What Happens After You Pick Out A D’Nile Kitten?
After you have chosen a D’Nile kitten and paid your deposit we will begin immediately scent training your kitten to you. We will ask you to bring or send an article of clothing that strongly has your scent on it; preferably your pajama top or a T-shirt you have worn for several nights without washing. It is best if you bring this article of clothing in a Ziploc bag to keep out any other scents and to keep your scent fresh. Then at D’Nile we will rub down your kitten with your article of clothing at least once a day and after each bath so it begins to recognize your scent as its own. We will ask you to bring a freshly scented article of clothing at each visit to exchange. After you have chosen your Sphynx kitten usually about the 6 to 8 weeks mark is when we begin to accept deposit and allow people to start to the selection process; we strongly suggest frequent bonding and training visits. We encourage these visits as often as possible, but understand if situations do not allow it. At each visit you are not simply allowed the opportunity to hold your kitten and take pictures but we like you to schedule enough time to practice at each visit learning how to clip your new Sphynx kitten’s nails, bathing, ear cleaning, eye washing, and all the care and handling techniques you will need for the rest of your kitten’s long and healthy life. We also strongly encourage you to use these visits until the 14 week mark when your kitten is ready to go home with you, to introduce every household member, including all children and roommates, and to make sure they are comfortable with all handling and care techniques as well. Here at D’Nile we know how important these frequent visits will be, in not only the ease in transition for your new kitten into its new home, but how wonderful your relationship between your D’Nile Sphynx kitten and you and your family members may be for many long happy years.
When Does Your New Kitten Get To Come Home?
For the absolute safest situation possible for your new kitten it will be at least 14 weeks old before it is allowed to leave the D’Nile cattery and go to your home. This not only allows you to fully prepare yourself, your family, and your home for your new kitten, but it allows your kitten to grow and develop to its potential. (More about kitten proofing your home will follow in just a bit.) Not only does TICA’s voluntary code of ethics state that this is the proper age for a kitten to be released to its new home, but there is real scientific as well as practical reasoning behind this philosophy. Kittens that are left with their mothers until 14 weeks of age are allowed to learn the proper cat socialization skills and confidence needed to be able to interact with other animals in the house. It also allows the kitten to develop its full immune system, separate from the immune support it until this point had been receiving through its mother’s milk. Kittens taken too early often develop colds and respiratory issues during this intermittent time until their adult immune system develops. Kittens taken from their mothers too soon may also be rushed onto solid foods too quickly. This increases the problem of "kitten weaning diarrhea." This weaning diarrhea is not only life-threatening, but can also contribute to the problem of future litter box problems that can become a lifelong problem. This problem can simply be avoided by letting the kitten continue to nurse until its digestive tract is ready to handle solid food, and allowing the kitten to watch and learn proper toilet habits from its mother. Here at D’Nile Sphynx, we wait until our kittens are fully weaned onto a specially formulated diet and are happily comfortable using the litter box without any issues. We encourage socialization at every age of the kitten’s development and raise our kittens as complete family members never caged and always loved. Your Sphynx kitten will be sent home with you only after it has been fully vetted, spayed/neutered, wormed, received its first vaccination, micro-chipped if you choose, and is ready to enjoy a full and happy life with you. This begins around each kitten's 14-week marker.
Preparing Your Home
Preparing your home for a new kitten is a lot like preparing your home for a new baby, and a little common sense goes a long way. For instance, computer cords are very dangerous! Any long cord, ties, strings, even hanging drapes can cause a kitten to be tangled up and could result in serious injury through suffocation or cutting off circulation. Electrical cords are especially dangerous and unfortunately teething kittens love to gnaw and play with computer cords and accessory chargers that plug into the wall. Electricity can be lethal so you will have to protect your kitten from its own curiosity by using cord protectors and other means to ensure their safety. Always make sure you close your toilet seat lids after each use to prevent accidental drowning or blunt force trauma from lid closure. Please do not use chemicals in your toilet tanks just in case someone does leave the lid up by accident to prevent accidental poisoning or chemical burns. Never forget that D'Nile Sphynx kittens are born naked. This means they seek warm places to hide and rest. Your new kitten doesn't know the difference between cuddly warmth and dangerous warmth. Block access to fireplaces and furnaces that become hotter than you would place your own hand on. Your Sphynx will be attracted to any heat source so make sure to prevent them from jumping up on the stove top or into open oven doors. Watch them carefully around dishwashers, dryers, washing machines, curling irons, heated floor vents - really, anything warm is a magnet to a naked kitten, they don't know better so you have to protect them. You will often find your Sphynx kitten sunning itself in a window, please remember that Sphynx cats are easily sunburned. If your kitten insists on indoor tanning, (rather than using sunscreen which could contain dangerous chemicals), you can purchase UV solar window tinting film at most hardware stores. Watch for kittens running between your feet especially if you have small children who like to run in the house. Your Sphynx will want in on the action and will chase after them and may get stepped on which can cause a broken foot or leg. Check all houseplants and remove any that may be poisonous. Many household cleaning agents and chemicals are poisonous and you should make sure they are secured in a place where your cats cannot get access to them. Although kittens love to play with small objects like rubber bands, hair ties, bread ties, twist ties, marbles, sewing supplies (needles and thread) and office supplies - these items are choking hazards. They can also be swallowed and cause bowel obstructions. It is easier to pick up these small items than to spend thousands of dollars on emergency abdominal surgery to remove a penny from your kitten’s tummy. Kittens are escape artists. Make sure your kitten doesn't escape out an open door or accidentally become shut in the door as it tries to follow you from room to room. Your kitten will most likely follow you, be careful not to step on it. Kittens are like children and a lot of items that are for sale to baby proof your home will also work to protect your kitten from household dangers. (Fireplace screens, stove guards, appliance locks or latches, outlet covers, electric cord shorteners, window screens, window blind winders, cabinet locks, power strip covers, rigid wire guards for cords, etc.)
Easing The Transition
Remember your new D'Nile Sphynx kitten will be entirely reliant on you to keep him or her safe and happy. You will be taking your kitten to your home, but it is an entirely new universe for your new little kitten. Be patient, your new Sphynx kitten’s world now revolves entirely around you. Guess what, you are now Mom and or Dad. It is important to bring your Sphynx kitten home at a time in your schedule that allows you to spend the most time bonding with your new kitten. Before you bring your new kitten home have everything it needs set up in the area you are intending to allow your new kitten to call its own. This should be a quiet area of the home. This should preferably be in your bedroom or a small room like a bathroom.
This area should have a separate litter box just for the kitten and the kitten’s food and water bowls and a bed. Litter boxes should be at least six feet away from food and water. Do not allow your other pets to meet your new kitten yet. Let your new Sphynx kitten meet your other family pets through the tiny space under the door, for at least a week. You can also rub fabric toys or small bath towels on your pets and exchange them so that they get exposed to the smell of everyone in the house. After the initial week, carefully introduce your kitten to other family pets and the rest of your home. Remember you will still need to supervise your kitten's interactions with other pets and small children for several months to ensure his/her safety. Please remember it takes time to form new friendships. Don't give up if everyone isn't a best friend right away. Unlike some other animals, felines do not have permanent social status roles within their families. A new kitten can challenge the animal family dynamics and can continue to challenge them as the kitten develops and grows. If you have more than one cat, the rule of thumb is to always have one cat litter box for each cat plus one more. If you live in a home with multiple floors, please be sure to have at least one litter box on each floor. As your Sphynx is ready to leave their quiet room on its own, remember to remind it where the litter boxes are several times a day. Kittens are very small and a new home can be very big and confusing. Reminding them where the litter box is helps prevent "accidents." Changing a kitten’s diet at the same time that it goes to a new home, just adds additional stress. Please try to keep your Sphynx on the specially formulated cat food we send home with you as long as possible. If you intend on changing your kitten’s diet, you must do it gradually, introducing 25% of the new food mixed in with the original food per week. Sphynx must be fed a high quality grain free diet. D’Nile Sphynx highly recommends a raw diet and we are happy to give you our recipe, but we also understand this is not always possible. Please remember to always have a separate food and water bowl for each cat. Fresh water must always be provided; D'Nile suggests you clean your kitten's food and water bowls daily. Sphynx also enjoy running water such as a pet drinking fountain, or even a dripping faucet. Fresh water, clean bowls and running water all encourage your D'Nile Sphynx kitten to drink plenty of water which can assist in the prevention of future urinary tract health problems.The first few nights can be difficult for your new Sphynx kitten, please be patient as it is their first time away from mom and siblings. We highly recommend getting at least one pet safe heating pad. Your new Sphynx will want to sleep with you, probably under the covers or wrapped under your chin; however, an alternative bed with a heating pad can make night time smoother for both of you. A soft toy and/or a snugly blanket that smells like their mother will be provided for you to take home in order to help ease their transition. You can purchase a soft toy and blanket on your own for your new kitten and often a ticking clock that may remind the kitten of its mother’s heart beat may be helpful.
What comes with D’Nile
When you are ready to bring home your D’Nile kitten, you will not only get a copy of the D’Nile Contract, but will take home some specially formulated cat food that your kitten has been weaned onto. We strongly recommend you keep your kitten on the dry kibble we send home with you. If you decide to switch to a new brand of kibble, D’Nile strongly suggests you follow the following steps. Switch your pet’s food gradually over 7-10 days. On days one through three, use 75% of the D’Nile recommended food and 25% of the new food. On days four through six, use 50% of the D’Nile recommended food and 50% of the new food. On days seven through nine, use 25% of the D’Nile recommended food and 75% of the new food. On day ten, you will have switched to the brand of your choice. You will also be sent home with a copy of both parents HCM scans. Copies of both parents’ pedigrees can also be included. We can also include photos of both parents upon request. A copy of both parents DNA profiles will be sent as well. This allows you to take a copy to your vet and rule out any genetic or congenital diseases.
You will be given a copy of your kitten’s spay/neuter and vet records, including shot records. TICA and/or CFA registration papers include show rights and we strongly encourage our new pet owners to join us at the shows.