BRINGING KITTEN HOME - TIPS
I highly recommend that you first read "FYI: An Eye Opener". I feel that it is very important for kitten buyers to understand that there are minor issues that can develop once they take their kitten home out of the environment that their kitten has always known and felt "safe".
Vet Checks, Vaccines and De-worming: Your kitten will be at least 12 weeks of age when you take him home. We use a veterinary grade de-wormer here called Panacur (Safe Guard) and kittens are de-wormed at 4 weeks of age, once a day for three days and once again at 8 weeks of age, once a day for three days. Your kitten will have been given an FVRCP vaccine at 8 weeks of age and will have been given a full examination by a licensed veterinarian. Four weeks later, at 12 weeks of age, an FVRCP booster will be administered and another full examination by a licensed veterinarian will be given. Four weeks later, at 16 weeks of age, a third FVRCP booster is recommended and by law, a Rabies vaccine must be given. Another full examination will be completed as well. Most times the third "appointment" is the buyers responsibility because the kitten is no longer in my care. This appointment is not covered by myself, but if a kitten remains here past 16 weeks of age and has already been reserved, a fee of $60 will be added onto the remaining balance of the kitten. After the third FVRCP booster and Rabies vaccine has been given, if your kitten is in good health, annual exams and boosters are recommended. You can read more about the different types of vaccines and protocols on the "Vaccinations" page of my website.
FIV/FeLV, PKD and DNA Testing: As each new cat is brought into my cattery an FIV/FeLV test is completed at my vets office. This is to ensure I am bringing no FIV/FeLV infected cats into my cattery. Because both of your kittens parents are either FIV/FeLV tested negative OR are the offspring of FIV/FeLV tested negative parents - kittens are guaranteed to be FIV/FeLV negative. However, this test can be completed at my vets office, if requested, for an additional $55.
All of the cats I am using in my breeding program are either PKD tested negative themselves or are offspring of PKD negative parents, which means, they are for sure PKD negative themselves. Therefore, I guarantee all kittens leaving my cattery to be PKD negative.
If requested, for an additional fee of $55 US Funds, I can send your kittens DNA away to Texas A&M University Animal Genetics Laboratory. The results will tell you many things about your kitten like if they are PKD negative, color point carriers, Himalayan, Persian, Cinnamon, Chocolate, Agouti, Dilute, etc.
Please visit our FeLV & FIV page and our PKD page to learn more!
Spay and Neuter: Depending on the age you get your kitten, he/she may already be altered. We have considered doing early altering here at Heart'nsoul. Please visit Early Spay & Neuter to learn more. If kittens are not altered when they leave, it is the responsibility of the buyer to have this procedure done. If purchased as a pet, it must be completed by 6 months of age. CFA registration will only be sent once I have received proof that the spay/neuter has been completed.
De-clawing: This is not some thing that I personally agree with. To learn more about WHY please read the "Declawing" page on my website. Many breeders have included in their contract that if their kittens are de-clawed that the contract is null and void. I have not done this as of yet, as I would like to think that my kitten buyers will make the right decision without being forced. There are other options, before de-clawing (soft paws, scratching posts, feliway defusers, etc). I expect my kitten buyers to put a real effort into trying other things before, well, amputating their kittens "fingers".
Microchips: Although we don't do this as of yet, we hope to start soon. Having a microchip implanted at the same time that your kitten is having their spay/neuter done, would be a great idea. Microchips are a great way to identify your cat if he/she was to get lost or has been stolen. Most shelters will scan an animal upon arrival to see if they belong to some one and some vets office regularly scan animals as well. Collars are not all that reliable. I highly recommend microchips.
Indoor or Outdoor: Unless you have your kitten/cat on a leash or have had an enclosure built, I feel strongly that a Persian or Himalayan should remain strictly indoors. First of all, these breeds have been so "babied" generation after generation that their survival skills are not all that great any more. They are very "proper", don't like to be dirty, would likely starve and would be unsure of how to protect themselves when confronted by another animal or traffic. And you can be sure that if any one spotted a beautiful cat like this wandering outdoors that they would snatch it up without thinking twice, likely never to return it. If you do have an outdoor enclosure or a leash then applying a product monthly like Revolution or Advantage Multi would be a good idea.
Diet: By the time your kitten is ready to go, he/she will be eating solid food. Here at Heart'nsoul we feed TLC Whole Life All Natural Cat Food. However, if you do decide to switch the food your kitten is eating it is essential that you do it very slowly (over a two week time period) by first mixing 90% TLC with 10% of the new food choice and every couple days, mixing less TLC into the new food (ex. day 4 - 80%, day 6 - 70%, day 8 - 60%, etc). Please keep in mind that your kitten should remain on a KITTEN FOOD or an all life stages diet until at least 1 year of age! Wet food or raw is an option, but not a necessity if your kitten is eating dry food.
Litter: We use pine pellet litter here at Heart'nsoul. Your new kitten will have used this litter from about 3-4 weeks of age so it will be what he/she is accustomed to. Luckily, most kittens/cats have no trouble going FROM pine pellets TO clay litter. However, they do tend to have some difficulty going from clay litter to pine pellets. Many cats refuse to use the pellets and mess outside their litter box if they have only used clay litter previously. By mixing the pine pellets with the clay for a few weeks and gradually decreasing the amount of clay in the litter box, you are more likely to effectively switch your cat from clay to pellets. So, thinking about what you want to use before bringing your new kitten home would be ideal. Please follow the link to understand why we choose to use pine pellets here at Heart'nsoul.
Just a quick note: We do not use covered litter boxes here so your new kitten may be unsure of the litter box if you buy one that is covered and he/she may not use it.
Preventative Treatments: Your vet may suggest using a product like Revolution or Advantage on your new kitten. These products protect against fleas, heartworm, ear mites, hookworm (Anycylostoma tubae) and roundworm (Toxocara cati). There is no harm is using these products. A de-wormer may also be recommended by your veterinarian as a precaution or your vet may ask you to bring in a fecal sample to determine whether your new kitten has any internal parasites/organisms. Due to showing and being in contact with other cats that may have or be carrying fungus (ringworm), and with having dealt with ringworm before myself, I always recommend bathing any kittens who leave in anti-fungal shampoo once a week for four to six weeks. Please visit our ringworm page to learn more about this fungus. Although I do every thing in my power to provide a healthy kitten to my buyers, I do not guarantee against treatable nuisances, so taking precautions is always a smart idea. As I always say, it is better to be safe then sorry.
Grooming: You chose a breed that requires regular grooming so be prepared. You really only need ONE comb and that is a comb that has 50% medium and 50% fine spacing (see picture below). You will also need a pair of cat nail clippers. Buying some good deep cleaning shampoo is a good idea and spraying your cat with a "leave in" conditioner after their bath also helps with grooming and leaves them with a soft, shiny coat. Using Davis De-Greaser Shampoo is also a great idea. Bathing at least once a month would be ideal and blow drying will also help prevent mats from forming while they are drying. Daily brushing is essential to keep your kitten free of mats and to help keep your house a little less "hairy". Wiping the eyes daily helps prevent tear stains. You can simply use a cloth and warm water or even non scented baby wipes. If your kitten is white or a Himalayan, buying a product like "Eye Envy" is a great idea ( http://www.eyeenvy.com/ ). This is the basic grooming routine for a pet but if you are interested in showing, there are a few other "steps" that should be followed.