T.E.A.M. = Together Every Animal Matters

Bringing Home Kitty

Before you bring home your new buddy, we recommend that you have the following items ready:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Food (canned and dry)
  • Litter box and scooper
  • Kitty litter
  • Collar
  • ID tag with your phone number (www.idtags.com or get one from pet store)
  • Hard plastic carrier
  • Nail clippers
  • Brush or comb (depends on your cat’s coat length and type) https://www.mypetneedsthat.com/best-brush-for-cats/
  • Cat bed
  • Scratching posts/box
  • Non-toxic cleanser
  • Enzymatic odour neutralizer (especially ones specifically for cat stains/odours)
  • Variety of toys (both types that s/he can play with on his/her own and interactive toys)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Feliway diffuser and/or Rescue Remedy
  • Cat tree or some type of apparatus that your cat can climb (preferably by a window).

Make sure your home is “cat-proof”

A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow) or ribbons or tinsel.
Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan.
You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list.

When kitty comes home, start your cat in a small area or room before giving him/her the run of the house. They adapt much better as they get use to the smells and noises. If you cat wants to hide, let him/her. Give her time to get used to the new surrounding and be patient.
If you have other pets, please read our blog posts on how to integrate them slowly. Throwing pets together almost always ends in disaster for all.

Kitten Adopters

Here are some hints to help your kitten adapt to your home.

  1. Minimize Stress: Stress negatively affects the immune system. Kittens are especially susceptible to diarrhea and illness, so it is important to minimize the amount of stress your kitten receives. Keep your kitten healthy by allowing her to sleep as much as she wants, avoid over-handling and introductions to friends, and don’t take your kitten to public places. Remember to exercise your kitten when she’s awake because exercise can help boost the immune system. Just remember not to overdo it!
  2. Do not integrate all your pets together immediately. Let your kittens get used to the new surroundings and then slowly integrate with other pets (please read our blog posts on this process as it is crucial). Don’t leave kittens alone with dogs (even senior ones) for the first few weeks and ALWAYS ensure that kittens have a high place to climb to escape any other pet who may show annoyance or aggression with them. Problems can escalate quickly to tragic results.
  3. Don’t feed milk: Cow’s milk is designed for calves, not kittens. Your kitten cannot digest cow’s milk very well, and the resulting diarrhea can quickly cause life-threatening dehydration.
  4. Feed canned food: To ensure your kitten is eating and to prevent dehydration, start your kitten off with canned food twice a day mixed in with some dry food to help maintain tooth and gum health. As s/he grows strong, you can adjust the wet amount of wet food if your cat doesn’t like it but never eliminate it from their diet. Remember not to make any sudden changes in your kitten’s diet. Doing this will upset your kitten’s digestive tract and can lead to diarrhea.
  5. Keep the litterbox nearby: Active kittens may ‘forget’ where the litterbox is located so be sure to confine your kitten to a small room for the first few days. Gradually increase the amount of space your kitten can explore. Once allowed to roam the house, take your kitten back to the litterbox on a regular basis until you’re sure s/he knows how where to go. You may also want to consider adding a second or third litterbox. Kitten’s bladders are tiny and they may not be able to make it back to the litterbox if there is only one in the house.
  6. Kitten-proof your home: Just as you wouldn’t leave a toddler unattended in your home, a kitten should be supervised at all times. If left alone during the day, confine your kitten to a bathroom (keep the toilet lid down!) or bedroom. Be aware of dangers such as electrical cords, drapery cords, and small objects that can be swallowed.
  7. Follow up with your veterinarian: Seek vet care immediately if your kitten is listless, stops eating, has diarrhea, or is showing signs of upper respiratory illness (runny nose, sneezing). Kittens crash quickly so don’t disregard any sign of illness. If the kitten is having issues walking or eating or lethargic, get the kitten to a vet immediately.

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