Cats and How to Properly Handle Kittens
When you collect your kitten, ask what brand and flavor food she’s used to. Stick to that for at least a week or so; before thinking about changing her diet. Then do so gradually.
She’ll need a food bowl, and another for water. Choose between plastic, china and metal; china and metal are harder for a kitten to tip over. Or chase around the floor.
Cats sleep where they want; you can buy your kitten a bed. But there’s no guarantee that she’ll use it! If you decide to get a bed, it must be easy to clean; with no rough or sharp edges.
You can make a cat bed by cutting a ‘U’ shaped entrance into a cardboard box; lined with blanket to make it snug. Or, for a kitten or small cat; use a plastic washing up bowl padded with a blanket. Grooming You’ll need a bristle brush and a comb. A fine-toothed comb is best for short-haired cats. But long-haired cats will need a wide-toothed comb. A rubber brush is good for all cats; it removes loose hairs; and gives your pet a nice body massage.
You’ll need a secure carrier to take your pet to the vet. Or to the boarding cattery. The wire type or the box-shaped plastic types are good choices.
Cat toys needn’t be expensive. Or even cost anything at all. But they must be safe. Scratching posts will help stop your kitten from clawing the furniture. You can buy one. Perhaps you can make your own from a wooden post fixed to a heavy base; and covered with sisal rope or carpet. Most cats like to scratch vertically; rather than horizontally.
If you get your kitten a collar, make sure it’s the quick-release type; so that she can slip out of it if she gets caught or snagged. A tag or ID barrel with your address and phone number will identify her if she gets lost; or has an accident. If your cat doesn’t wear a tag, it’s even more essential for her to have another form of ID; such as a microchip.
Litter tray and litter
Even if your cat goes outside when she’s older; she’ll need a litter tray for the first few weeks. You can buy a simple plastic tray. Or one that is covered with a ‘hood’; to help stop your kitten kicking litter all over the floor. Shy cats may also prefer a covered tray.
If you see your kitten walking around the room meowing anxiously, or crouching; she may want to use her litter tray. If your kitten is allowed outside, she’ll probably decide that earth is nicer for digging than cat litter. You can encourage her to toilet outdoors; by gradually moving the litter tray a little nearer to the door. Or cat flap each day.
Litter training tips
Cats are naturally clean, and your kitten will probably be litter trained when you bring her home. Just provide a litter tray; with a good, diggable layer of litter, somewhere quiet and away from her food, water and bed. Cats will refuse to toilet near their eating or sleeping places. If your kitten isn’t totally litter trained when you bring her home; encourage her to use the tray by placing her in it immediately; after she’s eaten. As well as when she wakes up. Praise her when she uses it. She’ll avoid using her tray if it’s dirty and smelly.
Use a litter scoop to remove solid waste as soon as possible. Also, change the litter in the tray as directed on the packet. Give your kitten the type of litter she’s used to when you first bring her home. If you want to use a different type later; mix a little more of the new litter in with the old kind each time you clean the tray. At least until you are using only the new brand.
Always wear rubber groves when cleaning the litter tray. Pregnant women should leave this task to someone else. This is because of the possibility of picking up Toxoplasmosis; which could harm the unborn baby.