PACIFIC ANIMAL FOUNDATION
Registered Charity # 87302 1752 RR0001
1. Confine kitty to one room with a litter box, water, food and a blanket for a few days (maybe some soft radio music). Make sure windows are locked and there is nothing in the room that can hurt kitty (ie. rubber bands, earring clips, paper clips, string, coins). Visit often and talk softly, petting a little or let kitty come to you for petting. Put on collar with I.D. disk and your telephone number.
2. BEFORE letting kitty out of the room, check other rooms in the house and close all windows, outside doors, cupboard doors or crawl space doors. (Kitties can hide just about anywhere including very tiny spaces. )
3. Open kitty's room door and let kitty wander out into the rest of the house in his own time keeping an eye out for him. (He may decide to stay put in his room for awhile after the door has been opened. This room has been his security).
4. When he does decide to venture out, he will probably investigate each room, stopping to sniff and review everything. While he is doing this, he is leaving his scent around which will help him identify that this is his home.
5. After he has done this for an hour or so, put him back in his room, shut the door and give him a chance to rest. Do this several times a day to introduce him to the rest of your house. Keep a sharp watch on him so you don't lose him.
6. For the first few days, any time you have to go out and he is alone in the house, put him back in his room and shut the door so you know exactly where he is. If you don't want your furniture scratched, it would be a good idea to put a scratching post in his room so he can use it until he has outdoor access.
7. For any discipline, you just need to say "NO" in a firm but pleasant voice and remove him from doing whatever behaviour you don't want him to continue. If he persists, use a plant squirter filled with water and squirt in his direction. He will most likely discontinue that behaviour. If he still continues, a quick squirt to him won't hurt him and he will eventually get the message. Just be consistent in your discipline. NEVER hit your animal for ANY reason.
8. To introduce him to outside, MAKE SURE HIS COLLAR IS ON and it's near meal time so he's hungry. If you have a screen door, you can start by letting him look outside through the door for a few days so he can observe his yard. If you have a large plastic cat carrier, you can put him in it and place the carrier on your porch or deck so he can watch his surroundings. (Make sure the carrier is in the shade and check often to see if the sun starts to hit the carrier). You can then place the carrier around your yard for a few minutes at a time so he can view various angles in the yard. DO NOT LEAVE THE CARRIER UNATTENDED FOR MORE THAN A FEW MINUTES AT A TIME. After a couple of days of getting him used to your yard from the carrier, you can then start to take him outside. Put him down near the door to inside and leave the door open so he can run back inside if he chooses. If he chooses to start sniffing and wandering around, STAY WITH HIM so you are only a few feet away at all times.
While he is wandering around, he is again leaving his scent to mark his yard. Try not to let him get out of the yard. If he looks like he's going to jump up on the fence or go up a big tree, gently pick him up and take him back again to the door and start your walk-about again. Maybe see if he will chase a ball in the grass around the middle of the yard. After about 15 or 20 minutes, take him back inside and feed him. He will learn that to come inside means a "reward".
Over the next week or two, keep doing this same procedure only you can leave him outside a little longer each time. You can slowly slack off hovering over him every minute and possibly tend to some gardening or yardwork but keep talking to him and never let him out of your sight. We recommend that, to be on the safe side, it is best NOT to take a kitten outside until the kitten has been spayed or neutered. They want to roam when they are not fixed and, if a kitten gets lost, it is much more vulnerable than an adult cat.
As your cat gets used to the yard, you can slip in and out of the house for 2 or 3 minutes at a time and then call him every time you come out to make sure you know where he is or so he can hear your voice. You can gradually extend the time you stay in the house but bring him back in the house if you need to go out until he knows his home and yard well. If you have a cat door, bring it to his attention by playing with it and pushing a ball or toy through it so he will clue in. As well, at the end of yard playtime and going back into the house, try introducing him to it by putting him in front of it and holding it open for him so he can go through it back into the house, and vice versa. You can tape the door open for short periods of time so your cat can see get the idea of climbing through it.Kittens are especially vulnerable up to 6 months of age. Please supervise any interaction with children, dogs or other animals. They can get stressed being handled too much and should have rest periods away from small children. (They are babies too !)
If you have a kitten, be sure to "baby proof" your home. The following items should NOT be left anywhere that a kitten can find them:
- dental floss paper clips
- rubber bands safety pins/bobby pins
- small toys and objects that could be swallowed or pulled apart (ie. leggo pieces)
Make sure all toilet lids are kept CLOSED and all windows above the ground floor are screened so that kittens/cats cannot fall out of a window.
It is MOST IMPORTANT that you check and double-check that a kitten/cat has not jumped in a clothes dryer or washing machine when loading and unloading. DO NOT LEAVE WASHER OR DRYER DOORS OPEN AND UNATTENDED.
When transporting your pet, ALWAYS use a pet carrier as many accidents happen if an animal is not contained in a safe, sturdy carrier. It is always wise to have a good-sized plastic cat carrier at home for use in case of other emergencies - ie. earthquake, flood or if the cat needs to be rushed to a vet clinic because of injuries.
Lock your cat inside your home at night and don't let it out until breakfast as there are lots of coyotes in all areas of the North Shore and Greater Vancouver.
To keep kitty's health at optiumum and coat shiny, soft and free of mats, feed a high quality brand of food and have annual veterinarian check-ups (including teeth). Groom (even a short haired cat) at least twice a week using a brush or comb. Brushing/combing helps keep the cat's coat clean by distributing the natural skin oils and removing loose fur to reduce fur balls.
Do NOT use flea collars. They may contain chemicals in the collar that may harm kitty's health over the years. Some cats have severe skin and breathing reactions to the collars and the fur and skin around their neck can be badly burned or irritated. Besides, the fleas just go to the back end of the cat and you still have a flea problem. The best method for flea control is to use "Advantage" or "Program" which can be purchased at any veterinary clinic. Either of these methods effectively kills 100% of the fleas and will keep your pet and home free from any fleas. We DO NOT recommend a sixth month "flea vaccination".
We recommend that you do NOT "free feed" which is leaving food out all day for the cat to snack on. It is much better to feed two meals a day and we also recommend that you give your cat both moist and dry food. However, if you have a kitten you NEED to feed several small meals a day.
We strongly recommend that you establish a relationship with a veterinarian that is close to your home as soon as you adopt a cat. It is much better to introduce yourself and your cat to a new vet when there is no emergency. The vet will then have the cat's basic information on file if you do come in with an emergency.
Please spay or neuter your pet at no later than 5 months of age. New medical techniques and anesthetic drugs have been improved during the last 30 years and many vets recommend early spaying and neutering to prevent unwanted litters of kittens. Some female kittens can go into heat as early as 4 1/2 months old.