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.
Please 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
DO NOT ever
spank or punish the baby if it misses its litter
box! Rather, pick it up, put it in its box, and
gently 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?
Your kitten 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
eating the 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
California Natural Chicken and Rice and Diamond
Active Cat dry food. Both have good protein content
and 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
Your Kitten To Your Vet (What To and Not To Do):
When you bring your new
kitten to the vet for a checkup, vaccines or to be
spayed or neutered we highly recommend the follow
- Tests: Your kitten does not need a
Feline Leukemia Virus/Feline Aids test. All
our adult cats have been tested which means all our
kittens are negative. Your new kitten should
need no tests.
- Vaccines: We recommend 2 RCP
vaccines, we give them their first shot at roughly
10 wks of age, they need another a month after that
date (given either by us or the new owner) And
then one at a year that is all. We do not recommend yearly
vaccines for RCP, again your cat is indoors and not
exposed like an outdoor cat. Too many vaccines
is overkill on your cats immune system. Since your
kitten will be a indoor cat we recommend rabies at
around 6 months of age.
- Altering: For altering we
recommend 6-7 months for females and 6-10 months for
- Illness: If for some reason your cat becomes ill
PLEASE contact us first, we have been breeding for
many years and have seen and treated many things, my
daughter Kelly also works for a vet practice.
Most likely we will be able to tell you what
questions to ask the vet as we will probably have an
idea of what tests your vet should (and should NOT)
run therefore keeping unnecessary tests and vet bills to a minimum.
- Gums & Mouth - One of the Maine Coons breed
health issues is gum disease, particularly
gingivitis. While we try and breed cats with good
mouth health gingivitis is very common in our breed.
It is not uncommon for teething kittens/young adults
to have a red line on the gums. This generally
gets better with age. If your kitten has this
we highly recommend you let your cat grow up some
and not to worry too much, generally there is a
great improvement between 1 yr and a year and a
half. This is called juvenile gingivitis.
Please do not do any drastic dental work.
- Finding a Vet: When selecting a vet
choose one that offers emergency appointments after
hrs and on weekends. Otherwise if you had an
emergency you would have to find an emergency clinic
which can quickly get expensive.
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 virus
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, fox
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
* Toilet lids left up
(a kitten can easily drown in a toilet bowl)
* Open fire screens
* Reclining chairs (the
mechanism of the chair can easily crush a kitten
that has crawled inside).
*Hide-away beds (again
they can crush a kitten caught in the mechanism).
* Fringe, or any loose
trim (kittens have been known to strangle when their
heads get twisted in the fringe or in a hole between
trim and fabric).
* Dangling drapery or
mini blind cords (another invitation to
* Accessible garbage
(especially any kind of bones – cooked bones can
splinter and perforate the stomach or intestines or
form an intestinal blockage).
* Needles and/or
thread; knitting and/or crocheting materials.
* Rubber bands (which
can wrap around intestines).
* Plastic wrap (the
kitten can eat it, strangle on it, or suffocate in
* Plastic bags (they
can eat it or get the handles caught around their
* Styrofoam (especially
packaging "peanuts") which the kitten may eat.
* 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
* Open refrigerators,
dishwashers, microwave, ovens, washers, dryers –
* Put away feathers and
toys attached to string (such a kitty teasers) after
use. Kittens and cats will often eat feather and
* 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.
* Some plants are
poisonous to cats. See following links for lists of
Plants and Your Cat
Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants
* 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
1 part bleach to 30
parts water. Remember, a cat will lick its paws so
be careful what you use on your floors.
* Advantix (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 application.
Contrary to 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
teaching it 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 behave.
Squirt Bottle Method:
Behavior 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
source of 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,
Kittens and 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. 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.
Collars and Leashes:
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.
When 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. It is a good
idea to have paper towels and plastic bags in your
car in case there is an accident.
Maine Coons 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