TruTails Kitten/Cat Care Information


Provide A "Safe Haven" ~ Your new kitten may be frightened, insecure, and confused about leaving its mother and siblings for a new home and new friends. To minimize the stress and to help your new kitten/cat acclimate to its new home, we suggest you put him/her in a quiet room without other pets with their food & water, litter box. (If you have other pets your bedroom may not be the best choice, your other pets may feel excluded.) Let your kitten explore this room completely so it can ascertain that there are no dangers and it can start to relax.

Open the door to this room when you feel the kitten is ready to leave of its own volition and start to explore the rest of your home. The kitten can always run back to its new safe haven if something alarms him or her. It is best to give your other pets some time to get used to the idea of a new cat in the house.

Scents/Odors ~ cats have a very powerful sense of smell. One of the things I do with all kitten/cats before they go to their new homes is give them a bath - this helps eliminate the scents of all the cats at our house. It would be helpful for you to rub a towel on your other pets and bring it along inside the carrier for your new kitten. That way (s)he can both add the scents of your other pets onto their fur as well as get used to the smells of your pets in advance of meeting them. When you get home, use the towel from the carrier that your kitten has been on and bring it out so that your other pets can get an advance preview "smell" to help them recognize the new kitten. Another tip - put a small drop of perfume on the shoulder blades of all of your pets; this is one area in which the pets cannot lick or groom so they will all have a common scent on them. Just remember they have very sensitive noses; so don't overdo it.

Take it slowly ~I know you will want your new baby to become a part of your family as soon as possible, but it is important for the kitten to rebuild their confidence as well as to give your other pets time to get to know the newcomer. Frequently, it is the older pets that have a hard time adjusting to the "intruder" and the kitten will romp around the house, oblivious to the older cats distress. Remember, give your other pets lots of attention and soon they should be accepting of each other if not best buddies.

If you have an older cat that is just NOT accepting the "intruder" another option to help the newcomer get to know your other cat(s). Put the kitten in a carrier (make sure it is secure) and put him/her in the middle of the living room. The other cats can see, hear and smell the kitten without the kitten wandering too. Later - alternate this system if you only have one cat and let the kitten wander around so the other cat can see him but not be able to feel too threatened. Then put the kitten in its "safe haven" and start again.


Dry food
~ We feed and recommend: EaglePac Holistic, Royal Canin (Growth, Maine Coon & Special), Sensible Choice, Neutro Max, we also mix in a little "dental diet" either Science Diet TD, Eukanuba or Friskies. While at our house your kitten has received a mixture of these foods to help them become accustomed to several different tastes and kibble shapes. We recommend "free feeding" kittens, but remember dry food will get stale if left out too long. We recommend putting out just slightly more than the kitten/cat will eat in a day. You should always keep your dry food stored in airtight containers.

Canned food ~ We like to offer a small amount of canned once or twice a day. We feed Neutro Max kitten, Neutro Gormet Classics, and Friskies Prime Fillet. Canned food should be served at room temperature. If the food has been refrigerated you may microwave food for a few seconds, stir and serve the food a few minutes later to prevent it being too warm in spots. Do not leave canned food out for more than 30 minutes. If you decide to offer canned twice a day, serve a half-day's portion morning and evening. I start by serving a tablespoon or two and increasing the amount as needed or as desired.

Hairballs ~ There are several hairball cat food formulas on the market that have extra fiber to help in ridding cats of hairballs. You can also add extra fiber to their canned food (pumpkin or baby food sweet-potatoes are a good source of fiber that most cats like). Or you can offer a product like Petromalt which is a brown sticky paste. Recommended dosage is once a week, approximately one inch given orally. Many cats will lick it directly from the tube. A dry hacking, gagging cough is usually a hairball. If your cat is coughing, give him/her Petromalt daily until the hairball is expelled.

Water ~ Unlike some breeds, Maine Coons love water!... it should be available at all times. Provide FRESH water at least once EVERY day. Oxyfresh makes a great mouthwash for cats that you can add to their water to help keep their gums healthy.

Food/Water Dishes ~Use glass, ceramic or metal and clean them daily. Plastic tends to collect bacteria from the oils in the cat food and can lead to chin acne. I use the small (desert size) paper plates for canned food. Maine Coons frequently enjoy playing with their water. We recommend using heavy water bowls and putting trays under the water bowls to prevent floods. Keep the food bowl at least 12 inches from the water bowl. Do not keep the litter pan anywhere near the food and water containers. Would you want to eat in your bathroom? Cats don't either. We have one male who will drag his litter to the water or vice-versa just for the pleasure of making "mud."

New kittens/cats may not appear to eat or drink for several days. Don't worry - they will eat when they feel relaxed. Stress may also cause some temporary illness such as dry or wet sneezing, watery eyes or a slight fever. As long as the eyes are clear and the nasal discharge is clear, then the kitten will recover quickly as they adjust to a new environment but, any green discharge should be investigated by a licensed veterinarian. Changes in water or food (and stress) may also cause diarrhea. We recommend using bottled water to begin with and only the food we provide to minimize any temporary digestive problems. You can change them gradually to your water and food.


We recommend the jumbo-sized litter pans that accommodate the long length of the Maine Coon body. Put litter pans in a quiet and well-ventilated area. We use pinewood "stove pellets" when we can get them, or Feline Pine during the months the wood stove pellets are not available. Compressed pine pellet are excellent at absorbing moisture and eliminating odor. We have also used PaPurr a recycled paper litter and the World's Best Litter (both of these are flushable and compostable) You are welcome to use whatever litter suits your cat's preferences and your lifestyle (clay, clumping, etc.). Scoop the litter 1-2 times daily, dispose of litter appropriately and clean/disinfect your litterpans regularly. We keep extra litterpans to use so we can rotate while some are being disenfected. PLEASE NOTE: Clumping litter is not safe for young kittens since they tend to eat everything! The clumping litters have a cement additive so we recommend waiting until kittens are six months of age prior to introducing them to clumping litter.

Be prepared with extra litter boxes and to put them in different areas of your home to prevent accidents from occurring. Make sure the cats all have access to litter and food/water. Some cats will stalk the babies or bar them from the litter pans so be sure that you observe everyone closely and make sure the new kitten is not at risk before leaving them all alone together.


Combing ~ Comb your cat weekly using a wide tooth (coarse) comb, then progress to a tighter (fine) tooth comb. Do not use slicker brushes on Maine Coons, they do nothing more than move the top layer of fur around. Be gentle and groom the cat in a position that is comfortable for you both. Start with the britches, tail and tummy (get the tough parts out of the way first) then progress to the back and chest which are more pleasurable for the cat.

Nails ~ Trim your cat's claws at least once a month. Use small cat claw scissors and holding the cat in a stable position, press on the pads of the foot to extend the claw. Clip the translucent tip of the claw. The opaque portion should not be cut or your cat's claw will bleed ~ this hurts, clipping claws should never hurt and if done properly, the cat will not mind. Remember, there are five claws on the front paws and four on the rear.

Ears ~ use a cottonball or thick kleenex wrapped it around your finger to swab out the ear. Do not use q-tips or put any liquids in the ears unless directed by your vet. Wipe away brown wax but report any heavy buildup or black dots to your vet immediately. Do not get water in their ears when bathing - do not submerge their heads at all!

Teeth ~ check your cats teeth and gums for signs of gum disease (gingivitus), tooth disease, tartar or teething. Very bad breath is not normal for cats ~ your cat may have a problem. Juvenile gingivitus may be seen when the cats are 7-11 months this usually clears up by 1-1.5 years of age and can be helped with treatments of clindamycin (antirobe aquadrops). Discuss brushing your cats teeth with your vet. Starting this as a kitten makes it easier to do.

Bathing ~ A basic shampoo routine includes Goop (mechanics hand cleaner), Dawn dishwashing liquid soap and a medicated shampoo you can buy from your vet. Use Woolite in the water to help get the cat's coat sopping wet. Rinsing well is vital; allow a minimum of 10 minutes to thoroughly rinse your cat - kittens require a little less time, but set you timer - do NOT skimp on the rinse time - a sticky coat will look worse than when you started and will attract dirt.

Drying ~ Warm some thick, absorbent towels in the dryer prior to the bath. "Slick" the excess water off your cat/kitten while (s)he is still standing in the sink. Wrap your wet kitten in the warm towels to absorb water out of the coat. Change the towels as needed and comb out the cat lightly as it is drying. Be careful as the wet hair is easily damaged. Make sure the kitten has a warm or sunny place to finish its grooming itself. You have a fresh smelling, lovely kitty to enjoy, give kitty a treat for being so good and congratulate yourself for a job well done. Bathing your cat will also help reduce the amount of hair that is shed, greasy coats and shedding can lead to horrific mats so it is important to keep up with their grooming.

Fleas ~ Fleas are not usually a problem in the high dry climate of Colorado, but if you live in a climate where fleas are a problem use a topical product such as Advantage or Frontline on your cat monthly to kill the fleas and be sure to treat your home. Fleas are very detrimental to your cat's health - they can kill a cat through anemia and give cats tapeworms as well as make them miserable.


~ When purchasing cat toys, make sure they are cat safe and do not have parts that can come apart and be easily swallowed. Avoid glued on parts and make sure tails, bells, etc. are very secure. Kittens love the Mylar teasers, but do not leave them down for the cats to chew on - the metal strings can cause intestinal damage if swallowed. Thread and strings are VERY dangerous. Cat's tongues are like Velcro, once something like a ribbon is licked, it is nearly impossible for a cat to spit it out. Ribbons can get stuck in their stomachs and cause an intestinal blockage that require surgery to remove. Cats are like toddlers ~ you need to keep dangerous items out of their reach to keep them safe (and their reach is incredible).

Toys need not be expensive ~ cats love cardboard boxes, paper bags (be sure to cut the handles), tinfoil balls (large, tightly compacted), ping-pong balls - especially in the bathtub, etc. Cat tracks and turbo scratchers are great. Most cats love Catnip. The best quality you can buy is from Alaskan CloudBusters in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska. It is incredibly potent! - Cat Faeries offers fantastic cat toys and divine catnip extract mist.

Cat Furniture ~ Cats love to be up high as it gives them both a great view as well as a sense of security - A cat tree at least four feet tall is a necessity for Maine Coon cats. They need something tall and sturdy so that they can scratch - they need a good workout and a cat tree with a sisal post works great. Give them a piece of furniture they can call their own and they will spend less time on yours.

Emergencies ~ Stock extra litter pans, litter, food, dishes and bottled water in a location with your own personal emergency supplies. We recommend you keep at least one carrier per pet. A zippered pillowcase provides a quick evacuation tool if your carriers are inaccessible. Keep your cat up to date with vaccinations and keep your pet's nails trimmed regularly.

Hazards ~ Many products and situations are hazardous to your cats. Pine based cleaners are toxic. Do not use toilet tank cleaners, it only takes one time to forget to put the toilet lid down and if your cat drinks from a toilet with a toxic cleaner it could be fatal! Many plants are poisonous ~ Treat your cat like a curious child ~ look for hazards. Cover electrical outlets, cut dangling blind cords cover electrical cords, screen off your fireplace, be very careful with recliners, (the mechanism could seriously injure a cat and decapitate a kitten), hide-a-beds, rocking chairs, slamming doors. Be careful with needles & thread, plastic bags, shopping bags, cigarettes, styrofoam, packing peanuts, yarn, cellophane, open refrigerators, dryers, garbage cans, sharp tin can lids, chicken bones. Be observant and try to deal with hazards before your cat finds them.

Health and First Aide ~ A cat's average temperature should range from 100.4 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Kittens can be slightly higher. A temperature of 104 degrees is cause for alarm and an immediate vet visit. Measure temperatures with a rectal thermometer or an ear thermometer. Pulse should be 110-130 beats per minute. Respiration should be 20-30 breaths per minute.

Keep your vet's phone number handy and locate an emergency or after hours vet nearby if your regular vet is closed. Emergencies always seem to happen at night or on weekends.

Stay in touch ~We love updates on TruTails Legendary Pets, we appreciate fun, wacky and cute photos we can use on our website. Let us know how your kitten is adjusting to its new home. Please call or email if you have any questions. ENJOY your wonderful new Maine Coon Cat!