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Bringing Home Kitty

What you need to buy:
Before you bring your new kitten home make sure you have all the necessary items it will need. Here is a list of items you will need and some useful advice for bringing kitty home!

*Litter and Trays:
There is a wide variety of cat litters on the market these days, some more expensive than others. Litter trays come in all shapes & sizes such as self cleaning, covered (or hooded) and un-covered. We use and highly recommend Cat Genie Litter Systems. It is a self cleaning system with porcelain granules that are washed and sanitized. It can be reused over and over, which saves you a lot of money compared to traditional cat litter, not to mention the dust, smell and cleaning messy boxes. It hooks up very easily to any toilet or water outlet and is ready to be used in minutes. We recommend that you allow the new kitten to use a standard litter box for the first five to six months and then gradually introduce the Cat Genie Litter System.

*Toys:
Kittens are curious and love to play with things such a small mouse filled with catnip. you do not have to spend a lot of money as I have found that most kittens enjoy simple things as opposed to elaborate toys. A homemade stick with a string will keep you kitten entertained for hours.

*Food and Water Bowls:
There is a wide array of bowls to choose from plastic ones, metal ones, pottery ones, automatic ones and even drinking fountains. My personal favorites are the stainless steel ones with rubber backing, it is easy to clean and sturdy, keeping the bowls in place, therefore there is less of a chance of the bowl being knocked over, also they are dishwasher safe and can be sanitized.

*Pet Carriers:
You will need a carrier to pick up your new kitten and for trips to the Vet. I have found that the less fancy and more sturdy basic ones work best. The carriers used to ship kittens are great, they provide food and waters bowls and is made of heavy duty plastic which is washable. You can put a soft towel inside to keep the kitten comfortable and warm.

*Kitten Beds:
There is a vast array of beds on the market from relatively plain to fancy. A kitten will do just fine with a simple homemade box & a soft blanket. Should you purchase a bed we recommend a kitty condo, besides the array of things to do, a good kitty condo provides places for a kitten to curl up and sleep. You are only limited by your own budget, taste and imagination. Most of our buyers prefer the kitten to sleep in bed with them. Keep in mind to buy one that will accommodate your kitten as he/she grows.

*Kitten Food:
A premium quality brand is the best, select one for the appropriate age as your kitten grows. We use and recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Food for the first year of life. It is a superior quality kitten food and provides all the nourishment a growing kitten needs and provides more protein than regular kitten food. You will receive a sample of the food the kitten has been eating and we suggest you keep the kitten on Blue Buffalo until you have slowly weaned it onto another brand, should you choose to switch. Otherwise, you could end up dealing with diarrhea.

*Before the arrival:
Make sure you kitten proof your home, there's lots of tips on kitten proofing your home online. Not only is it important to kitten proof your home it is strongly urged that you check out the list of plants which are toxic and non toxic to cats. If you should have any plants which are toxic to cats ensure they are out of reach.

There are safe alternatives for your kitten to nibble on (such as oat grass) should you want to give it some greenery. Before the kitten arrives home, make sure you have set up a comfortable room for your kitten to be confined in for the first few days.

*Settling Your Kitten In:
Your kitten may be unsettled for a few days & miss her mom & litter mates. So it is up to you to help ease the kitten's transition into your new home.
Once your new kitten arrives home, confine your kitten to one room with a litter tray, food, water & a comfortable bed & give him/her some time to become familiar with their surroundings. Cats are fastidiously clean animals & it is necessary to make sure the food & water bowls need to be kept as far away from the litter tray as possible. After a few days and when the kitten is well settled, you can gradually increase the area your kitten can explore.

*Some Ways to Make the Kitten Settle in Quicker Include:
Put a ticking clock in the kitten's bed. Give the kitten a hot water bottle. Make sure it isn't too hot, and wrap it in a blanket. Do not over handle a kitten allow it some space when it first arrives. most kittens will be shy but curious. All kittens settle in at their own pace. Your kitten may be reluctant to eat, you can encourage it to take food by slightly warming it in the microwave. Make sure before you give the warmed food to the kitten that you give it a stir to ensure there are no hot spots in the food. Gently hold/pet and reassure your new kitten that you love them, kittens respond to affection. We recommend good old fashion TLC.

*Introducing Kitten to Other Pets:
Let your new kitten settle in before you attempt to introduce it to other pets you have. The introduction needs to be slow and at the animal's pace. Some pets will become firm friends almost immediately, however it is common for resident pets to be upset at the arrival of a new pet for a couple of weeks. This is completely normal behavior & needs to be met with sensitivity & understanding. The worst thing you can do is rush the situation. Although our kittens are constantly around other animals, they will be in a new home and will be shy at first.

*Introducing Children:
As with introducing pets, introducing your new kitten to your children needs to be done carefully. All our kittens are raised around children so by the time they get into a new home they will be used to young kids, however due to being in a new situation most kittens will be shy for the first week they go home to you, so introducing a kitten to children should be at a slow pace and supervised by an adult. Do not allow children to over handle the new kitten. Never leave a kitten unattended with young children. Kittens do not like when children are loud and are handled roughly. Teach them how to properly handle a kitten and provide a safe place the kitten can retreat to should it need a break. Explain to your children that animals should never be disturbed if they are sleeping or eating.

*Vaccinations:
All kittens will require vaccinations at the ages of eight (8) weeks & sixteen (16) weeks. If a kitten is in our care it will receive the proper vaccines at the appropriate times. Once you take ownership the responsibility of maintaining the health of your new kitten is yours. Regular check ups and yearly vaccines will be mandatory on your part.

*Spay and Neuter:
It is up to you to ensure the kitten is spayed/neutered.
Our kittens come with CFA registered papers which are given to the buyer upon proof of spay or neuter of kitten as outlined in our spay/neuter agreement. It is now routine for kittens to be de-sexed from 8+ weeks, but there are Veterinarians who do not spay/neuter until the kitten is 6 (six) months of age. It is best to speak to your own Veterinarian to see when he/she recommends altering of your kitten. Not only are there health benefits to the animal but socially it is the responsible thing to do.

*Parasites:
Your kitten will have been wormed prior to you purchasing him/her, a proper worming regime is something which will need to be maintained throughout your pet's life. There are many excellent products on the market to make worming so much easier, these include topical medications which are applied to the back of the cat's neck. If fleas are a problem in your area then you will also need to ensure you maintain a proper flea regime. Your Veterinarian will be able to advise you on parasites & medications for your cat. We use Frontline and Pet Armour.

*Veterinarian:
Choosing a good Vet is vital. Make an appointment with a Veterinarian in your area to check out the facility without bringing in your pet. Don't be afraid to ask questions and do not hesitate to change Vets should you question the professionalism of one. It is important that you have a good relationship with the person who you are entrusting to care for the health of your new kitten. Your kitten will need shots at sixteen (16) weeks old and will need yearly vaccines and exams throughout it's life to maintain and protect it's health.

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