CARING for your new Cat or Kitten.
Bringing your cat home….
1. Remember your new pet may have suffered a bad experience before s/he arrived at PUP. S/he has had to adapt to live with PUP and now s/he is on the move again. S/he is likely to be upset and frightened by the changes. A nervous cat will sometimes hide for several days before s/he feels safe and confident enough to venture out. Please be patient and give him time to settle – s/he is likely to be stressed for the first few days.
2. If you have chosen a kitten, remember this may be the first time s/he has been away from his / her mother and brothers and sisters. This separation will be very distressing for him / her until s/he knows that s/he can trust you to care for him.
3. It is best to collect your cat / kitten when you can be at home for several days and the house can be quiet.
4. Choose one quiet room as your cats / kittens first base. Close the windows and block up fireplaces. Put the cat bed in a warm, draught free spot.
5. Put the litter tray on several sheets of newspaper in an easily accessible but private place, well away from the feeding area. A separate litter tray should always be provided for the new arrival in a multi-cat household.
6. Unfasten the carrier and let your cat / kitten find its own way out. S/he may want to inspect every corner of his / her new home before s/he comes to see you, or s/he may hide or simply go to bed.
7. If you already have a cat or dog, your pets will need introducing to each other gradually. Confine them to different parts of the house and allow the newcomer to become familiar with the whole house before introducing him / her to your other pets. Always supervise them together until they get to know each other.
Helping your cat settle in….
1. Cats are very territorial animals. The place in which they live is as important to them as the people they live with. They will not stay anywhere until they have accepted it as their home. Until your cat / kitten accepts that your home is now their home, s/he is likely to run away to try and find his / her way back to their old territory.
2. Adult cats need to be confined indoors for at least 4-6 weeks until they know that your home is now theirs. Please make sure no windows or doors are left open during this time as your cat may run away and become a stray. After 4 weeks your cat should be familiar with his /her new home and family and it should be safe for you to allow him / her into the garden. If your cat is nervous, extend the settling in time. Always supervise him / her on his / her first few trips outside.
3. Your kitten will need to know every corner of your house before you let him / her out. Always supervise him / her on his / her trips into the garden until s/he knows their way about. Kittens should never be left outdoors unattended until they are 5-6 months. If they spend those first few vital months indoors with your family, they are more likely to become homely, dependant adults and will not be as liable to disappear for days on end.
4. Never make the mistake of letting your cat / kitten out before the minimum of 4 weeks – if you do so, you are likely to loose him / her and s/he will become a stray – living on the streets, unhappy and starving.
5. Your cat / kitten will not understand the words you say but s/he will understand your tone of voice and some of your body language. S/he will know when you are pleased and when you are annoyed.
Feeding your cat….
1. Adult cats need feeding twice a day. Tinned cat food meets all your cats’ nutritional requirements.
2. Your kitten has a small stomach and big nutritional demands. S/he will need 4 or 5 small meals each day, decreasing gradually to 2 meals each day by the time s/he is 6 months old. Remember you are feeding a baby.
3. There are special kitten foods available which meet all your kittens’ nutritional needs. At first it is best to give your kitten the food s/he is used to, then gradually introduce the food you want to give him / her.
4. Do not give your cat / kitten cows milk as this can upset his / her stomach and interfere with the proper digestion of food.
5. Although your cat / kitten will get most of its water from the tinned food you feed, always ensure s/he has access to water.
6. Do not give your kitten dried food until they are 6 months old – in our experience too many end up vomiting dried food up.
1. All of the cats at PUP have litter trays so your cat / kitten should be litter trained and should always have access to a litter tray indoors.
2. Sometimes your kitten may need a little help with his toilet training. S/he will often need to use his / her litter tray after a meal, so gently lift him into it after eating.
Keeping your cat healthy….
1. Your kitten will need a first vaccination at 9 weeks, against feline influenza and enteritis, and a second on 3 weeks later. A booster will be needed every year. Many people are now also vaccinating their cats against leukaemia because of the increase in this disease.
2. Your kitten will need to be neutered at 5-6 months old. Do not delay on this as cats can start reproducing very early, when they still look like kittens themselves. It is absolutely imperative to spay a female cat. Otherwise she could be responsible for producing hundreds of unwanted kittens. Leaving a male cat unneutered means not only that he will father hundreds on unwanted kittens but that he will also get into the habit of roaming and staying out all night, fighting with other cats resulting in suffering, injury and expensive vet treatment. Eventually he may not return home at all. If you want a contented family pet, neutering is essential.
3. Cats are very clean animals and will usually groom themselves unless they are ill. Nevertheless your cat will be enjoyed being brushed and combed by you and this helps keep his / her coat in good condition. Grooming is particularly important for longhaired cats.
Last but not least….
1. Keep you cat in at night. Most cats that disappear do so over night and more cats are injured on the road at night than during the day. Keep him / her safe – keep him / her in at night. You can get him / her in by serving his evening meal just before dark – your cat will learn when feeding time is and always come home for supper. Start this routine right from the beginning and always maintain it.
2. If you have any problems or queries please do not hesitate to call us. We will do or best to offer advice and help where ever we can.
3. We strongly recommend that you have your new cat microchipped. Please see page on Micro Chipping.