- -clear, bright eyes
- -clean ears and nose
- -thick, glossy coat
- -skin free of fleas, scabby patches
- -firm, pink gums
- -alertness, playfulness
- -parasite checks
- -age, sex, and breed (he should be at
least 6 to 8 weeks old)
- -customary diet
- -Veterinarian's name
- -registration papers if he's a
- -allowing you to have your vet check
him before making final sale
If he or she is a grown
cat, also ask if he/she has been neutered/spayed and if its accustomed
to children or other pets.
Rest assured, litter box
training should be easy for you and your kitten. Most kittens
naturally feel the urge to dig in litter as early as 4 weeks.
If you interfere with your kitten while he's in the litter box, he may
develop an aversion to using it. Be patient.
Instinct will guide your kitten or cat to developing good litter box
Most kittens will act
instinctively in the litter box; however there are some things you can
do to encourage good litter box habits:
- Place the litter box
in quiet location that your cat can access at all times
- Always keep the
litter box clean, scoop daily
- Change the litter
often at least once a week
- Avoid cleaning the
litter box with strong cleaners since the odors may repel him
- Place your kitten in
the litter box upon wakening and after meals.
- Praise him lavishly
to reinforce the fact that he's been good
- Avoid using scented
litters cat's don't like strong smells and may me repelled by the smell
- Don't move his litter
box unless absolutely necessary
- Give each cat his own
Find information here for
stop using the litter box.
Cat-Proof Your Home
Kittens and cats are
lively and curious, which can lead them into serious trouble unless you
take preventative measure. Also remember that your cat has a
lower vantage point than your own, like a baby who has begun to crawl,
and may be attracted to things you do not see when you are
impossible to absolutely cat-proof your home against accidents, but for
your cat's health and safety, here are some suggestions:
- Securely screen all
windows to help prevent falls. Keep your cat off balconies,
upper porches and high decks.
- Securely store
poisonous materials. Keep these in tightly closed areas where
your cat cannot get access. Remember, cats are handy little
creatures and have been known to open cabinets and doors.
- Remove poisonous
houseplants or place them in hanging baskets completely our of your
cat's reach. Ask your veterinarian or for a complete list of
dangerous plants. Some indoor and outdoor plants which are
poisonous to cats include:
Cane (all types)
- Keep toilet lids
down. Cats may play in the water and the lid could close and
trap them. Also residual toilet bowl cleanser left in the
bowl is harmful if swallowed.
- Store plastic bags
where your cat can't get inside them and suffocate or chew or tear them
and swallow bits of plastic.
- Cut plastic six-pack
beverage holders apart to prevent your cat from getting tangled in
them. This will also protect wildlife that may accidentally
- Keep exposed
electrical cords as short as possible, or tack them against a baseboard
so that your cat can't play with or chew them.
- Store sewing supplies
out of your cat's reach. Buttons, needles, pins, and thread can hurt
his mouth or internal organs if swallowed. The same goes for
nails, screws and other small pieces of hardware.
- Never use electric
blankets to line your cat's bed. He could be electrocuted if
he chews the wire.
Introducing your Cat to the Rest of the Family
If there are children in
your house, especially small ones, introduce your cat to them
gradually, during short periods of time. Frequent handling
and gently playing are important, but children must understand that
your cat is a sensitive, living creature. Teach the children
how to pick him up and hold him. Slip one hand under his
chest, holing the front legs gently but firmly with your
fingers. At the same time, cup the other hand under your
cat's hindquarters. Never pick him up by the scruff of the
neck or by his legs. Children must learn not to pull the
cat's tail or ears, squeeze or poke him, make loud, threatening noises
or go toward him too rapidly.
A good way for both
children and adults to play with a cat is to get down on the floor at
his level to make him feel more secure. Remind children that
even a small child can look like a giant to a cat. And a
gentle cat may resort to scratching or biting to protect himself if
If there are other pets
in the house, introduce them to your cat with care and
caution. An older cat, male or female, will usually accept a
new kitten and will eventually help take care of him. But do
not leave them alone together until you are sure they are
Here are a few steps you
can follow to introduce your new kitten to an older pet.
slowly and confine your new kitten to its own room for a couple weeks
your kitten by first open the door to her room a crack and letting the
other cats know she is there and vice versa
After a couple days
put your new kitten in her carrier and let the other pets in the house
in the room. Except some hissing at first but don't be
You can also rub a
blanket or toy against your new kitten and give it to the other cats so
they can get used to her scent. Also do the same to the older
cats and give the item to the kitten.
With in a week or
two everyone should be getting along just remember to be patient
Most dogs and cats also
get along, but this may take a little longer. There may be
scuffles, hissing and barking, but there is every chance that before
long they will be playing together. Again, it's smart not to
leave them together unattended until you see the situation clearly.
But whether your other
pet is a dog or a cat, remember to show him extra love and affection so
that he won't be jealous of the newcomer. And don't force
your older animal to accept your cat immediately. Let him do
it at his own pace.