Bringing your new kitty home
Shadow and Autumn
When my daughter and I decided we wanted a pet, I did a lot of research. I love animals and if I were home all day I would’ve had a dog too. I was raised in a home with dogs and they were part of my life. I did my research on cats as I’d never owned one before. They are independent creatures and yet very affectionate at the same time.
Because I wanted to have a house cat (a cat that stays indoors). I made sure I found a breed that wouldn’t mind being in doors. I came across the British shorthaired cat. This cat is great for indoors and doesn’t long to go outside. This made my happy as I worry lots and I wouldn’t have been able to have a cat that wonders outside. Not with the busy road outside.
After browsing through Pets4homes.co.uk, I found a breeder of British shorthaired cats. My little girl and I visited this breeder and I was impressed. The house was immaculate, the cats clean, there was fresh water and food. The litter trays clean. He took us to the kittens and my daughter fell in love with the black kitten (Shadow). I on the other hand had been drawn to a blue one with the most amazing eyes. But thanks the owner’s honesty, he told me that she was not for sale because she had eye problems but the other blue one was.
The blue was adorable and not hard to fall in love with, we named him Autumn. We called him that because we got him in the autumn and we named Shadow because she was a black cat and I loved the name. The plan had been to buy one kitten because of the price but the breeder was a good salesman. He asked if I could take both kittens so that they wouldn’t be lonely. I went home and thought about it. My daughter had fallen in love with Shadow and I with Autumn. After some serious thought I bought both.
I had seen both parents who were show champions. The mother was blue and the father chocolate brown. It was amazing that she had had four blue and two black in the same litter. They were both lovely.
Autumn in the sink
Bringing you Kitty home for the first time
I was lucky that the breeder brought them over for me. Shadow is playful and full of energy. You will find him climbing my curtains (naughty boy) and poking his head between the loops. He bonded so well with my daughter, they’re both playful and he’s thoroughly entertained by her. Autumn on the other had is very laid back. He loves to sit on my lap and just relax. He occasionally plays with his brother but he isn’t too fused. His favourite chill out spot is the bathroom sink, (See picture). He’s a funny cat but they weren’t always this way at the beginning. They were terrified when they first arrived home.
When you bring your kitty home for the first time allow them to be. Our two went and hid under the couch and I left them there. I put out food and water and their trays close by. When we went to bed, for a while they meowed as if crying and it worried me a bit but it soon stopped. For a while when we weren’t in the living room they would come out from under the couch, but a soon as we came back in they’d be back under the couch. It takes time for them to adapt to their new surroundings, be patient, it will happen.
Shadow was the first to explore and trust but I did have a little trouble with Autumn. He would hiss if we tried to come anywhere near him. He’d run and hide, while shadow was settled.
The change affected Autumn so much he didn’t use his litter tray and every time would poop right next to it, in the exact same position. I was worried and thought something was wrong, that he was poorly. I rang the breeder and he gave me some great tips.
He told me to put on some thick gloves to protect myself from getting scratched. He then told me to speak calmly to Autumn as I approached and while still on the floor, place him on his back gently still talking and rub his tummy. What this does is that it shows the kitten that you aren’t going to hurt them. Unlike Shadow, it took a lot more time for Autumn to understand he was safe. I did this a few times and it seemed to work. He understood I wasn’t going to hurt him and he began to relax each time. If you do this with your kitten, make sure you don’t force them, this will have an opposite effect.
With regards to him not using his tray, the breeder told me to cover the area with foil and place the trays on top. So that if he messed he’d at least mess on the foil until he relearned to use the tray. Putting newspaper down only encourages it but for some reason they don’t like the feeling of foil under their feet. It worked for me, he avoided the foil and instead stepped right into his tray. I really can’t explain why this worked but it did.
I also had to train them not to jump onto the kitchen tops. Parts of the tops were also covered in foil and we also used a little spray bottle of water. I’ve only had to spray them once. It’s quite funny. Now all they have to see is the bottle and they don’t bother. Cats love height by nature, if your cat loves to jump on things try getting them a cat tree so they can climb and sit high.
I’ve learnt a lot having cats. Unlike dogs you have to allow them to just be. They will come to you when they are ready.