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Indoors only please! Because many Ragdolls lack the instinct to defend themselves when attacked, they must be kept as indoor pets only.
The First Two Weeks Restrict your new kitten to one room with food, water, a litter box and scratching post for at least a few days. Your bedroom or a child's bedroom is ideal. While holding the kitten, gradually take it out of the room. Extend the length and number of visits each day, until Kitty is comfortable outside the room. I have had great success with Feliway Comfort Zone Spray and Feliway Electric Diffusers to help in kitty transitions. The Feliway spray is great for vet visits too. Spray the inside of your kitty carrier and let it dry. It should help to calm kitty while going to the vet.
Altering All pet kittens will be altered around 10 -11 weeks old and allowed to go home with you at around 11 -12 weeks old. This places the responsibility of altering and recovery with us.
Altering a kitten before the traditional 6 or 7 months of age is considered "early age altering", females are spayed and males are neutered. There are several issues associated with this topic. Is it safe? Do kittens have problems with the anestetics? Do they recover okay? Does early altering affect a kitten's health or growth?
Let me address these questions. First, is it safe? Research has found that very young kittens suffer from no more complications than older cats undergoing altering at traditional ages. Second, do they have problems with the anesthetics? Young kittens do very well with the anesthetics when given appropriately. Third, do they recover okay? Younger pets actually recover earlier than older cats. Most kittens will be active and even playing within a few hours after their surgery. Finally, does early altering affect the kitten's health or growth? Many veterinarians have worried that early spaying and neutering would affect a cat's growth, future obesity, and overall health. Research has found that most of these concerns are unfounded. Growth, weight and overall health were very similar in cats early altered vs. cats altered at a traditional age. For more information, please see: http://catvet.homestead.com/earlyalter.html
Feeding Dry food should be "free fed" which means that the food is continually available. Plastic dishes can cause chin acne, especially in pointed cats. The use of ceramic or stainless steal dishes for feeding will help to prevent this.
From about 3 weeks on, your kitten is given Royal Canin Baby Cat 34. Older kittens are fed Science Diet Indoor Kitten. They are also fed canned food, about 2 ounces twice a day. I use Fancy Feast Primavera and Avoderm canned food. You will be given samples of what your kitten has been eating when you take your kitten home.
Kittens and cats will thrive as long as they are fed a well balanced food. Look for a Nutritional Adequacy Statement on the label, such as, "Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (the food) provides complete and balanced nutrition for gestation, lactation and growth." If you decide to switch foods, please so do gradually.
Do not give milk to your kitten because it is likely to cause diarrhea. Fresh water should be available at all times. Our kitties love the Pioneer Stainless Steel Pet Fountain. If you add goodies from the table, the diet will no longer be balanced and may also cause diarrhea.
Please note, we used to use the plastic Drinkwell Fountain, but found that the plastic fostered chin acne as well. We now use Pioneer Stainless Steel and Ceramic fountains.
Immunizations The combination distemper vaccine - Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR), Caliciviral Disease (FCV) and Feline Panleukopenia (FP) - is given at about 7 weeks of age and again at about 11 weeks old. The next vaccine is due at one year, then every three years for the life of the cat. We use Nobivac 3, a non-aluminum containing, Modified Live Vaccine.
We strongly recommend against vaccinating for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis). Recent work at U.C. Davis (Peterson) suggests that the vaccine is not effective and may have injection site complications.
Scratching Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. They do it to mark their territories, for pleasure, and for exercise. Punishing a cat physically simply does not work. You will break the trust and security that is the basis for your cat's relationship with you. Ragdoll cats tend to respond to verbal correction and positive reinforcement.
Your kitten will be familiar with a scratching post. It's a good idea to have a scratching post at home. A good post should be tall enough for your Kitty to fully stretch her body, usually at least 28 inches tall, and should be very stable. Cats love sisal! Overstock.com is a good source for affordable cat furniture.
Please Do Not Declaw! If you are not familiar with what is done during the actual procedure, please see: http://www.declawing.com/ Declawing is an irreversible surgical procedure that involves amputating the last joint of the cat's "toes."
When I begin handling newborn kittens, I make sure to massage their paws gently to get them used to having them touched. I trim the kitten's claws for the first time at two weeks old and then about every two weeks after that. You will be amazed at how quickly trimming can be accomplished once you become practiced, especially when kitty's claws are trimmed at an early age.
I find that pet nail scissors work the best. I simply craddle the kitty in my lap in a brightly lit location (often sitting on the carpet in front of my patio door). I do the front paws first because kitty tends to wiggle the most with the trimming in plain view. I gently squeeze the foot pad to extent the claw and then simply nip off the "clear" tip of the claw, being sure to avoid the "pink" or quick. Front claws have five nails, the back - four. I reward with lots of praise when I'm done. This little tip will make a big difference in kitty's behavior next time!
Play Toys Kittens love to play. Provide harmless outlets for all that energy by supplying toys that are safe. Please don't let your kitten play with string and thread that can be eaten. A few suggestions: foam balls, catnip toys, jingle balls and catnip mats. The all time favorite toy for my Ragdoll cats is a teaser wand with mylar strips attached at the end. They also like toys with feathers. Please allow them to play with these toys with supervision. They will eat the mylar strips and feathers if left unsupervised. Eating foreign objects can lead to intestinal blockage and death.
Litter Box The number one cause of buyer's remorse is the failure of kitty to use the litter box after you bring them home. The box should be large enough for an adult cat to stand completely inside with room left over for digging, and deep enough to allow two or three inches of litter plus a rim that will prevent the litter from being scattered all over. Our kitties love the Booda Dome Clean Step box. It's round, spacious and has a ramp for easy access. The box should be placed in a relatively quiet area of your home where your kitten can have some privacy.
Young kittens sometimes eat litter and clay litter can cause serious intestinal problems. I use the World's Best Cat Litter, which has the added benefit of being light weight and flushable. This litter has a fresh smell, nice texture and tracks less than the clay litter.
Ragdolls have a keen sense of smell and are sometimes put off by scented litters. Also, some cats like a litter box lid and others don't. We provide both options in our home. Sometimes, older cats will keep younger cats away from the box. If you have more than one cat, it's a good idea to have more than one box, at least for the first couple of weeks. Please keep the litter box clean (scooping once or twice daily) because some Ragdolls won't use the box if it's dirty.
Please DO NOT use plastic liners in your litter boxes. Kittens can get pieces of plastic lodged in their airways or intestines which can result in surgery and/or death. Also, Ragdoll cats are facinated with plastic and will chew and eat plastic even as adults.
If you have done all of the above, and your Ragdoll eliminates outside the litter box, there may be an underlying medical problem, such as bladder irritation and/or Urinary Tract Infection. A visit to the vet will determine if a medical issue is causing the inappropriate elimination. For more information, please refer to this excellent article from PetPlace.com.
Poisons For a list of poisonous plants, please see: www.earthclinic.com/Pets/poisonous_plants.html
The number one cause of vomiting and diarrhea in cats is the ingestion of foreign materials, including plants. Remember: any liquid that a cat steps into will be licked off it's paws and can pose a danger, especially auto products. Most fatal poisonings are caused by antifreeze or Tylenol.
Traveling with Kitty Cats should be transported in a secure enclosure. Cats feel safer in a carrier, and however much they may complain about the car ride, it would be worse if they were loose. Try to avoid the temptation of a buying a cardboard carrier. They don't hold up well and aren't secure.
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||Thank you so much for taking the time to read these few suggestions about caring for your kitten.|
I hope you found the information useful!