Bringing Home Baby
BEFORE COMING HOME:
DON’T FORGET TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT YOUR VET!! Your new Ragdoll should be seen within 72 hours of arriving at your home, even if (s)he seems to be fine. Changing homes is stressful and if there is a problem, no matter how minor, it’s better to catch it early. Failure to have this exam done will void our health guarantee !!
SOME SHOPPING IS IN ORDER !!
- Food– Be sure to contact us to find out exactly what diet your new baby is on. It’s very important to not add diet changes on top of all the other changes the baby is dealing with. (Bottled water is a good idea for the first week as well, especially if you have a private well as your water source).
- Dishes– For dishes, we prefer glass or stainless steel, plastic can give off tastes/odors cats find offensive and fresh water intake is very important.
- A LARGER litterbox (or litterboxes) is a wise investment, we use both Rubbermaid storage totes and a large, high on 3 sides litterbox sold at Petco. Give your Ragdoll PLENTY of room to stretch out and be sure the box is deep enough to protect from “backup” accidents.
- A LARGER carrier is also a good idea. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation, Ragdolls overheat very easily. The fabric totes are cute but will become useless very quickly. PLEASE DO NOT COME TO PICK UP YOUR BABY WITHOUT A CARRIER OR CRATE!
- Metal “greyhound” comb– Ragdolls don’t knot as easily as some other breeds but they do shed, sometimes quite heavily, and need to be combed regularly. It’ll help them feel better, help lessen hairballs, and help keep the house tidier. Metal combs are easily found at any pet shop.
- Sisal rope scratching posts are an excellent tool to help teach them acceptable areas to relieve the natural urge to find a good pedicure.
- Cat Nail Clippers– If you don’t know how to use them, we’ll be happy to show you. Our babies start getting their nails clipped at an early age and we strongly encourage you to make it a regular part of their grooming routine.
- Toys, oh toys!! We warn you now, it can become addictive! Shop with the same caution you’d use for any other infant- with teeth and claws. Watch out for small bells, stick-on eyes or such, or strings that can be chewed off or swallowed. They love most anything crinkly, and Ragdolls can often be taught (rather, they often teach YOU) how to play fetch.
DO YOU NEED TO BABY-PROOF?
Stores such as Lowes carry wraps you can put on exposed electric cords to help protect them from needle sharp teeth.
Some common houseplants are DEADLY to cats- if you like live plants, be sure to check if they’re safe around cats (ditto for flower arrangements- just as an example, lillies are very toxic to cats, as are many other decorative plants). http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/plants/
Many floor cleaners are also toxic to cats, especially any containing phenols. Make sure there’s nothing in cabinets or under sinks they might get into. Just keep in mind that if there’s ANYTHING you don’t want a kitten to get, they WILL find it!
IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO WEIGH your new addition as soon as you get home. Doing so will help spot potential problems early and help reassure you all is well. You should use the same scale for all weighings since different scales can read different weights. Some fluctuation is normal but a significant drop in weight is cause for worry.
GRADUALLY introduce the baby to it’s new home room by room. Remember, this is all very new and can be more than a little overwhelming. If your home is large or on multiple floors, be sure to provide multiple litterboxes. Also be sure there’s easy access to food and water, it’s easy to forget where things are when everything is so new!
IT’S MUCH EASIER to develop good habits than to break bad habits once they start. Litterbox habits is a prime example. Keep the litter clean and accessible. If there is an accident, either provide more boxes or reduce the amount of space there is to roam until the problem is resolved. DON’T change litters right away- the less new there is, the better.
GOOD MANNERS– keep in mind if something is not going to be cute when they’re all grown up, DON’T think it’s cute when they’re babies !! For example, while many of our cats love to have their tummies rubbed, babies will often wrap their claws around your hand and attack with all the mock ferocity they can get away with. We try to nip this right away- when we show our Ragdolls, it’s not something the Judges appreciate. Oftentimes you can tell them No in a firm voice and GENTLY blow in their face (the least amount that will get their attention). You’ll find that if you’re gentle doing this, they will pause and start licking you instead while trying to figure out if it’s worth trying again. Remember, you want to gently correct, not scare them away. We use wands and laser lights to give them something other than us to hunt.
FINALLY, the most important thing you can give your new Ragdoll is love- and lots of it. They are a very people oriented breed and do not do well left alone for long periods of time. They WANT to be with you.