20220626_112943_edited.jpg

Kitten Care

Kitten Care


​1. Our kittens normally adjust pretty instantly, I always suggest giving them a lot of love and cuddles the first day. Take the day off to introduce yourself and build that trust and bond. I have added some common suggestions in case they may be a little timid on their first day.

The best way to acclimate a new kitten to your home is to choose a bathroom or a small area where there is nowhere for her to hide and put her food & water and litter in there. Leave her in this small place for a few days. Take her out as often as you wish but keep her on your lap and pet her. When you cannot hold her put her back in her safe place. Once you are sure she is eating & drinking & using the litter box correctly and allowing you to give her affection then you can slowly open her up to the rest of the house. It can take up to a week for kittens to get over the stress of the flight and start settling in.

2. Gradually let him/her explore the rest of their new home. We actually have a variety of litter boxes scattered throughout our home so that they are never that far away from relief, particularly for kittens that, like little children, can get distracted playing.

3. Introduce the other pets in the household gradually. Ragdolls typically are fearless and love everyone, so this is as much for the current household as it is for the new one. We actually have a variety of security doors in our house that are mesh so they can get to know each other, sniff noses and the like with the safety of a barrier between them. Again, your Raggie is an individual and may just take over upon arrival. It happens often. Your older cat can take 2-4 weeks to accept a new kitten this is normal cat behavior they will eventually fully accept the kitten, but it takes time please be patient with your resident cat(s).

4. Toys - they love toys. I get many of their toys off of either Amazon.com or our local pet store. They love anything with feathers and ordinary cat toy balls with a bell in them. They love fake mice. Don't ask me why but many of our kittens LOVE these mice but they periodically drown them in their water dish. Oh, and you can never have too many toys because they will all end up under your couch. Our kittens love lasers but be careful not to let it point at their eye's and ensure their new human siblings know not to. They have sensitive eyes.

5. Scratching posts - buy a nice one there are many different types try a few different kinds or you can make your own if you like by wrapping sisal rope around a board, or one might come on your cat tree

6. Cat tree - Your kitten is very active. She needs opportunity to scramble, scamper and generally be a happy, busy kitten. We highly recommend some kind of cat tree. Amazon has tons to choose from. We prefer the brand Lazy Buddy or Lazy Buddy Tall it has no carpet and washable pads instead.

7. Litter
Your kitten will have grown up with Feline Pine. However, we have learned that they very easily transitioned to normal clumping clay litter if that is entirely your choice (and your kitten, of course). Also, if you frequent a farm store, there is a Feline Pine equivalent (Pine Pellets) which is bedding for barn animals, that works just as well and will save you a few dollars. (Like Tractor Supply Horse Pelleted Bedding) We no longer use clumping litter because of its dust factor and its lack of biodegradability and baby kittens eat it. If you choose to use a different litter purchase a small bag of Feline Pine and pour it over your litter so the kitten gets used to the new litter.

8. Litter boxes

We use the Tidy Cat System and have them through-out our home. A lot of our parent's use Litter Robot or Pura X and have nothing but amazing things to say about them. I would need several, so hubby say's when they can walk it to the trash, he will let us invest in them lol. They are quite expensive, but Facebook marketplace often has some for a much better price. I have many parents find them on their locally as well.

9. Cat food
 We feed our kittens Baby Blue Buffalo Grain-free food. We leave the dry out all the time. As for wet food our kittens are eating Nulo Grain Free Wet Food and Baby Blue Buffalo Wet Food twice a day. We also like to add Primal Turkey Freeze Dried to their diets. Some of our kittens are eating only wet food and some of ours are eating only dry food and some eat both. Our kittens will transition to dry food as they grow older but exactly when depends on each individual kitten. You can leave dry food out but continue to feed wet twice a day. Some kittens do not realize dry food is actually food and will starve themselves to death, so we give a variety of dry, moistened wet, and wet food to tickle every kitten fancy.

We feed our adults Orijens Original Cat,Guardian 8 and Kitten. We mix all the different types together so that our cats are accustomed to different protein sources.

I always will suggest as close to species appropriate as possible. There are plenty of home delivery options nowadays as well as, good quality raw freeze-dried food.  

9. Nail trimming - While this isn't necessary, it keeps kitty from getting her nails caught in fabric which can be painful to both the fabric and the kitten. When the kitten is quiet, we gently massage her feet (usually just the front) to get her use to being handled. Then we gently push the claw forward and use ordinary people nail clippers to nip off the end being careful not to get too close to the quick. DO NOT declaw your cat it is very painful and unethical and they suffer for the rest of their lives!

10.) Vaccinations
We only recommend the core vaccines which are FVRCP & Rabies.
We DO NOT recommend

FIP

FELV

FIV

Bordetella

​Chlamydia

Vaccinations are a medical procedure and as with all medical procedures there is risk involved. Vaccine are LIVE vaccines which means the cat is receiving the live viruses or live bacteria but in a slightly weakened form. Therefore, the symptoms associated with the diseases of the virus or bacteria the cat is being vaccinated against can occur with an addition of an allergic reaction and even tumors at the injection sites. The viruses/bacteria are then shed in the cat's stool and saliva for up to 12 weeks so any unvaccinated cats that are around a vaccinated cat can be infected with the virus/bacteria and get the full-fledged disease. Pregnant cats and (kittens too young to be vaccinated) can get the diseases from recently vaccinated cats. For this reason, vaccinated cats should always be quarantined away from the other cats. Even drawing up vaccines in the presence of unvaccinated cats can send the viruses/bacteria airborne and infect them. Extreme caution should be used in the administration of vaccinations there are risks involved and it should not be taken lightly.

The most common reactions we have seen in Ragdolls include:

Fever

Weakness

Lethargy

Diarrhea

Coughing

Sneezing

Watery Eyes or Eye Discharge

Mouth sores

Pain at injection site

Limping


Please visit this website below for more in-depth information on vaccinations from Cornell University :

https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/feline-vaccines-benefits-and-risks

Feline herpesvirus (viral rhinotracheitis): This virus causes upper respiratory infection with fever, sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the inner eyelids and mucous membranes around the eyes), inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), and lethargy. Kittens have an increased risk of infection.
Calicivirus: This highly contagious and ubiquitous virus is one of the major causes of upper respiratory infection in cats. Affected cats may experience sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, conjunctivitis, lethargy, loss of appetite, sores on the gums and soft tissues of the oral cavity, and lameness. In some cases, affected kittens may develop pneumonia. In rare cases, a much more virulent strain of this virus can cause inflammation of the liver, intestines, pancreas, and cells that line the blood vessels. This severe form of calicivirus can be deadly in up to half of affected cats.
Rabies virus: This deadly viral infection most commonly spreads through bite wounds but can also be transmitted to any mammal by exposure of an open wound to the saliva of an infected animal. Skunks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, and bats are the most common wild carriers in North America. Humans are at risk of infection if bitten by an infected animal or if the saliva of an infected animal comes into contact with an open wound. Rabies is routinely fatal once symptoms develop.

At Southern Ragdolls we are passionate about our cats and kittens. We love helping people find the perfect new addition for their families and enjoy a reputation as a kind and caring Ragdoll Breeder. Find out more about us and about our cats below.