PREPARING FOR A NEW KITTEN
You have picked your kitten but there's still time
before pickup day. You might pick out your kitten at 6 weeks of
age but they're not ready to go home until about 12 weeks of age. While you're waiting, here are a few things
you can do to get ready:
Create A Quiet
Your new kitten will need a separate quiet place to spend the first
week or so in your home. A bathroom would be fine. Your
new kitten should have it's own litter box, plus food and water bowls.
This is especially helpful when there are other pets in the home,
because animals grow accustom to each other's scent before any
face-to-face confrontations arise. It helps a new kitten feel
safe to have a private safe place, and also helps prevent disease
After your kitten is well adjusted to the new
environment you should introduce, and then gradually allow longer visits to
new rooms and with new friends until you no longer need to use the kitten's
Schedule a Veterinary Exam
If you don't have a veterinarian now is a good time to find one. Some veterinarians have busy schedules so make an appointment in
advance if necessary. Remember - your kitten must be examined
within 72 hours of leaving the cattery or else the health guarantee is
Holidays and weekends do count in your 72
hours so make sure you have an appointment if needed. I don't
intend to inconvenience you with the time limit, but after 72 hours a
kitten can start showing symptoms of infections they've caught after
leaving my care. Bacteria and viruses don't respect holidays!
Arrange for Food and Water
You can find more information on the
page. Just remember that Istrongly recommend foods
that you won't find in supermarkets so make sure you have a source
(and ideally an alternate source) for your chosen brand. It's
not a great idea to change a kitten's food right away or all at once
so provide a supply of food your
kitten at the time of pickup.
Choose Litter and a Litter Box
I recommend a simple open litter tray. That's what your kitten is used
to. You can switch to a covered litter box later if you wish.
If you do ever use a covered litter box don't clean it less often just
because it's out of sight. Covered litter boxes trap humidity
and can actually smell worse than an open box- especially to the cat
Good quality litter makes a big difference, yet it
doesn't necessarily cost more.
Everyone is familiar with clumping clay litter,
which is still a good option. Choose an unscented variety. There are also new litter products made from wood pellets, wheat,
corn, and even recycled newspaper. Feel free to try any of them
that may appeal to you.
One great option is 'pearl' or 'crystal' litter.
These are lightweight granules that disperse urine and dry it out, so
you only scoop the solids. The solids dry out rapidly and odor is well
controlled. Silica litter lasts a long time, a month or more
between changes. Plus there are no heavy, muddy urine clumps! Silica
litter was expensive in the past, and it still seems expensive per
pound - but 4 pounds fills a box that would require 15 pounds of clay
I am now using Dr. Elsey's clumping litter. It's the
best clay litter I've ever used and it's easier on kittens than silica
litter (the only downside to silica is young cats sometimes
accidentally eat litter and the silica granules can't dissolve in
their gut.) For all the young kittens I use Dr. Elsey's "Cat Attract"
litter which claims to have special additives to make the litter box
more appealing... and it really does work! Once your cat's grown up
you can witch from Cat Attract (red bag) to the regular clumping (blue
bag) formula and save some money.