Frequently Asked Questions & Some Not So Frequently Asked but Should Be.
What medical/health procedures will my kitten have had when I get it?
Your kitten will have been wormed and defleaed, had a full veterinarian exam, been desexed (spay or neuter) as well as having had the first round of the following inoculations:
FVRCP + Chlamydia
You will want to schedule an appointment with your vet to have the second round 30 days after the first shots.
Your relationship with your vet is a partnership over the life of your new baby so it is important that you have a comfortable and working association. We love our vets and we hope you love yours also. If your veterinarian has any questions regarding medical procedures that your kitten, or its parents, here is our Veterinarians' contact information. http://veterinaryassociateshawaii.com/
We do not give your kitten injections for disorders that he/she can contract outside of the home, since you kitten is indoors only. You, of course, are free to do so on your veterinarian's recommendation.
Do you microchip my kitten?
No, not routinely because your kitty should be indoor only. However, there are some people that want or need the assurance that their kitten can't accidentally get out so we offer microchipping as an option. The cost for the microchip is $50.00 and will be done at the time of your kitten's well baby vet check.
Can we visit your cattery?
Sorry, but no. For the safety of our cats, we run a closed cattery, meaning we don't allow visitors or bring other cats onto our property. We also do not provide a stud service. By appointment only, we have had visitors come visit our pet Ragdolls that roam our house, particularly if someone has severe allergies and is worried about how they will react.
What should I do to prepare for my kitten?
Getting a new kitten is like preparing for a human baby. Kittens are curious and mischevious and will explore locations that you thought were safe. Some Raggies have been known to open cabinet doors, so you will want to find a way to secure anything that may be harmful. Also, you want to protect (I suggest removing them for a while) precious items and heirlooms that your kitten might find entertaining.
You will want to get your litter box, litter, food and water dishes, food, and most importantly toys ready. Your kitten's favorite toys are actually relatively cheap: crumpled up paper, empty cardboard boxes, ping pong balls, small rattle mice, and plastic springs.
Please! No LASER PEN LIGHTS!!! Cats are animals of prey and chasing the laser light may look like fun for you and your cat but it leaves them totally unsatisfied and has been known to make some cats neurotic.
Also, NO ROUGHHOUSING, unless you want your cat to start scratching or biting you. Remember you are much bigger than your cat and playing rough with your cat will teach it to be rough back. If the cat starts behaving roughly it is because you taught it to do that. Of course you want to play with your cat because they love the interaction but be cautious about playing too rough.
What kind of litter is my kitten used to?
Your kitten has been raised on pine litter, which is readily available at a farm supply store as pellet bedding, or as Feline Pine Litter (but for a lot more money) at Target & Walmart. The beauty of the pine litter is that it is biodegradable which most of the other litters are not, it has a natural deodorizer from the pine, it does not create dust like the other litters do, and is inexpensive. That said, it is very easy to convert your kitten over to regular clumping litter of your choice.
What kind/brand of food is my kitten eating?
Your kitten is eating Science Diet Kitten (dry). It self weaned from its mother and has had this dry food available to it for 24 x 7. Any other high end kitten food will work, like Royal Canin, both of which can be purchased either through Amazon, a pet store or your veterinarian. It is suggested if you change foods that you phase the old one out and the new one in. We do not feed wet food to our cats and kittens. This is a matter of personal preference but the crunchy food helps clean their teeth.
Continue to feed the kitten food until your kitten is at least a year old. Ragdolls mature slowly so you feed the kitten food until your baby is 15 months old. At that point, I do a mix, all with Science Diet brand that includes these three: Healthy Weight, Hairball, and Oral Care.
Do you ship? What should I know about the shipping procedure?
Yes, we do. We use Hawaiian Airlines Cargo exclusively, shipping out of Kona where the employees are very familiar with our kittens. And no, there is NO QUARANTINE for kittens traveling interisland. That only happens if you are bringing in an animal from the mainland or most other countries.
We take food away from your kitten by 9:00 p.m. the night before your kitten's flight to reduce the possibility of it pooping in the carrier. Cats like to be clean and being in a confined area with poop stresses them, and won't be the most pleasant experience when you pick up your new baby. Also, they will be hungry and you become the great hero that rescued them and are giving them love and fuel.
They always have water. That is never taken away. However, in spite of us providing water in their crate when we hand them over at the airport, often the water just swishes out of the water dish. This means that the absorbent material in their crate is likely to be wet and it may not be because they peed. Or it could be both.
Another thing we do just prior to shipping them is to give them a pill called Capstar as an extra layer of protection. Your kitten could come in contact with fleas during their journey to you since the airlines transports other animals in the same plane. Capstar kills adult fleas within 30 minutes but it is only good for 24 hours and it won't kill eggs. If you find dead fleas in your carrier, you might want to watch for any young fleas that would hatch in 10 days. This has only happened a couple of times, but we wanted to make you aware of the possibility.
We put three layers of obsorbent material in the bottom of your kitten's crate and tape each layer to the side. This way, you have the opportunity to remove a layer (actually two) if it becomes wet (or worse) during transport.
You will pick your kitten up from HAWAIIAN AIR CARGO, not baggage claim. In theory you will need to present ID to the airport official, although we've had some people not get asked. I will send you your Airway Bill Number for your kitten along with the flight information prior to your kitten leaving here.
Last thing, but this is a biggie. Would you please send me a text when you get your kitten? I've never had any shipping problems, but it doesn't stop me from worrying until I know you have your new kitty.
How do I help my kitten adjust to its new home?
Helping your kitten adjust and be part of its forever family is a concern for most new parents. There are some simple ways to make this transition be smoother.
Start the kitten off in a small room - your bathroom is the best. Remove as many extraneous items as possible, although the bathmat if it is soft makes a great bed.
Make sure your kitten has all of its necessities: food, water, litter box and toys. Try to put the food and water as far from the litter box as possible.
Keep the door closed.
Regularly go into the room, pick the kitten up, cuddle, pet and coddle. Put it back down if it starts to squirm. Talk to it sweetly and leave the room. Your kitten will soon be excited to see you come in and will stop trying to hide behind the toilet or in the shower.
A word of caution, however. Kittens at this age need to sleep about 18 hours a day. In spite of our best efforts, traveling to you is stressful. Also the adjustment itself involves a new home, new people, and potentially too much activity. If your kitten doesn't eat or drink for the first 24 - 48 hours, don't worry. It needs to feel comfortable before it eats or drinks. Give you and your new kitten time to make the transition.
Once the kitten is feeling confident, increase the area it has access to, but not the whole house if it is avoidable.
Wait until the kitten is feeling confident before introducing any other household pets. There are some wonderful youtubes available that discuss options for the meet and greet procedures.
Your kitten and its claws
Why don't you allow declawing?
Declawing a cat is not a quick fix for unwanted scratching but cruel and unnecessary. It shows a laziness and indifference on the part of the owner to their pet and is not the kind of household we want our babies to move to. It is painful - think of what it would be like if someone cut off all of your fingertips at the first joint. Often declawing leads to other more destructive behavior, such as biting and refusal to use the litter box and it can cause lasting physical problems for your cat. Keep your cat's nails trimmed and always provide at least one scratching post.
How do I trim my kitten's nails?
Trimming their nails is easy. You use regular human fingernail clippers. Step 1. Play with your kitten's feet by gently rubbing on their paws so it gets used to you touching and handling them. Step 2. When your kitten is calm, like after you have played with it, or around naptime, gently place your kitten on your lap. Some people prefer to wrap the kitten in a towel but I've never found that necessary. Step 3. With your finger nail clippers in your dominant hand, gently press down on the toe behind the claw you wish to cut with your non dominant hand while reassuring your kitten. You will see that the claw extends. Step 4. Clip the nail, but be careful to stay away from the pink part. If your kitten gets squirmy, let it go and try again in a bit. That's it! Oh, we only trim the front nails, although you could do the back if you wish.
Is it true Ragdolls don't use their claws when playing?
Typically Ragdolls do not use their claws when playing. That said, they can accidentally scratch you if they slip or if they are 'kneading, baking bread", which is when a kitten alternates opening and closing their front paws.
How do I make payments to you?
Why do you require a deposit to get on your waitlist?
When we first started Kawekiukatz, we quickly discovered that a lot of people were interested in Ragdolls, but a lot of those people were merely window shopping. Since we were trying very hard to be sure we followed our waitlist, we found we were spending a great deal of time with people that weren't going to buy a kitten which took time away from the cats AND more importantly, people that were serious about getting a kitten. Approximately 4 years ago we made the difficult, but necessary, decision to follow what the majority of Ragdoll breeders are doing across the country which is to have a non-refundable waitlist deposit fee. It has worked well to make sure that those on our list are getting our attention as they so deserve.
Can I mail a check to you instead of using PayPal?
Sorry, no. My life is amazingly complex and after a few early hiccups, I discovered that if I use PayPal only it is easy to track all transactions in one place. PayPal allows you to use your credit and debit cards as well as your bank account. I never have access to any of your banking information, which I prefer. Also they produce reports and make the bookkeeping side of Kawekiukatz almost seamless.
Will I get registration papers for my kitten?
Yes, definitely. We are a registered cattery with The International Cat Association (TICA). You will receive your registration papers for your kitten within 2 weeks of your final payment.
Are Ragdolls hypoallergenic?
Unlike other cat breeds, Ragdolls do not have an undercoat, which is typically the cause for excessive shedding in cats. This does not mean the Ragdoll doesn't shed, anything with hair or fur will shed, there is just much less of it. The other advantage of the lack of undercoat is that a lot of people that are usually allergic to cats can have a Ragdoll. We know of several people that have severe cat allergies and are fine with a Ragdoll. We do not, however, guarantee that someone in your household won't have an allergic response to your kitty.
Do Ragdolls make good therapy cats
Yes, Raggies make great therapy cats. Several of our kittens have gone to homes with special needs children and have done very well. The bond that is created between the child and the cat is unique one and so very special. One of our cats had the privilege of being a therapy cat at a small highschool on a very remote island and actually worked an 8 hour day. Another belongs to a young adult who suffers from severe anxiety. He has repeatedly stated that his cat has saved his life. What is interesting is to observe the relationship the therapy cat has with its person. Somehow the cat just sense that their person needs attention in a way that isn't the usual.
Are Ragdolls also called Floppy Cats?
Yes, Ragdolls are very relaxed kitties that can actually be held upside down on their back, a very unusual position for a cat since it exposes their underbelly which could put them in danger of a preditor. Kittens, because they are busy, squirmy little things, don't typically display this behavior but your cat will start doing the floppy thing at about a year old. Some are more exaggerated about this behavior than others.
Do Ragdolls react to catnip?
The cat response to catnip is genetic and all of our cats carry the gene. They can get very goofy, rolling around and drooling. If you have catnip in your home and your cat suddenly starts acting rather crazy, check to see if it has managed to find its drug of choice. So far no studies have shown any adverse affect on cats with the use of catnip, and it is entertaining for its people to watch its behavior. Note: if you get a cardboard scratching post, a lot of them come with a small packet of catnip to sprinkle on the cardboard. Our cats drool and your cardboard will have a big soggy indentation on the post within a few hours. You've been warned.