Kitten Care


Our Kitten Guide

Before your kitten comes home, please read and print our
Kitten Care Guide

It covers many things we have learned in the last decade - foods, allergies, and hazards that might  cost your Kitten one or more of “Nine Lives”.   

We know, seven pages without lots and lots of kitty pictures boring, but thanks for reading it.

 =^..^=

Black Classic Siberian cat.  Low Fel d1 allergen kitten.Exploring the tropical greenhouse


REMINDERS

Show your kitty the litter pan, food and water as soon as you get home.
Do not ever chase the kitten for any reason - allow the kitten to come
If you have ANY concerns about your kitten, please call us.

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Some “Quick Ideas”

Dry Foods
Wellness Core
Natural Instincts Raw
Inova Evo

Cat Litters
Dr Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter
World’s Best Cat Litter  (corn based)
Dr. Elsey’s Pelleted Pine Litter
Litter Box
Pet Mate Hooded Litter Box

Favorite Toys
Cats Claw Teaser - Mylar & Feather Flyer
Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher

Grooming tools
Metal comb - standard
Safari cat brush - soft
Furminator Cat deShedding Tool
Zoom Groom - for cats

Waterless Baths & Shampoos
Allerpet Grooming Solution
Four Paws Magic Coat Tearless Shampoo

Digestive Aid
Bene-Bac Pet Gel
Defurr-UM Treats

Carriers
Cayman Clipper #2
Cayman Aran #2

Other Supplies
Bitter Apple spray - for chewing on cords
Lemon juice & water - keep kittens off counters
Flea Control - Revolution - Comfortis - Advantage 

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NEW HOMES

This is your kitten's first time away from home, and it may be unsure at first.  Give the kitty time to adjust and do not expect to be best friends right away.  Keep this "new" time as stress free as possible. Speak softly and introduce it to family members gradually.  Give it time to become secure with its new surroundings. Try not to startle the kitty and do not chase the kitten if it runs to hide.

It is best to start your kitten in one room (perhaps a bathroom or bedroom) for the first few days.  Introduce your new kitten to one room at a time, allowing it to explore on its own.  When it is comfortable with a room, wait a few days before expanding territory.  Remember, do not chase the kitten--if you start chasing, it will always run from you.  Use a wand toy and teach kitten to come.\


LITTER BOX

Be prepared for accidents!  The kitty must learn where the new litter pan is and may forget a few times. Gently place the kitty in the pan and they will soon remember.  Place your litter pan where you want it to stay - do not move it around as kitty will get confused.  If you have other cats, make sure your new kitten has a litter box of its own for a few months. If you need to move the litter pan, add one in the new place and leave the old one in its place for several days to ease the transition.  Cats prefer not to eat near where they go to the bathroom, so it is best to place food and water away from the litter box.

While the clay clumps more firmly, clay dust will get into Kitten’s fur and may cause irritation and allergies among sensitive individuals.  Dr Elsey also makes a litter additive and a Kitten Attract litter. Both have special additives that attract a kitten to the box if needed.


STRESS

Be aware the kitty may cry a little and miss its Mom and litter mates.  Try to comfort it so the kitty knows he/she is safe with you.  It is not uncommon for a new kitten to hide, be skittish, or refuse to eat a few days.  Kitten may get a runny nose and/or sneeze for a few days.  This is OK as long as a fever, diarrhea, or “sticky” eyes does not accompany it.  If you change foods, do so gradually, mixing the new food in with the old.  Food changes may cause diarrhea; to stop this, you can give the kitten Benbac gel which may be available at a local farm/pet supply store.

The kitten may experience stress in the following way: constipation, listlessness, lack of appetite, hiding, vomiting (often clear), diarrhea and crying. If the kitten refuses to eat, try a little Gerber Chicken Baby Food (this brand has no onion; onion is bad for felines). This may kick start the eating reflex.  Do not allow non-eating to go longer than several days without calling a veterinarian. 


OTHER PETS

If you have other pets, allow the kitten to settle and be comfortable before introducing other animals.  Do not leave the kitten alone with other pets until you are certain that they are friends (this may take several weeks!).  Give the "old pets" lots of love and attention so they do not become jealous or territorial.

It is always possible that the other pets may not like the kitten using their food and water dishes. Serve in separate bowls for awhile.  Make sure that each cat has their own litter pan.  It is a good strategy to let the animals get to be familiar with the new animal's smell by placing them in adjacent rooms. They can sniff under the door and play "paws" for a day or so until they really want to meet each other.

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FOOD & WATER

Your kitten has been eating a mix of several dry foods, and can be kept on any of these.  These are all premium foods but may not have regional distribution.  Dry food and fresh water is kept available to the kitten at all times. Because it takes the Siberian so long to fully develop, please use kitten food or premium food for TWO years unless the cat shows signs of becoming overweight.

Premium foods have chicken or chicken meal as the first ingredient (not chicken by-products).  The kitten is obtaining its protein from meat rather than cereal.  Foods containing corn, wheat, and soy are poorly digested. Chicken, rice and vegetables are optimal.  We use the following premium foods:     Indigo Moon -  Natural Instincts Raw - Inova Evo - Royal Canin Veterinarian Diets

Canned wet food has both benefits and drawbacks: it may encourage bacterial growth in the gums, but  studies have shown cats tend to drink less water than they need. Canned food does provides additional moisture.  Kittens should not be given cow's milk as most can't digest it properly so will have loose and sometimes bloody stools.  Introduce new foods mixed with the current food.  Start with 20% new and gradually increase over several weeks. . 

We recommend metal or china dishes.  Plastic bowls can harbor many germs in the surface that can cause a condition known as "feline acne."  Feline acne is small blackhead infections in the chin which cause swelling and discomfort and can be very expensive to clear up. Cats will drink more water from a drinking fountain than a dish.  We clean our plastic fountains weekly with a light bleach solution.


TEETHING:

You may find that kitty nips at your fingers and hands.  These may be playful “love bites” or your kitten may be teething.  We have found that letting kittens chew on wood chopsticks takes care of the teething urge, and is satisfying for them.  Keep one handy wherever Kitty joins you on your lap, so you can offer it.  You can also punch chopsticks in the side of a cardboard box at kitty head height to make a great toy.  If you don’t like “love bites” then blowing on kitty’s face will discourage them.


GROOMING

Siberians  present little grooming problems.  Their coats are easy to maintain and a weekly combing is all that is generally needed except during spring shedding..  Pay close attention to the softer hair on the britches and under arms which tends toward matting.  Prior to routine combing, moisten your kitten with Allerpet grooming solution which prevents loose fur and allergens from becoming airborne and provides an excellent waterless bath.

If you have a flea problem, we use Frontline our adult Siberians who are allowed outside on a leash. Some mild shampoos with flea control are also acceptable.  AVOID Hartz Flea Drops as they are toxic.

The kitten can be taught to be accept baths calmly.  We bathe and gently blow dry cats and kittens as needed.  A shampoo with aloe, oatmeal or lanolin will keep the skin from becoming too dry.  If you choose to take your cat to a groomer, ask them about their grooming process.  Do not let them tranquilize your cat, and do not let them leave your cat unattended with a blow dryer.  Your kitten has been raised with love and care, so please find a groomer that will work with you.


INDOOR vs OUTDOOR

Many potentially fatal feline diseases such as Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), FIP, Feline Aids and respiratory viruses are common in outside cats.  Other dangers include automobiles, wild and domestic animals, and poisonous landscape plants. Many outdoor kittens do not survive the first year.  If you keep your kitty inside, you can enjoy many years with this new friend. Your kitten has had no training in being outdoors, so please do not allow your kitten outdoors without a leash or an enclosed run.  A large disadvantage of introducing your kitten to the outdoors is that the kitten tends to become a pest at the door, looking for opportunities to slip outside.

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DECLAWING

We discourage declawing or the use of claw caps.  A declawed cat cannot properly defend itself, and may learn to bite as a defense.  Litter box habits may break due to tender feet.  Claw caps are plastic caps that  force the claw to remain extended, which is painful.  If for any reason you are going to declaw the cat, we recommend laser surgery not conventional surgery.

Please train you kitty to a sisal rope tree and he/she will not claw your furniture.  Get a tree that is tall enough for your kitty to stretch upright on when he/she is full-grown.  Try to get one of sisal rather than carpet, as the kitty will think it is okay to claw the carpet of your home if his scratch post is of carpet.  Have several scratching posts around the house, and during training, get them out in the middle of the room, where kitty will enjoy getting praise for scratching on them. Rub in catnip for an extra attractant.

HEALTH CARE

Your kitty will have had one vaccination at around 8 weeks of age.  Because roundworm eggs can be passed from dam to kitten through nursing, the kitten will also have been given a routine de-wormer.   Kitten will have been examined by our vet prior to leaving our cattery.  Health records will be given to you on pick-up day or sent with the kitten. Our cattery is maintained free of feline disease, fungus and parasites. We do encourage you to take your new kitten to the vet within three days of receiving him/her to set up a vaccination schedule and a check up.

REDUCING ALLERGIC REACTIONS

Moisten the kitten with Allerpet Grooming Solution prior to daily combing.  This will reduce allergens released into the air during combing, remove excess oils and deactivate allergens.  Frequent grooming with a moistening solution is very helpful in reducing reactions to your kitten.

Bathe kitten twice to four times monthly. This will wash allergens and irritants out of the coat.  Pet shampoo containing lanolin, aloe, or oatmeal will avoid drying out and irritating your cat’s skin.  Dry with a towel and comb. If the cat will allow it, use a hair dryer to warm the kitten and fully dry the fur

Place washable fleece throws on places that kitten likes to sleep, and wash the throws weekly in hot water with detergent and borax to deactivate allergens.

Maintain a calm environment. Cats under stress increase production of Fel d1 allergen. Typical causes of stress include having too many cats in the house, sudden noises or commotion, and a lack of quiet attention and grooming.

Reactions to young kittens from litter box dust are fairly common.  Small kittens tend to play or scratch quite a bit in the litter box and get dust on their fur. Use a dust free litter such as Green Tea Litter, Feline Pine Litter, or Dr. Elseys Precious Cat to reduce reactions.

Clean and change litter boxes frequently as Fel-d1 and other allergens are found in urine and feces. If possible, the litter box should be kept outside or in the garage.  Otherwise, place the litter box in a bathroom or laundry room that can be vented to the outdoors.   Green Tea Litter has ground tea leaves that help eliminate odor and allergens.  Please do not use herbal teas in the litter box.

Place a cat door through a wall and outside or into the garage to make a secure area with a top for the litter box using exepensive wire panels. This will prevent kitten from playing in the garage or escaping.  Another nice options is an outdoor cat run.

Keep your kitten out of the bedrooms of highly allergic individuals. This allows the allergic person a period of recuperation (no exposure at night) and can strongly reduce daytime reactions.

Frequent vacuuming will reduce allergen levels. Remember to clean upholstered furniture at the same time. Air out the house after vacuuming when possible.  HEPA filters on forced air systems are excellent at trapping allergens.  Regularly damp mop hard floors to remove allergens from the rooms. Also wipe counters and other hard surfaces to eliminate dust buildup.

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SAFETY

For cleaning hard surfaces such as countertops and floors, the best disinfectant to use is one part bleach to 32 parts water.  Remember a cat is constantly licking their paws and will get whatever floor detergent you use will get on their feet and into their system. Before your new kitty explores its new surroundings please check for the following safety hazards:

Electrical and phone cords -- “Bitter Apple Spray” will stop chewing on cords

Toilet lids left up -- kitten can easily drown in a toilet bowl

Open fireplaces or wood stoves

Open stairways or lofts

Loose window screens

Reclining and rocking chairs -- can crush a kitten that has crawled inside

Long fringe or mini-blind cords -- can strangle kittens

Accessible garbage -- some bones can splinter and injure the kitten’s stomach.

Rubber bands -- if eaten can twist around the intestines

Plastic wrap and bags -- kitten can eat it, strangle on it, or suffocate in it

Cellophane and Christmas tree tinsel (it can cause severe internal lacerations)

Plastic bags

Styrofoam which the kitty could eat

Cigarettes

Needles, pins, and/or threads, knitting and/or crocheting materials

Cat toys -- remove small bells, eyes, other swallow hazards for kittens.

Open appliances - dryers, ovens, freezers, etc.

Keep your workshop and sewing rooms off limits

Photographs -- kittens will lick them

Tape --kittens will lick and try to eat it.

Cleaning products - many are toxic to cats including L


aa.© Meredith Lundberg 2015