Catspersian kittycat with gift


grey and white kitty

Bringing Home a New Kitten or Cat

Before taking your new adoptee home and
risking exposing her to any infectious disease, take her to a veterinarian for a thorough
health check-up, including a test for feline leukemia, de-worming, inoculations and, if
appropriate, neutering.

Plan on staying home with your new kitty for several days,
helping her get over the stress of the visit to the veterinarian and the move from her
previous home. Give her at least three weeks to adapt completely to her new environment.
Keep her in the house during this three week period and give her a chance to investigate
and get used to the household routine.

Put approximately three inches of litterbox filler in a plastic litterbox and position
it in a private place where there is little traffic. Clean the litter every day and
completely change it every third day. If you plan to use one of the new powdered clay
litter products, you filter out only the “lumps” each day. Gently place your
kitty in the box, and do not punish her for having an occasional accident. Punishment
increases stress and, in turn, increases the likelihood of your cat not using the

During the housebreaking period, feed your new kitty a dry kibbled food and water. The
change in the kind of food, going from the previous home to the shelter, and then to your
home, may cause bowel problems for a few days. Be patient, and do not feed her tablescraps
no matter how much she begs!

Provide playtoys like ping pong balls, paper tied to the end of a string hanging from
door handles, rubber balls, wands with ribbon on the end, and paper bags into which she
can crawl. Also, make sure she has a place, preferably up high, to sit and look out the
window during the daytime.

Most cats will want to sleep with you, which is fine. If you do not want this, place a
soft bedding material in a warm place and dial the radio to an easy listening music

Teach your kitty to use a scratching post.

If your kitty is left for long periods of time by herself, adopt another kitty for
companionship and exercise. Two cats are better than one.

To lengthen your cat’s life, get her neutered and keep her inside away from
outside hazards like dogs, cars, and ticks.

Never physically punish your kitty by hitting or chasing her. Even screaming will
produce a scared kitty that will run and hide when she sees you. If you want to teach her,
catch her doing something right and reinforce the behavior with a scratch under her chin
followed by “Good Kitty!”

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Marilyn Clinton

Mary is a single parent and writer. She likes to share her family adventures, and tips for managing a busy family and a full-time job.

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