Care Instructions - Female
Take Home Instructions for Kitten Female
Please keep kitten in your bedroom for at least 2 weeks. A litter box can be kept in your bathroom/bedroom along with her food. By keeping her in your room, she will become attached to you and feel secure in a smaller area. Don’t force her to interact with you. Offer to play with her and offer treats. Playing is ALWAYS an ice-breaker with cats. Remember, she may be shy because she is not used to being away from home and her littermates and this is the only home she has ever known. Sit on the floor and play with her while on your lap using toys to capture her attention. This is really a good way to bond. Don’t stand up over your kitten and try to play. You’ll look like a big monster to her and she will be frightened. Getting down on her level makes you much more approachable. Give lots of love and you will have the most wonderful pet you could ever imagine!
After the 2 weeks period, open your bedroom door and let her explore on her own. Keep your door open in case something frightens her and she will have your room as her refuge. Gradually introduce her to other pets if you have them. A good idea would be to provide each animal with a blanket or cloth the other has slept on. That way they will know the others scent.
I feed Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Liver Entrée kitten wet cat food mix with a little bit of warm water, and a mix of Royal Canin Kitten and Iams Proactive Health Hairball dry food. I will provide you with some of both. Fresh water should always be available. Consider giving distilled or bottled water instead of tap water to help reduce the chances of urinary tract infections and crystals. It is best to use stainless steel or crockery water and food dishes. Using plastic dishes can cause chin acne. Bowls should be washed with hot soapy water once a day.
I use Cat’s Pride Fresh & Lite Fragrance-Free litter but you can use whatever you like, but first start with this one and gradually change it to the one of your preference. I prefer open litter boxes, but you could use closed ones as well if you prefer. Please scoop litter boxes daily. Cats are meticulous creatures and don’t like to use a dirty potty any more than you do. A good rule of thumb for cats and their litter boxes: one cat, two boxes; two cats, three boxes; three cats, four boxes, etc.
Toys are very important for kittens and cats. They’ll love the toys you buy them, and the toys they pick out for themselves – your pens, your papers, the toilet paper, etc. It provides them with the mental stimulation they need so they don’t become bored. Catnip mice (little cloth ones) are a favorite, crocheted “worms”, balls, etc. Teasers (sticks with strips of mylar, little bits of cloth or birds on the end of them) are favorites. There is a ring with a ball and a scratching pad in the center that seems to be a favorite, even my adult cats love it. Two cats is always a good option. Something as simple as a piece of balled up paper will provide hours of entertainment.
Vaccinations – There is much controversy over intra-nasal vs. sub-q vaccinations. There is a risk of injection site sarcomas when vaccinating a cat with a needle (sub-q) and with the intra-nasal vaccine there are side effects such as runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Some say the intra-nasal vaccine does not provide adequate protection from upper respiratory infections. Talk to your vet for his/her advice about which vaccine to use. You will be responsible for the kitten’s rabies vaccine. Kittens are tested for FeLV and FIV before leaving my home. I NEVER give vaccinations nor recommend them against FeLV and FIV because there is such a high risk of developing the disease from the vaccine. When cats are kept indoors all of their lives there is no risk of contracting this disease. I will not guarantee the health of a cat if it is vaccinated for FeLV or FIV.
Your Birman cat should be combed and/or brushed at least once a week. You will remove loose hairs, keeping them off your furniture and carpets and out of her digestive system. Use a grooming comb with rolling metal teeth or a metal brush with little balls on the ends. They also enjoy a brittle brush and it will help to distribute oils nicely. Use a slicker brush after combing or brushing and then a quick wipe with a damp washcloth will remove those stragglers that cling to the coat. Clip claws every two weeks. Remember to clip the dewclaw as well.
Please provide a scratching post. Cats love them and it will save your furniture. It needs to be tall enough for her to stretch out completely. This is necessary for proper muscle development. If you furnish your kitty with a good post and keep her nails trimmed, you probably will have no difficulty with your furnishings. You can get one at PetSmart, Petco, or Amazon. Should kitty show a penchant for using her claws on a certain spot, put some two-sided tape over it for a while. They do not like the sticky feeling and will not use that spot. If you cannot find it easily, many of the cat’s catalogs carry a product called “Sticky Paws” which is used for that purpose.
Please call me or e-mail me at any time with any questions or concerns. There is no silly question. I am always available for you.