Stacym Somalis


Kitten Notes

DIET Your kitten has been fed a balanced diet and you should continue to feed a similar one. Kittens need two to three small meals a day until they are six months old; in addition allow free feeding from a bowl of cat biscuits at all times. From the age of six months, some owners reduce the number of meals a day, I don’t. I like the excitement and fun of feeding time! Always make fresh water available. Contrary to popular belief, liver and fish are harmful to cats in excess.

Commercial Cat Food I feed adult foods  as I have found that kitten biscuits and/or kitten ‘wet’ food can be too rich for their little tummies and give them diarrhoea. I have recently started feeding Acana Grasslands biscuits with Felix As good as it Gets meat in Jellywet food at each of the two to three meals of the day.Acana is available from Bern Pet Foods My cats and kittens  love both of these foods.

Too much of any food at a young age can also cause diarrhoea. I stay away from fish as it can make them loose. Biscuits have a cleaning effect on the teeth and so are good for them. If any food disagrees (or indeed for any tummy upset), the standard treatment for an adult cat is to give nothing but water for 24/36 hours but be careful with a young kitten as they can 'go downhill' very quickly. Sometimes Isogel or Kaolin (from your vet) will protect the gut in cases of diarrhoea. A great bland food to help settle tummies is plain mashed potato (rather than rice) with a small amount of tinned tuna to make it more palatable. Another alternative is IAMS Hairball this seems to work well too. Avoid antibiotics unless the upset does not respond to home treatment. A small amount of blood on a normal stool usually indicates that something has disagreed with the cat or that it is acutely stressed. Consult your vet if it persists beyond 24 hours, and avoid the offending food. If in doubt always consult your vet.

Milk: do not give milk to your kitten. This includes special cat milks. Again it can upset her tummy.

Dishes: generally metal dishes are better than plastic – they are more robust and easier to keep clean. Other materials can encourage feline acne on the chin.

GROOMING AND GENERAL CARE Your kitten needs a light comb once a week with a comb. Grooming brings out the shine in the coat and will make your cat devoted to you! Use a fine steel comb to remove dead fur. Ears: wipe outer ear with damp cotton wool if necessary. Do not poke the ear with anything. If your cat's ears ever become very dirty, take him/her to the vet to check for an underlying cause. Do not use ear drops except with the agreement of your vet.

FLEAS Your kitten does not have fleas! If she ever acquires them in future, I recommend you apply Advantage monthly on the skin at the back of the neck (part the fur) where the cat cannot lick it off. Do not use fleas sprays or powders - there are a lot of questions about their toxicity.

Use Nuvan Staykil on carpets if your house becomes infested, but clear cats and other animals from the rooms first and follow the instructions on the can VERY carefully.

WORMS Your kitten has been wormed with Panacur or Drontal, which kill a variety of worms. Repeat as recommended by their instructions.

NEUTERING Follow your vet’s recommendation. Keep your kitten inside until she has been neutered to reduce the risk of fighting and unplanned mating. In general kittens should be neutered at about 5-7 months. This requires a general anaesthetic and you should ensure that your kitten is perfectly fit before booking in for neutering - or any operation. Always follow the veterinary surgeon's instructions for post-operative care. A male kitten will probably still be fertile for six weeks after neutering, so do not give him the chance to mate a female! The cost of neutering varies across the country. The cheapest may not be the best (see Veterinary Care, below).

VETERINARY CARE If you do not already have a veterinary surgeon, ask people in your neighbourhood and then judge for yourself which practice seems to be the most respected. The cheapest may not be best. Be sure to enquire if 24 hour cover is offered by your own vet or whether you will have to travel with your cat to another vet in an emergency. A visit to the surgery will tell you whether the premises are clean and the staff helpful and efficient. In any case, do not wait until you need a vet in a hurry - introduce yourself as soon as you can after bringing home a new pet. Please take your kitten for a check-up within a week of taking her home. Most owners only see their vet for their pet's annual booster, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Our veterinary surgeons have several small animal specialists. Some country practices in particular don't offer expertise in small animals.

VACCINATIONS Renew these per vaccine guidelines at the due date, these may vary by vaccine procol. Your kitten has been vaccinated with at least the 3 standard vaccines of Feline viral Rhinotracheitis (FRV), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), Feline Panleucopaenia: see vaccination certificate.

CAT LITTER Your kitten is used to Swheat Scoop flushable litter. The only suppliers I am aware of at time of writing are R&L pet products http://www.rlpetproducts.co.uk/index.php Scoop the tray twice a day to remove wet litter and solid waste. Trays should be washed daily at least, in either a special cat disinfectant such as Virkon (available through specialist suppliers and your vet) or use 40 ml. of domestic bleach and a squeeze of washing up liquid to 5 litres of hot water. Let the tray dry before re-using. Alternatively, do what I do, use plastic litter tray liners with newspaper between the litter and plastic bag and disinfectant if litter gets through the bag. Always put the tray in a quiet and private place. Use a hooded tray to give the cat greater privacy. Your kitten is perfectly housetrained. Only a sick or very upset cat fails to use a litter tray which is kept clean and in the same place. If you give the cat the run of the house, you may need to use more than one tray. If you have a multi-cat household make sure there is a litter tray per cat plus one additional one.

TOYS AND SCRATCHING POSTS Your kitten loves to play! She will play on her own and with you. You do not need to buy lots of expensive toys for her: a piece of paper screwed up into a ball is a source of joy for her. I find that mine love playing with ping pong balls, little toy mice, ‘feline flyers’ (a wand with feathers attached by cord) the list is endless.

OUTDOORS There are risks if you allow your kitten access to the outside and indeed may result in your kitten dying early as a result of a car accident, lethal infection or other causes. Somalis in particular seem prone to traffic accidents. You have agreed not to give your Stacym Somali uncontrolled access to the outside.

HOW TO VIDEOS on Cornell University’s website http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/pet/cats

OTHER HAZARDS

Collars and harnesses. Make sure these have an elastic section that will prevent the cat strangling herself in a tree. Harnesses should only be worn, together with a lead, when you are with the cat. Cats can be trained to a lead if you begin when they are young and are patient.

Washing machines, dish washers  and other domestic equipment. These are quite lethal - the cat may suffocate if locked in accidentally. She will also die a terrible death if someone switches on the machine.

Hot surfaces: Cats will jump on these unwittingly and suffer severe burns.

Knives: cats will lick these and the tops of tin cans. The wounds are hideous and do not heal easily.

Buckets containing hot water and disinfectant are particularly hazardous to kittens. If a disinfectant clouds water then do not use it in the house as it is poisonous to cats.

Toilets and baths. Your kitten is very curious and will be exploring everything all the time. It is best to keep the lid of your toilet down and the bathroom door shut if there is water in the bath.

Poisonous Plants Some plants are poisonous to cats. Avoid noxious plants in your garden.

Poisons Anti-freeze cats love it and it is a FATAL poison.

Aspirin is FATAL to cats.

Creosote is FATAL to cats. Use a wood preservative guaranteed safe for cats. Do not let your cats out for at least 48 hours if your neighbours insist on using creosote.

Slug Pellets Check the label and buy only pet-safe ones. Some slug pellets are FATAL

Rat Poison and Weedkillers Phenolic compounds such as Dettol and pine disinfectants are poisonous.

Lavatory cleaners Use bleach only. Do not allow your cat to drink from the toilet. The blocks which deliver a measure of cleaner at each flush are particularly dangerous to cats.

Castor Oil is FATAL to cats.

Window cleaning products which kill flies should be avoided. Use vinegar and hot water.

The general rule is: READ ALL LABELS and USE A SAFE CLEANER such as bleach and washing up liquid.

Top 10 Home Hazards

1.       Falls from balconies or windows

2.       Kitchen scalds and burns

3.       Cleaning Products

4.       Swallowing objects

5.       Heavy objects falling

6.       Garden and garage

7.       Bin raiding

8.       Owner carelessness

9.       Electrical wires

10.    Washing machines or spin dryers and car engines

Here's an FAB article on Poisons

ADVICE Please do not hesitate to call me about any problems you experience. Call me to give me news about your cat. I will call you to check that your kitten is settling well, but don't delay calling me if you are worried about anything at all. In rare cases where a kitten will not settle, I will have her back and return your money without question PROVIDING THAT you inform me immediately you are aware there is a problem Some kittens are a little unhappy and homesick for the first few days, so be tolerant and make her feel welcome. A kitten missing her brothers and sisters will cry at night - the best solution is to take her to bed with you! Talk to the kitten frequently and quietly and let her come to you. Kittens rarely like being grabbed and held against their will. Let them come in their own time and they will be on your lap for life. Introduce dogs and other cats tactfully make a fuss of the animals you already have so they do not become jealous of the newcomer. Teach children to handle the kitten gently and don't let them shout and rush around a homesick kitten. Keep the kitten(s) in one room initially. Place a bed or the basket the kitten arrived in near food and water and place the litter tray accessibly. Do not worry if the kitten will not eat or use a tray for the first 24 hours. The stress of a new home can upset the kitten's tummy, as can a change of water in which case a light diet of chicken or fish is sometimes advisable. But get her onto a balanced diet (see above) as soon as possible. Above all, be calm, quiet and very affectionate in your tone of voice. Do not worry if the kitten dives under a chair. She will soon come out.

 recommended ‘Equipment’

Sustenance

Toileting

Grooming

Health Care

Play

Food bowls – metal

Covered Litter Tray – 1 per cat + 1 if multi-cat

Comb

Love and kindness

Scrunched up paper

Water bowls – metal or china

Litter tray liners

Brush with rounded ends

Good Vet you trust and feel comfortable with

Ping pong balls

James Wellbeloved Lamb and Rice

Newspaper

Claw clippers

Annual vaccinations

Little toy mice

Felix 'in jelly

Swheat Scoop flushable litter

Cotton wool for ears

Worming as appropriate

Feline Flyers

Water

Litter scoop

 

De-fleaing as appropriate

Scratching post

No milk

Nappy sacks

 

Neuter as agreed

Boxes with holes to jump through, in and out of

No treats

 

 

 

 

Finally, do please keep in touch and tell me when you move house or change your phone number. Do not hesitate to ask for help or advice. Photographs are greatly valued and appreciated. Please do try to send me one, with news of the kitten, as they grow up into beautiful cats.

I wish you and your kitten a long and happy life together.

Kathy