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PREPARING FOR A NEW KITTEN

You have picked your kitten but there's still time before pickup day. While you're waiting, here are a few things you can do to get ready:

Create A Quiet Place
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 transmission. 

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 private room.

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 void.

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  diet 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 inside it!

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 litter.

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.

 

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