Welcome home your new cat or kitten
This information has been taken from our welcome home leaflet and gives you lots of useful tips when bringing home your new companion. Remember that it might have been a stressful time for your new cat or kitten and sometimes it's taken months to nurse a neglected cat back to health and happiness before they're well enough to be re-homed; it’s important that you and your new cat, or kitten, get off to a good start.
ARRIVING HOME WITH YOUR CAT
Keep your cat to a confined area with doors closed until they have settled in. Have a litter tray ready in a private corner before you let them out of the carrier. Keep their bed, water, and feeding bowl away from draughts so that they can begin to recognise: “This is my home and a safe place to be”. Close bedroom doors because a timid cat will initially want to hide under a bed, behind kitchen units, or some other dark, secretive place. Be aware of windows and please keep them secured! Your cat needs to be kept indoors for at least four weeks, (kittens much longer).
ARRIVING HOME WITH YOUR KITTEN
On arrival, let the kitten inspect their new home. Show them their litter tray, water, and bed, and stay with them, keeping their attention until they settle. DON’T LEAVE THEM ON THEIR OWN. Offer your kitten a little food and generally keep an eye on them until they tire and go to sleep. Don’t let anybody pull them around; your kitten has senses and emotions and is a living creature, not a toy! Your kitten might be frightened and distressed after leaving its mum and siblings so lots of gentle cuddles and tender loving care are needed. Give your kitten a cuddly toy to snuggle up to at night and make sure they are warm. Playing before bedtime will ensure a better night for your kitten.
EATING AND FEEDING
The fosterer will have discussed with you the food your cat or kitten has been receiving. It’s important not to change a cat or kitten’s diet suddenly. If you choose another diet, it is important that this is mixed-in gradually. Any sudden change in diet can cause diarrhoea which puts your cat or kitten at risk of dehydration. Dehydration is extremely dangerous, especially in a small animal, and may require veterinary treatment.
IMPORTANT Please ensure fresh water is always available.
Feeding your adult cat:
(Unlike dogs and humans,) cats are ‘obligate carnivores’ and require a diet based on meat protein. Twice a day, (or continuously,) we recommend that your adult cat is fed on a complete, balanced-nutrition, dry feed; such as James Wellbeloved, Hills, Royal Canin, or Iams. Morning and evening, feed your cat wet food and supplement with dried kibble. We don't recommend a diet consisting of just wet food because it can stick to your cat’s teeth and could eventually cause dental problems. Likewise, a diet based solely on dried kibble could cause kidney problems in later life. If you choose to give small pieces of cooked meat or fish please check for bones. We don’t advise giving processed meat, or meat containing salt or onions.
Feeding your kitten
Up until 6 months of age, your kitten needs a complete, balanced-nutrition, dry feed, formulated for kittens. Your kitten can be fed continuously, or four times per day. As your kitten grows, their appetite will increase so, if they cry, asking for more, give more. Kittens will not over feed themselves – they will go back to their food as required but, if you should choose to feed wet or fresh food, do not leave it down for long, especially in a warm room, due to spoilage.
NEVER give cow’s milk to cats or kittens, they may love the taste but cannot digest it; the lactose sugar painfully ferments in their tummies, even causing diarrhoea.
THE LITTER TRAY
Just like us, cats and kittens like their ‘toilet’, or litter tray, to be out of the way of people, intrusions, and noise; somewhere with a degree of ‘privacy’! But while, at first, their food and water needs to be close-by, please place litter trays carefully to avoid their contamination.
Litter needs to be regularly replaced and the tray and scoop sterilised. Boiling water is perhaps the least-toxic way to clean a litter tray and scoop. Please ensure that any disinfectant products used are allowed to dry thoroughly otherwise they may pose a risk to your cat.
THE FIRST OUTING
You must not let your cat outside for at least four weeks, kittens even longer. Your cat needs to have worked-out their home territory, by scent and by creating a mental map influenced by the sun and stars. This must be ‘imprinted’ or your cat will simply become lost again. However much he or she may ask to be let out, the answer must be “NO”!
After four weeks, let your cat out firstly when you are going to be around for a while and not in a hurry and secondly before they’ve been fed. This will encourage your cat not to venture too far at first.
Importantly: don’t carry your cat outside! Let them explore by themselves. If they don’t, they won’t be able to scent their territory (with their cheeks and paw pads) making it familiar to themselves. Give them plenty of time.
Always keep your cat inside after dark; most cats are killed, injured, or stolen, during the hours of darkness!
REGISTERING WITH A VET
Don’t forget to register your new pet with your local vet. They will be able to advise on vaccinations and parasite control. We will have treated your new cat or kitten for fleas and intestinal worms – but this will be a life-long issue requiring regular treatments. These should be discussed with your vet and continued as your vet directs. Your vet will want to see the medical card so remember to take it with you to the first appointment.
COLLARS & MICROCHIPS
If you intend to put a collar on your cat please ensure that it has a quick-release ‘safety buckle’, to avoid injury, this will release immediately if it becomes caught on something, or twisted on the cat. A small tag needs to carry your phone number/address or possibly that of your vet. Please remember that all our cats and kittens are micro-chipped which means that any vet or animal charity can scan them to identify them.
REMEMBER: the micro-chip contact details, you gave us at the time of adoption, are logged and are the only means of contacting you. It is essential that you inform PetLog if you should move house or change your phone number – otherwise they simply cannot contact you if your pet were lost, and found.
All our cats & kittens will have benefitted from sessions with Kim our IAZ practitioner. She’ll contact you over the next few days to arrange a convenient time to carry out one final session to ensure your new cat or kitten has the best possible start in settling into their new life with you.
We hope that this information has helped you with any initial questions you may have. Be aware that in the early days of your cat’s/kitten’s arrival home, they might be stressed. This may lead to minor symptoms such as sniffles, runny eyes, or diarrhoea which, providing your cat is otherwise active and healthy, may be of no consequence in the short term.
BUT, if symptoms persist over more than 2 or 3 days or your cat/kitten stops eating and becomes lethargic, then don’t hesitate to contact us IMMEDIATELY on 07504 129955