Kitten Equipment

Kitten Equipment

What a world we live in, where all the proper kitten paraphernalia can be found nearly
anywhere you look. In the past, only pet specialty stores carried certain kinds of kitten equipment, like
scratching posts. But today, you’ll find a selection in most department stores like WalMart or Kmart, and
even the neighborhood grocery store may have a pet supply area.



The smaller independent mom and pop pet supply stores often offer a range of products that
offer one-stop walk-in or online shopping with a
variety of choices. Some of these stores even allow you to bring your pet along and also provide care or
training services like staff veterinarians or groomers.
Besides traditional walk-in stores, there are also huge numbers of mail-order catalogs such
that have unique kitten equipment, from inexpensive and plain to fancy high-
dollar items. Of course, your kitten won’t care how much you spend, nor will he have an opinion about the
color of his leash or bed. He’ll be satisfied with simple, utilitarian equipment.
Suppertime! Bowls and Dishes
Your kitten will need at least two bowls, one for water and another for food. If you offer him
canned food, a third bowl or dish for the kitten is a good idea.
A variety of dish styles are available. Before making a fashion statement, it’s most important to
plan for the kitten’s preferences, and care requirements. Just like people utensils, the bowls and dishes
will need to be cleaned and so above all, choose something that’s easy to keep clean. Kittens like the one
in the picture (courtesy of Ralston Purina Company) won’t care what the bowl looks like.
Plastic bowls are inexpensive but can hold the odor of old food, and be difficult to clean. Some
kitties seem to develop allergic reactions to plastic dishes, too. Stainless steel bowls are the veterinarian’s
choice because they don’t chip or break, and are easy to keep clean. They may also be too lightweight, so
the kitten scoots them around the floor as he tries to eat. I like glass or ceramic choices because they
are usually dishwasher safe and convenient to wash.
Kittens with long fur or who have rather flat faces, like Persian babies, do better eating from a
saucer rather than a bowl. Many kittens (and adult cats) prefer these shallow dishes because it keeps
them from bending their whiskers by dipping down into a deep bowl. One economical choice that some
kittens prefer is to eat from a small paper plate. Rather than washing it when through, you can simply throw
it away.
Once you’ve narrowed the practical choices, go wild. Goofy, whimsical, colorful, and elegant
food and water dishes can be found. You can even have your kitten’s name inscribed so there’s no
question who they belong to.
Kittens are “occasional feeders.” That means they don’t eat a huge meal at one time, but
nibble, go away and come back several times a day. When you feed dry commercial food, you can “free
feed” and leave a quantity in the bowl and available all day. But for wet foods that spoil if left out too long,
an “automatic food dish” might be something to consider. There are several kinds, but all have a series of
small, sometimes refrigerated compartments that hold the meal, and open on a timer, so the food stays
fresh.
When cats were wild, they obtained most of their water by eating prey animals. House
kitties don’t always drink as much water as they should, and that can lead to urinary tract problems. Cat
owners often notice their pets love running water, though, and may beg to lap water from the faucet.
Drinkwell™ Pet
encourages cats to drink with a well that circulates the water and pours a constant adjustable
stream. The Drinkwell™ Pet Fountain is available from many pet supply sources.
The Kitty Commode
Bathroom facilities for your new kitten require special attention. Hit-or-miss litter box behavior
is the number one complaint of cat owners. Offering your kitten the proper equipment from the beginning
will go a long way toward training him right and preventing problems as he grows. There are three
components to the kitty commode: the pan, the filler, and accessories like the scoop.
Litter Pans, Plain and Fancy
The prime consideration when choosing the baby’s first bathroom is that he is able to climb inside the
litter box. When he is very small, it may be best to use a temporary facility until he grows up enough to
manage commercial-size products. The cardboard lid from a boot box or even a disposable foil cookie
sheet from the grocery store may work fine. Don’t invest in a nice but small commercial pan that he’ll
outgrow within several months. A too-small litter box is at the root of most kitty bathroom misbehaviors.
You’ll need at least two litter pans. The rule of thumb is to have one pan per cat, plus one. That’s
because often cats don’t want to share bathroom facilities, or may prefer to use one for urine and the other
for feces. Also, tiny kittens need extra help to reach a distant box, so two located in both ends of the house
helps prevent accidents.
Several commercial litter box styles are available. The standard plain-and-simple litter box
measures about 5 x 12 x 18 inches and is made of an easily cleaned plastic. Like food bowls, these pans
come in nearly any color you want. Larger litter pans are available, and unless your kitten is a breed that
remains quite petite, like the Singapura, it’s a good idea to go with the largest size box available.
In fact, the Singapura is the smallest recognized cat breed, with adult weight ranging from four
to six pounds. The agouti coat resembles the rabbit-like fur of the Abyssinian but is much finer and shorter.
The breed arose in Singapore and was originally known as the Drain Cat because these cats often made
their homes in the city’s sewers.
Plan for when your baby grows to full size. Average to large cats may have trouble
maneuvering in the smallest boxes, and a covered model helps keep them from “hanging out” over the
side. It also contains some odor, offers Kitty more privacy, and helps keep the litter from being flung out of
the box during enthusiastic excavations.
The ultimate in kitten bathroom facilities are litter boxes disguised as attractive furniture, like
. Other models are hidden inside planters. The cat won’t care, of course, but these
may be more aesthetically pleasing for some folks.
said to do away with the litter box forever
by training Kitty to use the toilet. Training Kitty to flush isn’t part of the package, though.
Tiny kittens can be drowned in a very small amount of water. I’d advise that the kitten be at
least five months old before attempting to train him to use the toilet.
Cats hate a dirty litter box and often find a better place–like under the dining room
table—if it’s not kept clean. Automatic litter boxes take care of that problem by scooping after every use. My
for Christmas 1999 and we both love it! She always has a clean box, even
when I’m on the road and my husband isn’t home all day to scoop. Ten minutes after Seren leaves the
box, the cleaning comb rakes out debris from the clumping litter and deposits it in a disposable container.
Visit the company website to see a demonstration and learn about the product.

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