Cats Health Cards N°13. The reception of a kitten



- What is the ideal adoption age of a cat?

Most of the learning and acquisitions are carried out, in the cat, before the age of 2 months.
During her first 2 months of life, the kitten is very attached to her mother. The latter provides him with food, allows him to acquire a variety of learning which is clean and represents a "reassuring" being who will help the kitten not only to explore his environment without fear but also to socialize with various species human specie)

Thus, even if the weaning begins at 1 month in the kitten, it is not advisable to adopt it at this age.

Indeed, the various learning that he does with his mother is not finished and it is only about 2 months that he becomes autonomous and perfectly balanced.

Adopting a much younger kitten may disappoint the new owner who could end up with a particularly cowy, aggressive, violent during games or hyperactive.

- How to choose the kitten you want to adopt?

It should be checked that the conditions of development of the kitten that you wish to adopt were ideal:

- As mentioned above, a good development of the kitten requires the presence of his mother by his side until the age of 2 months.
This kitten will be all the more balanced since it was educated by a mother balanced and well socialized to human beings.

- Her mother must also have taught her not to scratch or bite during games. Thus, it is not "normal" for the kitten to hurt your hands or arms when you handle it or play with it.

- The experiences that the kitten has experienced during its first 3 months are very important:
The kitten will get used to the various elements (noises, objects, environments ...) that he met regularly during this period.

It is therefore interesting to adopt a kitten whose development environment is close to the environment of life in which you will make it evolve:

A kitten who has lived for the first few months in an environment lacking in stimulation will get used to very badly in a family with noisy young children or animal species that he has never met before and he risks to pass the major Part of his hidden time ...

Conversely, a cat raised in a very stimulating environment, like a garden, accustomed to large spaces, playing with all kinds of insects and plants, will not easily adapt to an apartment life too "quiet".

- Finally, a kitten will cohabit very well with the different animal species that it has repeatedly encountered between the age of 2 and 7 weeks. Thus, it will be well familiar to humans if it has been handled delicately and regularly by humans since its youngest age. In the same way, it is likely to adapt well in a family where another animal already lives if it has been frequently in contact with this type of animal before its 2 months.

- What if the animal was adopted very young?

Some situations do not allow the kitten to stay in touch with her mother during her first 2 months of life. This is particularly the case for an animal having lost its very young mother or for a kitten found.

The host family is often disappointed by the behavioral problems encountered later in this animal, which has been "bottle-fed" and "very cuddly". The real problem lies, in these cases of early mothering by the human being, in the difficulties of "communication" encountered between the human and the kitten.

Only a cat is able to communicate easily with a kitten and educate it. It is therefore best to put this young kitten in contact, as often as possible, with an adult cat (male or female) in perfect health and well balanced in order to ensure the best possible development.

- How to welcome this kitten?

- Food and Disposal

The cat is an animal very attached to its territory and certain rules must be respected so that the cat feels comfortable in its new environment.
- the litter must be in a quiet place (avoid proximity to any noisy object such as a washing machine ...), accessible at all times, and located at a distance from its feeding place.
This litter must remain particularly clean and if several cats are present in the same dwelling, the ideal is that each cat can benefit from its own litter.

- The cat is a hunter who, in nature, makes a very large number of meals of small volume. A self-service diet, using good-quality croquettes, is therefore the mode of food distribution that will approach most of its natural way of eating.
The tin must be in a quiet place where the cat can eat without being disturbed.

- Apprenticeship

- Cleanliness has been logically learned by imitating the mother and the kitten is usually already clean when adopted.

- Some basic rules can be learned to the kitten on arrival at home like not climbing on the tables or not scratching the soil of the plants. This learning will be done by giving him a brief "no" order and diverting his attention to a playful activity (for example, throwing a ball ...). The cat is, moreover, sensitive to rewards. Congratulating and rewarding him (caresses, croquettes ...) will help during the learning sessions.

- As soon as it is adopted, it can also be very interesting to habituate the kitten to all kinds of manipulations:
The latter will bear all the better the future constraints that he was manipulated regularly very young. It is advisable to learn to open the mouth (for a later administration of seals for example or a brushing of the teeth), to examine regularly its paws, its ears, its eyes (which will facilitate the care in case of otitis , Conjunctivitis ...). Young, it will easily be accustomed to be brushed or to what one cut the claws to him ...

- How to proceed if another cat is already present at home?

The cat is an animal very attached to its territory.
The arrival of a newcomer will require the sharing of space between several cats. The kitten must be presented in the most natural way possible to the cat already present:

- Do not force contact and always leave the possibility to the cat living initially in the home to seek refuge in a calm place if it wishes

- To intervene as little as possible in the relations between the two cats will allow a faster distribution of the territory and thus increase the chances of a good cohabitation between the two animals.