Now that you are ready to bring your new kitten home, here is the basic equipment you will need to keep your new pet happy, healthy and safe.
A LITTER BOX. This is an immediate essential to your pet’s well being. Introduce your kitten to the litter box immediately. It will be a link between its first seven to ten weeks of life, learning from its mother, and its new home.
A BED. It can be as simple as a cardboard box filled with some soft, clean rags or as complex as a cat “condominium”, carpeted inside and out with rooms for six to eight cats. Cats can be trained to sleep in one location, although they tend to find a variety of cozy spots to rest throughout your house.
A TRANSPORTATION BOX. A necessity for traveling on vacations or for trips to the veterinarian! It should be well ventilated and large enough for your cat to turn around in.
A GROOMING BRUSH. Again, this is a vital necessity for longhaired breeds, and is recommended for use on all cats. The grooming action of the brush removed loose hair and promotes a glossy, healthy looking coat. Weekly (at least!) grooming for shorthaired cats and daily brushing for longhaired cats reduces the amount of loose hair that your cat will ingest when he licks himself. Too much ingested cat hair can lead to hairballs, which are mats of hair that can collect in your cat’s intestinal system and cause problems. Bathing your cat is not necessary, but it will not hurt your cat if you insist. (Some cats like it!) Small kittens should not be bathed, as they catch cold very easily.
A SCRATCHING POST. This is a must to save your drapes and furniture! Clawing is a natural tendency of cats and will continue even if you have clipped their claws or even when they have been surgically removed. The post should be tall enough for an adult cat to stretch out fully, and should be stable. If the post should topple over and frighten your cat while he is using it, he may never use it again.
Your veterinarian can show you how to clip your cat’s claws so you won’t hurt your cat, and yet protect your clothes and furniture.
NOTE: Some cats refuse to stop clawing the furniture. If all else fails, your veterinarian can surgically declaw your cat. Remember that once this has been done, YOUR CAT IS HANDICAPPED! He cannot be let out of doors as his only defense mechanism is gone. He cannot climb a tree or defend himself in a fight. At any rate, clawed or declawed, if your house cat wants to go outdoors, it is best that he be supervised or placed on a leash and harness. Because a collar can choke him if he lunges, a harness that goes around the chest and shoulders is recommended.
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Flint River Mills, Inc.
1100 Dothan Road
P. O. Box 280