DonaMae Cattery  Phoenix, Arizona  623-582-1015

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Taking Home Your New Kitten

By Donamae


Many of you have owned a cat before so this information will be only a review.

To those of you who have not raised a kitten before, the information will be only a beginning. There are a number of good books on the market that are worth your time in reading. Many problems can be best prevented, rather than fixed.

Your new kitten should be kept in a small area such as the bathroom off your bedroom, where it is easy for it to find its litter and food. It will like to sleep in its carrier with a nice fuzzy pad in it. You should buy a carrier anyway to take the kitten to the vet. If you turn it loose in the house it may not be able to find the litter and will go behind the TV, etc, and then develop habits you must break. If this happens call me for directions. I have never had any complaints about my kittens not using the litter, but you must make it easy for them to find it.I have recently switched to pellet litter and love it. almost no smell. you only use an inch, so it is very ecconomical.  I replace it as needed and use Clorox solution on the litter box and let it dry, preferably in the sun. This will help keep down odors better than anything else. Cats do not like perfumed litter. Also, never use ammonia to clean anything around your cat because it makes the item smell like urine to them and they will (guess what) on it. IF you can afford it and want to, there are some wonderful litters made of wheat and corn etc that you can experiment with. I do not recommend clumping litter because it sticks to their paws and the kittens lick it off and get diarrhea. They may also get clumps in their stomachs. It tends to track all over the house on cabinets etc. Remember this is all just my opinion, you may have a different one.

The kitten is being free fed (this means a bowel available all the time) a mixture of Walmart Maxium kitten chow, and Avapro. I don't like the dry food, I agree with Elizabeth Hodgkins new book. Cats are carnivors and require as much raw meet as you can afford. I am feeding 40 cats right now (11 rescues) and a couple dozen kittens as well. So I cannot afford a diet of totally raw meat. I wish I could. The kittens love it. I use raw chicken, rabbit (when I can get it) and roast or steak what ever I can find on sale. Prefer organic meats. I add a supplement called platinum performance. When not feeding raw, they get a night time meal of Friskies, mine like the shredded one. Kittens get it 3 or 4 times a day. and raw. I spend more on the cats than on us.

I suggest you use bottled water at least for a while, as a change in water can also cause diarrhea. The kittens are used to well water.

If they are under 12 wks old they are being given canned food 2-3 times a day as their teeth are not strong enough to chew enough dry food to gain weight and grow properly. I use Friskies, or Iams cat gourmet chicken, or Fancy feast. Over 12 weeks I usually convert to one meal in the evening of canned food in addition to the kitten chow.

Do not give too much Fancy Feast, I mostly reserve it for sick kittens, or to mix medicine in. It is very strong flavored and they will get spoiled and not want any other. A sick kitten also will usually eat Baby food chicken when they wonít eat anything else. It is easy on their stomachs.

I also sprinkle about Ĺ teaspoon of NuVet Plus feline supplement on their food daily, I believe this helps with skin, coat, and immunity. I had one female that had hot spots and skin problems for about a year and nothing I tried worked. This company called and asked me to try this supplement, so I tried it on her. Gingers skin cleared up and hair was growing back in a week of having the supplement sprinkled on her food. Made a believer out of me. I had been using a combination of things including blue green algae, etc.

The one thing you must watch for in a young kitten is diarrhea. You should check the litter box frequently as this can happen for a variety of reasons. Stress, change in food or water, or Girradia (from open toilet bowels) and the list is long. It is not that important in itself and will probably run its course and stop, but a young kitten doesnít have any reserves and will dehydrate quickly. Sometimes within about 12 hours. You cannot wait, they must get to the vet immediately. You should force pedialyte by using a syringe and slowly squirting it in the side of the mouth across the tongue, hourly. A kitten that is dehydrating will have loose skin on the neck that when you pull up on it doesnít snap back quickly. They also will become listless; lose interest in food and water. The kitten may die if not treated rapidly. Your vet can hydrate the kitten and give you antibiotics and other medicines.

If the kitten should develop a cold, it will probably get well on its own, however you must again watch for dehydration, and keep its nose clean and eyes clean. If their nose plugs up squeeze some saline drops in it and then wipe again. This must be done multiple times a day because they will not eat or drink if their nose if plugged.

Our kittens do not have ear mites because we use Revolution on the whole cattery once a month. However when they get to your house if you have other animals who do, they will catch them easily. If they are scratching their ear and shaking their head, look for mites.

The kittens have been wormed usually twice, before you get them. Worming every six months is advisable.

Their shots should be complete, refer to the shot record included with your packet. I do not give rabies vaccine, your vet must do that.

Do not let your kitten go outdoors. If it should get out now, it will crouch down and be uncomfortable in the new environment. You should be able to quietly walk over and pick it up, talking gently to it. Never punish it for coming back to you or for getting out the door, it will only make it run from you next time. If you allow your kitten outdoors and it gets comfortable out there, then when it gets out on you it will run farther and you will lose it. Not fun to see your expensive cat running down the street or in the street.

This is a show cat. If you have not purchased breeding rights you agree to have the kitten neutered or spayed at the appropriate age. About six months for a female and nine or ten months for a male. Males may be neutered earlier, but may not develop their muscles in the neck and shoulders as much. Most will not start to spray till this age, if they are not around a female in heat. Both male and female cats will usually spray if not fixed. The urine from a male unaltered cat has a strong obnoxious smell you will not be able to live with. The female urine doesnít smell as bad, but who wants it sprayed on the walls? Incase you are interested in showing, you may show your cat in the altered classes and win championships just like the unaltered ones. However some registries do not allow declawed cats to be shown.

Declawing- I do not tell other people what to do with their animals but I personally believe that declawing causes cats to become biters. I have seen proof of this in the rescue cats that have come in to us. I suggest that you use a nail clipper every 2 weeks to trim their nails from kitten hood so they are used to it. This and a squirt bottle will help save your furniture. I also recommend claw covers that have to be replaced about every six weeks as a viable alternative.

Be careful of any live plants you have in the house, the kitten may chew on them and many are poisonous. There are some good articles on this subject; call me if you need and cannot find them.

Remember antifreeze is fatal to cats and kittens, and they tend to like the taste of it..

Remember also, any hole the kitten can get their head through they can get the rest of their body through.

Look out for crickets. I know of at least two kittens that ate a cricket and then died because it had already ingested cricket bait. The cricket manages to crawl around for a day or two before dying and that is when your kitten gets it.

Do not let your kitten play with string if they start swallowing it, do not pull it out, you can cut their intestine. Take them to the vet to get it out. Same goes for foil, they will eat it and get a bowel obstruction and have to have surgery. I had one female mother eat a small mouse toy which had something wrapped with black tape as the center and she got a bowel obstruction.

Collars- use only the ones that are breakaway or have a stretchy insert. A harness is better and must not be left on the cat unsupervised.

They will often chew electric cords. I spray mine with bitter orange regularly to prevent this.





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Telephone  623-582-1015    Cell  623-203-1274  Dona Mae Cattery

Mailing address 35040 N. 14th St., Phoenix Az., 85086

Dona Mae Dougherty,  James J Dougherty, Jamie Joe Dougherty