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YOU PICKED UP YOUR NEW KITTEN: NOW WHAT? 

Along with the About page, this page contains a lot of information for you as you prepare for a brand new, precious Burmese/Thai imported kitten :) If you plan to purchase a kitten from me or my affiliates, PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE PAGE!

Please note that you are not entitled to any refund if you suddenly realize that you no longer want an animal in your life, either before or after pick up - but if you've already picked up a kitten then I do ask that you return the kitten to me/affiliates and not give him/her to a shelter where they may be forced to euthanize or worse, abandon your kitten outside, as that is also a likely death sentence. Please make sure that this lifetime investment is right for you before buying a kitten!

 

So, you brought home a Burmese kitten - now what?

What does this adjustment process look like for you? Here's a suggested process for after you bring them home!

 

Day 1: Bring them to their new home and put them in a room that they can smell your scent all over. This will help the bonding process. They will have a blanket with their own scent in the carrier. (It's easier if this is a room that can be closed or if you have a way to barricade it temporarily from other areas, as Burmese prefer to sleep with/on their family's bed(s), a bedroom is a good choice.) Make sure you have food, water, and a litter box (with some of the litter they're used to in it - you'll receive some from me) in that room - they will smell their things and feel more comfortable. Let them have full access to that room for the rest of the first day/night. Let your new kitten sleep in that chosen area (if it's your room, then they will most likely curl up on your bed with you!) Be sure to play with and cuddle the kitten and have other family members come into that area to get to know your new family member. Please, for their sake, do not isolate your new kitten the first few days. This may mean a little bit of a time sacrifice from you, but I promise it will be worth it later! (i.e. do not get home, put them in a bedroom and after 10 minutes of attention then close the door while you go and lounge in a different room...they will be devastated as they want to get to know their new family!) While these kittens are not exposed to children in my home, it takes all but five minutes for them to be okay with this new miniature human - if your child is old enough to know not to squeeze/pull/poke etc. the kitten, then they'll be just fine! (As a side note, please teach your children that hands and feet are not toys - play with actual cat toys so that the kittens don't get into a bad habit of biting people's fingers/toes. It's natural for kittens to play-bite with other cats and toys, but we don't want them to do that with people! Teaching your children/family members this lesson from Day 1 will save you heartache later!) 

Day 2: By now, they've used their new litter box, and know the smells of that first room (so they can find their way back to it if needed), feel free to let them have supervised exploration time with the rest of the house! They will quickly get a good "feel" for their new surroundings. At night on this day, close them back up in the original room when you are done for the day (again, an occupied bedroom is best! They want to be with their new human family!)

Day 3: After you wake up (and probably find a curled up fur-baby on your bed!) you can now open your bedroom and let the kitten start living his/her new life with you! - you can still supervise, but depending on the danger factors of your house (stairs, heights, etc), they won't need much supervision at this point.

* If you have other pets, the above process may look different/take longer. If you have any questions or would like a personalized "plan", please let me know so we can come up with a plan and feel prepared/confident before you take your new kitten home! 

During the FIRST WEEKS

Upon picking up your new kitten, you were highly encouraged to take him/her to the vet to establish an account with the vet for wellness and vaccination purposes.

Note on sick kittens: my own kittens only ever left my house if they were healthy. If a kitten were to get sick prior to their scheduled pick up date, I would have postponed pick up dates until the issue was resolved.  Note that not all "illness" is equal; they had first vaccinations during the weeks prior to pick-up, which sometimes caused reactions.  If, for some reason, your new kitten became ill after you took it home that first week, and the vet cannot definitively point to any genetic issue/pre-condition, then the cause was most likely environmental (something toxic they ate/drank, being exposed to other sick animals, etc.). Once the kitten left my controlled environment, I no longer took responsibility for these issues, and the cost and care for the kitten then fell on you as the responsible pet owner. Please know also that these cats (due to their healthy lines) were free from chronic disease but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't fall prey to "normal" viruses and illnesses during their first year especially - while their immune system is still being built up. I cannot even think of the last time any of my adult cats had a "cold", but kittens are simply more susceptible and this must be factored into your understanding of how the first year can go

 

During the FIRST vet visit

When you take your new kitten to your vet for a wellness check and "getting set up" with the vet, I encourage you to speak with them about kitten booster shots and scheduling.

Your vet may advise you on a different "schedule", but here's an idea of what your vaccine schedule will probably look like for the first few years:
 

Week 8 or 10:  first booster shots and wellness check if needed - breeder provided. (My/my affiliate's kittens receive Panleukopenia, Rhinotracheitis, and Calicivirus during this first booster.)
Weeks 13-14: second booster shots - you will provide (3-way recommended)
Week 16: third booster shot is optional in my opinion.  (Normally around week 16 is when they also provide rabies, but I recommend waiting and spreading out the risks - i.e. vaccines.


(After week 20 or so: rabies - it's really a lot on their little systems to have so many injections at the same time, especially with them being risky, so spacing the rabies out a month or so after their previous boosters is wise. Most states require it by a certain age and will ask you to keep documentation of this shot, but if your vet will allow you to space this out then that is safest for you fur-baby.) 


1 year: 1 year booster shots, repeated annually. Note that this is a risk and generally speaking, healthy indoor-only cats are not as much in need of these vaccinations as those cats that go outdoors with the possibility of meeting other cats.

 
Rabies: every 3 years for most places is required. Note that this is a risk.

To vaccinate or not

 

I am not an anti-vaccine warrior in the pure, dogmatic sense. However, that being said, you must understand that vaccines carry risks. Please, for the sake of your kitten/cats, find a vet who will administer "killed virus" vaccines, NOT "modified live" vaccines. After consulting with colleagues in the field who have done a ton of research into this, I've learned that very often the modified live virus vaccines cause severe sickness and often death. This is why you may have dealt with breeders in the past who didn't let their kittens go home until  after 16 weeks or so - they wanted to make sure that the kitten survived the vaccine(s). There's some that say you should wait for longer so that they're able to eat solid food, be litter trained, and generally not have anxiety from separation from their mother/siblings. Well, my kittens start eating food around week 3 or 4 and they are litter trained by around 5 or 6 weeks. They still nurse up until they're about 8 weeks or so, but they've been eating "real food" for about 4 weeks at that point, so it's not a survival thing then. I personally believe that, while any vaccine is a risk, it's worth it for my kittens and breeding cats - as long as it's the killed virus vaccine. You may choose to make the best decision possible for your 1 year + young adult kittens/cats, but do not expect 100% safety from "vaccine injury" as it's called nor 100% safety from getting sick after being given these shots. I am not stressed about vaccinating my non-breeding cats "exactly" every 12 months, as most vaccine tables will tell you is imperative. I have a very clean and healthy environment for my cats, both breeding and non-breeding, and I have not experienced any major infections that have swept through the environment. When I have company over who also have cats, I ask them to wash their hands before touching my cats - some people get offended, but them being offended is a small price to pay for keeping my cats and kittens healthy. This is another reason why it's important to keep your cats indoors, away from unseen (and seen) dangers. It's also important to not introduce your cat to other unknown cats - you may know your cat's history and health condition, but you cannot know about the other. They may be carrying something that the other own is unaware of or not treated. So, while it would be "neighborly" to bring your neighbor's/family member's cat into your home while they're on vacation, it's not wise for the health of your own cat. In summary, make sure your kittens have their (killed virus) shots during the first year, then protect their environment/exposure after that. Life is risky - so keep your eyes open and carefully weigh risks while you're making decisions. (Hmmm, that's applicable in a lot of areas, I think!) 

 

One final (personal) thought on the subject: please be aware that just like human vaccine producers are not held liable if recipients get sick or have lasting effects/death from shots, so too are the animal vaccine makers free from any blame, legally speaking. Your vet will probably feel sorry that your kitten got sick and will probably gladly charge you money for additional medicine to counteract any ill side effects, but the manufacturer will not come to your rescue or change their practice. Even with the killed virus vaccines there are risks - but I do decide to take those risks for the kittens. I'm not trying to dissuade you in getting shots in general, but it's something to keep in mind that if the manufacturer of any product cannot be blamed for harm from their product, we all need to do our research before jumping in. I do not personally like the idea of zero accountability, especially when it comes to something as precious as my cats' health and quality of life. 

 

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