Bringing kitty home
BRINGING HOME a kitten is very exciting but is fairly traumatic for the kitten, so the first thing on the checklist is to make sure your house is quiet when kitty arrives.
Just as pups get their own kennels made, kittens need a kitty box during the first few weeks. Nothing fancy, though, any cardboard box will do. For two reasons. They will be very frightened in their new surroundings and too much open space will make them feel insecure. At the same time, the box will block escape routes till such time the kitty feels "this is home".
The kitten box should be safe, warm and dry. Get a heating pad and wrap it in a towel-or use a wrapped hot water bottle-and place the kitten on it. But make sure there's enough space in the box for the kitty to move away when the pad gets too hot for comfort! New borns should be shielded from direct sunlight till they are three weeks old.
Since your kitty will need time to get used to its new surroundings, however excited you may be, do not carry it around the house and introduce it to every nook and corner on day one! Ditto for house members! In fact, if it's the second pet, the older one should be kept away for some time instead of sniffing the kitty as soon as you get into the house.
Kittens hate stress and try not to overstress your kitty with too much stimulus. Again, the first few days may find our little one crying or meowing for attention, especially at night. It's searching for it's mother, so comfort it at such times but don't give in to the temptation of letting it share your bed. You'll find the going tough as it grows up by which time it'll be too late to change its ways.
If human comfort doesn't seem to do the trick, you may want to consider getting another kitten as companion. Once your kitten is comfortable, you can show it around the house and let it know where it's things are-like litter boxes, food, water, a scratching post etc. A litter box can be any shallow pan, small and low enough for the kitty to get in and out. Fill it with sand. To toilet train your kitty, place the kitten in the pan, about 15 minutes after its meal, to relieve itself. If there's an accident, put the faeces in the litter pan to direct the kitten. Remember to change the sand as often as possible! Newspapers will also do the trick but may not be as stable as a pan. Or you can combine both, by spreading sand onto a newspaper and keeping it in one corner of your house where you take the kitty. You may find it easier to dispose off the newspaper instead of cleaning the pan.
Kittens love routines, so help them out. Feeding times should be consistent as also grooming and playing times. Your kitten will feel more comfortable not only as it gets used to a new home but also finds a suitable routine to fall into. You will find that training becomes easier when they fall into a routine early enough.
Did you know that bobbing ears indicate that the kitten is getting just the right amount if you're feeding it from a dropper/inkfiller? But, if the formula bubbles out of the nostrils, stop feeding. You're drowning the kitten.
This month's pet seekers can choose between a one and a 1/2 yr old Dalmatian and two three-year-old Dobermans. Call Suchitra at 24918898.
The Lucky winners of our photo contests, handy tips etc. will receive a gift hamper from Pet's Choice (Adyar and Annanagar).
Send in your pet's pictures or any other to our postal address or email it to us. Unusual poses, funny pictures etc. may find its pride of place in the column, and will be on our website for the whole month. If you have found out a successful method by trial and error to train your pet or overcome any persistent problem, do share it with us and win a prize.
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