OUR KITTEN CARE PROGRAM
. Our pet technician is in regular contact with the veterinarian to ensure that each of our kittens are receiving optimum care. We recommend a visit to your veterinarian to discuss continued care. If you do not have a veterinarian, we would be happy to recommend one.
SKY PAWS spends a lot of time and effort to find kittens that are the proper age and that have agreeable personalities. Our cross-bred kitten program accepts kittens most often from accidental litters. These litters would likely have been adopted through the newspaper or ended up at our already overcrowded animal shelters. Newspaper adoption does not usually give you the information you need. Pet care, behavioural concerns, spaying and neutering are rarely discussed. When you adopt a SKY PAWS kitten, you can be assured that you will receive all of this information and more! Ask for a copy of our brochure Stop Pet Over Population. SKY PAWS recommends that all pet owners be responsible and have their kitten spayed or neutered.
At SKY PAWS, when our kittens arrive, we examine them, bathe them, put them on a nourishing diet, and their lifetime vet care program begins. Weight gains, activity levels, litter box contents are all closely monitored. Hygiene is scrupulously maintained. Vaccination and de-worming programs are done with our consulting veterinarian. During this important transitional period, we introduce our kittens to a routine socialization program. Our pet counsellors are cat lovers and because they are, they are regularly handling and playing with all the kittens in our store. Our guests play a big part in our kitten’s social skills too.*
To provide a happy, healthy atmosphere for your kitten, SKY PAWS recommends the following necessary, and fun accessories. We have listed them as your new kitten’s four basic needs; Nutritional, Environmental, Maintenance and Behavioural. When these needs are met, along with a loving environment provided by you, your kitten will be purrr-fectly happy!
Cat Furniture – Your kitten will love to explore, climb and scratch. Cats scratch for two reasons; to remove the dead, outer husks from their claws and to mark territory, both visually and with scent from glands in their pads. You can lessen the husk-removal scratching by keeping her claws clipped regularly. Scratching is a behavioural need, so satisfying this need with scratching posts and cat furniture is important. The use of catnip spray or honeysuckle on cat furniture will attract her to it. It is a very good idea to have the posts and furniture from the first day. This will deter your kitten from staking out your furniture as her own.
A cozy Cat Bed, perhaps scented with catnip to attract her, is a welcoming and secure place to cat nap. They particularly enjoy certain cat beds, such as a crinkle pad or Attract-O-Mat™.
Travel Bag or Carrier – Some kittens enjoy riding in a car, but most cats do not. For safety and control, keep your kitten in a pet travel bag or carrier while travelling to and from the vet, and for other travel needs.
Kitten Food – It is important to keep feeding your kitten the diet we fed her at SKY PAWS. Changing it when she first arrives in her new home can result in stomach upset and diarrhea. Ask your pet counsellor how much food you should be offering your kitten, and at what times of the day you should feed her. Keep fresh water out at all times. Milk should not be offered, as it is difficult to digest.
Skin and Coat Supplement – This is added to their food. It helps to reduce shedding and makes the coat soft and shiny.
The use of a High-Calorie Supplement is often recommended for kittens and cats to encourage finicky eaters and to help with weight gain.
Hairball Remedy Paste – Cats keep themselves meticulously clean. Their daily ritual will always involve one drawn out bath and frequent mini baths. Because of this, they will ingest hair and hairballs will form in their stomach. Your cat will regurgitate to get rid of these hairballs. This can be a source of distress for both your cat and you. Giving your cat a hairball remedy paste will help to prevent hairballs from forming.
Cat Scissors and Coagulant – Cat scissors or small animal nail clippers should be used to keep your kitten’s nails clipped. Done regularly, this will deter some scratching habits. Take care not to over trim or cut into blood vessels running through each nail. Should this happen, have a blood coagulant waiting and ready to use.
Brush and Comb – Cats are naturally fastidious. Regular brushing and combing of your kitten will prevent matts and tangles, and reduce hairballs. With short-haired kittens, use a rubber brush or comb to stimulate natural oils and produce a beautiful shine. Groom medium to long-haired kittens with both a brush and a comb. For long-haired cats, a de-matting tool is also needed. Ask your pet counsellor what brush and comb is right for your kitten.
Dishes – Choose bowls that are easy to clean and hard to knock over. Ceramic, glass or stainless steel work best, especially for moist foods, as plastic dishes tend to trap odours.
Always having fresh water available is important, as dehydration in cats is a common problem. Most cats tend to drink more if the water is fresh, clean or moving. Consider getting a fountain water dish. Re-circulating water dishes have carbon filters that remove substances (cats are more sensitive to odours and tastes than we are), providing fresh tasting, filtered water with a multitude of health benefits.
Litter Box and Litter – The litter box should be big enough to accommodate the size of your kitten when grown. This can be a dilemma, since the sides of most boxes are high and your kitten may find it hard to get in and out. For this reason many people will get two pans, one kitten size and one large, usually hooded. This gives your cat the added advantage of having an upstairs and downstairs toilet.
Clay litter is generally better accepted by kittens. You may want to gradually change this litter to a clumping when she is around six months. Also consider keeping her on the litter she is presently used to, as some don’t like certain types, and changing litter when also changing homes could result in her not using the litter box.
Litter Deodorizer – Powdered products can be used to reduce litter box odours by adding a few tablespoons regularly to the pan.
Litter-Scoop – This is necessary for spot cleaning, to keep litter fresh and it also makes for fewer pan changes. Litter pan liners are also handy to use, and make dumping and cleaning your box more convenient. (Expectant mothers should not clean litter pans. Ask your doctor for more details).
Treats – Treats play an important part in your kitten’s day-to-day routine. Treats work well to reinforce good behaviour, and are a tasty break to look forward to!
Toys – Kittens love to play, and it is through play that they learn many valuable lessons, like why you shouldn’t run at top speed across a hardwood floor! Give your kitten a variety of safe toys. Busy balls, catnip-filled snacks, anything made for cats is suitable. It is crucial that certain household items are off limits as playthings: toilet paper, long strings or ribbon, tinsel from a Christmas tree, cellophane, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, twist ties, rubber bands or cotton swabs are all dangerous.
Leash and Collar – The best way to insure a long, happy, healthy life for your kitten is to keep her indoors. Even indoor cats should have some form of ID in case they escape and get lost. We recommend an expandable collar with a bell and ID tag. The expandable collar will help prevent strangulation should it become entangled. A harness is the best device you can use to take your kitten for a walk. Collars are much too easy to slip out of. Retractable leads are available that are light weight and easy to use.
Repellent – There are several very important uses for a cat repellent. Some kittens enjoy chewing electrical cords and house plants, which can be toxic or fatal to a cat, use a repellent, keep her nails clipped and give her furniture of her own.
Please ask your pet counsellor what other items pertain to your particular pet’s needs.
CLEANLINESS AND SAFETY
All pets must be kept in a clean environment to avoid the spread of dirt and contaminants to yourself and others. Always keep your pet’s home clean, and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home.
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit diseases to humans. Young children, infants, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with pets or their homes.