For the owner of a British Shorthair kitten!
Here you can find information that will be useful to you. Don't neglect this knowledge, it will help you be a responsible owner of your little kitten.
1. Cat Food
Growing kittens need cat food that is specially formulated for their developmental stage — the “kitten” or growth life stage. Kittens need certain nutrients to grow strong bones and muscles, to feed their developing brains, and to build their immune systems without overdoing it on the calorie count.
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2. Cat Treats
Cat treats are highly useful in a variety of situations: distracting kitty at the vet, getting them ready for a nail trim, or even training them for basic tricks (yes, you can train a cat to sit!). Just make sure you keep the pieces small and not allow cat treats to account for more than 10 percent of your cat's total daily calories. It’s easy to overfeed cats when they are so tiny to begin with, so choose your treat portions accordingly.
3. Cat Toys
Cats are naturally inquisitive, and a basket of cat toys will give them something to keep them occupied while sparing your shoelaces and calves from the ministrations of a bored kitten. Toys with feathers, crunchy fillings, and catnip are very popular. Try a few different types to see which kind your cat prefers. And don’t forget to get a scratching post or two — scratching is normal cat behavior, and training your cat to use a post early in life can spare your furniture down the road.
Cats crave comfortable and secure snoozing spots. While a cat bed isn’t considered a necessity, most cats love having a soft space all their own. In addition to the standard pillow-like cat bed, there are elevated cat beds and cat beds integrated with cat trees to satisfy the feline’s natural desire for using vertical space.
5. Litter Box
Choosing a litter box is one of the most underrated decisions you will make as a cat owner. Covered or open litter box? Manual or automatic litterbox? Scented or unscented litter box? While many people choose litter boxes (and cat litter) based on their own preferences, it’s vital to keep in mind that your cat’s preferences are the deciding factor in whether or not he or she will use it. Also, if you have more than one cat, you should have extra litter boxes to avoid problems. The rule of thumb is to have n + 1 box in the house, where n = the number of cats.
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6. Cleaning Supplies
Cats are generally fastidious, but they can get sick or make messes just like everyone else. There are plenty of cleaning supplies on the market depending on your flooring and your preferences. Choose a product labeled "pet safe" to ensure the product is non-toxic when ingested. Enzymatic cleaners, which specifically break down proteins such as the ones found in urine, are very helpful for those house training and spraying incidents.
7. Cat Leash/Harness
Yes, cats can be trained to walk outside on a leash and harness. In fact, many find this a wonderful way for a young kitten to explore the outdoors in a safe manner. Of course, it's ultimately up to you.
8. Cat Collar
A cat collar, meanwhile, can hold ID tags but should not be attached to a leash. In most cases, a collar that expands is the safest for inquisitive cats to prevent accidental strangulation.
9. Cat Carrier
Don’t forget a solid, comfortable cat carrier, too. Your kitten will spend a good deal of time shuttling back and forth to the vet during those first few months. Make the trip pleasant by investing in a well-ventilated, easy-to-open, and close, the secure carrier with padding inside. Your cat — and your vet — will thank you.
10. Veterinarian Contact Info
Finally, and most importantly, before you bring that new kitty home, make sure you have established a relationship with a veterinarian. Your new four-legged bundle of fur will require ongoing care and advice from a veterinarian. Don't be afraid to ask questions, either! A veterinarian can help you make decisions about several things, including vaccinations, neutering, and diet based on what is best for your new kitten!
11. How to socialize your kitten?
Patient owners with time to work with them daily. This “work” will involve lots of gentle handling and play with interactive toys. You don’t have to be home all day, but the kitten does need focused attention when you are home. Routine and consistency do wonder.
A small safe place at first. This can be a small quiet room or a bathroom. This will help your kitty adjust to you and her new home gradually. A larger space will be overwhelming for her, and she will find spaces to hide that may not be easy to access. So help her out and give her a little safe place to hide. When she’s used to you, you can gradually increase her living space (see “Tips” below).
A relatively quiet home will be easier to adjust to for a scared kitten. A household with multiple people, especially if includes transitory people as do many roommate situations, is going to be more difficult for this type of kitten.
What About Children?
These kitties tend to be better matched for homes with no young children, since children do not have the patience required to bring them out of their shells, and may scare them with loud noises and sudden movements. Older children, over the age of five, are usually fine if counseled as to appropriate ways of handling the new member of the family. The household should be a relatively quiet one in terms of noise and movement though. Too much foot traffic would be overwhelming for a scared kitty.
What About Other Cats?
As with any new kitten or cat that you take home, you should make the introduction to your resident cat gradually. Cats are territorial animals and need time and space to adjust to changes in their territory. Generally speaking, it takes at least a few weeks to successfully integrate a new cat into your household. However, the presence of a more outgoing, cat social cat can be helpful for a fearful kitten if they’re interested in interacting with the new cat.
Tips on Socializing Kittens:
Confine to a small room with a litterbox, food and water, and a few safe hiding places that you can access easily. You don’t want to chase the kitty all over the room- and reaching under a bed can be hard- so make sure the only “hiding places” available to the kitten are ones that you can reach into easily (such as a carrier with a towel or blanket inside). Cardboard boxes work really well for this, as well. Hiding is a coping mechanism for cats and it’s important to provide your fearful kitten with safe hiding spaces. If possible, have a radio or TV playing in the room, this can acclimate her to “normal” noise and work as white noise to block out any scary sounds coming from other places in the house.
Move slowly and talk softly when approaching the kitten. Get down closer to her level when possible. Don’t force her to interact if she’s not ready, work with toys and wet food well before you try to pet her or pick her up. Spend time in the room, just talking to her or reading to her so that she can get used to you being there.
Use food to make friends! Make sure you feed at set times, so she associates you with food. It may help at first to have just one or two people do this, so the kitten can bond strongly with core caregivers. Try using wet food or treats to tempt the kitten close to you. Feed them the food off of a spoon or tongue depressor but don’t try to pet them until they’re reliably staying close to you during feedings.
Use toys to build confidence, for exercise, and as a fun way to bond. Playing with a kitten with a wand toy is a great way to bring them close to you without pressuring them to interact or be petted. The best toys are the interactive kind, like feather wand toys and cat-dancers. Make sure there are plenty of toys out for the kitten to play with on their own, as well. If the kitten stays close after a play session, reward her with treats or wet food and pet gently as much as she’ll allow.
Handle the kitty with care. Once she’s coming into your space reliably, you can pet her more and more but allow her to retreat as needed. Tempt her back with food or toys and try to pet some more. When she’s ready, wrap her in a towel and pick her up gently, hold/cradle her until she relaxes in your arms. If she struggles to get away, let her go and try again at another time. As she grows more comfortable with you, get her used to being petted all over. When she’s older, you will want to be able to trim her nails- get her used to having her paws handled at a young age.
Gradually introduce the kitten to the rest of the home under your supervision after she’s grown to trust you. One new room at a time is best. If she’s overwhelmed, put her back in her “safe” room.
Gradually introduce her to new people, using the same slow and steady methods that you’ve used with her. Make sure not to traumatize her by putting her in a situation that is beyond her capacity – such as a loud dinner party!
Make the carrier a nice place! Whatever carrier you choose, keep it out and let the kitty get used to going in of her own accord. Cardboard carriers can be laid on their side with a little towel to lie on placed inside. You can put little bits of kibble (dry food) in there as treats. This will make necessary trips and veterinarian visits easier on the kitty.
Remember: a fearful kitten is still a kitten! Do not be taken in by the fact that they seem “mellow” in the shelter- this is because they are scared. At home, once comfortable (and often at night) they will likely be just as playful and active as other kittens.
As with any kitten, it is important not to allow or encourage play-biting. Do not wrestle with your kitten or use your fingers as toys. Cats should learn early on that hands are for petting, not biting. Fearful kittens can get very confused and potentially aggressive if handled incorrectly. It’s also common for fearful kittens to play inappropriately because they haven’t learned how to play from littermates or mom. Use wand toys to encourage proper play, always keeping kitten active but away from hands and arms. Reward proper play and redirect with proper toys when/ if kitten becomes overstimulated.
Socialization takes time. Give the kitten at least a few 20-minute “visits” a day or more if possible.
A Note On Kitten-Proofing Your Home:
Kittens (and cats) are very good at making themselves small, and sneaking into places that seem impossible to us. Scared kittens look for such places, and it is very important to block off all holes and spaces, such as under the refrigerator or stove, before allowing your kitten into a room. Windows that are not screened should never be left ajar, and screens should be checked carefully to ensure that the cat cannot push them out. Also make sure that toxic substances, such as cleaning materials, are stored in a place the kitten cannot access. You will need to watch that your kitten does not chew or play with electrical cords. You can use cord-covers to prevent this behavior. You will also want to make sure that any household plants you have are not toxic to cats, as cats often like to chew on plants.
Getting the relationship with your cat right is always a challenge, and being sympathetic to its particular emotional requirements as an individual is the key to stress-free living. A confident, social cat will always want more attention than a timid one, or one who didn’t have the appropriate socialization as a kitten. Allowing your cat to initiate contact between you is probably the easiest way to establish the quality and quantity of affection that is wanted.