Bringing home a new kitten is no small task, as a new or pre-existing pet parent you should know how important it is to kitten-proof your home before your new fur baby arrives. So in order to ease the process for you, here are 7 helpful tips when bringing home your new kitten.
Register with your local vet
Although registering with your local vet may seem premature , it can be very helpful in reducing the stress when taking your kitten for their vaccinations or neutering as they are already in the books. As well as this, it is a wise idea to talk to your vet whilst you are there about cat insurance policies and to arrange a microchip implant in case your little furry baby gets lost.
Creating a kitten base camp
Set up a safe space for your kitten or a ‘base camp’ in your house. Your kitten should have a room, preferably in a quiet part of your house, where they can feel safe and comfortable. Make sure you remove any poisonous plants or breakable objects so that it is kitten proof
To keep your kitten occupied indoors for the first 2-3 weeks there are a great range of mental enrichment toys available. Here’s a link to some great cat toys. These can also be placed in your kittens safe space so that they can remain entertained when left alone.
Reduce your kitten’s anxiety
Take a blanket from your house and leave it with your kitten at the breeders for a couple of days before you take them home, this will allow the kitten to become familiar with your scent and so when bringing them home it can relieve some of your new fur babies anxiety.
Find a good cat carrier
When bringing home your kitten for the first time it is a helpful tip to make sure that you have a sturdy and well ventilated cat carrier, it is also useful to put a blanket or item from their previous home in there as the scent will calm them so that your new fur baby can have a peaceful journey to their new home.
Slow introductions to other family members
When introducing your kitten to new family members it is important to remember that although you are excited you should take your time and go at your kitten’s pace. Meeting everyone at the same time can be overwhelming for your kitten, so by going at their pace you can ensure that their initial impressions will be positive.
When and what to feed your kitten
If you’re wondering what to feed your kitten, then usually it is best to feed initially with the food that they were receiving at their previous home. You can do this by asking the breeder for a bag of the food or by buying the same brand. Kittens have very sensitive stomachs so you need to transition them over a week to a new food. Do this by giving half of their current food mixed with half of the new food and adjust the balance daily so that by the end of the week they are eating only their new food. If you do not know what to buy you can opt for a ‘complete’ food formulated for kittens from your local pet store.
When to let your kitten outside
One of the challenges your kitten will face when starting their new adventure is getting their bearings as they explore the great outdoors. A good tip to ease this challenge is to keep your kitten indoors for 2-3 weeks to allow them to familiarise themselves with their environment. During this period of time you can take them out into the garden with a collar and lead on. Some people will even take them for a walk around the neighbourhood so that the kitten has a chance to make in internal map of the area where they live. When you are ready to let your kitten out unsupervised try doing it when they are slightly hungry so that you can entice them back with some food. Remember that your kitten should have had their vaccinations before going outside.
I hope that you have lots of fun with your new companion and enjoy many happy evenings of purring company.