- caring for your kitten -
Litter Box Training
At Violet Belles we use Fresh Step Extreme Cat Litter. Kittens are litter box trained by their moms in our training room before they leave our home. They have had experience using automatic, scoop-able and concealment litter boxes. When you get your kitten home, introduce the kitten to the litter box by placing the kitten in the box, holding and moving the kittens paws in the litter in a "burying" motion and letting the kitten walk out of the box by him/herself. Note, if you have a concealment box and the kitten decides its a nice dark place to hide and sleep, remove the kitten from the box. Show the kitten where the litter box is a couple of times throughout the day. Keep the litter box in a place in the room that is quiet, and not heavily trafficked or noisy, in order to provide a private place. It is a good idea to keep the kitten confined to a room or two where there is a litter box and fresh food and water for the first couple of days. As the kitten begins to know the lay of the land and knows where his litter box is, begin introducing him/her to new rooms in the house. Never keep food and water too close to the litter box, as cats do not like to go to the bathroom where they eat. Cats are naturally inclined to eliminate in a litter box so don't be overly concerned. If an unexpected problem suddenly occurs, this can be the result of a urinary tract infection, stressors in the environment, spraying or other factors. You can also find more information about litter box problems and easy solutions at The Humane Society of the United States' website.
We feed our Siberians "Nature's Variety Instinct Cat Food". It is important that kittens receive the special nutrients that a healthy brand of cat food provides.
Playing with your kitten will help continue keeping him/her on the path to proper socialization and help avoid bad habits that can start with boredom. Playing also provides exercise that will help your cat avoid becoming overweight. Purchase toys that allow you to have interactive play with your cat, as well as toys that he/she can play with while you’re away from home. Interactive play, affection and attention will help keep your cat happy and friendly. Do not leave kittens unsupervised with toys that have long strings that can get wrapped around their necks or small objects/materials that can be ingested. Avoid using your hands/fingers to play games with your new kitten, as it will encourage bitting and scratching and possibly lead to an aggressive cat.
Climbing is second nature to cats. Cat trees allows the new addition to your family to satisfy that desire to climb. Rustic cat trees are unique combinations of tree branches and carpeted shelves/tunnels that also have sisal rope to provide a scratching post for your kitten. The shelves and/or tunnels provide a safe and secure, comfortable place to rest. You can place your cat tree in front of a sunny window or in a corner of the room where your cat likes to spend time.
Siberian cat fur is resistant to matting, unlike many other longer haired cats. Brushing your kitten once a week should be sufficient, and more during their two ten or so day "molting" periods during the year. Siberian cats generally shed very little. Trim your kittens nails regularly. Ask your vet to show you how. Play with your kittens paws regularly while he/she is sitting in your lap or lying beside you to get your kitten used to having his/her paws handled. This promotes your kittens cooperation when it is time to cut his/her nails. Talk to your vet about eye and ear care.
We do not declaw our cats at Violet Belles. If your cat begins scratching your favorite furniture, there are ways to correct the problem and avoid the painful surgery of removing the first joints of your cats "fingers", leaving him/her defenseless if he/she ever escaped. Try using double sided sticky tape, positive/negative reinforcement, trim the cat's nails regularly and have scratching posts available.