|Just like any other baby, preparations must be made for your kitten's arrival. In
advance you will need to prepare: -
A WARM BED: Which can be bought from a pet shop, or adapted from a plastic storage carton or cardboard
box, lined with a warm blanket or a piece of 'vetbed'. This should be placed in a warm, quiet, draught-free place.
A LITTER TRAY: Which should always be available whether or not your cat goes out and this should always
be kept in the same place. Various types of litter are available, but initially try using the type that the kitten has
been used to. In your kittens case, it is Felipure from Pets Corner stores clumping cat litter which you can order
and have delivered to your door by clicking on the picture to the left. Trays should be cleaned as used, and
thoroughly washed and disinfected at least once a week.
DISHES: A fresh supply of water should always be available. Each cat should have its own food bowl, which
must be made from an easily cleaned material.
A CARRYING BASKET: Is essential for collecting your kitten and also for trips to the vets and boarding
cattery if necessary. There are lots of types, but do not make the mistake of buying one too small. Remember
that little kittens grow into big cats and you'll only end up buying another one in a few months. The best types
are easily cleaned and draught proof. It is not only unsafe, but also against the law to have an unrestrained cat in
a moving vehicle.
Collecting Your Kitten and Settling In
I ask visitors to please take a few simple hygenic precautions in order to prevent the spread of infection. Do not come and
visit me if you have just visited another cattery or household with cats. If you have cats at home, please put on a clean
fresh change of clothing including shoes. If your home cats have not had vaccinations kept up to date, please get that sorted
out two months before you come to visit my kittens. Please note that I am reluctant to home my kittens in an environment
where I suspect they will not be receiving their yearly boosters. Please wash your hands before you leave your home and
don't be offended if I ask all to do the same on entering my cattery. If you are bringing children with you to view/collect
kittens, please explain to them beforehand that they are not to touch or pick up the kittens unless I invite them to. I do my
best to make sure my kittens are all reared in a safe environment, and am also sympathatic to how tempting it is for young
children to want to pick up and cuddle young kittens (I am a mother too!) But please, save me the embarrasment of having
to ask you to return another time without unruly children if I find them handling kittens in a dangerous way, or frightening
the kittens with behaviour that could have a lasting impact on the future confidence of the kittens. Due to the number of
kittens my girls produce, there are several kitten owners wishing to view the kittens so I must ask that you all agree to one
visit only before the collection date. Visits can be arranged by appointment when the kittens have reached the age of 6
Try to arrange to collect your kitten at a weekend or when you have a few days off, as this will allow it plenty of time to
settle in. Your kitten will have had a series of two vaccinations against Feline Infectious Enteritis, Leukaemia and 'Cat Flu',
the last one being given at twelve weeks. Therefore, expect to collect your kitten at 13 weeks old. Remember to take your
cat to the vet's for boosters every twelve months to ensure full protection throughout its life.
I will provide you with his vaccination record, a copy of the kitten's pedigree, a kitten pack and a sheet listing the diet and
feeding times the kitten is used to. If you have any questions concerning care of your new kitten, do ask me and I will be
glad to offer advice. Kittens will be insured, free, with Pet Plan for 4 weeks.
On collection, secure the kitten in the car. Do NOT have the carrier on the seat without a belt securing it! If there is
room, you could also put the carrier safely in the footwell of the car. Expect your kitten to cry for part of the way home.
Do not open the carrier door, but talk soothingly to the baby to reassure it. It is a traumatic drive home for the kitten, as the
baby is not used to traveling in a car and this can be very frightening for it. It will soon fall asleep if you're lucky. Put on
soothing music for yourself!
When you arrive home, make sure that all doors and windows are shut, and that the chimney is blocked. Confine your
kitten to one room until it gains some confidence. Make sure that a litter tray and water are present before opening the
basket. Handling gently, take the kitten from the basket and show it the water and litter tray before letting it explore its new
surroundings. Do not leave the kitten in the care of young children until they know the 'rules'. The kitten must NOT be let
outside at all until it is fully familiar with its new family and surroundings. Expect to keep your kitten indoors for up to six
months.. after neutering is a good time. Make sure younger family members realise how important it is to close doors
behind them to prevent the kitten from going outdoors unsupervised. And take care that doors are not closed onto tails....
Your kitten has spent most of it's early life living in a very busy household. He is used to dogs, visiting children, and the
daily comings and goings of active life. Within this safe and healthy social early life, the kitten will still be nervous of
anything new and will view anything out of the ordinary with caution. Suddenly being in a new, untested environment will
cause some early signs of fear in your new kitten. Loud noises could frighten him, so it is important that young children
understand the need to keep quiet. Babies and toddlers are best in another room until the kitten has gained a little
confidence. He will probably not feel inclined to jump into your lap, purring away, as soon as you bring him home, so give
him space, and time.
If another animal already lives in the house, introductions are best left until the next day when the kitten will feel more
secure. Allow the kitten to explore the house, prior to introductions. This helps both parties to get used to each others
smell. Introductions should be closely monitored, and be prepared for resentment from both sides, especially the
longstanding pet, who may feel his territory threatened. This may take a week or more to pass, and try to be understanding
to the pet, whilst protecting the kitten.
Please take signs of illness seriously. A temporary loss of appetite shouldn't last more than the first day. If you are worried,
then speak to me and if necessary, consult a vet.
FEEDING YOUR KITTEN: Any changes to my recommendations should be made gradually to prevent a stomach upset. Cats
need variety to prevent boredom. Food fads ('my cat only eats fresh chicken,' etc) may result if you allow your pet to only
stick to its most favoured diet, so vary the diet to keep your cats interest up and to ensure good health. Restricted diets can
cause many problems including blindness, poor growth and even premature death.
Because kittens have tiny stomachs they need small, regular frequent meals when young. At three months they require
four meals a day, gradually increasing in size and reducing in frequency until they are eating two meals a day, at about a
year old. However, if you need to leave the house for several hours, your kitten will not suffer as you will have left enough
food to carry him through the day. Cats and kittens are 'grazers' and eat small amounts at each feeding session, returning
to the food dishes often to 'top up'. So if when you put the food dishes down for him and he eats only a small portion then
leaves and goes off to play, don't take up the dishes, as he is very likely to return very shortly for another few mouthfuls
after he has satisfied his manic play urge.
Food available includes:
1: Tinned Pet Foods: Formulated to provide all the necessary nutrients a cat requires. Available in a variety of flavours
and brand names. Judge the quality, but watch out for expensive speciality brands, which may be delicious but a little rich
for kittens and should be given as a treat.
2: Dried Pet Foods: Are indispensible, as they do not deteriorate if left down. There are some excellent complete dry
kitten foods available now that can be used as an only source of food. Wet diets are not the only option available
anymore! A copious supply of water is essential since cats drink more water when eating dried food.
3: Fresh Fish: Must be cooked. White fish is especially good, but feeding too much of certain types, such as tuna, can
cause a serious Vitamen E deficiency.
4: Milk and Eggs. Though milk is a good source of calcium, it can cause diarrhoea in some cats and kittens, and it is
probably better to feed as a treat rather than as part of the standard diet. Your vet will suggest products to supplement
calcium, if necessary. Eggs can be fed either as raw yolks (not whites), or cooked whole (scrambled or egg custard). Your
kitten has not been given supplementary milk so may react badly to this being included in its diet.
5: Fresh Meat: Must be cooked to kill parasites and bacteria, though an occasional treat of raw minced beef shouldn't
cause harm. A large bone to chew is good for teeth but small bones can lodge in the throat and kill, so these should be
removed before feeding.
REMEMBER TO HAVE FRESH WATER AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES
HAZARDS AROUND THE HOME:
General Hazards: Just like young children, every room is full of hazards for the new kitten. Remember things like
unprotected fire, hot baths, cooker hotplates, washing machines, tumble dryers, tops of storage heaters, hot irons, open
windows and doors, unprotected electric cables and even leaving the loo seat up can lead to disaster! Don't do the ironing
when your kitten is around! Also, a friend of mine recently lost a kitten that ate some metalic curly ribbon this Christmas.
The kitten was desperately ill for 10 days before it gave up its brave fight. Beware of curly ribbons!!!
Slug pellets, gardening chemicals and antifreeze are all poisonous. Some disinfectants are also lethal. These include
T.C.P., Jeyes Fluid, Iodine and Dettol. A quick test is not to use disinfectants if they turn white when mixed with water.
Much safer products include Savlon, Milton and Domestos, but make sure that they are properly diluted. Specific pet
disinfectants are available on the market.
Some house and garden plants are also poisonous, and all plants are best put out of reach to prevent mutilation of your
All lilies are absolutely toxic to your cat. He only needs to brush against the pollen, lick the pollen off his fur... and
unfortunately, your cat may not survive long enough to even make it to the vet in time. It is that dangerous. If you MUST
have lilies in your home, make sure you cut off all the stamens and rinse any pollen that may remain on the petals.
THE WORLD OUTSIDE
British Shorthair's enjoy exploring but do not necessarily need the outside world, and only you can decide whether or not to
let your cat go out. Should you decide to let your cat out, do not do so until it has been neutered and is 6 months old.
Even then, it should be closely surpervised until it is fully acquainted with its surrounds, and will respond to your calls from
wherever it is. Choose a time just before a meal, so that it will come back for food. Please don't let your kitten/cat outside
AT ALL if you have not got a safe enclosure in your garden and live near a busy road. I don't sell kittens to homes where
I suspect that they may end their short lives on a road. If you love your cat and live near a road, please don't feel the cat
will not be happy if it can't go outside to hunt and play in your garden... if you provide a stimulating indoors environment
for your cat, he will be just as happy and will live much longer.
Not all people are cat lovers, and for this reason never let your cat out at night or it may not return in the morning. Your
cat should not be let out in semi-darkness or when you are away. An unfortunate reality is the problem with foxes. A fox
will not pass up the opportunity of taking your cat during the night, especially during the spring season when there are cubs
to be fed. This is a more serious problem with 'missing cats' than most people realise. My own personal experiences
taught me this lesson, never to let my cats out at night - at all! And remember, just because your cat goes out during the
day, you should still provide a litter tray in the house. Don't let puss get 'caught short' while you're out shopping!
One last word of warning. If yours is an outdoor cat, be aware that he will learn to hunt and will become very good at it
and will bring you not only the mouse he's bagged in the garden, but also the young fledgling bird or two. If you feel you
MUST put a collar with bells attached to it in order to forewarn our feathered friends, make sure you use only the
emergency release cat collars. I do not use any collars on my cats because I have seen what can, and does too often
happen. Collars can kill your cat.
British Shorthair cats are great fun. They are amusing, affectionate, intelligent, easygoing and very hardy. By following
these few basic steps you should have a companion for many years to come and I hope you enjoy your new friend.
PET INSURANCE AND MICROCHIPPING
All my adult cats are microchipped. I would strongly advise you to have your kitten insured as well. He only has 4 weeks
free insurance, but please take up the annual insurance as most mishaps seem to take place in the first couple years of a
cats life. Please get your kitten microchipped. It could save you an awful lot of worry and heartache if you do so.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to phone me and I will do all I can to help.
SINGIN' THE BLUES