From the moment they arrive in our homes, cats – no matter how young or old – are the kings of the castle. Providing a great home with the proper care is easy and rewarding when done right. Kittens need to gain experience, confidence, and learn to be social. They will need a healthy diet that is meat based and high in moisture and enzymes, and they need to have security and enrichments. We are here to help you know what to have ready for your new family member, and to navigate all the options in the healthiest way possible.
Introductions: Bringing home a new kitten or adult cat is the start of a life enhancing adventure. Your kitten will be curious, shy, adventurous, and ready to play and sleep and play again. Whether you are experienced or a first-time cat owner, being ready with the right things will make a big difference. If you have other animals in the house it is a good idea to give the new kitten or adopted cat a secure room, with a door that can be closed, so the animals hear and smell each other for several days before slow and supervised introductions begin. We recommend adding a pheromone calmative (which simply plugs in to the wall), as it will help all the cats during what can be a stressful adjustment.
Food: We recommend having several food options, including a fresh and raw one, ready to tempt your kitten with. Remember, cats are obligate carnivores and require high-protein meat diets, not high carb corn & rice-based diets. Despite human preferences, cats are uniquely different in what they should eat and how their bodies digest foods… don’t give human scraps, milk or cheese, or canned tuna which all can cause big problems for cats.
Hydration: Cats are accustomed to a fresh meat, hunted diet that is naturally high in moisture (70% or more water). They have a tendency to become seriously dehydrated when fed a dry food diet, so make sure to feed canned food and/or fresh raw foods when possible. The best diet is an exclusively raw meat, properly balanced diet with lots of moisture for a healthy bladder and kidney. Come see us for suggestions and samples of high-quality foods: dry, canned, or raw for your kitty.
Skin & Coat: Ensuring the right levels of healthy fatty acids will give your kitty a healthy skin and coat, reduce shedding, and prevent flea infestations naturally. Get your kitty used to regular brushing, which can be a social and bonding experience in addition to distributing the healthy oils through the coat. It will also keep mats from developing, especially in fine kitten fuzz, causing discomfort or hair loss and sores. Be wary of removing mats without professional tools or help, it’s easy to damage the thin, pliable skin and end up at the emergency vet.
Liver: You may not know that cats have a major metabolic difference from us: their liver. Humans and dogs use carbs and then fat for direct energy needs, saving their protein, while cats’ specialized liver will use protein as the first source for energy, converting proteins directly into energy (glucogenesis). They are evolved to completely skip any need for carbs. A diet that is low in protein will leave a cat starved and with low energy, plus you will see it start to use it’s own muscle to scrape up some protein for energy needs… often called muscle-wasting (seen often in senior cats). We believe that cats must eat fresh, high-meat-content, high-quality diets to thrive and keep the body and bladder/kidney systems operating normally.
Teeth: Keeping a cat’s mouth healthy can be challenging! It is not easy to brush a cat’s teeth… luckily, it is so much simpler now. We have several healthy powders and treats that will clean the teeth daily and prevent decay and disease, organ and heart problems, and foul-smelling breath. And if your cat eats raw food you will find you won’t need any dental additions since raw food diets keep the teeth white and their mouth healthy naturally.
Litter: Gone are the days of just one litter option. With all the natural, eco-friendly, asthma and lung friendly options available now, you’ll feel great about finding just the right litter for you and kitty. Having a clean litter box and helping the planet now go hand-in-hand. It is important for your and your cat’s health to clean the litter box regularly, daily if possible, and to use a box that is comfortable for your cat to fit in (not too small or large). Have more than one box available if you have a multi-cat household. We recommend open boxes without lids to keep lungs healthy, and dustless natural litters without gels or silicas that can collect in the airways and cause serious damage.
Toys: There are no rules and you can never have enough! You will want to make sure that your cat has a variety of play options, especially if you have an indoor only cat. Some toys are for individual play, others are made for you to enjoy with your cat. Exercise, using keen senses, and stimulating a cat’s natural drive to hunt, climb, jump, and just be a cat, is the most important thing you can do for your cat’s mental wellbeing. Pick toys in different materials, textures, and types to provide a variety of types of play. Feather toys that can fly through the air and flutter, fur toys that can be batted around, ticklers for their whiskers, even treats for hide and seek… there are many ways to stimulate your kitty and make it fun for you too. Remember that part of play is having different levels spatially, too… that means adding height and obstacles to your play areas and sessions. Make sure to have places where your cat can get above your head, they’ll feel mentally relaxed if they have a secure space high up to escape to when they need it. Also, a view from a window is something they will thank you for!
Come visit us for the best in nutrition, natural litter, holistic supplements, and innovative toys and cat climbers!