Pet Care Hints & Tips

We have a new Cat

Home Sweet Home

Make your new cat or kitten feel at home

Meeting the Kids and Socialising

Introducing your new addition to playful children and adults alike can pose many questions, let us help you.

I have another pet

Don't let the fact that you already have a pet be a problem, introduce your new cat or kitten with ease.

Training

A cat learns to use the litter tray by following their mother's lead. As the mother will more than likely not be within the new home, make sure that the litter tray is easy for the kitten to find. For the first few weeks, you may need to lift the kitten into the tray after meal times so that they get used to its presence. It may also be necessary that you have to keep the kitten in one room if they haven't yet got the hang of the litter tray. Again, be patient as the kitten will become used to the routine in time. Praise should always be offered if the kitten uses or tries to use the tray or designated toilet area. Make sure you don't punish negative behaviour, such as urinating outside the litter tray, as this will just confuse the kitten. Just focus on praising the positive behaviour and you should soon have a toilet trained kitten!

To ensure that the kitten makes best use of the tray, make sure that it is kept clean and that it is large enough for the cat to turn around in. The tray must be away from both the eating and sleeping area. Keep placing the cat into the designated area so that they know where to go.

When cleaning the litter tray, try not to use a detergent or cleaning product that smells too strong as this may deter the kitten from using the tray.

As your kitten gets older, you may wish to encourage them to go outside when they need to use the toilet. Sprinkling small amounts of the litter outside should be enough to prompt the kitten outdoors.

Meal Times

It is worthwhile finding out what diet your kitten has been on previously so that you can feed them the same or similar foods. When shopping for food, always go for the kitten varieties, as these have been formulated so that they contain the correct ingredients for a growing kitten. A change in diet is best done over a few days so that delicate stomachs are not upset. Bearing this in mind, try to feed your kitten little and often.

Kittens aged up to 12 weeks old will usually require four meals per day, this can be reduced to three meals per day for a kitten aged three to six months and then reduced again to two meals for kittens six months old. Again, as the kitten gets older make sure that you tweak their diet accordingly so that it is appropriate for their age.

Sleeping

You may wish to outline the boundaries for sleeping areas within the home. You may not wish to have your cat or kitten sleeping on the bed and this point should be made from the offset to avoid bad habits starting. To instil that fact that the cat has a designated sleeping area, make sure that you keep placing the cat in the correct area and say a firm "no" if they are disobedient. So long as the cat bed is in a warm place and it is made cosy, along with some persistence it should be straight forward encouraging sleep in the cat bed.

Cat Flap

If you do not have a cat flap and you do not intend to have your cat kept as an indoor cat, it is essential that you invest in one. Your cat needs to be able to have access both to the inside and outside of the house. It may take a while to encourage use of the flap so training will be required.

Playing with your cat

Play time should be encouraged, as playing is an excellent way for your kitten to practice skills and for you and your family to bond with the new addition. A playful cat is a happy cat.

Scratching posts may also be useful around the home, as cats do enjoy scratching so by providing a designated area you will reduce the amount of damage done to your beloved furniture.