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Kiko New Cat Welcome Kit

Welcome Home!

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Tips for Preparing & Caring for Your New Cat

Congratulations on your new cat!

This guide provides simple tips and tricks on welcoming your new family member into your home with ease and comfort. Whether this is the first pet in your home, or one of many, this booklet includes advice on necessary supplies needed for a new cat, how to prepare your home for the transition, and what to expect during the first few weeks together.

Preparing Your Home

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Gather Supplies

Before you bring your new cat home, make sure you already have all of the essentials in place to make the transition smooth, safe and comfortable for everyone.

Essential supplies to get ahead of time:

1. Carrier

The first thing you need is a cat carrier to take your new friend home in. Many rescue groups, breeders, and animal shelters don’t provide new pet owners with a durable pet carrier. Your carrier should be safe and sturdy with plenty of ventilation and an easy entry points for you to get your cat in and out.

2. (Large) Litter Box

Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to go outside to relieve themselves. But that doesn’t mean any plastic box will do. There are a few types of litter boxes: open, hooded, and covered. Some cats are afraid of the hood and will not use an enclosed litter box. Other cats like privacy, so hooded or covered litter boxes are fine as long as they’re not too small. When deciding the right size for your cat, a wider box is better so that there’s room for your cat to turn around and bury things effectively. As for the cat litter, manufacturers now make non toxic litter made from corn, wheat, pine or grass seed instead of the traditional, potentially toxic clay and silica.

3. Food and Water Dishes

Safe food and water bowls are made of stainless steel or glass, which won’t collect bacteria and oil as a plastic bowl would. Ceramic bowls for pets sometimes have glazes that contain the heavy metal lead. Stainless steel are just as sturdy as stoneware and glass and are also non-porous, easy to clean, and non-leaching. Bowls should be cleaned daily and placed far from the litter box.

4. Scratch Post

If you care about your furniture, a good sturdy scratch post is a necessity. Make sure the post has a sturdy base to keep it from tipping over. It should be at least as tall as the cat so they can stand on their hind legs and get a good stretch while scratching.

5. Comfortable Bed

Many cats will happily fall asleep anywhere, but if you are buying your cat a bed, it should be warm and soft, and located in a place that makes your cat feel comfortable and safe.

6. Enriching Toys

Cats love to play! Make sure you provide your cat with a variety of safe toys. Crinkly balls and catnip-filled mice are good options for pouncing. Once or twice a day, sit down for playtime. This helps your cats bond with you and socializes them.

7. Collar and ID Tag

Your cat should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times. It’s best to get a collar with an automatic release, one that will unlatch if enough force is applied if your cat gets stuck. The tag should have your name, address, and telephone number on it. Make sure the collar fits properly and won’t irritate your cat’s neck or affect breathing and swallowing.

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Other supplies:




Nail clippers

Litter scoop

Cleaning supplies

Cat-Proof Your Home

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Cats are naturally curious creatures and will want to explore every nook and cranny in their new home. You can count on them getting into everything — including but not limited to your curtains, electrical wires and plants. At the root of a cat’s acts of destruction is boredom, anxiety and/or stress. Giving them places to scratch, climb, hide, and rest in each room will make them feel at home sooner than later.

Tips for Making Your Home Cat Safe:

1. Secure bookshelves and tall furniture to the wall.

2. Tie up or cut window blind cords and loops. Cats can get injured or even strangle themselves in blind cords.

3. Block access to electrical cords and cables. Purchase some cord protectors that cover your wires or tape down electrical cords to prevent nibbling and chewing.

4. Look out for poisonous plants and flowers. Lilies, sago palms, and cyclamen are just a few plants that can cause serious health problems for your cat if consumed.

5. Securely store household cleaners and medications.

6. Make sure you keep the doors to washers and dryers closed so that the cat won’t get into them.

Indoor or Outdoor?

It’s common for cat owners to have thoughts about letting their cat go outside. You may feel guilty about keeping your cat inside and worry that they’re being deprived of their independence and natural instincts.

The truth is, indoor cats often encounter fewer physical risks than outdoor cats and for this reason, many live longer and physically safer lives. These risks include:

Cars, predators, dogs or other territorial cats

Fleas, ticks, ear mites and ringworm

Toxins such as rodent poison or antifreeze

Cats kept inside aren’t as exposed to sick or unvaccinated cats. These cats can be a source of diseases such as feline leukemia (FeLV) or feline AIDS (FIV) that can be passed on to your cat if he or she comes into contact with them.

Other concerns:

Outdoor cats are estimated to kill hundreds or millions of birds each year.

Rescuing cats stranded in trees is a real thing! And cats can get lost.

Veterinarians agree that keeping cats indoors is the safest option. If you must let your cat explore outside, they should be current on vaccination and parasite control. Your cat should have a good collar, an ID tag, be microchipped and spayed/neutered. Spaying or neutering can help to prevent roaming, cat fights, and litters of unwanted kittens.

Look into bells or other bird-warning solutions to help prevent the over-hunting of birds.

Keep your outdoor cat confined at night, as night is the most dangerous time for your cat. If possible, only allow your cat supervised access to the outdoors, such as leash walks or play time in a contained space.

Unsafe Foods to Avoid

  • Onions, garlic, shallots, and scallions
  • Chocolate and caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Citrus fruits
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Uncooked potatoes and tomatoes
  • Uncooked eggs
  • Dog food

It’s recommended to always keep the numbers of your local vet and the closest emergency clinic where you can find them in case your cat has consumed something toxic.

Ensuring you are fully prepared to welcome your new cat into your family will encourage a safe & comfortable transition for all.


Now you’re ready to bring your cat home!


Bringing Your New Cat Home

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Ensure Your Cat's Health

Next to you, the second most important person in a cat’s life is the veterinarian. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical exam to ensure your new cat is healthy, address any medical issues they might already have and provide critical preventive care. Your vet will administer vaccines and parasite preventatives like ticks, fleas, heartworms and may also suggest microchipping your pet.

Cat overpopulation is a huge problem in our society. The standard spay and neuter surgeries are most often performed when the cat is between five and six months old. If your cat haven’t been fixed yet, some cities have clinics that offer free, high-quality spay or neuter surgeries for residents.

Start in a Safe Space

Cats can be shy creatures, especially if they came from a busy shelter or a rescue situation. When you first bring your new cat home, they might still be dealing with some residual stress and unease. Even social cats can gain from having a designated safe space, which allows the cat to ease into new surroundings slowly by exploring at their own pace. A whole house or small apartment can seem vast for a cat when you bring them home. Start with a bathroom, large closet with a door, or smaller guest room for your cat to acclimate slowly to their new environment.

Make sure that all of the cat’s needs are met in the safe space! There should be a litter box, food and water bowls, blankets or a cozy bed, a scratch post/pad, and a variety of toys. Hiding places should be available, too.

Isolate other animals from your new cat during this time. Supervise children, and try to keep their safe space quiet and calm.

Time, Patience, and Understanding

Ten percent of pet adoptions fail within 6 months. Adjusting to a new home can be a tense and scary experience for your cat and you’ll have to practice some patience and understanding during this initial period.

It’s not uncommon for cats to display behavior problems during the first days in a new home, such as hiding under furniture or having accidents. These behaviors usually disappear over time. Sit with them, talk quietly, offer treats and toys, and be respectful of their boundaries.

It is common for re-homed cats to show no interest in eating, often for several days. Most likely, your new pet will eat, drink, and use the litter tray when you are not there.

After a few days of using the litter box, eating, and socializing with you while in the safe space, they can be introduced to the whole house. Let your cat get a feel for the house a little bit at a time! Don’t chase, just let your cat explore and get comfortable. Leave the door to the safe room open so they can return if they wish.Your patience will be rewarded!

Cat Nutrition

Cats are carnivores and need high quality source of animal protein. When it comes to feeding your cat, there are two main options to choose from: commercial wet and dry food. You can offer some variety in your feline’s diet by feeding it cooked or raw, fresh meat.

Wet cat food is usually more expensive than dry food but can provide a more nutritious diet. While dry food doesn’t provide as much hydration, it is usually more cost effective and offers owners convenience. To balance the benefits and drawbacks of both options, you may choose to feed a combination of both.

Cats vary greatly in the amount of food they need to eat to ensure they don’t become over-or underweight. Obesity is the most common nutrition-related problem in cats, and shortens a cat’s life by making them more likely to develop diseases, including arthritis and diabetes. Your veterinarian can help you calculate how much your cat should be eating and how to portion out the food based on the age of your cat, the current body condition, and the presence of any underlying diseases.

As for treats, while giving your cat an occasional treat is not generally harmful, they are usually not nutritionally complete. A good rule of thumb is not to let treats exceed 10 to 15 percent of a cat’s daily caloric intake.

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While cats spend almost half their waking hours grooming themselves, regular grooming by you is quality time bonding with your pet. It also gives you the opportunity to check your cat’s body condition and spot any unusual signs of health problems, such as lumps or bumps.

Grooming a cat from their kitten years allows you to build a strong bond through physical contact, and create a mutual sense of trust. Try to schedule a grooming session when your cat is already calm and sleepy, such as after dinner. Keep your first few sessions short, just five or ten minutes.

Cats with short hair only need to be brushed once weekly while long-haired cats will benefit from a cat brush once a day to avoid matting, knots and excessive fur ball build up.

While cats don’t usually need to be bathed, sometimes they will get into something sticky or smelly! If you do find yourself needing to wash your cat, buy a brand of shampoo made for cats.

If your cat spends a lot of time indoors, they might need help maintaining their nails. They love to scratch! Weekly checks and occasional nail-trimming prevents their claws growing inwards into their pads which can cause pain and infection.

Trimming your cat’s nails isn’t an easy task, but a well-designed set of clippers can make all the difference. Use special cat nail scissors such as guillotine clippers or cat nail shears, be sure the blade remains sharp. If you don’t feel comfortable trimming your cat’s claws you can always ask your vet to do it instead.

Like us, cats need daily dental care to help keep their teeth healthy and disease free. Like with clipping nails, it will take some training for your cat to get used to their teeth being brushed. Brushing
three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation.

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If you have more questions, make a list of your concerns and bring them to your vet who can provide expert advice.


Enjoy your new family member!

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