Before you get kitten home, there are a few things you will want to do to make sure your home is safe and secure for your new addition.
- Close off all areas that a kitten can get into. Many kittens have been lost for a time because they are afraid in their new surroundings.
- Designate one room where your kitten can stay to get acquainted with her new surroundings. Make it a fun place with new toys, a new bed and litter box so that he understands that this is his room. Once acquainted, usually after a week, let your kitten begin to explore other areas with your supervision. If there are other pets, gradually introduce them to your new kitten. Wait a few weeks so that your kitten gets confident and comfortable in his new surroundings.
- Get your kitten on a schedule as soon as possible. Regular feeding, grooming and play time gives your kitten a sense of order and security. Refrain from over-handling.
- Be sure to kitten-proof other areas. Just like babies, they love putting things in their mouth. Make sure that electric cords are unplugged and that there are no other hazards in the vicinity. You may have to get on the floor to “see” what your kitten sees. Having plenty of appropriate toys around will focus your kitten on the right things.
Have fun as you introduce your kitten to his new surroundings and he will soon realize that this is his forever home where he can grow and have comfort and support for a lifetime
Sunday, March 20 was the first official day of Spring 2016 and a perfect time to bring a new kitten home. Here are five things to consider when you are considering a kitten for your forever home.
- Make sure that your kitten is at least three months of age. By then, mom has socialized and weaned the kitten so that it can survive.
- A healthy kitten has a muscular body, firm to the touch, clear eyes and will move with confidence and strength.
- Whether buying from a breeder or whether you get your cat from your local rescue, be sure to find out all you can about the kitten. For a pedigreed cat, talk with your breeder so that you can understand the temperament and pedigree behind the kitten. For a rescue kitten, be sure to get as much information about the conditions which the kitten was found.
- Choose your vet in advance and talk to her about how to keep your kitten happy and healthy. Your vet is the best expert to guide you about proper nutrition and care.
- Have fun bonding with your new kitten that will build over time and so that you can become pals for years to come.
So—Your vet has told you that you need to get a special diet for your cat. Are you dreading having to switch foods for fear that your cat will rebel and stop eating?
Photo: Michele Cole
A few things to keep in mind: Make sure you follow your vet’s instructions. Don’t be afraid to check with your vet regarding any changes in behavior or habits. Cats are creatures of habit and by slowly making changes you can successfully change your cat’s eating behaviors.
Here are some tried and true tips for changing your cat to a new diet:
- This is not the time to change your cat’s eating area or to get new dishes. Keep everything the same for now and focus on the food.
- Be sure your cat is in good health and not sick when you are trying new food.
- Use the 80-20 rule. Start with 80% of the current food and 20% of the new food. Continue feeding until your cat eats all of the food. Over the course of several days, (and it may take several days, up to 14 for some cats) increase the amount of new food your cat is eating.
- Consider warming the new food if it is canned or adding some water to dry food to see if your cat likes the option.
- If your cat is not eating the new food consult your vet (I have had cats pick out the old food and leave the new food) wait a few days and try another brand. Remember, any sudden changes in diet can also cause gastric upset in some cats, so take it slowly.
- Do not starve your cat and think that he will get used to the new food. You can usually tell within a few days.
- It may take a few tries, but working with your vet and paying attention to your cat’s diet is the key.