We recommend stainless steel, glass or ceramic food and water bowls. Avoid plastic dishes as the toxins in the plastic and the porous material encourage bacterial build up and can lead to feline acne.
High quality dry food is great for your kitten. We recommend you ask our staff for the appropriate measures/grams per day. The age of your kitten will determine the frequency of feeding. If you are going to change the brand of food, slowly change it over the course of one week using the example below:
- First few days: 1 part new food, 3 parts old food
- Next few days: half new food, half old food
- Final few days: 1 part old food, 3 parts new food
This will allow your cat’s system to adjust to the new brand. If they should vomit or have diarrhoea, go back to the original brand. If any gastric upset is persistent, please phone our clinic for advice.
Your cat should ALWAYS have access to fresh water. On a hot day, having access to multiple bowls of water is a good idea. Replenish the bowl with new water twice a day. It is important to remember that cats do not like to bend their whiskers while eating or drinking so make sure that their bowls are large enough.
The general rule of thumb is 1 box per cat. However, some cats like to urinate in one litter box and defecate in the other. If this is the case, you will need to have an extra litter box. Your kitten should be able to comfortably get in the box and there should be plenty of room to perform the elimination ritual of sniffing, digging, squatting, turning around and then covering up. You may need to experiment to find out which kind of litter box your cat prefers.
The litter box should be private and easily accessible. Cats are neurotic about their need to feel safe and secure when they are eliminating. Place the litter box in a quiet, private place that is easily accessible to your kitten and where it will not be disturbed by other family members or pets. A house with several floors should have a box per floor and the litter box should not be placed near food or water.
You also want to make sure your kitten knows where the litter boxes are located. Once you establish the placement of the litter boxes, don’t move them. If you must move them do so gradually. Cats are very location orientated and will continue to visit an area previously used.
You should choose a litter that would be desirable from a cat’s point of view. You should look for an unscented, absorbent, soft to the touch, and rake-able substance. Cats do have a preference for clumping litter over non clumping litter. Be sure to select a brand that clumps into a firm ball, making scooping easier and cleaner. There should be no artificial fragrance. Perfumed chemical scents can repel cats.
About 3 inches of litter in the bottom of the tray is satisfactory. The litter you use should contain the least amount of chemicals possible; the higher the natural content the better. Cats get litter on their paws and then when they clean their paws and they could be ingesting the litter.
A scratching post should be at least 30 inches tall so your cat can fully stretch its arms up. It should be made of soft wood or wrapped with Sisal rope (not carpeting), and mounted on a stable base that won’t tip. You can experiment with the location of the scratching post.
Toys are a great way to provide your cat with mental and physical stimulation which make for a happier and healthier pet. There are a variety of different toys available today; your cat will let you know which ones they enjoy. Toys that are interactive with humans and cats are a great way to spend time with your cat.
- Light weight items for the “Catch and Kill” game such as balled up tissue or wax paper.
- A couple of Ping Pong Balls – perfect for cat racquetball.
- The center of toilet paper or paper towel rolls, or wine corks – all can be used for batting practice.
- Cotton socks varying in size stuffed with cotton balls, cat nip and tied at the end.
- Toys that are on a fishing type pole or stick.
- Cats love to hide out. After a day of shopping, let your cat explore the paper (not plastic) shopping bags. Please make sure you cut the handles.
Toys that you should not give your cat include string, yarn, floss, ribbon, twine, rubber bands, and bells. Due to the barbs on the cat’s tongue, it is difficult for them to remove these items from the tongue and they may end up swallowing them.
Always use a cat carrier when transporting your cat. Put your cat’s favorite blanket or something with its scent on it inside the carrier to comfort it. You should also let your cat get used to the carrier before you use it to take it to the vet. Leave the carrier open on the floor and put your cat’s toys or treats in it. Your cat should explore and venture into the carrier on its own. Carriers should be secured.
If travelling by car, the seatbelt or shoulder belt should always be put through the top handle of the carrier. The carrier should be kept in the back seat to prevent the impact of airbags, just like a child.
Places to Sleep
Your cat should have the choice of a few places to sleep in your home. Cat beds, cat trees, baskets, and pillows are essential. Cats need a place to sleep where they feel safe and secure. You will soon discover your cat’s favorite places to sleep because it will consistently go back to the same place.
Make sure you check your closets or rooms before you close the door – cats are notorious for sneaking into a room or closet in a quick second. Cats like to sleep and perch in high places – they like the security of seeing everything that is happening below and around them.