You are now the proud parent of a new,
very special, AngelGirl Ragdoll kitten!
And you can’t wait to welcome your new “ball of fluff ”
to the other members of the family!
Just as bringing a new baby home from the hospital
involves a lot of preparation, so does the welcoming of a new baby kitten. Your young kitty will be making a transition from our nursery where he or she is comfortable, to a new and even a little scary (albeit we assume a loving) environment. There are many steps that you can take to make this transition as smooth as possible for your kitten.
Here is our own sage advise from 17 years of love.
For the first few days in your new home, it’s smart to confine your cat or kitten to one small room, while you work on putting the rest of the place in order. Prepare the room with your Angel’s carrier and bedding, food and water bowls (away from the litter box!), and toys.
YOUR KITTEN’S SAFE ROOM
When you bring your kitten home, have his or her own special place (ideally a separate room) set up and ready for them. Having a space apart from the rest of the family, and any pets that you may already have, serves two purposes. First, your kitten will have a smaller area to accustom himself or herself to. Leaving your kitten’s carrier in his or her “safe room” allows them a closed-in space that they can sleep in, return to if they feel frightened, or use as a lair that they can hide out in until they feel comfortable about coming out to explore. Just don’t forget about them in there – they’ll need a lot of cuddling and socialization with you to build up their confidence!
MEETING FURRY FAMILY MEMBERS
Quarantining your new kitten is not a necessity if you have no other pets, though having a safe room is still important for good litter habits! If you do have pets already in your home, you should keep your new kittens separate for at least a month. AngelGirl Ragdolls meets and exceeds standard breeder veterinary practices, but there are illnesses, such as Upper Respiratory Infections (URI’s) that have a long incubation period and may not be detected for up to three weeks. Quarantining ensures that all of your pets stay healthy. This quarantine period will also allow your current pet or pets to become accustomed to the newcomer’s smell and presence. Short supervised visits will help to ensure a successful introduction period.
RAGDOLLS ARE INDOOR ONLY PET’S
Now is the perfect time to make sure your new family member is an indoor only pet. Indoor only animals live longer and healthier lives. It is a fact. There are less diseases, less ability to be stolen or lost, less temptations to roam or fight, and less likely to have accidental deaths by vehicles, other animals, or trouble. In addition, cats kill over 2 billion birds in the US alone, each year.
Resist attempts by your cat to go outdoors. If your cat has NOT established an outdoor territory, he or she is less likely to be interested in going outside. If they are spayed and or neutered before puberty (between five and seven months) then they will not really be interested in going outdoors. Accessories such as window perches can ease the transition. If you play with your cat and supply lots of attention, your cat should have all he or she needs indoors.
Declawing is really unnecessary, and is actually a process that cuts off the top fingers of a cat by the knuckle. You are amputating your pets fingers and toes.
A cheaper and easier solution is to buy a plastic water bottle, and a cat scratch post. This is all that is needed to train a ragdoll to scratch appropriately in your home. Saying “No!” firmly and then lightly spraying them once with the water bottle is usually enough to stop them from scratching or returning to an area you want them to avoid. The water bottle can also be used if they consider jumping on countertops (most will not) or entering “off-limit” territories. We also pick our kitties up and place them by scratching post and show them how to paw on the posts after we have seen them scratching places we don’t want them to. This reinforces where they should be scratching.
We also use regular nail cutters to cut their nails when they get long. It may seem daunting at first, but it is very easy. Place the nail trimmers uner their nail, and pull gently away from them until it catches on their nail. Then tilt the cutters up and away from them so that you avoid any pink part of their nail, and then clip the top of the nail off. DIRECTIONS IN SLIDESHOW BELOW:
MAKE SURE YOUR HOME IS “KITTENPROOF”
Since your kitten is still technically a baby, you’ll want to make sure that your home is kitten-proofed before he or she gets there. Keep all dangerous cleaning chemicals, pesticides, or antifreeze up and out of the way, or behind child-locked cupboard doors. Child locks can be picked up cheaply at any grocery store if your kitten turns out to beone of the dexterious ones that can open cupboard doors! In addition, any plants that may be harmful to kittens, such as those listed below, should be kept out of reach. Bulbs (includes Amaryllis, Hyacinth, and especially Lily of the Valley) Lupine or Bluebonnet Rhubarb, Azalea, Rhododendron, Tobacco, Buckeye, Horsechestnut, Spurges, Euphorbia (this includes the common groundcover, Snow on the Mountain) Black or Bitter Nightshade, Climbing Bittersweet, Horsenettle, Milkweed, or Larkspur.
One way to know for sure that your home is kitten-proofed is to stoop to their level, so to speak. Get down on the floor and check out your home from their point of view. Make sure to take care of things that might look like “toys” to a kitten: electrical cords, dangling cords to blinds, and other fun things that could also prove dangerous. Prior to your kitten’s arrival you can rub lemon juice on exposed cords that may be a temptation.
FIRST VET CHECK
Once you get your kitten home, you should schedule a checkup with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Scheduling a well visit for within the first few days of having your kitten at home will give your vet an opportunity to meet your kitten and record the health information to date that you will receive upon your kitten’s arrival. At this time, you will also be able to schedule your kitten’s spay or neuter appointment and administer or schedule the last of your kitten’s series of vaccinations. Any other questions about the care of your new kitten can also be answered at this time.
INTRODUCING YOUR KITTEN TO OTHER PETS
If introducing your kitten to the rest of the family includes him or her making the acquaintance of your pit bull “Killer” and two elderly Siamese cats named “Alpha” and “Omega”, proceed with caution. Your other pets have staked a claim on your home and need to be reassured that the newcomer isn’t there to oust them. By quarantining your new kitten, your other pets will already have been aware that he or she is there, and had an opportunity to get used to their scent. When the first meeting takes place, keep it short. Let them all get the chance to see what that odd scent in the guest bedroom was, but don’t let your kitten become too frightened or your other pets too aggressive.
From then on, allow the pets to be in the same room together, with supervision, until they’ve all become used to each other. They will work out their issues, given time. This could take two weeks or more, but exercise patience and be sure to lavish attention and reassurance on your established pets, to stop any jealousy in its tracks. By following these outlined steps, you will be able to welcome your kitten into your home with a minimum of fuss and stress on you, your new pet, and your established pets. Before long, your kitten will be settled in nicely, and so much a part of your family, it will seem like they’ve been there forever!
TOP TEN RAGDOLL DON’TS
DON’T LET US GO OUTSIDE –
We could get lost or stolen; or pick up fleas and ticks, and we are too gentle-hearted to fight if another animal attacks us.
DON’T LET US GET INTO HOUSEHOLD CHEMICALS OF ANTIFREEZE – Lysol contains Phenol which hurts our paw pads and antifreeze is poison to us. Other cleansers are nasty too and we could lick them off our paws if we get into them.
DON’T USE OUR NAME IF YOU SCOLD US – It is not good if we associate our names with yelling. it is better to use a well aimed squirt gun or noise maker to scare us away from dangerous or forbidden things.
DON’T LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT UP, OR BUCKETS OF WATER, OR FULL BATHTUBS – we could fall in the water and drown because we cannot climb up the steep sides.
DON’T LEAVE HANDLES ON SHOPPING BAGS – We kittens love to play in crinkly bags and our neck can get caught in the handle.
DON’T USE A CAGE WITH HOLES BIG ENOUGH FOR SILLY HEADS TO GET STUCK – Watch out for other places we could get stuck too like chair backs with slats.
DON’T LEAVE ELECTRICAL CORDS HANGING – If we chew them we could get shocked or burned or we could pull the iron on our heads!
DON’T LEAVE STRING OR YARN AROUND – I know about a kitten who swallowed kite string and he had to have a big operation to get it out! Also, drapery cords and blind cords could loop around our necks and legs.
DON’T LEAVE CLOTHES DRYER, WASHER, TOILET SEATS, DISH WASHER, or DRESSER DRAWER DOORS OPEN! – We love hiding holes and dark, warm and snug places, and could get trapped, or worse…
DON’T LET US CHEW ON ANY PLANTS which are not grown just for us. Some are poisonous, like all lily varieties; others give us upset tummies.
TOP TEN RAGDOLL DO’S
DO INTRODUCE US TO YOUR FAMILY GRADUALLY; especially to pets you already have. Let them get use to our scent while we are in our carrier or in a separate room.
DO KEEP OUR LITTER BOX NEAR US, especially when we move in. Also scooped. We don’t want to step in used litter and will avoid it. If we make a mistake, try putting food or water in the exact spot; we won’t use it again if we eat there.
DO FEED US THE FOOD THE BREEDER RECOMMENDS AT FIRST AND ALWAYS GIVE US FRESH WATER. Introduce new food by putting small amounts in the food we’re used to.
DO GET US SCRATCHING POSTS so we don’t use your furniture for this very natural, but we know, annoying behavior.
DO PUT TAPED UP ALUMINUM FOIL OR 2 SIDED TAPE OVER PLACES WE SHOULD NOT SCRATCH OR SHOULD JUMP ON. We HATE the feelings of those things on our paws.
DO START GROOMING ROUTINES EARLY and practice exposing our claws when we are relaxed and sleepy – gently squeeze our paw pads to expose the nails to take the stress out of nail clipping, and give us a bath with cat shampoo occasionally.
DO MAKE SURE WE ARE EATING AND FILING THE LITTER BOX. and you should know where we are when you leave the house. This is an important check that we are safe and well. When we feel sick we tend to hide out and not eat.
DO BRING US INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE so that we become familiar with your noises like vacuum cleaners (we hate closed doors and will protest loudly anyway).
DO LEAVE PET CARRIERS OUT AND OPEN – so that we can nap in them sometimes and not be afraid of them if we need to go for a car ride; only in a carrier, and not just the Vet please.
DO PLAY WITH US AND PRACTICE HOLDING US ON OUR BACKS, MAKE EYE CONTACT AND CRADLE US IN YOUR ARMS. We love tummy rubs, and we may roll over when you approach so that we can be tickled. Talk to us! Get silly like us!!!
(~ Top Ten List taken from Margaret of CherryHill Ragdolls; and edited by us ~)
If you are now dying to see some of our exquisite ragdoll kittens from champion lines, visit our “Available Ragdoll Kittens!” page, HERE.