Does My Kitty Need a Pet Carrier
There are ways of getting around this, but sooner or later you will probably find that you need to purchase
a pet carrier so you may as well put it on your initial kitty expenditure list.
That way, when you go to pick up your kitten, you’ll know that you can transport it comfortably home without the kitten being hurt or causing an accident by jumping.
off your lap or out of your arms and distracting the person driving you home – you could even drive yourself if your kitty’s locked up safe and sound in a carrier!
There are many different pet carriers on the market. Choose one that fits your preference but which has enough room for a fully grown cat to be able to stand up and turn around in.
Also choose a pet carrier that allows air to circulate on all four sides, and if possible has a place to add a water dish.
You may not immediately have a need for the water dish but if you purchase a pet carrier that has this feature, you’ll be ready should a need arise during your cat’s lifetime.
If you are buying two kittens, rather than just one, then one pet carrier between them is usually enough. As kittens they’ll be happiest traveling together, and as adult cats you’ll rarely be taking them anywhere at the same time.
When taking your kitty(s) home for the first time, put a layer of newspaper on the bottom of the pet carrier to absorb any “accidents” and place a blanket or towel that they are familiar with on top
of this so that they feel a little secure because they know the smell of the fabric. You should also use this set-up any other time you use the carrier throughout your cat’s life.
There’s a knack to getting your adult cat into a pet carrier that comes with practice (and patience) but kittens will usually just allow themselves to be placed inside without too much resistance.
Where Should Kitty Sleep?
Finding somewhere for your new kitten to sleep is a basic requirement when you first bring kitty home. It also needs to be something you give a lot of thought to before you go to pick the kitten up!
Many people have very strong ideas about this. They don’t want the kitten to sleep anywhere but in its own bed – perhaps a basket that’s been bought especially for it.
They certainly don’t want kitty finding its way into bedrooms or sleeping on sofas/armchairs. Then there are other cat owners who have no intention of segregating their kitty from its human family and allow it to choose where it wants to sleep.
There is no right or wrong decision on this, the only right decision is what’s right for your family. What you do need to do however is make the decision, and the preparations prior to introducing your kitty to its new environment.
If you decide that you want the kitten to sleep in its own bed – either in your bedroom, or in the kitchen or other part of the house
– then you need to ensure you give adequate thought to this. You are bringing into your home a baby cat, a kitty who has just that day been taken from its mother.
It may well be happy to play and be fussed over when people are around, but once everyone goes to bed, kitty’s going to feel very much alone and scared.
If you have a blanket that his mother had been sleeping on and still has her scent, place this in his sleeping basket and it will give him a little security.
Unless you want to give the kitten the idea that it’s ok for it to sleep on your bed, you shouldn’t bring it to bed even on the first few nights when it’s mewing for its momma.
That would be setting a precedent that you will find hard to break once he gets into a habit of sleeping beside you. Instead you need to think about camping out on the floor next to his bed for a few nights until he gets used to his new surroundings.
Should you decide instead that kitty is welcome to sleep in whichever bed he prefers, then you need to take a few safety precautions to ensure that he isn’t suffocated or squished during the night.
Arrange pillows or rolled towels around him to act as a buffer between and him – or if he has a small basket, see if there’s a place this can sit on the bed without being in danger of being kicked off!
Wherever you think the kitty is going to sleep, be prepared to get up and find him somewhere else! Cats in general have a tendency to be opinionated and do their own thing regardless of how it fits into your plans,
so accept this from the get-go, and then if you try to get kitty excited about where you want him to sleep and fail, find a compromise that you can both be happy about!
Does My Kitty Need an ID Tag?
Well the first question really is, where are you going to put it? If you’re talking about kitty as an 8 week old furry babe who’s just arrived in your home, then probably you don’t need one yet.
The purpose of an ID tag is to help to identify your cat should it go missing, and as your new kitty shouldn’t be going outside just yet, then it doesn’t really need an ID tag
– plus you’re also going to have to find somewhere to put it because 8 week old kittens are a little bit small to wear a collar!
Once your kitty is a little bigger and demanding to explore the world outside your home, then it’s time to consider an ID tag. There are many different types you can buy to attach to the kitten’s collar.
These range from classy to fun, and from self-wrote information to engraved. Classy or fun is an open choice, but there are a few things you need to think about with the information – if the tag is engraved, then the information is there permanently
(well until you change it for another one, if you move for instance), but an ID tag where you write the information needs three things
– firstly a permanent ink pen so that the information doesn’t wear off or fade, the information must be clear so that anyone reading it can understand the address or telephone number,
and it must have some form of waterproof covering so that snow, rain and puddle damage can’t erode the information.
Another thing you could consider is having your vet implant an ID chip into your kitty. He could do this when undertaking a routine examination or perhaps taking out stitches after your kitten has been neutered.
ID chipping means that there’s no possibility of your cat losing its collar and becoming ID-less, all anyone needs to do is take the kitty to the nearest authorities and they’ll be able to scan him and have you traced in the least possible time.
There are those who love the ID chip implant idea, and those who hate it, and there’s no right and wrong decision, it’s very much up to you.
The only thing to remember is that cats, especially kittens, sometimes need a little help getting back home, and so once your kitty is mobile enough to be outdoors, he really should have an ID tag that speaks for him.
Three Steps to Reduce Holiday Stress for Your Kitty
The annual holidays can be a very stressful time for your cat. This is the time of the year when that strange tree goes up, bright trinkets are hung (but all your cat hears is
“No, no, bad kitty!” when she tries to explore them), delicious food is prepared (cats need not apply to eat it!), and lots of strange people come tramping into the house.
Some cats are in their glory, being in the middle of the tree decoration tradition, while others react to differences in the household by cowering in fear.
Plus, if the holidays stress you out (raise your hand if they don’t; the rest of us would like to know your secret), it’ll be communicated to kitty, and she may react in kind. And sometimes that fear and stress manifests itself in your cat urinating outside her litter box.
Here are three steps you can do to reduce holiday stress for your cat.
First, keep the household changes to a minimum. Think about where you might put the Christmas tree. If you put the tree in a place that normally belongs to kitty, she could be mighty upset with you.
Her reaction could range from hiding for days to urinating underneath the tree, if not trying to pull it down. Look for a location that pleases both the human and animal population in your house. If that’s not possible, and knowing how cats can be, you’ll have to settle for pleasing one or the other.
My bet is it’s whoever pays the bills.
My cat Scout thinks the Christmas tree is a new litter box location. She’ll urinate on the tree cover. That’s a treat to clean! I have to keep a plastic liner under the tree to facilitate the clean up.
I make double certain to keep all the litter boxes clean, but she feels a need to express herself creatively at this time of the year. It’s her way to contributing to the tree decorating tradition.
Next, if you own a scaredy kitty, confine her to a safe room when hosting holiday events in your home. If possible, confine your kitty in a place that guests won’t stumble in.
Put her food, water, and a clean litter box in the room. Stop in from time to time to reassure her that it’s alright. If there aren’t adequate hiding spots in her room, think about putting a box or large paper bag in with her, and encourage her to burrow in it.
Finally, purchase some natural flower essence compounds to put in her food or water all during the holiday season.
There are several good remedies that are recommended for situational stress. Add a few drops in kitty’s food or water twice a day, and you’ll see results within 24 hours.
Flowering essences are also safe for human consumption, so if you’re contemplating a fall into insanity, take a few drops yourself!
You can also purchase synthetic hormone substances that come pre-packaged in a bottle that plugs into any electrical outlet in your home.
This remedy lasts approximately a month.
Good luck, and happy holidays to you and your family – humans and animals!
Do I Need Pet Health Insurance for My Kitty?
Pet healthcare insurance is a red hot topic. Is it necessary? Well the first thing you need to know, especially if you’ve never owned a pet before this new kitty that’s just joined your family,
is that veterinary clinics cost a lot of money! This implies that pet healthcare insurance is a good idea, but wait – don’t go signing that agreement just yet!
Before committing to a particular healthcare plan for your kitten, make sure that you collect a number of different leaflets from various companies.
Then spend a couple of hours reading through each one and if possible, create yourself a table that lists the types of benefits down the side and the names of the insurance companies along the top.
You should also leave space at the bottom of each insurance company’s column to write in anything “not covered by policy”,
this could include specific chronic conditions such as allergies, diabetes and asthma. Complete the table as you read the leaflets.
Once you know what each insurance covers, and how much the cost, and more importantly what their policy doesn’t cover, you can start to see which policy(s) stand out from the rest as being good possibilities.
Before you sign up for anything check on the internet for any reviews the company has for its pet insurance. Just because offer a fantastic house insurance, or retirement planning package,
doesn’t mean they will pay for whatever illness you kitten may have throughout its life! See what other people who have used them as healthcare insurance for their cats have to say.
Finally, read the small print. Will they cover your kitty for the same amounts and same illnesses throughout her entire life, or will it change as she gets older?
That is to say, when she starts to have health issues, will the insurance company still have the same good benefits and prices or will there be exemptions and higher excesses for you to pay once she really needs the insurance.
You may decide that it’s worth the peace of mind just to insure your kitty anyway, but at least you know that things are going to get more expensive as she gets older
– or you could simply decide to ignore the insurance (routine annual check-ups and shots are excluded from the policy anyway) and financially commit the same amount of money to a special account each month, and use that only when kitty has extra healthcare needs.
Do I Need to Bathe My New Kitty?
No, is the short answer you’ll be relieved to know. However, it’s a “no” that comes with a proviso. Your kitty may be a little bit too small to bathe now,
but it’s never too soon to start getting it used to an idea it’s going to hate when it gets a little older and you have the flea shampoo ready!
The best way to bathe your cat is with patient preparation – and the time to start preparing kitty is as soon as it moves into your home.
You won’t be using the bath, but you can get him used to the procedure so that once the real thing starts to happen, he isn’t going to get a shock.
Prepare a bowl that’s big enough to bath a half-grown cat. The first couple of times, don’t put any water in it. Just put the dish on the floor in the bathroom,
assemble items you would use in the event that you were actually bathing him such as shampoo, towel, comb, towel plus have a warm (not hot) damp face cloth to hand.
Put the kitten into the dish so that he’s standing, and firmly hold him there. Talk softly and reassuring to him. Stroke him from head down then along his body and up to the top of his tail.
When he’s used to you doing that, take the face cloth in the same hand and do the same only with the damp face cloth touching his fur, constantly talking to him in a gentle reassuring voice.
After a few weeks, have a little bit of luke warm water – just covering the bottom of the dish – for him to stand in, and hold him firm whilst talking reassuringly until he gets used to the feeling. After a few more weeks, raise the water so that it just covers the top of his paws.
It may seem like a lot of work but most cats are terrified of water, and so spending this growing/learning time with your kitten will ensure that when it comes to doing the
“real deal” bathing, your cat is going to have some positive experiences to fall back on, and it shouldn’t be such a traumatic exercise for either of you.
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