Bringing Home your Maine Coon kitten - Maine Coon Kittens | Maine Coon Breeders | Maine Coon Cat

Bringing Home your Maine Coon kitten

Why Should I Quarantine My Kitten?

It is important to quarantine new kittens for at least one week or up to ten days. New kittens are very fragile. Moving to a new environment is stressful. Stress compromises the immune system. Remember, they have been with their siblings and mother since birth. Going to a new home is a BIG Change. Kittens may often experience gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, and vomiting and may have a lack of appetite. Make any dietary changes gradually, over two weeks after the quarantine period. Stress can also facilitate upper respiratory issues, just like catching a cold.

For their first 6-8 weeks, your kitten has been in a small nursing area with siblings and the mother cat. It is learning to use the litter box. Before bringing your kitten home select a space that is not too large (or too small) where your kitten will feel safe. A room such as a large bathroom or nursery is usually the perfect size. If a room is too large, they may be unable to find their litter box. We keep our nursery area set at 78 F. Avoid choosing a drafty space or areas that are poorly ventilated or poorly insulated. Keeping your kitten as comfortable as possible will help to lower the amount of stress it experiences at this time.

Don’t Let Emotions Interfere

We have over thirty years of experience caring for animals and have been raising kittens since 2019. Be emotionally strong and mentally prepared for quarantine. It is normal for new kittens to cry when they are isolated. Remember that quarantining them is for their protection. Some people will say that they do not feel it is necessary that they didn’t have space, that there wasn’t enough time, or that they didn’t want to hear them crying.

It can often take 3 to 5 days for symptoms to show up. If you let your kitten out of quarantine early, it could expose other pets to an illness. Allowing your kitten to interact with other pets too soon also increases the risk of the kitten catching something due to having a compromised immune system from stress. Remember, the quarantine period is designed to reduce stress as your new kitten acclimates to its’ new forever home. 25-30% of kittens will normally show signs of stress, usually gastrointestinal (GI) and/or respiratory issues, like catching a cold. Follow up with your veterinarian as needed. Check out our blog: Choosing the Right Veterinarian for your Maine Coon kitten before bringing your new kitten home.

Your quarantine room should have a cat bed, scratching post, and toys available for play. Be sure the litterbox is set up and also that food and water are available 24-7. Keeping dry food out around the clock is a good idea, remember your kitten is growing. Canned food can be offered a couple of times each day. Clean fresh water should always be available.

Keep other pets and children out of the quarantine room. Allowing your children to visit the new kitten is fine while supervised, normally for about 5 minutes or until you notice the kitten becoming too nervous. After a few days, you can begin feeding your new kitten near the door. This will allow other pets to smell them and they can begin to become safely acquainted as the door serves as a barrier. Your pets can hear and smell each other. Your new kitten may also associate them with something good, like their food. Placing a string toy between the door will allow play between your kitten and other cats.

Feeding and Supplements

It is important to be sure you have the same food your kitten has been eating at home and ready for them when they arrive. We of course have a list of all that information and even offer you to purchase the food directly from us if you live locally to make it more convenient. Feed your kitten only this food for at least the first two weeks. Then, if you decide to switch your baby’s food do it very slowly throughout a couple of weeks by mixing the old food and the new food gradually adding more of the new food until it is completely switched. This is important so as to not cause diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and your new kitty feeling sick. In addition, we STRONGLY advise you to use the Forti Flora probiotic supplement. This supplement is very helpful to your cat by giving them beneficial bacteria to help their digestive tract and immune system.

When Should I Visit My Veterinarian?

We recommend taking your new kitten to the Vet within 3 days of purchase to validate the Contract. Set up an appointment with your vet before you pick up your new kitten, as they are sometimes booked up. If at any time your new kitten has diarrhea, vomiting, a runny nose, goopy eyes, or stops eating take them to a vet immediately.

Kittens have fragile immune systems, and diarrhea can quickly cause dehydration in a tiny baby kitten. Upper Respiratory infections can quickly turn from a “cold” to something worse. If a kitten stops eating and you don’t see any outward symptoms, still take them to a vet as they could have a foreign body in their stomach or an intestinal infection. If any of these happen do not delay and take them quickly to your vet, as well as contact us. We will be happy to share information as we may be able to help with ideas while you are preparing for a vet visit. We hope this helps you better prepare for your new kitten and eliminates anxiety. As long as you follow these steps and precautions this transition period should go very smoothly. Your new kitty should be happy and healthy for years to come. The HUGE key to all successful homecomings is that you reserve a lot of time and patience! Patience is a MUST! Your new kitty and other animals will need at least a full 3-week period before they are fully acclimated so be sure to be very patient. If you have any questions please ask us.

Quarantine Is Over Now What?

Once the quarantine is over and your healthy kitten is ready to begin acclimating into the household, put them in a crate or kennel and bring in your other pets so introductions can be made safely through the barrier of the kennel door. A few growls or hisses from your other pet are ok, but if they continue for more than a few minutes or begin to try and fight your new kitten, remove your pet from the room and try again in a couple of hours. Repeat this process until everyone’s behavior is positive, and then let the kitten out of the crate in the room. Do this in the quarantine room so that your kitty is not also having to figure out your huge castle of a home at the same time. Once all pets are copasetic, then allow the kitten to have free roam of home. But do keep in mind that the kitten will likely forget how to get back to their room with the heat source and litter box. Therefore, placing multiple litter boxes in the home as well as a couple of places for kittens to have a heat source are also important.

Remember, illnesses have a latent period while infection is building in the body. This can last for several days while your kitten shows no outward symptoms. Following proper quarantine guidelines will help your kitten recover quicker and prevent your other pets from potentially contracting the illness.

FAQs

What are some of the essential items I need to buy before bringing home my Maine Coon kitten?

Food and water bowls, a litter box and litter, a comfortable bed, toys for enrichment, a scratching post, grooming tools, and a carrier for transportation.

How can I help my Maine Coon kitten adjust to its new home and environment?

Provide a quiet and safe space, gradually introduce them to their new surroundings, and maintain a consistent routine for feeding and playtime.

How can I keep my Maine Coon kitten healthy and happy throughout its life?

Schedule regular vet check-ups, maintain a balanced diet, provide opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation, and Spend quality time bonding with your kitten through interactive play, grooming, and cuddling

How can I prevent or correct any behavioral problems in my Maine Coon kitten?

Use positive reinforcement for good behavior, provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and address any issues promptly with training and consistency.

Bringing Home your Maine Coon kitten - Maine Coon Kittens | Maine Coon Breeders | Maine Coon Cat

We are always here for you!! If you have any questions or problems please let us know right away so we can get it taken care of and help you feel more confident about taking care of your new baby.

Margaret Ritzler is an Animal Scientist, holding a MAL in Agricultural Leadership and  BS in Animal and Dairy Science. She taught Veterinary Science for several years through Career Technical and Agricultural Education. She has also worked for the University of Florida & Navajo Technical University. Her diversified background and wealth of knowledge in the animal industry make her a true asset to the Savvy Cats team.

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