A little common sense about Kittens

Colds & Sniffles

Most Catteries will stipulate in their contract that the kitten you take home must be examined by a vet within 72
hours for their Health Guarantee to be validated.  Why you ask?  Considering its just been to the vet for
shots, it looks healthy and isn't that what a guarantee is for?  Think about it this way..

Every home (or cattery) has its own set of germs.  Someone brought home a cold (or 10) and everyone
caught it or didn't, but developed immunities to it.  Everyone got over it and goes blithely along waiting for the
next stray germ.

Like taking your normal healthy child and sending it off to kindergarten or karate class or summer camp and
the next thing you know you have a snot nosed, coughing, miserable child in need of medical attention.
A kitten is no different. No reputable cattery will let a sniffley kitten go to a new home. But the moment that
healthy kitten leaves an environment in which it feel safe and for which it has immunities....it is subject to catch
whatever little germs are running around in YOUR house that it has no immunities for.  

Therefore, the 72 hour rule, before it has a chance to react to stress or catch that new germ... For your
protection and that of the cattery Your Vet will verify that you have brought home a healthy kitten.  

Most kittens will still have a strong set of immunities provided by their mothers milk, but not always or against
Everything.  And the converse also applies.  Your new immuno-protected Typhoid-purrball is bringing new
germs into Your house and your other pets may stress or come down with a cold that they have never had
before.  In example; Skippers came to us a robust healthy young boy and remained that way while over the
next month every other cat in our house came down with an Upper respiratory issue.
It is not uncommon, just common sense.

Food & Water

If you have done your homework you will know also that Maine Coons have a long childhood, during which
they grow rapidly. At some points more rapidly than others but a pound a month is the average standard
used. And thats for the first YEAR or so...
Kittens will be HUNGRY.  They are growing, and will be large adults, there should be food always available.
Listen when they nibble your fingers - their HUNGRY!!  Even when they weigh 14lbs at 10 months old they are
still KITTENS and need to be FED - Kitten Food.  'Filled with the necessary nutrients for growing strong bones
and teeth etc'.  They will stop Looking like kittens long before they stop Being kittens - keep this in mind.

Coons notoriously love water. Most prefer Running water...  Whether you use a bowl or a pet fountain It is
important to have plenty of clean fresh water available. We have quite a few water bowls, unintentionally some
are cleverly disguised as 'serenity fountains', sprinkled around the house. Placed carefully so the occasional
splashy frolic doesn't leave water damage on the furniture. (Should this happen in Your home...once a week
on the porch run them with some bleach, and then scrub them down.) Where ever they choose to drink..it
should be kept clean and full with fresh water - every day.
Stress is also a factor.
(reprinted from Dr. Addie - Please go to her site to see the information in full.)

Cat 'flu is caused by either feline calicivirus (FCV) or feline herpesvirus (FHV - also known
as feline viral rhinotracheitis virus - FVR),. FHV is a DNA virus. FHV infection is the more
serious virus, it may lead to pneumonia and death.

Over 90% of cats have been exposed to FHV and 80% of exposed cats become infected
for life, shedding virus intermittently. The virus becomes latent in the trigeminal ganglia,
an immune-privileged site, and the virus does not produce many viral proteins, an
additional way of hiding from the immune system.
Viral shedding occurs about a week
following stress,
corticosteroid or cyclosporin A treatment, and usually lasts between
hours and 1-2 weeks.  

Examples of stress in a cat:

  • being rehomed
  • moving house
  • new additions to house, for example a new baby, dog or cat
  • too many cats in one house (over 6)
  • going into cattery
  • surgery or trauma (e.g. a road accident)
  • intercurrent illness
  • pregnancy, parturition, lactation
While there is a great deal to be said about Cats and Kittens and how best to care for, feed, raise and train
them it is said elsewhere by experts much better than I could say it here.  Links to those sites are provided
on the
Ports of Call page.  Below is a bit of common sense to keep in mind when taking home a new fur
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