Chapter 5: Settling your kitten his forever home

You just brought home your kitty and now how you are going to help me settling in his forever home?

When we left the breeder house, we just walked home with our kitten in the carrier and we kept checking regurarly even if our flat was literally 10 minutes walking away from there. So we’ve been very lucky!

Anyway, if you’re planning to bring your fur baby home with car, these are some suggestions to take in consideration:

  1. Make sure to use a carrier to transport your kitten in the car ( it would ideal to put in the carrier a blanket o something similar with mama cat smell because this will help the kitten to feel comfortable.)
  2. Take regular breaks where your cat can have access to fresh water and food.
  3. Regularly check your kitty for signs of distress

Ideally you could ask to the breeder to give you a blanket or something similar with mam cat smell on it ot bring home along with your kitty: this will help him not only to relax during the travel but also to settle in during his first days in his new enviroment.

Unfortunately our breeder didn’t have any blanket with mama smells to give to us, but once again, in our case that wasn’t a big deal because we’ve been so fortunate that our kitty settled in very quickly and wonderfully!

When we arrived home, we just put the carrier on the floor and open the little door to let the kitten explore his new home. We let him take his time to get out and explored the new environment. Luckily, our home was very quite and peaceful as we dont’ have any children at the moment and basically the only two people in the house are my husband and I, so we didn’t have to set up a space just for our kitten.

We offered him food and water and prepared a fresh litter, ready to use. He found very quickly his litter box and started to use it straigh away without problems and also after a short investigation he found out his food and water bowls. He had a bit of food and water and then he went to hide himself under the sofa. So we decided not to force him to come out from under the sofa but to stay in the room watching TV or working on the computer and just let him take his time to get out and start to make himself comfortable in his new home.

After a while, he decided leave the sofa and go playing with my husband. He just played for alittle while and it went for a nap, guess where? Yes once again under the sofa!

This went over for few days, until one day he just decided to join me and my husband, who were watching TV, and sit up next my husband and start to purr at him! We couldn’t believe it!

Here, you can find some advice for you, based on my own experience, to help your kitty to settle in, :

  1. Let your kitten take his time to get out of the carrier and explore the new environment
  2. Offer him food and water but do not worry if he just shows a small interest for the food
  3. Let him find the litter box and explore it
  4. If you have a blanket with mama cat smell on it, place it in his bed to help him feel him at home
  5. If your kitten is sleeping, do not wake him up! Leave him sleep uninterrupted until he wakes up on his own
  6. If the kitten shows interest and he’s active, let him play but just do not force him if he looks anxious and not interested
  7. Spend time on the floor at kitten level with your kitty
  8. If by any chance your house is quite busy and noisy and you have children, it might be worth it to set up a space for your kitten in a quiet room to allow your kitty to settle in comfortably without any unnecessary stress. When he starts to settle in, you can start to move it where the centre of the activity in your house is.

From the day he decides to jump on the sofa and join us, it’s just keep getting better and he’s purring more and more every single day! It’s simply amazing the love that he’s showing to us with his purring and all his cuddles!!

Chapter 4: The Adoption Day

Finally, after you bought the essential things and you have kitten proofed your home, the big day has arrived!

Are you ready to go and collect your kitten?

Well, when my husband and I went to collect our cutie, we were really excited but at the same time very scared for two reason: number one, none of us took care of a pet since we were young and number two, we didn’t want to have too much high hopes because we were scammed before and we have been very sad about it after we’ve been left with empty hands. So the day before we went to get our kitty, we spoke with the breeder to ask him few questions to have some information and we also let him know that we would be going to collect him with a carrier. The next day was the adoption day and we were so thrilled to the thought that in few hours we could potentially have a new fur family member. We were so excited that we arrive very early at the house of the breeder, way too early but we had our little pet carrier with us ready and cozy for our kitten. I really suggest you getting a pet carrier to transport your cat for few reasons:

  1. Your kitty will be secure, safe and comfortable during the journey
  2. You can monitor him constantly
  3. He will be safe and he wont’ have chances to escape when you exit the car or any vehicle

It’s very important that you consider some factor when you pick the carrier for your kitty:

  1. Size: choose a carrier that allow your cat to turn around completely and lie down in it.
  2. Leak and bite-proof: Make sure the floor is leak-proof and the cat won’t be able to bite through the carrier
  3. Breathable: Choose a carrier where the air can enter and circulate freely

Also don’t’ forget to get your carrier ready before collecting your kitty!

Here there are some advice on how to get ready the carrier for the kitten:

  1. Put a blanket inside the carrier so he will be comfortable, cozy ad warm
  2. Put some toys inside so he will have something to play with and distract himself during the travel.

Now you are ready to go and collect your fur baby!

When we arrived at the breeder house, the breeder welcomed us in his home (always respecting social distancing) and brough the kittens in the living room. He had a litter of 3 kitty, 2 boys and a girl. My husband and I were looking for a boy and we had already told the breeder our preference.

Getting a boy or a girl, it’s all based on your preference, but I have some suggestion that can help you to make the right choice for you.

If you think to pick a boy, bear in mind this:

  1. Male cats tend to be bigger than females and can be friendlier than females.
  2. Intact male cats urinate to mark their territory and “howl” for females but this won’t be a problem if you get him neutered

If you prefer to get a girl, don’t forget that:

  1. Female cats tend to be more reserved than males but are less likely to urinate to mark their territory
  2. Females howl when they go into heat and can become pregnant before their first year

As soon he brought the kittens in, they started running around, playing and have fun. Mum cat was chilling on the carpet in the living room. She was a beautiful tabby grey cat; his coat was very shiny and she was really friendly even with if we jut met her. She let me strike her without any problem and I can tell you that she was loving being strike by me!

My husband started playing with the two boys. It was so nice seeing the kittens playing and interacting with him. After a bit, the breeder gave me one of the boys and said to me that this cutie loved to have his belly rubbed. So, I just took this tiny cute kitty in my arms and I started to rub his belly. And surprise, surprise…he was peacefully chilling and relaxing in my arms while was enjoying being rubbed! His brother instead was very shy. Even if he played with my husband, he didn’t want to be touched and was always running away from us. So after almost 45 minutes spent with the kittens, my husband and I decided to pick the one who enjoyed have his belly rubbed!

So, even if you have already pick the gender for your kitten, it’s also important consider his personality before choose the right one for you.

These are some points to take in consideration to choose a kitten with a good personality:

  1. Watch how the kittens in a litter interact with his siblings
  2. Choose a kitten that is playful, confident, and inquisitive but not too aggressive

Before we started to get the kitten ready to go in the carrier, the breeder gave us some advises to make sure our kitty would grow happy and healthy. He said to us to get him a scratching pole to scratch his claws and then gave us some suggestions about the feeding. He assured us that our kitten was fully weaned and advised us to give him the same food that he was using until he would be settle in our house and give him food as much as he asks for. He gave us also all the details about his birthday and flea and worm treatment so we could give all the necessary information to the veterinary clinic when we would go to register our kitty. However, our fur baby didn’t have the vaccinations done due to Covid-19. The breeder explained that the veterinary clinics were just treating the emergency cases due to Covid -19 and he advised us to go and get him vaccinated as soon as possible. This was very professional and nice of him and extremely helpful for us.

Before we took our kitty, we wanted to be sure that he was healthy.

These are the visual health checks that you should do to make sure you choose a heathy kitten:

  1. Make sure his eyes are clear, fully open, with no discharge and he is able to follow a piece of string dragged across the floor.
  2. Make sure his nose is clean with no discharge and he is not sneezing or labored breathing.
  3. Check that his ears are clean with no odor
  4. Check that the gums are pink, there are no sores or ulcers in the mouth or on the tongue and the teeth are white and properly aligned. Also there should be no odor to the breath.
  5. Make sure his anal area is clean with no discoloration or matted fur, or evidence of parasites
  6. Check that is coat is clean, soft with no dandruff, no evidence of parasites, such as fleas or lice and no evidence of scratching, scabs or missing hair.
  7. Make sure his body has a symmetrical shape, and it’s not too thin or has a protruding belly, which could indicate a intestinal parasite problem.
  8. Check that there are no lumps or bumps, including at the umbilicus (belly button).
  9. Make sure that he has coordinated movements with no head tremors.
  10. Make sure he has good appetite and has been fully weaned.
  11. If it doesn’t look 10 weeks old al least, don’t take the kitten.
  12. Make sure he has had the vaccinations if possible. It would be ideal if the breeder has already vaccinated the kitty but sometimes it can happen that the kitten hasn’t been vaccinated. So just make sure to take an appointment with the Vet straight away to vaccinate the kitty.

Finally, the moment the we’ve been waiting for so long, was becoming real: we put our kitten carefully in the carrier and here we go!!! We got our fur baby!

Chapter 3: Get your home ready and kitten proof

You have found your perfect kitty but is your home ready to welcome him?

After we found our perfect bundle of fur, my husband and I went kitten shopping to make sure we were absolutely ready for our his arrival.

The essential items that you will need are:

  1. Food and water bowls
  2. Litter box
  3. Litter
  4. Bed
  5. Scratching post
  6. Grooming tools
  7. Toys

But, for each of them, you need to take some factors in consideration.

Food  and water bowl

  1. Bowl material: Choose bowls made of ceramic or stainless steel and avoid plastic one because bacteria can survive on the surface and cause health problems to your kitty
  2. Depth of the bowl: Take in consideration the depth of the bowl! Cats prefer shallow and wide bowls because they are very sensitive to the feel of the dish around their little whiskers
  3. Location: Locate the bowls in a quiet place and far away from the litter box. No one wants to eat his meals by the toilet, smelling his poop!
  4. Cleaning: Clean the bowls at least once a day so bacteria doesn’t collect and smell.

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Litter Box

  1. Size: pick one that is the right size for your kitty and allow him to have enough space to step all the way into the box, turn around comfortably and dig a hole to do his business!
  2. Location: just locate the litter box in a quiet place where your kitty feels comfortable and not too far from your sight, so you won’t forget to clean it!
  3. Style: you have so many options on the market as open litter boxes, closed litter boxes and also enclosed one! The best thing to do is just try one and see which one your kitty like!
  4. Litter box scoop: always make sure you have a scoop to clean the litter box. This will make your life easier when it’s time to clean!

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Litter

  1. Cat approved: make sure at the beginning to use the same litter that the breed or the Rescue Centre/ Shelter was using so your kitty can settle in your home very nicely. Then, when he learnt how to use the litter and he is settled in, you can choose the litter that works best for you and your kitty. Bear in mind that it might take few tries!!
  2. No scented and dust free: make sure to choose a litter that is unscented because cats really don’t like strong scent and as dust-free because dust can cause respiratory problems to cats!

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Bed

  1. Size: choose the right size for your kitten, keep in mind that he will keep growing for a while!
  2. Comfort: make sure the bed is comfortable and cozy enough for kitty, so he will enjoy sleeping in there and he will not have his nap in your laundry basket or on your bed!
  3. Washability: make sure the bed is washable. This will reduce the spread of the bacteria and the odors!
  4. Cat approval: always choose a bed that your kitty likes!

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Food

  1. For start, just use the same food that the breeder or the Rescue Centre/ Shelter was using so your kitty can settle in your home! When he is settle in, you can start to think to change his food with appropriate, good quality food to ensure your kitty grows healthy and happy!

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Scratching post

  1. Material: choose a post made with a very durable material such as sisal so your kitty will enjoy to sink his claws in it and you won’t need to replace it often!
  2. Height: make sure to choose a scratching post with the right height because your kitty will use it not only to dig his claws in it but also to stretch his whole body!
  3. Stability: choose a scratching post that will be stable enough and it won’t’ fall when your kitty tries to scratch his claws on it!
  4. Location: make sure to locate the post in front of the object that your kitty is trying to scratch his claws on it, so he will choose to scratch his claws on the post and not on your furniture! When he will learn how to use it and it will become an habit for him, you can feel free to move it where it’s more appropriate!

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Grooming tools

  1. Hair Length: make sure to pick the right brush for your kitty considering his hair length! If your kitty has short hair, you have three options: grooming glove, shedding comb or slicker brush once a week! Nice and easy! If your kitty has medium length hair, choose a slicker brush and groom it once a day. If instead, your kitty has long-hair get ready to use a slicker brush and shedding comb every day or you will be in trouble!
  2. Comfort: Just try different types of brush and find which one your kitty find comfortable but also make sure the brush is comfortable for you as well! At the end of the day it’s you that brush the kitty’s fur!!!
  3. Clean-Up: choose a brush that it’s easy to clean and will allow you to remove easily the hair from it without doing a mess!!

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Toys

  1. Texture: cat toys have different texture and you can choose between a feather-covered toy, a leather toy, a fuzzy one, a crinkly one, fabric-covered, hard, soft! Just picks toys with different texture and find out which one your kitty likes!
  2. Durability: make sure to choose good toys, not easy to break so you can assure to your kitty long hours of playing and entertainment!
  3. Safety: inspect very well the toys to make sure there are no glued-on parts that could be swallowed, strings or sharp pieces so your kitty can play happy and safe!
  4. Easy to carry in mouth: choose toys that are plush, small, and lightweight. Cats are hunters so when they play they just use their hunting instinct and at the end of the play-hunt they likes to pick the toy up in their mouth and carry it after they have successfully “killed” it!
  5. Homemade toys: cats don’t need special toys, you can easily make cat toys at home whit just what you have in your home! The web is full of amazing ideas that will help you create cat toys with zero costs!

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After my husband and I went for kitten shopping and set all the items in our home, we decided to make sure that our flat was kitten proof for our kitty. We really didn’t want to harm our new kitty ad we really wanted to give him a safe and secure place where he could live happy and heathy!

So, here there are some tips to make your home a friendly and safe space, based on our personal experience:

  1. Keep all windows and doors closed until you kitty has settled in, has had all his vaccinations and has been neutered!
  2. Keep your plastic bags in safe place because if your kitty chew them or swallow them, they can cause a serious hazard to your kitty health!
  3. Keep always close the oven, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, tumble-dryer and washing machine and check inside for exploring cats before using them! Small kittens can hide anywhere and they always discover new hiding places!
  4. Always keep toilet lids down, so your kitten wont’t fall in or drink it!
  5. Make sure to hide all trailing electrical cables behind furniture!
  6. Make sure that all your bins in your kitchen and bathroom have closable lids that are paw-proof and don’t leave bin bags where kitten can easily reach it!
  7. Keep your blinds and curtains out of paws reach.
  8. Put away any breakable ornaments, as they won’t last long with a curious kitten exploring your home all day long!
  9. Keep your kitchen countertops clear and clean up any food residue promptly.
  10. Remove plants that are dangerous for cats
  11. Keep medicines, cleaning and hygiene products, car-related products, beauty or decorating products, slug pellets, mothballs, rat/mouse poisons, potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, dishwasher detergents, batteries, homemade play dough, hand or foot warmer, cigarettes, leftover coffee grounds, alcohol, chocolate in secure cupboards away from prying claws because they contain dangerous substances that can seriously harm your kitty’s health!

Now the home is ready to welcome our new cute bundle of hair and we can’t wait to share it with the new member of the family!

Chapter 2: How to find the right kitten for you

Do you prefer a breeed kitten with pedigree or a moggie? Do you want to adopt your kitty from a rescue Centre, a Shelter or buy it from a breeder? Short or long hair?

Well, when my husband and I decided to get a kitten, we weren’t really aware about how may different cat breeds could exists, so we looked on the web and researched a lot to have as much information as possible to make the right choice.

We discovered that breeded cats ( and also moggies) can have long or short hair. Picking between the two types of furr is essentially based on one simple question: are you willing to brush you cat furr every day or not?

So, if you can’t be bother to brush your cat hair every day, this are the short hair breeds perfect for you:

  1. Abyssinian
  2. American Shorthair
  3. Havana Brown
  4. Manx
  5. Oriental Shorthair
  6. Russian Blue
  7. Bombay
  8. Bengal
  9. Siamese
  10. Tonkinese

If you like the idea to have a beautiful cat with long fur and you will enjoy brushing his hair every day, you will fall in love with these breeds:

  1. Maine coon
  2. Norwegian Forest Cat
  3. Birman
  4. Angora
  5. Balinese
  6. American Curl
  7. Persian
  8. Himalayan
  9. Somalí
  10. Ragdoll

You should also take in consideration cat’s personality when you make your choices. Do you want a loving, sweet and affectionate cat or active, playful and curious cat?

If you are looking for a loving and affectionate cat, these are the cat breeds what will suit you the best:

  1. Ragdoll
  2. Siamese
  3. Sphynx
  4. Ragamuffin#
  5. Scottish fold
  6. Persian
  7. Tonkinese
  8. Burmese
  9. Birman
  10. Maine coon

If you are looking for an active, curios and elegant cat, these are the breeds for you:

  1. Maine coon
  2. British Shorthair
  3. Bengala
  4. Munchkin
  5. Siamese
  6. Persian
  7. Ragdoll
  8. Scottish fold
  9. Birman
  10. Russian Blue

After a long search on the web, we decided that we didn’t really need to get a specific breed of cat but we just want to get a loving and playful kitty to take care of.

So we started looking for a kitty using every possible resource. We initially looked for kitten in shelter or Rescue Centre but due to Covid-19 situation everything was shutted down. If you are really looking forward to get a kitten from a shelter or a Rescue Centre, these are few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure you are ready to take care of a kitten
  2. Get ready to have interview with the adoption support volunteers. They just want to assure that you really want a kitten and it’s the right choice for you!
  3. Get ready to have a meeting with the kitten that you chose before you will be able to bring your kitty home. This is just to rule out any allergies and make sure you are bonding together.
  4. Get ready to have a home visit! Rescues Centre and shelter want to make sure the kitten will have a safe and secure environment where he can live and grow happily

We then looked on different website and different Facebook pages as well and we found a post of Fb. We decided to contact the person to get more information. Well, we ended up deciding to get the kitten and paying in advance before we went to collect him. In short, we’ve been scammed and left with empty hands!!

So, when you start to look for kitten ads, free o to buy, always keep in mind this factors:

  1. Contact the breeder to get more informations: make sure the kitten is always at least 8 weeks old ( ideally it should be 10-12 weeks old) and if pedigree ask for certificate and proof of it.
  2. Don’t pay in advance! Just go and check the kittens first, ask to see their mum and if it possible his dad and gets as much informations as possile about the kittens.
  3. Pay only after you picked up your kitten.

So, after been left with emptied hands, we kept looking for a kitten and we found an ad regarding a litter of 3 kittens ready to leave their mum located literally 10 minutes away from home. On the ads the breeds specifed that the kittens were 50% just domestic tabby cat (from mum) and 50% Russian Blue (from Dad). As I said before, we weren’t looking for a partcular, we just really wanted to get a kitty. So, we called the breeder straight away, we managed to go and see the kitten the day after and we finilly brought him to his forever home ! We couldn’t have been more lucky to have found our little cute bundle of fluff so close to home and just for few pennies!

Chapter 1: Get yourself ready to have a kitten

Are you ready to have a little cute fluffy kitty going around and share your home with him?

If you are, well done!

Before we welcomed Otto in our family, my husband and I have been talking to have a pet for a long time. We were initially undecided if taking a puppy or a kitten. So, to make our decision, we took in consideration some factors:

  • Home Space: if you can set all your kitty needs in your home, he won’t need much space and he will be very happy living in your house! In my opinion a dog tents to need bigger spaces and eventually a proper garden because he needs to play, exercise and use all his energy to be happy!                                       
  • Lifestyle: if you have full time job, your cat will be perfectly fine napping, and playing with his toys at home alone while you are not at home.
  • Costs: cats are more affordable than dogs. If you adopt a kitten from a Rescue Centre or a Shelter the feeds for adoption are so cheap! If you lucky and search for a kitten during the kitten seasons we might even be able to get a kitten without event spend a penny! Also, cat toys are relativly cheap, last for log time and you can easly DIY them. You can found so many ideas and video on the web!
  • Noise: a cat meows and purrs of course but very quietly and your neighbour will thank you for that! The amazing thing is than any meow is different and you will enjoy to learn the meaning of every meow!
  • Indoor-only lifestyle: cats are perfect to live indoor and they will be incredibly happy to live their whole life indoor and, in my opinion, are safer! Cats enjoy simply be curled up in a sunny spot of the house or watching birds and bugs from the window it will make a good entertainment for hours!!
  • Independent lyfestyle: when the kitten is weaned from his mothers and have learned to use the litter box, he can be left at home unsupervised during the day if you can’t be there all day while puppies

So after a lot of thinking and talking, based on the facts that we both work full time, we live in a flat and we have neighbours, we decided that the best choice for us was to get a kitten. We couldn’t be more happier to adopt our beautiful kitten Otto!

Welcome to my cat blog!

Hi everyone! Want to grow a happy cat?

You are in the right place!

My name is Chiara and I’m going to share with you my cat’s adventure from his adoption following all his grow. During his adventures I will give you tips and advices on how to grow a happy and loving kitty!

Let me introduce you my kitten Otto!