Inviting a new kitten into your home is a big step. Really big step. There is so much to know about how best to take care of your new furry family member. Valuable knowledge to ensure they grow up happy and healthy. With so much information out there, how nice would it be if you could get all of your questions answered in one place. A place where you can trust the answers and be rewarded just for signing up. Now there is!
Purina is very excited to announce mykitten.ca; an online resource where you can find the answers to your many "kitten questions". With just a click of a mouse, you'll find information on topics such as:
- Picking the right kitten
- Outdoor vs Indoor debate
- Introducing your new kitten to other people and other pets
- Nutrition 101
- Feeding Dos and Don'ts
- Litterbox training
- Vaccination schedule
- Kitten tricks!
And much more to help you become a better pet owner. I especially find the topic search tool handy along with the FAQ section.
When you sign up at mykitten.ca, you'll receive a complimentary information kit, an engraved pet tag and a coupon for free kitten food. There is NO fee to sign up!
Veterinarian, Dr. Melanie Bonder of the Toronto Cat Clinic who offers kitten kindergarten classes, knows there is value in training and socializing cats. Below you’ll find some surprising tips on what you can expect with your new kitten.
Pre-kitten prep: proofing your home
Mykitten.ca recommends going through your home and looking at things from a kitten’s perspective; everyday household items can be dangerous to a curious kitten. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Cut the cords: Kittens can get tangled in cords (or by anything swinging or hanging), so keep your new pet safe by securing drape or blind strings out of reach, and bundling phone and electric cables
- Keep a lid on it: Make sure the toilet seat is always down – an unsuspecting kitten could slip into the bowl. And keep your everyday toiletries and toxic cleaning products out of sight by keeping cabinets closed, so the kitten doesn’t encounter razors, bleach, dental floss and other household items when exploring. For a list of some common materials that are poisonous to cats visit mykitten.ca
- Practice appliance awareness: Cats love warm spots to siesta, so be sure to keep doors to kitchen and laundry appliances closed. And just to be safe, always check inside before using them.
The first 48 hours
Once your ball of furry joy is home, there are a few things you can do to help your kitten get settled:
- Home sweet home: Take a few days off, or bring your kitten home on a weekend so she can spend time getting to know family members, the home and make that first trip to the veterinarian (within 1-2 days of bringing kitten home). And make sure you check back with mykitten.ca for some essential first-day supplies, including a cat carrier, food and water bowls.
- Offer a safe haven: Show your kitten her safe place, such as a quiet corner of the house, complete with a cushy bed. Set the carrier nearby with the door open and let her make her way out but put the litter box nearby. On that first night, expect to hear some mewing – it’s normal for a new kitten to feel homesick
- Explore the abode: Slowly introduce your kitten to the other rooms in the home by placing her open carrier in the room being introduced. Your kitten may hide under a bed or scoot behind a dresser, so be patient and repeat this process until she gets her bearings
- Learning the litter box: Most kittens will quickly understand how to use a litter box, but you can help teach them what is expected by placing them in their litter box every hour. Gently scratch your kitten’s front paws in the litter as a way for them to learn to deposit and bury their waste. For more tips visit mykitten.ca
A well trained kitten is a happy kitten (and so is the owner). Dr. Bonder advises that all her clients take some time to train their kitten so that they know the lay of the land. Check on mykitten.ca for more interesting tips on socializing kitten. In the meantime consider:
- Stop the scratching: While scratching is natural for kittens, there is no need to lose your furniture as a result. To protect your new leather couch, Dr. Bonder recommends putting double sided tape or tin foil on the area your kitten likes to scratch. Then place an appropriate scratch pad / toy beside that area. The tape or foil will deter them from inappropriate scratching.
- Sweet socialization: To ensure your kitten grows up to be comfortable with cuddles, it is important to take a hands-on approach from day one. When your kitten is 6-18 weeks old, have kitten get-togethers, and encourage as many people as possible to come over and play. The more socialization at this young age, the better. Dr. Bonder also recommends wrapping your kitten in a soft towel and playing with them. This will get them used to being restrained and handled by family members.
- Click to train: Like puppies, kittens can be trained to understand basic commands. Training comes in handy when trying to keep kittens out of trouble. Clicker training associates a desirable behaviour with a short, distinct “click” sound from a clicker. This clear form of communication, combined with positive reinforcement (i.e. praise) is an effective way of keep kittens off of countertops and out of trouble.
So before you bring your new kitten home or if you're already the proud pet parent of a new kitten, sign up at mykitten.ca to learn all you'll need to know about raising a happy and healthy cat. PLUS receive your complimentary information kit, an engraved pet tag and a coupon for free kitten food.