by Teena Staples - Minoos Cattery
I have been asked numerous times what I put into my Kitten Care Kits and why.
Some of the items are necessities that every new kitten family should get, and other items are things we have found are helpful in the transition from the cattery to a new home.
So here is what we put in our kits.
The Health Care folder from our Vet outlining each visit and the shots that the kitten has had and when the next set of vaccines is due. Our kittens go home with a one-year rabies shot given at 16 weeks and we use the three-year Nobivac HCP, so it is important for us to communicate these facts to the new vet. A copy of the kitten’s titre test showing good immunity levels is included so that there is no mistake in over vaccinating.
On top of the health folder we add copies of all DNA, x-ray and blood screening tests that we have done on the parents. There are two sets, one for the new family and one for the new vet that will be looking after the kitten. It has been our experience that not all vets are familiar with Coons so by giving them information it opens a communication channel when they are unsure of that is normal and not with these larger then life cats. We include pamphlets from Cornell University on topics such as HCM, feeding a picky cat and looking after the Senior cat.
Also, we give each family a booklet that includes but is not limited to how to brush a cat’s teeth, how to trim nails, encouraging drinking, a list of household hazards and a list of veterinary terms. This information has been given to us over the years by our vet and our families have said they find it helpful.
Printed pedigree – it is NOT the official pedigree from the registering organization. We use KIntraks to keep track of all our kittens, who adopted them, health records, and of course inbreeding coefficient. The program has a nice pedigree section and the new families like to see their kitten’s family tree. We include pictures of the parents as well.
Royal Canin Kitten Care Kit – this has a sample of the wet and dry food that we have raised the kittens on. We are part of the Royal Canin family, they give us kits and we in turn provide them to our families. We usually add in a few extra cans of wet since some kittens enjoy both the pate and the minced varieties.
Breedsecure/Petsecure six weeks of free pet insurance – We register our families a couple of days before they pick up their new kitten.
Toys – Our families are glad to get some of the toys that the kittens are familiar with as they are growing up. Some people might wonder why give toys when the new families have probably bought more then enough. The answer is simple: successful integration into a new home. The kitten will start playing with the toys he/she is familiar with and next thing you know is acting like he/she has always been there.
Toothbrush/Toothpaste – yes, a toothbrush. We start brushing their teeth at about 10 to 12 weeks of age. Our thought is that if we teach the kitten to like brushing their teeth now the less dental bills later. We show each family how to brush their baby’s teeth when they come to visit.
Harness and Lead – We teach the kittens to walk on a lead when they are introduced to the main house. The harness (without a bell) and lead is put on for every car ride. It is easy to carry a carrier and kitten to the car for a vet visit or ride, but an 18 lb coon and carrier is tougher.
Snuggle blanket – this blanket usually ends up in the carrier and has the smell of the cattery on it, so they have a familiar smell for the car ride to their new home.
If the kitten is going to a home that already has one of our coons or another cat, we will also include extra toys for sharing and extra food so that the already established cat has something to try out. We also will include added information on how to integrate the kitten into the cat household.
This is by no means a set-in stone list but rather a guideline that we use, and I hope you have found it helpful.