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Choose your veterinarian before your kitten comes home.

*Get a scratching post to minimize damage to your furniture.

*Remember that kittens are excellent jumpers and climbers.

When you first bring your kitten home, it can be a big change - for you and them. To make the experience better for everyone, there are some things you can do before your kitten arrives.

 

NEW OWNERS INFORMATION

Recommended Food for your kitten

Feeding Your Kitten We feed raw chicken or beef human mince mixed with wet food from the supermarket so Whiskas, Felix or Home brand etc. NO PET MINCE as it is full of preservatives which will make your kitten sick. We feed Friskies dry food and water available 24/7. A wet food mix should be fed am & pm. Kittens teeth from 4-12 months of age and will benefit from a fresh raw chicken neck or wing. Never feed cats cooked bones as they splinter in their intestines causing big problems. To feed one kitten buy a 500gm of mince and divide into feed portions of about 100gms. Freeze in snack packs, defrost and mix one sachet of wet food into the mince portion and feed. You may find your kitten eats all of it in one meal or may leave some. That can be refrigerated and offered for the evening feed. Throw away any left overs. If you have other animals the kitten will need to be isolated so you ensure they eat. We do NOT recommend milk for kittens TO CHANGE YOUR KITTENS DIET IT MUST BE DONE GRADUALLY OVER A COUPLE OF WEEKS. FEED WHAT WE HAVE BEEN FEEDING FOR AT LEAST 2 WEEKS BEFORE CHANGING.

What equipment you'll need

Its a good idea to have a collection of the basics before your new kitten arrives. All these items are available at specialty pet stores, eBay, through your vet online. The right food is vital, as is somewhere to eat and drink, and a place to sleep, things to play with and a litter box.

Safety first:

Kittens are curious creatures and that curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble. Here are a few simple tips to help keep them safe.

  • Kittens will chew on anything when teething. Keep electric wires wrapped or hidden away to keep your kitten safe.

  • Restrict access to upper floors and outdoor areas like balconies.

  • Check if any of your plants are poisonous. Certain plants, such a lilies are highly toxic to cats. Be sure to ask your vet or google for a list of poisonous plants.

  • Put away all small objects that could be swallowed such as elastic bands, hair ties and drawing pins.

  • Use covered rubbish bins and keep toilet lids down.

Separate food and water dishes:

Its worth paying a little more for stainless steel bowls. You will find they are more durable and easier to clean. Ensure there are two bowls and make sure one has clean water and the other dry food available for your kitten at all times.

Toys:

Play is the way a lot of young animals learn and kittens are no exception. There are plenty of toys you can buy to encourage this behaviour. Only use toys specifically designed for kittens and cats as these will be more durable and safe.

Bedding:

Kittens need a lot of sleep when they are young - its essential for their development. Ensure your new kitten has plenty of comfortable bedding around the house to sleep in, with a few beds up high.

Scratching Post:

Cats love to scratch. Its a good idea to give them a purpose built scratching post or indoor cat tree if you want to keep your curtains and furniture safe. You can encourage them t use the scratching post by spraying it with Catnip. Ensure you don't get a huge tree to start of with or only half build the tree until your kitten becomes accustomed to the height. Always place trees on a carpeted surface not a hard surface which can cause injuries if the kitten falls.

Litter box:

Make sure your litter box is the right size for your kitten, so they can use it without making a mess. Cats are naturally clean animal and prefer to have their litter at least 2 meters away form food and water dish>

Its essential to have a scoop on hand t remove mess at the start and end of each day, and replace the litter every 1_2 days. If yo want to reduce odour and litter being kicked out to the box, consider a covered litter box by start with the lid off until your kitten is used to using the box. If you have multiple cats, you will need separate trays in the separate areas for each cat.

When your kitten first arrives:

**Be patient - kittens need a few days to settle

**Always supervise all introductions to other pets and children

**Be gentle - kittens require gentle handling at all times

When your kitten first arrives, it is important to get the details right to help them settle into your home. Your kitten will be experiencing a multitude of new sights, sound and smell. Remember to be patient and let them explore their new environment and adjust gradually. Don't forget, they've left their litter mates and the only home they know. Its normal they'll be a bit frightened at first.

Things to remember:

  • Choose a quiet room for your kitten to spends its first few days in. This allows them to adjust to their new environment gradually. Set up their litter tray, food and water in this room to make adjusting easier.

  • Supervise your kitten when you allow them access to other areas of your home. Kittens are inquisitive and it is amazing what hazards they can quickly uncover.

  • Be mindful your new kitten may be stressed and cry a little their first few nights as they adjust to their new environment.

  • Handle kittens with care - sudden movement or rough handling can be frightening. The best way to pick up your kitten is to slide an open hand under their tummy as you other hand supports their rear end.

Introducing your kitten to the family:

**Ensure children respect the kitten and are always supervised

**Keep your dog calm and on a lead when they meet your kitten

**Expect it to take time for your existing cat to adjust to your new kitten

Let your kitten meet the rest of the family in stages - all at once can be overwhelming. When you introduce your kitten to the children other pets and family members, there a few things to keep in mind.

  • Always supervise young children and pets

  • Teach children how to safely approach the kitten. It sis best that children don't pick up the kitten unless shown how to do so safely.

  • Encourage children to use toys to play with the kitten - this keeps the play enjoyable for everyone and is great bonding experience.Always supervise interactions between your existing dog and your new kitten. Ensure the kitten is allowed to approach the dog as it feels comfortable. Don't force contact between the kitten and your dog.

  • Cats are territorial creatures, so your existing cat may take some time to adjust to a new kitten. Ensure each cat has a safe area or space to escape to when the are feeling unsure.

Diet and Nutrition

Cats are different:

**Cats need different food to humans and have very specific requirements

**Cats prefer to eat small portions throughout the day, averaging 16-20 small meals per day.

**Sudden dietary change can lead to digestive upsets.

Despite the close bond between humans and cats, they have different needs when it comes to nutrition. Cats are carnivores; our bodies have evolved to digest a combination of meat and vegetable matter. The nutrients they require in their diet to remain healthy therefore are very different to ours.

Another way cats differ from us is how they determine their preference for food. the perception of taste is strong in humans, however cats have approximately 95% less taste buds than we do. As their sense of taste is not as refined, cats decide whether they like a food based on it smell and texture.

Feeding your kitten:

**Always follow the feeding guidelines on you kitten food packaging

**Cows milk is not suitable to kittens

**Make sure they have fresh water at all times

**Monitor your kittens weight regularly

The first year of your kittens life is when they do most of their growing, so it is essential during this time and a good quality diet will help their development too. By feeding them properly during this time and continuing to do so throughout their adult life you can help set them up for along, healthy life.

Avoid overfeeding:

Kittens should continue to gain weight, however kittens don't grow well. Review the feeding guidelines recommended on your kittens food packaging and carefully measure these serving accordingly. as kittens prefer to eat smaller meals over the course of the day, allow your kitten access to food all day if possible.

Diet transition:

When changing your kitten or cats diet, make sure you gradually mix the food over a  day period, increasing the amount of the new food added each day so that 100% of the new food will be provided by day seven. This will avoid any digestive stress and diarrhoea. Its important to remember that food transitioning should be done with any and all diet changes your kitten or cat goes through at any stage in their life. 

Make sure water is always available:

Your kitten must always have access to a bowl of fresh clean water, and preferably have several water bowls around your home. Circle K kittens are renowned for liking to play in water, we thoroughly recommend cat water fountains.

The science of nutrition:

**A veterinarian or pet care professional can advise you on the best diet for your kitten.

**precise, balance nutrition is important for the entire lifetime of your cat.

A kittens diet not only has to supply them with energy, gut it also has to build and maintain the body's digestion, growth and encourage vitality as they mature.

It your kitten is not fed a balanced growth diet, they could suffer from major nutritional deficiencies or excesses, resulting in developmental issues and potentially even long term damage to their health. Be veterinarian will be able to recommend  an appropriate diet.

The two stages of growth:

Birth to four months;

The first four months of a kittens life involves an intense growth spurt. Its also a time that they are prone to digestive upsets as they lose their capacity to digest lactose and are weaned. A mistake commonly make during this stage is to feed your kitten cows mill, which is not suitable for kittens an can cause diarrhoea.

Four to twelve months;

Between four to twelve months, the energy needs to reduce gradually as the kitten approaches its adult size. During this time kittens also shed their milk teeth which are replaced by permanent adult teeth. Their digestive system is also gradually maturing an is more able to cope with solid food.

YOUR KITTENS CURRENT DIET:

  • Morning and evening wet feed

  • fresh raw human grade chicken mince mixed with tinned cat food at a ratio of 75%mince and 25% tin food.

  • Quality kitten dry food available at all times

  • A small amount of cooked rice, quick oats or roo mince can be added for variety and fibre.

Behavior and training

Litter training:

Many kittens learn how to use the litter tray by watching their mother. They became familiar with the type of litter used from a young age. To maximize the success of litter training, ensure you continue to use the litter type the kitten has previously used and if you choose to change the litter type, do it gradually. 

*Currently using Breeders Choice paper pellets or Max's Rice hull granules.

Playtime:

**Never disturb a sleeping kitten

**Play encourages the brain development of your kitten

**Playtime is a great way to bond with your kitten

Kittens explore their environment, develop physical capabilities and exercise through play. They love to run, climb, jump and pounce. High perches like tables, cupboards, shelves and sofa backs all offer great potential as part of their playground. Being up high helps them feel secure as it provides vantage points to survey their surroundings.

Kittens can occasionally become rough during play and begin to bite and scratch - it is important to not contunue to play with them in this way and instead, cease your interation with them. Always use yous in place of hands and feed to avoid this becoming acceptable as they mature.

Socialisation:

The first four weeks of life for your kitten are spent in social contact with their mother and litter mates. Positive social interactions in these first few weeks of life has been shown to affect how sociable the kitten is when it is mature. This socialisation should continue as they grow and develop, and the crucial period is between 2-7 weeks of age.

When your new kitten arrives home it is important to set the kitten up for success by preventing access to areas where they can cause trouble and ensure all interactions at home with people, other animals and inanimate objects are positive and stress free.

Grooming:

**Kittens and cats spend up to 30% of their waking time grooming themselves

**Brushing your cat can help keep their coat shiny and healthy

**Trim your cats nails regularly

Kittens usually start grooming themselves at around 15 days old. Along with sleeping, grooming is one of your kittens top priorities. They use their rough tongue to clean themselves,, but they also use their front and rear paws. Some cats have a high maintenance or long haired coat and may need your assistance with grooming.

Brushing and combing:

**Get your kitten used to being brushed at a young age

**Long and medium haired cats should ideally be brushed daily

**Finish each brush with a cuddle and qa quick game tomake it a positive experience

Difference in coats:

Short haired cats are usually only need a groom once a week, whereas medium to long haired cats will benefit from a daily  brush. Start brushing at a you g age can help your kitten adjust to the experience and make it easier as they grow older. Before you brush, it can be a good idea to massage against the hair direction to remove dead hair and stimulate their skin. The type of brush you use will depend on the coat, your veterinarian or pet groomer will be able to advice on the best brush for your cat.

When cats groom themselves they swallow quite a bit of hair. This hair is normally eliminate from the body in the stools. But sometimes the fur balls up in the stomach and is vomited up as a hair ball. Long haired cats swallow far more hair and seem to have more trouble with hairballs. There are diets specifically formulated with certain fibers to help prevent hair balls form forming and to support digestive health.

Nails

Clipping your kittens claws:

Its important to get your kitten used to having their claws clipped at a young age. If claws get too long they can get stuck, snagged or even pulled out, which could result in an injury. Clipping doesn't hurt if its done properly and can be done at home, at your local vet clinic or through professional grooming service. Be sure if you plan to trim your cats nails that you do one claw at a time and use s dedicated nail clipper. Your vet can show how to trim you cats nails safely.

Tips:

  • Start by choosing a comfortable spot, and place the kitten on your knees. Press lightly on the footpad to extend the claw.

  • Clip the white tip of the calw withour going close to the edge of the pink triangle. If you're unsure or uncomfortable you vet can do this for you.