Taking Care Of Your Kitten
Keeping your Feline Inside
It is NOT cruel to keep your kitten inside provided you allow it to participate in family life and interact with it, toys and regular play sessions are also a way of stimulating your kittens interest in indoor life. If no-one is home during the day and your kitten seems sad or bored, then providing them with the company of another kitten may be the solution. Staying inside protects your precious new family member from cars, dog attacks and baiting, let alone protect wildlife. If you have an outdoor enclosure, it is a good idea to ensure it is safe, safe from snakes and dog attacks.
Your kitten has been weaned using Royal Canin Kitten biscuits and Royal Canin sachets, we strongly recommend you keep your kitten on a proven diet. We feed twice a day at this age, plus leave down the recommended daily quantity of Royal Canin Kitten biscuits. We do not recommend feeding Pet or human grade meat. Be aware the high levels of preservative in raw pet meat can make your kitten ill, OR EVEN KILL IT. I have not fed your kitten any raw foods as there is a risk of Toxoplasmosis, Salmonella and E Coli infection. I prefer to feed a balanced and complete commercial diet of a Super Premium food such as Royal Canin. Your feeding guide is on the back of the pack. Do NOT ever give cooked meat containing small bones e.g., chicken they can shatter and cause teeth and throat problems. Changing a kitten’s diet when rehoming can upset their digestive system. Try feeding some wet foods such as a chunk of steak (dont bother with mince, your cat needs to chew) as well as dry and make sure your cat has a supply of fresh water available at all times. Cats really like moving water so perhaps consider a cat water fountain.
Claws and Teeth
Teething generally starts between 4-5 months. Watch for tummy upsets or diarrhoea and provide a suitable “teething ring” such as a cardboard carton for them to chew on. If a tummy upset occurs move the kitten to a blander diet for a few days, e.g., minced cooked chicken. Your kitten will need regular claw trims with pet claw trimmers and something he knows is his to scratch on, this will save your furniture from being used as a scratching post. Scratching posts should be big enough for an adult cat to stretch out full length vertically. Cats prefer solid constructions with real carpet. It is a good idea to check your cats’ teeth regularly. Infected, inflamed red gums can have a heavy bacterial load which can affect kidneys and kill your cat off early. IMPORTANT: Wet pate mousse foods for cats should not be given past the age of 9mo. Once your kitten has all their adult teeth in, you want to only give them their kibble and meat meal and to stop giving them wet pate/ mousse/ gravy/ jelly foods as this will stick to their teeth and cause tooth decay.
Consult the vet card or certificate given to you for the booster dates for Feline Respiratory Disease (Flu) and Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleukopenia). Your kitten requires two F3 vaccinations after 10 weeks, they will have received at least one of those vaccinations. If your vet insists on a 3rd kitten vaccination politely refuse, there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that over vaccinating can cause illness. Thereafter he/she will need an annual booster. Make sure your kitten receives the same vaccine as indicated by the sticker on their Vaccination card, and most certainly NOT the inactivated multi vaccinations of F4 or F5. Be aware that some vets will encourage you to vaccinate against Chlamydia, involving two more vaccinations which are not necessary for an indoor cat. I do not recommend the use of the Leukemia or FIV vaccination at this point, your kitten will not be coming into contact with other outside cats and in this case these vaccinations are superfluous. Your guarantee with me is void if you vaccinate against these instructions. If you have another cat which has been an outside cat, a shelter cat or has been mixing with other cats of unknown status I recommend that you have your current cats. Leuk/Aids status confirmed before your new arrival. My cattery is Leuk/Aids tested and negative. We require a vet visit within 72 hours to confirm the kitten is in good health in your vet’s opinion. This will make you feel comfortable that you have a healthy kitten and will give you a chance to get to know your vet and him/her a chance to have a health baseline on the kitten. A crisis is not a good time to meet a new vet. This visit also ensures compliance with the health guarantee.
Fleas, worms and other pests
As your cat is an inside only pet you should rarely ever see a flea. Use a quality wormer, (e.g., Felex Paste) not the supermarket variety. I use Profender in my cattery as it controls several pests in one easy monthly application without you having to put your fingers in the cat’s mouth. Revolution spot on controls fleas, worms, and ear mites.
In the Litter Box
Your kitten has been trained on a variety of litters. We use Golden Yolk Chicken Pellets or the Ozpet Litter system. Change litter regularly, cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and like a clean toilet, as we all do. Silica litter probably only needs changing once a month with one cat using it. However please bear in mind that some kittens object to the feel of the Silica litter on their paw pads, and might refuse to use the litter tray, you may need to find an alternative if this occurs. Don’t expect it to travel a kitten mile to a tray, e.g. down stairs, especially at night. If you change your kitten over to another brand expect your kitten may have a few mistakes until it gets used to the new litter. Change the whole litter tray at least weekly and wash, disinfect and thoroughly rinse tray before refilling - household bleach is best, but rinse well afterwards. Care should be exercised with all chemicals near kittens (and cats) due to the sensitivity of their skins. Do not use disinfectants such as “Pine ‘o’ Clean”, as all tar and Pine Oil (Phenol) derived products are toxic to cats. If you have more than one cat you will need to provide a litter tray for each cat plus one. Please be aware that resident cats can indulge in subtle litter tray “stalking” which can make the new arrival uncomfortable when using the tray, and this may result in skulking off to go to the toilet somewhere that feels safer. It is recommended that you have one more litter box in your home than the number of cats present. It is also recommended that if you have a large home that you should have easy access to litter boxes on all levels and main areas of the home. Daily cleaning is crucial to keeping not only your cat happy but the other residents of the home. A dirty litter box will turn away the best trained cat from using it. We use deep sided litter boxes that are open to the top so that they can dig around without spilling anything out the sides. Some cats can be highly sensitive to the air quality around their litter area so keep this in mind. If the area smells strong to you imagine how much stronger it is to their sensitive noses. There are many types of cat litter but we recommend that you use the same litter that your kitten has been trained to. You should continue use for at least the first eight weeks after their transition from our home to yours. This helps them to feel confident in their habits when dealing with relocation. If you choose to discontinue use of the recommended litter you will want to do it over time. Cats are very sensitive to the smell and feel of different litters, if your cat rejects the new litter we highly recommend returning immediately to the original litter that they were used to. You do not want them to learn bad litter habits due to an unsuccessful change. If your kitten is going to have an accident it will most likely be in one of three as I call "smell attractant" locations in your home. These are areas which your cat will recognize as a "strong smell" zone that you have "marked" with your sent. Regardless of how clean and freshly made, our beds hold our scent and are one of the three locations that can create confusion for cats best habits. I recommend keeping the bedroom doors closed for the first 3-6mo of bringing your kitten home. The second most likely spot is your dirty laundry or laundry basket. Obviously this is smelly having been against our skin and even the residual scent of perfumes and colones (which often have pheromones) draws their attention, and if it's nicely in a basket even more tempting for your cat, as the smell and access is a perfect mimic of a litter area. So keep the laundry in a closed hamper or better yet not accessible to your kitten. And lastly the place that kittens can have accidents is the couch, yes our couches where we curl up watch our shows and read our books very much hold our scent and are in the high smell zone category. So if your baby has an accident... that very day you reduce access by reducing their roaming area, close doors etc... and give it a week before you start to open their access up again. if you're just reading this now and it's been 4 weeks since their first accident, that means 3 months of reduced access to retrain correct behavior!
If your kitten has been using the litter tray and then has accidents it will be usually due to a couple of things. Firstly you've not kept the litter box clean, this means picking out solids and clumps of wet every day and once a week dumping the litter sterilizing the litter box and putting in fresh new litter. If you have been 100% on top of the cleanliness of the litter tray then the other possibility is that you've given them to much access to a large area (whole house). Immediately limit their access again. You only want them learning positive behavior. It takes three times as long to untrain a learned behavior than to train it in the first place. So if you Kitten has an accident and you change nothing, and then they have another accident 6 days later that is then a full week of "learned behavior" and you will need to spend three weeks of limiting access and retraining.
Your kitten needs your companionship and interactive play to help stimulate their minds, exercise their bodies and build a bond with you. This can also happen with other pets in the home. It is a beautiful thing to watch a friendship build between your pets. When playing with your kitten NEVER use your fingers or toes directly as “bait” for a pounce. While this may be cute as babies, kittens grow up and you don't want a large cat pouncing and chewing on you because you trained them as kittens to do so. We do not want to teach our kittens that they can put their teeth or claws into us ever. Always use extension toys to tease, bait, play and have fun with.
If your kitten gets the "crazies" and just wants to pounce and chew on you, walk away do not continue play, this is a reprimand as they are not interacting acceptably therefore they don't get to have the iteration. If you've got a particularly insistent kitten then you can put them in "time out" with toys they can self entertain with while they get the "crazies" out of their system. Do not accept or allow rough play, remember teeth and claws just don't allow from the beginning. Cat's are not like dogs, reprimanding and pushing them away, they can often see this stimulating and it's "game on". You do not want to engage in this "bring it on" game with your cat. We recommend getting three sets of three toys that you can change out every three days. This should give you nine days of fun interested activity before you start over with the original set. This helps ensure that your kitten stays stimulated and interested in their toys.
Kittens can be fragile, especially in comparison to puppies. It is important that if you have children handling your kitten that you teach them some good guidelines to follow. We recommend that children should, when learning to handle a kitten, sit on the floor. This ensures that if the kitten crawls away from them that the kitten does not get dropped. You will need to show your child the appropriate pressure when holding the kitten, so that they don’t “love on them too much”. Kittens when young do not retract their claws properly to release things like clothing, blankets and skin. You will need to show your child how to lift the kittens paw up and forward to “unhook” any little claws. Never just pull the kitten straight off an object that they are “velcroed” to. Keeping claws cut short is a necessity, I can show you how, or your vet or vet nurse can.
As a new owner you need to ensure that you handle your kitten often when they are awake and continue on with the early desensitization training we have already established with them. Kittens should be handled, carried, touched and caressed often and all over to ensure that they are well socialized and desensitized to being handled. This will help in future when you need to clip nails, have vet exams, clean ears or medicating them.
If your kitten struggles or kicks to "get away" DO NOT let them go, rather use the clipnosis technique to calm them. If you let them go when they struggle or kick you teaching them that if they want down just kick and struggle! You don't want that. You want them to relax and be calm and then set them down. that way they learn that if they are realized you will set them down and it's positive training. Set your kitten up for success not failure. Just like kids picking the right teaching moments is essential. Wait for your kitten to have had a run and play and get all their energy out before attempting to do your handling desensitization routine. This ensures that you aren't trying to chill out and handle a kitten who's just woke up and just wants to play. Always pick your timing so that it's a positive learning experience.
Kittens are just like babies and need many naps throughout the day to ensure healthy growth patterns. If your kitten is having a nap, do not disturb them. It is important to teach children to not wake their kitten up during nap times. A sleep deprived kitten is a cranky kitten and isn’t much fun to play with anyways. You should make sure that there is an easily accessible quiet location that your kitten can get to for naps that is our of the way of young family members or rambunctious puppy family members. If you have a busy, noisy house like mine you may find it easier to take the kitten out of the main living zones, to a quiet place where they can have breaks and naps. Or invest into a nice high cat tree with a cubby bed up top that they can use as their nap station.
Things that kill
There are some really toxic substances that humans use in their homes, that will KILL a kitten and make an adult seriously ill, these include scent reeds, essential oils, and anti bacterial hand wash. Your cat only has to get these substances on themselves and groom it off to become extremely unwell. Some chemicals taste especially good to cats. To prevent accidental pet poisoning, keep these and all chemicals locked away: Antifreeze, Bleach, Detergents, De-icing salts (which pets may walk through, then lick from their pads), Dog flea and tick medication (pills, collars, sprays, shampoos), Fertilizers, Herbicides, Rodent bait, and Insect bait such as moth balls. You have been provided with an information sheet on poisonous plants and particularly lilies.
Congenital vs Hereditary Genetic defects
As a responsible breeder we strive to not breed any known hereditary genetic defects on in our cats. This means that the parents carry some genetic fault that is then genetically passed onto the offspring. Issues that are heredity genetic defects are Poly Cystic Kidney Disease and Hypokalemia that are testable so we can KNOW we aren't sending out any affected kittens, there are some diseases that do not have DNA testing so while we can take precautions to breed with awareness and care we can not always know if a cat will have a hereditary defect.. However it is important to be aware that we are not crystal ball readers and in the case that a kitten does develop a hereditary genetic defect you are required in your purchase contract with us to notify us so that we can make necessary changes to our breeding program.
Congenital defects are defects that happen in utero (during pregnancy) for unknown reasons and are not based on a genetic component. While some defects that can happen you can see from looking at the animal or how the animal behaves, but in some cases you may not know of a congenital defect till months or years later. As a breeder without a crystal ball we can't always know if something went wrong in utero when everything looks and acts normally from birth to 12 weeks when they leave us. For this reason we sign up all our kittens with a 30 day pet health insurance policy for you. It is the responsibility of the owner to make the decision to maintain further insurance or take the risks of having an uninsured pet. We do recommend at a minimum that families keep a policy for at least the first 12 months, this gives you time to live and get to know your cat and their health and needs. Then you can make the decision as to whether it's of value to you to continue carrying insurance or not.
Most cats and kittens love companionship and will enjoy human or other species or feline friends. If you find that your cat is not getting enough companionship from you alone and is lonely, it is important that you consider a pet companion for them. A cat that is lonely can become bored which can lead to destruction of property, in an attempt to entertain themselves. They can also become depressed. If your cat is displaying signs of depression you will seriously need to consider another pet companion for their mental health. We all want to come home to a happy, healthy pet and just like some people, some cats need constant companionship.
Taking a Kitten or Cat into a Home with an Existing Cat
Cats are solitary and highly territorial creatures that often require weeks or months to adjust to changes in their environment and lifestyle. For that reason, first impressions are extremely important when meeting other household pets. Cats that are introduced too quickly and fight may never learn to coexist peacefully. When you are introducing a kitten into a home that has an existing feline owner you will sometimes have some problems with territoriality. The other cat will respond by seeing the kitten as an invader and seek to “run it off”. Create a sanctuary room for your new cat. When you bring your new cat home, confine him to one room with his own litterbox, bed, food, and water for a week, or at least until he has been examined by your vet. Feed them on opposite sides of the same door. At the next meal, place the two cats’ bowls on either side of the door to that room. The aim is for the cats to associate the pleasurable activity of eating with the presence of the other cat. Gradually move the bowls closer with each feeding. When they can eat calmly with both bowls directly across from each other, open the door a crack — for just a few seconds — so they can see each other as they eat. Let your new cat explore. Once the new cat seems comfortable in his new surroundings, is eating well, and using his litter box, confine your resident cat in another room and let the new cat explore the house. This allows the new cat to come in contact with the resident cat’s scent without direct contact. Another option is to exchange the cats’ bedding for a night. Monitor the cats’ first encounter closely and limit the time they spend together at first. Some display of fearful or aggressive behaviour (crouching, hissing, ears back) is to be expected, but you want to avoid letting them establish a pattern of aggressive or fearful behaviour, which may be difficult to change. If these behaviours intensify, separate the cats again and go back to step one. If they fight, distract and separate. If an actual fight breaks out, throw a towel over them (to distract them) or make a loud noise to separate them. Lure the new cat back to his sanctuary room (don’t pick him up while he’s still aroused) and give them a few days to calm down. Do not hold either cat in your arms during introductions: if either one reacts aggressively to the other cat, you could be scratched or bitten. Continue to provide supervised encounters with both cats, watching closely for signs of tension or aggression. If one cat appears to be freezing, staring, or fixating on the other cat, have some treats or fun toys nearby to direct them away from each other. This will also continue to teach them that good things happen when the other cat is near.
Tips and reminders
Be sensitive to what a big change this is for your resident cat. Give him the security of his usual routine and his own special time with you.
Keep in mind that “success” doesn’t necessarily mean your cats will be best buddies. Some cats become bonded to one another while others spend the rest of their lives avoiding and hissing at each other. Realize that either of these scenarios might happen. Your goal in facilitating introductions is to set the stage for the cats to peacefully share their living quarters but understand you simply cannot “make” them like each other.
This process takes time: count on 2-4 weeks if integrating a kitten and an adult, and 4-6 weeks (or longer) if integrating two adults. While following this protocol will maximize your chances of success, know that some cats simply never learn to coexist peacefully. If you have followed the introduction process and do not see any improvement after a month’s time — especially if one cat is terrorizing or injuring the other — long-term success may be unrealistic. Rehoming one of the cats or keeping them permanently separate may be necessary for everyone’s safety. Cats have two techniques: avoidance and confrontation (fighting). They will generally avoid confrontation, but a small house or unit doesn’t give them the space to avoid each other all the time. When they do confront, step in before it gets to fighting and move one of the cats away from the other. They usually do not return to confront. You will need patience for a few days, but it will get better. You must make even more fuss than usual of the resident cat - after all, you tell it, “I bought this cat as a friend for you, even though I love it too!
FIP (feline infectious peritonitis
This disease is a mutation from the Corona Virus (not the corona virus that humans can get). Humans cannot contract FCoV from cats. You can read more at www.burmilla-cat.net/health . There is now a treatment for FIP although expensive. If your kitten ever gets a diagnosis of FIP please tell us. We will work with you to give the kitten the best chance of survival and offer support where we can.
Conditions of Sale
Your kitten/cat has been vet checked before sale and found to be in good health. You will be offered a free 30 day Insurance Cover which offers immediate cover. We are no longer responsible for the health of your kitten unless it is a genetic issue, a medical report will be required from your vet. We will not refund monies or be held liable for vet bills as your kitten should be pet health insured. We are also not responsible for any viruses your kitten may acquire as all cats/kittens are prone to viruses and can pick them up anywhere. We are not responsible for any vet bills if you choose to test your kitten for anything. If your cat has a medical issue, please feel free to contact us and we will offer support and help and if need be suggest a second opinion with our vet who knows the history and that of our breeding practices.
Last, but not least!!. I have put my all into breeding a healthy, happy well-adjusted cat, it has been watched carefully by me, I wouldn’t let a cat leave here without being confident it was well. I have given you a set of instructions which to the best of my knowledge and experience is going to give your cat its best chance at a long and healthy life, but at the end of the day, this is a living, breathing being, not a mechanical object, and there are no absolutes or guarantees. I love all my cats, each one leaves here with my hopes and aspirations that as a breeder, I have succeeded in producing a beautiful companion for your enjoyment, to love and to receive love. Enjoy!!