Updated: Jan 29
Following these instructions carefully will help your kitten to have continued good litter box habits, adjust quickly to his new surroundings and family, and eat well with little or no tummy upset.
A SMALL ROOM
Have his room prepared before he arrives. He must be kept in a small room, such as a bathroom, for at least a week, maybe two or three. This will keep him safe, allow him to get to know you easily without hiding under beds or unsafe areas and help him to find his litter box, food, and water.
Please include the following so that he feels secure and happy: Scratching post or cardboard scratcher, soft bed, a cat tree that’s 3 to 6 feet tall, and safe kitten toys that cannot be swallowed. Bowls should be stainless steel to prevent feline acne and bacterial contamination.
THE LITTER BOX
Two LARGE litter boxes without lids. Clear storage containers are the best – around six inches deep, 15 inches wide and 22 inches long. We strongly recommend using Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract Litter. This litter encourages litter box use and is particularly effective when a cat or kitten is transitioning. Be sure to get TWO large litter boxes, and place them in opposite corners of the room. Many Bengals prefer to urinate in one and defecate in the other. This will go a long way in preventing litter box issues. Keep them scooped once or twice daily, if not more.
Do NOT change food. This can cause many problems.
Morning - 3 ounces of canned food.
Afternoon -10 Freeze Dried Chicken or Turkey Morsels.
Evening - 3 ounces of canned food.
Before Bed - 10 Freeze Dried Morsels.
Great Freeze-Dried Foods
Vital Essentials, Northwest Naturals, Steve’s, and any other that’s at least 93% meat. We no longer recommend Primal Freeze Dried because it has been hit and miss with our cats. Sometimes it’s fresh and other times it’s hard as a rock and the cats throw it up.
Great Canned Foods
Those that are at least 95% meat – it will say on the label if they have this much meat.
Here are some very good choices: Dave’s Cat's Meow, Hound & Gatos, Rawz, or any other canned food that is at least 95% animal protein.
Fish should not be fed more than once a week.
Some cats can’t eat it at all without becoming ill.
The fish used in cat foods is generally either whole fish or by-products from fish that can’t be used for human consumption - both high in phosphorus and magnesium which can present problems for cats, especially those with kidney or urinary tract disease.
After beef and dairy products, fish, has been identified as one of the most common feline allergens, and may cause frequent vomiting or loose stools.
Mercury levels in tuna are such a big concern that the FDA recommends only one serving of albacore tuna per week for humans.
Tilefish, usually labeled as Ocean Whitefish, are among the most contaminated. They are so toxic that the FDA advises women of child-bearing age and young children to avoid them entirely.
We are not a fan of any food brands hiding fish in their ingredient list – read the ingredients! Too often fish is listed as one of the first ingredients, and it is often Tuna or Ocean Whitefish.
Feeding Frozen Raw Food
This is a wonderful addition to the diet! We love to see owners feeding raw – but you must be careful to feed it correctly. Follow the directions on the back of the container carefully. Frozen raw must only be defrosted in the refrigerator, must not be heated, and can only be left out for an hour. That said - it is very healthy!
Great Frozen Raw Foods
Steve's, Vital Essentials, Northwest Naturals, Stella & Chewy’s
Do NOT Feed DRY FOOD – it causes or exacerbates far too many health issues. Please refer to our online Blog articles and our Katznjamr Kitten Booklet that goes home with you.
MAKING FRIENDS – BUILDING TRUST
Take it slow – don’t bring in friends and several family members to meet him right away. Just one or two people, and sit on the floor, talk quietly, and move slowly. He will soon learn you are to be trusted and a source of comfort and fun.
Feather Wands – you can get them at any pet store. This will really entice him. Start playing with this on day two. If he is still hiding and not wanting to come out, this may do the trick. It works with most kittens. It will build his confidence and he’ll soon feel like he owns the place!
NEVER chase him or force him to be held – you will become someone to avoid or even fear.
NEVER punish your cat or kitten – he will only learn to fear you and avoid you.
LEAVING THE BATHROOM
After he is VERY comfortable around you, is playing, chasing, eating well, and using the litter box perfectly – it’s time to give him a little more room. Take this step slowly – too soon will lead to litter box problems.
A good start is opening the bathroom and allowing him to have the bedroom and the bathroom to romp and play. Now he may want to start sleeping with you. Don’t rush this part! He may use the bed to pee on if you don’t keep him in the bathroom for at least a week until he’s become VERY comfortable with his new litter boxes. It’s tempting to rush things – but don’t! It will really pay off in the end! If he has a mistake – back to the bathroom and only out during supervision.
Give him a couple weeks in the bedroom – and if he’s perfect – take him out on supervised play times in the family room.
For the first few weeks that you bring your kitten out into the main part of the house, BRING A LITTER BOX WITH YOU, but leave the others in their usual place or he won’t learn to go find his litter box.
EXTRA LITTER BOXES
It is actually a VERY good idea to place numerous litter boxes around the house when he’s out for play time – this will go a long way in preventing poor bathroom habits – and once he’s about six months or so – you only need to use the litter boxes he knows well. Don’t rush this part!!!
The first week or two should be calm and allow him to adjust and become relaxed and happy in his new home. All kittens take time – some adjust quickly to their new homes, and others are a little more sensitive to change.
Always remember each kitten is an individual, follow the guidelines above, ask us questions, take your time, and your kitten will bond strongly with you because he trusts you.
Moving to a new home is a big step for him – he is away from the only home he's known, his first family, his mom and litter mates.
You have a very special baby – and he’s sure to bring years of joy and smiles to your family.