These guidelines are
provided to help care for your new kitten. These
hints, plus tender, loving care, will help keep your
kitten healthy, playful, and affectionate.
remember that this is your kitten’s first time away
from the only home it has known, and it will
probably be insecure and confused at first. Give
the baby time, and don’t expect it to be best
friends with you right away. Keep the kitten
introduction to other family members and pets quiet
and stress-free as possible and, most of all, give
it time to become used to the new surroundings.
Show the kitten its litter box, food and water as
soon as you get home. Your kitten has been litter
box trained for several weeks. It is still
possible for a kitten to have an accident while
becoming accustomed to his/her new home. It’s
important to have at least one box on each floor of
your house in which the kitten will be allowed.
spank or punish the baby if it misses its litter
box! It will not understand and just learn to fear
you. Rather, pick it up, put it in its box,
make digging motions with its front paws. Young
kittens sometimes forget where their boxes are –
this is normal, and will pass quickly. Your kitten
has been raised with open litter boxes. If you
would like to use covered boxes, use two boxes to
train them to the covered box. Use one open and
one covered side by side and after your kitten is
used to the covered box you can then take away the
open box. Introduce the kitten to one room at a
time, offer encouragement and petting, but allow it
to proceed to others. Try not to startle the
kitten, and again, remember that this is a stressful
time which brings us to:
kitten has had vaccinations and is in good health.
However, it is not unusual for a new kitten to
hide, be skittish, or refuse to eat for a couple of
days. He may also get a runny nose or eyes, and/or
sneeze some in the first few days after changing
environment. Give lots of petting, soft speech, and
encouragement, and the first problems should clear
up within a few days. The runny nose/sneezing is
nothing serious (so long as it isn’t accompanied by
a fever and/or diarrhea) and should also clear up
within a few days. If it doesn’t, call your vet.
Be aware that the kitten may cry and want to be near
you the first couple of nights. Although it is
completely weaned, it is used to being around many
other cats and the baby misses mom, littermates, and
the smells of "home”. It is scared and lonely. As
soon as it makes friends with you and your other
pet(s) the kitten will feel more confident.
Other Pets: If
you have other pets, wait until the kitten is
settled and comfortable before bringing in other
animals, one at a time. Do not leave the kitten
alone with the other pet(s) until you are certain
they are good friends (this may be several weeks).
Be certain to give the "old" pets plenty of
attention, in order to keep them from being jealous
and to avoid stirring territorial instincts too
strongly. It is always possible that the original
pet may not take too kindly to someone new using its
litter box/food dish. Be prepared for this by
giving the kitten its own litter box and food/water
Food-what kind, how
much, how often?
is completely weaned and has been eating dry and
canned food supplemented with fresh cooked
meat/organs. Always offer plenty of fresh water.
Pet fountains are ideal, such as the
Drinkwell Pet Fountain. Please introduce the kitten
to any new foods gradually (over a 7-10 day period)
to avoid upsetting its stomach. New food should be
mixed with food the kitten is currently eating,
gradually adding more of the new food and less of
the old until the kitten is
new food exclusively. We recommend a food with the
highest protein content available and no
fruits/vegetables or herbs (with the exception of
pumpkin, cats love pumpkin and it's good for them as
a treat). We are currently feeding Life’s Abundance
mixed with Authority. Both have simple
ingredients. Fresh cooked chicken/organs, turkey
and sometimes beef added to the canned food is a
great extra source of fresh protein and a great
treat. Freeze dried meats are also a healthy treat
and cats love them! Cow’s milk is not good
for cats as most cannot digest it properly, and
consequently get diarrhea. Goat’s milk is easier
for them to digest and a good treat. Sardines
canned in salt free water and cooked eggs also make
a good treat on occasion, but the eggs must
be cooked. We recommend metal or ceramic dishes.
Plastic dishes can harbor germs in the surface which
can cause a condition known as feline acne. Feline
acne is small pimples on the chin which cause
swelling and discomfort and can be very difficult to
We beg you not to
let your kitten run freely outside because of
potentially fatal feline diseases such as Feline
Leukemia Virus/Feline Aids. Also respiratory
viruses, and internal/external parasites. Not to
mention automobiles, antifreeze, car engines, people
who don't like cats and being attacked by another
animal to name a few. It is not any safer for cats
in the country. They also have to deal with coyotes
and fisher cats as well as all the above. If you
choose to ignore this, the chances are good that the
kitten will not survive its first year. If you keep
the kitten inside, or only take it out on a leash
(as described below) life expectancy is 12+ years.
you let your new kitten loose in your home, check
for the following safety hazards:
Electrical and phone cords left dangling
lids left up (a kitten can easily drown in a toilet
* Open fire
chairs (the mechanism of the chair can easily crush
a kitten who has crawled inside).
beds (again they can crush a kitten caught in the
or any loose trim (kittens have been known to
strangle when their heads get twisted in
or in a hole between trim and fabric).
drapery or mini blind cords (another invitation to
Accessible garbage (especially any kind of bones –
bones can either splinter, and perforate the
intestines or form an intestinal blockage).
and/or thread; knitting and/or crocheting materials.
bands (which can wrap around intestines).
wrap (the kitten can eat it, strangle on it, or
suffocate in it).
bags (they can eat it or get the handles caught
around their neck)
(especially packaging "peanuts") which the kitten
Cigarettes (yes, they will eat them)!!
* Yarn toys
(if they come unraveled, they can wrap around the
intestines or block them).
* Toys with
easily removed and swallowed parts.
Cellophane (it turns glassy in the stomach and can
cause internal lacerations).
refrigerators, dishwashers, microwave, ovens,
washers, dryers – always check!
* Put away
feathers and toys attached to string (such a kitty
teasers) after use. Kittens and cats will often eat
feather and swallow string.
* Keep your
workshop off limits. Cats will jump at moving
objects such as drills and power saws. They may also
swallow screws, nails, wire, and other small parts. Keep
your cat out of the garage or wherever antifreeze is
stored. It has an attractive scent to cats but is
fatal if ingested.
plants are poisonous to cats. See following links
for lists of hazardous plants.
CFA: Plants and Your Cat
ASPCA: Toxic and Non-Toxic
* Keep all
cleaning products and other chemicals (lighter
fluid, furniture polish, tea tree oil, etc) stored
away and out of reach. Anything with phenyl (check
the label) is deadly to cats (this includes Lysol).
Cats love to drink out of toilet bowls, it’s wise
not to use anything in your toilet and make sure the
lid is down at all times (except some cats have been
known to raise toilet lids). The best disinfectant
to use is:
bleach to 30 parts water. Remember, a cat will lick
its paws so be careful what you use on your floors.
(a product used for treating fleas/ticks in dogs
only) is deadly to cats. Your cat(s) should not
come into physical contact with a dog treated with
Advantix for at least the first 24 hours after
widespread belief cats are trainable by proper
methods: Rewards and tangible, but removed
punishment (see "squirt bottle method" below). Be
firm and patient with your kitten. By
the house rules now you can avoid future behavioral
problems. Actions that are cute in a kitten may not
seem so cute in an adult (such as nursing on your
arm, or sitting on the dining room table, or counter
top in the kitchen). If the kitten scratches its
claws where it should not, say "NO", take it to the
scratching post and gently make scratching motions
with its feet. Kittens respond well to a firm voice
and patience. You can also put some catnip on the
scratching post to make it an attractive place to
scratch. Cats are naturally fastidious, and want to
Squirt Bottle Method:
problems that don’t respond to the "NO" can usually
be modified by giving the kitten a quick shot from a
water spray bottle or squirt gun. This method
removes you from the punishment in the kitten’s
mind. The kitten does not begin to fear you as the
punishment as it would
if you were
to spank. Please DO NOT ever
spank your kitten/cat! It will just learn to fear
you and not the undesirable
behavior. The squirt bottle correction should be
sufficient in getting your kitten to refrain from
the undesirable behavior.
Play – When, How long, What Kind:
adult Maine Coons like to play. Generally the
morning or evening (following afternoon naps) is the
best time if you want an enthusiastic response,
especially in an adult cat. We try to discourage
rough play as this can make the kitten aggressive.
DO NOT roll the kitten over, grab it, and
vigorously rub its stomach. This will also make the
kitten become aggressive. When you play with the
kitten always use a toy, do not use your hands or
feet as a toy. Imagine an adult Maine Coon
attacking your feet and hands! If you are using a
teaser, do not leave the kitten unattended with
it. The kitten may ingest the feathers or tinsel
or get poked in mouth or eye with the stick.
Remember that what your kitten needs most is your
time and attention. If your kitten is left alone
during the day, it will be very glad to see you when
you get home! Please remember that kittens are
sensitive, living creatures, and do not allow your
children, friends, or other pets to manhandle your
kitten. One sure way to guarantee an unsatisfactory
pet is to mistreat it, even if inadvertently. On
the other hand, plenty of attention, love, and
considerate play will result in a companion that
will give you years of pleasure.
If you use a
collar on your kitten check it daily to be sure it
is not becoming too tight as the kitten grows.
However, a kitten can catch its lower jaw in a
too-loose collar. A breakaway collar is the best
choice, as it will separate if it becomes caught on
something. If you train your kitten to use a leash,
use a harness designed for cats – not a collar.
Remember that harnesses are not totally secure, and
a cat wearing a harness or a leash should NEVER be
left unsupervised. The cat can slip out of the
harness, become strangled or be attacked by
predators. Never walk a leashed cat near a roadway
or busy sidewalk unless you are sure that the cat is
very calm. The best place for your leashed cat is
in your own quiet backyard with you.
take your cat in the car always put
it in a carrier. A cat or kitten roaming around the
car is dangerous for you and your cat. When you go
to the vet make sure you use a carrier to take the
cat into the clinic. It helps keep the cat from
getting away from you in a stressful situation and
protects the cat from other animals. Put a towel or
pad in the bottom of the carrier and cover the
carrier in cold weather. It is a good idea to have
paper towels in your car in case there is an
coats are easy to maintain. A weekly combing with a
steel-tooth comb that has wide teeth on one end
and narrow teeth on the other, and a pin brush are
the tools necessary in for grooming your cat.
However, you may have to comb your cat more often in
the spring and fall to remove shedding undercoat.
Pay particular attention to the areas behind and
around the ears, the ruff, flanks, britches, and
under the front legs. These are the areas where mats
most readily form.
Please handle, bathe, clip nails, and groom
your kitten regularly so it becomes second nature to
them. It will make these things much easier to do
when the kitten is an adult. If you wish to keep
your cat looking like a champion, a bath every few
months with a good shampoo, plenty of rinsing, blow
drying, and combing afterwards is recommended.
Congratulations on your new baby and family
member!!! You will LOVE your easy-going, yet active,
gentle Maine Coon. They are the best!!!