I love buying cute collars for Grimoire, and fell in love with a purple one with star print on it that I saw on Etsy. That seller was Kitty Direct, and she’s now my favourite collar maker. Grim has had his collar for 4 months, and it’s still looking like new! It’s so soft and comfortable and has a breakaway clasp, so it’s nice and safe. Kitty Direct are so polite and helpful, I wanted to share them with you guys, and when I reached out to them, I discovered that they know LOADS about cats!
They were kind enough to do a guest post for CravenWild about buying and caring for your cat, just in time for International Cat Day, and you can also use code kittyten for 10% off.
If you love cats, I highly recommend checking out their blog, they have great articles on care and cat behaviour, head to Kitty Direct HERE. They have an adorable Instagram @kittydirect featuring their gorgous kitties, and they’re also on Facebook HERE. The pictures that follow are their own and show their own cats as models.
How to care for your kitten or cat
So you have decided to get a pet kitten or cat or are considering it. Congratulations! Cats are the most popular pet in the UK (and probably all around the world), so we’ve put together this handy guide to caring for your cat and we hope it helps you to look after all of your cat’s needs.
If you are making plans to welcome your new furry friend into your home, make sure you have all the cat things that you need to make your kitten or cat’s first few weeks as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Transporting your cat
You will need to purchase a cat carrier so that you can safely transport your kitten or cat to your home, and use it for all transportation such as to the vet or cattery. Never carry a cat or kitten in your arms or have them loose in between locations. Cats can easily get spooked and scared, jump out of your arms and get lost. Never have a cat loose in the car either as he can escape, distract you from driving and may hurt himself.
Bringing your cat home
When you first bring your kitten or cat home, you will need to keep your cat indoors for at least 3 weeks and your kitten for 8-12 weeks, (until they are at least 5 months old) to give them plenty of time to get acquainted with people and other pets in the house. Your cat should regard your house as a secure place before being let out or you may find the cat does not return, so this stage is really important.
Before you open your cat carrier, make sure all doors and windows are shut and openings such as fireplaces are sealed off. Place the carrier in one secure and quiet room and open the carrier door, allowing your cat to come out in his own time. Keep children and other pets away until your cat has got used to the room and feels more confident. Place the bedding, litter tray and food in the room and make introductions slowly so that your cat doesn’t become frightened or stressed. Encourage children to stay quiet, sit on the floor and wait for the cat to approach them. Do not allow children (and adults) to pick up the cat or disturb him if he is asleep as cats may get startled and scratch. Carefully introduce your other pets and never leave your cat alone with a pet until you are absolutely sure that they are both OK with each other.
Cat litter and tray
Buy a litter tray and suitable litter for your cat for when he is settling in. There are many types of cat litter on the market. Ensure that you have enough litter and it is regularly cleaned out. Cats are very fussy when it comes to having clean litter and litter trays, and may go to the toilet somewhere else if the litter isn’t changed regularly and the cat tray becomes dirty. When your cat goes to the toilet in the tray, remove it and top up with fresh cat litter. When the cat litter becomes heavier and more soiled then wash out the tray and add completely fresh litter and do this regularly. When your cat is ready to go outside you will no longer need the litter and tray, but keep them handy just in case your cat needs to stay inside in the future.
Food and water
Give your cat a balanced diet with a good quality wet cat food and dry food. Adult cats should be fed wet food twice a day and dry food once a day. A controlled amount of dry food should be made available to snack on throughout the day. You can feed your cat in the morning and early evening or depending when your cat tells you he’s hungry! Always have fresh water available for your cat in all weathers, not just when it is warm. Make sure you regularly clean food bowls so they are free from old food and bacteria.
Cats have no need for milk after they have left their mother. In fact, milk is not tolerated well by many cats and can cause diarrhoea. Some household items and foods can be toxic to your cat so do some research on toxic items to keep your cat safe.
A place to sleep
Not all cats will sleep in a bed that you buy! Place a cat bed in a secure, quiet and safe spot for your cat that is away from any noise or activity. A box with a blanket is just as good as a bed, but give it a go and see what your cat prefers.
Microchipping and collar
It is really important to get your kitten or cat microchipped as soon as possible. A microchip will have all of your contact details if your cat gets lost. If you move home, remember to update your details on the microchip, ask your vet for details.
You should also provide a collar for your cat with an identity tag. The cat collar MUST be a safety collar so that it has a buckle that can break away easily if the cat becomes entangled, otherwise the cat may choke and be unable to break free. Allow two fingers under the collar for the right fit so that it is not too tight or loose and always check your cat’s collar regularly to ensure that it is fitting well. There are elastic collars available that claim they are safety collars, however these collars are not as safe or as good as breakaway collars, and a cat’s jaw, leg or paw can get trapped if they are caught up or try to take it off.
If you have a kitten, try and get your kitten used to wearing a collar from around 4-5 months and certainly before they go outside. Be patient as a kitten may well not like a collar and try to tear it off. If this happens, try the collar on for small amounts of time leaving it on slightly longer every time so the kitten starts to get used to it.
Letting your cat outside
After you have kept your cat or kitten indoors for enough time, your cat will be ready to venture outside. It is important that your cat or kitten is microchipped and wearing a collar before you let him out.
Let your cat out one hour before his next meal so he will become hungry. Take your cat outside and let him walk around but stay with him, eventually taking the cat back inside to be fed.
When your cat becomes more confident, he will start to go out for longer periods of time and eventually you can give him free access via a cat flap. It is really important to have a cat flap that your cat can enter and exit through easily when he wants to. You can also lock a cat flap to prevent him from going out.
Vaccinations, neutering, flea and worm treatments
Check your cat’s vaccinations when you first get him or her. Vaccinations are essential to protect your cat from diseases such as cat flu and feline enteritis which can be fatal. You will also need to get an annual booster vaccination and check-up by your vet. Have your cat’s teeth checked too so that they stay in great condition. You can brush your cat’s teeth with special feline toothpaste available from your vet.
You should have your cat neutered if he or she is not already neutered. Females can get pregnant from as young as 4 months when they are kittens themselves. Ask your vet for details and at what age they can neuter your pet.
You will also need to give your kitten or cat regular flea and worm treatments to prevent fleas and other parasites that can cause anything from minor irritations to severe health issues, which can be fatal. Always get your flea and worm treatments prescribed by a vet as over-the-counter products are less effective and can be fatal if given to the wrong animal.