kittens are extremely playful; be prepared for lots of bursts of activity followed by short naps. Then the cycle resumes. Please remember that domestic felines are nocturnal so your Kitten may get playful at 3 AM ...
Hover over link & click to open:
Reason why Kitten/Cat likes to be up high:
This is a method of protection from other animals, e.g: a dog or a human chasing them.(yes, humans belong to the animal family!) Cats like to look around and see what other neighborhood animals are doing. House cats usually like to climb up on high areas such as a bookshelf or refrigerator. Cats have very strong hind muscles that allow them to get to these high places.
When a Kitten/Cat jumps on tables or countertops, it is not to annoy you it is to be ‘higher’ up to feel safe. If you don’t want Pussycat on kitchen table or countertops, then when you see him do this, say “No” and gently put him on the floor. That is what the experts say; what I say is put him on floor. Kitten/Cat thinks all places higher than the floor are ‘safe places’.
Loud and/or Sudden Noises:
Felines like a quiet environment and sudden loud noises frighten them. If you are having guests over, put your Kitten/Cat in a room, door tightly closed to make sure he can’t get out accidently. At our home it is policy to lock the doors to outside the house at all times (and the window policy is also de rigueur at our home). We unlock the doors to let guests in and out and relock immediately. Standard joke here is
"in for free but it'll cost you big time to get out"
Never, ever permit your Kitten/Cat to be near a window that is open wider than the space between the Kitten/Cat’s ears, i.e,: /\..../\ ear ....space.... ear because your Kitten/Cat is very supple and agile, able to squeeze through very, very small spaces.
The Scratching Post:
To prevent Kitten/Cat from scratching sofas, chairs (your feline sees sofa and chairs as fabulous ‘scratching post’ gifts), put two-sided tape on arms of furniture. Kitten’s paws will stick to the tape which Kitten won’t like. Blown-up ballons which are stuck to two-sided tape affixed on arms of sofas and chairs work quite well. When Kitten uses nails to scratch/claw, balloon pops. Kittens and Cats abhor loud noises…
Another suggestion I heard about is a spray bottle with a fine-spray nozzle — filled with tap water. When you see Kitten claw/scratch furniture, gently spray water in his face. Felines do not like water; after a few sprays to face, Kitten will think the furniture defends when mauled by spraying out fine mists of water. I’ve tried all these tips. The spray bottle with water works -- but when you’re not home -- no spray comes out of furniture. At that specific time, Kitten/Cat and can happily claw furniture.
At our home the solution is French Doors that firmly shut thus closing off the living room / dining room areas to our cats. They can’t get in and scratch the furniture when we're all out. If you have an open concept home / apartment, then when no one is home, place Kitten/Cat in a bedroom sans items you wish to remain unscratched. Don't forget to put Kitten/Cat's bed, food/water, litter box, toys, etc. in with him. Close the door. He will be safe and so will your upholstered furniture. Please remember that kittens and young cats often knock over food/water bowls so have more than one set in the room with your pet.
Other Kitten/Cat information (hover over links then click to open):
If your Kitten or the Mother of your Kitten came from me — your Kitten has been kissed at least 100 times a day since he was about 10 days old. (Mother is kissed daily on regular basis).
Keep kissing your Kitten/Cat, petting and brushing him. It bonds him to you and you to him. He is already used to being brushed & kissed if he came from me, and has figured out this is his human's way to expresses love and affection. When Kitten has had enough & wants you to stop kissing / holding / brushing him -- comply! That will show your Kitten his limits are respected.
Wishing you many happy years with your baby Kitten...
Photos of my Foster Cat, Ivory & Kittens(c)Susan E. Dykhuis
Ivory and her male kittens (b. 05 Aug 2011)Raven and Licorice.
1st photo: Raven on left with Licorice to his right.
2nd photo: Licorice is in front of Raven.
3rd photo: Ivory, The Mother Cat.
In these photos the Kittens are 2 months and 5 days old.
So a Kitten/Cat Adopted You!© Susan E. Dykhuis, October 2011