General Kitten information
Bringing Your Kitten Home
Emerald Kingdom Siberians
Bringing Your Kitten Home
HELPFUL TIPS FOR ADJUSTMENT TO A NEW HOME AND FAMILY
Preparing for Kitty Invasion! - Picture this: Your kitten is coming home and your whole family is understandably very excited. Your children are jumping up and down and they can't wait to squeeze the little fur ball and drop the kitty under an avalanche of affection. When your kitty arrives, she is not nearly as affectionate as we told you, and she hides in a corner under the couch. She is not eating nor playing, and when you stick your head under the couch to get her, she cowers even further away. This is not the affectionate fur ball Emerald Kingdom promised us! Let me explain what is happening.
Cats are not like dogs. Dogs bond to people, cats bond to places. This is the reason we have an expression saying that a cat doesn't stray far from home. They don't, they are bonded with the place they live, and are affectionate towards the people that happen to live in their place too. As where dogs happily go anywhere with their owner, most cats do not enjoy travel or being taken out of their environment unless they have been trained to do so from a very young age and they are used to it.
Imagine you are a 12 week old kitten. You have been with your mommy and your siblings all of your life. You eat together, you sleep together and mommy helped you getting used to weird noises like the doorbell and vacuum cleaners. When you hear those noises you still shoot into your favorite cat tree with your siblings so you feel safe. Oh wait, there is that human again that lives in your house. I think I like her though, she puts food on the floor that I like. But I wait with eating until she is gone, because her big feet scare me. You are so little and the world is so big! All of a sudden other humans come in that you have never seen before. They smell different, they sound different, and before you can make it to your safe place in the cat tree you are being picked up and put in a cage. You are put in this big noisy thing with wheels and all kinds of strange faces appear in front of your cage. When the cage door finally opens, you are too scared to come out. A strange pair of hands grab you out of the cage and starts talking to you and hugging you. This is not my human! Where is my mommy? Where are my brothers and sisters?? Where is my safe cat tree???
Maybe this story will give you the idea of the immense change kittens and cats can go through when they go to their new homes. Some handle change better than others, but all cats need time to adjust to their new environment. Some will start exploring your new house right away, some will cower in a corner and need time to get used to their new surroundings. Cats bond to places. Take them out of their environment and put them in a new one, takes time to adjust. To cats, humans are secondary to environment. Your new kitten will not be focused on you when they arrive in your home, but rather on exploring the new environment. This is a completely natural thing in cats, and they should be given ample time to do so. Some kittens take a few hours to adjust and are very curious by nature, others can take up to weeks before completely adjusted. The rule of thumb is, give the kitten as much time as they need to get comfortable.
The best way to do that is to ignore the kitten and let them come to you rather than you or present kids going after them trying to force affection on them or trying to force them into play. If a kitten is scared, and is confronted with the noise of excited children, the kitten will start associating that noise with something bad, which may trigger fear of children. If a kitten is scared, and you stick your head under the couch trying to grab the kitten or wave a toy in their face, you'll only scare them more. As much as we understand you are excited to have your kitty, they do things in their own way, in their own time, and nothing you try can change that. So to help your kitten adjust properly to your home, here are some helpful tips:
*** Kittens need time to recover from travel It can be quite an experience for them so try to give them the time to deal with all the changes they are going through. They are all of a sudden in a strange place with people they don't know with mommy and siblings nowhere to be found. Do not expect your kitten to purr instantly and be all all over you as soon as they arrive, they need time to recover and time to adjust to their new environment.
*** Use the same cat litter and food we use for at least a little while. Your kitty will be helped by the scent and taste of familiar things.
a very fine clumping litter such as tigerino cat litter
*** Have a separate room prepared for your kitten with food, water and a litter box before your kitten arrives. Put the carrier on the ground, open the door, sit down, and do nothing. Wait for the kitten to come out and to start exploring. It's a good thing to talk to the kitten while exploring so they get used to your voice. Once the kitten is used to their surroundings (this may take a few hours or a couple of days), open the door and let them explore the rest of the house.
*** If you have children, talk to them about being quiet and calm around the kitten the first few days. Screaming or high pitches, loud voices (which is so common in enthusiastic children) scares a kitten, roughly waving toys close to them, or a child chasing them in an attempt to catch them does too. Explain that the kitten is just a baby, and that they need to be calm and gentle around them.
*** If your kitten is scared and sits in a corner, leave the room. They will explore when they are alone, but not when unknown humans are there. Just leave them alone for a few hours and your kitty is guaranteed to start exploring by itself.
*** Don't force affection on your kitten or try to catch them when they are scared. It is fine to pick your kitten up and cuddle with it for a few seconds but if it is clearly scared and wants to get away from you, then let the kitten go. If kittens want affection, they will come and get it. An outgoing kitten is most likely to just walk up to you and say hello. When they do, you have gotten the green light from them to hug and cuddle and play. With new kittens, I often just sit on the ground in the room, doing something else like folding laundry, being on the phone or on my laptop. That gives the kitten a chance to get used to your presence without being stared at, which is a safer way for a kitten to become curious to figure out who you are.
*** Do not play endlessly with your kitten. Your kitten will keep going until it drops, literally. Do not play for longer than 15 minutes or so at the time, and than allow your kitten to rest, sleep, eat and drink until they are showing they are ready to be played with again. For every 10 minutes of play, a kitten usually sleeps 1-2 hours. Tell your children to not disturb the kitten during rest/nap time.
*** Don't be alarmed if your kitten doesn't eat or drink right away. Have food and water available for them at all times in a calm, quiet place, away from noises and the litter box, and eventually they will start eating and drinking. Sometimes it takes a kitten days to start eating. Don't worry about that, it's very likely caused by stress and nothing abnormal.
*** Do not give your kitten any calming aids. It is normal for a kitten to be scared when it arrives. Besides the fact that calming aids (even homeopathic ones) are an attack on their bodies, it also makes them feel oozy and dizzy which is more likely to scare them even more because they don't know what is happening to them. Just give them the time they need instead of stuffing them with calming aids.
*** Relax! We did not send you the wrong kitten or a kitten with a bad character. Your kitten is going through the normal motions of adjusting to a new environment and just needs time. Some take 30 minutes and some take 2 weeks to adjust. Your kitten will be in your lap purring and playing soon!
Dangers In Your Home
There are a lot of things in your house that are unsafe for your kitten such as poisonous/toxic plants, electrical wire, plastic, tinsels, washer and dryer (yes they will climb in those for a nap!), cleaners, rubber bands, and a whole other array of things. If your cat plays with these things and accidentally swallows anything, you may find yourself at the emergency vet for surgery due to blockage or poisoning. You easily can tell if your cat may have ingested something it was not supposed to. Something poisonous will often cause foaming at the mouth, vomiting and lethargy. Blockage is often recognized by lack of appetite, dehydration (white gums, they should be pink) lethargy and sudden weight loss. If you see any of these symptoms, get your cat to a vet immediately. Do not wait until the next day when it can be too late.
One death trap that many never really think about are recliners. Kittens and cats love to climb into recliners, if you use your recliner you should check it before you close it at all times . If you have a recliner, please consider getting rid of it, putting it in another (cat free) room or not use it. You close a recliner with a kitten or cat in it, and they will not survive.
Cords on blinds must be tied up out of reach
Make sure you prepare your house the way you would for a new baby. Kitten proofing your house is so important as gets cat in to things and places that you'd never even dream off. Make sure no poisonous plants are around, that vents are secure, that no loose small things a cat can chew on lays around, no small children's toys such a lego blocks, protect your wires with cord protectors and make sure your home is safe for your kitten.
Alfalfa Almond (Pits of) Alocasia Aloe Amaryllis American Bittersweet American Yew Andromeda Japonica Apple (seeds) Apple Leaf Croton Apricot (Pits of) Arrowgrass Asian Lily (Liliaceae) Asparagus Fern Australian Nut Autumn Crocus Avocado (fuit and pit) Azalea Baby's Breath Bamboo * (Dracaena sanderiana) Baneberry Bayonet Beargrass Beech Belladonna Bird of Paradise Bittersweet Black Locust Black-eyed Susan Bleeding Heart Bloodroot Bluebonnet Box Boxwood Branching Ivy Buckeye Buckeyes Buddist Pine Burning Bush Buttercup Cactus, Candelabra Caladium Calla Lily Castor Bean Ceriman Charming Dieffenbachia Cherry (pits, seeds & wilting leaves) Cherry, ground Cherry, Laurel Cherry, most wild varieties Chinaberry Chinaberry Tree Chinese Evergreen Christmas Rose Chrysanthemum Cineria Clematis Cordatum Coriaria Corn (or Cornstalk) Plant Corn Plant Cornflower Cornstalk Plant Corydalis Crocus, Autumn Croton Crown of Thorns Cuban Laurel Cutleaf Philodendron Cycads Cyclamen Daffodil
The most common question we get from people is “what do you feed your cats?”. In the United Kingdom, the pet food industry is, just like the human food industry, corrupted in a big way. The majority of foods in pet stores is nothing but junk, even though commercials may lead you to believe it is wonderful. How many times did you see that commercial on tv with that happy healthy cat that eats cat food full of vegetables and grains that is supposedly so good for them? In our human mind we think that cats will do well on greens and extra vitamins and grains, because they are healthy for us as well, so why not for a cat? Well here’s a revelation:
*** Cats are obligate carnivores! ***
So what is it that I should feed my kitten?
We now feed raw after 6 months old
Raw Food: This is by far the best choice of food for your cat. Believe it or not, regardless of the controversy that is going on about it (which is only created so the pet food industry does not collapse) you can not do your cat any greater favor than feeding it raw! We feed our cats a homemade mix of raw , at least 5 times per week. This consisits of chicken, mince, beef, 10% offal, raw eggs and Felini complete, which is a mix of essential vitamins,minerals, trace elements and taurine, so you know your kitten/cat is getting everything he needs. I just blend this up in a mixer all together and add a cup of water and the freeze in handy size bags.
Felini can be purchased from Zooplus.
I also use a company called https://www.purrform.co.uk/ when time is short for me and also they have many different sources of meat which are hard to source.
I strongly reccommend that if you would like to consider raw feeding that you research yourself and are happy with the pro and cons of a raw feed deit. Your vet is unlikly to agree with feeding raw. So it really is a very individual choice.
Raw meat builds muscle mass, it keeps your cat healthy and their coat shiny. You can also go to your local grocery store and ask the butcher for beef heart or liver, they love it and organ meat is good for them. We understand not everyone is able and/or willing to feed a raw diet, but if you can, please consider it, your cat will love you for it.
There are also now good quality wet food with good amounts of protien, i use Cosma, Applaws, Feringa Kitten, Smilla and Wild Freedom. I buy online from www.bitiba.co.uk or Zoo plus.
Because we understand not everyone has the ability to feed raw food, we also feed our kittens dry food so they get used to it before they go to their new homes. Dry food is also not preferable for your cat as the sole diet, but they do need dry food to help keep their teeth clean. Cats don’t drink a whole lot, because in nature, they get their fluids out of raw meat or prowl food. Dry food, and than especially dry food that contains lots of grains, soy, wheat and vegetables, is often the cause of kidney or urinary tract infections in your cat.
Dry food should be free fed as an addition to a diet, not as the main food. If you feed dry food only, we highly recommend getting a water fountain for your cat which encourages them to drink more water. Cats have high metabolisms so they eat little bites many times a day, which is why we always have dry food out for them. There is now a lot of good quality dry, high protein without grain. .
We also feed kittens and cats cooked white fish a couple of times per week, but not too much and please dont feed canned tuna. Cooked chicken also.
As far as the question of how much you should feed your kitten, just toss the recommendations on the packaging overboard, and go with what your kitty tells you.
Siberians grow in spurts, meaning there will be times where they eat a lot, and than when their growth slows down, they will eat less. Keep dry food out 24/7. Cats have a small stomach and a very fast digestive system, and they eat very small bites 10-15 times a day to accommodate that. We twice a day, in the morning and around dinner time. Please know that if you choose to use different food than what the kitten is used to, you may encounter vomiting and loose stools. Change of food should be done gradually in order to let their digestive system adjust.
Helpful tips for food and water.
Always make sure your cat has access to clean drinking water at all times. Siberians love water, all cats love moving water. A water fountain keeps the water fresh and circulating, which encourages your cat to drink more water.
Use ceramic or stainless steel food and water bowls. Believe it or not, a lot of cats get skin problems and acne in their face and on their chest due to the use of cheap plastic bowls.
Nail Clipping: Nails need to be trimmed on a regular basis. You need to get a nail trimmer scissor and you can find information on how to trim your cat's nails here.
If you have a hard time trimming your cat's nails, then go to your vet and ask if they will demonstrate to you how to do it. We clips our kitten's nails on a regular basis and they are all used it. Practice makes perfect!
Because of their naturally oily coat, siberians do not require a whole lot of grooming. I recommend a slicker brush, a greyhound comb and a soft brush for grooming a siberian cat. Soft bristle brush, cats love to be brushed with these, and love gentle strokes from head to back. Slicker brush, good to brush through the coat and get rid of little mats. Don't push too hard using this brush, short somewhat firm strokes are best. A greyhound comb is a metal comb that has two kinds of teeth, wider spaced and closer spaced ones. This is our main grooming tool. This is especially helpful when you have to groom on the belly, under "armpits" and if they have something stuck under their tail. You can find these grooming items or similar ones at your local pet store. Dont comb your cats tail, it rarely needs grooming , if it does use a soft bristle brush.