Purring purrfect homecoming!

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Joan Henderson
Bringing home a cat is a huge responsibility. Here are a few tips to make their homecoming purrfect!
 
 
It’s a pleasure to welcome home a kitty. But, the cat can be shy and scared…let’s make the cat comfortable at our home.
 
Kitty-proof the house: When you first bring a new kitten into your home it is important to make sure that the area they will live in is kitten-proof before you give him/her their first meal.
 
Give her time to settle: Kittens are usually quite shy when they first arrive into a new home and so they will often find the best hiding spot they can and often remain there for several hours before they begin to feel secure and safe and start searching the surroundings. Once the kitten feels settled, they will come out and you can feed them and allow them to relax and respond to their new pet parents.
 
Keep children away: If there are small children in the house try to explain to them that the kitten needs time to become adjusted to their new home and they should be left alone to feel comfortable and safe. Loud, noisy children can be very disturbing to a new kitten.
 
Making them comfortable: If the weather is cool, placing a hot water bottle in their bed will often relax them and it also appears that if you place a loud ticking clock next to their bed, it will also settle them down.
 
Don’t stroke the wrong way! Don’t stroke a cats’ fur the wrong way unless you know them really well and they are happy for you to handle them – most hate having their fur stroked backwards and will often tell you in no uncertain terms.
 
Lift them carefully: It is not wise to lift a cat by the scruff of the neck or in the middle so that the legs dangle… it really is much better to completely support the cat so that they feel secure and also try not to handle so firmly that you could pinch or squeeze their body. It is also not wise to pick up a cat while your hands may still smell of another cat – they don’t like strange odours and especially it is from an entire male. If a cat swishes his tail back and forth he is telling you he is not happy – even more so if he flattens his ears – if this happens put him down until he wants your company!!
 
Groom them regularly: Before bringing a longhair or Persian cat home remember that you need to spend many hours grooming their coats. You have to enjoy grooming as much as the cat does and it cannot be put off. Longhair coats can tangle if left even 2-3 days without grooming so think about that. Shorthair coats are much easier to groom BUT they still need to be brushed and combed on a regular basis.
 
Flea control: If you find that your cat has fleas always check the base of the tail BUT you must also disinfect the house – with an animal safe spray – otherwise the fleas will always return to the warm coat of a cat and start producing more fleas. Regular grooming soon lets you know if the cat has fleas as well as the cat constantly grooming and scratching at the coat. If you use a flea ointment, remember that it must be animal safe as the first thing they will do is try to lick the ointment off their coat.
 
Selecting the right collar: Many owners put collars on their cats. Select one that is safe and not too loose as it can become quite easy for your cat to get their collar hooked into something and the collar becomes a noose and the cat can choke.
 
Keep your cat basket separate: It is not wise to borrow or lend your cat basket because you cannot know if the basket is 100 percent free of germs and fleas.
 
Get them neutered/spayed: Most important of all – if you cat is to be a companion and not a pedigreed breeding animal, always have him/her neutered or spayed – they make loving companions and do not want to go outside looking for a mate. An inside cat is safe and well 24 hours a day and they will live a long and happy life.
 
(Joan Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand.)
 
How to take a urine sample of your cat?
If you need to get a urine sample from your cat, put the litter tray on an angle and the urine will run down to the bottom. Place a board under the tray at one end and push the litter up to the top. Carefully remove the urine while the tray is still on an angle to avoid picking up too much litter.