More Cat Care Information:
Generally, your kitten will go home with you when they are around 12 to 16 weeks old. At that age, they have bonded with their mother and socialized with the breeder and other cats in the litter. What are some of the challenges and fun things to look forward to in these first few months?
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
Around four months of age, your kitten may start to lose his baby teeth. Just like human infants, his gums may be painful as his adult teeth develop. You can massage his gums with gauze to relieve pain, or give plastic drinking straws to help with teething. The straws are also fun for the kitten to play with. When they are young, kittens will quickly adapt to a dental care routine.
When you first bring your kitten home, it's smart to create separate space away from other family members and other animals. She will need some time to get used to the new environment, though outgoing kittens will soon poke their heads out and want to join the rest of the family. If you have older cats, you will start to see the kitten trying to figure out the social ranking order of the house. It's not unusual to see a kitten challenge the older, alpha cat, which will quickly let him know who's in charge with a swipe at the kitten's ears.
Depending on your other cats' personalities and their social position, you may find the other cats deferring to the kitten. Your kitten grows with big changes during this time. You may find your little, fluff ball growing stronger and more muscular.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
While Maine Coon kittens are born about the same size as other breed, they mature slower than other breeds of cats. Adults don't reach maturity until they are 3 to 5 years of age. Your young cat may look like the same size as adult cats of other breeds. Keep in mind, your kitten is still a baby for the first eighteen months.
You'll need to find a quality cat food for your kitten and provide clean, fresh water. Maine Coon cats love to play with water, so keep an eye on the water level to determine whether the cat is actually drinking from the bowl or splashing around in it.
Kittens should continue to eat kitten food during this phase of growth. They need the additional nutrients for strong bones, healthy teeth, and strong muscles. Your kitten should be spayed or neutered between three to six months of age. Both female and male kittens, as young as four to five months old, can become sexually active.
Maine Coon cats are known for being affectionate and gentle. They are smart and can usually outwit closed doors or hidden treats. Female Coons are typically more reserved than males, but both love to follow their owners and lend “help” in household activities. You can also train your kitten to use a leash, if you're interested in having him as an outdoor cat or to enjoy outdoor “games” like hunting lizards.
Love and spoil your Maine Coon kitten, and he will provide unconditional love for many, many years to come!
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|