Mylancoon Maine Coon Cats

Bringing Your New Kitten Home

Your kitten has been checked by our vet prior to leaving, vaccinated and wormed and is in good health. You will receive a record of shots and worming and when next vaccinations are due. Your kitten should be taken to your vet within two days of pick up for a check up.

Upon arrival home, your kitten will need time to get accustomed to a new home and owner before putting in a face to face situation with other pets and household members. Introductions to existing cats and dogs, etc should be supervised and done slowly. Bring the kitten carrier into one room, and keep the kitten confined to that one room for the first few days with its litter, food, water, scratching post and perhaps a bed. Always speak in soft, soothing, loving tones, and don't force the kitten to come out of the carrier until ready. Show the kitten where food, water and litter box are located. Give your kitten some time to get used to things at his/her own pace. As your kitten gets more comfortable with the first room, gradually start allowing the kitten into the rest of the house (making sure it can always retreat to the initial room if frightened). Don't worry if your new kitty doesn't eat the first day. Sometimes a dab of Gerber's baby food such as lamb or chicken on your finger may entice the kitten to come to you and eat a little treat. Your kitten may cry or meow and seem frightened the first few nights. That is perfectly natural, in an entirely new place with new people, new smells, etc. Give the kitten plenty of cuddling, and soft talk and let it sleep with you if it wants to. Entice the kitten with teaser toys to get it to feel comfortable coming to you. This will also allow the kitten the opportunity to pick up your scent and begin to recognize you as a friendly human.

Maine Coons drink a lot of water, so be sure to provide fresh water at all time. It is important to keep the kitten on the same food that it is used to eating, For the first few days to a week, feed the food provided by the breeder. Gradually add your own food to the food the kitten has been eating so that it adjusts with no stomach upset. Sudden changes in food can cause diarrhea and vomiting so take it slow. A scratching post will start the kitten off right before it is allowed in other rooms in your house.

KITTEN PLAY

Be sure to reinforce at all times the importance of teaching your new kitten that human hands are for giving and receiving love, NOT for biting and playing. Kittens begin to get permanent teeth around 5 months and will be teething off and on and have a strong need to bite. Just like baby children, kittens are born without teeth. They start getting their first baby teeth at about 3-4 weeks old. The trick is not to keep them from biting; but rather to provide them appropriate items to bite. Use heavy-duty plastic drinking straws, and train them from the start that toys and straws are fine to bite, but human body parts are off-limits! If a kitten learns this from the start, it hardly ever has an inappropriate biting behavior as an adult. Often the quickest way to teach them not to bite you is to immediately blow on their face, as soon as you realize the kitten is biting or is about to bite you. Saying "NO!" firmly at the same time reinforces this training.

INTRODUCING TO OTHER PETS

Put your kitten in a carrier and allow the other pet to observe the kitten in its room. The kitten is safe in its carrier and the other pet(s) can investigate what all the fuss is about. Take your kitten out of its room and allow other pets to come in the room to smell the kittens scent. Take the kitten to other pet areas and allow the kitten to smell their scents. As the kitten becomes more comfortable you can open the door and allow the kitten to wander out. If it becomes scared it can always retreat to its safe area. Provide cubby hole cat trees or a place where the kitten can snuggle up when it want to be away from other pets

Give your existing pets lots of attention. Jealousy and a bit of hissing is normal and not unusual. It takes time and patience to introduce pets to each other.

Once your cat is comfortable in your home , you can help the kitten get started learning your household and family routines. Cats seem to thrive on consistency and keeping the kitten feeding of canned food and play times to a specific part of the day will be very calming for the kitten. Place your kittens litter box in an area that does not have a lot of traffic. If your kitten is afraid to walk past another cat or dog to get to the box it is not going to use it. If you have a large home you may want to place two litter boxes in different areas. Just like humans, each cat is a unique individual, and it is important not to have unrealistic expectations of your kitten until it has become used to your routine. It is best not to use a scented litter when first bringing your new kitten home. Young kittens often do not recognize the perfume smell and will not use the litter box if it does not smell familiar to them.

A cat spends about one third of its time when it is awake grooming itself. The claws are a very important part of this function, and used extensively to help keep the cat's fur smooth and clean. Claws also help the feline to climb, which is part of the instinctive nature in almost all cats. The act of scratching itself is often a form of greeting by felines, and provides a source of psychological comfort through its rhythmic action. In addition, scratching is a source of reassurance to the cat of its ability to defend itself or to choose not to defend itself, which can be witnessed by watching the cat contract its claws and "knead" its owner with contentment and trust.

Trimming claws will help protect human hands and belonging. A good time to trim claws is when the kitten is sleeping or resting. Kitten’s claws may need trimming every couple of weeks. Adult cats only need to be trimmed once a month. If you choose you do not have to trim at all or you can have your vet trim on visits.

The living portion of the nail bed contains sensitive nerves and blood vessels. If your pet is instinctively cautious about having its feet touched, and even if it shows sign of withdrawing its paw, teach your pet that this interaction is not unpleasant. Before you ever attempt to trim you pets nails, begin by touching its legs, feet and toes, and associate this with an activity it enjoys. When it is resting, begin petting it, gently passing your hands over its back and legs. If this is well tolerated, you may wish to give it a small food treat. Do not try to do too much the first time.

Mylancoon Maine Coon Cats mylancoon@verizon.net Palmyra, PA 717-304-8847