Kitten Care

MaLu’s Kittens: W-Litter 2020

When Your Kitten Arrives:
Show your kitty the room with the litter pan, food and water.
Do not chase the kitten for any reason – allow the kitten to come to you.
If you have ANY concerns about your kitten, please call us promptly.

This is your kitten’s first time away from home, and it may be afraid at first. Chose a “home base”, a quiet room bathroom or bedroom that kitten can explore.  Over several days, introduce one new room at a time, allow the kitten to explore on its own.  Wait until kitten is comfortable with a room, then expand its territory. Speak softly and introduce family members gradually. Try not to startle the kitty and do not chase or try to capture the kitten if it hides.  Use a wand toy and teach kitten to come.


Dry Foods – Must be labeled “Kitten”.
Blue Buffalo – Blue Healthy Growth, Blue Wilderness, Blue Freedom
Fussie Cat Salmon – (from Thailand, may have antibiotic residue)
Taste of The Wild Kitten
Natural Instincts – Original Kitten
Indigo Moon – Kitten
Innova Evo
Wellness Core – Kitten Formula
Biome Food – (vet Rx required)
Blue Buffalo Natural – (vet Rx required)

Treats & Digestive AIDS
DiaGel – (for short-term mild diarrhea)
Defurr UM Treats – (for hairball control)
Greenies dental treats

Cat Litter / Litter Boxes
Dr Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter – (unscented dust free only)
World’s Best Cat Litter – (corncob based, some allergen complaints)
Pelleted Pine Litters – (breaks down to sawdust)
Unscented Silica Litter Pearls (some odor complaints)
Pet Mate Basic Hooded Litter Box
* Please use a regular hooded litterbox for the first month.

Favorite Toys
Petlinks Silly Chute Activity Tunnel
CoolCyberCats Rat Pack – (buffalo fur mice & toys)
Cats Claw Feline Flyer
Bergen Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher

Grooming tools
Metal comb – standard dog comb
Safari cat brush – soft soft type
Purrcision Feline Cat Nail Clippers
Furminator Cat deShedding Tool – (Feline small)
Zoom Groom – (occasional use for loose fur only)

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

Carriers
Marchioro Cayman Clipper #2
Catit – size Medium
Sherpa Original (Airline soft under-seat carrier)

Training Aids
Bitter Apple spray – for chewing on cords
Scat Mat – keeps kittens off counters or away from doors
Spray bottle – keep kittens off counters (ok to add 1T lemon juice)

Flea Control
Revolution – Comfortis – Advantage 

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LITTER BOX
Place a litter pan in the kitten’s primary room, and do not move it around.  If the litterbox will be in a remote location like the basement, add an extra one in the living area for a few months.  If you need to move the litter pan, add one in the new spot and leave the old one for several weeks to ease the transition.  Please give your new kitten a litter box of its own.  Keep food and water away from the litter box.

Try different litters and find one with as little dust as possible. While the clay clumps more firmly, clay dust will get into your Kitten’s fur and may allergies among sensitive individuals. Scented litters and litters with “cat attract” often cause allergies. Before using a new litter, smell an open bag and be sure it does not cause reactions.

It is preferable to keep the litter box out of the furnace room, and away from return air Dust from clay litter will cling to the motor fan blades and damage the furnace. Dust that is drawn into the venting system will be blown throughout the house. Litter made from corn or wheat byproducts will attract rats and mice, and should not be used in outdoor cat runs

STRESS
Your kitty will miss its Mom and litter mates for several days. The kitten may show stress: crying, hiding, lack of appetite, constipation, soft stools.  This is OK for 2-3 days as long as there is no fever, diarrhea, or lethargic behavior.  If kitten refuses to eat, try Gerber Chicken Baby Food (no onions) to kick-start the eating reflex. Start new foods gradually, mixing the new food with the old, as food changes may cause diarrhea. Avoid foods containing onion as they are bad for cats.

Please call us with ANY concerns. Do not allow non-eating to go longer than several days. Call your vet if there are any runny stools, as dehydration can be an emergency.

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. Let them sniff under the door and play “paws” for a day or so until they want to meet each other.

FOOD & WATER
Your kitten has been eating dry foods, with daily wet food for treats. Many premium dry foods have regional distribution only, so you may need to change brands.  Fresh water should be available at all times. Siberians develop slowly, so feed a “kitten” grade food for TWO years unless your vet says your kittens is overweight.

Feed a high-quality pet store premium food. These foods have “chicken” or “chicken meal” as the first and second ingredient, so your kitten is obtaining its protein from meats.  Foods containing whole corn, wheat or soy may be poorly digested, (but corn gluten is highly digestible by cats). Chicken, rice and vegetables are optimal.  There is evidence that foods with high amounts of legumes (lentils, peas, etc) may cause dilated cardiomyopathy, so these foods should be mixed or avoided.

We allow free-feeding of dry foods the day, and give a small portion of chunky canned meats twice daily.  Chunky wet foods provide an excellent treat.  Of note, wet foods should be picked up within a hour.

Adult cats are often unwilling to eat foods they were not offered as kittens. It is a good practice to offer treats of canned food with chunky texture to kittens to increase the likelihood that they will be willing to eat canned diets later if medically necessary.

Kittens should not be given cow’s milk as most can’t digest it properly, and may have loose and sometimes bloody stools. 

Canned wet food has benefits and drawbacks:
– Gummy or sticky canned foods stick to teeth, causing gingivitis and buildup of tarter.
– Chunks of meat or large size kibble increase chewing, increase salivation and help scrape teeth clean. Saliva from chewing increases protective bacteria in the mouth.
– Wet foods left out more than 2 hours will spoil and lead to disease.  It is common to see children diagnosed with salmonella where wet foods were left out for pets. Raw diets (especially chicken) are a severe health risk to children and kittens.
– Adult cats often do not drink enough water, so canned foods provide them with extra water which aids kidney and urinary health.

We recommend metal or china dishes.  Cats will drink more water from a drinking fountain than a dish.  We use ceramic fountains and clean them weekly with a light bleach solution. 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.

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.  Kittens can be taught to accept baths and a quick blow dry if needed.  Always start with water in the sink, and a pitcher of warm rinse water only (work up to the sprayer over time). Use a cat specific shampoo without fragrance. This will reduce allergic reactions and prevent your kitten’s 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 your new friend.

Your kitten has had no training in being outdoors, so please do not allow your kitten outdoors without a leash or inside an enclosed run.  A large disadvantage of introducing your kitten to the outdoors is that the kitten may become a pest at the door, looking for opportunities to slip outside.

DECLAWING
We discourage declawing, as it can cause poor litter box habits due to tender feet.  Claw caps are plastic caps that force the claw to remain extended, which is painful for the kitten.  If for any reason you must declaw your kitten, we recommend laser surgery which causes less damage.

Train your kitty to scratch 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.  Rope is better than carpet.  Keep several scratching posts in the house, and keep one in the middle of the room where kitty can watch the world.

HEALTH CARE
Your kitty will have had one vaccination at around 9 weeks of age, (and perhaps a second series 4 weeks later).  All kittens receive a routine de-wormer and flea treatment if needed.  Kittens receive a veterinary exam prior to leaving our cattery.  Vaccination records will be given to you on pick-up day or sent with the kitten. Full veterinary records are available on request. Our cattery is kept free of feline diseases, funguses and parasites. We encourage you to take your new kitten for a checkup with your new vet as soon as possible.  

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 inexpensive wire panels. This will prevent kitten from playing in the garage or escaping.  Another nice option 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 reduces allergen levels. Always 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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KITTEN COMMANDS
These are the four tonal commands we like kittens to learn, each with a very different sound.  In time all four command should be fully effective from across a room, just as gentle reminders. The key to developing good behavior is consistent gentle reminders.

  1. KittyCome
  2. KittyNo
  3. NoBite
  4. NoClaw

KittyCome-KittyCome
1) Purchase a long wand feather toy and spend 5 minutes quite a few times a day.  Drag the toy along the floor and say “KittyCome KittyCome”

2) Make a small toy such as a 1″ bag filled with rice and sew on a few fluffy feathers or tufts. Slide it gently away from you until the kitty retrieves it, teaching him to bring it back and set it next to you.  throw it again in time you should be able to slide it to another room and he should bring it back repeatedly.  Again, “KittyCome KittyCome”

KittyCome should always be often rewarded with chips of bacon or other little treats.  Find a treat they love – such as fried liver in little chips that are fully dried, or sardines.

KittyNo
This command should be reinforced even from across the room. It’s done by clapping your hands and saying KittyNo-KittyNo.  If he does not obey, then use a squirt bottle with a little bit of lemon juice in a small spray bottle with water.

NoBite – NoBite 
Any nipping or biting behavior should be immediately – and gently disciplined.  Immediately blow in their face and say “NoBite NoBite”.  I am very reluctant to increase the ante, as it can cause problems, but if blowing does not cure the situation in several days, tap the kitten on the chin or forehead and say “NoBite NoBite”.  

Do not “Play Fight” or “Tease” kittens in the belly or the flank.   While it seems fun to play with the kitten, it can lead to  severe long-term behavioral issues and biting – especially in males. 

NoClaw
Kittens should learn to retract their claws when they’re on your lap climbing up and down. Gently tap their claws with your hand and say “NoClaw NoClaw”.  Over time, this command is very effective across the room, and will keep furniture from damage.

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SAFETY
Before your new kitty explores its new surroundings please check for the following safety hazards

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 wet floor detergent will get on their feet.

Electrical and phone cords
Toilet lids left up
Open fireplaces or wood stoves
Open stairways or lofts
Loose window screens
Reclining and rocking chairs
Long fringe or mini-blind cord 
Food waste — chicken bones can splinter
Rubber bands & styrofoam
Plastic wrap and plastic bags
Christmas tree tinsel 
Cigarettes
Needles, pins, knitting supplies 
Cat toys with small bells or eyes 
Open appliances – dryers, ovens, freezers
Keep your workshop and sewing rooms off limits 
Cellophane Tape
Cleaning products like Lysol