Your New Kitten

Your new kitten has been weaned and socialized with the members of our household. He or she is eating Purina One Healthy Kitten Formula dry food and/or Purina Proplan Kitten dry and  Fancy Feast Kitten Turkey flavor canned food or Purina Proplan Kitten Chicken and Liver flavor canned food.  He or she has been raised with Pine pelleted litter, which he or she has been using since he or she was about 4 to 5 weeks. The litter can be purchased from Tractor Supply in the Horse Dept. It is “TSC Equine Pine Pelleted Bedding”. Now it’s time for him or her to make the transition to your home.

Things to know:

When you transport your kitten him he/she will be frightened and may have an “accident” in his/her crate on the drive.  I recommend a hard-sided crate with a bath towel for bedding to transport you kitten home in by car. If it is a long trip get a crate large enough to handle a very small box of litter. We use Fancy Feast boxes from Walmart (the boxes that the cans are in on the shelf). They fit nicely into a medium crate and are shallow so the kitten can get in easily and we simply throw them away once used while traveling.  If it will be a long drive bring a jar of Gerber stage 2 chicken and broth baby food. Your kitten can lick this off your fingers to keep his/her blood sugar levels up and avoid dehydration. If traveling by Air you will need a soft-sided carrier that meets airline standards and that fits under the seat in front of you on the plane. Be prepared to change the towel or bedding provided on the drive/flight home. It is not unusual for kittens to vomit or have a runny stool during the trip home or immediately thereafter.

You may hold your kitten on the drive if he/she is more comfortable but most just prefer to settle in the crate with you talking to him/her in reassuring tones.

Once home, immediately confine your kitten in a small room (bath or utility) with his/her clean crate (door open) and kitty litter pan uncovered and easily visible and accessible on the floor.  Do not change litter suddenly as your kitten will not recognize the new litter and could have accidents. Transition your kitten slowly from this litter to whatever you choose to use by adding a little of the new litter to your kittens pine litter. Gradually increase the new litter and decrease the pine pellets over a week or two. Keep clean water and food available 24 hours a day. Feed mixed wet and dry food twice daily and keep a bowl of dry food only available 24/7.  Your kitten my not like your municipal water supply since it smells of chlorine and other strange minerals as he/she as only had untreated well water. You should consider offering bottled spring water and gradually change to your tap water. Try to give your kitten some time to unwind from the travel before introducing new pets or small children.

The first 3 to 7 days when not attended your kitten should remain in his/her small room. He/she will be very lonely, as he/she will miss the safety of litter mates.  Provide a few stuffed animals to cuddle up with in a basket or box. Allow your kitty to sit in your lap as often as he or she wants and play gently with the kitten as often as the kitten is willing.  Do not over tire your kitten, as they actually need to sleep about 20 to 22 hours a day. Kittens like small cozy spaces to hide in until they are comfortable with their new surroundings. 

If you intend to socialize your kitten with other pets, the other pets should be permitted to sniff the kitten under doors or though screens at first. Keep in mind that your kitten should not have direct contact with other pets until he/she has been with you for at least a week. This prevents your kitten from being exposed to bacteria and virus’s your other pets may be carrying when he/she is already stressed from the transition. Introduce the new kitten slowly to other pets in the home with supervision. This is especially true of dogs as your kitten has seen them here at Luv Exoticz but never have direct contact with them. 

HEALTH NOTE: THE STRESS OF MOVING TO A NEW HOME CAN CAUSE KITTENS TO BREAK OUT INTO AN EPISODE OF COCCIDIA. This is a single cell parasite very common in most cats and causes diarrhea including mucousy and/or bloody stool. If allowed to go unchecked this can be life threatening. If your kitten has a runny stool for more than 2 days seek a veterinarian’s service.  This condition is easily treated with Albon given by mouth daily for 7 to 14 days. Kittens are susceptible to re-blooming this bug every time they are stressed up until about 9 months of age at which point their immune system can keep the bug in check. The best way avoid an episode of Coccidia is by avoiding stressing your kitten with sudden changes of diets or living environment.

After your kitten has had a few days to establish a routine you can expand his/her living space by allowing access to one adjoining room. Be sure the litter box remains in the old spot and add a new one in the new space in an easily accessible and visible corner.  Take your kitty to this box so he/she knows where it is.  After a few days you can expand his/her space again, once again adding a new litter box.  The point here is that a very small kitten is like a very small child. They cannot wait to long to get to the bathroom so keep the bathroom close while expanding his/her space.  Once you have established new spaces over a period of 4 to 6 weeks and he/she has figured out the new litter boxes you can slowly remove them one at a time. You will eventually get back to a single litter box in the location you want it to be by the time your kitten is 6 months or older.  It is much easier to keep a kitten using litter this way then have them find corners while to busy playing. It is very hard to break a kitten from inappropriate potty habits so:

  • Do not leave piles of dirty laundry where to kitten can get to them.  
  • Do not allow your kitten access to small containers that are shaped like his/her litter box. 
  • Do not allow your kitten access to potted plants that may look like trees in litter boxes to him/her.  PLUS Many plants are extremely toxic, as well, so keep your kitten safe by guarding from chewing on plants.
  • Never allow your kitten to eat people food. Raisins, Grapes, Onions and many other people foods are toxic to cats.  Never allow your kitten to eat pork as it is very hard on his/her intestinal tract and can result in life threatening upsets. 
  • Be careful of electrical cords and computer wiring. They all look like great toys to kittens.
  • Keep all people drugs out of kittens reach. Aspirin and Tylenol can be deadly to a cat.  If you suspect your cat has ingested human drugs, get them to the Vet immediately and the Vet can administer activated charcoal and medications to help reverse the potential deadly effects of human medications. 
  • Do not use insect sprays or poisons in areas your kitten will have access to. Many insect poisons can be lethal to cats.  Eating bugs that have died from the poison is also potentially deadly.   Rat, Mouse or Mole poison is also a very serious problem as not only could your cat eat the poison, he/she could also eat the dead mouse/rat/mole and be poisoned. 
  • Provide appropriate places for your kitten to sharpen their claws.
  • Keep your kittens claws trimmed weekly to avoid damage to your furniture and skin. This also makes it easier to trim them once your kitten becomes a cat.

When in doubt call the Vet. I am happy to field your calls as well but don’t withhold Veterinary Care while waiting to contact me. If I can help or give advice I certainly will. I know where to find a Vet pretty much 24 hours a day, but I am not a Vet and there is  no substitute for trained hands-on care for your furry friend. 

Policy: Luv Exoticz is very particular about where we place our cats/kittens. Luv Exoticz reserves the right to refuse any sale of a cat or kitten.
Until a cat/kitten leaves Luv Exoticz Cattery we have the right to make All decisions pertaining to our Luv Exoticz cats/kittens.
Deposits: Our policy here at Luv Exoticz is that once a deposit has been placed on a cat/kitten that particular cat/kitten is yours, there will be No changing of cat/kittens once a decision has been made and the deposit is in place.